Monday, October 30, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 30 Ocotber 2006

Bewick's Swan (Dario and Dorcus) in the Rushy at WWT Slimbridge M.J.McGill.

The Wigeon flock has reached 900 with some further increase in Pochard 110 and Pintail 90 also. Four Chiffchaff were on site today showing that some new arrivals are in. A few flocks of Redwing headed south and a party of 10 Siskin were near the Holden Tower. I never got to bird any areas around the reserve much today so have no counts or info for the Dumbles.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

WWT Slimbridge and Gloucestershire sightings 26 to 29 October

Northern Lapwing on the South Lake M.J.McGill.

29 October 2006 Not much in the way of migration but great weather to be out birding. The low tides and calm conditions did little to change the birding situation at the trust. A flock of 27 Cormorant were on South Lake with 33 on the river, this is a high count for WWT. Two Wheatear along the foreshore and at least 5 Stonechat around the 100 Acre/Bull Ground fences were probably the best of the passerines. The waders remain consistent with at least 13 Ruff, 5 Little Stint and 2 Black-tailed Godwit seen today. I did not view the Dumbles over high tide so there were likely to be more present than this. 33 G White-fronted Goose were also seen here today. 2-3 Water Rail were in the pool in front of the Martin Smith hide.The group of 4 Bewick's Swan's returned to roost in the Rushy after spending the day at Walmore Common with 2 Whooper Swans (Andy Jayne). They consist of Dario (visiting WWT since 1999 as a cygnet) and Dorcus, Dumbles (a yearling) and a three year old that was present with the pair last winter. The Whoops did not arrive with them unfortunately.

28 October 2006 A 2nd winter Caspian Gull was reported from the Dumbles over the tide.

27 October 2006 At least 100 Siskin were around the picnic area at Cannop Ponds, Forest of Dean.

26 October 2006 The first 3 Bewick's Swans arrived today and were present on the Rushy.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 24 October 2006

Male Stonechat along the Top/Bottom New Piece hedge. This species benefits from the change in use from goose pasture to wet grassland with rough headlands. We expect it to increase further and is now a well established wintering visitor. October and November are the best months for numbers of this species along with the Cetti's Warbler. Image by M.J.McGill.

24 October 2006 The highlight of the day was a brief female/immature Red-breasted Merganser that flewupriver as the tide flooded. In the bushes around the Holden Tower a Chiffchaff, 2 Redwing and 6 Blackbirds were present, 1300 Golden Plover were on the Dumbles with 18 Ruff, 500 Lapwing, 3 Knot, 3 Little Stint, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, c40 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Dark-bellied Brent and an adult Yellow-legged Gull. A number of Goldcrests were around the South Finger feeding station which has been somewhat revamped to increase interest. A male Stonechat was on the hedges near here (see above).

Sunday, October 22, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 22 and 23 October 2006

Pied Wagtail from the Holden Tower 22 October 2006 and colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwit on the South Lake 18 October 2006 (the bird was ringed by WWT Slimbridge staff in Iceland during the summer) M.J.McGill.

23 October 2006 No sign of the scarcer birds from yesterday but a few new migrants were encouraging. From the Holden Tower over high tide 2 Peregrine, 800 Golden Plover, 609 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Little Stint, 15 Ruff, 500 Lapwing, 250 Curlew, 5 Redshank, 37 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 adult Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Dark-bellied Brent and a few Greater White-fronted Geese. Two Blackcap, a few Reed Bunting, 7 Blackbird, 2 Redwing and a couple of Goldcrest were in the bushes.

The South Finger reedbed had two calling Water Rail, 2 Reed Buntings, at least 3 Blackcap, 2 Cetti's Warbler and a Reed Warbler. In the Top New Piece reedbed a Reed Warbler was joined by a Cetti's Warbler. A flock of 6 Redpoll went over south but may be feeding birds touring the alders. At lunchtime we checked the north end where a Wheatear and five Stonechats were the highlights.

22 October 2006 A blustery night may have brought a few more birds to the area. Over the high tide from the Holden Tower we logged 2 Peregrine, 1 Oystercatcher, 736 Golden Plover, 9 Grey Plover, 40 Dunlin, 100 Curlew, 500 Lapwing, 1 Ruff, 2 Little Stint, 2 Dark-bellied Brents, 31 Greater White-fronted Geese, 2 large continental Greylag which remained seperate from the 350+ Western Greylag but the highlight was a juvenile Pink-footed Goose 0745-0950 at least and first-winter Ring-billed Gull 0900-1030 at least. The latter was seen in flight and compared to the nearby Common Gulls.

Among the thousands of duck around the scrapes a Ferruginous type was seen in the Rushy but the rain hampered viewing.

Friday, October 20, 2006

WWT Slimbridge and local sightings 17 to 19 October 2006

19 October 2006 I spent a full day in the field looking at birds around the county with three colleagues (two of which are big on mosses!).

