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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

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August 2

  Slimbridge and Pensile Hill

  Hawk Conservancy 22nd

Bird Fair

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  Fontell and Alners Gorse 10th

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Skomer June

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April

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March 1

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Dorset

February

  Aust 27th

  Cheltenham Diver 10th

  RSPB Criuse, Exe 9th

Norfolk

January 2

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  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

February 2014

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Aust Warth 3rd February 2014

We went to Aust Warth this morning to see the high tide coming in. We saw our first Short - eared Owl of the year flying up the severn towards Northwick. It was soon joined by another two flying by the new severn  bridge. The water came in quite quickly and was soon going over the road. There were quite a number of Short - tailed Field Voles swimming for their lives to get to the bank by the road where we were stood. We also saw a Shrew that made it safely across. These were the lucky ones. Lots were being picked out of the water by Gulls and any that made it to any patch of grass got attacked by Crows. In fact, I saw several Gulls and Crows fighting over the unfortunate rodents. The Owls didn’t stay very long, as the water rose so quickly, but it was good to see them. When the tide started to go out and the road got clearer, we went to see if the Twite were around. They are being very elusive this winter and we only saw Reed Buntings.


Forest of Dean 2nd February 2014

We went to the Forest of Dean to look for Hawfinches at Parkend by the cricket club. We stayed in the car, so that we wouldn’t disturb them and saw our first one perched in a small tree with no leaves rather than the Yew. Unfortunately, a car pulled up nearby with cycles on, and the people got out and started to put their bikes together and generally made a lot of noise, so the Hawfinch disappeared. As the morning went on, it got a lot busier with people and the birds stayed perched in the tall trees at the back. We went to Speech House to have our lunch and have a look on the log.  We put some seed out and waited while we ate. There were Blackbirds, Robins, Nuthatches (fighting over the food), Coal Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Magpie, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Song Thrush and Chaffinch. We heard a Jay fly in, but it didn’t come down to the log. We went to Nagshead, but the carpark was very busy and while we were there saw lots of dog walkers. We decided not to bother to walk around as last time it was not very good with all the dogs running around.  I do love dogs, but I really cannot understand why people let their dogs off their leads in a nature reserve when they have the whole forest to walk them in. We went to Cannop Ponds to look for Mandarins for our year list, but there were none there. We saw some Little Grebes, Mallards andTufted Ducks. We heard a Raven calling and saw him perched up in the tree. In the next tree there were two Cormorants, which is the first time I’ve seen them there. We went to a couple of other usual haunts of the Mandarins, but still no luck. On the way home we even stopped at the Dean Heritage Centre to have a look. Still none. I wonder where they all are!


Slimbridge 1st February 2014

We went to the Slimbridge Festival of Birds to listen to a talk by Martin McGill about the birding highlights of Slimbridge last year. Afterwards we went to look  for a Greenland White - fronted Goose that had been present for a few days agmonst the European White - fronted Geese, not a very easy task as the birds were moving about. The Bank Voles were still about and showing briefly from the Willow Hide. There were loads of Waders flying around the Tack Piece and Dumbles which included Dunlin, Lapwings and Golden Plovers.  The Wigeon were also in quite big numbers. Other Waders included a small group of Redshank. Sitting in the middle of the Tack Piece was a Peregrine Falcon. This Adult was not hunting so the other birds were quite settled. Then a pair of Shovelers swam in front of the hide. There was even a small number of Pintails. A couple of Curlews decided  to have a bit of fight. Eventually one bird decided to give up and flew off.  One of the Coots had a very squeaky call as it swam towards the hide which made us laugh. We went up to the Holden Tower and there was still quite o lot of water about from the mornings high tide. There was a couple of Little Stint running about by the water trough. Back in the Rushy Pen there were three Redshanks standing at the edge of the water looking nice in the sunshine.

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Aust Warth at High Tide

Short - eared Owl

Shrew

Short - tailed Field Voles

Short - eared Owl

Blackbird [Male]

Great Tit

Coal Tit

Great Spotted Woodpecker [Male]

Song Thrush

Little Grebe

Raven

Cormorant  

Mallard

Nuthatch

Curlew  

Bank Vole

Pochard [Male]

Shoveler [Male]

Wigeons

Pintail [Male]

Lapwings and Golden Plovers

Redshanks

Dunlins

Marshfield 4th February 2014

We went to Marshfield to see the Red - flanked Bluetail in the Shire Valley. The bird was perched on a tree and dropped to the ground occasionally to feed. Then it flew to another tree and perched briefly before flying over our heads.  I couldn’t get a picture of its blue tail as the only time it had its back to us nicely, it was in deep shade. A lovely bird to see and I wonder where it came from. It seems the wrong time of year to be a migrant and I wonder if it had been here for some time. I would imagine it could easily be overlooked if you didn’t get a good view of it.  It would be nice to think it was overwintering.


Red - flanked Bluetail [1st Winter Male]

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Coot

Marshfield and Aust
10th February 2014

We went to Marshfield today to have another look at the Red - flanked Bluetail as it didn't show us the bluetail last time. We first saw it up in the tree by the path then it flew down to the ground to eat a few of the mealworms that had been put out for it. It flew back up into the tree to digest it's food before flying back down for some more.  It did this a few times until a Buzzard and two Ravens flew overhead and the Bluetail kept a low profile.  As we were in the area we thought of looking for Corn Buntings. There was a lot in the bushes with some Linnets.  We also saw our first Stonechat of the year perched on the hedge and ithen it ducked down when a pale Common Buzzard flew past. The Buzzard perched on a wall near the house.  We popped into Aust on the way home and saw the usual Reed Buntings feeding on the log, but there was not much seed left and we had forgot to bring the seed, so we couldn’t put more out. Just along the road by the houses we saw our first Twite of the year. These Twite have certainly been very elusive this winter. What a brillant way to end the day!


Red - flanked Bluetail

Red - flanked Bluetail

Goldcrest

Stoneshat

Corn Bunting &  Yellowhammer

Buzzard

 Pale phased Buzzard

Male Reed Bunting

Female Reed Bunting

Dunnock

Female Reed Bunting

Twite

Click here to view video

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