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Wildlife in and around the city of Bristol

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Bristol and Avon Bird

Sightings

Wildlife in the Forest of Dean

Bob Bushell’s Wildlife
Photography

Swanage Railway & Arne RSPB 25th March 2019

We went to Dorset for the day. We started at Corfe Common on the Swanage Railway to see 60103 Flying Scotsman passing through heading for Swanage. We also saw 30120 passing Corfe Common on the way to Norden. In the car park at Norden, we saw Chiffchaff & Comma. In the field next to Norden Park & Ride, we had a good view of Flying Scotsman heading in & out of the station. In the afternoon, we had a quick visit to Arne RSPB to look for Dartford Warblers. One Male showed very well at times on Coombe Heath. Finally, we returned to the field at Norden, to see Flying Scotsman's last departure for the day to Swanage. The engine was due to star in the Spring Steam Gala over the weekend from 29th-31st March 2019, but due to gauging issues meant Flying Scotsman spent most of the gala on display in light steam at Corfe Castle siding.

Dartford Warbler [Male]

Comma

Peacock Butterfly

60103 Flying Scotsman

Leighton Moss RSPB & Charnock Richard 28.024.19

We back to Leighton Moss RSPB to have another look for the Garganey. We popped into the Causeway Hide to see if it was there, but no sign. We did see a Little Grebe from the hide. While Mum stayed in the hide, Me & Dad headed down to the Lower Hide to see if the bird was about there. On the way down, we saw a young Roe Deer Buck. From the Lower Hide, we had two pairs of Greylag Geese which seemed to share the caring of a single Gosling, Marsh Marigold & a fly past Bittern, which landed in the reedbed. On the way back to the visitor centre, we saw at least 3 Male Orange Tips nectaring on Cuckoo Flowers. After lunch in the cafe, we continued on the home stretch via Charnock Richard. We stopped there, on our way south to look for the Hoopoe that had been there for a few days. It was feeding and showing very well late afternoon in the field. Sadly on Monday Morning 29th April, the bird was taken by Sparrowhawk. A very sad ending for this individual.  

Hoopoe

Orange Tip [Male]

Bittern [Adult]

Greylag Goose [Pair]

Roe Deer [Juvenile Male]

Greylag Gosling

Little Grebe [Summer]

Bittern [Adult]

Scotland Day 6 26.04.19

We headed to Chanonry Point to see Bottlenose Dolphins in the Moray Firth. The Pod swam past up the Firth and later swam back down  during the time of the tide coming in. Unfortunately, they didn't hang around. I asked Charlie Phillips of WDC if he could recognise them. The light one is Bonnies calf from last year along with Bonnie, an older calf and a Male called Scoopy. A couple of Herring Gulls were present on the shoreline and one was dropping a mussel onto the beach to crack it open. A flock of Long-tailed Ducks flew past the point in full Summer Plumage. A Common Guillemot was still in it's Winter Plumage, which was a little unusual for this time of year. A Common Gull in 1st Summer Plumage flew past the point. We saw both Sandwich & Common Terns. We popped into Nairn to look for the King Eider, but no sign. We saw lots of Long-tailed Ducks at a distance & a Turnstone with Common Redshanks in the harbour. We went back over the moor at Lochindorb in search of Black-throated Divers. Still none. We had Oystercatchers, Lapwings, Common Gulls & a few Red Grouse displaying. In the field, we saw a single Golden Plover. When we got back to the chalet, Stewart showed us the Male Timberman Beetle again after James had finished filming the sequence for Springwatch. The Male was about to be released back into the wild in the woodlands. Stewart also showed us a deceased Female for comparison. I’ve always wanted to see these Beetles, so it was great to get photos of them.

