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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

  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

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  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

Dyfi & Ynys - hir
18th May 2014

We went to Wales to see how the Ospreys were doing this at Dyfi. Monty and Glesni took turns guarding the nest site. A few weeks before, there was huge drama of other Opreys around the site before Glesni's return.  Happily they can now get on with incubating the eggs.Then Monty went off to fish in the estuary. There were a few Dragonflies on the wing including a Four Spotted Chaser. We spotted the two Water Buffalo doing a good job of grazing the reserve. We then went to Ynys - hir to look for 3 Summer Visitors of the Welsh Woodlands. These were Pied Flycatcher, Redstart and Wood Warbler. Because we couldn't get into the main car park as there were a special event on, we had to park in a field and walk across a small bridge to the reserve. We saw 2 Grass Snakes swimming across the water from the bridge.  In a bare tree was a Whitethroat and Willow Warbler singing. By the Visitor Centre was a Male Pheasant with a very short tail. The Female was dustbathing under the feeders.  We saw our first Pied Flycatcher down near the Heron Hide.  It flew down to the ground twice but then disappeared. We saw the Redstart nesting in a natural tree hole. We only saw the Male first of all, but later we saw the Female briefly. A few Butterflies were on the wing such as a Green - viened White and Speckled Wood. I managed to get a very close view of a Garden Warbler which was competely unexpected and one of the usually more difficult Warblers to see. The Redstarts were still active around the nest hole. While Mum walked up to Canopy Hide, Dad and I carried on watching the Redstart a bit longer. On our way to the hide we spotted a Male Pied Flycatcher singing in the trees above the gate. At the Canopy Hide another singing Male Pied Flycatcher was on a perch right in front the hide. The last time I saw a singing Male Pied Flycatcher was at Nagshead in the Forest of Dean in May 2009. There waa also quite a number of Pond Skaters on the Dragonfly pool. We then went on to our B&B which is right opposite the Dyfi Osprey Project and you can see the nest from our rooms which have telescopes in them for that purpose.


Ynys - hir
19th May 2014

In the morning at the B&B I photographed a Male Great Spotted Woodpecker perched on top of the conifer branch from my window, which is something I don't see very often. We had breakfast watching the Osprey nest on Live Streaming. The B&B has everything for the Osprey fanatic! So Mum was happy! We went to back to Ynys - hir to see what else was about as we hadn’t seen Wood Warbler yet, which was unusual. There was a few Damselflies about, mostly Common Blue Damselflies and an Azure.  A Sedge Warbler was singing from an exposed perch.  A Wall Brown Butterfly was briefly observed before flying off and disappearing. We were going to go back to Dyfi, but the weather was turning a bit wet, so as we had no luck with Wood Warbler at Ynys - hir, we headed down to Dinas. The weather had certainly taken a took a turn for the worse and there were heavy showers and as we walked round Dinas, loud claps of thunder. Dad dropped Mum and I by the wood and he drove round to the car park, so we could meet by the board walk. We heard some Wood Warblers alright and saw three, but only briefly.  They were certainly difficult to see this year. We met up with Dad by the river where there are usually Dippers breeding, but we didn’t even see any of these. Perhaps they are further up the river this year. We walked along the board walk towards the carpark, but only saw Nuthatch. No Spotted or Pied Flycatchers this year. Back at the car park we sat and watched a Marsh Tit and a Great Tit feeding on a log before setting off towards home. A good weekend, but the birds we usually see were not around in great numbers which was a little disappointing. But then that’s birdwatching for you! Some you win and some you don’t!



Pied Flycatcher [Male]

Marsh Tit

Great Tit

Wall Brown  [Male]

Sedge Warbler

Azure Damselfly [Male]

Great Spotted Woodpecker [Male]

Common Restart [Male]

Common Redstart [Female]

Speckled Wood

Green - veined White [Male]

Pheasant [Female]

Pheasant  [Male with a short tail]

