Slimbridge on 19th. Birds included a few Bewick's swans, about 70 white-fronted geese, a tundra bean goose, 2 'continental' greylags, 3 ruff a spotted redshank and 2 peregrines. Photos below of pintail and the greylags, whose large size and pale appearance identified them as being of the 'continental' race.
I also saw chiffchaffs at Slimbridge and Berkeley Shore, and 2 tree sparrows at Berkeley shore.
On the afternoon of 12th I went to see the first British LONG-BILLED MURRELET at Dawlish. We arrived at 15.30h only to find that the bird had not been seen since 14.00h when it drifted out to sea. I soon spotted a distant small auk flying rapidly into the bay. It settled far offshore, and swam in, diving frequently. We were rewarded with excellent views of the bird, though the light was by now too poor to get good photographs. The murrelet dived every few seconds, so the views were often short, and the most frequent view was as in the photo below.
A couple of record shots below. The bird often swam low against the water. It had white rims over and below the eye, a white nape, white scapular patches, and a thin bill. It was smaller than a guillemot, and occasionally swam with an extended neck and held its head and bill in a manner resembling a slavonian grebe.
An afternoon visit to Northwick wharf on the Severn estuary (5th) produced good numbers of waders (including 30 black-tailed godwits), and a distant short-eared owl feeding over Aust wharf.