Showing posts from April, 2008

Long-eared Owl

Sunday 27th April 2008

A Long-eared Owl at Slimbridge WWT today at mid-point. Also an Avocet from the Holden Tower and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose still.

Cotswold Water Park

Saturday 26th April 2008

A very pleasant warm day and a very pleasant morning's birding at the Cotswold Water Park with Andy and Mark produced a Black Tern and 12 Common Terns at pit 16, at pits 46/48/57/58: four Hobbies, two Little Gulls, three Arctic Terns, 23 Common Terns, 20 Swifts, five Sand Martins, seven Nightingales, five Garden Warblers, two Sedge Warblers, two Reed Warblers, Three Cetti's Warblers, a Common Sandpiper, a Cuckoo, four Lesser Whitethroats and 12 Red-crested Pochards.

(Photos: top two - Nightingale, next two: Garden Warbler, next photo: Wren, bottom two: Little Gulls)
Earlier at Hardwicke, three Nightingales were singing south of The Pilot, plus two LesserWhitethroats and a Sedge Warbler.

Sightings of more migrants

Friday 25th April 2008

Another fine day with a few showers about and a quick visit to the canal south of The Pilot this morning revealed two singing male Nightingales, plus two Lesser Whitethroats and a Sedge Warbler. Early evening at Frampton sailing lake there was another Sedge Warbler, two Common Terns and a Common Sandpiper(above).

More Migrants along the Canal

Wednesday 23rd April 2008
Another pleasant day, but a more noticeable breeze coming from the south brought with it an influx of migrants. A male Nightingale was back on territory south of The Pilot and singing strongly. Further north along the canal a Lesser Whitethroat was near Sims Bridge, another was at Hempsted. This evening a pair of Mandarin were near The Pilot.

Little Owl and Barn Owl

Tuesday 22nd April 2008

I spent a warm sunny evening, with temperatures 'soaring' to 18oC, at Frampton. A Little Owl(above) was near Court Lake, and a Barn Owl(below) was hunting at Green Lane. My first Whitethroat was near Green Lane and a male Ruddy Duck was on the sailing lake.
This morning, two Sedge Warblers were singing along the canal at Hardwicke south of Stank Lane, and a Reed Warbler was near The Pilot.

Pallas's Warbler - better views

Sunday 20th April 2008

A dryer, less windy day, and the Pallas's Warbler was giving much better views this morning at Frampton, allowing me to get 'slightly' clearer photos than yesterday. The bird was very vocal again, and I have made a recording of it's song which you can download here.

Other highlights at Frampton Pools were a Cuckoo being mobbed by Sand Martins and a Yellow Wagtail over.

Two Pied Flycatchers were at Nagshead RSPB Reserve this afternoon, at Lower Hide (below).

Pallas's Warbler

Saturday 19th April 2008

The continuing chilly easterly winds yielded a superb Pallas's Warbler today at Frampton. The singing male was found by Nick Goatman at Frampton pools this morning at 10:45am and was present until 12:15 at least when I left with Andy. It was near the pines between the sailing lake and Court Lake cSO752072. It was very elusive for much of the time, and when it was in view it was constantly moving about looking for food. However, it was very vocal and gave sustained bursts of it's beautiful song, reminiscent of Willow Warbler. In fact it appeared to respond when the latter species was singing. Record shots above and below reflect it's nature, preferring to stay among the tangle of bushes and bramble most of the time. It did reveal good diagnostics though and I got good glimpses of the central crown stripe, the lemon rump and the bright yellow eye-stripe (bottom photo). A Nightingale singing nearby was a bonus.

Coombe Hill Meadows

Friday 18th April 2008

Despite the unpromising conditions, with a brisk easterly breeze, Andy and myself had a cracking afternoon's birding at Coombe Hill Meadows. This was just what I needed to clear away the effects of a migraine this morning, although the day started off well with two singing Reed Warblers just south of The Pilot first thing. Back to Coombe Hill Meadows, and a very pleasant couple of hours at the Grundon Hide produced:
Seven Little Ringed Plovers, a Ringed Plover, a Grey Plover, two Greenshanks, three Redshanks, nine Lapwings, two Yellow Wagtails, a White Wagtail, four Pied Wagtails, two Reed Buntings, 30 Swallows, 50 Sand Martins, a Raven, four Stock Doves, a Grey Heron, a Raven, 11 Coots, two Shelducks, four Greylag Geese and two Mute Swans this afternoon. Two House Martins were with the Swallows at the wharf car park. Migraine? What Migraine! It doesn't get much better than this.

