Showing posts from January, 2011

Purple Sandpipers at Portishead

Friday 28th January 2011

Five Purple Sandpipers were at Battery Point, Portishead, over the high tide this afternoon (photos above and below). Very nice they looked too in nice lighting conditions as they picked amongst the Channelled Wrack, and well worth the detour from my 'taxi' duties to Bristol. Three Rock Pipits and a Turnstone provided further interest here.

A stop off at Aust Warth produced no owls despite a wait from 3.45pm until dusk, although one Shortie was reported earlier.


Sunday 23rd January 2011

Some photos here of the WWT Pink-footed Goose, which flew in very close to the Holden Tower late morning with a couple of Greylag Geese. The less advanced first-winter male Scaup was the only Scaup of any kind on the Rushy this morning. bit there was masses of birds on the Tack Piece, including many White-fronted Geese, Wigeon, and Dunlin, plus a couple of Ruff. Watching the Dumbles for the Marsh Harrier of perhaps Merlin produced only four Buzzards in terms of raptors by 11.30am.
Final approach, flaps down:

Nice close view:

That's almost too close - but a nice aerial view!:

In the garden, a female Brambling was visiting the feeders for a second day, and a Siskin was also making use of the local dining facilities.

Those Ducks and Swans Again

Saturday 8th January 2011

The group of swans comprising an adult Whooper Swan, seven Bewick's Swans (4 ad. and 3 juv.) and nine Mute Swans (5 ad. and 4 juv.) were still in a field at Longney this morning, near Waterend GR SO 757140 (below).

At WWT I had nice sunlit views of the first-winter female Lesser Scaup(top photo and more below) and the two first-winter Greater Scaups(bottom photos) in the Rushy Pen, while the female Smew was on South Lake.
Lesser Scaup:

Greater Scaups:

Garden Sightings

Friday 7th January 2011

On a rather damp day, a Mistle Thrush continues to visit the garden to feed on the apples I have put out (above). Also today, two Siskins on the Nyjer feeder, 17 Chaffinches and three Goldfinches, and three Bullfinches (2m, 1f) were to the rear of the garden.

Good Ducks and Swans

Monday 3rd January 2011

The morning out with Andy produced some very good birds, starting with an adult Whooper Swan with a group of seven Bewick's Swans and eight Mute Swans in a field at Longney, SO757140. I overlooked the Whooper as a Bewick's in the field as it was hidden behind a Mute feeding when I scanned with the bins and only showing some of the yellow bill. I took some photos though and when i studied them, one photo only showed the Whooper in full view! (below: all three swan species, Whooper Swan left of centre).

At Sharpness, a redhead Smew was on the pool by the SARA lifeboat station (below).

We finished at Slimbridge, checking out the Rushy Pen for the Lesser Scaup. After checking through just about every Aythya, which included the two first-winter male Greater Scaups, we heard that the Lesser Scaup had been located on the Big Pen. Within two minutes we were on the Lesser Scaup, a first-winter female. Most of the time it was asleep, as in the photo below, and only…

New Year Sightings

Saturday 1st - Sunday 2nd January 2011

The two first-winter male Greater Scaups were still showing well in the WWT Rushy Pen this morning. Views of the less advanced individual in better light than on 29th (above and below) show it to be also a male, with some grey feathers beginning to show through on the mantle, also a darker head; I should have picked this up on the earlier visit rather than going along with female, but I'll blame it on the fog - it looks obvious in these photos!

Other highlights included c40 Siskins around the car park, a Water Rail at the Robbie Garnett feeders (below) with a Treecreeper nearby, and at South Finger on the Bottom New Piece 450 Dunlin, seven Ruff, four Golden Plovers and a Redshank plus of course the Bewick's Swans and White-fronted Geese at several locations around the reserve, though the latter somewhat elusive apart from a small group on the Bottom New Piece.

Yesterday, a New Year's Day walk from Fairford with Linda took us past some of…