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Wildlife in and around the city of Bristol

www.landcaretrees.co.uk

The birds of

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Camargue

April

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

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

Wildlife in the Forest of Dean

Bob Bushell’s Wildlife
Photography

We went up to Scotland for a week. We stopped off at Leighton Moss to see what was there. The resident population of Black - headed Gulls have taken over the reserve from Lillian's Hide and started to take over the lake at Tim Jackson Hide where we saw a couple of Red Deer sitting on the edge of the reedbed. On the way to the hide we saw two Pheasants about to have a fight but never really got going. Also saw a Blue Tit with a yellow face. At the Grizedale Hide there was a Coot which kept chasing a Moorhen and at one time had a go at one of the Gadwall. There was a few more Gadwalls, Teal and Black - headed Gulls including one bird on the back of another Gull. Saw a pair of  Greylag Geese were defending their Goslings in aggressive displays towards a pair of Canada Geese. There were loads of Wood Anemone in full flower around the reserve and a few fungi such as this Scarlet Elf Cup. There was not many birds on the feeders as they are in the middle of building the new garden. The birds of note were Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Mallard, Blue, Great, Coal and Marsh Tit but no Bullfinch this time. We went to look at the new Allen's and Eric Morecambe Hides. At the Allen's Hide were quite a number of Black - headed Gulls and a few Avocets. We moved on to Eric Morecambe Hide to see more Avocets very close to the hide. The Oystercatchers were nesting on a small island and far side of the lake. The male was chasing the Gulls in defence. There were loads of Godwits which were mainly Black - tailed and a few Bar - tailed were mixed in with Dunlin, Knot, Ruff and a solitary Curlew Sandpiper. One of the Black - tailed Godwits in breeding plumage was present near the colony of Black - headed Gulls. We went to Walton Crag to look for Peregrine Falcons and we saw two birds flying and perched on the rocks. On a small nest not far from the Peregrines were two Juvenile Ravens.  We headed off to our B&B north of Carnforth.

We continued our journey into Scotland, stopping off at the RSPB Loch Leven Reserve to look on the feeders. There was a few bird feeding from Siskins to House Sparrows. There was a bright red Male Lesser Redpoll feeding with the other Finches but disappeared when somebody walked past and was not seen again.

We went to Loch of Lowes to see Lady the female Osprey. We saw another Male Lesser Redpoll on the feeder which  wasn't as bright red as the last one. Lady was hunkered on the nest most of the time and we couldn't see her from the hide until Laddie  swapped places so that she could go and feed. Even he hunkered down in the nest out of view. There was plenty of Swallows, Sand and House Martins flying over the loch. Two Reed Buntings were  flitting below in front of the Hide. There was also  Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff  flitting about in the reeds. We saw the Lesser Redpoll on and around the feeders but was very mobile.

When  we arrived at Nethybridge in the evening Stewart and Janet told us that the Pine Marten came at 20:00 the previous evening. At 19.30 while we were unpacking the Pine Marten made an appearance on the shelf with the raisins before making it's way towards the peanut feeder. We opened the door and it didn’t seem to worry about us and it stayed there for a few minutes before disappearing back into the forest.

In the morning we were greeted by the Red Squirrel on the peanut feeder which seemed to be able to smell that the Pine Marten was using it's  feeder and was checking for unusual scent. We had a Male Great Spotted Woodpecker feeding close to the window for a few minutes unfortunately doing a annoying trick of hiding round the back. We went to the RSPB  Loch Garten to see EJ and Odin. In the car park was a very shy Mistle Thrush bathing in a puddle but sadly didn't stay long. On the feeders near the Osprey Centre were Siskins and Chaffinches and other common birds including another Great Spotted Woodpecker. Like at Loch of the Lowes the Ospreys were hunkered down in the nest until Odin came in with a fish and EJ flew of to eat it out of sight. Back in the car park a Willow Warbler was singing high the tree. On the shores of Loch Garten a Common Sandpiper bravely braced the waves of the choppy waters whipped up by the wind. Then up to Cairngorm to view the Reindeer herd from the layby. It was even more windy up there, so we didn’t stay long. We went to Broomhill Station on the Strathspey Railway to see two trains passing through. The first one was hauled by 17 Brearaich which we saw departing  first for Aviemore. We followed it down to Boat of Garten where another train crossed with 46512 EV Cooper Engineer arriving from Aviemore. The engine was heading tender first to Broomhill. We saw it depart southwards from the station. We went to Grantown to get some chips and ate them by the Spey where there was a Common Sandpiper as well as Pied Wagtail and Black - headed Gull. A Oystercatcher was on a stone briefly before flying up river. We went for a drive around some moorland near Nethybridge where we saw some Curlew, Mountain Hare and a Short - eared Owl  hunting before it started to rain. A pair of Male Pheasants were fighting in the road back to Nethybridge until we came along and they had to move to the side.

