Sunday, 19 February 2017

Spring well...... springing a bit?

19 Feb - a passable dawn (well, fairly early morning) chorus at Waterhay this morning, with my first singing Blackbird of the year, together with Song Thrushes, 4 Reed Buntings, 4 Cetti's Warblers, a Chiffchaff (presumably an overwinterer), Wrens and Dunnocks. A pair of Great crested Grebes in full display at Cleveland Lakes, sadly about to be sold with a likely intrusion on the tranquility of this corner of CWP. The unseasonably mild temperatures may last a few days yet. A cycle around Southrop area north of Lechlade later produced several singing Yellowhammers, a male Stonechat, a calling Nuthatch, 100s of winter thrushes, and 2 Red Kites.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Red-flanked Bluetail........just

18 Feb - Over the Severn Bridge in murky weather to Wern Du, where a very elusive Bluetail is wintering...... I had 2 brief views of it in 4hrs of looking, the bird seeming to disappear amongst the dense trees and mossy forest floor. No photos !

Friday, 17 February 2017

Slimbridge briefly

17 Feb - A brief Slimbridge visit in sunnier weather than forecast, and I caught up with the Whitefront flock before they leave the Severn. Superb light on the South Lake from Hogarth hide, especially on the nervous, but close, Golden Plovers - together with Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Ruff and the wintering Little Stint - with the bonus of the first 8 Avocets of the season, accompanied by noisy Oystercatchers.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Poole Harbour

11 Feb - Rather bracing weather, cloudy with a NE wind, but well worthwhile, and a look at the Holes Bay redhead Smew en route. The harbour waters held 2 Great Northern Divers and 10 Black-necked Grebes, as well as a Common Scoter and good numbers of Red-breasted Mergansers. we cruised past the Brownsea lagoon which held impressive numbers of Avocets, Grey Plovers and Bar-tailed Godwits. The southern and western shores of the harbour are quieter and less developed, and highlights here included parties of Brent Geese, 14 Spoonbills and a flyby Med Gull. After the trip, and having thawed out, I crossed to Studland beach on the Sandbanks ferry and the reward was a large party of Sanderlings feeding on the tideline. Finally, as a highlight, I followed directions I'd been given for Lytchett Bay at low tide, and had superb close views of the wintering Lesser Yellowlegs at very close range. A stunning and elegant bird. A very successful day.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Local Dipper !

10 Feb - Dipper is an extremely rare bird in Swindon, the last being at least 20 y ago, and this 1st-winter bird has adopted the somewhat incongruous location of a tiny stream under Coate Water roundabout! I timed my visit well, as it was bobbing and feeding when I arrived, and allowed some photos despite the low light levels. Earlier, a quick stop at Edgeworth revealed good numbers of Bramblings, at least 15, increased in the cold weather - including some smart males which should start moulting into summer plumage as we near early spring. A quick stop at Shorncote this evening was successful in terms of Barn Owls, with a bird hunting and perching on posts in the semi-darkness.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

UAE winter birding

20 Jan - 6 Feb -

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Cotswolds and Quedgeley

28 Jan - Sunshine and showers, and much milder, today. A brief afternoon excursion firstly to Edgeworth, and more nice views of the Bramblings in the Finch flock both on the ground and perched up at the roadside. A few photos in the sunshine using the car as a hide. Also another look at Waxwings - no sun but cooperative birds feeding low down and giving nice views at eye level feeding on hips. Photographers, birders and locals all in attendance.