Chew and Local Sightings

Saturday 19th - Sunday 20th November 2016
Great White Egret, Herriott's Bridge, Chew
I did the rounds at Chew Valley Lake on Saturday after leaving Mrs. M. in Bristol shopping with the youngest daughter. A total of eight Great White Egrets were at Herriott's Bridge, also a first-winter Mediterranean Gull. One of the GWEs sported a red colour ring on the left leg with an engraved white three letter alpha code 'AAF'. This bird was ringed as a chick this year at Ham Wall (bird in top photo). Two Goldeneyes were feeding off the dam from picnic area 1, and a Cattle Egret and three more Great White Egrets were at Heron's Green Bay. I finished the afternoon, before being recalled for duty, at Stratford Hide. Here, two Water Pipits were feeding in front of the hide, rounding the excursion off nicely.
Water Pipit, Stratford Hide
Common Gull at Picnic Area No. 1, Chew
Med Gull from Herriott's Bridge
Stratford Hide
Cattle Egret, with Little Egret, Heron's Green Bay
On Sunday, a Winter Random Square survey in my home square didn't turn up anything surprising. There are some nice berry-laden Rowans around just waiting for the Waxwings to arrive. I found a Holm Oak growing near the bypass bridge st Naas Lane - not native but I hadn't spotted any that local before.
Holm Oak, Quedgeley
After my survey duties - I don't enjoy walking around housing estates with a notebook and binoculars - I went home for lunch before heading out again. I stopped at Frampton Sailing Lake where the Siberian Chiffchaff was heard calling several times, but I couldn't get a clear view of its plumage features. It is in company with two Common Chiffchaffs and two Goldcrests were also in the area. Finishing at WWT Slimbridge, two European White-fronted Geese were on the Tack Piece brifley before flying over the hedge to the Ox Piece beyond. A Peregrine was sat in the Turkey Oaks and a Water Rail showed in front of Martin Smith hide. From the Holden Tower 40 European White-fronted Geese flew from the Dumbles edge towards the northern part of the reserve, probably also to feed on the Ox Piece.
White-fronts, WWT
Enjoying a Cappuccino in the restaurant Nick tweeted that two Whooper Swans had just gone over Frampton Pools heading towards the trust. I checked the Rushy and there they were. Also here, in the run-up to the late afternoon feed, were 28 Bewick's Swans and a single Mute Swan. 
Whooper Swans, WWT
Whooper Swans, WWT
View over the Rushy, WWT - the Whoopers are asleep at the left back

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