Sunday, April 30, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 30 April 2006

30 April 2006 A few species arrived en-masse today after a lull in the passage. Sedge Warblers were very much in evidence with at least 40 singing males logged. Swift reached 120 over the 100 Acre by the afternoon and unfortunately for one of them was joined by a pair of Hobby. These dashing falcons chased the hapless Swift and eventually forced it into a copse, something we have never witnessed before. A supporting cast of mostly singing males numbered, 12 Reed Warbler, 2 Common Whitethroat, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 16 Blackcap, 7 Chiffchaff and only 2 Willow Warber. A total of 5 Yellow Wagtail flew over today, 2 Wheatear along the foreshore and a minimum of 36 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Common Sandpiper, 16 Curlew, 24 Oytercatcher and 5 Bar-tailed Godwit. At least 8 Little Egret were around the reserve.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Local sightings 29 April 2006

29 April 2006 I (MJM) went out for an hour to Frampton on Severn this morning to check on some of the local birds. I had Nightingale singing, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Common Sandpiper, 100 Swift, 10 Sand Martin plus Swallows and House Martins and a breeding plumaged Dunlin plus 35 Coot, 12 GC Grebe and 20 Tufted Duck.

Neil Smart was leading a walk at WWT and reports only 23 Curlew, 12 Dunlin and 1 Whimbrel on the Dumbles edge.

Dunlin at Townfield Lake 29 April 2006 M.JMcGill.

James had spent the morning at CWP photographing Snake's Head Fritillary which are in full bloom.

Friday, April 28, 2006

WWT Slimbridge and local sightings 27 and 28 April 2006

28 April 2006 A flock of 50 Swift fed over Townfield Lake with the other hirundines and a single Common Sandpiper also noted. Also other highlights seen locally inc;ude 2 Swift, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Garganey (two males), 1 Snipe, 1 Knot, 40 Whimbrel and a Yellow Wagtail.

27 April 2006 I began the day with 44 Whimbrel, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Knot, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 15 Curlew and a pair of Garganey.

At WWT a flock of 90 Dunlin (Holden Tower) over the high tide and around 60 Black-tailed Godwit on South Lake were just about the only passage waders around. I saw six species of butterfly today with my first Orange Tip of the year.

Also locally tonight 2 Curlew, 45 Dunlin, 10 Ringed Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and 51 Whimbrel were all noted

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

WWT Slimbridge and local sightings 24-26 April 2006

Male Whinchat (the fourth so far this spring) at WWT Slimbridge 26 April 2006 J.S.Lees

Sorry for the interruption to the service, my phoneline has been down for a few days.

26 April 2006 At WWT Slimbridge, a male Whinchat and first-summer Mediterranean Gull (South Lake) were the highlights today, further species/counts were 1Wheatear 1 Yellow Wagtail, 12 Reed Warbler, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Peregrine, 1 Greater Scaup-male Lathbury hide and the high tide roost held 1 Grey Plover, 8 Ringed Plover, 17 Dunlin, 6 Oystercatcher, 14 Curlew, 65 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Little Egret.

Also a Lesser Whitethroat ,1 Common Sandpiper and 2 Little Egret this morning and 1 Wheatear, 56 Whimbrel, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Knot and c8 Dunlin were noted by MJM locally. At least two Swift were over the Perryway at Frampton on Severn this evening.

25 April 2006 Early in the day on the river at WWT Slimbridge MJM noted three first-summer Little Gulls which eventually headed off downriver and a walk before 0800 produced 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Common Whitethroat, 7 Grey Plover, 16 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel, 2 White Wagtail, 50 Dunlin, 1 Wheatear, male Garganey, a single screaming Swift (local bird back on territory?) and 2 Great Crested Grebe at Frampton on Severn. Also 2 Common Sandpiper.

24 April 2006 At WWT Slimbridge a few new birds were noted. A male Garganey was the first seen on the reserve so far this year. A total of 1o Little Egrets were present, 8 Willow Warbler, immature Peregrine, 13 GBBGull, 1 Curlew in the morning with 46 at the end of the day (migrants?), 32 Whimbrel arrived before the tide, 4 Wheatear, 11 Arctic Tern flew downriver at 0729, 2 White Wagtail, 90 migrant, first-summer BH Gulls which ended up on South Lake, 2 Snipe, a minimum of 64 Black-tailed Godwit.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 23 April 2006

23 April 2006 A good day for new migrants appearing with the overnight rain and low cloud this morning. An immature female Marsh Harrier headed north over the 100 Acre at 0640 (JSL). What is more likely to be a second bird was seen heading north past Berkeley Shore (P Taylor) at 0722. The Spoonbill that was present at Coombe Hill in the morning was seen on the South Lake this afternoon at around 1600 before heading south over the reserve.

