Tuesday, December 19, 2006

If you need to e-mail Anser over the next couple of weeks use this address


This is an alternative address to copy to if there are problems.

My website access is likely to close until the New Year.

It seems likely that I and Anser will be moving (great timing) on Thursday 21 December to

6 Holbury Crescent,

You can still use the site.

The contact number will remain 01452 741591 but there is likely to be a break in phone service and there is always a possibility that technical difficulties may arise. I will not be able to e-mail or read e-mails until my broadband is connected which is likely to be after the New Year holiday. I will be unable to update the diaries so apologies for this if you are a regular browser. See the Gloster Birder Website www.birder.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/ or www.wwt.org.uk/visit/slimbridge/reserve.asp for local bird news to keep you ticking over for the holiday period.

Happy Christmas and the best of birding for 2007 to you all.
Martin McGill

Sunday, December 17, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 17 December 2006

17 December 2006 An increase all round with just under 20,000 ducks, geese swans and waders on the reserve last Monday (11th). Bewick's Swans have increased to around 80 on site and over 130 individuals recorded so far. European White-fronted Geese numbered 214 with the Tundra Bean Goose still among them. A belated record of 6 Greenland White-fronted Geese on the Dumbles on 15th. A Little Owl, Kingfisher and 60 Fieldfare were noted on a walk out to the estuary this afternoon with 20,000+ gulls roosting on the sands. Large numbers of waders were on the mudflats and sandbanks. The freshwater waders remain on site with 15 Ruff, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Spotted Redshank, 3 Little Stint, 25 Redshank and 350 Curlew showing on the Tack Piece daily. The Starling roost is increasing and becoming a spectacular display at dusk, the grounds are the best place to watch it unfold. A couple of Woodcock flew over the car park at dusk.

The Islay trip report is online, see trip reports section in the diaries.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Severn Estuary seabird occurence roundup 3-9 December 2006

Leach's Petrel off Middle Point WWT.

Upper Severn Estuary seabird roundup 3-9 December 2006

3 December 2006 Two Great Skua, 2 Leach's Petrel and 3 Kittiwake off WWT/Awre.

4 December 2006 One Great Skua and 7+ Leach's Petrel off WWT and 36 Leach's logged north past Berekeley Shore.

5 December 2006 1 Great Northern Diver, 12 Leach's Petrel, 2 Great Skua, 3 Kittiwake and 7 Common Scoter off WWT.

6 December 2006 29 Leach's Petrel, 1 Storm Petrel off WWT.

7 December 2006 5 Leach's Petrel and a Great Northern Diver off WWT.

8 December 2006 1 Great Northern Diver, 4 Leach's Petrel, Gannet and a Great Skua. A Guillemot was off Sharpness.

9 December 2006 A Shag was at Sharpness.

This is by no means a complete list, see The Gloster Birder website for more details.

Monday, December 04, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 4 December 2006

Great Skua (Bonxie) on the sands off WWT at 0830-0910 at least.
Yellow-browed Warbler at the Barclay's Hide image by M.JMcGill. This bird was more mobile and vocal this morning

One of the seven Leach's Petrels off WWT Slimbridge from 0800-0930 at least MJM/JSL. Three remained visible from the Holden Tower to 0930 with at least one reported at 1030. I witnessed one being taken by a Peregrine off Middle Point with Peregrine and gulls chasing others earlier in the morning. Paul Taylor reported from downriver a further 17 heading upriver toward WWT prior to 1230pm with two seen before he arrived. Just how many will be logged by the end of the day will be of much interest.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

WWT Slimbridge sightings 3 December 2006

3 December 2006 The undoubted highlight was the discovery of a Yellow-browed Warbler at the Barclay's Hide. This eastern gem should brighten the bushes up and give the Siberian Chiffchaff some company which was also seen today. See the additional posting for details and images. The Tack Piece was outstanding today with thousands of wildfowl and waders. Little Stint, 2 Spotted Redshank, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Ruff, 15 Redshank, 250 Curlew, 1000 Golden Plover and 2000 Lapwing all joined the wildfowl. The E.White-fronts were on the river sands during the afternoon. A female Merlin was along the foreshore.

A Leach's Petrel lingered off Fretherne shore from 3.00-4.20pm and we manged to glimpse it a couple of times from the reserve. The strong gales also pushed 2 Great Skua and 3 Kittiwake into the reserve recording area. The skuas were lingering, feeding on carrion and flushing all of the gulls with at least one remaining to 4.00pm.

1 December 2006 A Goshawk was reported over the centre but I have no further details.

Yellow-browed Warbler at WWT Slimbridge 3 December 2006

Yellow-browed Warbler at WWT Slimbridge. Top by M.J.McGill, second from top Paul Masters and all others by James Lees.This is the third record of this species on the reserve and sixth for Gloucestershire. Images by James Lees, MJMcGill and Paul Masters. This bird was pointed out to John Martin who identified it before quickly phoning out the news to me. A birding couple also saw it an hour before whilst looking for the Siberian Chiffchaff and were going to report it on the way out. It was favouring the bushes to the right of the hide. The previous record (second) was of a single seen by Pete Alder and Mike Clark at the Holden Tower on 31 October 2002 and the first record (3rd for Gloucestershire) was seen between the Holden Tower and Robbie Garnett Hide from 12-13 October 1995 by me (Martin. J. McGill) and W.(Bill) Haines. Jeremy Jubs Squire found the Cotswold Water Park bird (fifth county record) from 29 December 2003 to 2 January 2004.