That broke the fight up!


In the morning we were greeted again by the delightful Red Squirrel on the feeder and also lots of birds were feeding on the feeders as well. We went to Lochindorb where we had our first Grouse encounter, which was Red Grouse and they were very territorial and calling from all points of the compass.  We saw a Red - throated Diver on the loch which normally would have Black - throated Divers but still it was nice to see.  We saw two Wheatears by the road including a smart male.  One Red Grouse showed well close to the road and ran across to the other side. We went to Strathdearn  but didn't see anything until we were on the Farr Road and couple of Roe Deer were in the woods which were very difficult to see. We went over the top through another moorland scene and saw more Red Grouse and Wheatear.  Further down the road we saw a pair of Red - legged Partridges in a field near Farr.  On the way to Loch Dantelchaig we saw some Hooded Crows  in a field overlooking Loch Ruthven. On the way down to Ruthven was a Curlew feeding in the field by the road. We went to RSPB Loch Ruthven to see the Slavonian Grebes but they too distant to photograph still a cracking bird though also saw a pair of Black - throated Divers briefly before flying down the loch.  We usually see Red-throated Divers here. They all seemed to have swapped lochs! We went to a talk by Roy Dennis this evening at Boat of Garten. Dad dropped us off and the Pine Marten must have come while he was gone as the raisins had been

eaten.


As the weather forecast said it was going to be a nice sunny day we decided to go to Troup Head. RSPB Troup Head reserve is home to Scotland's only mainland Gannet colony. There were Kittiwakes, Fulmars, Razorbills, Guillemots and Herring Gulls nesting on the cliff as well. But the star bird we came to see was the Gannet. There was large colonies of Gannets which choose to nest on the edges of the cliff, just out of pecking reach of each other. A Great Skua or Bonxie as it's also known, seemed to be trying to take a fish from a Gannet but it was unsuccessful. There must a been a shoal of fish, as more Gannets started diving into the water and the Bonxie swam further away. There was a Skylark performing a song flight and Meadow Pipits were flying and perched on fence posts. Even one Sea Pink was in full flower on the cliff. We walked further along to look for Puffins, but could not see many nesting yet. On the way back to the car park we saw a Meadow Pipit and a female Wheatear. We went on a quest to look for Black Guillemot and we tried at Gardenstown where we saw three Common Eiders on the coast. Futher along we saw a Meadow Pipit drinking out of puddle but unfortunately when I got the camera ready it had finished.  Near Tomintoul we saw a Brown Hare and 6 Roe Deer but no Black Grouse lekking that evening, just one flying over the road.

The Pine Marten paid another visit tonight, but it was dark so no photo.


We went for an early morning bird at Tulloch Moor where there is a viewing screen to see Black Grouse. We didn’t see any lekking but did see one on a small tree. We walked down a track where we heard a cuckoo calling and managed to see it perched in a distant tree.  On the way back to the chalet for breakfast we stopped to see a Roe Deer Doe.  But breakfast had to wait because as we were heading back through the Abernethy Forest, we had a very good view of a Male Capercaillie displaying, at 10:00 in the morning!  If I have  a favourite highlight of this holiday and it would be the Capercaillie. There could have been a female somewhere around as he kept jumping and making a wonderful sound. Later, we went back  to Loch Garten to see EJ and Odin who just brought a fish for EJ. She took it and flew off to a hidden perch. It was up to Odin to look after the nest. Meanwhile back at the car park Dad was watching a Crested Tit at the feeder. Grr! Fortunately, after a few minutes waiting it came back very briefly before flying off again. We did see another one near Forest Lodge and Redstart which I missed.  It was 18:00 in the evening and the Capercaillie was still displaying  in the fading daylight. A bit worrying! We headed back to the chalet for the night.


