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Showing posts from August, 2008

Sandwich Terns and Osprey

Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st August 2008
A sucessful weekend's birding produced two more county year ticks, Sandwich Tern and Osprey, taking my total to 199. Fuller highlights are below.

Saturday
On a rare warm day with some sun, me, Andy and Mark (call us 'The Three Amigos' if you must) headed for Sharpness Docks for the high tide. The first highlight was six Yellow Wagtails sat on telegraph wires off Bridge Road, with Linnets and Goldfinches. A juvenile Grasshopper Warbler was a nice find, and showed well, near the Harbourmaster's hut. I'd have gotten a good photo there if I hadn't dropped my lens on my last visit to Sharpness - it's now been sent off as an insurance job and I am really missing it, although it does mean a lot less weight to lug around! Then, at the lifeboat station, two Sandwich Terns passed us heading south at 8.20am, ten minutes before high tide.

A scramble to Slimbridge WWT to try and see a Kentish Plover was unsuccessful, but we got good…

Netheridge NR

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Friday 29th August 2008

This afternoon I made a visit to Netheridge Nature Reserve. I and a few other fellow birders have spent quite a bit of time recently hoping to see the apparently wild Eagle Owl at the Barn Owl centre, Netheridge Farm. Whilst not being successful, this week has opened my eyes to the superb natural habitats around here. With this in mind, I parked in Rea Lane and walked down to find the reserve. Two Spotted Flycatchers were a nice find, near Upper Rea Farm. Sightings at the reserve included a Little Grebe, a Reed Warbler, three Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, a Green Woodpecker and several Tufted Ducks. Insect interest included six Migrant Hawkers(above), several Common Darters and Ruddy Darters, two Dark Bush-crickets(below) and a Square-spot Rustic moth (next photo below).


Yesterday evening, a Speckled Bush-cricket (Leptophyes punctatissima) was in the house (below).

Insects

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Tuesday 26th August 2008
A couple of insect photos for today's post, above a Southern Hawker photographed at Frampton on Sunday, and below a Hoverfly Chrysotoxum festivum photographed in the garden today.

Recent sightings

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Friday 22nd, Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August 2008

Friday, a visit with Mark and Andy to Sharpness in the evening turned up five Yellow Wagtails with Pied Wagtails near the lifeboat station.

On Saturday I got to WWT early to book on the special safari, a good opportunity to see waders a bit closer than is usual in Gloucestershire. Waiting for the centre to open, I spotted a Wheatear was on the roof of Lady Scott's house. There was a reasonable selection of waders on the safari at high tide, the highlights being a Turnstone and several Knots. There were also good views later of Hobbies feeding over the 100-acre. The full list of sightings from the safari are on the WWT website here.

Today, a visit to Sharpness with Andy, produced a Shag on the sand north of the lifeboat station before high tide (photos above and below), with a Cormorant nearby. With my year county year list now on 197, I can see the 200 target in sight!

Garden ticks recently include a Raven heard flying over low th…

Stilt Sandpiper

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Tuesday 19th August 2008

It was chocks away this evening when I got a call from Mark that Lawrence Skipp had seen the probable Long-billed Dowitcher at Coombe Hill Meadows as a Stilt Sandpiper. Half an hour later, after collecting Andy and Mark on the way, I was watching this superb bird, in an increasingly crowded Grundon Hide. It was nice meeting a lot of the regulars, not to mention adding to my county year list, which now stands at 195. Other birds present included a Wood Sandpiper and two Green Sandpipers. (Photos: record shots of Stilt Sandpiper)


Back from Cornwall

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Sunday 17th August 2008

I returned to Glos on Friday after a week's holiday in Cornwall and after a short rest, made it down to Saul Warth to see the Red-necked Phalarope. I needn't have hurried down as it's still there, but didn't want to risk missing it. This latest tick brings my county list for the year to 194 (note: I'd missed off Crossbill and Wheatear somehow, so I'm only six off the magic 200 now). I'll do a little report soon on my week in Cornwall, in the meantime here's a taster above - a Turnstone at Mousehole.

A quick visit to Slimbridge WWT earlier produced five Green Sandpipers, six Black-tailed Godwits, two Spotted Redshanks, a Ruff, and that Egyptian Goose.

Slimbridge at High Tide

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Sunday 3rd August 2008

A very productive morning at Slimbridge WWT with Andy, with a good selection of birds. The highlights were:

Mid Point at high tide
Six Whimbrels, 18 Curlews, a Turnstone, six Ringed Plovers, 25 Dunlins, an Oystercatcher and six Common Sandpipers;

Holden Tower
A Green Sandpiper, a Little Ringed Plover, a Snipe, a Greenshank and four Little Egrets;

Robbie Garnett Hide
Seven Green Sandpipers, two Common Sandpipers, an Oystercatcher and two Stock Doves;

South Lake
Two male Ruffs, a Spotted Redshank, 62 Redshanks and 14 Black-tailed Godwits.

(Photos: Black-tailed Godwit, top, Common Sandpiper, above, Ruff with Redshanks and Black-tailed Godwits, below)

Garden Moths

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Saturday 2nd August 2008

Some nice moths in the garden this evening, with a Magpie(above), a Garden Carpet(below) and a Common Emerald(bottom) all attracted to the security light.

Saul Warth

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Friday 1st August 2008

I spent an afternoon's leave at Saul Warth checking out the good selection of birds using the SE flash at the moment. Facing into a stiff southerly breeze off the river was a challenge at times, but rewarded me with a Curlew Sandpiper, (thanks Mike for helping me find that one) three Wood Sandpipers, six Green Sandpipers, nine Black-tailed Godwits, two Ruffs, two Greenshanks, a Snipe, a Dunlin, 40 Redshanks and 70+ Ladpwings. Insects noted included Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns, a Small/Essex Skipper, a Peacock, Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies, Common and Ruddy Darters, and a male Dark Bush-cricket(photo above). Curlew Sand takes my county year list to 191.