Showing posts from April, 2012

Warblers, Wheatears & other Local Wildlife

Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd April 2012
A bike ride this morning produced my first Common Whitethroats of the year; one at Longney and other near home next to the canal. Two Willow Warblers and a Sedge Warbler were between Sellars Bridge and Parkend Bridge plus numerous Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. Four Swallows and a Sand Martin were at the latter canal bridge.
Not much to report from yesterday's high tide at Saul Warth, just one Common Tern and a couple of Swallows were the only migrants, and five Wheatears were at Hock Ditch, all males, three with rings (photos below).
I photographed some Hoverflies in the garden in the afternoon, noting Eristalis pertinax ('Drone Fly' - male bee mimic), Syrphus vitripennis and the much smaller Epistrophe eligans.

Osprey and Ouzels

Saturday 14th April 2012
A superb morning birding started at Dowdeswell Reservoirjust before 6.00am in dull and somewhat damp conditions. The OSPREY soon brightened things up though as it appeared over the dam wall at 6.31am. It gave a nice flypast (above), and was going to perch on a tree across the water but was displaced by a Crow before it headed over the woods and dropped down out of sight.
The second attempt at Cleeve Common was more successful than last Saturday, with a total of eight RING OUZELS feeding below the heather enclosure (above). This probably included the six I had seen 20mins earlier north of the enclosure before they were flushed by two horse riders. A Fieldfare was with the Ouzels (below), and other birds included a Red Kite which floated over heading west.
I finished the morning at Witcombe Reservoir where the Osprey was reported to have been fishing yesterday. No sign of that, but a Common Sandpiper was a year tick. Also here six House Martins, six Swallows and…

High Tide at WWT

Monday 9th April 2012
A day of increasing rain, but an interesting high tide at Slimbridge WWT as the c10mtide brimmed over on to The Dumbles. With the spartina island flooded, the Canadas, including the Cackling Goose were forced on to the mainland, and although distant, the small goose was still obvious (below). Not a huge number of waders but they included two Whimbrels, seven Grey Plover, two Knot, seven Ringed Plover and two Dunlin were on the Dumbles edge. Two Wheaters were around the Middle Point cross fence before the tide had fully inundated the area (top photo).

Common Scoter and a Botanic Trip

Sunday 8th April 2012
A great find today by Nick Goatman was this female Common Scoter at Frampton on the sailing lake (photos above and below) - nice one Nick, and thanks to Mike for Tweeting it. When I left the lake, the local 'regatta' was kicking off, though it didn't seem too perturbed.

Later, a family visit to North Meadow at Cricklade was rewarded with a fine display of the Snake's Head Fritillary which are just coming into flower; they'll probably be at their peak in a week or so. Photos below of Fritillaries and others.
In the garden, the singing male Chiffchaff and Blackcap continue to proclaim their respective territories, providing an almost constant, and delightful, acoustic daytime backdrop at home. The first Orange Tip and Bee Fly of the year also paid a visit to the garden today.

Bibury Walk

Sunday 1st April 2012
A 6-mile circular walk between Bibury and Coln St Aldwyns in beautiful weather this afternoon produced a few nice butterflies, with a Holly Blue, three Commas and a Brimstone.
At Bibury Trout Farm Linda spotted this Water Vole (still captured from video):