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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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2013

December

  Brixham Broadsands 29th

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November

  Chew 18th

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October

  Berkeley Blagdon Chew 7th

Bay of Biscay

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  Blagdon 28th

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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

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  Inglestone 13th

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  Inglestone 8th

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  Forest of Dean 1st

Skomer June

June

  Daneway Banks 30th

  Slimbridge 29th

  Aylesbeare Common 8th

  Slimbridge 3rd

Scotland

April

  Chew & Salisbury 23rd

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  Blagdon Lake

  Slimbridge

March 1

  Garden Birds

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  Slimbridge 11th

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Dorset

February

  Aust 27th

  Cheltenham Diver 10th

  RSPB Criuse, Exe 9th

Norfolk

January 2

  Slimbridge 26th & 27th

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  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

August  2013

Slimbridge 11th August 2013

We went to Slimbridge hoping to go on the Land Rover Sarfari but unfortunately the 11am one fully booked so we decided to leave it for today. We started by going to South Lake to look for the long-staying Spoonbill. On the way we looked on the Buddlieas and saw a Painted Lady and a Red Admiral which had it's wings closed and was feeding on Rowan Berries. When it did open it's wings the red band across the centre of the upperwing is visible. At the South Lake we saw the Spoonbill on the Cormorant perch asleep and the only time it woke up was only to have a preen. In front of the hide was a Juvenile Shelduck and there was also an orangey coloured female Mallard. We saw two Kingfishers fly past and heard their high pitch calls. You can usually hear their call before you see them and its useful to know when they are near. We went to the Ziess Hide but not a lot about today. We then went to the Kingfisher Hide where we had brief view of another Kingfisher as it flew past the hide and up the river.  It was a shame that they didn’t nest here, but perhaps it got a bit noisy for them. There were 3 Buzzards flying and perched. The two Juveniles were on the hay stack and the Adult perched on the fence. When we first arrived one Juvenile was perched in the tree opposite the hide. There were 2 Grey Herons on a log and a Little Grebe swam past in the background with a chick. We went to Robbie Garnett where we saw a Juvenile Yellow Wagtail perched on a fence post. There was couple of Pied Wagtails and Green Sandpipers but no Wood Sandpiper. Finally we saw a Brimstone feeding on purple Loosestrife.    

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

Red Admiral

Buzzard

Grey Herons [Adult and Juvenile]

Yellow Wagtail [Juvenile]

Brimstone [Male] taking off

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Fontmell Down and Alner's Gorse  10th August 2013

We went to Fontmell Down Nature Reserve to look for Sliver - spotted Skipper near Shaftesbury.  The first Butterfly we saw was a male Chalkhill Blue perched on the path and a Gatekeeper was perched on a gorse bush. A Yellowhammer was calling from a small tree. As the sun came out, other Butterflies emerged inlcuding Common Blues. One Common Blue was nectoring on it's foodplant: the Bird's foot Trefoil. The female is browner than the male and has a bit of blue sheen on the upperwing.  It too was on the Trefoil. We saw another female Butterfly resting, but this time it was a Chalkhill Blue. At long last we managed to get a first and brief view of a Silver - spotted Skipper. It perched on a yellow flower and I managed to get a photo of it. We saw a couple more and they were all males, they were waiting for the females to emerge. A male Chalkhill Blue was resting on the path with it's wings closed so the chalky blue upperwing was hidden.  A Clouded Yellow was nectoring  on the Red Clover and took off. There was another Clouded Yellow but it took off before we got there. Another Yellow Butterfly that we saw was a Brimstone, but it was  a female so it wasn't very yellow. The Skipper reappeared on another yellow flower, a quick jump and disappeared. On the way back to the car park there was a Comma in the Blackberry bush and a Small Copper was resting beside the path.  A Red Admiral was perched by the gate, annoyingly it had closed it's wings by the time we got there.  

Common Blue [Male]  

Common Blue  [Female]

Silver - spotted Skipper [Male]

Silver - spotted Skipper [Male]

Clouded Yellow taking off

Small Copper

Chalkhill Blue [Male]

Brown Hairstreak

Small Copper

Clouded Yellow

Silver - washed Fritillary [Valezina]

Brown Hairstreak

We went to Alner's Gorse to look for Brown Hairstreak and amazingly when we walked into the reserve there was one showing really well feeding on the bramble bush flowers. Because this one had it's wings closed we weren't sure whether it was a male or female, but it didn't matter because it was fantastic  to see.  A new Butterfly for me. A Red Admiral was also feeding on the bramble bush and then we saw another species of Hairstreak in the same area - A Purple Hairstreak was flying around in the Ash trees. It did open it's wings while it was at rest and easy identified as a male because the upperwing is covered in a purple sheen. The orange spot at the base of the hind wing makes ID easy to seperate from the White Letter Hairstreak. The Brown Hairstreak was still  on the bramble but not with its wings opened. A Meadow Brown appeared alongside for a good comparsion.  We saw all these Butterflies and hadn’t even walked anywhere yet! We had a walk around the reserve which is manged by Butterfly Conservation. We saw a Clouded Yellow perched on the bank above a female Meadow Brown. We saw a very faded White Letter Hairstreak and lots of other more common Butterflies such as Small Tortoiseshell , Peacock, Red Admiral and Comma . The place seemed alive with Butterflies. Then we saw another special Butterfly, a Valezina Silver - washed Fritillary, which is darker and greener than normal Silver - washed Fritillaries.  I’ve never seen one like this before. We saw another Clouded Yellow perched on a yellow flower. There was  a Skipper perched on a leaf and at first we thought it might be Essex but on closer inspection saw it was a Small because it had only orange tips to its antennae, not black. Then we saw another White Letter Hairstreak. We had already seen one which was faded, but this one looked fresh and the white letter W was a bit more clearer.  A Small Copper basked in the sunshine with it's wings open. Further up the path was another Brown Hairstreak showing well still with its wings closed and right next to it was a White Letter Hairstreak. The Brown Hairstreak did open it's wings briefly to reveal the large orange patches on its upper wings and confirms it as a female. The male's upperwing patches are duller like a Meadow Brown's.  It was a fantastic reserve and it has obviously been managed well to have such a huge variety of Butterflies and we will certainly be coming again the next time we are in Dorset.

Brown Hairstreak [Female]

Purple Hairstreak

Purple Hairstreak [Male]

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White Letter Hairstreak