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  Chipping Sodbury 26th

  Forest of Dean 22nd

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February 1

  Marshfield Aust 10th

  Marshfield 4th

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  Forest of Dean 2nd

  Slimbridge 1st

January

  Forest Farm 20th

  Chew 19th

  Exe 12th


2013

December

  Brixham Broadsands 29th

  Portland 27th

  Severn Beach Slimbridge 14th

  Science Park 3rd

  Somerset Levels 2nd

November

  Chew 18th

  Slimbridge 10th

  Newport Wetlands 9th

  Westonbirt 7th

October

  Berkeley Blagdon Chew 7th

Bay of Biscay

September

  Blagdon 28th

  Devon 14th

  Dorset 2nd

August 2

  Slimbridge and Pensile Hill

  Hawk Conservancy 22nd

Bird Fair

August 1

  Slimbridge 11th

  Fontell and Alners Gorse 10th

July 2

  West Yatton Down 28th

  Heddon Valley 21st

  Wales 15th

  Savernake 14th

  Inglestone 13th

July 1

  Inglestone 8th

  Lizard Orchid 2th

  Forest of Dean 1st

Skomer June

June

  Daneway Banks 30th

  Slimbridge 29th

  Aylesbeare Common 8th

  Slimbridge 3rd

Scotland

April

  Chew & Salisbury 23rd

  Slimbridge 20th

  Somerset Levels 15th

  Slimbridge 7th

  Forest of Dean 6th

March 3

  Blagdon Lake 31st

  Marshfield 30th

March 2

  Blagdon Lake

  Slimbridge

March 1

  Garden Birds

  Portishead 18th

  Slimbridge 11th

  Portishead 4th

  Quedgeley, CWP 3rd

  Forest of Dean 2nd

Dorset

February

  Aust 27th

  Cheltenham Diver 10th

  RSPB Criuse, Exe 9th

Norfolk

January 2

  Slimbridge 26th & 27th

  Garden 21st

  Slimbridge 21st

  Yate/Waxwings 19th

  Garden 18th

January 1

  Garden Sparrowhawk 8th

  Portishead & Chew 7th

  Slimbridge 2nd

  Cheltenham & Highnam 1st






Archive 2007

Berkeley Deer Park

30.09.07

On Sunday after lunch, we went to Berkeley Deer Park.   It was the first time that Dad had been there. It was a lovely sunny afternoon and the dragonflies were making the most out of the last of the summer.   We saw Common Darter and Emperor chasing each other and some were laying their eggs in the pond.   I managed to take a few pictures of the Common Darter. There was not very much bird life about except for a   Green Woodpecker who flew off as soon as he saw us. There were lots of Fallow Deer   nearby and it was surprising to see the different colours.   Some were very pale and others quite dark, as well as the usual spotted ones. They started to slink away as we got nearer.   I had some good views of them as they ran right past us.   We walked down a bit further and saw a big   herd of Red Deer running down to the other end of the park.   We followed them quietly and they settled down after a while and we were able to watch them, but kept their eyes on us too.


Somerset Railway and Steart Point

07.10.07

On Sunday we went to the West Somerset Railway Autumn Steam Gala. We went to Williton.   As soon as we got there, the first two locos to pass through   were GWR locos 5553 and 3440 City of Truro who waited for the up train   from Minehead to pass.
This was LMS 42968,visiting from the Severn Valley Railway.  Unfortunately,   it   was tender first as it passed the double header down to Bishops Lydeard.
After the two set of trains passed through successfully we went to Williton Depot. I   went into the cab of class 5600 prairie tank 6695 on loan from Swanage Railway   but came to the WSR   for some TLC work on the wheels and the bunker before being transferred back to it's home base. In front was Fowler 4F 44422 which normally resides at East Lancashire Railway,   but resident 4MT 2-6-4T 80136 was withdrawn   after the Spring Steam Gala this year. A replacement loco was needed and the 4F was called in to remain at Minehead until the end of 2008. Also, outside the shed   was class 14 D9526 which   was in action for a new event this year Somerset in the Autumn. On the low loader was GWR pannier tank 6412, which had just got back from the Nene Valley Railway, it also has been on loan.  