Willow Warbler

Water Buffalo

Four Spotted Chaser

Osprey nest  from the new hide

Garden Warbler

Slimbridge WWT
21st May 2014

We went to Slimbridge to see the Crane Chicks on the Tack Piece.  We saw some House Martins nesting on the lock - keeper's house. A few Swifts were flying around and some Swallows flew under the bridge. The Cranes were viewable from the Martin Smith. Monty and Chris were feeding the chicks behind the reeds. Suddenly a Fox ran across the Tack Piece with a Rabbit in it's mouth. The Cranes and waders all kept a wary eye on him. It could have been this Fox that the Cranes chased away from their chicks a few days later. There was a pair of Gadwall in front of the hide. A Grey Heron was also doing a bit of fishing.We went to  Zeiss Hide to see the Temminck's Stint. The wader was alongside the much larger Common Sandpiper along with some Avocets. We were given a tip off that the Crane Chicks were showing well from the Martin Smith. We had a brief glimpse them through the gap in the reeds being fed the Adults.  We went to Robbie Garnett Hide where we saw another Gadwall or it could have been the same one from Martin Smith. A few Lapwings were wading in the water. Two Shovelers were having a bit of fight.  We went back to Martin Smith to see if the Cranes were showing, but they were behind a bush. We went to the South Lake where the Black - tailed Godwits were feeding in front of the observatory. The other Crane pair were still incubating their eggs, but it does not look like they are going to hatch.

When we got home  later that day we found out that the Elephant Hawk Moth pupa that we had overwinted had emerged. It is such a lovely moth and when it got active and dried off properly, we released it in the garden. We waited until it got darker and all the birds had gone to bed. It flew off strongly and we never saw it again. I must admit I had hoped it might stay around the garden for a little bit. That’s gratitude for you!!




Elephant Hawk Moth

House Martins

House Martin

Common Crane

Grey Heron

Black - tailed Godwit [Summer Male]

Greylag Goose [Juvenile]

Fox

Common Crane and chick

Slimbridge WWT
25th May 2014

On Saturday we took Dad to Slimbridge to see the Crane Chicks. They were on other side of the gate and not showing very well so we went to look on South Lake. There was a 1st Summer Mediterranean Gull present with the Black - headed Gulls. A Green - veined White and a Red Admiral were on the Buddleia bush.  Back at Martin Smith hide a Spoonbill had appeared in front of the hide. It was feeding well sweeping its bill from side to side in search of small food items.  The Cranes brought their Chicks through the gate to safety of thick grassland and we had a few glimpses of them. After a while they went back behind the bush again. The Spoonbill continued to put on a performance. We saw it catch a newt, but not certain if it managed to swallow it. I hope it survived.  Sadly the two Crane Chicks didn't survive to their 4th week. But no doubt Monty and Chris will try again next year and hopefully they might have more success. They are long lived birds, so have plenty of time to breed.

Red Admiral

Common Crane & Chick

Spoonbill

Spoonbill

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Haddon Hill
15th June 2014

We went to Haddon Hill to look for the rare Heath Fritillary. Unfortunately, we had picked the wrong day as there was a bike race on and a lot of roads were closed. We managed to get there eventually. The first creatures we saw were some Exmoor Ponies that graze on the heathland. There was a few Small Heaths and Tree Pipits. We spotted a Redstart perched in a tree briefly and a couple of Deer ran past which I think might have been Roe Deer. We saw a special Dragonfly of the heath,  a Golden - ringed Dragonfly perched on the heather. A new Dragonfly species for me. We also saw a Stonechat perched on the gorse. We walked further on and there were a few Green Hairstreak Butterflies flying around. Down in the sheltered woodland we found quite a number of Heath Fritillaries in flight and some perched. Another new Butterfly for me.  There was one perched on a branch that looked like it had just emerged as it was still drying its wings and posed nicely for photos. There was also a new Moth for me nearby - the Wood Tiger.  By that time the race had finished and all the roads were open again. We decided to go to Woodbury Common to look for Silver - studded Blues, but sadly none were out yet. As we were walking back to the car, Mum and I saw a Roe Deer and it seemed quite unafraid of us as I took some pictures of it. It finished eating its leaves and wandered into the undergrowth. We met Dad by the car and he told me he’d found a few Small Pearl - bordered Fritillaries. I went back with him to have a look at them and took some photos. It was a shame we were too early for the Silver - studded Blues, we will just have to try somewhere else another time.


Heath Fritillary

Exmoor Ponies

Tree Pipit

Golden - ringed Dragonfly

Stonechat (male)

Green Hairstreak

Heath Fritillary

Heath Fritillary

Roe  Deer [female]

Small Pearl - bordered Fritillary

Small Pearl - bordered Fritillary

Heath Fritillary

Small Pearl - bordered Fritillary

Wood Tiger

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June 2014