We didn’t see the Capercaillie any more, so hopefully he went deep into the forest. We went to Loch Garten to look for the Crested Tit again and it showed briefly at 10:30 but I just missed it. I was looking at an Osprey flying over the car park. The Osprey flew over the loch away from us. The usual Common Sandpiper by the shore. We went to Strathdearn to look for Golden Eagles but we had a rarity to the valley: a White - tailed Eagle being mobbed by Common Buzzards.  It had yellow wingtags on it. We also saw a Mountain Hare and a herd of Red Deer on the way. We always see a herd of Wild Goats in the Findhorn Valley. On our way back through the valley we spotted a 2nd Mountain Hare with a Brown Hare in the same place. We saw a Common Sandpiper briefly before flying off. Two Wild Goats were practising their rutting stands for the Autumn. We passed a Deer Park with a herd of Red Deer. These were captive Deer compared with two others we saw further up the road which no doubt were wild. On our to Grantown we stopped at Loch Pityoulish and saw a Osprey en route to the Fish Farm. It’s also home to a few Cormorants. On our way through Broomhill we spotted 3 Roe Deer all running in panic as soon as we stopped. We went back to look at the moors and saw some Black Grouse which were lekking a bit half-heartingly. Seconds later a Short - eared Owl came along and landed on a post. Then it took off flying over the moor. A few minutes after, the Black Grouse decided to call it a night and flew off.  On our way back to Nethybridge a Red - legged Partridge was calling quite loudly from a fence post.


In the morning the Red Squirrel was feeding on the peanuts. We went to Loch Garten to look for the Crested Tit but no sign this morning. We went up to Cairngorm and I wanted to walk up to see the last Grouse species on my bird list: the Ptarmigan. We saw a pair quite near to the summit of Cairn Gorm and had rather excellent views. Back at Loch Morlich we managed to see a couple of Goosanders swimming out of the river and into the loch. There was an unexpected bonus of seeing another pair of Black - throated Divers was much more of a shock, as we were expecting to see Red - throated Divers. In the evening we received another visit from the Pine Marten and of course it has been coming later in the evening. We had perfect beginning of the week. How was going to end?


Well in the morning as we were getting ready to leave, we received visits from both the Pine Marten and a Roe Deer Buck at the same time. It was the first time we seen a Roe Deer near the Firwood Garden. Also near the garden a Starling had found a nesthole before flying. Not bad at all for our last morning in Nethybridge, but there was still more to come. We went back to Loch Garten for the last time to see if the Crested Tit was showing. I was not disappointed. Two birds were feeding on the peanuts until one flew off. The other one was seen off by a Chaffinch. We decided to go to look at the Scottish Seabird Centre at North Berwick,  where we had a very good view of Bass Rock which is home to loads of Gannets. There were a few Common Eiders swimming close to the centre building. We also saw some Scoter and a shag. It was very windy and the boat was not going out to the island so we will have to do that another day. Still, the weather all week had been lovely so we couldn’t complain. We made our way to Linlithgow for the night.  


