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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

  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

March 2014

Durdham Downs
12th March 2014

We caught the bus to Durdham Downs in the city of Bristol to see the Peregrine Falcons displaying. When we first arrived the fog didn't really lift fully and so there was not much displaying. We could see one perched on the over side of the gorge in the mist. Very distant. The Carrion Crows were feeding on bits of bread on the ground. Common Buzzards soared on V shaped wings and were mobbed by other birds such as a Raven. There was pair of Buzzards flying around the gorge. Two Goldcrests very briefly moved through the bushes and we saw 2 Jays in the area when we first arrived, but they are shy birds that keep themselves to themselves, except in the autumn when they look for nuts. We had a brief view of the Peregrine flying below us, but it disappeared. We walked along the path and saw a couple of Goldfinches calling in a tree and a Coal Tit was also singing in the middle of the city. A Kestrel flew past the viewpoint away from us and also a Sparrowhawk. Down on the River Avon, some Oystercatchers flew up.  A Dunnock was singing from the nearby bush. Finally just as we were about to  give up and go to catch the bus home, a Peregrine flew up from beneath us and circled around twice before heading for the city centre to hunt for Pigeons. It must have been sitting below us all that time. No display from the Peregrines today, just have to come back and try again another day.

Pembrokeshire
16th March 2014

We went to Giltar Point at Penally near Tenby  to see the Great Spotted Cuckoo that had been showing well for a few days. We were a bit worried if we would see it, as the previous day it flew to Caldey Island and was not seen until later in the day. We first saw it feeding on the ground and flew up into a small tree. It sat in amongst the branches for quite a while, giving us only the slightest view. Then it flew over us to another tree on the other side of the golf course. This was the tree that it had roosted in apparently. It flew to the ground and started to feed, and we had a good view of it from where we were.  The local Magpies didn’t seem to like it much and they kept having a go at it. We saw it feeding on lots of large Caterpillars and even a small Lizard. It was past lunch time so we went to Skrinkle Head to have it and look for Choughs. There were loads of Fulmars nesting on the cliffs and flying around. There wasn’t any Razorbills or Guillemots. It might be too early for them, but there had been a lot of Auks washed up dead in the recent storms, so that might have been why. The scenery was lovely there and we thought we might come here again if we are passing. We didn’t see any Chough on the cliff top, but we did see two flying over the car park. They were too quick for me to photograph as I wanted to have a look at them through my binoculars. I always like to have a good view of birds and photos come second I’m afraid. Sorry about that!

Slimbridge
8th March 2014

We went to Slimbridge to look for the Spoonbill. We started at the Rushy Pen. There were no Bewick's Swans in the pen, just Shelducks, Teals, Pochards and Pintails. We went to South Lake where the Adult Mediterranean Gull was present in the Black - headed Gull flock. This Adult was in stunning breeding plumage. Suddenly they all took off, although the Black - headed Gulls settled back down quickly afterwards, the Mediterranean Gull vanished and was not seen again during the day. Then we saw a Sparrowhawk fly over and land in the trees at the back of the lake. There was also two Oystercatchers feeding along the bank in front of the observatory. We popped to the Ziess Hide to see if the Avocets were there. The Rooks were gathering twigs for their nest building in the nearby Rookery. We went to South Finger to see the Kingfishers nest building but left it a bit late in the day so we only saw the birds on the feeders such as Jackdaws, Chaffinches, Reed Bunting, Blue and Great Tits, Goldfinches, Dunnock and Greenfinch. One of the wardens came in to tell everybody that the hides were closing, so we went back to the grounds.  I had a quick check to see if the Med. Gull had returned at South Lake but no sign.  I went to Martin Smith Hide where Mum and Dad were watching two Great Crane Project Common Cranes and the Spoonbill  feeding on the Tack Piece. There was also Shelduck and Teal in front of the hide. At 16:45 the Spoonbill took off and landed in the Rushy Pen. It was joined by Pintails flying in for the night. After a last look at the Spoonbill, we saw it take off and fly back to the Tack Piece to roost all the while being mobbed by a Gull.