After the two set of trains passed through successfully we went to Williton Depot. I   went into the cab of class 5600 prairie tank 6695 on loan from Swanage Railway   but came to the WSR   for some TLC work on the wheels and the bunker before being transferred back to it's home base. In front was Fowler 4F 44422 which normally resides at East Lancashire Railway,   but resident 4MT 2-6-4T 80136 was withdrawn   after the Spring Steam Gala this year. A replacement loco was needed and the 4F was called in to remain at Minehead until the end of 2008. Also, outside the shed   was class 14 D9526 which   was in action for a new event this year Somerset in the Autumn. On the low loader was GWR pannier tank 6412, which had just got back from the Nene Valley Railway, it also has been on loan.  

The next train passing Williton is 4160 which return to service in 2006. Heading the other   way comes one of 2-8-0s,this one being 3850 which was seen passing 4160 and 3802 in new GWR livery from the Llangollen Railway.

A little later we saw 42968 arriving with 7F 88.

Coming from Minehead was City of   Truro again with another prairie tank 6619 from North Yorkshire Moors Railway has been visiting other railways including the Severn Valley Railway, after the two double headers left we headed for Dunster just as we were about to pass through Washford we saw 42968 and 88 en route to Minehead  I was on embankment when the pair set off   for Minehead before we left, there was time for quick look at Klimersdon built at Bristol in 1929.

By   the time we got to Dunster the same doubleheader was leaving yet again for Minehead. In the yard opposite the platform was the Terrier 662 Martello from Bressingham Museum.

Afterwards we went to Steart   Point. We walked along by the reed beds towards the hides, a family of Stonechats were in amongst the reeds and a female Pintail was just offshore with some Shelduck. A few Common Darters were basking in late afternoon sunshine. From the hides we could see all up the coast and over to Wales. There were hundreds of Shelducks some Grey Plover and Dunlin and twenty or so Little Egrets. From one of the hides overlooking a small pool I was able to take some pictures of a Grey Heron and Dabchicks.


Westonbirt

22.10.07

We caught the Tetbury bus to Westonbirt, and It felt so autumnal. It was very busy there with people looking at all the Autumn colours. We didn't see much wildlife,but lots of trees with their leaves falling off. We went to the educational centre bird hide, where they have some feeders and we popped in and saw a few birds. Blue Tits, Great Tits, Coal Tits and best of all, the one bird I was most anxious to photograph, a lovely bird called a Nuthatch, who kept appearing on the feeder.   Down on the ground I saw a tiny creature called a Bank Vole who was picking up bits off the ground as well as the birds. The Robin   unfortunately didn't come to the feeder at the time we were there , but I did manage to catch it earlier in the day, singing on a post near the plant centre in Silkwood.

We went to look at some feeders the RSPB had put up by the Craft Shelter in Silkwood. When we got there I expected to see a Great  Spotted Woodpecker, and if I was really lucky, a Lesser Spotted too.  But I didn't see either. Instead I saw another Nuthatch on the stump and up in the tree, supported by the appearance of a Coal Tit and a Marsh/Willow Tit. While   we were still looking and waiting for a Woodpecker to show itself.   I went to explore and took a picture of a tree in its autmumn colours. I didn't even realise until I got back home that evening that the Redwing was in that tree. Sadly no Woodpeckers.

Prehaps one day   I'll see Lesser - spotted, when will that be? Who knows. By the way the Fungi by the Silkwood feeding station were superbly excellent.


Radipole

23.10.07

We went by coach to Weymouth   to have another look around Radipole Lake. When we first got there we saw lots of Cormorants opposite the Visitor Centre.Then we had a look round the reserve searching for Cetti's Warbler and Bearded Tit, so far nothing. Then we came to a small bridge over   the river leading into the lake. There were Coots and Mallards but I was surprised to see a close view of a Great Crested Grebe in winter plumage, which I manged to get great shots of. Then we went to the North Hide to see what was there. There were Shelducks, Little Egret, quite a few Grey Herons, and few Teal.

