A Great Finish to 2015 - Cranes, Curlews, Bramblings and Water Rail!

It was a great finish to the year with a few hours of sunshine lifting the spirits and the photos! Of note was a visit to Slimbridge WWT at the end of December in WARM SUNSHINE! There is something not at all right with the World...

The Common Cranes were in evidence and one decided to come towards the hide and have a good wash - to the sound of clattering shutters! It was nice to `lose` those leg-rings for once and to get large images without needing a teleconverter. Its just a good job we don`t use film anymore! I have posted a few :-) shots on Flickr...

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It was great to end the year with views of a truly positive conservation story.

There were a couple of Greater Scaup on the reserve; the really close-up one in the Eider Pool turning out to be a tufted duck however...

I call then not-scaups....

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The real jobs were to be found later that afternoon as the last few minutes of sun sank below the horizon on the far side of Rushy Pool.

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At The Kingfisher Hide a Mistle Thrush decided to eat the mistletoe berries behind the feeders. Unfortunately a branch insisted on getting in the way for almost every shot - you only need one though they say...

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Mistle Thrush on Mistletoe.
The Estuary was alive with waders - another conservation success at least for now - and geese were well represented.

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Brent Geese over The Severn Estuary.
Finally, often overlooked but worth a second look, it is worth noting how tolerant of humans the rooks are at Slimbridge. They can be difficult to approach anywhere else due to persecution.

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And then, just as the year drew to a close, a couple of hours of sun at my local reserve - The Christopher Cadbury Upton Warren Reserve - near Bromsgrove finally produced some crippling (to use the vernacular) views of a water rail and Curlew in flight; I took a few pictures....

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So - here`s hoping for a great 2016. New Zealand beckons...

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