Sightings 2010

Thursday 30th December -  Mealy Redpoll in the garden!

A look at the garden was very productive today with 6 Lesser Redpoll feeding on the nijer joined by a possible MEALY REDPOLL! While watching the Lesser Redpoll one individual that came in was distinctly paler and larger than the others. While the others were clearly Lessers with lots of buff coloring and brown cheeks this bird had distinct white cheeks and just looked strikingly pale and large as it fed and flitted around the garden. Its hard to say for sure but i have never seen a Redpoll this distinct. It really did stand out amongst the others. Also around were 3 Blackcap, 4 Goldfinch, 3 Chaffinch, 2 Collared Dove as well as all the usual species.

Mealy Redpoll on the feeder

Mealy Redpoll

Three  Lesser Redpoll

Later in the day Stella and I drove to Frampton for a walk and saw 2 flocks of Skylark totaling around 80 birds all heading towards the village. A Snipe was seen with some great flybys from the Mute Swans along the canal.

 

Saturday 25th December and Sunday 26th

Merry Christmas

We haven't been doing much birding but there has been 3 Lesser Redpoll again in the garden over Christmas and a regular Song Thrush which is great to see.

Wednesday 22nd December

Lots of garden thrushes today. 3 Blackbird, 5 Redwing and single Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush and Fieldfare feeding on the Hawthorn and coming to the apples.

Greg saw the 3 WAXWING in The Grove again.

Tuesday 21st December

Still 3 WAXWING at The Grove at 1.30

Monday 20th December

Still snowed in today i walked into Cheltenham. 3 WAXWING were at The Grove and my uncle saw 2 WAXWING in Tom Price Close. Also there were at least 200 Redwing feeding on berries around the one way system off Fairview street, allowing close up views. It was quite a spectacle! I had a thorough scan through them for a rarity but they were all Redwing. 3 Lesser Redpoll again in the garden with a Song Thrush and 3 Blackcap.

Sunday 19th December

Still 5 WAXWING present in The Grove today.

Saturday 18th December

Tom and I went for a walk to The Grove the five WAXWING were still present we also went searching for another flock with no joy but lovely views of feeding Redwing at Tom Price Close.

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Friday 17th December

Today Greg managed to finally catch up with some WAXWING. He has been driving around all the likely spots and had been to The Grove earlier today before the 5 were later found. Finding a flock is very hit or miss. Also a male Brambling was at his feeding station.

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Wednesday 15th December- More Waxwing

The need to see more WAXWING had me heading to Littledean today with Stella. They did not disappoint with 70-80 birds feeding on a rowan in a garden just off the path opposite the Belfry pub. They gave stunning views down to a couple of meters! Stella even got a bit exited!! Amazing to see a Rowan literally dripping with Waxwing! I just can't get enough of them!

Tuesday 14th December

Today I drove Stella to Oxford for another interview and on the way back we had a scan over Farmoor Reservoir. The highlights were around 20 Goldeneye with 4 Redshank and 4 Sanderling on the causeway.

In the garden it was great to see 3 Lesser Redpoll on the nijer seed. I hope a regular flock will visit the garden over the winter as they did last winter.

Wednesday 8th December

I had a good morning walk with Greg looking at the finch flock where he is staying at the moment near Withington. We had around 30 Yellowhammer easily 50 Chaffinch with good views of a number of Brambling in with them. A colours of a male Brambling against the white of the trees is quite stunning. At the feeding station the highlight were 3 very approachable Marsh tit with a Wood Mouse in the wall.

I spent the rest of the day searching for Waxwing at various spots but had no joy today. I did see a nice Little Owl on a house in Prestbury by the Church, a flock of 8 Siskin and a single Lesser Redpoll feeding in a birch.

The amount of thrushes everywhere is amazing, Redwing and Fieldfare seem to lift out of every hedge! Great stuff!

Tuesday 7th December - WAXWING!

Today i found myself a lovely flock of 23 WAXWING in Charlton Kings. I decided that driving around was a good idea with it being so cold so I made a list of places that Waxwing had turned up in the 2005 invasion and amazingly my first target produced the goods! I drove to Beeches road and just after the right hand turn for ravensgate road a flock of birds were seen circling the houses and dropping onto an aerial. At first i thought Starling as they were so silhouetted but on winding down the window the trilling call was clear and i had found my Waxwing! They were very mobile and dropped down briefly onto a rowan tree in a garden. They flew around at one point right over my head and then landed in a tree off Ravensgate road before flying off. Despite extensive searching they were not seen again. What great birds but i wish they had stuck around a little longer!  

All 23 together

I couldn't get that close to the rowan they favoured there are 13 in this shot

Flight shots

Monday 6th December

Hawfinch again today at birdland. There was at least 2 probably more in the mature trees across the field next to the nature area. There were lots of finches coming into the feeding station and 2 Hawfinch flew in and landed on top of a tree above the table but did not drop in to feed on this occasion. The Brambling is still showing well.

Friday 3rd December

No sign of the Hawfinch today. A minimum of 12 Greenfinch, 18 Chaffinch, and 6 Goldfinch with the female Brambling all from the viewing screen. In the silver birch were 2 Lesser Redpoll with Siskin in the alders and 3 Bullfinch feeding on dead stinging nettles. Redwing have settled and are now feeding on the apples provided. 

Thursday 2nd December - HAWFINCH on the Bird Table!

After putting out seed in the nature area at birdland I spent my break watching the feeders. I was enjoying watching the female Brambling again when out of nowhere a stunning male HAWFINCH dropped in. It was right in front of the viewing screen and hopped straight onto the table to munch some sunflower seeds. At close range it really did look massive compared to the Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Goldfinch. What a great bird! I'm just hoping that it will be a regular over the winter! 

Wednesday 1st December

This afternoon i went for a drive around Hawling in the snow. It was a beautiful scene with large flocks of Fieldfare lifting up from almost every bush and Hares running across the snow covered fields. A flock of around 20 Skylark was seen with lots of Chaffinch and Yellowhammer on the crops and it was good to see 3 Kestrel hunting. I drove around the area stopping regularly to scan the fields and after a short while the HEN HARRIER that has been seen recently cruised across the field behind Southdown Farm. It gained height and appeared to head in the Roel Gate direction. What a great bird! I stayed in the hope it would show again but unfortunately not. A Barn Owl was out early and showed very well before the cold got too much for me. Lets hope the Harrier hangs around for the winter and the Owls find enough food in these conditions!

Two distant record shots of the Hen Harrier

I think it must be the light and the distance the photo was taken at that gives the bright rufous more Montagu's colour.

Sunday 28th November

The Short-Eared Owl hunting again this evening.