(Photos: top: Little Ringed Plover, below: Ringed Plover, Yellow Wagtail, Grey…

Super Sunday

Sunday 13th April 2008

The showers held off this morning as Andy, Mark and myself scoured Cleeve Hill for Ring Ouzel. Eventually Mark spotted a male which flew straight overhead and continued flying west until it was eventually lost from sight. Other highlights of an excellent morning's birding were a male Cuckoo, a singing male Tree Pipit, four Wheatears, a male Stonechat, several Willow Warbler plus numerous Skylarks and Meadow Pipits.A male Redstart was in the butterfly conservation area. We stopped at Witcombe Reservoir on the way back to find a Yellow Wagtail, also four Pied Wagtails(photo above, and Meadow pipit below - I couldn't get any photos of the more notable stuff, so instead of Yellow Wag you get Pied, instead of Tree Pipit you get Meadow!).

Pink foot

Saturday 12th April

Another day of the same weather, sunny intervals, a cold S-SW wind and increasing showers. A trip out with Andy around the river this morning bore meagre pickings. The highlights were a House Martin over the Perry Way near Court Lake at Frampton, three Swallows at Slimbridge village and two Willow Warblers, Pink-footed Goose(photos), Dark-belliedBrent Goose and a Peregrine at Slimbridge WWT.

In the garden this afternoon were a Brambling(below) and singing Blackcap and Chiffchaff.


Friday 11th April 2008
A cool, showery day and news of a White-tailed Eagle seen this morning at Slimbridge WWT left me feeling somewhat restless at work. When I finally got away I headed for Port Ham to look for a Marsh Harrier Andy told me he had seen at lunchtime. No sign of that so I tried Hempsted and found a Jack Snipe at a spot near the Severn Way Andy Jayne had kindly told me about. Other birds included 15 Common Snipe, three Sylarks, five Meadow Pipits, a Kestrel a Blackcap and a Reed Bunting.


Tuesday 8th April 2008

Another cold day with plenty of sun but then increasing showers, and I headed for Newnham-on-Severn straight after work to look for the Franklin's Gull found there yesterday. Unfortunately there was no sign of that, despite many pairs of eyes on the case, but an adult Mediterranean Gull(photos below) was a nice consolation prize. Thanks to John Phillips (the Franklin's Gull finder) for spotting that and Dave Pearce for putting me on it. It was fairly distant so I walked up-river towards the White Hart Inn to get a better view from across the river. The mixed weather also produced an impressive rainbow across the river (top photo). Seven Swallows were also present, five of them were heading south down-river, probably going back to Africa having had enough of the weather!

Willow Warblers

Sunday 6th April 2008

Waking up to snow gave the day a wintry feel, though the sun meant it was still a pleasant one, and let's face it, snow is very picturesque. Seven Willow Warblers had arrived along the canal south of The Pilot since yesterday, and it was great hearing their wistful song again following their winter holiday. In fact they were almost outnumbering the eight Chiffchaffs, both species favouring the Blackthorn bushes with their fresh blossom in their search for insects. Other birds present this morning along the canal included a Goldcrest, Raven and a Jay. A female Brambling was still in the garden today, and this afternoon a Swallow was spotted at Alderton whist on route to Hidcote Manor Gardens.
(Photo: top and next two below - Willow Warbler, followed by Chiffchaff then bottom photo - Blackthorn blossom).

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Saturday 5th April 2008

On a mainly sunny day, though not as warm as yesterday, Andy and I spent a couple of hours at Highnam Woods RSPB. The star bird was this female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker(above) from the path just above the pinetum at SO774198, giving stunning views and calling for several minutes. Drumming was also heard briefly a short distance away before we saw this bird. Other birds included a Green Woodpecker, three Great Spotted Woodpeckers, two Stock Doves, three Buzzards, three Blackcaps, several Chiffchaffs and a Raven.

Along the canal south of the Pilot at Hardwicke later there were five Sand Martins and a Kingfisher.

Forest and Slimbridge

Friday 4th April 2008

A foggy start, quite slow to clear, but giving way to a warm, sunny and very pleasant day. With the whole day to myself I spent the morning at a couple of sites concentrating on photographing some of my favourite birds such as Hawfinch(above, at Brierley) and Brambling(below, Cannop Ponds), and getting lots of other birds along the way:

Forest of Dean
Cannop Ponds:
Six Brambling, two Reed Buntings, a Coal Tit, nine Mandarins, three Stock Doves, around five drumming Great Spotted Woodpeckers plus one other seen, a singing male Blackcap, several singing Chaffinches, a Jay, a Grey Wagtail, two Little Grebes, three Wrens, a Song Thrush, a Dunnock, and several Robins, Blue Tits, Great Tits and Chaffinches(below: Brambling, Chaffinch, Wren and Reed Bunting).

Broadwell, nr. Coleford:
A male Swallow.
Brierley (Serridge Enclosure):
Four plus Hawfinchesshowing well (top photo and below) with two Bramblings (one in breeding plumage), a Raven, a Buzzard and a Chiffchaff.

Slimbridge …