Bottlenose Dolphins

Bottlenose Dolphins

Herring Gull [Adult Summer]

Long-tailed Duck [Summer Males]

Common Guillemot [Winter]

Herring Gull [Adult Summer]

Sandwich Tern [Summer]

Golden Plover [Summer]

Common Redshank [Summer Pair]

Common Redshank [Summer Flock]

Timberman Beetle [Male]

Scotland Day 7 27.04.19

Our final morning was spent at Loch Garten RSPB & managed to see a pair of Common Redstarts in front of the visitor centre. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen at the feeders briefly. At last I saw a Crested Tit that was foraging in the pine tree in front of the visitor centre. On our way south we called into Loch Leven RSPB for a cup of tea. We were going to explore around the nature reserve at Eskrigg, but due to bad weather we decided to head straight to the B&B in Gretna.

Crested Tit [Adult]

Scotland Day 5 25.04.19

We popped back to Loch Garten RSPB to see if there was any Crested Tits about. Sadly had just missed the Common Redstarts that morning. On the back to the carpark, we saw a Common Toad crossing the main track. We had a quick walk to Loch Mallachie to see if any Crested Tits or Crossbills were around. Sadly, not this year. We went to Loch Insh to see how the Ospreys were doing. Like at Loch of the Lowes SWT, the Female was on eggs & relying on the Male to bring back the fish. He made a few fly passes and chasing the Crows away from the nest. He spent some of the time perched in the tree. Other birds seen were a Pied Wagtail and a pair of Goosanders. A few Mayflies were also flying around the loch. We headed back to Cairngorm, where we saw a Male Red Grouse and a Male Ring Ouzel was foraging around the car park. On our way back to the chalet we saw a pair of Slavonian Grebes. When we got back to Nethy Bridge, Stewart showed us a Male Timberman Beetle that was going to be filmed for the Springwatch programme. It was the first time I’ve seen one

Common Toad [Adult]

Osprey [Adult]

Osprey [Adult]

Mayfly

Red Grouse [Male]

Slavonian Grebe [Summer]

Slavonian Grebe [Summer]

Scotland Day 4 24.04.19

We had a walk in Abernethy Forest from Forest Lodge to Rynettin. Sadly, we didn't see much during our long trek through the forest, except Green Hairstreaks,Chaffinches, Coal Tits & Willow Warblers. It was very cloudy on top of the mountains so even the view was not too good this time. We headed back up to Cairngorm to look for the Ring Ouzels. We saw a pair feeding around both car parks & also some Scottish Primroses. On the way back to Nethy Bridge, we saw a Brown Hare in the field. That evening, we went to the Speyside Wildlife Hide near Rothiemurchus in the hope of seeing Pine Martens as none have been seen at the chalet this year so far. We saw a Wood Mouse making some brief appearances. However we had to wait until 11PM, before the Pine Marten & Badgers showed. The Male Pine Marten was feeding briefly in front of the hide & went onto the table to take his egg away, before the Badgers stole the show. The Badgers performed really well that evening, as this is one creature we don't see often. Sadly we didn't see the Pine Marten again, but was nice to see the Badgers.

Ring Ouzel [Male]

Green Hairstreak

Siskin [Male]

Willow Warbler [Male]

Ring Ouzel [Pair]

Ring Ouzel [Male]

Ring Ouzel [Male]

Scottish Primrose

Scottish Primrose

Brown Hare [Adult

Badger [Adult]

Badger [Adult]

Scotland Day 3 23.04.19

We headed northwards in the Highlands. We stopped at a loch on the way and we had good views of some Black-throated Divers. We also saw Red Deer in some roadside fields.

We headed up into the mountains to look for Ptarmigan. Me and Dad had a walk to the top of the summit, but nothing. However, Mum stayed around near the bottom  & spotted a Male Ptarmigan briefly on a rock. When we walked back down to where she was sitting, the Ptarmigan reappeared and started to walk towards us. It was a Male bird in partial plumage between Winter & Spring. He had wandered into another Male's territory and there was a bit of a dispute, when another Male appeared. Eventually, the intruder flew further up the mountain. This Male by comparison was already in Summer Plumage & flew back over to where a Female was feeding. After they disappeared over the top, we headed back to the car park.

We headed further up to Aultbea. On a small lochan near Mullen Charles, we managed to see the Male Blue-winged Teal that had been showing well for the past few months. Afterwards we made our way back south. We had a quick look on the loch where we had seen the Black-throated Divers, but no sign. When we passed Achnasheen Station, we saw 3 Red Deer feeding on the grass. They were oblivious of the cars and didn’t mind us being there. Lovely to see them so close.