I was hoping to see an adult Water Rail,   but did it show itself?  Unfortunately   not.   But when walking back to   theVisitor Centre we heard this squealing sound like a pig   and we were wondering   at the time is that a Moorhen being attacked or the sound   his relative, the Water Rail? We   started to make our way to the Visitor Centre.  Just as walked over the bridge a Carrion Crow was perched in a tree. He seemed quite happy having his photograph taken and stayed there quite still while I took a few. But   enough about   crows. You're not going to like   this, but this is really   bad   news for the RSPB and very   bad news for the birds including Bearded Tits   and Cetti's Warblers. Rats!   We saw quite a few run across the paths of the reserve.   If a rat takes one of the chicks in the springtime, either Bearded or Cetti's, that would be one less of the population, not good!

The problem we understand is the fact that people like to feed the ducks and of course, rats being opportunists, take advantage of this situation and have thrived. What the solution is, I do not know.

Quite a dilemma!


Brandon Hill

26.10.07

We went into   Bristol today and got a bus to Clifton. We   walked up to Brandon Hill on the way we heard a sound of a wren in the bush. Then it flew out briefly.

We had a good view of Grey Squirrels and fed them with monkey nuts.   We put the bag down on the ground and let them help themselves to the nuts. But one of them did'nt just take one, he took two at once. I called him Greedy the squirrel because he was being a pig. We also kept throwing a nut down for the Jay who kept showing his face a couple of times while we were there.

We saw a Robin briefly just after we arrived and also a   Blackbird. When we were feeding the Jay, two greedy Magpies took the nuts that was going to be for the Jay.  

Then we went to look at the tower. On the way there, by   the waterfalls we saw a couple Long-tailed-Tits and a Great Tit.

We ran into the Jay again just as when we were about to leave.

We had some very close views as it kept hopping along the wall. We threw it some monkey nuts and watched it hiding them in the grass like the squirrels do.

As we were leaving I tried to feed a squirrel, but it kept running around the tree. I think it was playing peek-a-boo with me. We finished the monkey nuts up on some more squirrels and watched them bury them in the autumn leaves.

The sun was starting to go down and it was getting cold, so it was time to go home.


Slimbridge

30.10.07

We went to Slimbridge today.

But before we did, I took some pictures of the autumn leaves outside our house. When we arrived the first birds I saw were Moorhen and a Coot. When   we actually got in we had a good look around we saw a juvenile moorhen, and   lots of Woodpigeons in various places. Also we saw a Buzzard perched on the tree.

We went to one of the hides and saw Canada Geese, Barnacle Geese, a couple of Wigeon and a few Teal. Onthe way back we saw a Grey Squirrel, Blue Tit and Great Tit. We saw a Redwing as well. It was a lovely sunset and at South Finger a rabbit popped his head up. We saw two Grey Herons in different places. At the South Lake Hide I saw my first wild male Pintail. At Swan Lake there were   Bewick's Swans as well as Pochard. The wildlife around here is truely amazing, that's why I like Slimbridge a lot because there's always going to be wildlife there.    

 

Slimbridge

20-12-07

We went to Slimbridge again later in the year and we saw different birds this time we saw the Grey Wagtail down by the water's edge. If you are wondering why I haven't got photos on this one my fingers were cold. Once again we saw a Wood Pigeon walking on the ground and also a nice close up of a Moorhen originally known as a Waterhen  showing off it's red and yellow bill. A similar close up of a Coot with a white bill to compare the difference to the bill of a Moorhen. There was only one problem no Bittern showing nor even a Cetti's Warbler when came out the Zeiss Hide we found a little Robin perched in the tree,on the ground,and on the post and also the Blackbird on the ground as well. The winter plumage Black- Headed Gull was perched on a different perch. We heading back to the car when I stopped to photograph a pair of Jackdaws.

Due to space limitations I have had to archive the older blogs and leave out the photos.