The following numbers were logged...male Whinchat, 3 Common Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 38 Sedge Warbler, 16 Reed Warbler, 1 male Goosander north over the centre, 9 Wheatear, 2 Cuckoo, 3 Whimbrel, 3 Grey Plover, c34 Dunlin, c20 Ringed Plover, 3 Grey Plover, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 2 immature Peregrine.

At least 250 Teal, 28 Wigeon, 40 Shoveler, 4 Pintail and 40 Gadwall were present today. Only 3 Little Egret were seen today.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Anser Team sightings 21 April 2006

21 April 2006 A fall of birds today. I showed James some of the best Cotswold areas today and we logged the following species while out and about with my baby daughter Maisie.

Around the WWT 100 Acre ( near to WWT viewing platform) at least 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 48 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 2 Cetti's Warbler, 10 Chiffchaff, 3 Common Whitethroat, 38 Willow Warbler, 9 Blackcap, 11 Reed Bunting, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Wheatear.

Frampton on Severn; at least 3 male Nightingale and 1 Common Sandpiper.

Leckhampton Hill; a male Ring Ouzel, Yellow hammer, three Wheatear with a pair of Grey Partridge.

Cleeve Hill Radio masts, valley and West Down ; 26 Wheatear (4,13,9), male Stonechat, 3 Cuckoo, 2 Fieldfare, 5 Yellowhammer, 12 Willow Warbler, 1 Common Whitethroat, 2 Grey Partridge.

Hawling area; 12 Wheatear, 4 Red-legged Partridge.

Cobeley area; 18 Wheatear.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 19 and 20 April 2006

20 April 2006 The rain showers had brought down a few more migrants. The Black-tailed Godwits numbered 62 on South Lake with a Common Sandpiper, a singing Sedge Warbler plus singing Grasshopper Warbler (DBP). The car park field had a female Yellow Wagtail on the deck with the Pieds. The 100 Acre had 150 Swallow, 100 Sand Martin, 2 Swift and 10 House Martin, 1 first-summer Kittiwake, 1 Greenshank, 1 Grey Plover and 7 Black-tailed Godwit flew over, 7 singing Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, calling Cuckoo, 2 Cetti's Warblers, 1 Wheatear, 1 Yellow Wagtail and a male Whinchat. A flock of at least seven Wheatear were along the foreshore and moving north. Many species are breeding at this crucially sensitive time, I saw Redshank (30 present) tending to eggs with 15 sitting Lapwing so far.

The Holden Tower hides at lunchtime had a Common Whitethroat, 3 Common Sandpiper, immature male Peregrine, c35 Ringed Plover, c25 Dunlin, 2 Knot, 6 Grey Plover, a Little Egret, singing Sedge and Reed Warblers, 50 Sand Martin and 30 Swallow on view. M.J.McGill.

19 April 2006 I started the day with a single Common Sandpiper on Frampton Townfield lake at 0620. No sign of the pair of Avocet around the reserve from 0645 to end of the day. The Black-tailed Godwit flock numbered 62 on South Lake with 2 in the 100 Acre and 26 on the estuary mud. The flock are mobile so may be some of the same birds. The South Lake also held 10 Lapwing, 6 Oystercatcher and a Common Sandpiper with a pair of displaying G.C.Grebe.
At the 100 Acre/Bull Ground and all viewable from the WWT platform a male Blue-headed Wagtail , probable lutea (Yellow-headed Wagtail) with at least five Yellow Wagtail (four males, one female), three were seen/heard overflying northwards. There may have been a few more. No wagtails were seen later despite a search. A Swift over the reedbed with 100 Swallow 3 House Martin and 40 Sand Martin. The wintering Spotted Redshank was also present along with 2 Pintail, 50 Teal, 20 Shoveler, 10 Gadwall and 12 Wigeon. The Top New Piece held 2 Pintail among the duck. 100 Swallow and 50 Sand Martin were around the centre. A flock of 9 Yellow Wagtail flew over the Rushy at 1600, two were in the Rushy and two males and one female were in the Big Pen all afternoon. More were reported on South Lake. At least five Wheatear were seen, three in the 100 Acre, 1 Middle Point and one along the foreshore. Only four Ringed Plover were seen on the river at lunchtime. A male Cetti's Warbler was calling from the Water Vole enclosure

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 18 April 2006

18 April 2006 The clear nights have given more wildfowl the chance to depart. Lesser numbers of all duck species were present today. The male Greater Scaup was on the Long Ground Pool. At least eight Ruddy Duck arrived as migrants. We did not get out to the tide at lunch but single Common Sandpipers at South Lake and 100 Acre (plus one canal and 4 at Frampton Townfield Lake) were new. A flock of 60 Black-tailed Godwit were also on SL. At 1520 a pair of Avocet were seen to fly in at the same site (a first for the lake). They certainly looked the part and were feeding very well. Later a Whimbrel joined the godwits for a bit.

