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Wildlife in and around the city of Bristol

www.landcaretrees.co.uk

The birds of

South

Gloucestershire

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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

August 2  2013

Slimbridge and Pensile 26th August 2013

We went to Slimbridge to see if any waders were about. On the entrance bridge we saw a small flock of Goldfinches bathing in the small river. These were mostly Juveniles without the bright head markings and one adult was present. We went to have a look at South Lake where the Spoonbill was once again asleep. This was a new bird that had arrived recently and was different to the bird that was here couple of weeks ago.  This 2nd year bird only woke up to have quick preen and went back to sleep.  There was a female Shoveler that was swimming, preening and a bit of bathing in front of the observatory. We were looking also for two Juvenile Spotted Redshanks mixed in with a flock of Black - tailed Godwits but no sign.  There was a couple of Common Redshanks feeding in front of the hide. On our way to the Rushy Pen we had a quick look on buddliea and saw a Painted Lady which is a migrant from Africa.  From the Rushy were two Common Snipe visible on the island and one was having a bath in the water.  We went to check out the Martin Smith Hide where we had a rare opportunity of seeing another Common Snipe and Water Rail out in the open water together. On the way back  to the Rushy Pen and saw three Brimstones feeding on the buddleias. When we got back to Rushy Pen there was a group of 4 Juvenile Ruff wading in between the Greylag flock.  We saw couple of Yellow Wagtails bathing and one I thought might have been a Blue - headed Wagtail, but was a bit too distant to be sure. We went to Pensile Road in Nailsworth to look for Adonis Blue. On the hill were loads of males on the wing. There was also Brown Argus, Chalkhill, Common and Small Blues and some Small Coppers. There was only one Small Blue that I saw. The Clouded Yellows were just flying up and down the bank, they didn’t stop at all, so I couldn’t get a photo of them. It’s certainly a good place to look for Adonis Blue and there are usually lots of others to see as well.


Snipe and Water Rail together  

Goldfinches bathing

Shoveler [Female flapping]

Common Snipe pair on the Rushy

Ruffs on the Rushy

Brimstone [Female]

Yellow Wagtails

Small Blue  

Brown Argus

Adonis Blue [Male]

 Adonis Blue

Chalkhill Blue [Male]

Small Copper and Adonis Blue

Hawk Conservancy Trust 22nd August 2013

We went on a Coach trip to the Hawk Conservancy Trust to see some Birds of Prey. We got there at 11am in time for the Kite feeding. The only birds we saw were a couple of Common Buzzards and Grey Herons flying around but weren't really feeding. The Carrion Crows and a Magpie found the food easy enough though. Outside the hide, we had a close view of a captive Red Kite called Scarlet that one of the handlers was holding. A beautiful bird to see up close.

We made our way to the Lower Flying Grounds for the World of Birds demonstration.The first bird was Orphello the African Sea Eagle. He did a couple of fly passes before perching on a post. Orphello demonstrated how a wild bird will hunt by grabbing a fish from the water. Next was a Milky Eagle Owl which is a nocturnal species that lives in Africa. In order for it to hunt for food it has to wait until it's cooler at night, not in blazing hot sunshine. However this one was demonstrating it's hunting skills in daytime which gave us an excellent view to see one flying. Seeing a hunting Milky Eagle in the wild would fairly impossible in the dark!

Next was another bird from Africa called a Secretary Bird called Madeline which is not related to any other bird of prey here, but earns her place in the Trust's collection of Birds of Prey by demonstrating killing a rubber snake, just as her cousins would do in the wild. Sadly, this will be one of Madeline's final performances upon coming to her retirement. Hopefully in the next few years there will be a new Secretary Bird called Penny Pon, who is being trained up.

Next up was a Griffon Vulture and he did have a name which I can't pronouce or know how to spell.  He was a young bird and hadn't quite have the ability to fly very well, but he did a couple of fly passes and didn't do too badly. As they say practice makes perfect.  Another bird that was on show at the same time was Frodo the Tawny Eagle named after one of the Lord of the Rings characters.  Another contestant was a Lanner Falcon which is simular to Hobby but with a brown head. This one was demonstrating it's hunting skills which is very quick and fast that it was over within seconds. After the Flying Demonstration was finished we went to look at some of the other birds.  In one of cages was a Long - eared Owl calling and surprisingly smaller than an Eagle Owl.  There were species of Falcons on perches: Lanner, Merlin and Peregrine.  In another cage was Troy the Male Tawny Owl that we will be seeing later on.  We went to Reg’s Wildflower meadow to have lunch and be ready for the Valley of the Eagles flying display. We didn’t sit on the stands, but stayed at the picnic table by the side of the meadow. We remembered what happened last time! The Black Kites started to fly around and the Pergrine demonstrated his fast hunting skills.  The Black Kites are different from our Red Kites in having a shallow fork tail and browny black plumage.  There were some Vultures flying around with the Kites these were both Hooded and White - headed species. The Vultures flew quite low over the audience from one side to the other and the people had to duck quite low to avoid the birds hitting them. Some of the Black Kites perched on the tree quite near to us. This is a lovely display with music and watching so many birds in the air. A pair of Bald Eagles were released in the far valley and they had to fly back into the arena. They were quite a distance away. One of Eagles flew back, landed on the glove and called to the other bird. This one must have been too busy exploring and didn’t want to come back and in the end we gave up waiting. We discovered later that they had found him in someone’s garden after the owner rang them up to tell them he was there! I bet that scared the Sparrows!  We continued looking around the site including seeing a White - tailed Eagle.  A White - headed Vulture was sun bathing with it's wings spread out. In a cage was Major Lewis, the Burrowing Owl who wasn't in any displays today.  It was time for the Woodland Owls and Hawks demonstrations. The first performance was by Troy the Tawny Owl, another moment to witness a Tawny Owl flying in daylight, which you don't with wild bird.  Next was a Harris Hawk  which is a bird that sometimes escapes from captivity. They are very fast in flight and I couldn't  get a decent photo.

Next was a Little Owl called Archimedes that walks well on a tight rope. Another Hawk, a Kite, but this is not related to the Black and Red Kite. This is a false Kite called Mindy. Mindy is a female Brahminy Kite which always flys during the demonstration here and never perches. Mindy also demonstrated how to catch a fish right out of the water. The last birds to fly around were the Great Grey Owls. The only time we got a good view of them was when they were perched on a tree stump as they were always flying between the trees.  I had a really good day and the weather stayed fine for all the Flying Displays.

Scarlet the Red Kite

Common Buzzard [Juvenile]

Orphello the  African Sea Eagle

Milky Eagle Owl

Milky Eagle Owl

Madeline the Secretary Bird

Griffon Vulture

Griffon Vulture

Lanner Falcon

Peregrine Falcon

Merlin  Falcon

Black Kite

Hooded Vulture

Black Kite

Black Kite

Bald Eagle

Great Grey Owl

Troy the Tawny Owl

Black Kite