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Wildlife in and around the city of Bristol

The birds of



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Scotland & North east

Scotland - Cairngorms

April 2










Bird Fair



Scotland - Mull

Scotland - Cairngorms





February 1

January 2

January 1


December 2

December 1












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


  Forest Farm 20th

  Chew 19th

  Exe 12th



  Brixham Broadsands 29th

  Portland 27th

  Severn Beach Slimbridge 14th

  Science Park 3rd

  Somerset Levels 2nd


  Chew 18th

  Slimbridge 10th

  Newport Wetlands 9th

  Westonbirt 7th


  Berkeley Blagdon Chew 7th

Bay of Biscay


  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


  Daneway Banks 30th

  Slimbridge 29th

  Aylesbeare Common 8th

  Slimbridge 3rd



  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


March 1

  Garden Birds

  Portishead 18th

  Slimbridge 11th

  Portishead 4th

  Quedgeley, CWP 3rd

  Forest of Dean 2nd



  Aust 27th

  Cheltenham Diver 10th

  RSPB Criuse, Exe 9th


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


Herrinng Gull

Broad - leaved Helleborine [Albino]

Beautiful Demoiselle [Male]

Sliver - washed Fritillary [Male]

Violet Helleborine

Migrant Hawker [Male]

Green - veined White

Spotted Flycatcher [Juvenile]

Banded Demoiselle [Male]

Black - tailed Skimmer [Male]

Emperor Dragonfly & RE Damselfly

Emperor  Dragonfly [Female]

Gatekeeper [Male]

Red Admiral

Clouded Yellow with CB Damselfly

Small Tortoiseshell

Common Tern [Summer]  

Red - eyed Damselfly

Black  Guillemot [Summer]

4 Loch


Grey Seals

12 Hucthinson


Barnacle Goose

Black Guillemot [Summer]

Sandwich Tern

Rabbit Hybrid

Small Tortoiseshell


Small Tortoisehell

Hooded Crow

Car no 6


Car no 7

Car no 22

Lady Isbella

Car no 1


We got up early at 6:00 to have breakfast before catching the ferry back to Heysham. In the harbour we saw at least seven Black Guillemots swimming and diving for fish. It had been a brilliant 5 days and I really enjoyed myself. Even though it wasn’t a birding holiday, we saw quite a few nice birds.

Echo Lodge Meadows, Ravensroost Woods & Inglestone
3rd August 2014

We went to check out a site for Brown Hairstreaks at Echo Lodge Meadows. We saw a Purple Hairstreak perched on a leaf. It may look a bit worn but the Adult is a Female as it has a purple line on upperwing and the Male's upperwing is all purple. A Buzzard soared overhead. Due to long spells of dry weather, the bramble flowers have gone over quickly, so the Browns would have to start feeding on the top of trees. We then went to Ravensroost Wood to look there. Perched in the grass was a Female Common Blue Damselfly. There were plenty of Common Blues and Green - veined Whites. There was even a Migrant Hawker perched on the base of a tree.
In the end we gave up the search and went to Inglestone to search for Violet Helleborine. There was still a few Silver - washed Fritillaries on the wing. Also a few Beautiful Demoiselles down by the river.  Sadly, again due to the dry weather, there wasn't many Violet Helleborines and the only plants we found had gone over slightly. So had the Albino Broad - leaved Helleborine which probably won't flower next year disappointingly, but we will try again to find the Violet Helleborine next time in flower.

Somerset Levels
27th July 2014

We went to Ham Wall in the Somerset Levels to see if the new visitor centre was built. Unfortunately, it was a huge disappointment to see that they hadn't even started! At Ham Wall RSPB  there was quite a few  Red - eyed Damselflies on the lily pads and the green algae. The Butterfly numbers were good Green - veined White, Small White, Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood, Painted Lady and my first Clouded Yellow of the year which was chased off by a Common Blue Damselfly. Along the channel we saw a Female Emperor Dragonfly egg laying. This is something you don't always see  unless you're really lucky.  It had been a few years since we went to Greylake RSPB and saw a Spotted Crake, so we decided to see what was there. This time in the car park we saw a family of Spotted Flycatchers which included some Juveniles which soon will be heading to their wintering grounds in Africa.  We watched them for a long time as we don't see enough of them. We went for quick walk around the reserve and saw a Brown Hawker [which didn't land] and at least 4 Black - tailed Skimmers. Near the car park by the bridge were a few Banded Demoiselles and a Speckled Wood. The Spotted Flycatchers were still in the area and the Juveniles seem to like sitting on a log.  We went to look at Priddy on the way home, but being the end of the day the temperature went to about 10 degrees. So there was nothing about. Never mind!

Spotted Flycatcher [Adult]

Spotted Flycatcher [Juvenile]

Purple Hairstreak [Female]




Isle of Man 5th-9th July 2014

We went to Isle of Man for 5 days with Chauffeurhire Coaches. We caught the ferry from Heysham to Douglas in the afternoon. The were not many seabirda about, but we did see some Shearwaters and a Black Guillemot as we were docking at the Isle of Man.When we arrived at Douglas it was a short drive to the Empress Hotel which is right on the seafront.

