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Wildlife in and around the city of Bristol

The birds of



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Scotland & North east

Scotland - Cairngorms

April 2










Bird Fair



Scotland - Mull

Scotland - Cairngorms





February 1

January 2

January 1


December 2

December 1












March 2

  Dipper 31st

  Chew 30th

  Slimbridge 29th

March 1

  Aust 23d

  Giltar Point 16th

  London WWT 15th

  Durham Downs 12th

  Slimbridge 8th

  Great Barrington/Hawling 1st

February 2

  Chipping Sodbury 26th

  Forest of Dean 22nd

  Kent 14th-16th

February 1

  Marshfield Aust 10th

  Marshfield 4th

  Aust 3rd

  Forest of Dean 2nd

  Slimbridge 1st


  Forest Farm 20th

  Chew 19th

  Exe 12th



  Brixham Broadsands 29th

  Portland 27th

  Severn Beach Slimbridge 14th

  Science Park 3rd

  Somerset Levels 2nd


  Chew 18th

  Slimbridge 10th

  Newport Wetlands 9th

  Westonbirt 7th


  Berkeley Blagdon Chew 7th

Bay of Biscay


  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


  Daneway Banks 30th

  Slimbridge 29th

  Aylesbeare Common 8th

  Slimbridge 3rd



  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


March 1

  Garden Birds

  Portishead 18th

  Slimbridge 11th

  Portishead 4th

  Quedgeley, CWP 3rd

  Forest of Dean 2nd



  Aust 27th

  Cheltenham Diver 10th

  RSPB Criuse, Exe 9th


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

Bristol and Avon Bird


Norfolk 2nd - 5th February 2013

02/02/13  Lakenheath/Thetford/Cley

We went to Norfolk this weekend for a belated birthday treat. The weather had been too bad to go on my birthday. We stopped at RSPB Lakenheath Fen for the toilets and watched some of the birds on the feeders. Mum saw a Lesser Redpoll on one of them, but by the time I got back from the toilet it was gone. The Reed Buntings were feeding on the feeders as well as on the ground but the Redpoll didn't come back sadly. We then went to Thetford to look for a special bird, the Black - bellied Dipper which had been present since about November. This was a very easy bird to spot because some people were already watching the bird through their telescope. This is a race closely related to the Common Dipper but breeds in North West France and Northern Europe. In Britain we see them as a regular winter visitor chiefly in Norfolk.  The crown is also a little bit darker than the Common Dipper. As we were going through Fakenham, a Barn Owl flew over the road and into a field. We turned the car round and drove back to the field, but there was no sign of it, so it must have carried on. We then continued our journey to our B&B in Cley via the Chip Shop.  We dropped our cases off before going out for a quick look around before it got dark. At Cley we saw hundreds of Brent Geese but no Pink - footed Geese. Two Marsh Harriers were also quartering the reeds. We went to Salthouse to look for Snow Buntings but all we saw that evening was a couple of Turnstones.

We went to the RSPB  Titchwell Marsh to see what was about. In the new hide there was a Black  - tailed Godwit with a couple of Avocets behind and one was asleep nearby. One of the Avocets was feeding on other side of the hide sweeping the bill from side to side in search of crustaceans. Suddenly a Chinese Water Deer walked out of the reeds for short while  before disappearing back into the reeds. Then after a couple of minutes it walked back out into the open. It didn’t seem to like being out in the open so it ran quickly across to the reeds on other side. It was good prolonged view of a Chinese Water Deer because the last one I saw at Cley in 2008  was short and brief.  This Deer had a damaged ear and back but was feeding alright, perhaps it had been in a fight with another buck. This is the only member of the deer family that has tusks instead of antlers and uses them in the rutting season. It wasn’t just the Deer that was being very obliging, we noticed in front of us was a Spotted Redshank. We then went to the beach where there  were loads of birds including Gulls, Sanderlings, Ringed Plover, Knot, Mediterranean Gull and possibly Purple Sandpiper. A Peregrine flew past and not hunting for birds. A flock of Twite flew past twice but very moblie. We saw a Female Long - tailed Duck on one of the lakes on our way back to the visitor centre and it stood up to have quick stretch before flying out to sea. We went back to Choseley Barn to look for the Partridges again after we had tip off about some Grey Partridge being there. We saw a Red-legged and two Grey Partridges by the barn for quite a while feeding. It was getting quite dark now, so it was a bit tricky taking photos. Further down the road we saw some Brown Hares sitting and running. Shame we hadn’t them earlier in the day when the light was better. We stopped in Wells to have supper and then went back to our B&B, Cookes of Cley, for the evening.

