Another very mild day for February. We spent the morning at Chew Valley Lake where, as well as a good cup of coffee at Woodford Lodge, we were able to see birds on the lake from the road and from a hide (Stratford) to which I could drive.
The sun shone briefly to give us some nice views of the lake. Most of the wildfowl were in the middle of the lake but we could make out large flocks of tufted ducks, pochard and lapwings.
There was also one small group of tufted ducks which were combined with goldeneye.
I have to concede that the injury to my Achilles’ tendon (which is now booted 24/7) is causing me great frustration, especially as I have been unable to get out and savour the joys of nature on which I have become more and more reliant.
In January and the beginning of February, in this part of the country, we have had a number of sunny and relatively mild days . Thankfully, yesterday I managed to enjoy one of them at one of the UK’s finest wetland centres, WWT Slimbridge. I only managed to get to the first two hides but I saw enough there to alleviate my frustrations.
This week it was World Wetlands Day, “which is celebrated annually on 2 February and aims to raise global awareness about the vital role of wetlands for people and planet. A call to take action for wetlands is the focus of this years’ campaign. It’s an appeal to invest financial, human and political capital to save the world’s wetlands from disappearing and to restore those we have degraded. 2 February 2022 is the first year that World Wetlands Day will be observed as a United Nations international day” – (extract from the linked website which is well worth having a look at.)
The first bird we saw on the Rushy lake was an avocet, the iconic emblem of the RSPB. In fact this was the only one we saw on our visit.
From this first hide you get really good close-ups of the birds and is generally a good place to get photos of birds in flight or on the water.
From the next hide you have good views over the wetlands which are pretty spectacular when all the birds are feeding but amazing when something spooks them and the large flocks take to the air.