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Wildlife in and around the city of Bristol

www.landcaretrees.co.uk

The birds of

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Gloucestershire

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March 2

  Dipper 31st

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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

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






Bristol and Avon Bird

Sightings

April 2013

Somerset Levels 15th April 2013

We went to the Somerset Levels to see if the Pied - billed Grebe showed any closer than last time and if the Hoopoe that was reported from Westhay the previous day was still about. We started at Catcott Lows to see what was there. Nothing much because flooded water on the field was nearly empty. There was a Little Egret, Teal, five Roe Deer and a Male Garganey asleep on the island, which never woke up during our visit. We went to Westhay near Honeygar Farm where the Hoopoe had been seen but by the time we got there unfortunately, it was gone. We only missed it by a few minutes and people were still looking for it but it was not relocated later in the day when we went back.  We went to Ham Wall RSPB Reserve first after we had a tip off  that the Pied - billed Grebe was showing well at the 2nd viewing platform, but by the time we got it there it had disappeared back into the reeds. We thought we might lose out again so we sat down to wait a while. After waiting for about an hour the Grebe reappeared and swam left and then swam back quite close to the bank. I spent a few minutes looking at the Grebe through my bins and I nearly forgot to photograph it at close range, then it disappeared back into the reedbed. There was also a brief view of a Bittern flying over the reeds (which I missed), and the Male Marsh Harrier made regular flight passes. We went to Shapwick to have a look at Noah’s Lake and saw huge flocks of Swallows and Sand Martins, and we were amazed to see a Swift amongst them. It seems early for a Swift, especially when lots of other migrants have been arriving late. There were a few Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps singing. We also heard Cetti’s, but didn’t see them. On the way back in the car, we saw a Buzzard perched near the road. We stopped to try to take a picture through the window, but he flew away. Lovely bird though.


Slimbridge 20th April 2013

We were going to go to Devon today, but Mum didn’t feel well and so we decided to go to Slimbridge instead as we knew that the Kingfishers were nest building at South Finger. The pair took it in turn digging inside the nest hole. It’s good to see that the Kingfishers seem to be trying to breed  here again. We saw them mating and the male bringing fish for the female. Hopefully, they will succeed and in a few weeks time there might be chicks. There were also Reed and Sedge Warbler along with Reed Bunting in the reedbeds. When we left South Finger we saw a Water Vole in the Dragonfly Pond. It kept collecting  bits of green reed and swimming back into the reedbed to eat them. We could just see him nibbling them, but he was keeping under cover. After a little while he swam away through the reeds. We went next to South Lake where there were loads of Arctic Terns flying around over the lake. A Great Crested Grebe swam past the hide in full Summer plumage.

We went to the Rushy Pen where we saw a 2nd Summer Mediterranean Gull present with loads of Black - headed Gulls. 2nd Summer Med Gulls are very similar to full breeding adults except for the black wing tips which the adults lack. It was a very nice bird to see. There were a couple of Common Sandpipers wandering along the edge of the water close to the hide. We went  to Martin Smith Hide to see what the Cranes were doing. They were not sitting on the nest today as they were bathing behind the reeds. It looks like they have moved their nest out of sight now as the nest we saw them sat on last time didn’t appear to being used now. At the Willow feeders there was a male Reed Bunting and a few Goldfinches but no Water Rail. At Robbie Garnett Hide there was a small flock of Black - tailed Godwits including a stunning Summer male which had a bad leg sadly. One of Cranes waded out into the water a couple of times for feeding and bathing. Rather annoyingly when we were in Robbie Garnett we heard the GCP Cranes calling but couldn't see them very well. Wrong place wrong time!  We went to look in the Knott Hide to see what Warblers were on view. There had been Reed, Willow, Sedge, Cetti's Warbler all singing in the reeds. We only saw a Sedge Warbler pottering along the fence line at the bottom. At the Holden Tower we saw another migrant Warbler species -  two Whitethroats flitting through the bushes. There were also a few more Arctic Terns flying around and perched on the bank and three more Cranes feeding on the Dumbles. We also saw a Peregrine and Sparrowhawk. We checked the Rushy Pen out again and there was loads of Black - headed Gulls but no sign of the 2nd Summer Mediterranean Gull. We saw a Gull sitting down on the grass which I think was a 1st Summer Med Gull.  We decided to  head  back  to South Finger to see the Kingfishers again. A Sparrowhawk flew though and the reaction of the Kingfisher was very strange. It kept an eye on it, but looked like it was ready to dive into the water if necessary. There was a Mallard drake sat on top of one of the Willow trees - very unusual. Meanwhile back on the Rushy Pen there were still plenty of Black - headed Gulls but no sign of any Med Gulls at all. A Geylag Goose pair with 5 Goslings swam across the pen to one of the islands. It had been a really good day and I saw lots of new migrants.

