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Showing posts from April, 2011

Garganey at WWT

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Tuesday 26th April 2011

I made a quick visit to WWT this afternoon, by which time the sun had moved around enough for ideal viewing conditions on South Lake, showing off the drake Garganey very nicely (above).

Pearl-bordered Fritillary at Chedworth

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Monday 25th April 2011

I was very excited to find a superb Pearl-bordered Fritillary at Chedworth Nature Reserve this afternoon, at the same site as my discovery last May. This was a prestine specimen, but took some time to photograph as it was quite actove, but eventually settled to nectar on Bugle (photos above and below).


Other butterflies included my first Dingy Skippers of the year (below), two or three, and a Comma, a Peacock and three Brimstones. Also a Slow Worm.

Slow Worm - this was all I saw of it as I didn't wish to disturb it:

A carpet of Bluebells in the woods:

Tidenham and the Forest

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Saturday 23rd April 2011

On another very war day I spent Saturday morning in the forest with Mark and some superb forest birds including Tree Pipits (Poor's Allotment, photo above), Redstart (Little Kensley/Arboretum car park) Pied Flycatchers (Nagshead), Wood Warblers (Nagshead and Lightmoor) and Firecrests (Yewtreebrake, photo below).

At Poor's Allotment the ground was covered in places with the distinctive funnel-shaped webs of the Labyrinth SpiderAgelena labyrinthica:

Also lots of LousewortPedicularis sylvatica in flower:

Slimbridge and Further Afield

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Friday 22nd April 2011

I started off the morning's birding with Andy at Frampton, but hopes of anything interesting on the sailing lake (Townfield Lake) turned to nought. A Nightingale singing to the east of the lake though was a year tick, and a Whitethroat was also here. After that we headed for WWT. Five House Martins in the village at Slimbridge were my first of the year. A cracking Holly Blue was sunning itself in the car park, allowing close study (above). A pair of Gadwall were dozing in the sun at Martin Smith hide (below):

And this group of wildfowl made a nice group at the Knott Hide (below):

The highlights of the tide at Middle Point included two Bar-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel, three Yellow Wagtails and several Ringed Plovers and Dunlins, most of the latter being in stunning summer plumage (below). A Lesser Whitethroat was singing near the Goose House.

This afternoon Linda and I visited one of our favourite National Trust properties, Brockhampton, in Worcestershire (below).

Witcombe Waxwings

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Tuesday 19th April 2011

After arriving too late yesterday evening, I headed straight for Witcombe after work today. I arrived to find the WAXWINGS, in the Mistletoe-laden tree opposite Great Witcombe church. I counted 16 in total, mostly just sitting in the tree preening, and occassionaly expelling the sticking remains of Mistletoe berries from their rear end. Some of them came down to a puddle in the road to drink. It was a beautiful warm evening (still 22oc) and I watched them for ages, until they eventually took to the air, at about 6.35pm, and headed off in a northerly direction. Well done to @BlueAlert Chris Berry for finding them yesterday.


Eoooh!:

That's better!:


This morning before work, the Reed Warbler was still maintaining its territory south of The Pilot and a Goldcrest, four Chiffchaffs and three Blackcaps were all in song.

Grasshoper Warbler at Lower Rea

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Friday 15th April 2011

Andy found a Grasshopper Warbler at Lower Rea, near Stonebench, this morning. After a bit of a wait this evening it eventually started to perform, reeling for long bursts, often in full view in the fading evening light. A good find for the local patch mate!

A record photo is above, and I made this recording on my iPod:

Grasshopper_Warbler_Lower_Rea_150411.mp3


This morning, I awoke to the song of a Willow Warbler in the fornt garden, which was rather nice. An early check along the canal towpath south of The Pilot produced the first Common Sandpiper of the Spring. Two Swallows were near the aforementioned pub, the Reed Warbler was still just south of the bridge and a Willow Warbler was singing nearby.

Coombe Hill Canal

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Sunday 10th April 2011

On a beautiful sunny morning, I walked the entire length of the Coombe Hill Canal, something I've never done before, only ever having walked between the car park and the hide or a short distance beyond before. The highlights were firstly the warblers, with two Sedge Warblers, seven Whitethroats, 12 Blackcaps, 12 Willow Warblers, 16 Chiffchaffs, and secondly the butterflies with numerous Orange-tips, Brimstones and Green-veined Whites plus two Peacocks, three Meadow Browns, a Small Tortoiseshell and a Comma. From Grundon Hide birds included a pair of Little Ringed Plovers, a pair of Oystercatchers, a Redshank, 10 Lapwings, two Egyptian Geese(above), a pair of Teal, a pair of Shelducks and three Swallows.
Whitethroat:

Chiffchaff:

Brimstone:

Green-veined White:

I like the new boardwalk giving more direct access from the canal to the hide, and hopefully keeping the hide more accessible in the winter floods. But they seem a long way off, in fact I hate to say it but we…

Long-tailed Duck at CWP

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Saturday 2nd April 2011

I spent the morning on Saturday at Dudgrove, pit 114, in the eastern section of the Cotswold Water Park studying the LONG-TAILED DUCK. It was always rather distant, and I only managed a rubbish record shot (above) but a nice bird for the county. The supporting cast included two White Wagtails(below), 10 Sand Martins and two singing Willow Warblers, that's four county year ticks in one morning; plus more songsters: three Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, a Goldcrest,and a Treecreeper. Also a Raven, five Goldeneyes, 11 Red Crested Pochards, a pair of Teal, six Pochard, 13 Shoveler and a pair of Reed Buntings.

During the week I managed to get in a bit of birding after work in the western part of the CWP, with Four Little Ringed Plovers(below), two Green Sandpipers and a Redshank being the highlight, in the Shorncote area.