Saturday 27th November

A Short-Eared Owl was seen this evening near Hawling where they have wintered for the last few years. The bird flew across the road and landed on a post allowing brilliant views. I almost got alongside it in the car! Its bright yellow eyes staring at me and tiny ear tufts showing.Magic!

Looking at Redpoll

I have been watching a flock of Lesser Redpoll recently and this bird was showing some characteristics of Mealy Redpoll. These birds do not breed in the UK but across Scandinavia, east Germany and Poland, USSR and North America. Both photos are of the same bird that has been seen in a flock feeding at birdland recently. I have been watching them and comparing this bird to the others. It is overall a far paler bird  showing quite distinct grey cheeks with no buff colour on the flanks. You can see a Lesser Redpoll below it for a comparison. It does appear slightly larger but its paler overall look with double white wing bar is most noticeable. Its great watching the flock and learning a bit more about separating the two. A good site if you want to read more is http://www.worcesterbirding.co.uk/redpolls_58.html

In the garden earlier this year

This bird was seen with the flock of Lesser Redpoll in the garden but was only seen on a single day. Again it appeared distinctly larger than the Lesser Redpoll around it and slightly paler. In both birds there seems more white on the edges of the wings giving a frostier appearance. The Lesser Redpoll are clearly far browner birds.

It is difficult to be 100% but either way they are great little birds and  hope to see plenty more this winter.   

Wednesday 24th November

I looked this morning around Prestbury and the racecourse for any Waxwing checking many roads and berry bushes but had no joy. I did see 6 Blackcap feeding on the berries along with many thrushes but i will have to wait for the Waxwing.

I then went to Oxford today to take Stella to an interview and managed to fit in a bit of birding. I went to Otmoor for a look to see if any Bearded Tit were around but it was always going to be a long shot and i didn't have long. It was an enjoyable walk with  Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler seen and a Snipe with 2 Red Kite drifting over. A Cetti's Warbler was also seen well in a hedge just repeating the very start of its call and 2 White Wagtail were in the field.

On the way home we had a quick look on Farmoor Reservoir in the fading light and we were in luck as the Juvenile Great Northern Diver was just offshore and the first bird i put my bins on. A cracking bird and and a great end to the day.

Tuesday 23rd November

A male and female Blackcap in the garden today. 5 in the garden at the same time was last years total.

I had a very brief drive around Prestbury this morning but didn't find the Waxwing that were later reported. I drove past the road they reported were on!

Monday 22nd November

Siskin, Brambling and Lesser Redpoll again today in the nature area at Birdland showing well.

The flock of Siskin is at least 20 strong and can be seen feeding in the alders allowing great views. They are also now coming to the nijer feeders. 

The single female Brambling again with around 25 Chaffinch 15 Greenfinch and 8 Goldfinch

A lovely flock of 10-12 Lesser Redpoll favouring the Birch and Alder trees and dropping down to feed on the old mans beard. 

Sunday 21st November

Today in the nature area at Birdland. A great selection of finches today with great views of them all! There was a single female Brambling with around 25 Chaffinch, showing well from the viewing screen,14 Siskin, 5 Goldfinch and at least 10 Greenfinch with a flock of 8 Lesser Redpoll seen feeding in an alder in the afternoon. A Kingfisher and a Kestrel also present. 

Wednesday 17th November

I went to Slimbridge today for a look around and despite the weather it was enjoyable with plenty of birds to be seen. White fronted Geese were on the tack piece with a flock of around 60 Dunlin and 2 Ruff. 2 Common Snipe were seen from the Martin Smith hide and a flock of around 60 Linnet was good to see. There is always lots to look at in the winter months and its great to see the Bewicks Swans back on the rushy. 

I checked court lake and there were 2 Red Crested Pochard with the Tufted Duck. On the sailing Lake there were 2 female Goldeneye with around 20 Pochard and 10 Great Crested Grebe. 2 Kingfishers were constantly chasing each other around the Lake. A look across the river from Fretherne did not produce much as the tide was low and it was difficult to see through the rain. 2 Little Egret were in the cow field.

On the way back i had a look over Bentham Landfill and flushed 19 Common Snipe but there were no sign of any Jack Snipe.

Wednesday 10th November

Unfortunately i have had no time for any proper birding recently. I did want to have a look over the river Severn but only had time for a quick look over the reservoir but there was very little to be seen. A Reed Bunting was seen in the reeds and 3 Little Grebe were on the water. From my room i had a Peregrine drifting over Charlton Kings.

Underneath a board i did find a nest of Field Voles with 3 young. They seem to have a new litter every time i look! Good news for Kestrels and Owls!

Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd November

I have been checking the local spots the last couple of days but have not produced anything out of the ordinary. At Dowdeswell reservoir there are very few birds on the water. There are 2 Little Grebe a handful of Mallard and only a few Coot and Moorhen. There were 2 Common Snipe in the grass and a Water Rail ran across the reeds at the causeway end. The environment agency has done a lot of work and cleared a gap in the reeds here. Small flocks of Starlings were passing over along with Pied Wagtails. With the water level up again there is no exposed mud for any waders.

Up at Cleeve Hill there was no sign o the Great Grey Shrike. Still plenty of Redwing and Fieldfare with 4 Siskin over with Linnet and Skylark also seen.

I also checked out Witcombe reservoir and Bentham Landfill. A fair gull flock at Witcombe with at least 9 Common Gull 6 Lesser black backed Gull 12 Herring Gull and around 30 Black Headed Gull. Again very few ducks on the water. Just 2 Tufted Duck and 4 Great Crested Grebe.

At Bentham I flushed a single Common Snipe. I have been checking around the Hawling area for owls and had a Barn Owl last week but not yet any sign of any Short eared Owls. I will be looking regularly and hoping they use the fields again! 

Wednesday 27th October

With improved weather i headed for Cleeve Common and picked up the GREAT GREY SHRIKE just below the heather enclosure. It was very flighty and i followed it to the top of the valley leading to the wash-pool watching it dropping to the ground regularly and chasing Linnet! The bird then flew out of sight towards the heather enclosure and despite searching i could not find it again. Hopefully it will stay for the winter. Also seen were many large flocks of Redwing and Fieldfare, a Stonechat, Yellowhammer, Goldcrests a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a singing Skylark.

Tuesday 26th October

Today was my first chance to spend some time looking for the Great Grey Shrike, but shortly after arriving the weather set in and made it impossible to see anything. I will try again as the bird may well still be present. A mixed flock of Redwing and Fieldfare was seen along with 3 Skylark before i got completely soaked.