Whimbrel and Black-tailed Godwits on South Lake 18 April 2006 M.J.McGill

One of the Avocet pair on South Lake 18 April 2006 M.J.McGill.

Black-tailed Godwits on South Lake 18 April 2006 M.J.McGill

Around the centre more House Martins were seen today with a larger flock of Swallow during the afternoon rain showers. Only one Yellow Wagtail was seen to fly over today. On the way home I called in to Frampton where a single Swift was hawking with the hirundines.

Monday, April 17, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 17 April 2006

17 April 2006 Another day with a trickle of migrants moving through. The river was very quiet with most species being seen over the high tide. At least 100 Curlew, 1 Whimbrel, 7 Knot, 4 Dunlin, 1 Sanderling, 8 Ringed Plover, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 female Wheatear, 3 White Wagtail over, 8 Oystercatcher, 80 Shelduck and immature male Peregrine were all present on the Dumbles edge.

The highlight of the day for me was a Nuthatch (6th reserve record and first for me) at Middle Point. It was in the hawthorn hedge and eventually flew out calling as it headed higher and out over the estuary. After reaching a third of the way across it 'bottled it' and returned back over me to the Turkey Oaks. This could be the same bird that was seen on 8 April at the 100 Acre.

In the 100 Acre viewable from the WWT platform at least 6 Little Egret, 9 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, 1 Grey Plover, 12 Redshank, 36 Lapwing, 100 Teal, 26 Shoveler, 12 Wigeon and 8 Gadwall were on view with Cetti's and Sedge Warblers singing nearby. A single White Wagtail flew over with two single Yellow Wagtails also recorded today. A Common Tern was back on site by the evening.

At least ten Hares were seen in the 50 Acre with three more in the 100 Acre.

Around the centre scrapes a flock of 64 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Common Sandpiper and 10 Oystercatcher with Sedge Warbler, 8 Blackcap, 8 Willow Warbler and 10 Chiffchaff singing in the hedges. The first-summer male Greater Scaup was on the South Lake this afternoon showing very well. A Little Grebe and two displaying Great Crested Grebe were also at this site. A pair of Black-headed Gulls have taken a terrritory on the left hand island rather than on the rafts. This will hopefully be a good chance to establish a large colony on the lake.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 16 April 2006

Lunar Hornet Moths Sesia bembeciformis at WWT Slimbridge 16 April. Recently hatched out from reserve willows M.J.McGill. The bored out holes of this species are often discovered in willow coppice stumps around the reserve. They have been found inside the building before and mistaken for killer bees.

16 April 2006 I (Martin McGill) led a Birdwatch morning today (0730-0930) and then took a few WWT members out onto the river mid-morning. The following species were recorded. 8 Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, Great-spotted Woodpecker (drumming), 2 Kingfisher (breeding pair were excellent), 25 Wigeon, 2 Pintail, 30 Gadwall, 30 Shoveler, Sedge Warbler (singing), 12 Oystercatcher, 14 Lapwing, 52 (islandica) Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Common Sandpiper, 7 Great Crested Grebe, 5 Little Egret, 1 male Wheatear, 3 single flyover Yellow Wagtails, 1 Sand Martin. About 8 Swallow are back on territory.

Over high tide we saw 1 White Wagtail, 76 Turnstone (possibly a record count), 20 Ringed Plover, 15 Dunlin, 1 Little Stint, 4 Whimbrel, 100 Curlew, 3 Grey Plover, 6 Black-tailed Godwit (one colour ringed), 2 Knot, 2 Little Egret, 5 Oystercatcher and 55 Shelduck. Most if not all of these were viewable from the Holden Tower.

The 100 Acre held the wintering Spotted Redshank (attaining breeding plumage), 3 Little Egret, 150 Teal, 3 Wigeon, 2 Pintail, 16 Redshank, 30 Lapwing and 30 Shoveler which were all viewable from the WWT platform along Green Lane (access from canal towpath).

Also the first returning House Martin was around Whitminster yesterday.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 15 April 2006

15 April 2006 The following birds were noted today. Grasshopper Warbler-1 singing from brambles in the Hundred acre pools. It could be heard from our viewing platform.Common Whitethroat-1, Cuckoo-1, Yellow Wagtail-1, Redstart-first-summer male by the Holden Tower, Sedge Warbler-2, Reed Warbler-1, Willow Warbler-13, Chiffchaff-11, Cettis Warbler-3, Blackcap-5, Wheatear-2, Sand Martin-5, Swallow-10, first-winter Kittiwake-1, Whimbrel 2 with the Curlew(103) over high tide along with a Grey Plover, 8 Oystercatcher and 11 Little Egret around the reserve.

