SIGHTINGS JULY-OCTOBER

Sunday 30th October
Good birding up the field today. Loads of Redwing on the sloe berries again with a great flyby from 2 Raven and the Kestrel again showing well.
 
Wednesday 26th October
I went this morning to Oldbury to see the PIED WHEATEAR and it showed very well around the sailing club. It was feeding very close by and flycatching totally oblivous to the onlookers. It often fed close to a Northern Wheatear allowing a nice comparison. Also seen were around 40 Dunlin,30 Curlew, 4 Redshank with 6-8 Meadow Pipit and a Reed Bunting. 2 Harbour Porpoise were a nice surprise heading up river.
On the way home I poped into Slimbridge and saw an Avocet from Zeiss hide but the recent Spoonbill managed to evaded me. Nice to see the first few Bewick's Swan back and an increase in numers of returning wildfowl. 
 
 
Saturday 22nd October
Stella and I went down to the somerset levels today for a walk. We had some brilliant views of both male and female Marsh Harriers hunting low over the reedbeds and a Great White Egret was showing very well. As it came in to land amongst the wildfowl it sent them all diving and splashing, making it an impressive scene.
A Bittern was seen in flight and we saw what im pretty sure was a Mink swimming across a channel into the reeds. It was a glorious day and there were loads of Red Admiral's around and many dragonflies.
 
Friday 21st October
A drive around the fields near Hawling was very producutive this evening. I had some great views of a flock of 23 Golden Plover and 45 Lapwing before noticing a small falcon sat in a ploughed field. It was a MERLIN and I got some of my best views before it headed off. What a great bird! I finished watching 2 SHORT-EARED OWL hunting over their usual spot. There really are few better birds to watch. Stunning! At one point there was a dog Fox mooching about and they were both in the scope as the foxed glanced up at the shorty. Great stuff. Also seen was a flock of around 80 Fieldfare 10-15 Redwing  and a Little Owl was heard.
 
Monday 17th October
A Red Kite very low over a field on the way to Bourton
 
Wednesday 13th October
I only had time for a look up the field before dark but it produced my first Redwing of the year as 6 got up from the hawthorns and a single Fieldfare flew overhead. Its always great to see and hear these birds and extra special when their the first of the year.
Greg had 5 Snipe at Dowdeswell and a Barn Owl over the reeds! 
 
Thursday 6th October
Up at Cleeve common, at least 35 Skylark, 20 Meadow Pipit, 3 Wheatear and 6 Stonechat. This is the highest count of Stonechat I have had for a while. I know they bred successfully this year. Hopefully they stay in these sort of numbers. 
 
Sunday 2nd October -Magic moments!
Memorable birds do not have to be rarities and that was proved once again today. Whilst planting some trees up our field a cracking RED KITE came drifting overhead. It circled very low for a bit and gave some stunning views before drifting towards Charlton Kings. What a bird! A great addition to the field list! Just a shame we didn't have the camera!
 
Saturday 1st October
This week has been another rather unproductive week of looking at Dowdeswell and my best  bird of the week came when a Wheatear was found running about in the leisure@ carpark before playing badminton.
 
Today we headed to Slimbridge and although no rare waders were found there was a really nice selection from the Zeiss Hide. 5 Curlew Sandpiper were seen with around 20 Redshank and 2 Dunlin. 2 Spotted Redshank were in amongst the Redshank with one being a smart juvenile bird. There was a group of 5 Greenshank roosting and 2 Grey Plover dropped in briefly which was a bit of a surprise. There was also around 10 Snipe showing. A really nice selection.
 
Wednesday 28th September
We have only had the time to get in quick visits to Dowdeswell Reservoir recently. A few Mallard and Moorhen with singles of Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Little Grebe and Great Crested Grebe. We're just hoping for a repeat of last year!
 
Sunday 18th September - A chance to get to the trust at last!
A trip to the WWT today was brilliant with the Buff Breasted Sandpiper showing well, a fantastic bird. Strickingly dainty and long legged. It was walking around on the dumbles and it was great we were allowed to get so close! We even saw it flying around and calling. The Dotterel was also a little cracker close to Golden Plover and showing well just off the saltmarsh. There was no sign of the Semipalmated Sandpiper though. Unfortunately it was a bit of a rushed visit but well well worth it as always. A quick look over Dowdeswell in the evening produced a site tick with a hunting Peregrine Falcon giving us an amazing flyby, also a Common Sandpiper.  
 