Ptarmigan [Male]

Black-throated Diver [Summer]

Red Deer

Ptarmigan Droppings

Ptarmigan [Male]

Red Deer [Juvenile & Female]

Blue-winged Teal [Male]

Ptarmigan [Female]

Scotland Day 2 22.04.19

We woke up at Nethy Bridge with another sunny morning & a pair of Bullfinches.
We started off the morning at Nethy Bridge to look around the community centre & to get a few things from the Shop. Dad dropped me & Mum off, while he took the shopping back to the chalet. While we were waiting for Dad to pick us up, we saw a Dipper on the river and I didn't have my camera. When Dad picked us up, we had to head back to the chalet quickly, because on the way to pick us up, Dad had to stop to rescue a Red Squirrel that had been hit by a car. However during it's rescue, Dad got scratched by it's sharp claws had a deep cut in his finger which was bleeding badly. Janet bound up the wound for him and we continued on our way. We headed to the Findhorn Valley at Strathdearn. We saw a pair of Common Sandpipers on the river with an Oystercatcher. Further along the valley there was a Common Toad was on the road so Mum got out this time to rescue it and move it to the side. Sadly, further along the road were some others that hadn’t been so lucky. We saw quite a number of Northern Wheatears throughout the valley. We went along the Farr Road to Loch Ruthven RSPB. We saw Meadow Pipits & Red Grouse on the way. We also saw legal traps on the moor, which are for trapping Stoat etc., but also small birds can get caught in them unfortunately. Near Farr, we saw a Male Roe Deer feeding in a field. We went to Loch Ruthven RSPB to see Slavonian Grebes. A Pied Wagtail was foraging on the beach. We had excellent views of Slavonian Grebes from the hide. One bird was chasing the Little Grebe away from it's territory. There was a little bit of display from some birds. Four pairs were seen from the hide. A Male Reed Bunting was perched by the loch in a small bush. We went back via Lochindorb to look for Black-throated Divers, as we didn't see them the previous day. We still saw plenty of Red Grouse on the moor & had pretty close encounters. A Common Sandpiper was foraging down by the loch and a Female Northern Wheatear was seen on the moorland, but no Divers. Afterwards we went back to the chalet.


Northern Wheatear [Male]

Bullfinch [Female]

Common Sandpiper [Pair]

Common Sandpiper [Adult]

Northern Wheatear [Male]

Red Grouse [Male]

Red Grouse [Female]

Slavonian Grebe [Summer]

Roe Deer [Male]

Reed Bunting [Male]

Red Grouse [Female  & Male]

Meadow Pipit [Adult]

Scotland Day 1 21.04.19

We woke up at Nethy Bridge to see a Red Squirrel feeding on Peanuts in the garden.
We popped into Loch Garten RSPB to see what was happening. The bad news was that EJ hadn't come back & we were worried that she's wasn’t going to. We had seen her when she first arrived at Loch Garten and followed all her adventures with various mates - Henry, Orange VS, Red 8T and of course Odin, who disappeared a couple of years ago during the breeding season (resulting in the death of their chicks, unfortunately). It was like the end of an era and volunteers were hoping for a new pair of Ospreys to take over the nest. There wasn't many birds on the feeders either, so we moved on to Broomhill to look for the Dipper. Plenty of Sand Martins were flying around & over the bridge feeding on insects. A pair of Dippers were collecting food for their chicks along the Spey. The Strathspey Railway currently terminates at Broomhill & while watching the Dippers from the bridge, we saw the train departing for Aviemore behind Caledonian loco 828. As it was going tender first, I thought we would watch its departure from a distance. We drove over to Lochindorb to see what was about. The usual population of Common Gulls that breed on the moor were there and of course the Red Grouse, which we saw quite a few of. We went for a walk to look for Crested Tits, but sadly didn't see or hear any. We went to for drive out to some moorland near Grantown-on-Spey & saw a Male Northern Wheatear with more brighter contrast to it's plumage. This is pretty likely to be a Greenland bird. Afterwards we went back to Nethy Bridge.