Wednesday 20th October

I had a look today at Coombe Hill on the way back from Tewkesbury but there was still very little water and that meant a lack of birds from the Grundon hide. There was a Chiffchaff along the canal along with 4 Bullfinch and 3 Goldcrest. Later in the day Jack and I had a walk around Crickly Hill in the hope of a Brambling flock but unfortunately there was no sign. A Nuthatch, Treecreeper and a busy Jay were seen in the wood which was in its full autumn splendor. A few years ago Greg had a massive flock of at least 250 Brambling and the wood is perfect so well worth keeping an eye on!

On the way home we had a look up on Leckhampton Hill where we saw a lovely flock of 28 Golden Plover. They were giving great flybys and very approachable!

Tuesday 19th October

Just before turning left onto the main approach road to Cleeve Common a flock of around 30 Chaffinch with a minimum of 6 Brambling. They were feeding on the fallen Beech nuts. 

A short walk on the common produced 3 Skylark with 2 Stonechat and a steady passage of finches over with a few Meadow Pipit. The only other interest was a tit flock of around 15 Long tailed Tit, 4 Coal Tit, 3 Blue Tit, 3 Great Tit with at least 3 Goldcrest with them.

Thursday 14th October

This evening it was fantastic to see a Barn owl hunting over our reserve a great first.

We have just returned from a fantastic weeks birding in Extremadura. Many great birds were found from Great Bustard to Wallcreeper! A full trip report will be written up soon. Its now back to scouring the local patch!

Monday 4th October

It was very nice to get a report on the Wilson's Phalarope in the Echo even though they made a couple of mistakes on the facts we gave them. Great all the same. See page 11!

Friday 1st October

No sign of the Wilson's Phalarope today. Bring on the next Cotswold's rarity! I hope a twitch at the reservoir becomes more regular than every 15 years!! I will make sure it is.

Spot the Phalarope below!

A flight shot early yesterday morning in the mist

Thursday 30th September

The WILSON'S PHALAROPE still at Dowdeswell Reservoir this morning showing well at the far end but a bit more mobile.

 

I went to watch the WILSON'S PHALAROPE again this evening and the bird as showing very well down to a few meters. The bird was constantly feeding and as the evening drew in the bird again started jumping for the flies. A great bird to watch especially when it fills the scope! It flew nearer the top end as it did last night and lets just hope it stays! Also seen was the Water Rail, 2 Teal at least 3 Grey Wagtail and a Kingfisher.

 

Wednesday 29th September

With awful weather today it looked bleak for birding. After getting soaked doing some much needed fencing up the field with Jack and Greg i decided to go to the reservoir to check if anything had dropped in. Greg decided to go for cuppa.

Scanning from the causeway on first look it all appeared to be the standard scene that i have witnessed many times. A Grey Heron a few Mallard and a Great Crested Grebe but then a small pale wader appeared alongside the Green Sandpiper and alarm bells started ringing. It was at very long range but the way it as feeding and its general behavior made me think Wilsons Phalarope! I called Greg and within no time he was there giving his opinion. Not 100% we set about getting closer views and Greg crept through the bushes and confirmed to our disbelief that it was indeed a WILSON'S PHALAROPE. We had both predicted it as a possible resi rarity and there it was feeding away right in front of us! What a great bird and a great feeling to have found it!

It fed happily all evening showing well for everyone and at one stage came to within 5 meters jumping and catching flies. Magic! Also seen was a Water Rail and 2 Teal.

Lets hope the rarities continue!

 

Tuesday 21st September

Whilst visiting friends in London I managed to get a walk around Tooting Common and produced a few birds. I had excellent views of 2 Ring-Necked Parakeets and also in the small wood were Nuthatch, Green Woodpecker and Great Spotted Woodpecker with a Goldcrest in with a tit flock. On the pond was a very confiding Grey Heron along with 2 Egyptian Geese

Sunday 19th September

Jack and I went to Slimbridge today. We saw the 2 Pectoral Sandpiper and also had 3 Curlew Sandpiper from the Zeiss Hide. A Shew had made its way into the Robbie Garnet  and was scampering in amongst the scopes. 

Thursday 16th September

A look up Cleeve Common after work was pretty quiet. Birds of note were 3 Goldcrest, Coal Tit, 60-70 Meadow Pipit, 2 Willow Warbler, 4 Swallow a single Skylark Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Raven and 3 Common Buzzard.

Friday 10th - Sunday 12th September

The annual visit to Spurn. A trip report will be posted soon.

Saturday 4th September

A look around Cleeve Common produced 5 Wheatear a female Redstart with 4 Chiffchaff and 2  Whitethroat with 4 Meadow Pipit over. 2 Roe Deer were in the heather enclosure and the highlight was finding an Adder under a piece felt.

Friday 3rd September

A morning trip to a buzzing Slimbridge produced the Red-Necked Phalarope and a great selection of waders on south lake. It was nice to see the Curlew Sandpiper along with Spotted Redshank and Ruff. Also seen were Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler and BlackCap on the tack piece walkway. A walk around the sailing lake on the way home gave good views of at least 6 Yellow Wagtails in the Pied Wagtail flock in the field adjacent to the sailing lake and 2 Kingfisher were also seen. There was no sign of the earlier Firecrest unfortunately. 

 

Tuesday 31st August

An evening walk at Dowdeswell reservoir produced Green Sandpiper, Snipe, Kingfisher, 4 Grey Heron, mixed flock of around 50 - 60 House Martin and Swallow. The highlight of the walk being a Sedge Warbler, the first we have seen here.

Friday 27 August - Monday 30th August

For the long weekend i went with Stella to Leeds festival for the day. Blink 182 showed brilliantly well on main stage on Saturday night! 

We went to stay in a B&B in Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales and went for a great walk around the village of Cotterdale. Dipper and Grey Wagtail were on the river with Siskin flying over head. The undoubted highlight was finding 2 Red Squirrel! The first i have ever seen in this country. Cracking little animals.

 

 

 

Monday 23rd August

At our reserve today an influx of migrants! 1 male Redstart, 6 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Common Whitethroat, with around 8 Willow Warbler and a similar amount of Chiffchaff.

 

 

 

Friday 20th August

A look at Dowdeswell Reservoir again today and a Common Sandpiper has joined the 2 Green Sandpiper. The other usual's were seen with a flock of 62 Black-Headed Gulls feeding on the weed . The surprise was seeing a Terrapin pop his head up.

Greg had this Bush Cricket is his bed last night. A beauty! 

Tuesday 17th August

At Dowdeswell Reservoir 2 Green Sandpiper were showing well along with 4 Grey Heron, 2 Cormorant, 2 Mute Swan and the usual Grebes and Ducks with 4 Chiffchaff also seen. A tiny Lizard and 2 Grass Snake were under the tins.