WWT Slimbridge had 2 Dark-bellied Brent, 2 Peregrine, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 100 Golden Plover, 100 Dunlin, 4 Little Egret as well as thousands of wildfowl.

Sharpness Marina and pier offered only a single Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, Treecreeper and a few Goldcrests plus 10 Redshank.

On Cleeve Hill we had 3 very shy and skulking 1st winter Ring Ouzels plus a few small flocks of Meadow Pipit, a Peregrine and 2 Raven.

The high Cotswold farmland and tracks around Hawling held a number of small Chaffinch flocks on the beech mast, 2 Stock Dove, more Red-legged Partridge than you could shake a stick at, 7 Buzzard, 25 Skylark, 1 Golden Plover and a few Yellowhammer.

Frampton Townfield Lake had 2 Little Grebe, 2 Green Sandpiper, 35 Tufted Duck, 8 Pochard, 150 Coot, 25 Great Crested Grebe and 5 Little Egret.

Fretherne had the gathering gull roost consisting of the 5 commoner species, 3 Grey Plover, 10 Dunlin and 30 Curlew. The Starling roost at Splatt North Reedbed had c5,000 birds wheeling over it at dusk.

18 October 2006 35 Greater White-fronted Geese, 2 Dark-bellied Brent, 140 Golden Plover, 1 Ringed Plover, 344 Dunlin, 2 Rock Pipit plus a Rock/Water Pipit, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Wheatear, 2 Jack Snipe, 13 Snipe, 18 Skylark, a few Redpoll and 12 Black-tailed Godwit around the reserve today.

17 October 2006 A few migrants around, the pick being 2 Chiffchaff and 55 Redwing, 5 Siskin and 50 Chaffinch over north. 30 Greater White-fronted Geese and 2 Dark-bellied Brent were also on site.

Monday, October 16, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 15 and 16 October 2006

16 October 2006 On South Lake 39 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 juvenile Ruff, 1 Greater Scaup, 58 Pochard, 120 Tufted Duck and 13 Redwing over north. The Long Ground Pool had a Spotted Redshank with only 18 Greater White-fronted Geese from the Zeiss Hide. A single Chiffchaff was in the Decoy. Two adult Dark-bellied Brent were on the Tack Piece with most of the naturalised/re-naturalised geese and 550 Wigeon (muck spreading moved them off). A Cetti's Warbler was in the pool in front of the Martin Smith hide. Two Ruff, 80 Golden Plover and 10 Dunlin were seen in flight from the Holden Tower.

15 October 2006 Plenty of visible migration with 9 Swallow and 12 Redwing over north, a constant stream of Chaffinch, Linnet, Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipit, Skylark and Woodpigeon was very impressive. A Rock Pipit and 50+ Meadow Pipits were noted and a single Wheatear was still on site. From the Holden Tower 2 Little Stint, 100 Golden Plover and 500 Wigeon could be seen, 2 Yellow Wagtail were reported on the scrape. A Grey Plover was heard over the river as well as a Greater White-fronted Goose, 27 were seen in the Top New Piece. South Lake had 36 Black-tailed Godwit, a Ruff and a Spotted Redshank. Three Stonechat were around the 100 Acre fences.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Gloucestershire sightings 13 Oct 2006

Rock Pipit at Sharpness

13 October 2006 I visited Sharpness Marina this afternoon and logged 3 Rock Pipit, 50 Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 10 Curlew, 1 Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail and 30 Wigeon.

Friday, October 13, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 12 October 2006

12 October 2006 The 10/11 Greater White-fronted Geese were on the Tack Piece and Dumbles today. Also up to 240 Golden Plover, 200 Lapwing, 21 Dunlin and 8 Ruff. South Lake had 78 Shoveler, 3 Greenshank, 3 Spotted Redshank, 5 Redshank, 36 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Greater Scaup and a Ferruginous duck hybrid that has arrived with 15 Pochard. At least 4 Chiffchaff were around the Holden Tower area.

Crossbill x Greylag hybrid? and Ferruginous hybrid.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 10 and 11 October 2006

11 October 2006 The first Greater White-fronted Geese arrived back on site today. A pair of adults turned up mid-morning and a further group of 8 joined them at c1315. A Dark-bellied Brent was also with the geese over high tide on the Dumbles. A report of four flying downriver was also noted. Wildfowl numbers continue to rise, 80 Pintail were seen from the hides today. At the Holden Tower 1 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, Treecreeper and 4 Goldcrest were seen. A group of 5 Ruff and 100 Golden Plover joined the Lapwing.

The South Lake is very busy for wildfowl with lots of waders over high tide periods.

10 October 2006 At the Holden Tower a male Blackcap remains with 2 Ruddy Shelduck, 6 Ruff, 120 Golden Plover and 300 Lapwing on the Dumbles.

