Showing posts from March, 2008

Forest sightings

Sunday 30th March 2008

On the first day of BST, it actually felt spring-like, with plenty of sun and temperatures up to 14oC. A hunt for Lesser Spots was unsuccessful, but we did see the following:

Highnam Woods
Three Green Woodpeckers, 15 Redwings and a singing male Blackcap.

Four Hawfinches and c10 Bramblings (one male in almost full breeding plumage) feeding amongst the leaf-litter.

Crabtree Hill/Woorgreens
Two Hawfinches (a male and female) near the Woorgreens car park, also 20 Siskins feeding on conifers near the top of the hill where the forest roads meet, several singing Goldcrests, a singing male Treecreeper and a Goshawk soaring, seen from the main road as we were in the car travelling towards Cinderford.
(Pic of Hawfinch left)

Cannop Ponds
Four Little Grebes(top photo and below) and five Mandarins(next two photos below) on the upper lake.

In the garden today there were two Bramblings and a female Blackcap. (This photo below was taken this evening as I sat in the garden with…

Port Ham, Walmore Common & Frampton

Saturday 29th March 2008
An increasing wet and windy day, although not too bad this morning before the rain set-in. Sightings highlights with Mark were:

Port Ham, Gloucester
A Green Sandpiper, 30 Snipe, five Reed Buntings and a Little Grebe.

Walmore Common
A Little Egret, two Shelducks, 19 Teal, four Snipe, a Buzzard and two Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Also three Brown Hares.

Saul Warth
Three Garganeys (2m, 1f) still at mid-day after a call from Mike (best viewed from the canal - they were on the left flash), also a Buzzard.

The Cattle Egret was in a field with horses near the church and 50 Sand Martins were on the sailing lake.


Monday 24th March 2008

A quick trip to Frampton late afternoon produced this male White Wagtail. This was with two Pied Wagtails between Court Lake and the sailing lake in the paddock with two horses. I only got a couple of photos before it moved off more distantly, and had gone when I returned from the sailing lake. 30+ Sand Martins were on Court Lake.

Green-winged Teal

Sunday 23rd March 2008

A drake Green-winged Teal(above) was found on the WWT 100-acre at Frampton today by Martin McGill, which was showing well (in the rain) still at 9am.

A trip to Awre with Mark this evening to look for interesting gulls produced a male Wheatear.

Five Bramblings were in the garden today.


Saturday 22nd March 2008
On a cold day with a strong north wind and wintry showers, I spent a couple of hours at Fretherne this afternoon. The highlights were 48 Black-tailed Godwits(above), 43 Curlews, 6 Chiffchaffs and five Long-tailed Tits(below).

Sand Martins

Friday 21st March 2008

A showery day with a cold NW wind, and a very unpromising start to the day at Fretherne with Mark and Mike produced nothing of note. 30 Sand Martins on Frampton sailing lake were a county year tick however. Back at Quedgeley me and Mark stopped off at the canal, were three Sand Martins(above and below) were just south of Rea Bridge. Three Chiffchaffs(bottom) were also here and three Long-tailed Tits. Another two Chiffchaffs, four Long-tailed Tits and a female Blackcap were along the stretch of canal south of The Pilot.


Tuesday 11th March to Friday 14th March 2008
The main highlights of our holiday in Venice last week were the stunning views, the food, the wine, the music, the architecture, the weather - in other words, Venice itself. It wasdefinitely a non-birding trip, but there were some interesting birds seen - besides the large number of Feral Pigeons for which bags of grain are still sold in Piazza San Marco.

