Keeping on keeping on

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In the spirit of starting the year as you mean to go on, I hauled myself out of my desk chair this afternoon and went to Slimbridge. The light was Stygian before I even got there, and by the time I was heading down the last run of hides at an extended trot I could barely see my own feet – but on the plus side I got my 2020 bird list off to a flying start, so swings and roundabouts. I also benefited from the morale boost that I almost always get at Slimbridge: as long as there are wildlife sanctuaries like this around, the country isn’t entirely intolerable.

I’m not sure why this species is called the greater flamingo, when it’s rather smaller than some of the others, but I just do photographs and wittering – I don’t actually make the rules. I’m also not sure that this many shades of pink should be allowed on the same creature, but no-one asked my permission for that either. By the time I took this photo it was so dark that the autofocus thought I was having a laugh, so I was quite pleased that it came out. And just to prove that I can photograph proper wild things as well, here’s a lapwing; it might have been the main image if the background had been less vile, but I’m pleased with the feather detail, and it shows the bird’s colouring quite well.

2020 birds:
1  Woodpigeon
2  Magpie
3  Kestrel
4  Starling
5  Jackdaw
6  Carrion crow
7  Coot
8  Moorhen
9  Black-headed gull
10 Pintail
11 Lapwing
12 Mute swan
13 Bewick’s swan
14 Tufted duck
15 Shelduck
16 Teal
17 Goldeneye
18 Pochard
19 Mallard
20 Curlew
21 Blue tit
22 Great tit
23 House sparrow
24 Dunnock
25 Chaffinch
26 Robin
27 Water rail
28 Canada goose
29 Shoveler
30 Blackbird
31 Rook
32 Crane
33 Barnacle goose
34 Wigeon
35 White-fronted goose
36 Pink-footed goose
37 Pheasant
38 Black-tailed godwit
39 Herring gull
40 Cormorant

Also – though I’m not listing it because it’s regarded as an escapee, and not a British bird – there was a bar-headed goose happily hanging out with the barnacle geese.