Saturday 17th September
We went for the Spotted Sandpiper early this morning and after a bit of a search found the bird and had some excellent views. Also seen were 2 Turnstone a Wheatear and a small mixed flock of Dunlin and Ringed Plover. Unfortunately there was no time to head to Slimbridge, just hope the birds there stick around!
 
 
Tuesday 13th September
A Snipe on Dowdeswell Reservoir this evening
 
Monday 12th September
An evening look over the river from Fretherne, an exhausted Fulmar was grounded; Tom and I managed to catch it and left it in the capable hands of James Lees for a bit of TLC.
Sunday 11th September
Today we went on an outing to Oxford with the family and couldn't resist a look over Farmoor reservoir. The juvenile White-Winged Black Tern was showing being a new bird for us both and a Little Stint and Dunlin were on the causeway giving stunning views. We had a good look for the Citrine Wagtail in the flock of around 50 Pied and 20 Yellow Wagtail with no luck.
 
 
Saturday 10th September
Tom and I headed down to Slimbridge to have a go at the a adult Sabines Gull with no luck unfortunatley. We had 2 Bar-tailed Godwits flying down river with a few Common Tern and had good views of Green Sandpiper and Black-tailed Godwit from the Robbie Garnet. A young Little Ringed Plover was nice to watch on the rushy and on the way home we poped in to the sailing lake where the Black Tern was still showing well with 5 Common Tern.
 
Thursday 8th September
A Gannet on the runway at staverton today that was approched by ground staff and flew off low east from the airfield. Also 5 Wheatear at Cleeve common by the gate and at least 50 Meadow Pipit getting up from the heather enclosure.
 
Saturday 3rd September
A Spotted Flycatcher at our field today with at least 4 Willow Warbler. Also an adult and juvenile Kestrel. 3 Slow worms were under tins.
 
Thursday 1st September
Not much to report from Dowdeswell but a rarity is surely only a matter of time. It looks good at the moment. A Kingfisher is regular at the moment.
I have put up a few reports including Spurn from this year, our recent Spain holiday and a pelagic from St Ives. They are all in the trip report section and links here: Spurn - May 2011Spain Holiday and Pelagic
 
Tuesday 30th August
At Cleeve common today there were 2 Wheatear and 2 Redstart seen with around 20 Swallows resting on wires. There seems to be a lot of young Skylarks in the grass which is a great sign. A Yellow Wagtail was heard but not seen.
 
Young Swallow resting up, before the long journey!
 
Tuesday 23rd August
Up the common again this lunchtime and scanning the wires of the heather enclosure was a real treat! Redstart followed by Whinchat and Wheatear and then more Redstart. There were at least 5 Redstart on the wires and posts at the same time and seemed to be everywhere along with 2 Whinchat and at least 7 Wheatear with 2 Stonechat also nearby . The biggest surprise was seeing a Badger walking around inside the enclosure. It was rooting up the ground really close to me! Must be starving to be out feeding in broad daylight. We need some rain to soften the ground for them. I heard Yellow Wagtail and then tracked them down and watched two feeding near some sheep down from the enclosure and 2 Raven flew low overhead. Plenty to be seen up there at the moment!
 
Sunday 21st August
At least 4 Whinchat, 6 Wheatear and a Redstart up the common this afternoon.
 
Saturday 20th August
I went for a look up the common again this morning and this time took the camera. Still plenty about. At least 7 Wheatear seen with 4 Whinchat and 2 Redstart with all the usuals. This time they were all around the electric fenced area just before the heather enclosure. The birds often perched very close!
 