Saturday 14th August

We drove to Berry head early and watched the sea for a few hours. There was a steady passage of Manx Shearwater but we couldn't see any Balearic with them. The highlight was watching two Great Skua harassing gulls with 5 Arctic Skua seen, 3 of which were flying together very close in! Great birds. We also saw 2 Kittiwake, 8 Common Scoter, Peregrine,what we think were 8 Teal and some great views of Gannet and Fulmar which are always great to watch! Around the car park it was good to see so many Cirl Bunting. They really looked to have done well.

We then went to Dawlish Warren. 6 Wheatear were near the car park and walking out to the hide Sandwich Terns were feeding offshore. It was a lovely scene from the hide with lots of Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Oystercatcher with 2 Whimbrel, Curlew, Turnstone and 2 Grey Plover seen. One of which was in stunning summer plumage.

Friday 13th August

We drove down to Dawlish to stay in the caravan and have look out over the sea. We got up to Holcombe Downs behind the site and heard a Nightjar but we were unable to see it. The real surprise and sad event was that on the way home we found a dead Nightjar in the middle of the road! It was a young bird and still warm when we picked it up!

Sunday 8th August

A walk around our field today produced a reserve first a lovely Spotted Flycatcher.

Saturday 7th August

Another good mornings ringing. Ringing a cracking Juvenile Spotted Flycatcher was the highlight! Later i went for a walk around the heather enclosure at Cleeve Common. Birds seen were 2 Redstart, 2 Stonechat, a flock of tits with 4 Willow Warber and 2 Goldcrest a flock of around 15 Linnet with a Raven over and a Kestrel hunting. A Brown Argus butterfly was also seen and a Small Skipper was seen in our field.

Monday 2nd August

We went up to Roel Gate this evening to try and hear the Quail that have been reported but didn't hear any. We did see a flock of around 30 Corn Bunting, a few Yellowhammer, 2 Whitethroat, a Kestrel showing very well from the car and a Great Spotted Woodpecker on a telegraph pole.

 

Sunday 1st August

This afternoon we went for a look at the reservoir and found a large Grass Snake around 3ft long. The Lizard was soaking up the heat by lying on top of one of the tins and pressing its body as flat as possible.

This evening i was lucky enough to go ringing Hobby. The 3 chicks were healthy and doing well!  

Saturday 31st July

Another mornings ringing produced some great birds! Species caught were as follows: Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Wren, Robin, Dunnock, Blackbird,Song Thrush With the highlights being Spotted Flycatcher(2) Lesser Spotted Woodpecker(2) and a Pied Flycatcher!

 

Thursday 29th July

I had a great day in the New forest today after dropping Stella and her two friends off at a wedding. I had great views of Dartford Warbler with young and adult seen, Redstart were seen at every site! They were everywhere! Always great to watch them. Also seen were a single Wheatear, lots of Stonechat with Green woodpeckers and Siskin also seen well.The highlight however was the Nightjar display. I waited in a clearing and was rewarded with great views of a male bird flying overhead. The best views i have ever had. On returning to the car another was churring not far from the road and i  managed to see it sat on a branch. Also seen were a single Silver Washed Fritillary a Small Blue, some Grayling with the highlight being a Silver Studded Blue.

The next morning we went to see the sea and bellow the car park at Highcliffe-on-sea there was a Dartford Warbler moving through the gorse with a Common Whitethroat. It was a young bird not showing any rusty tones on the underparts and appearing rather blue/grey. Also seen were 2 Sandwich Tern offshore and a Common Sandpiper on the rocks.

 

 

 

Saturday 24th July

At Dowdeswell Reservoir there has been 2 pairs of Little Grebe and each pair has a single young. The Great Crested Grebe were displaying and nest building!

Wednesday 21st July

We went for a look around Dowdeswell reservoir this afternoon and when on the bridge noticed the juvenile Little Grebe on a tiny pool and it got stuck on the rocks! We decided to catch it which was easy and we released it back onto the main reservoir. It appeared in good health and swam off like a little torpedo! Cracking bird.

The Common Lizard was under its tin and 5 Grey Heron were seen.

 

Monday 19th July

A look at Dowdeswell Reservoir again in the hope that the large Grass Snake would be under the tins but with no luck. It is very hit or miss. We did however see one small Grass Snake and a Viviparous (common) Lizard. This is the first we have seen here for quite some time! The Little Grebe chick is still doing well and it appears that the Great Crested Grebe is sat on eggs. May be a late brood, lets hope so.

Saturday 17th July

This morning i went ringing and had a great time. It was very interesting and we had a very good catch. The highlights were Grasshopper Warbler, a female and juvenile Redstart with the star of the show being a Kingfisher! 

Sedge Warbler,Common Whitethroat, Reed Bunting, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Blackbird and Wren were also caught. All birds were ringed, recorded and happily released. Also seen were two Grass Snakes

Wednesday 14th July

I went for a walk around the reservoir again after work and was pleased to find 4 Grass Snakes under the tins. There were 3 small young Snakes and one large adult. It really depends on the weather conditions as to the likelihood of seeing these snakes. Also the Great Crested Grebe were adding material to their nest although it seems a little waterlogged and i am unsure if they will successfully breed again this year. The male Kingfisher was seen well again. Young Goldcrest and Blackcap were also noted.

Tuesday 13th July

I went for a walk at Dowdeswell Reservoir this evening. There was a Shrew and a Vole under one tin with a small Grass Snake under another. There were 4 Grey Heron on the reservoir and i had excellent views of a male Kingfisher. I was also pleased to find that the Little Grebe have bred successfully here. I managed to get good views of both adults with a single chick. 2 Muntjac deer were walking on the reservoir shore and I am pretty sure Grey Wagtails have bred under the bridge.

Sunday 11th July

Today we went for a walk around Dowdeswell reservoir. The usual birds were seen. I still have not been able to find out if the Little Grebe have bred here or not though. Very vocal today! There were lots of Butterflies on the wing with the highlight being 2 probably 3 WHITE ADMIRAL. They were seen near the track and often flew very close this time allowing some photos as they settled. Their gliding flight is really great to watch. Other species were Comma, Small White, Large White, Large Skipper, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral and Ringlet. 

Saturday 10th July

Today i went to Somerset with mum and dad for a look for around Ham Wall and Shapwick Heath. The first port of call was Loxton's Marsh for the LITTLE BITTERN. I was surprised to find on arriving that there now is said to be a female and that they may well have bred and successfully!! After a short wait the female bird flew low across the reed beds and then dropped down. At first i was unsure of wether it was the male or female and told by others that it was the male but after closer examination and some comparisons with other photos it is indeed the female bird. It would be brilliant if they bred successfully here!

