Showing posts from April, 2010


Friday 30th April 2010
On a showery day, with a stiff SW breeze, there were some good birds, the highlights being:

WWT Slimbridge, Middle Point
Three SANDWICH TERNS flew downriver at high tide, 9.57am, a Yellow Wagtail flew over and headed high towards Frampton and a Hobby flew towards the 100-acre, plus 8+ Swifts, a Common Gull, c20 Dunlins and Ringed Plovers, two Sedge Warblers, and along the summer walkway two Lesser Whitethroats.

Cotswold Water Park (W), Shorncote
Two Litte Ringed Plovers, a pair of Red-crested Pochards, two Whimbrels (pit 79), 25 Sand Martins, a Cetti's Warbler, seven Sedge Warblers, two Reed Warbvlers and a Whitethroat. Also, these two (escapee!) drake Ringed Teal:

"Over the border" in Wiltshire, an Arctic Tern and 2+ Common Terns were on pit 74.

Marsh Harrier and Whimbrels

Thursday 29th April 2010
An evening visit to the river at Fretherne in damp conditions was rewarded with a female MARSH HARRIER which drifted low over the Saul Warth flashes and then over the reed-bed north of Splatt Bridge, pursued by corvids in the direction of the 100-acre (6.15pm-6.25pm). Seven Whimbrels(below) and eight Swallows were the only other birds of note.


Tuesday 27th April 2010
A Nightingale was singing this evening c800m south of The Pilot at Hardwicke, also two Reed Warblers.

Spotted Crake

Sunday 25th April 2010

The SPOTTED CRAKE at WWT Slimbridge this evening was the star bird of the day, showing very well close to the Robbie Garnett hide from 7.30pm - 7.50pm at least (photos above and below).

I'd already spent a pretty successful morning birding with Andy, the highlights being 19 Whimbrel, 13 Ringed Plover, three Lesser Whitethroats and a Wheatear at Fretherne, 13 Swifts at Frampton church, a very smart male Whinchat, a Cetti's Warbler and a Ruff at the WWT 100-acre, and three Common Terns on the sailing lake.

Yesterday I saw my first two House Martins of the year at Batsford church, next to the arboretum.

Wheatear and other Sightings

Friday 23rd April 2010

A Wheatear on the shore at Fretherne this evening was a Gloucestershire year tick, as was a Nightingale at the sailing lake later, where threre was also a Common Sandpiper, two Sedge Warblers, a Whitethroat, a Goldcrest two Sand Martins and four Swallows.

A Grasshopper Warbler reeling in the evening at the WWT 100-acre on 22nd was nice to hear, there may have been two birds.

The best bird in the week though was the OSPREY at Witcombe reservoir in the evening on Monday 19th, which is always a nice bird to see in the county. I must congtratulate Graham for his suberp photos of it fishing, which are on the Gloster Birder website.


Sunday 11th April 2010

This Orange-tip at Coombe Hill canal was my first of the year (above). Birds along the canal and from Grundon Hide included the Brent Goose (still), a White Wagtail, 5 pied Wagtails, two Willow Warblers, two Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, a pair of reed Buntings, two Sand Martins, two Swallows, a pair of Gadwall, three Shoveler, two Oystercatchers, 12 Shelduck and four Greylags.

Cleeve Hill

Saturday 10th April 2010

I got some good birds on Cleeve Hill Common this morning with Mike and Andy in the sunny and warm Spring weather. Five Ring Ouzels in two groups of two and three respectively were just below the heather enclosure at 8:00am (above); the three were last seen flying towards the masts and the two towards the top of the enclosure. A GrasshopperWarbler was nearby at SO995255 seen crawling amongst the Gorse and briefly heard reeling; four Blackcaps (2m, 2f) were also here, and a male Redstart was near the Wash Pool in full song (below).

A Red Kite was seen south from the masts car park and at Warden's Wood a male Cuckoo was calling and patrolling the area; nearby a Brimstone and several Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies were on the wing. Willow Warblers were singing everywhere, and Skylarks also in abundance over the common. It was also nice to see a decent patch of Wild Daffodil(Narcissus pseudonarcissus)on the common in full flower (below).

This afterno…

Avocets at WWT

Friday 9th April 2010

Two Avocets were still present in the Rushy Pen at WWT Slimbridge this evening, until 5:30pm at least (photos above and below).

Around Painswick

Monday 5th April 2010

A walk north of Painswick with friends today was very pleasant, and a Dipper on the Painswick Stream was nice to see (above). I have found this to be a very reliable spot for them on the stretch south of Damsell's Mill. Other birds included a Buzzard, five Chiffchaffs, two pairs of Long-tailed Tits, and a female Chaffinch collecting nest material. This ButterburPetasites hybridus(below) was flowering beside the stream between Damsell's Mill and Tocknell's Court, and ChivesAllium schoenoprasum was growing in the hedge-bank near Freams Farm.

Pallid Swift in Suffolk

Saturday 3rd April 2010

I went with Jake, Mike and John to Suffolk on Saturday on a twitch for a couple of rarities, and had a very good day, despite the increasing showers. Arriving at Kessingland, two Barn Owls hunting at first light around the fishing lake, and three White Wagtails, a Pied Wagtail, a Grey Wagtail and a pair of Muntjac deerprovided early interest. At 8:10am however the star bird, a PALLID SWIFT(top photo), finally showed and continued to give us great views for some time. This allowed us to see the salient features, including the 'scaly' underside which can be seen in the photo.

Below: Barn Owl

Below: White Wagtail

We then headed to Westleton Heath, in the hope of seeing the Lesser Kestrel, but with only one report the previous day, that seemed very unlikely; there was indeed no sign of it, just a common Kestrel. It was great, however, experiencing the typical birds of this Suffolk heathland habitat, including a pair of Dartford Warblers, a singing Woodlark, and…

Now a Male Reed Bunting in the Garden

Friday 2nd April 2010

After the female seen in recent days, a male Reed Bunting was in the garden this morning (above). A male Great Spotted Woodpecker was also drumming on a telegraph pole just beyond the rear of the garden.

Aylburton Warth

Thursday 1st April 2010
The highlight of a visit to Aylburton Warth in the morning was two Short-eared Owls seen briefly hunting NE of Cone Pill at 10:00am. Other sightings included a Willow Warbler, a Buzzard, 17 Redshanks, 150 Curlews, four Oystercatchers, c25 Shelduck, c40 Lapwings, 12 Skylarks, three Brown Hares and a Stoat. A Long-tailed Tit and a pair of Chaffinches were collecting nesting material near Woolaston Level Crossing.

Back in the garden, the female Reed Bunting was seen again at 4:20pm, and the male Blackcap was on the fatballs at 6:40pm.