We were on our to Hickling when I spotted a pair of Egyptian Geese which are common in East Anglia, but these were the first we’d seen this weekend. At Hickling Green we saw another pair of Eygptian Geese. Hickling Broad was very quiet. We only saw one Redshank from the hides. We were walking to Stubb Mill, when we spotted a Kestrel on one of the trees. I could hear a Blue Tit in the bushes, so perhaps it was waiting for it to break cover. It didn’t like us looking at it, so it flew away. We went to Stubb Mill Raptor viewpoint to see whether the Common Cranes would come in to roost. There were lots of Marsh Harriers flying around with something like 40+ birds altogether. A couple of Hen Harriers were flying around and the male perched on the ground for a while before taking off.  A Merlin was perched in a tree near a Marsh Harrier.  We saw a Wren hopping in between  the grass stems near the watchpoint. As the evening grew darker a herd of Red Deer ventured into view and a Chinese Water Deer, the second for us this holiday, ran across and through the gap in the fence. When I first saw it I thought it was a Brown Hare by the way it was running. Sadly no Cranes flew in to roost that evening but there had been 12 reported the previous evening along with two Barn Owls. We didn’t see any Barn Owls tonight but saw a couple of Woodcock fly over. It was dark now and we were the only left at the watchpoint. The Cranes had been known to come in after dark, but we thought there was not much point if we couldn’t see them. We made our way back along the muddy path to the car. Luckily, we had our wellies on as there were a lot of deep puddles and you certainly need a torch!

We went to the  RSPB Reserve at  Minsmere in Suffolk to see what was there. Some hides were closed because of the recent flooding and some of the paths were impassable. We saw a Tree Creeper and a Siskin along with some small birds. We went to the Bittern Hide to see if the Bittern was on show. During the time we were there, two Bitterns flew past the hide, but disappeared from view into the reeds. We then went to Island Mere where an Otter had been showing up to about 12:00 but we missed it and it didn’t show while we were there. We saw more Marsh Harriers and two Bewick's Swans. On the way to the next hide we saw a Rabbit in some good winter light and a Jay briefly in a tree. We went to North Hide to see if the Smew was there. There were two Redhead females and one was quite close to the hide. It also rested on the island. We went back to the visitor centre and to the cafe for a cuppa and watched a cheeky Magpie feeding on the feeder and the others were doing hummingbird impressions.  The Grey Squirrels were chasing each other as well. Back in the Car Park we were packing our things away for the journey home, when I spotted some deer behind the fence. A herd of Red Deer started to walk out along the bank behind the Visitor Centre grazing on the grass and some fed on the Gorse. Near the village of Westleton there was a Muntjac buck in a field which seemed happy to pose in the fading light. We left it there as we had a four hour journey ahead of us. We hadn’t been going very long before it started to snow. The shower turned into a blizzard, and it was quite scary as we were not the main road yet and these roads hadn’t been gritted. Eventually we got to the A14 and the snow gradually turned to rain the further west we got. We got home quite late because of the weather, but it had been a great weekend. In total we saw 97 species which helped bump my year list up a bit.

Reed Bunting [Male]

Black - bellied Dipper

Black - bellied Dipper

Black - bellied Dipper

03/02/13 Salthouse/Holkham/Titchwell

We went back to Salthouse  to look for the Snow Buntings but no sign. Loads of Turnstones and a flock of Black - headed Gulls. Also present with the Black - headed Gulls was a solitary Common Gull. Near Holkham we spotted two Red Kites flying around one of the fields. On the way to Titchwell we went to look at Choseley Barns to see if there were any Partridges. We saw loads of small birds such as Yellowhammers, Corn Buntings, Chaffinchs, Goldfinchs and a flock of Bramblings which I have never seen so many of in my life, so that was pretty special indeed.

Brambling Flock

Red Kite

Brambling [Male]

Chinese Water Deer [Male]

Long - tailed Duck [Female]

Spotted Redshank

Grey Partridges

Brown Hare


04/02/13 Salthouse/Cley/Stubb Mill

We went back to Salthouse to look for the Snow Buntings. There were still Turnstones about but 4 Snow Buntings turned up, which was a very small number compared with 2011. However it was better than no Buntings at all.


Snow Bunting [Male]

Snow Bunting [Male]

We went to Cley to get our permit to walk around, but there were not many birds about. We saw some Brent Geese, which breed in the High Arctic. We saw only two Pink - footed Geese feeding by themselves in a field. We went to Bishop's Hide where we saw the Chinese Water Deer in 2008 but now, in Winter Golden Plovers were mixed in with the Lapwings in the stunning sunshine. We were just about to go when a female Marsh Harrier flew quite close past the hide. We also saw a male Marsh Harrier a couple of mintues later.

Pink - footed Geese

Marsh Harrier [Female]

Brent Geese


Kestrel [Female]

Egyptian Goose

Marsh Harriers very distant (16)

Stubb Mill, Hickling

05/02/13 Salthouse/Minsmere

Our last day in Norfolk begins at Salthouse with a final look at the Snow Buntings. This time there were 5 birds on the shingle and they brillantly camouflaged. A Skylark is an unusual bird to see on the beach but this one was present with the Turnstone flock.

Snow Bunting [Male]


Marsh Harrier [Female]  

Smew [Redhead  Female]

Cheeky Magpie on the feeder

Muntjac Buck

Red Deer Hinds

View from the Bittern Hide