 

I then went over the road to Shapwick heath and from Noah's Hide saw the GREAT WHITE EGRET, a Hobby hunting dragonflies, a cracking male Marsh Harrier and a Great Bittern in flight. Also seen were at least 6 Little Egret, a Grey Heron and a Sparrowhawk. On the walk back to the car a Kestrel was seen and Buzzards from the car. It was a great few hours with 5 species of Heron seen and 5 species of bird of prey. 

Friday 9th July

Greg and I headed to Slimbridge after work today for the WHITE-TAILED LAPWING. It was a bit of a rush but definitely worth it! We got to the the Zeiss Hide and when walking up the stairs heard the dreaded calls of "there it goes" "high right". Luckily for us the bird was going back to the pool in front of the Holden tower. Phew! We headed there and got excellent views of this cracking bird!

I went small mammal trapping after Slimbride at Ashleworth Ham. Out of 120 traps not one single success! Still an enjoyable walk in the evening sun. I did hear a Grasshopper Warbler reeling while we were checking the traps.

Thursday 8th July

The last few days I have been keeping it local and checking around Lineover Wood. I have seen Tawny Owl very well and it seems Raven have bred in the wood. The highlight was seeing a White Admiral butterfly although unfortunately i didn't get a photo as it flew and headed high in the trees. I will persist for the photo! There are also lots of Purple Hairstreak. A Roe Buck was also seen very well looking and walking towards me!

Monday 5th July

Whilst looking for adders unsuccessfully around the radio masts at Cleeve common it was a pleasant surprise when 2 Spotted Flycatcher appeared. They showed well although briefly sat in a small tree and then both flew and could not be relocated. These are my first of the year. Whitethroat and Willow Warbler were seen carrying food and there were 8-10 Dark Green Fritillary on the wing.

Thursday 1st - Saturday 3rd July

Stella and i went away to Lulwoth Cove for a couple of nights for her birthday and had a great time. Whilst walking the amazing coastline to Durdle Door 4 Peregrine Falcons were flying overhead calling loudly. These awesome birds were giving amazing views and one was seen taking a linnet and eating it on a post!

Also seen in the area were Stonechat, Whitethroat, Rock Pipit, Fulmar and Shag.

We went for a walk around Arne which is nearby and i managed to see 2 Darford Warbler. The first i have seen for a very long time! Plenty of Butterflies were seen including the Lulworth Skipper which was new for me. A Stoat was also seen briefly.

Shortly after getting home Greg and i went for a walk around Dowdeswell Reservoir and found a Grass Snake under the tins. This is the first one we have found for a long time. Great to see. 

The usual birds were seen with there now being 2 Mute Swans and 6 Tufted Duck with a single Little Grebe seen. A Kingfisher was also heard. 

The path was also alive with tiny Toads. They were coming out from the reservoir and moving towards the wood. It was hard to walk as there were so many of them! Perfect Snake food!

Friday 25th - Sunday 27th June

We have not done a great deal of birding recently with the world cup a big distraction. Now that England have crashed miserably out the excitement has gone.  Today Stella and I went to visit some friends in Norwich and managed a bit of birding too. On the way we went to Welney WWT to try and see the long staying Bluethroat but as luck would have it in the 3 hours we were there the little bugger didn't show, probably due to the sweltering heat. I did see Yellow Wagtail a female Garganey and it was nice to see Avocet and their young feeding on the scrapes. A Pied Wagtail was nesting in one of the hides and as bringing back bees for the young.

On the way home we went to Lakenheath Fen for a walk and on the way passed Weeting Heath. In a short stop i managed to find a STONE CURLEW. It was quite distant but still a thrill to see being a new bird for me. At Lakenheath we saw a Marsh Harrier and had good views of a Cuckoo. We didn't have long enough to try and hear or see any Golden Oriole and will definitely have to go back. We also had great views of a Roe deer with a very young fawn. All in all a cracking weekend even with the world cup let down. I'm starting to get used to it now.

Saturday 12th June

We decided to return to Gwent today to try and improve on our views and photos of the superb MARMORA'S WARBLER and we manged to do just that. The bird showed very well before again moving a little further away. Some Whinchat were again also on show. After this we went to Wentwood Forest to see the IBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF. The bird was singing and showed well. Two Megas in a day! A stunning Wood Warbler was also showing very well just across the road, singing constantly and displaying, flying low under the canopy. Great birds that should never be overlooked!

Monday 7th June

A trip to Gwent this morning to see the MARMORA'S WARBLER and it didn't let us down. It showed well  for around 10 minutes before going missing as the weather closed in. Also seen were multiple Whinchat, Tree Pipit and Stonechat. Its the first time we had ever seen singing Whinchat so that was also a treat. 

 Tuesday 2nd June

A look around the Bill Smyllie produced a Redstart with another heard nearby and at least 3 Duke of Burgundy Butterflies

Monday 31st May

A trip to the Forest of Dean today was productive. At Cannop ponds a Pied Flycatcher was showing very well, and around the lake 2 Redstart were seen,with the female bathing along with a Garden Warbler, Lesser Redpoll and lots of Tits and Finches.

At Nags Head more Pied Flycatcher were seen, feeding young in a box and a Wood Warbler was heard and seen briefly. A Hornet, Fox and Fallow Deer were also seen well.

Friday 28th May

Today we attempted to see and swim with Basking Sharks in Cornwall but as it usually goes with us and boat trips we had no luck. We did go to the Lizard and see the Chough and on our way to Plymouth on Thursday went to Dawlish warren and saw a smart Common Lizard basking in the sun. Very disappointing but we will try again.

 

Thursday 20th May

This afternoon i went to the Cotswold Water Park. A look over pit 95 produced a few Gadwall, 4 Shelduck, 4 Red-crested Pochard and a lovely Drake Garganey seen well in flight as it flew in and landed unfortunately just out of sight. Also seen here were Lesser Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler. At Swillbrook there were 2 Garden Warbler showing very well along with Whitethroat and Chiffchaff but no Nightingales heard. I checked out pit 91 and saw both Ringed Plover and Little Ringed Plover here along with 2 Common Tern. I finished up walking around pit 43 and heard at least 3 Nightingale with 2 showing well. This area was buzzing with birds, loads or warblers, with many Reed buntings and finches also around. A Cuckoo also flew over.

 

 

Wednesday 19th May

A look around Dowdeswell reservoir produced Great Crested Grebe and Little Grebe, good views of Reed Warbler and a Common Sandpiper. A Roe Deer was seen relaxing at the waterside.