On the Sunday we went to Manx Electric Railway which runs from  Douglas  to Ramsey. However we only went as far as Laxey to catch the connection with the Snaefell Mountain Railway. We aboarded car no 5 to take us to the summit. On leaving Laxey we had a glimpse of Lady Isbella the giant waterwheel. When we were approaching the only level crossing on the tramway there was statue of  one of local Loaghtan Sheep. As we neared the summit, we saw a Hooded Crow and a Female Hen Harrier flying over the moor! After arriving at Snaefell, car no 1 prepared to depart for Laxey. We had a short while to look around before  car no 6 arrived at the summit ready to take us back down to Laxey. Having arrived back at Laxey we had quite a bit of time looking around. Car no 22 had arrived from Ramsey. Unlike the Sneafell Trams the Manx Electric had these extra trailers. We were on the way to have better view of the Laxey Wheel when we saw car no 3 leaving Laxey en route to Snaefell Summit. Car no 1 entered Laxey station after decending from Snaefell. We decideded to catch a early tram back to Douglas on car no 7.  On the way to Douglas we saw a sign for the Groudle Glen Railway at Groudle and further along we saw the train heading along the cliffs and thought it would be nice to look at it, so we caught the next tram back to Groudle. We walked to the Groudle Glen Railway' s terminus at Lhen Coan to catch the train to Sea Lion Rocks at the site of a former zoo.  Sea Lion Rocks is situated in a picturesque location on top of the sea cliffs. When we were there they were setting up a for a filming crew. The locomotive that was in service was Sealion. We had a cup of tea and then caught the train back to Lhen Coan. We waited for the tram back to Douglas and it was a bit late, so the Ramsey tram arrived the same time. We had decided not to have dinner at the hotel because the weather was too nice to be indoors so just bought some chips for tea and sat on the cliffs where we saw a few Hooded Crows flying around and perching on the street lamps.  From the promenade we watched the ferry arriving into the port of Douglas.  A Gannet was also flying over the sea.  Afterwards we headed to our hotel for the night.

On Monday we had a local guide with us for the two days telling us the history of the island. We  went on a tour of the northern half of island with a visit to St Johns for Tynwald Day celebrations which was to begin at 11:00. However, as it was busy and crowded, we decided to walk a bit of disused line between Peel & Douglas.  We saw a number of Meadow Browns, Black - tipped Soldier Beetle, Small Tortoiseshell, some Juvenile Goldfinch, Rabbits, [including a very unusual hybrid type], Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Song Thursh, Robin, Common Spotted Orchid, Whitethoat, Meadowsweet, Cow Parsley, Juvenile Mistle Thrush, also Grey Heron and a Chiffchaff.  In the afternoon we went to Peel to look around for an hour.  We saw a Sandwich Tern flying around near the harbour which had started to moult into Winter Plumage.  A few Fulmars flew past the bay. Just off the breakwater was a moulting party of Common Eiders.  We did manage to see our first Black Guillemot sitting on the water quite distantly and flying up and down.  A few Sandwich Terns were flying and fishing.  Just as it was nearly time to go back to the coach we walked to the harbour marina where we had close views of a Black Guillemot fishing. When it caught a large crab it then flew off to eat it elsewhere. Looking a little bit out of place was a solitary Barnacle Goose with a few Mallards for company. The coach drove back over Snaefell Mountain on our way to Ramsey and we could see tram no 5 accending the bank. When we got to Ramsey it chucked down with rain, very wisely nobody wanted to get off. So in the end we made our back to Douglas a bit earlier. It was sunny here so we went for a stroll along promenade towards the ferry port and harbour. There were four Oystercatchers on the beach and many Herring Gulls. At the port we saw one Herring Gull wrestling with a paper bag near the ferry terminal. From the bridge near the harbour marina we saw at least 4 Black Guillemot. One swam into the harbour and started fishing in amongst the boats.  After spending a bit of time watching the Guillemots, we went for some tea before heading back to the hotel.

We went on a tour of the Southern half of the Island starting with a visit to Niarbyl, Dalby. We saw a few Choughs flying around and 3 were perched on the nearby cliffs. One was feeding along the edge before flying off.  A Hooded Crow also flew past the cliffs. Our next port of call was at Port Erin for a look around the town. We started at the Isle of Man Railway's Terminus. We sat to watch the train arrive while we had something to eat. The engine that was in service was no 12 Hutchinson built by Breyer Peacock in 1908. On arrival from Douglas the loco comes off the train to be fueled  at the shed before backing on to the train for departure back to Douglas. We would be back there later for our ride on the train. Down on the beach we saw another Hooded Crow by a puddle. There seems to be more Hooded Crows than Carrion here. We still had time for a quick look in the Railway Museum at Port Erin. Two locos are on display, these are no 6 Peveril and 16 Mannin. The coach then headed to the Calf of Man. Well, to Sound Point which is as close you can get. There was quite a number of Grey Seals sleeping on the rocks. We saw few Choughs flying past and a Hooded Crow. There were some Sea Pinks, but they were past their best. I spotted my first Grayling of the year on a couple of stones, sadly it never opens it wings while at rest to show the orangey upperwing. We made our way back to Port Erin to catch our train back to Douglas. No 4 Loch built by Breyer Peacock in 1874 was the other serviceable engine to do the honours. We passed Hutchinson on a Port Erin service at Ballasalla Station. Near to Stanton Station was where the Fairy Bridge was, but we didn't see it. After we got back  to Douglas, Loch shunted the carriages back to the shed and we headed back to the hotel. We didn’t go out for a walk tonight as we had an early night.

July 2014