Red Squirrel [Adult]

Dipper [Adult]

Sand Martin [Adult]

Dipper [Adult]

828 at Broomhill

Common Gull [Adult Summer]

Common Gull [Summer Pair]

Red  Grouse [Male]

Red Grouse [Male]

Greenland Northern Wheatear [Male]

Loch Leven RSPB & Loch of the Lowes SWT 20.04.19

We popped into Loch Leven RSPB on our way to the Highlands. We had a cup of tea in the cafe, before having a walk to a few hides. A Male Greenfinch was perched in a tree near the hide and a Song Thrush was feeding around the feeding station.
From the 2nd hide, we saw a massive flock of Pink-footed Geese that had not yet migrated back to their breeding grounds in Iceland. The Lapwings were fighting, chasing & displaying in front of the hide. Suddenly a Peregrine Falcon flew past in front of the hide. We had seen it earlier from the cafe when it landed on the bank of the loch. It must have been down there eating something. We also saw Curlews, Common Redshanks mating & a Little Egret. We saw at several Tree Sparrows around the visitor centre. Between the visitor centre & the car park, Dad spotted a Female Brambling near the feeders. We later saw it perched in the tree. We then headed to our next stop at Loch of Lowes SWT. On route near Dunkeld, we saw a herd of Fallow Deer. At the Loch of the Lowes feeding station were Yellowhammers, Siskins, Common Pheasants, Male Brambling and Chaffinches.
We went to the hide overlooking the Osprey nest & the loch. The Female Osprey was on eggs, so she was relying on the Male to bring in the fish. We saw him do a fly past during our visit. We also saw 4 Great Crested Grebes on the loch doing their head shaking display. We had our last look at the feeders before heading to Nethy Bridge and saw the Male Brambling [nearly in Summer Plumage] had returned and was feeding on the peanuts. There was also a Red Squirrel jumping from branch to branch en route to the feeders, but just as it reached the nearest tree, it ended up missing a branch & hitting the ground hard. It was a bit painful to watch and we were amazed that it didn't injure itself in the process. It climbed into the Squirrel feeder and spent much of the last remaining minutes of our visit hiding in the box. We then made our way up to the Highlands. We had a quick look for any Ring Ouzels on Cairngorm & managed to see a Female feeding near the bottom car park in the late afternoon.

Peregrine Falcon [Adult]

Pink-footed Goose [Flock]

Lapwing [Adults]

Little Egret [Juvenile]

Tree Sparrow [Adult]

Tree Sparrow [Adult]

Siskin [Male]

Fallow Deer [Herd]

Brambling [Male]

Yellowhammer [Male]

Osprey [Adult]

Ring Ouzel [Female]

Leighton Moss RSPB 19.04.19

We got to Leighton Moss RSPB late, due to major roadworks on the M6. In the car park were a pair of Collared Doves. We had a cup of tea in the cafe and then had a look around the feeders, but all we saw were a pair of Common Pheasants. We popped into Lillian's  Hide and saw nothing, so Me & Mum walked to the Causeway Hide. On the way, we saw a female Orange Tip feeding on Cuckoo Flower. From the Causeway Hide, we saw 3 Otters playing in the middle of the lake. There were also Common Pochards, Great Black-backed Gull, Coots, Greylag Goose, Cormorants, Common Teals & Mallards. A Male Marsh Harrier made a brief fly past. A Little Grebe was also present. We had a special sighting of an Osprey soaring over the reserve until it got harassed by a Carrion Crow. It was last seen heading towards the Morecambe Bay Estuary.
A Female Greater Scaup was another bonus sighting for the day. Afterwards we headed to the B&B in Gretna.

Scotland 19th-28th April 2019

Osprey [Adult]

Collared Dove [Adult]

Orange Tip [Female]

Marsh Harrier [Male]

Osprey [Adult]

Little Grebe [Summer]

Greater Scaup [Female]

Scotland 2019