Coombe Hill (18 January 2011, contributed by Gordon Avery, Les Brown and Mike Smart)
Coombe Hill was at its absolute best today; the Severn has dropped a little, but there is still light flooding on the meadows and the new boardwalk has come into its own; without it, the Grundon Hide could not be reached. Large numbers of water birds on the shallow floodwater: about 2,500 Wigeon, 400 Teal, 76 Pintail, 14 Shoveler, 1 Gadwall; there has been an increase in ducks since the weekend perhaps the 1,000 additional Wigeon have come from Slimbridge? About 425 Canada Geese, 170 Greylag Geese, 1 adult Pink-footed Goose, 2 adult European Whitefronts (flew in calling, probably birds from Slimbridge). 13 Bewick’s Swans, the first here this winter (eight adults and five cygnets). No sign of Whoopers at Leigh Meadows or Minsterworth. 460 Lapwings, 3 Dunlin, 2 Curlews, the latter unusual at this date: are they cold weather migrants from the north or early arriving breeding birds?