31st. Slimbridge - the light wasn't great, but the birds were excellent. I used the 400mm lens without an extender, and pushed the ISO sometimes to over 1000, and the 1D4 handled this really well. I saw a pink-footed goose, peregrine, and 3 ruff. As it got dark the whooper swan and two of the Great Crane Project common cranes flew in to join the Bewick's swans on Rushy Pen. A water rail gave great views from Willow Hide.
The main interest was on the Asia Pen. A pair of ruddy shelduck found their way here and joined the captive birds after arriving elsewhere at the Trust. Here's the female. The male may not be pure, both may be feral, but then again most ruddy shelduck here probably are anyway.
A female ferruginous duck followed suit, and is now becoming less nervous and associating with a group of Baer's pochards. It shows down to a couple of metres at times.
28th. A little egret flying around the railway bridge on Station Road, then over the former fuel depot in Flax Bourton. I saw at least 2 on a walk to the Old Barn in Wraxall yesterday, but this was the first one I've seen in the village. Also a male blackcap in Bourton Mead.
6th. The annual winter trip to the Exe Estuary. We just missed seeing the Black Brant at Dart's Farm after drinking espressos rather than birding. Next stop was Labrador Bay, where we had good views of at least 20 cirl buntings.
After lunch at the the Anchor Inn in Cockwood, we spent the afternoon at Dawlish Warren, seeing a great northern diver, red-throated diver, Slavonian grebe, common scoter, and a pipit that was almost certainly the water pipit.