Sunday 16th May

Today we went to visit Jack in Plymouth and went to Looe for the day. We managed to see 2 Fulmar over the sea, an Eider, 2 Gannet, 2 Oystercatcher and 3 Little Egret.

Saturday 15th May

Today we did our first survey for the Farmer and Volunteer Alliance programme with the RSPB. There were not masses of birds as the farm is mainly equine and rather neat and tidy but we managed a decent list with a Red Kite and Tawny Owl the highlights.

In the evening we went on a Bat and Moth night at Chedworth Woods with the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. We weren't sure how the evening was going to be but it turned out to be excellent! Neither of us had ever seen bats in the hand and were keen to learn a bit more about them. Harp traps and mists nets were set and the catch was very successful. We saw 5 different species being amazed at how incredibly tiny they are! Species seen were  Whiskered Bat, 2 Lesser Horseshoe Bats, Daubenton's Bat, Brown Long-eared Bat and at least 6 Pipistrelle Bat. Each were seen close up and weighed, measured and sexed before release. One of which off my shoulder! On the Moth front some nice moths were caught with the highlight being the first recording of Great Prominent for the site  All in all it was a great night. Not your average Saturday night that's for sure!

Male Brown Long-eared Bat

Whiskered Bat

Friday 14th May

A trip to Slimbridge this morning in the hope the Temminck's Stint would be around but no joy. From midpoint a displaying Sedge warbler was nice and small flocks of Dunlin with a few Ringed Plover flew past. A Lesser Whitethroat as showing well in front of the Holden tower. The highlight was discovering an Avocet on South lake, it showed very well in front of the Hogarth hide feeding a few meters away. I presume this is the bird that lost its mate. Cracking bird to see so close up. A Kingfisher also flashed in front of the hide.

 

 

Thursday 13th

A look around Frampton this afternoon. On the sailing lake 2 Common Tern on the Jetty and 2 Reed Warbler on the small lake behind with a Great Crested Grebe feeding 2 young. On the right hand flash at Saul the drake Garganey was showing well, also 4 Wigeon, single Shoveler and a pair of Gadwall. From Fretherne a flock of 8 Whimbrel, 6 Ringed Plover on the high tide and a female Wheatear on the rocks.

 

Wednesday 12 May

At Bill Smyllie 2 Cuckoo with 1 showing very well giving great flybys. Male and female Common Redstart seen again.

Monday 10 May

A look up around the Bill Smyllie reserve after work produced 3-4 singing Tree Pipit, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap and a male and female Common Redstart. The Redstart were at the bottom of the Prestbury Hill reserve. I know they bred here last year as i saw the female feeding fledglings. I hope they do again! Later in the evening i watched over Dowdeswell Reservoir for an hour or so. The usualls on the water 2 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Little Grebe, 3 Tufted Duck a few Mallard, Coot and Moorhen with a single Mute Swan. The highlight was watching a flock of around 25 Swallows, 10-12 House Martin and 6-8  Swift zooming around my head. They were coming so close, it really was great to watch. Earlier 5 Sand Martin had passed through. Last weekend Greg and I could hear at least 3 Reed Warbler in the far reed bed so hopefully they will breed here. 

Sunday 8th May

A visit to the Forest of Dean this afternoon was very productive. The undoubted highlight was watching not one but two family parties of WILD BOAR! The first was at Nags head just off the main track consisting of 3 adults and around 15-20 hoglets. It was the first time we had ever seen them and it was a real buzz to be so close to them and watch them going about their business. We were still buzzing  when from the car Greg spotted another group at the junction by New Fancy! We watched this group for a while before they got spooked and charged off. There were 4 adults in this group with again around 15 hoglets. What great animals!

On the bird front we didn't manage to find the Red backed Shrike that has been around Tidenham but had 2 Garden Warbler here and a Tree Pipit. At Nags Head we saw at least 3 Pied Flycatcher a Garden Warbler and 2 Mandarin.

Friday 7th May

At the Bill Smillie butterfly reserve a Black Redstart on the pile of dry stone just off the road on the left then it flew down into the valley below and was feeding. It was spending a lot of time along the fence by the new dry stone wall along with a male and female Wheatear.

 

Thursday 6th May

A look at Coombe Hill after work produced a cracking male Redstart along the canal, flying out over the water catching insects. Also seen were Lesser Whitethroat (at least 3 calling),Common Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Cettis Warbler (actualy seen!) and 8 Swifts overhead. It was very quiet from the hide with a Little Egret providing most interest.

Wednesday 5th May

Another look up the common produced the same birds as yesterday with the Grasshopper Warbler reeling in the same spot. It showed briefly on top of the gorse but was otherwise elusive.

Tuesday 4th May

Very lively at Cleeve Common this evening. Just above the heather enclosure a reeling Grasshopper Warbler was showing along with 2 Common Whitethroat, 2 pairs of Stonechat, Willow WarblerLinnet and Skylark. By the carpark 2 Wheatear were on the wall.

Monday 3rd may

A Barn Owl hunting at bentham landfill this evening, seen making a kill.

Saturday 1st May

Sorting out the duck pen this morning a Lesser Whitethroat was singing and showing well. This is only the second time i have seen this species on the reserve.

Friday 30th April

A  loop of wardens wood this evening  produced 2 Cuckoo showing well in the plantation below the old barns where 7 Roe Deer  were also seen. A Tawny Owl flew in front of the car on the way home. 

 

Wednesday 28th April

A Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler seen from green lane this afternoon with a single Whimbrel and Black-tailed Godwit from the platform. At Fretherne a Lesser Whitethroat, 15 Whimbrel and 3 Wheatear. At the sailing lake in the evening 1 possibly 2 Nightingale singing.

 

Tuesday 27th April

A short walk around the field behind the house produced 2 Common Whitethroat (1 in the garden briefly) at least 4 Blackcap and a Kingfisher. The Kingfisher was near the hole they used to nest in so i will keep an eye on it. Fingers crossed they breed there again.

Monday 26th April

A look up the common produced a Wheatear and a Common Whitethroat in a field on the approach road and in the field next to the carpark at least 20 Wheatear often on the walls giving great views. One male was showing the full peach breast  and looked a touch larger so maybe a Greenland Wheatear with them but difficult to ever be 100%! The bottom photo was the bird that seemed to have a far more orange breast all over though it doesn't seem so distinct in the photos. Cracking birds wherever they breed!

Friday 23rd-Sunday 25th April

A trip to London to visit friends produced a few birds from the coach. Plenty of Red Kites seen, along with a flock of 5-6 Ring-necked Parakeet and my first Swifts of the year. 3 seen from the coach.

Thursday 22nd April

A surprise find by Greg today was a female Redstart up or field in Mill lane. This is the first time a Redstart has been recorded in our reserve and a great addition to the list. Also at least 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler and 2 Blackcap. 

We then went down to Frampton to the 100 Acre and the hghlight were 3 Yellow Wagtails that were feeding in amongst the Cows. Also seen were a Common Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Ruff a single Whimbrel and a we heard a reeling Grasshopper Warbler.

At around 11 oclock i was feeding the Badger nuts from around 3 foot!!

Wednesday 21st April

 

A walk around wardens wood produced a Cuckoo plenty of Willow Warbler a Common Whitethroat, 7 Roe Deer a Fox and a reeling Grasshopper Warbler at dusk.

In the garden a Fox and a Badger at the same time the Badger getting more confident feeding on the patio.  

Tuesday 20th April

An Osprey at Witcombe reservoir this morning perched in a tree before being flushed by a runner then flying off being mobbed by gulls in the frampton direction . Also 2 Common SandpiperCommon Whitethroat with 6 Sand Martins.

Monday 19th April

A visit to Frampton after work was productive today. A Reed Warbler was in the small patch of reeds on the pool behind the sailing lake with 2 Common sandpiper also seen and 8 Sand Martins and a few Swallows over. At the 100 Acre a first winter Little Gull was over the reed bed with a Whimbrel, 2 Ruff, 6 Black- tailed Godwit and a Ringed Plover seen. Behind the viewing platform a Sedge Warbler was calling and seen well in the hedgerow. Just as i was leaving Mike let me know about an Osprey at Witcombe reservoir so i went there on the way home and saw the bird perched distantly in a tree. 

Sunday 18th April

A walk around Sherborne Water meadows for the first time in the morning did not produce yesterdays Dartford Warbler. A Red kite was seen and loads of the commoner birds in the woods. We spent some time walking the headgerows with a possible Nightingale seen. On the river were a pair of Red Crested Pochard.It is a lovely area and a place we will definatley return to now we know its there!  

Saturday 17th April

At Witcomber reservoir at least 8 Great Crested Grebe, a Common Sandpiper a singing Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Wheatear were in the horse paddocks. The Badger in the garden was seen very close to the house hoovering up the peanuts tonight.

Friday 16th April

I went for a walk around the wardens wood side of Cleeve hill this evening. Unfortunatley no reeling Grasshopper warbler but loads of Willow Warbler,Linnet and a singing Reed Bunting were seen, with a Cuckoo heard. A Muntjac deer gave very close views as it ran out infront of me.

Saturday 10th April

Today we went to Slimbridge to see the Avocet. The pair were feeding towards the back of the rushy and moved around an area where they are thinking of nesting. Fingers crossed these birds find it suitable here and breed. Along the walkway to the visitor centre a House Martin was seen overhead being our first of the year.A short look by Splatt bridge didn't produce a lot but a Sedge or Reed warbler was calling in the reeds. It wasn't seen and the call was quite faint and short so i wasn't 100% which it was. We then headed for Saul and saw a lovely drake Garganey on the right hand flash.

Friday 9th April

Another look around Cleeve common early morning was very enjoyable. Loads of birds singing, with many Willow Warbler and Yellowhammer with the Redstart in full voice by the washpool. A cracking bird.

Thursday 8th April

Another early walk around cleeve common proved successful with a Stonechat in the heather enclosure. A stunning male Redstart by the washpool. 2 Ring ouzel last seen by the back of the 9th tee. Skylark showing well on the walk back to the car also a lovley male Wheatear. 

Tuesday 6rd April

An early walk around Cleeve common this morning produced 4 Ring Ouzel. They were seen around the heather enclosure and then feeding just above it. Due to time constraints with work didn't manage any photos but i will keep trying. Great birds.

Friday 2nd April- Monday 5th April

A great weekend spent in the Brecon Beacons. The weather was fine and we saw some good birds with a great walk up Pen-y-Fan in the snow! Dipper were seen often along the river  and the highlight was 2 male Ring Ouzel seen in flight only. A single Red Kite was seen over the mountains and 3 Wheatear were seen on higher ground. At the summit of Pen-y-Fan 2 Ravens were giving a fantastic display.

On the way home we stopped off at Symonds yat for Goshawk but with no joy. Supposedly some felling was being done the day before and flushed the birds. Why on earth felling is being done/allowed at this time of year i will never know. It was stopped but it should never be allowed to start! 2 Mandarin were on the river.

A quick look at Brierly produced a few Siskin with one showing very well low down singing. All in all a great weekend. My feet would not agree though as they are in a bad state and need some recovery time!

Saturday 27th March

Greg and I went to Slimbridge this afternoon and got great views of the 2 Greenland White-fronted Geese and the Pink Footed Goose. Also seen along the walkway were 2 Chiffchaff.

 

We then had a look over Saul Warth seeing, Teal, Shoveler, Pintail, Gadwall and Wigeon with a single Little Egret present.

A look at the sailing lake produced a Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler and near the carpark by Splatt bridge another Willow Warbler was seen along with a lovely Goldcrest.

 

Friday 26th March

A walk in the field behind our house produced some good birds. A flock of 15 Meadow Pipit were seen and a pair of Mandarin Duck flying over and dropping onto the river Chelt was a real surprise! After this we had good views of a Chiffchaff and then further on a Willow Warbler was catching flies almost flycatcher style, hearing its beak snapping and singing briefly. This was our first of the year. It just goes to prove, don't turn your nose up at good habitat right on your doorstep!

 

Wednesday 24th March

A quick look on Cleeve Common after work today produced a cracking male Wheatear. After hearing my first Chiffchaff this morning now the first Wheatear! Also lots of Skylark showing very close and lots of Meadow Pipit. Ring Ouzel soon i hope.

Friday 19th March

Greg got the Great White Egret today at Ashleworth Ham. On the reserve front, the woodpecker box has been excavated so fingers crossed it will get used.

Thursday 18th March

Getting back late Wednesday night from Fuerteventura it was time for some spring birding. I will post a trip report for Fuerteventura soon. Managed to get a few decent birds.

Went to Cleeve Hill today but didn't manage a Wheatear and no sign of Ring Ouzel but 12-15  singing Skylark and loads of Meadow pipit with 3 Stonechat were nice.

After this it was off to Ashleworth for the Great White Egret, the bird was showing brilliantly well feeding in front of the viewing screen. Also seen 15- 20 Snipe, 3 Grey Heron and 10-15 Lapwing along with Teal, Wigeon and a Few Pintail.  