Tuesday 11th March
We arrived in San Marco airport after a one-and-a-half hour flight from Gatwick, and took the Alilaguna waterbus across the lagoon. At the airport quayside, the first birds were Italian House Sparrows(above), Yellow-legged Gulls and Black-headed Gulls. On the hour-long boat-ride to Venice I saw 15+ Garganeys, a Great Crested Grebe, two Oystercatchers, four Little Egrets, two Great White Egrets, a Hooded Crow plus several Magpies, Yellow-legged Gulls, Cormorants, Black-headed Gulls and Mallards. We took a walk in the afternoon taking in the Riva Degli Schiavoni, (the lagoon…


Saturday 15th March 2008

An increasingly damp and dull day, a bit of a change from the last few days I spent in Venice with Linda, where we had unbroken sunshine since Tuesday (I'll blog the Venice trip in the near future). I spent an hour or so at Slimbridge late morning where twelve apparent European Greylag Geese(photos) were in the approach road-side fields along with a White-fronted Goose. From the Holden Tower there was the Brent Goose still, plus four Oystercatchers, a Peregrine and two Chiffchaffs, a Little Egret was feeding at the Martin Smith hide while on South Lake there were three Black-tailed Godwits andtwo Redshanks. On the way back, a Green Woodpecker flew alongside the car in Castle Lane, between Epney and the canal at Moreton Valence. Meanwhile in the garden, four Bramblings still.

Wild Daffodils and Birds

Sunday 9th March 2008

A very pleasant day, mostly sunshine with the odd shower, even a brief hail shower this morning. Linda and I did one of our favourite walks at this time of year around Kempley to take in the wild daffodils. The daffodils are abundant in this area, and an impressive sight. The photo above was taken at Gwen and Vera's Fields Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust reserve near Oxenhall. Birds on the walk included five Buzzards making the most of the thermals and 25 Meadow Pipits and a singing Mistle Thrush at Murrell's End. See more photos from the walk here:

This afternoon, at Slimbidge WWT, the Brent Goose(above, up-ending in the Knott Pool) was still present, and on South Lake there were seven Ruffs, two Black-tailed Godwits, three Oystercatchers and three Redshanks. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was along the Holden walkway.

Below: A Coot landing on the sailing lake at Frampton.

Brent Goose and Other Sightings

Saturday 8th March 2008

On a day of increasing wind and showers Andy and I headed for Slimbridge WWT this morning. A Brent Goose(photos) was next to the Knott Pool first thing before heading up the sea wall to graze, and a Temminck's Stint(bottom photo) was on the edge of the pool in front of the Holden Tower. A Cetti's Warbler gave a burst of song near the Holden walkway feeding station. On the way back towards Slimbridge village from the trust I noticed an Egret in a field next to Kingston Road at Rectory farm. It looked interesting and on stopping the car and checking it with the bins it turned out to be a Cattle Egret. This is probably the Fretherne bird.

This afternoon in the garden there were eight Bramblings.

Bramblings - again

Tuesday 4th March 2008
A return to frost this morning brought six Bramblings into the garden. The female Blackcap was also present as were the usual Chaffinches and Greenfinches, a Blue Tit, a Dunnock and three Robins.

Garden Birds

Sunday 2nd March 2008

A pleasant day with sunny intervals and less wind than yesterday. No birding though, being mother's day, but the following birds were noted in the garden: a female Great Spotted Woodpecker, two Bramblings, 15+ Chaffinches, five Greenfinches, three Goldfinches, a Goldcrest, a female Blackcap, three Long-tailed Tits, a Great Tit, two Blue Tits, a Starling, a Song Thrush, two Blackbirds, a Dunnock and two House Sparrows. In my parent's garden at Brockworth there were 12 House Sparrows(photo above).


Saturday 1st March 2008
A sunny but windy morning out with Andy and Mark produced the following:

Frampton Sailing Lake
A Peregrine, four Cormorants including two sinensisrace, two Redshanks, and 40 Fieldfares and Redwings.

Berkeley Shore
Two Oystercatchers, 14 Shelducks, 22 Meadow Pipits, three Skylarks, a Peregrine and a Kestrel.

In the garden, there were four Bramblings, 18 Chaffinches, five Greenfinches, a male Great Spotted Woodpecker and a female Blackcap. A Grey Wagtail was along the canal south of the Pilot this evening. This section of the towpath has re-opened, at last, after being closed in July when flooding caused a number of bank-slips.