We went to the Scottish Birdfair today at Hopetoun House. We saw birds being ringed and listened to some talks, including Roy Dennis. There were lots of stalls to look at as well. We didn’t look round the grounds as it had turned very wet, so we were a bit worried about our Boat Trip around the Firth of Forth this evening. Our luck was holding out. By the evening, it had stopped raining and the sun even made an appearance. We saw plenty of Fulmars flying around and a pair nesting on the island near the Forth Rail Bridge. Loads of Common Eiders in big numbers on the Forth. Some Eiders were also sitting on the rocks. There was some Common Terns flying up and down the Forth and only one Sandwich Tern flew down. There were plenty of Guillemots swimming around along with Razorbills and three were still in Winter plumage, unusual for this time of year. Kittiwakes were also flying past along the Forth. There were a few Shags on the Forth as well as a couple of Seals. The Altantic Grey Seal are bit more commoner in the Forth than Common Seals. The star bird of the Forth were the Puffins, there were quite at lot of them around the island of Inchkeith where they breed, but a lot of the time they were on the water. There were more Common Eiders here as well. This is a very common Sea Duck. Kittiwakes and Fulmars made regular flight passes on the Forth on the way back to Hawes Harbour. We saw a very good comparsion of Razorbills en route to Hawes. Two birds were in Summer plumage and one was still in Winter plumage. We had a couple of heavy showers during the trip, but it ended with some sun. And so our last day in Scotland ends with a sunset over the Forth Road Bridge and a quick look at the boat we went on, which no surprise was called ‘Maid of the Forth’. We went back to the B&B and the next day made our long journey home.


Black - headed Gull nesting on Lillan’s

Scarlet Elf Cup

Peregrine Falcon

Avocet, Eric Morecambe

Willow Warbler on branch

Lesser Redpoll [Bright Red Male]

Osprey flying from nest

Willow Warbler on reed

Willow Warbler on twig

Reed Bunting [Male]

Lesser Redpoll

House Martin in flight

........................................................

Friday 03.05.13

Saturday 04.05.13

Pine Marten at Firwood

........................................................

Sunday 05.05.13

Common Sandpiper braving the waves

Common Sandpiper by the Loch

Oystercatcher, Grantown on Spey

Male Pheasants about to fight

........................................................

Monday 06.05.13

Red Grouse [Male]

Red Grouse [Male]

Red Grouse [Male]

Wheatear [Male] on the moor

Red - legged Partridges

Wheatear [Male]

........................................................

Tuesday 07.05.13

Gannet in flight

Fulmar in flight

Kittiwake in flight

Gannet with nesting material

Gannet in flight

Gannets and Guillemots on the cliff

Gannets on the cliff

Gannet Pair on the cliff

Gannet Flock on the cliff

Great Skua with a Gannet

Great Skua and Gannets

Roe Deer [Female and Young Buck]

........................................................

Wednesday 08.05.13

Black Grouse in a tree on Tulloch Moor

Roe Deer [Female] Tulloch early morning

Crested Tit on a feeder

 Beetle at Forest Lodge

Capercaillie [Male]

Capercaillie [Male] showing the tail fan

Capercaillie [Male displaying]

........................................................

Thursday 09.05.13

Red Squirrel

Siskin [Male]

Common Sandpiper at the lochside

Mountain Hare [Summer]

Brown Hare on the mountainside

White - tailed Eagle [Juvenile]

White - tailed Eagle and a Buzzard

Wild Goats in the Findhorn Valley

Red Deer jumping over a fence

Red Deer [Male] close of the head

Red Deer [Males]

Black Grouse [Males]

Short - eared Owl

........................................................

Friday 10.05.13

Red Squirrel chewing the antlers

Ptarmigan Pair on Cairngorm

Ptarmigan [Male] on Cairngorm

Ptarmigan [Female] on Cairngorm

Me photographing Ptarmigan on Cairngorm

Ptarmigan [Male] on Cairngorm

Goosanders [Male and two Females]

Pine Marten at Firwood

........................................................

Saturday 11.05.13

Roe Deer [Male]  at Firwood

Roe Deer [Male ]

Crested Tit on a feeder

Eider [Male]  at North Berwick

Eider [Female] North Berwick

Common Scoters, Isle of May in the background

Bass Rock  with loads of Gannets on

........................................................

Sunday 12.05.13

Fulmar Pair on nest

Fulmar in flight

Guillemot [Winter unusual for time of year ]

Common Tern

Grey Seal

Eider Pair

Puffin [Summer]

Puffin in flight

Puffin Flock

Razorbill in flight

Puffin [Summer]

Razorbill [Summer and Winter]

Puffins [Summer]

Forth Railway Bridge

Maid of the Forth with road bridge behind

Forth Rail and Road Bridges at sunset

Scotland

Scotland May 2013