 

After this it was off to Coombe Hill and some more great birding. The Dark Bellied Brent Goose was still present with 3 Canada Geese. A Little Ringed Plover was a good Spring migrant along with 2 Sand Martins which passed through. A Peregrine Falcon was sat on the floor to the right of the hide and a flock of 13 Curlew with their lovely call dropped in. 6 Shelduck were present with 4 Shoveler and 3 Little Egret. As i was leaving the hide a flock of 8 Golden Plover flew low over head callng as they went.

All in all a cracking day!

Sunday 14th march

Bentham landfill 20 plus snipe and 1 jack snipe also 5 stock doves and three roe deer. 

Tuesday 9th march

After no sign on Sunday or Monday, today Greg and I headed down early to Cox's meadow and got rewarded with great views of the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker again  with 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Finally Greg had caught up with him and he took the photo below. Really hope to see a female in the area over the coming weeks! It seems to always be near the Great Spots and can be easily over looked as it works the alders in with the flock of Tits, Goldcrests and Chaffinch.

I am off to Fuerteventura this evening on a voluntary field studies trip so will leave Greg to do the updating.

 

Saturday 6th March

Located the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker again and watched it drumming in its usual spot.   

Friday 5th March

A look around Cox's meadow today produced the male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker! 3rd time lucky. The bird was Drumming in a large Oak and working its way along the alders behind the flood defence giving great views a calling often. It was regularly associating with a Great Spotted Woodpecker both trying to stake out a territory. Also seen were 2 Goldcrest a Nuthatch and a  Treecreeper.

I then went to scan over Dowdeswell woods for the possibility of displaying Goshawk with no luck and then tried Chedworth, viewing from Yanworth. I saw plenty of Buzzards, 2 Sparrowhawk Displaying and a Kestrel but no Goshawk. 

I also saw a Green Woodpecker making up the trio for the day.

Thursday 4th March

A visit to the Cotswold Water Park produced some good birds on pit 38 in particular. On this pit 5 Smew were present (2 male, 3 Redhead), a Drake Goosander, 8-10 Goldeneye and 8-10 Red Crested Pochard. The highlight however was finding a Drake Scaup with the Tufted Duck.

The Pink-footed Goose was still present at Inglesham feeding with the Canada Geese and Greylags and a Red Kite was over the fields. 

Bentham landfill 5 Common Snipe and a Water Rail no sign of any Jack Snipe in a brief look.

The Badger was back again last night to hoover through the peanuts.

Wednesday 3rd March - American Ducks

At Frampton the Ring-Necked Duck was still showing well and after watching it for a while i went to the Zeiss hide at Slimbridge and picked up the Green-Winged Teal much to the other birders delight. Target achieved, 2 American Ducks in the bag.

On the way home i went to Bentham Landfill and saw at least 10 Common Snipe and 2 Jack Snipe. However slowly i walked i still unfortunately flushed the Jack Snipe from under my feet and couldn't get a shot of these masters of disguise.

Last night we caught a Badger on camera eating a chicken carcass on our patio! After next doors cat had had a go on it. Think i will just put out some peanuts tonight.

Monday 1st March

Today after an interview with Herefordshire Wildlife Trust i went for a walk around the Lugg Meadows in the lovely weather. I was amazed when after talking about woodpeckers in the interview a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker appeared, calling loudly in a tree along the riverside. I watched it and tried for a photo but as soon as i lifted the camera to my eye it must have flown and i could not relocate it as it stopped calling.

I spent some time looking for it with only Great Spotted Woodpecker being seen but i was surprised again to see a drake Goosander take off from the river and fly overhead. This time my camera was out ready and i got a snap. If it wasn't zipped in the bag i would have had a shot of the LSW aswell. A lesson learned.

Friday 26th February

It was my birthday on Tuesday but the awful weather stopped any birding unfortunatly. Visited friends in London and on Friday a walk around Tooting common and nearby pond produced 2 Ring-Necked Parakeets and 2 Egyptian Geese. 

 Sunday 21st February

Four Roe Deer this morning at a farm in Charlton Kings. The bucks new antlers still in velvet.

 

Sunday 20th February

A great weekend away in Blockley this weekend. Lovley weather with snow still covering this lovely Cotswold Village. Plenty of birds seen on walks including Stella's first Treecreeper! This male Bullfinch was enjoying the sun.

Friday 19th February 

A Woodcock in our field off mill lane found by Greg, the first to be seen here!

In the morning I went to Cox's meadow to look and listen for the reported Lesser Spotted Woodpecker but with no joy. A nice walk though with 4 Siskin and a Reed Bunting the highlights.

Thursday 18th February

Went to Slimbridge today  and the snow hit! I scanned for a long time for the Green-winged teal with no joy and also no sign of the Ring-necked Duck. It was still good fun taking some photos in the snow and the Bewicks Swan on the rushy are always nice to see with Oystercatcher doing their display flight. They think its spring but the snow keeps on coming!

 Monday 15th February

Forest of Dean -

Parkend church - At least 30 Hawfinch coming to feed on the floor just the otherside of the railway. Reported to be upto 100 Hawfinch at Parkend yesterday!!

Boys Grave - 50+ Siskin  feeding and around 8 Crossbill over. 

Speech House - Opposite speech house around 6 Hawfinch in tree tops before flying off and a Drake Goosander flying high in the direction of woorgreens. 

Sunday 14th February

Aldsworth - At least 20 Corn Bunting next to a farm just outside the village. A Little Grebe also seen on the  river Churn when walking from Bibury.

Friday 12th  February 

Charlton kings - I took the dog for a walk and in a lap of the field behind the house saw 1 female Brambling, 1 male Reed Bunting, 2 Meadow pipit and many finches passing overhead. In the garden, 4 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Nuthatch and 1 Great spotted woodpecker were the highlights.

 

 

Thursday 11th February   

Hawling - My brother Jack and I headed for a drive in the cotswoldsand saw 2 Tree Sparrow and a Corn Bunting with many Yellowhammer at the Dairy Far and nearby a Red Kite was showing well.

Also seen were 9 Roe Deer

Wednesday 10th February

Coombe Hill Meadows - From the hide- 1 Knot, 2 Ruff, 2 Curlew, 4 Common Snipe, 400+ Lapwing, 1 Shelduck, 30+ Greylag goose, thousands of Wigeon, 300+ Teal, 100+ Pintail, 6 Shoveler,30 Gadwall (from long pool hide) and 8 Tufted Duck (from long pool hide).

Ashleworth Ham - 3 Whooper Swan, 2 White-fronted Goose and 1 Bar-headed Goose with the Canada geese. 1 Peregrine sat on pylon.