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Showing posts from February, 2014

Scaup and Goose and Things

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Sunday 23rd February 2014
I've caught up with a few county birds recently, including the fem/1st-winter Scaup at Walmore Common today, and Hen Harrier at Great Barrington. I couldn't locate the Chrcham Whooper Swans late afternoon, maybe they had returned to roost at Walmore Common. The ringtail Hen Harrier I saw briefly yesterday was east of Great Barrington village, just inside the county boundary - presumably the same as the bird seen near the Rissington trig; three Red Kites and a Buzzard were also here. A trip round the local lanes Friday evening produced a Tawny Owl at Longney at Hillfield Farm at dusk. The highlight of a local Winter Thrush survey this morning was 115 Redwings and two Fieldfares feeding on a field next to Haywicks Farm.
I've seen the Tundra Bean Goose at WWT Slimbridge a couple of times now:
High tides and winds on 15th at Sharpness promised much, but I had to make do with eight Kittiwakes.With the mild winter continuing I've noticed some early …

Red-flanked Bluetail

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Saturday 8th - Sunday 9th February 2014
I went for the RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL near Marshfield on Saturday with Andy and Mark, after several days of hoping it would stay for the weekend; oh, and thanks to Mike for motivating me in light of a poor weather forecast. In the event, conditions were very pleasant in the valley by the stream, and we got on the bird straight away. It gave good views, even though spending most of the time in the trees, only occasionally flitting down to the ground.
This morning I made a quick trip to WWT Slimbridge to get the immature Glaucous Gull which was sat out on the river. I also pick up two Kittiwakes going upriver, and the two Little Stints were showing well around the Holden pool. A male Sparrowhawk had caught a hapless Dunlin, with which it landed for a while before carrying it off.

High Tide

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Saturday 1st - Sunday 2nd February 2014
The high tides this weekend produced some impressive scenes. At WWT Slimbridge on Saturday morning's tide, the Dumbles was completely covered, with the water rising to just a few feet below the sea wall. Two Roe Deer were swimming in the river and another ran in front of the Holden Tower and later back again, with a dog (what's wrong with some people!) in pursuit. The Tack Piece hosted thousands of birds, the highlights being a Greenland White-fronted Goose with c180 Russian White-fronts (later joined by c80 more), three large pale Greylags which looked like migrant birds, five Ruff and three GCP Cranes. The Brent Goose was on the river with the Canadas at high tide; the best birds were two Little Stints which showed well after the tide had dropped on the near edge of the Holden scrape. I also enjoyed watching several Bank Voles scurrying about from Willow Hide.

Sunday's tide following the bore flooded the road at Stonebench, and the…