Swallow on wire

Buzzard flying off, Catcott

 Pied - billed Grebe  [Summer  Adult] ,Ham  Wall  RSPB  

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Greylag  Family swimming  at the Rushy

Whitethroat

Sedge Warbler in the reeds.

Reed Bunting [Male] Willow Hide

Common Sandpiper on passage

Med Gull [2nd Summer] and BHG.

Arctic Terns  flying  over South Lake

Water Vole in the Dragonfly pond

Great Crested Grebe [Summer Adult]

Kingfishers [Male giving fish to the  Female] South Finger

Kingfisher [Male on perch]

Kingfisher [Male ]

Common Cranes on the Tack Piece

Mediterranean Gull [1st Summer]

Slimbridge 7th April 2013
We went to Slimbridge to look for the Mediterranean Gulls that were seen the previous day displaying on the Rushy. There was no sign of them when we looked. We went to Martin Smith hide where the Coots were having a bit of a fight. The Cranes from the Great Crane Project were still putting on a show in the front of the hide. A Jackdaw was collecting a bit of nesting material in it's beak and looked like it had moustache. We went  to the Willow Hide where the Water Rail was still giving good close views and this time in brillant sunshine.  We saw the Cranes from the Robbie Garnett hide having  a little bit of a fight as one pair are trying to chase the other Female off. They flew to the Martin Smith so we went down to see them from there again.  There was a Common Snipe showing quite well feeding out in the open. We went to  the Ziess  Hide to see the Avocets. There were five birds on Bottom New Piece showing well, but very distant. We went to Kingfisher Hide where a Reed Bunting was feeding on the ground and two Stock Doves looking in holes for suitable nesting sites. We saw a Water Rail from the boardwalk. This one was behaving  like a wild Water  Rail and was very wary.  We went back to Martin Smith where the Cranes were at the nest site and one of the birds sat on the nest. When the Crane got off, a Coot would come over to pinch the nest. There were nine Cranes altogether from the Great Crane Project and after a good prolonged view they all flew away. Not long after we left Slimbridge there was a report on Twitter of a 2nd Summer Mediterranean Gull at South Lake. Drat!

Water Rail very close at the Willow Hide at times

Coots fighting in front of Martin Smith

Jackdaw with a Moustache

Common Snipe, Martin Smith Hide

Stock Dove with Woodpigeon

Water Rail from the boardwalk

Common Crane on the nest

Common Cranes on the Tack Piece

Common Crane, Martin Smith Hide

Cranes taking off  

Common  Snipe, Martin Smith Hide

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Forest of Dean 6th April 2013

We went to the Forest of Dean to see the Garganey which is a summer visitor from Africa. We started at Cannop Ponds where a few Chiffchaffs were flitting from branch to branch.  There was also a Goldcrest briefly as well. There were four Garganey present at Cannop, three Males and a Female.  There was also a bit of displaying from the Males. It was exellent to see the Garganeys up close and in good sunlight. The usual water birds at Cannop were there including a pair of Mandarin Ducks. We then went for walk at Nagshead but nothing much around.  We went to Woorgreens to look and listen for Willow Tit like last year but no sign. We saw more Garganey on the lake, this time two Females and one Male. This Male Garganey didn't need to display because there's no rival male.  We went to Speech House to see what was feeding on the log. There was a Blackbird, Dunnock, Blue Tit and two Nuthatches. We finshed with looking for Hawfinches at Parkend Church, but all we saw was a Robin, two more Nuthatches and a  Carrion Crow on the church spire.

Chiffchaff, Cannop Ponds

Chiffchaff

Mandarin Duck [Pair]

Garganey [Pair]

Garganey [Female]  flapping

Garganey [Male]

Nuthatch in tree

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Chew and Salisbury 23rd April 2013

We were on our way to Salisbury to see the Great Bustards. We went to look for the Woodchat Shrike at North Widcombe near Chew Valley Lake. This 1st Summer Female was hunting bees near one of the headges and gave excellent views on one of the bramble branches.

We went via Westbury Hill to see the White Horse. We also went to look at Stonehenge from the road as it was on our way.

In the Afternoon we went to look at the Great Bustards with the Bustard Group on Salisbury Plain. The birds were in release pen when we saw them from the hide but they do go further afield.
The male started to display first of all but not much. The male Great Bustards show bright white feathers around the front of their face and tail feathers fanned out like a Capercaillie and Peacock when they go into full display. In the enclosure were a pair of Stone Curlews that were probably nesting there as there were no predators. On our way back across the plain we spotted two more Great Bustards which were both males. These two birds had tag numbers on them which said Purple 5 and Pink 2.

On the way home we stopped at Caen Hill Locks at Devises.