Saturday, March 31, 2007

Anser day trip to the Forest of Dean 31 March 2007

Northern Grey Shrike at Cannop/Parkend Forest of Dean
Adder at New Fancy View
31 March 2007 We began birding from 0730 where we made Hawfinch our first target of the day, this was near Parkend. After hearing 3 drumming GS Woodpecker and watching 5-6 Lesser Redpoll, Siskin and a female Brambling by the car we also saw Jay and other woodland birds before seeing/hearing c 15 Hawfinch. A flock of c20 Brambling were also in the same area. A search of the Cannop area produced c10 Mandarin, 4 Treecreepers, 6 Nuthatch, drumming GS Woodpecker, c15 Redwing, 3 Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, a few very bright Siskin, 3 Bullfinch, 4 Little Grebe, a singing Blackcap and Grey Wagtails.
A search from New Fancy View produced one displaying Goshawk but this bird was distant and the conditions were worsening (windy, cold and a mist shrouded the valley) hence only a couple of us saw it. Up to 8 Buzzard were on the wing and pairs of Siskin and Raven were noted but otherwise it was quiet. Three basking Adders was the highlight of our visit here. A return to the Cannop area produced the Northern Grey Shrike that was hunting from the tree stumps.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

WWT and other sightings 26-29 March 2007

Rock Pipit at Portland harbour sailing school. This bird was in full song but couldn't be bothered to stand up! M.J.McGill
Male Northern Wheatear at WWT Slimbridge 29 March 2007 M.J.McGill.
29 March 2007 A number of migrants were noted around WWT today, at least 120 Sand Martin were seen around various parts of the reserve during the day. The Chiffchaff numbers had also increased with 15+ in song today. The Common Buzzards were displaying over the grounds and at least 2 male Wheatear were seen. At least 6 late Pochard, 1 Spotted Redshank and 100 Teal were noted in the 100 Acre.
28 March 2007 At WWT a Swallow, 7 Sand Martin, 2 Wheatear and 180 fog-grounded Meadow Pipits were seen. At least one Little Stint was with the 40 Dunlin in the 100 Acre marsh (view from Green Lane). The Temminck's Stint was on the Dumbles pool in front of Holden Tower at 1330 at least.
27 March 2007 We were all off site staying/working at Portland and Abbotsbury, Dorset. I got up in time to see a Marsh Harrier from the Obs but the others noted a few species around the Bill with 10 Common Scoter, Great Skua and a fall of Chiffchaff being the highlights.
26 March 2007 A bit of birding and a lot of cricket late afternoon/early evening at Portland. A male Black Redstart at the harbour sailing school. The highlight was taking 7 wickets and only being bowled for a duck once in four innings (don't ask about the rules).

Monday, March 19, 2007

WWT Slimbridge sightings 15-19 March 2007

Glaucous Gull image by Paul Bowerman and was taken last week. This bird was still present on 19 March but was seen flying north along the seawall at 0830.

19 March 2007 A large gull passage in evidence, 40 Herring and 250 LBB Gulls were logged north between 0830-1000. A party of 8 Golden Plover were new migrants. In the 100 Acre were 3+ Little Stint, 2 Snipe, 42 Black-tailed Godwit which included a colour ringed bird (they flushed when an immature Peregrine went over and headed north), 50 Dunlin. 2 Little Egret. A Spotted Redshank joined 5 Redshank and a Black-tailed Godwit on South Lake. The Wetland Bird Survey revealed just shy of 3,000 wetland birds on site. The cold clear weather is making it harder to find birds and there has been a definite clearout of birds. Only around 4 Chiffchaff were heard today.

18 March 2007 A group of c70 Common Gull had clearly had a rough time whilst migrating and were resting in the 100 Acre, further small groups were in the road fields and Tack Piece. The Great Skua was on the estuary and a pair of Greater Scaup were on the Long Ground Pool. 2 Sand Martin were seen over South Lake.

15 March 2007 At least 6 Little Egret were in the 100 Acre.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

WWT Slimbridge sightings 13-14 March 2007

The day started misty, this male Sparrowhawk was on the lookout for a meal in the 100 Acre.
At 2.30pm a Red Kite caused a massive commotion among the Jackdaws over the Decoy. It hung around for five minutes before heading off west.
14 March 2007 Around the reserve today 1 Spotted Redshank, 6 Redshank, 8 Black-tailed Godwit (all on South Lake), Peregrine, 9 Little Egret and the Glaucous Gull were the highlights.
13 March 2007 Very much a spring day with singing Meadow Pipit, Skylark, 15 Chiffhaff, 6 Cetti's Warbler, 6 Reed Bunting as well as many more songbirds. Lapwing and Redshank are displaying at the usual marshes and scrapes. A Sand Martin hawked around the Decoy. The Temminck's Stint, Ring-necked Duck and Glaucous Gull remained on site. 6 Little Stint, 1 male Ruff, 90 Dunlin, 12 Black-tailed Godwit were also seen. Brimstone, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell (4) were on the wing in the Decoy.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Azure Tit trip to Finland 9-10 March 2007

We were all very grateful to the Finns we met and as ever were impressed in how organised they are, great people. Nige Warren and Martin McGill at the parking area that was provided. The bird was visiting the gardens to take advantage of the fat and nuts put out for the forest birds. Six species of tit were recorded during our visit to these gardens. Estimates have been put at 200-250 Brit birders have been to the site.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

WWT Slimbridge sightings 4-6 March 2007

Ring-necked Duck on the Tack Piece scrape 5 March 2007. See below for more images.
Temminck's Stint with Oystercatchers
The Temminck's Stint with five Little Stint.

Female Ring-necked Duck at WWT Slimbridge 4-6 March 2007 at least. All images M.J.McGill. The first for the Western Palearctic was seen at Slimbridge and was found by Lady Phillipa Scott from 12-14 March 1955. The second WWT and county record was also from WWT and was trapped on 1 March 1977, this bird was recovered in SE Greenland on 23 May of the same year.

4-6 March 2007 A female Ring-necked Duck, 2 Greater Scaup, first-winter Glaucous Gull, Great Skua, Temminck's Stint, 5 Little Stint, Tundra Bean Goose and Pink-footed Goose have all been seen daily from the hides. At least 98 Bewick's Swans remain with 380 E. White-fronted Geese on 5th at least. Cetti's Warblers were in song in front of Loke Hide and the Long Ground Pool. At least 30 Golden Plover were still around the reserve with a few other waders species also present.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

WWT Slimbridge sightings 3 March 2007

3 March 2007 Dave Paynter reported two similar Glaucous Gulls when locking up the Holden Tower this evening.