Week 1 – Upto 9th January 2011

systemwetten New Year’s day got off to a flying start. First bird of the year – a Robin in the garden.

We then set off to Slimbridge, should be a good place to get the list up and running. Loads of birds as you would expect and we got a lifer within 30 minutes of turning up. A Greater Scaup was on the Rushy. We missed the Lesser Scaup which had been hanging around but that is liveable with, it was apparantly very flighty and they weren’t sure where it was hiding. Lots of ducks and Bewick’s Swans too. At the Holden tower we saw a Peregrine! From the Zeiss hide on the Lake there was a female Smew, another lifer!A huge flock of Wigeon (6600) was absolutely amazing. By the end of Day 1 we had seen 54 species.

2/01/2011 we went for a walk along the river and pick up some more. The Dippers were out as usual, Grey Wagtails too. The surprise at the bend in the river where Osric goes in was a Water Rail – a first for the river.

This Weekend we kept it local and checked out some of the local spots. Saturday we went to Penylan just above Bassaleg. There were about 8 buzzards hunting over the fields. In the ploughed field there was a flock of about 50 Fieldfare and another 50 Starlings. They flew over us, what a sight. We also got an amazing view of a Raven.

Sunday we went to Ynysfro Reservoir. After searching all the Black Headed Gulls we eventually came up with a Med Gull, at last! Another lifer. There was a huge number of Coots. I have never seen so many in one place. The Reservoir was still frozen over about half of it and they all congregated in the open bits. It was quite a sight.

After 9 days we have now seen 69 species this year.