Friday, April 14, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 14 April 2006

14 April 2006 A number of migrants recorded including 1 male Redstart, 1 Sedge Warbler, 8 Blackcap, 1 Reed Warbler at the Martin Smith Hide, 17 Chiffchaff, 14 Willow warbler, 3 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Redpoll over, 1 Whimbrel, 3 Common Sandpiper; 1- 100 Acre, 1 South Lake, 1 Robbie Garnett Hide and from the Holden Tower; 1 Grey Plover, 4 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 60 Curlew, 1 Snipe, 10 Redshank, 7 Jay, Male Greater Scaup at the Lathbury hide, 43 Blackwit on South Lake, 196 Teal in the 100 Acre, 2 Pintail, 5 Little Egret.

Common Sandpiper by J.S.Lees WWT Slimbridge 14 April 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 12 April 2006

First winter/summer Kittiwake 100 Acre 12 April 2006 M.J.McGill

12 April 2006 A better day with more migrants appearing. The first Reed Warbler was at the Robbie Garnett hide, two Yellow Wagtail over, 1 Whimbrel over; 2 Wheatear, 1 White Wagtail, 22 Dunlin, 33 Ringed Plover and 1 Little Stint from the Holden Tower. In the 100 Acre, a female Merlin and female Sparrowhawk (both hunting waders simultaneously), two adult Ruff (pair), 3 Oystercatcher, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Spotted Redshank, 2 Snipe, 14 Redshank, 100 Teal, 4 Pintail, 3 Little Egret, two White Wagtail and a first winter/summer Kittiwake in the 100 Acre. A flock of 81 Curlew were on the river off Frampton. At least 38 Black-tailed Godwit on South Lake. The first summer male Greater Scaup was on the Top New Piece. At least three Blackcap were around today with 10+ Willow Warbler and 8+ Chiffchaff. 30 Sand Martin and 20 Swallow were also noted.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 10 and 11 April 2006

11 April 2006 The slightly higher tide resulted in at least 12 Ringed Plover, 4 Grey Plover and 10 Dunlin being seen from the Holden Tower. A single Wheatear was along the seawall. Up to three White Wagtail joined the Pieds on the pool. The Black-tailed Godwits increased to 48 on South Lake. House Martins were back on site with 30 Swallow also around the site.

The first-winter/summer Kittiwake is still on the Splatt Bridge floods viewable from the towpath.

10 April 2006 I am back from Extremedura, Spain. A full trip report will be posted soon. A very cold start to the day turned into a sunny warm afternoon. Three White Wagtail were around the pool on the Dumbles and four Wheatear were along the seawall but little else of note on the river except the large numbers of Shelduck. A tleast 130 Shoveler were around the reserve. A flock of 42 Black-tailed Godwit graced the South Lake. Four Little Egret were feeding on the reserve and a Common Sandpiper was noted along the Warth. Another Wheatear was seen along the foreshore.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 2 April 2006

2 April 2006 A calm start to the morning soon turned into quite a gale. A Siskin flew over the centre. I watched an adult female Peregrine as she was joined by an immature male and they pursued and dispatched a Woodpigeon, the final strike was in line with a rainbow providing a stunning backdrop to this action. Despite searching we could not locate the pair of Avocet that were on the 100 Acre yesterday and I saw with Neil on the river on Friday. A male White Wagtail was in the 100 Acre. While I was on the rounds with Neil we stopped along the sea-wall to watch the tide for a bit. At c1045 a Great Skua loomed into view across the river and almost immediately dropped out of the sky onto a Herring Gull. It grabbed its neck and tumbled to the water where a vicious final assualt took place eventually killing the bird, an awesome sight. This bird was initially seen by the Severnside birders at c1020 and was also seen off Oldbury. Nice for them to share the seabird spoils with Glos Severn seawatchers. It was still present at 1545. Later a Fulmar was found by James Lees as it floated and flew around the estuary basin (c1145 to 1500). A second summer Mediterranean Gull was also milling about with a first-winter Kittiwake seen also. A Great Crested Grebe was bobbing about in the surf. Unusually a party of five Little Grebe were on the Tack Piece scrape. Only six Black-tailed Godwit were seen on the Top New Piece with a single Little Egret. Before the tide c20 Ringed Plover and 37 Dunlin were feeding on the mudflats. Swallows, Sand Martins, Chiffchaff and Willow Warblers were around the scrapes/hedges.