Showing posts from 2010

Scaups at WWT

Wednesday 29th December 2010

I caught up with the two first-winter Greater Scaups in the WWT Rushy Pen this morning (photos: above and below). Despite the fog they were showing very well among the Tufted Ducks, Pochards, Pintails, Bewick's Swans and other birds populating this part of the reserve.

A Water Rail was at the Robbie Garnett feeders. Back in the garden, a Mistle Thrush was feeding on an Apple.

Around Quedgeley

Friday 24th - Sunday 26th December 2010

Two Bramblings were a garden highlight on Friday (below); other visitors to my 'grounds' included a Redwing and a Pied Wagtail(next photo).

Today, a Boxing Day walk in the snow around Quedgeley produced a Little Egret; initially at midday between Dimore Brook and Clearwater wetland, in the stream, but later flushed by passers-by and eventually settling in the stream north of Clearwater by the footbridge. It fed here quite happily and was still there at 1.30pm despite passing walkers, their dogs, and joggers (top photo and below).

Significant numbers of Redwings(below) and Fieldfares(bottom photo) are on the estate and have been for the last few days, feeding particularly on Cotoneaster and Pyracantha berries.


Waxwings at Littledean

Tuesday 14th December 2010

In Littledean, 100 WAXWINGS were coming to feed on an ornamental Rowan tree opposite The Belfry Inn; present from until 2:00pm at least (photos above and below).

The whole flock in a tree - exactly 100.


Monday 1st November - Sunday 7th November 2010
See a report of my holiday in Tenerife here.


Sunday 5th December 2010

I happened to be in Coleford yesterday afternoon when I got a message about a group of WAXWINGS in Berry Hill. I checked the map, it was only about a mile and a half away so I was there in no time, arriving at 1:30pm, to watch at least nineteen birds coming to feed on an ornamental Rowan in The Horesepool (above and below), thanks to Lewis T. for finding them. They were still there when I left at 2:00pm. It's nice to see some at last as it seemed they had been avoiding Gloucestershire, but I needn't have worried. I'm sure we will see a lot more of them, and I'll still be scrutinising any likely looking tree with berries on.

Earlier, a local walk around the patch had produced two Snipe at Clearwater Drive, a pair of Bullfinches at Dimore Brook and several Redwings. Yesterday two female Blackcaps were in the garden (below), feeding on Euonymus berries, and my female Great Spotted Woodpecker was back after not seeing it for several days.

Local Birds

Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th November 2010

A male Reed Bunting was present for much of today on my bird table (above); counts of 24 Chaffinches (yesterday) and nine Greenfinches (today) were the highest so far of the winter. A walk around the local Quedgeley patch yesterday produced a Water Rail at the canal end of Dimore Brook, and a Kingfisher between here and Clearwater.


Sunday 21st November 2010
I am still trying to re-acclimatise to the cold following my recent holiday in hot and sunny Tenerife; I'll post a report from the holiday soon. Perhaps a spell in the Holden Tower would be just the thing to toughen me back up, I thought! With just a flask of hot tea to keep me going, a coupe of hours this morning at the trust produced a good selection of birds including a gull apparently matching the one photographed by James on 12th, believed to be a hybrid Herring and Lesser Black-backed. The photographs below show the bird compared to the standard 'local' specification Argenteus Herring.

The large size of the bird, especially the head and bill makes me wonder whether the Lesser B. liaison was with an Argentatus (Scandanavian) Herring.

Lesser Yellowlegs at Oxford

Saturday 23rd October 2010

The Oxford juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs was showing well in the morning sun at Port Meadow this morning (above and below). It was well worth the journey, especially being a lifer for myself, Andy and Mark. A good supporting cast completed the Three Amigos trip, including a Jack Snipe with 14 common Snipe, a Ruff, five Dunlin, c380 Golden Plovers, c420 Wigeon and two flyover Redwings heading south.

Lapland Buntings on The Malverns

Friday 24th September 2010

I made the assent(Ok, I'm being dramatic - it was a fairly quick climb from Elim Arts Centre, West Malvern) up North Hill, on The Malverns,this afternoon and was rewarded with fantastic views of two LAPLAND BUNTINGS, around the summit. I took loads of photos, this is just a selection.

Grey Phalarope & Pectoral Sandpipers

Friday 17th to Sunday 19th September 2010

I made the journey to Upton Warren, Worcestershire, this afternoon to see a first-winter GREY PHALAROPE (above and below), showing well on the flashes.

Other birds of note were two juvenile Little Stints(below), a Green Sandpiper, two Common Sandpipers and a Peregrine.

The two juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPERS were still showing from the Robbie Garnett Hide yesterday morning (below), I'd checked them out after work on Friday but went back for a longer look; two Wheatears, a Peregrine, five Bar-tailed Godwits and a Grey Plover were seen from the Holden Tower.

Ospreys at Frampton

Saturday 11th September 2010

The highlight this morning was two Ospreys at Frampton on Court Lake (above). After that excitement things were pretty quiet at Fretherne with just a few warblers in the shape of a Lesser Whitethroat and three Chiffchaffs of note and equally quiet at Sharpness despite the impressive tide; again the only interest here was a few warblers, another Lesser Whitethroat, a Blackcap and more Chiffchaffs. A visit to WWT Slimbridge to round off the morning produced a second-winter Mediterranean Gull, 2-3 Wheatears, 5+ Yellow Wagtails, a and three GreenshankRuff on the Dumbles, a Garden Warbler was along the Holden walkway and a juvenile Black Tern was on South Lake (below).

Black Terns

Tuesday 7th September 2010

Two Black Terns(above and below - same bird) were on the sailing lake at Frampton this evening, until dusk at least, also a Common Tern and a Kingfisher; another Kingfisher was on Court lake.

More WWT Waders

Sunday 5th September 2010

I returned to see the RED-NECKED PHALAROPE for the third time at WWT Slimbridge again this afternoon, hoping for a closer view but still as distant as it was on Thursday. I was also hoping to catch up with another bird, one I missed in the Spring, and as luck would have it, the juvenile WOOD SANDPIPER flew into view on the Top New Piece (from Zeiss Hide) at 4.20 this afternoon, fed for a few minutes amongst the vegatation, flew calling and posed for half a minute with the ducks and then disappeared again at 4.35pm; I didn't have time to look for it on South Lake. Yesterday there were nice views of juvenile Curlew Sandpipers with two on the Top New Piece and later one on South lake (above) and also a Little Stint on the TNP, plus 48 Dunlin, two Ruff and the RED-NECKED PHALAROPE. Two Spotted Redshanks were on South Lake yesterday and on the TNP today, and up to four Ruff and at least 70 Black-tailed Godwits were also on site between the two areas.

WWT Waders

Sunday 29th August 2010

A good selection of waders at Slimbridge today - from 9.30-10.00am before high tide up to 20 Curlew Sandpipers and two Little Stints were on the estuary at Middle Point along with c90 Ringed Plovers, c90 Dunlin, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 14 Black-tailed Godwits. Later on in the afternoon, 11 Curlew Sandpipers were on the Top New Piece (below) plus six Ruff, six Snipe, a Greenshank, two Green Sandpipers and five Black-tailed Godwits.

A Spotted Redshank(below) was on South Lake also three Redshanks, 78 Black-tailed Godwits some of them very close to the hide (top photo) and four Snipe.

Forest Odonata

Saturday 28th August 2010

A visit to Edgehills in the Forest of Dean today produced two Black Darters(above and below)

c10 Emerald Damselflies(next photo)

and three Southern Hawkers(below), also a Common Darter.

Here's another Black Darter photo, this time with the sun illuminating it: