Showing posts from February, 2009

Iceland Gull again

Friday 27th February 2009
At Priding, a first-winter Iceland Gull was on the river from 17:35 to 17:55pm when it flew off towards the estuary with other gulls. I only managed a record shot (above) in the fading light, but that was more than I got last Friday when the bird (probably the same bird) flew off as I raised the camera towards the scope eyepiece.

American Wigeon

Monday 23rd February 2009 At WWT Slimbridge, the stunning drake American Wigeon was showing well as I watched it from 1:00-1:30pm, from the Lathbury hide (photos above and below).

Whooper Swans

Saturday 21st February 2009

A gloriously sunny day, and I spent a couple of hours at Ashleworth in the morning. Four Whooper Swans(above and below) were in a field, about half way down Stank Lane, on the north side. There were three adults and a cygnet, along with a Mute Swan cygnet. There were also a few singing male Reed Buntings around, adding to the spring-like feel.

Iceland Gull

Friday 20th February 2009
I left work at 4:05pm prompt and made my way to Priding, on the River Severn, spurred on by the recent sightings of Iceland Gulls there. A Little Owl was spotted at Stonebench on the way via the back lanes (which are in a bit of a state in places after the recent cold spell). I arrived at Priding to find a few of the regulars just about to get a bit further downstream to look through the gulls on the sands, where Shane Long was already on an Iceland. As we moved in for a look, a lot of the gulls suddenly took to the air, but luckily, a first-winter Iceland Gull was still on the sands. It also took off after a short while (at 5:00pm) and flew south almost overhead, in the direction of the estuary. This was a lifer for me, Iceland having eluded me for some time, so I was well chuffed. I went on to Frampton afterwards, where the Long-eared Owl was still at the reed-bed south of Splatt bridge.

Frampton & WWT

Sunday 15th February 2009

It was another fairly mild day, with some sunsine breaking through this afternoon, making for a good day to be out and about. At Frampton the Long-eared Owl was still at the reed-bed south of Splatt bridge, and a Little Egret was in the field just before it, with another near the church. A Water Rail was at the flashes near the north reed-bed and a Cetti's Warbler was singing nearby. At Slimbridge WWT, birds included, from Zeiss Hide, four Ruffs and two Peregrines, and the Bean Geese in flight heading towards the Holden Tower at 2:15pm, a Water Rail and a Siskin were at the Kingfisher Hide feeders, and later on the Tack Piece as well as the White-fronted Geese there were six Bean Geese, a Brent Goose, three Ruffs, two Spotted Redshanks, two Oystercatchers, and three Black-tailed Godwits.

(Photos, top, a Bewick's Swan on final approach into the Rushy Pen for the evening feed, below, a Water Rail at South Finger, a Pintail and Bean and White-fronts)

Spot the Owl

Saturday 14th February 2009

A morning's birding at Frampton with Andy and Mark produced the Long-eared Owl at the reed-bed south of Splatt bridge (quite well hidden on the right-hand edge of the reeds - see photo above), a Short-eared Owl and a Little Egret from the gate at Splatt bridge at noon, 30-40 Meadow Pipits (no Water Pipit) and four Stonechats were north of Splatt bridge around the flashes, a Cetti's Warbler and a Reed Bunting were singing at the north reed-bed, a Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming and a Green Woodpecker were calling on the east side of the canal near the church, where there was also a Stock Dove, c30 Snipe were on the 100-acreplus 500 Lapwings, 20+ Golden Plovers, two Redshanks, a few Dunlins and two Buzzards (including a very pale one); a Kingfisher, a Chiffchaff and a Mistle Thrush were in Green Lane.

On the home front, I haven't seen the Hawfinches since Monday, although I have been at work so have only had limited opportunities for checking.…

Garden Sightings

Monday 9th February 2009
On a very wet and dull day, sightings in and around the garden included two Hawfinches, five Lesser Redpolls, a male Bullfinch and several Goldfinches, Greenfinches and Chaffinches.

Quedgeley & Berkeley Shore

Sunday 8th February 2009
A very good morning's birding with Andy started off with two Hawfinches showing well at 8:15am from my conservatory, in Cherry trees to the rear of the garden (edge of Dimore playing field). I'm now sure that the birds are feeding on cherry stones. Four Lesser Redpolls and four Long-tailed Tits were feeding in the garden. The highlights of a visit to Berkely shore afterwards (arriving around two hours after high tide) walking from the power station to Severn House Copse, included a Rock Pipit, three Stonechats, nine Turnstones, ten Oystercatchers, c20 Redshanks, c200 Dunlins and two Ravens.

Garden Birding

Saturday 7th February 2008

A good day's birding from my conservatory today included a Hawfinch (showed briefly at midday), two Lesser Redpolls(photo above), a male Blackcap(photo below feeding on Mahonia nectar), two Song Thrushes, many Greenfinches and Chaffinches, two Goldfinches, two Great Tits a Long-tailed Tit, a Little Egret in flight over Dimore playing field, and a Buzzard being chased by two Carrion Crows. A few Fieldfares and Redwings were along the edge of Dimore playing field, and a Mistle Thrush was heard calling and later singing. Also a pair of Blue Tits were checking out the nest-box.

Below is a short movie of the Lesser Redpolls taken last Sunday:

Hawfinch Again

Thursday 5th February 2009

After the overnight 2" snowfall, a Hawfinch was back again this morning, and this time in the garden perched on one of the trees for a while (photo above). At least two Lesser Redpolls were feeding in the garden again, and a maximum count of Greenfinches noted so far this winter was 21 yesterday.

Two Hawfinches

Tuesday 3rd February 2009
This morning, twoHawfinches were present in trees to the rear of my garden (Goss Wood Corner, Quedgeley) at 8.00pm and again at 1.30pm when they flew over my garden, and I could here calls from my conservatory. I managed to get some record shots (above and below) of one of the birds. The three Lesser Redpolls were also visiting the garden again, along with lots of Greenfinches and Chaffinches. As you can imagine, I am extremely chuffed at adding Hawfinch to my garden list, just amazing!

Garden Hawfinch & other Weekend Birds

Saturday 31st January - Sunday 1st February 2009
The star bird of the weekend, and indeed, the year so far was a Hawfinch in trees at the rear of my garden, in Goss Wood Corner, Quedgeley. It didn't stop long, but hopefully will be back. That was at 8.30am, and I had already got excited about three Lesser Redpolls coming to my black Sunflower seed feeder. There seemed to be a sudden influx of finches today, maybe brought in by the cold SE winds, with a Bullfinch, nine Goldfinches, nine Greenfinches and nine Chaffinches also present, plus 3-4 Great Tits and at least two Blue Tits. I made a detour on one of my taxi runs later this morning to Wainlodes, where four Whooper Swans were on Leigh Meadows.

Photos above of Lesser Redpolls. The bird in the second photo has a metal ring on its left leg, here is another photo of the same bird below.

Yesterday morning, the male Black Redstart was at Sharpness Docks, and at Slimbridge WWT, the highlights included a first-winter Glaucous Gull and si…