SIGHTINGS - November - December 2011


Sunday 25th December

MERRY CHRISTMAS one and all.

Friday 23nd December

Two Lesser Redpoll in the garden today on the niger feeder. Also seen was a Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admira!

Monday 19th December

A Little Owl was seen up our field today. They used to be seen regularly but this is the first seen in a long time.

Friday 16th December

I tracked down the Crossbill at Dowdeswell wood again today. A flock of 11-12 birds were preening high in a tree. It is all about hearing that call. Although obvious and noisy when the flock gets up, they do give a few notes when perched and flitting in a tree and its just a case of listening for the call and scanning.

Wednesday 14th December

A real result at Dowdeswell wood this afternoon when 6 Crossbill were seen feeding in Larch trees. 3 males and 3 females. Great birds and showing very well. Also 12-15 Siskin and a Kingfisher seen.

Sunday 11th December

A Crossbill circled twice overhead at Dowdeswell reservoir today calling.

Saturday 10th December

A Nuthatch in the garden today coming to the sunflower feeder. An unusual visitor.

Friday 9th December

The TEMMINCK's STINT showed briefly for us at Shorncote at the CWP today and a good flock of starling were displaying over head.

Wednesday 7th December

We have recently bought a new camera trap and have been playing with that recently. Here is one of our first photos from the garden. This cheeky Fox was finishing off some chicken. 2 Marsh Tit and increasing numbers of Goldfinch and Chaffinch are visiting the garden. 

Sunday 4th December

A chilly walk around Witcombe Reservoir produced a selection of wildfowl including 4 Teal, 4 Pochard and 10-12 Tufted Duck. 6 Great Crested Grebe were seen along with 2 Little Grebe with 4 Cormorant and 2 Grey Heron also noted. A Chiffchaff was seen well feeding around the derelict house.

Friday 2nd December 

There were 2 Bullfinch in the garden with 5 Goldfinch and a record 9 Collared Dove. Up the field 2 Goldcrest showed well. The Cetti's Warbler again on the edge of the reedbed at Dowdeswell Reservoir.

Tuesday 29th November

A cracking male Bullfinch in the garden early morning with 2 Marsh Tits, 3-5 Goldfinch and a single Lesser Redpoll with a male Great Spotted Woodpecker a regular at the moment. The Bullfinch has odd white scaly legs. It seems finches are becoming more prone to issues with their legs with it regularly seen in Chaffinch. A crafty Grey Heron has been making the most of a neighbours pond recently.


Wednesday 23rd November

At Dowdeswell Reservoir this afternoon a Cetti's Warbler. It was just doing the very start of its call and after a bit of a wait I finally got good views of the bird feeding low in the shorter reeds and grasses. It never produced its full explosive call. Seeing a rare, new bird is great but seeing a new bird on the patch is extra special. Some of the best views I have had of this species. At least 18 Reed Bunting came in to roost while I was there.

Sunday 20th November

Greg and I went down to Chew Valley for a look at their selection of rarities today and we weren't disappointed. We watched the SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER with the Dunlin flock and although it was always distant it did show well enough to see all the defining features. A smart wader. We also saw the long staying LONG BILLED DOWITCHERS again at range but their size and huge bill were obvious. We had a brief view of the SPOTTED SANDPIPER and a distant GREY PHALAROPE before heading for home. Not a bad selection of birds!

The Sharpie

Long billed Dowitchers

Saturday 19th November

News of 6 Waxwing at Pittville was a nice surprise but I didn't know exactly where they were seen and after a walk around gave up. Later at Dowdeswell the SCAUP was still showing very well in the afternoon sun.

Friday 18th November

It was a nice surprise when I found out that 2 SNOW BUNTING were at Leckhampton Hill. When I got there I found one feeding on the path showing typically well! Lovely birds. The dog walkers were tripping over it!

Later 2 Short-eared Owls and a Barn Owl were at Hawling.


A photo of the Dowdeswell SCAUP from a few days ago.

The Great Grey Shrike from Cleeve Common.

There was a problem with the rest of the 2011 sightings which is currently being sorted out. The page has broken and I am struggling to get it back!

November 5th 2011

Today Greg and I took a trip up to Attenborough NR in Nottinghamshire to see the SQUACCO HERON. The bird didn't disapoint and we watched it catching fish with ease for an hour or so. An amazing bird giving brilliant views. A cracker! We also saw 2 Egyptian Goose, a Kingfisher and a skien of around 150 Pink-footed Goose with lots of Pochard and 3 Goldeneye with the usual winter wildfowl.

After this we headed to The Wall in Shropshire for the STEPPE GREY SHRIKE. It was at range when we first arrived but came close enough to see all its defining features. An interesting bird, its always a treat to watch a Shrike!

Friday 4th November

A male Ring Ouzel this evening in the valley above the washpool feeding on worms.