Monday, October 09, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 7 to 9 October 2006

9 October 2006 The Dumbles was very busy with 1000,s of gulls and lots of wildfowl and waders. 2 Ruddy Shelduck, 550 Wigeon, 3 Dunlin, 1 Little Stint, 1 Knot, 1 Grey Plover, 60 Golden Plover 300 Lapwing, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Ruff and 4 Snipe were also seen. On South Lake 2 Spotted Redshank, 20 Redshank, 86 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Ruff, 120 Tufted Duck, 20 Pintail and 150 Teal.

The wintering female Merlin is back on site around the 100/50 Acre. A Wheatear was also present in this area but appears to have a damaged wing. A Water Rail was to theright of the Robbie Garnett Hide.

8 October 2006 1 Greater Scaup, 115 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Ruff, 2 Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank were on South Lake. Over high tide on the Dumbles 2 Ruddy Shelduck, 1 Green Sandpiper, 30 GBBGull, 2 Yellow-legged Gull, 324 Curlew, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 65 Golden Plover and 8 Grey Plover were all seen.

At least 32 Cormorant were noted today as well as 4 Stonechat, 1 Blackcap and 2 Chiffchaff.

7 October 2006 A Razorbill was off Middle Point over high tide and later seen at Sharpness. Also 5 Yellow-legged Gulls were on the Dumbles.

Friday, October 06, 2006

WWT Slimbridge and local sightings 3 to 6 October 2006

Apologies for the break in reports and thanks to those who passed it on. The site has been moved to improve the website.

6 October 2006 A fine example of a male Ferruginous x Pochard was with 8 Pochard at Townfield Lake, Frampton on Severn today. This is not either of the two that wintered at WWT last year. Also 3 Green Sandpiper, 25+ Great Crested Grebe and 30 Tufted Duck.

5 October 2006 South Lake had the male Greater Scaup, 2 Spotted Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 98 Black-tailed Godwit, 31 Redshank and 326 Lapwing. 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and 200 Curlew were on the estuary.

4 October 2006 South Lake held 15 Redshank, 4 Ruff (1 juvenile), 2 Spotted Redshank, 101 Black-tailed Godwit and the Greater Scaup.

3 October 2006 On South Lake there were 4 Spotted Redshank, 3 Redhank, 2 Ruff plus two Sedge Warbler and 1 Reed Warbler noted today. Whilst mowing on the Top New Piece I flushed one and saw a second Jack Snipe.

Monday, October 02, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 2 October 2006

Common Teal feeding frenzy, Top New Piece WWT Slimbridge 2 October 2006 M.J.McGill

MJM counted the whole reserve today with help from Steve Emery and turned up a total of 6378 wildfowl and a low 526 waders. The river and South Lake were quiet for waders again but the duck numbers are increasing rapidly. The torrential rain and setting of water levels have created flood conditions that the Teal are taking full advantage of. At least 1089 were present on this field/marsh.

Other species noted today include 30 Golden Plover, 32 Dunlin, 1 Sanderling, 3 Grey Plover, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 85 Black tailed Godwit (min count), 3 Spotted Redshank (South Lake), Greater Scaup, 3 White Wagtail, 1 Stonechat, 2 Whinchat, 1 Hobby, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Whitethroat, 3 Wheatear, 3, 4, 13 and 1 Swallow south through the day.

The Buff-breasted Sandpipers were not seen but a pair of Peregrine were on the Dumbles edge. Over my house at Whitminster at 1800 I noted over 100 Meadow Pipit heading SE.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 30 September and 1 October 2006

The Buff-breasted Sandpipers on the Dumbles WWT Slimbridge, 1 October 2006 M.J.McGill and a view from Middle Point at 1620.

1 October 2006 Whilst the South Lake was nearly devoid of waders, only 2 Black-tailed Godwit and a Lapwing at 0745 this morning (lots of duck), the estuary showed more promise. The Buff-breasted Sandpipers survived the torrential rain and lightning although one went missing for a bit today. Also from the Dumbles while on BBSand duty I saw 241 Shelduck, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 106 Black-tailed Godwit, 11 Golden Plover (22 seen off Middle Point) 22+ Ringed Plover, 50 Dunlin, 1 Knot, 3 Little Stint, 2 Wheatear, 1 adult Yellow-legged Gull and an adult winter Mediterranean Gull. The latter gull and a Spotted Redshank were off Middle Point.

I also saw a Garganey in the 50 Acre with 300 Teal, in the 100 Acre were 4 Stonechats (3 males), 2 Whinchat and 8 Swallow on the Dumbles and 3 downriver from the 100 Acre.

Up to 20 Pintail were in the Rushy.

30 September 2006 Dave Paynter discovered two first-winter Greater Scaup on the reserve today.