Showing posts from January, 2009

Frome Banks & WWT

Sunday 25th January 2009

An excellent morning's birding started off with a Dipper(above) at Frome Banks GWT nature reserve. Song Thrushes were also in song here.

At Slimbridge WWT, a first-winter Glaucous Gull(above) was on The Dumbles, also the six Tundra Bean Geese, a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull and a Peregrine; two Ruffs were among the waders on the Tack Piece, a Water Rail was at the Robbie Garnett feeding station, while a Little Stint and a Cetti's Warbler were at the Zeiss Hide. (Photos below: Tundra Bean Goose, Yellow-legged Gull)

Snow Bunting

Saturday 24th January 2009
The beautiful immature male Snow Bunting was showing well in the sunshine this morning, on the edge of the river at Slimbridge WWT (photos above and below). Many thanks to the WWT wardens for organising the walk to see it, and good luck to anyone going on tomorrow's walk.

Around the Chilly Wolds

Friday 23rd January 2009

A cold breeze was blowing on the Cotswolds today, but the sunshine was welcome. At Cirencester, the Great Grey Shrike was still present at midday, though distant and elusive on the far trees between the set-aside and the allotment (just south of North Home Road), also a smart male Stonechat was near the lay-by. At Hawling, just one Short-eared Owl(photos above and below) appeared late afternoon, in fields west of Southdown Farm (SW of Hawling village). Also a Barn Owl was patrolling the Pheasant huts, and a group of seven Corn Buntings were at The Triangle.

Waxwings and Long-eared Owl

Saturday 17th January 2009

A very pleasant day (before the evening wind and rain!), and it was nice to see Waxwings again, with 17 present this morning at The Grove, off Hales Road, Cheltenham. They are feeding on a small ornamental Rowan, one of the few trees around with any berries on.

At Slimbridge WWT, a Knot was with c60 Dunlins, and c500 Lapwings over the road-side fields, six Ruffs were on South Lake and six Siskins were near the South Lake hide. A total of four Little Stints were with Dunlins over the centre/Tack Piece area, the birds being frequently put up by two Peregrines. The White-fronted Goose flock were fairly distant from the Holden Tower, but the Bean Geese were not visible, apparently being seen landing in the corner of the Goose House Ground, out of sight behind the line of trees and bushes.

At Frampton, a Long-eared Owl was roosting at the reed-bed south of Splatt Bridge.

Not Frozen but still Freezing

Sunday 11th January 2009

Despite the 9oC temperatures this morning, the brisk SE breeze was keeping things on the chilly side. Andy and me checked out the roadside fields at Slimbridge WWT this morning, where 400+ White-fronted Geese(above) were grazing, along with a Brent Goose. Mark reported five Bean Geese on the Tack Piece there. A visit to Sharpness afterwards produced a Goldcrest, a Peregrine, a Sparrowhawk, 13 Wigeon and five Redshanks. This afternoon a Stoat and a Goldcrest were near Hardwicke Farm, Hardwicke.

Forest of Dean

Saturday 10th January 2009

A cold and misty morning (though getting brighter later) in the forest with Andy this morning produced two Willow Tits(above), six Bramblings, c25 Chaffinches, a Marsh Tit, a Treecreeper and several Coal Tits, Blue Tits, Great Tits and Nuthatches at New Fancy (but Hawfinch eluded us - we could hear calls though), three Crossbills, eight Siskins, a Lesser Redpoll, 38 Mandarins, six Little Grebes and two Buzzards at Cannop Ponds, and two Ravens and a Stock Dove at Speech House.

Dancing on Ice

Tuesday 6th January 2009

The canal at Sellar's Bridge is now virtually frozen over (below)as aPied Wagtail(above), Muscovy Duck(middle photo below) and Black-headed Gull(bottom) and try and adapt to the ice.

A Little Owl was near Stonebench this evening.

Water Park

Saturday 3rd January 2009

I spent the morning to early afternoon in the Cotswold Water Park with Mark today. With temperatures starting at -3oC and reaching just 3oC by the afternoon, most bodies of water are now almost frozen over, concentrating the birds into the remaining unfrozen areas. The unbroken sunshine made for a cracking day though, very welcome after the recent misty days. The highlights were:

CWP Eastern Section: Pit 114 (Dudgrove)
The Slavonian Grebe, two Little Grebes, c60 Great Crested Grebes, a Goosander, eight Goldeneyes, c30 Red Crested Pochards(photo above), three Ruddy Ducks, two Gadwall, c40 Pochard, 13 Wigeon, 15 Teal, c50 Shovelers, c20 TuftedDucks,c30 Mallards, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Treecreeper.

Two Tree Sparrows.

A Green Woodpecker, two Golden Plovers and three Roe Deer.
CWP Western Section: Pit 43
Three redhead Smew, 34 Goosanders, a Goldeneye, c20 Great Crested Grebes,two Snipe and two Bullfinches.

New Year Birding

Friday 2nd January 2009

The freezing cold weather continues into 2009, and as a result there were few birds at Slimbridge WWT first thing, with most birds being in the Rushy Pen. Even that is half frozen, but the free water is stuffed with Bewick's Swans and 100's of ducks. I moved on to Frampton afterwards, and spent some time around the lakes, the highlights being two Two Scaup, two drake Goldeneyes, 73 Gadwall, 81 Shoveler, 11 Teal, five Wigeon, three Pochard, 230 Coot, 25 Mute Swans, a Black Swan, a Jay, a Treecreeper, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, nine Long-tailed Tits, and a Coal Tit. On the way back home, a Little Egret was at Upper Framilode, stood in a field by the roadside (above).

The birding highlight of a walk yesterday from Moreton Valence taking in Whitminster and Saul Junction, was 15 Siskins beside the River Frome near Whitminster.