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Wildlife in and around the city of Bristol

www.landcaretrees.co.uk

The birds of

South

Gloucestershire

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March 2

  Dipper 31st

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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

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  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

River Exe 9th February 2013

We went to Starcross near the River Exe to go on the RSPB South West Avocet Curise around the Exe Estuary. Ed Drewitt was on board to do the commentary and it was very good.  Before we left, we saw a Herring Gull catching crabs in the harbour. The smaller ones, he just swallowed whole, but when he caught a big one he would bite the legs off first. Not nice! Mum couldn’t watch. But Mum enjoyed watching the Kingfisher that kept flying around the pontoons.  We saw 3 Red - breasted Mergansers even before we left Starcross. The boat made its way down to Dawlish and Exmouth first in the hope of spotting the Slavonian Grebe thats been resident here for about 4 years. But no sign today.  We saw quite a few Cormorants scattered around the islands and Dad spotted the Kingfisher perched on one of the small fishing boats. The River Exe has huge numbers of Dark - bellied Brent Geese from the High Arctic every winter and they were lovely to see. We saw Brent Geese flying over the boat and the town of Exmouth. Ed spotted a Peregrine high on the church spire at Exmouth. It was hard to see. Heading in the direction of Topsham we spotted some Red - breasted Mergansers displaying, although the females didn’t look very impressed.

 The Female Long - tailed Duck was still more or less in the same spot where we had seen it before, until a Black - headed Gull nearly landed on it's back and made take off which was the first I’ve seen a Long - tailed Duck in flight. There were definately lots of Red - breasted Mergansers on the river as we saw loads more before getting back to Starcross. Back at Starcross we watched someTurnstones in more natural habitat foraging through the seaweed in search of small insects. There was even two adults arguing over one clump of seaweed. A pair of Black - tailed Godwits were feeding nearby and there was a Little Egret, Curlew and Greenshank feeding there as well. It was starting to get dark and we finished the day watching the Fallow Deer at Powderham. It had been a really enjoyable trip and the rain even managed to keep away.

There was some excitement when a Grebe was spotted, but it turned out to be a Great Crested in first winter plumage. Oystercatchers and Curlews were feeding on the sandbanks, looking for lugworms. There was a flock of Wigeon swimming on the river and a Spotted Redshank was mixed in with a small flock of Bar-tailed Godwits near the path to Turf Lock Pub.  A Greenshank was feeding with a flock of Common Redshank nearnby.

Further down the estuary near we saw our first Avocets. They were in little groups feeding and in the background was a solitary Grey Plover.  A very special  bonus was a Female Long - tailed Duck present with some more Red - beasted Mergansers. The boat turned round at Topsham and we saw more Godwits on our way back to Starcross, this time it was Black - tailed Godwits. The flocks of Godwits were a bit smaller this winter due to some feeding in the flooded fields.

Cormorant


Brent Geese


Red - breasted Mergansers [Pair]


Bar - tailed Godwits [Right] and Spotted Redshank [Left]


Avocets in feeding action

Avocets


Long - tailed Duck [Female] flying off


Long - tailed Duck [Female] taking off

Red - breasted Mergansers

Black - tailed Godwit

Fallow Deer

Red - breasted Merganser [Male taking off

Fallow Deer Herd, Powderham Deer Park

Cheltenham 10th February 2013

The weather had taken the turn for the worse and it was too wet to go far, so we went to Cheltenham to see the Great Northern Diver at Pittville Park. It had been there for over a week and we thought this might be the last chance to see it. We spotted it at the far end of the lake and we walked round to get a better view. Later it swam up the lake giving us a fantastic view. This is a Adult in the middle of moulting out of Winter into Summer Plumage. It might have been grey and wet, but seeing this Diver certainly brightened my day.

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Herring Gull


Shag spreading wings out


February 2013

Aust Warth
27th February 2013

We went to Aust Warth after I finished work to looked for the Owls. We went down to look for the Twite first which were still present at the end of reedbeds. The best view of the Twite was when they perched in the tree right in front of us. That's my first Twite in Gloucestershire. In fact by waiting for the birds to come back that we nearly missed another special bird: the Barn Owl. We thought that the Twite might have gone to roost and the Barn Owl was flying in glowing sunset. Lovely way to end the day.

Barn Owl at Sunset

Twite at Aust Warth

Barn Owl by the Severn, Aust Warth

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