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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

  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

Wildlife in the Forest of Dean

Bob Bushell’s Wildlife
Photography

Slimbridge 2nd January 2013

We went to Slimbridge to see if the Bittern was going to show today for the 2013 season. We went to the Holden feeders first to look for the Water Rail but no sign. A flock of Long - tailed Tits arrived and started to feed on the peanut feeder. A Robin posed nicely on a post next to the hide. The Tack Piece from the Robbie Garnett Hide was still flooded and attracting very large amount of birds. The main waders visible from the hide were Lapwings and Golden Plovers, Dunlin and a few Black - tailed Godwits amongst the other birds.  Then the Lapwings took off from the flooded fields. Some came back to settle on the ground again and some flew towards the estuary. There is usually a Little Egret around the Tack Piece and it was on the bank of a small brook.


Lapwings, Dunlin, Black - tailed Godwit and Golden Plovers

Long - tailed Tit

Robin

Aterwards  we went to the Zeiss Hide straightaway to see if the Bittern was performing in front of hide. We timed it perfectly, the Bittern was by the tussocky grass. Then it moved further up into the grass and was out of sight for a couple of a minutes before reappearing for a short moment heading into a small patch in the reeds. Then it re-emerged and walked quite quickly through the big open gap and disappeared back into the reedbeds. It was not seen again later in the day so we think it might have gone to roost. A Grey Heron landed near where the Bittern was last seen and we hoped that his presence would coax the Bittern out again, but it was not to be.

Bittern

Lapwing  

Black - headed Gull [1st Winter]

As the Bittern was not going to show itself again, we moved to the South Lake where there were loads more Lapwings amongst a group of Black -headed Gulls which included a couple of 1st Winter birds. We had a look in the Wader Scrape and there were now a few Ruff in with the Avocets, Black-winged Stilts and Redshanks. It was lovely to see these birds in close detail. They were coming quite close to us and one Redshank even walked right up to us. If only the wild ones were that easy to photograph!

Cheltenham and Highnam 01/01/13

We went to Cheltenham to look for the Waxwings that were still present on Princess Elizabeth Way. When we first arrived the flock got chased off by a Sparrowhawk so we waited for them to come back. After a few minutes the Waxwings flew in and landed on top of a small tree.They posed in bunches on all branches in very good sunlight. We counted how many there were and the total was 22 birds. They were feeding on a few remaining berries but mainly the ones at the back of the trees and were also flighty. Afterwards, we went to Highnam Woods to see what was on the feeders. The birds of note were Nuthatches, Marsh Tits, Chaffinches, Great Tits, Blue Tits and Great Spotted Woodpecker twice very briefly. We went to the Forest of Dean and saw lots of flooded fields on the way. It was very busy in the forest, with all the car parks full up so be decided to go to Newport Wetlands to see what's been sighted and the Little Owl was one of the birds on the list We went to see if it was sunbathing in it's favorite tree but unfortunately we dipped out on it again. Definitely no Owls yet, but we'll try to catch up with one near Chipping Sodbury if its still there.

Waxwings

Waxwing

Waxwing

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Nuthatch  

Great Spotted Woodpecker [Male]

Marsh Tit

Portishead and Chew
7th January 2013

We went to Portishead to see if the Black Redstart was there today. We had good views of the male Black Redstart on the beach and flying past a couple of times. It went up on the roof of some buildings and flew back to the beach. After having a good preen to it's  feathers, it flew back to the trees. We went to look at Cheddar Reservoir to see what was there, the only good birds that were there was a small flock of Common Gulls. We went to Burnham to look for another Gull, a Glaucous Gull in it's 1st winter. The problem was that there was loads of other Gulls. Then somebody came along with a remote controlled car and disturbed the roosting Gulls making them all fly off. The only Gull species which remained were Black - headed Gulls which didn't seem to care about the noise, because they are used to it being in a more urban enviroment.  We went to Chew to see if the Barn Owl was out hunting. There was no sign as yet but a very lovely sunset over Heron's Green. After we were just about to give up and go home a Barn Owl made an appearance at the last moment. We pulled into a layby  and saw it flying over the farmland and out of sight. No photos, of course, as it was too dark, but a nice bird to add to my 2013 list.

Herriot’s Bridge , Chew Valley Lake


Pied Wagtail [Female]

Shelduck s at Sunset  


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Black Redstart  [Male]

Black Redstart [Male]

Common Gulls

Sparrowhawk in the garden
8th January 2013

On a pleasant afternoon in Yate the birds were feeding off the feeders happily and peacefully. Until a Sparrowhawk landed in the garden, unfortunately he just caught a Starling. The male is slightly smaller than the female and the orangey chest is clearly visble in the pictures. This was a very hungry Raptor. He knew we were there watching him and moved onto the big flowerpot. Then he jumped onto the rockery where he continued eating for a few more minutes and afterwards it took off with the rest of the bird. It's not a nice thing to see but the Sparrowhawk has to feed itself as well otherwise it'll die, and it is a lovely bird to look at.

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January 1 2013

Sparrowhawk [Male]