Showing posts from 2015

GNDs at Farmoor

Saturday 12th December 2015
I was hoping to get nice views of two Grey Phalaropes that had been present for several days, but unfortunately they had departed Farmoor Reservoir. Watching two juvenile Great Northern Divers fishing provided some consolation.

Scaup and Stuff

Friday 28th - Saturday 29th November 2015
I have caught up with the five Greenland White-fronted Geese at WWT Slimbridge, and the obliging female Greater Scaup, the latter providing some nice photo opportunities.

Today I carried out a Winter Random Square Survey which just happened to be the square encompassing Coombe Hill Meadows. Aided by Andy and Mark, we totalled 43 species including:

Cetti's Warbler 1
Stonechat 2 (pair)
Shoveler 7
Shelduck 2
Teal 23
Wigeon 122
Mallard 26
Canada Goose 18
Water Rail 1

Hashtag Science!

Red Squirrels and a Shag

Thursday 12th - Sunday 22nd November 2015
Saturday felt very cold in the biting wind as I carried out a Winter Random Square Survey at Brand Green, near Upleadon. Only 25 species in two hours, mainly counting Wood Pigeons and Carrion Crows, but there was a nice flock of 50 Linnets in a stubble field. The square included part of the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust's Collin Park Wood nature reserve, which I've never been to before. This a beautiful wood, with Small-leaved Lime, Sessile Oak and Wild Service Tree, although not many birds on my visit, I must go back in the spring.
In the afternoon, news of a Shag at Sharpness found by Andy Jordan provided motivation to venture back out into the cold. I've seen a few Shags in the county, but they are always nice to see. It was still present on Sunday when I went back with Andy and Mark, where other highlights included a Rock Pipit, a Kingfisher, a pair of Stonechats, and at the NedWest building the first-winter Black Redstart pro…

Richard's Pipit at Selsley Common

Sunday 1st November 2015
After getting the county tick in the bag in a quick visit on Saturday with Mark, we returned for a longer look at the RICHARD'S PIPIT on Sunday. It took longer to locate on the return visit, but we had good views on and off as it foraged in the long grass, before being flushed by walkers and perching briefly in a tree.
On 17th October I went south of the border with Mark to see the Red-necked Grebes at Waterhay in Wiltshire, and got some good views.

Gibraltar Point #2 - the one that got away

Further to my last post I wanted to share a great photo by Andy Hartley of the Gibraltar Point Rustic Bunting  from 11th October. I missed it by minutes - I wish I'd seen it!

Many thanks to Andy for his permission to use the photo.

Gibraltar Point

Sunday 11th October 2015
I visited Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire, on Sunday with the Birmingham branch of the West Midlands Bird Club. This was a new site for me and I was keen to explore the reserve.
News on arrival of a Rustic Bunting created much excitement. For me and many others, however, the hoped for tick remained out of reach. After showing to several lucky birders late morning I spent a lot of time hoping it would reappear. It didn't. The cycle track it had been seen on, adjacent to Jackson's Marsh, was too regularly disturbed. The end result was a frustrating dip leaving not enough time to explore other parts of the reserve - but that's birding!
There are worse ways of spending a sunny Sunday afternoon, and I was pleased to see my first Redwings (40), Fieldfares (2) and Bramblings (m & f) of the autumn, all fresh in from the continent. There had been also been a large fall of Goldcrests in the morning - over 200 we were told - and they were everywhere. Fifty-…

Rose-coloured Starling at Tewkesbury

Saturday 10th October 2015
I caught up with the juvenile ROSE-COLOURED STARLING in Tewksbury this morning, at the second attempt. It showed well, but briefly at 9.57am preening on a TV aerial in Wenlock Road opposite the junction with Despenser Road. After a few minutes it flew off with a group of c20 Starlings and 2 Jackdaws. This was my third one, but my first for Gloucestershire.

Recent Travels in Andalucia

Friday 18th to Friday 25th September 2015
A few photos from my recent week in Spain, based in Aznalc√°zar near Seville. I put up a fuller wildlife account when I get round to it.