TWASI Day Trips 2023

TWASI Visit & Get-Together at Slimbridge – January 2023

Rather than a pre-Christmas Get-Together, we had a New Year one this year, and 12 members joined in on a very sociable day.

After joining up for a sociable catch-up over a cup of coffee, we went round the site.

The weather had been extremely wet early on, but cleared at Slimbridge, and we had some brilliantly sunny spells at times, with a few showers later, windy, but relatively mild.

I walked out to the Estuary hide and then back via other hides, and watched some large flocks of birds, mainly lapwing, flying over the wet fields.

A Ruff (in winter eclipse) and a Spoonbill were interesting sights, and there were quite a number of Bewick swans about as well.

We met up at lunch time, and had a very sociable meal together, with plenty of chat.

After lunch a group of us went to be shown the Duck Decoy in action, using a fox-like dog to encourage the mallards into the netting “tube”. 

This would originally have been done to use the birds for food, but is now done to allow ringing and research before releasing the birds. 

It was surprising to see that the ducks were not chased into the net as I had expected, but they followed the dog – keeping the “predator” in their sights.

We were also shown the Duck Hut, and given an interesting insight into how ringing can show how birds migrate, which gives valuable knowledge of how birds numbers are faring in different locations.

Some of us then used our time to sketch the birds in the heated hide, & watch the wild bird feed at sunset.

Sarais Crawshaw