London WWT
15th March 2014

We went to London WWT at Barnes with Chauffeurhire Coaches. Due to the traffic into London and stopping for 20 minutes at the services in Maidenhead, we didn't get to the Wetland Centre until 12 o’clock. We only had four hours so we started at Dulverton Hide. There was Gadwall, Redshanks in Summer Plumage, Canada Geese, 2 Little Grebes (or Dabchicks), Great Crested Grebe (all in Summer Plumage), Lapwings, Cormorants and also various Gulls. Two Wigeon were feeding on a small island. A sign that Spring is here were the Marsh Marigolds in full flower and 2 Comma Butterflies near the Wader Scrape Hide. From the hide another Summer Plumage Redshank. We were so busy looking up at some Ring-necked Parakeets flying over, that we didn’t see a Green Woodpecker on the path in front of us and it took off with a loud yaffle call. It flew to a tree, but didn’t stay there. On the boardwalk to Wildside Hide another Little Grebe in full breeding plumage swam towards the boardwalk and underneath us to the other side. The Ring-necked Parakeets were proving very elusive for a photo. Lots kept flying over, but none of them perched. At the feeders we saw a male Great Spotted Woodpecker and male Brambling very briefly before it took off with the Chaffinches. I didn't see it myself but Mum did. I hoped it might have come back, but I think there were too many people now as it had turned into a lovely warm day.


Great Spotted Cuckoo [1st Summer]

Fulmars cackling

Skrinkle Head

Skrinkle Head

Great Spotted Cuckoo [1st Summer]

Great Spotted Cuckoo [1st Summer]

Egyptian Goose  

Great Spotted Woodpecker [Male]

Redshank [Summer]

Marsh Marigold

Canada Geese

Ring - necked Parakeet [Male]

The feeders were now Parakeet-proof, so our hope of seeing them there was dashed.  We could hear them calling out of sight but just could not see them. It sounded like it was coming from the carpark so we went back to the coach a bit earlier to see if we could see the Parakeets there. A few flew over, but one was perched a few feet away. It was a male, as it had a black neck ring which the females lack. I took a few pictures and then we hurried to the coach as everybody else seemed to have got back on. We weren’t late, but we were the last and as soon as we got on, we headed home. A really enjoyable day, but I just wish we had had longer.

Ring - necked Parakeet [Male]

Comma Butterfly

Peregrine Falcon

Carrion Crow

Goldfinch

Buzzard being mobbed by a Raven

Dunnock

Buzzard

Mediterranean Gull [Summer Adult]

Herring Gulls

Teal [Male]

Oystercatchers on South Lake

Oystercatchers

Shelducks

Pintail [Pair]

Blue Tit

Spoonbill over the Rushy Pen

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Little Grebe [Summer]

Fulmars

 Spoonbill over the Tack Piece

Aust 23rd March 2014

We went to Aust to see if the Twite was still about. We saw a few Reed Buntings feeding on the ground and on the log. Then the Twite appeared singing on the fence and was feeding on the log. Then after digesting its food the Twite came back and sang on the fence. After we went for a walk around Ruskin Mill. We saw a Grey Heron, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and some Grey Wagtails. We then went to Stroud to see if the Dippers had come back after all the work on the canal there, but we saw no sign of them, which was a shame as I always used to see them there when I lived in Stroud. We did see more Grey Wagtails. We drove back along the country lanes and saw a Brown Hare crouched down. We waited to see if he would move, but he must have seen us, as he remained motionless in the grass.


Twite [Male]

Twite [Male]

Reed Bunting [Female]

Reed Bunting [Male]

Chiffchaff

Grey Wagtail

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Great Barrington/Hawling
1st March 2014

We went to Great Barrington to look for the Hen Harrier that had there for a few weeks. There were loads of Red Kites and Skylarks. In the trees opposite the trig point  was a Great Grey Shrike - too far away for picture this time.  A pair of Red - legged Partridges ran through a gap in the hedge. Around this area was a good population of Ravens. We saw quite a few flying around and four of them seemed to be displaying. We went for a walk and saw two Brown Hares in one of the fields. One ran up the side of the hedge and the other one crouched down. Suddenly, the Female Hen Harrier appeared from nowhere being mobbed by a Carrion Crow. She flew over the hedge and landed in the other field.  We wandered up to see if we could see her, but she flew the way she came and disappeared. We could hear the calls of Grey Partridges somewhere in the field behind us. This bird is in serious decline over much of Gloucestershire and the rest of Britian. Unfortunately, we could not see them. We will have to come back to this area and look for them. We finished the day off at Hawling and the first Bird of Prey of the evening was a Kestrel perched on stick. Next to put in a show up was a Barn Owl which was hunting for Voles and flew over the road twice. A couple of Roe Deer suddenly appeared in the field close to where the Barn Owl was hunting, they must have been hiding in the grass all that time. A Short - eared Owl came from nowhere and there was a spectaclular sight, Barn Owl and Short - eared Owl both hunting together. It was a shame that it was getting a bit dark for taking photographs. We enjoyed watching them in the twilight until they both disappeared from view, and so we left them both to their night-time hunt and made our way home.




Hen Harrier [Female] mobbed by Carrion Crow

Skylark

Red - legged Partridge

Brown Hare

Roe Deer

Short - eared Owl

Barn Owl

Kestrel [Male]

Hen Harrier [Female]

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