Whinchat
 
 
Friday 19th August - Birds up the Common.
I went for a walk up at Cleeve common this afternoon and it was great to see some migrants about. Birds everywhere! 
As I pulled up a Meadow Pipit dropped onto wires by the pylons and I headed onto the common in perfect conditions. Behind the small pond I heard the wheet of a Redstart and looked closely to see if I could pick it up. The bird flitted out and flew into a larger area of gorse and although only on it for a second it looked very dark, possibly a Black Redstart. I saw movement in the bushes but it fell silent and I could not get back on to it. I had to press on with limited time a little frustrated but with high hopes! 
On walking towards the heather enclosure a Wheatear got up and three Skylarks took to the air with a young bird walking very close by. On scanning the wires of the enclosure a Whinchat was seen with another Wheatear on the next post. It became apparent a fair few birds had come in! I was stood scanning the heather when all of a sudden 7 Whinchats were on the wires all close together in one scope view! Why didn't I have the camera!  At least 4 Wheatear and 2 Stonechat were near by. Linnet were also dropping onto the wires which were covered in birds! I had good views of 2 Common Redstart and 2 Whitethroat were around the fence. The common can be void of birds one day and buzzing the next. Well worth a visit over the weekend. Watching all the Whinchats dropping down and feeding and popping up at close range is magic!
 
Sunday 14th August
I have had a check of both Dowdeswell reservoir and Cleeve common over the last couple of days. At the reservoir a single Common Sandpiper and a Green Sandpiper are present with 4 Little Grebe on the main reservoir and one on a small pool. Unfortunately one juvenile was found dead over the dam the day after we returned from holiday. Such a shame.
Up the common its rather quiet with just one Redstart a few Whitethroat seen. Very few migrants at the moment.
 
Tuesday 2nd - Tuesday 9th August - Back to Puerto de la Duquesa. 
We spent a cracking week on the Costa Del Sol with family, friends and girlfriends and of course fitted in a bit of birding. 
I will write a trip report soon, highlights included Little Bittern, Alpine Swift, Short-toed Eagle, Purple Heron and many more.
 
 
Tuesday 26th July
I have been out in Cotswolds a bit recently and again just checking Dowdeswell reservoir with all the usual birds still there. Near where the main road forks and leads towards Naunton one way and Bourton the other there were 4 Yellow Wagtail and at least 3 Corn Bunting. We have seen many Yellow Wagtail (around 15 different birds) near the reservoir by Stowell again. There are also Corn Bunting here and Greg was lucky enough to actually see a Quail! They call very close to the path hear and luckily for Greg it was actually on the path!  Other than that a Marsh Tit is a regular in the Garden and a Barn Owl has been seen hunting in the field next to ours recently which is great! 
 
Tuesday 19th July
On Dowdeswell Reservoir the grebe families are still doing very well and a Grey Heron was trying to down a carp. A Grass Snake was under the tin and a Cormorant was on the top pool with 2 on the main reservoir.
 
Tuesday 12th July
At Dowdeswell reservoir the Little Grebes have fledged with 3 being fed on the top lagoon. There is nothing else new to report here. I then went for a drive up around the cotswolds later in the afternoon and had some great results. I drove around stopping regularly and produced some really good birds walking along the bridleway by the reservoir compound at SP096142 near Stowell, where I had been told was a good spot. Here there were at least 2 singing QUAIL. One was extremely close just a few yards away just into the crop but despite being so close I still did not manage to glimpse the bird. It was good luck for it to be singing so close to the path! As the Quail was singing Yellow Wagtails were flying around with at least 4 seen but probably more. Also there were at least 3 singing Corn Bunting here. It was really great to see the place so full of birds! A Little Owl was also seen in a nearby tree. These are birds I seem to be seeing less of unfortunatley. Some realy great birding today!
 
Friday 8th July
While at work I had good views of one of the christchurch Peregrines bringing prey back, and later on there were 8 Grey Herons on Dowdeswell reservoir.
 
Tuesday 5th July
The site has had some issues recently, being off air for a few days! Thankfully it is all sorted out now. I went for a good walk round Cleeve common yesterday and saw one Juvenile Stonechat with an adult, many Linnet with young seen, at least 20 Yellowhammer, 15 Skylark and 2 Tree Pipit with at least 8 Meadow Pipit displaying.
At Dowdeswell Reservoir today the highlights were a Green Sandpiper and a juvenile Water Rail. The water level is still dropping and the next rarity is surely around the corner. Also seen were the 2 adult and 3 juvenile Great Crested Grebe, 2 adult Little Grebe, 25 Mallard, Coot and Moorhen with young and 3 Tufted Duck. 3 Grey Heron and 2 Cormorant were also seen with one catching a carp.