Wednesday, June 27, 2007

WWT Slimbridge sightings 26 and 27 June 2007

Brown Hare in the Bull Ground images M.J.McGill
Broad-bodied Chaser next to the 100 Acre viewing platform
27 June 2007 I never did any bird rounds but conducted a limited access Landrover safari to the 100 Acre. Ground conditions are terrible with so much flooding, the Holden Tower path and South Finger have been flooded. We saw a feeding Hobby, 3 Little Egret, 3 Grey Heron, 30 Swift and Reed Bunting/Warblers, a male and female Broad-bodied Chaser, 10 Ruddy Darter, 10 Common Darter and a male Black-tailed Skimmer plus Common Blue, Azure and Blue-tailed Damselflies. The Bee Orchids have gone over but the Pyramidals are still looking great. Two Grey Plover were on the estuary, one in full breeding plumage, the other had a black face and throat but pale belly.
26 June 2007 I spent the morning with visitors and a BBC filmcrew that were filming with Bill Oddie at the South Finger. c10 Black-tailed Godwit were feeding on the Bottom New Piece along with Green Sandpiper, Lapwing plus chicks and 20+ Teal, a few Shovleler and Gadwall. The Kingfishers are feeding young at the nesting bank. Little Egrets and 3 Curlew flew over the site whilst watching here. Later in the afternoon I saw a Southern Hawker at the back of the South Lake.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Gloucestershire sightings 22-24 June 2007

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Martin McGill
Marbled White in the WWT 100 Acre At least two were on the wing.
Ruddy Darter in the WWT 100 Acre At least 15 were seen.
24 June 2007 At WWT Slimbridge at least 20 islandica Black-tailed Godwit were back on the scrapes with 30+ Redshank, 100+ Lapwing and 12 Oystercatcher. Sand Martins were over the scrapes also. 2 Cuckoo are still highly visible at the South Finger and a few warbler species are becoming vocal again. A Grasshopper Warbler was heard in the 100 Acre between 1310-1340. One of the Top New Piece Little Grebe pairs have hatched three young.
23 June 2007 At walk around Woorgreens, Forest of Dean with Graham Clarkson between 1645 and 1900 produced a Common Sandpiper, Mandarin with 3 young, Greylags and a pair of Canada, 4 juvenile Crossbill, 2-3 Siskin, 1 Garden Warbler, 10 Willow Warbler (inc grey bird), female Whitethroat, 1 Tree Pipit, male Ringlet, Azure Damsleflies and 2 Fallow Deer. 2 Grey Wagtail were at Cannop Ponds

Common Sandpiper at Woorgreens
22 June 2007 No birding today.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Gloucestershire diary update 18-21 June 2007

Marbled Duck in Gloucestershire

Black-tailed Skimmer
21 June 2007 I walked to work as my car was being worked on at the garage but also did a breeding wader survey en-route. Next to the WWT 100 Acre viewing platform were resting Banded Demoiselle and three Ruddy Darters. Around the reserve a few Cuckoo are still vocal, one or two Black-tailed Godwit and up to 5 Green Sandpiper represent the migrants. I did note a single Dunlin at Frampton on Severn also and the Marbled Duck was still present, behaving very nervously and soon dissapearing into the hedge. The longest day of the year was celebrated by Dave Paynter ordering concrete for the Martin Smith Hide that was late arriving, we did not finish shovelling, barrowing and skimming until 8.00pm.

18-20 June 2007 Very little birding done recently as we have been busy at work preparing and systematically raising the floor levels in the hides. This is to make it easier for 45 angle scope users that do not want to use the twist around system found on the side of the scope.
Note; Northumberland 13-17 June 07 and Suffolk/Norfolk 23-27 May trip reports now online; see Trip Reports. Lesvos in May, Extremedura in April and June to follow. Nick Goatman's images of the Lesvos 10-17 May trip to be added to the gallery also.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Back in Gloucestershire 17 June 2007

17 June 2007 Back to Gloucestershire after a five day trip to Upper Teesdale, Northumberland the Farne Islands and Leighton Moss RSPB. I will be adding images and diary to the trip reports section. Despite some pretty awful weather we all saw a variety of species with the highlight adding the 4th type of Golden Plover to my British List........see below.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Gloucestershire sightings 9 June 2007

Male Scarce (Blue) Chaser on the River Avon, Twyning, Gloucestershire, 9 June 2007 images M.J.McGill

9 June 2007 An afternoon picnic and short walk also had the added motive of a dragonfly search. Just south of the rather picturesque Fleet Inn on the River Avon at Twyning, Gloucestershire I located at least three male Scarce Chasers as well as many Banded Demoiselle, a Ruddy Darter and lots of Red-eyed and blue Damselflies. A Curlew was displaying giving it's bubbling call and I heard a Redshank alarm calling also. The drags were after the second gate as you go downstream.
I also made a quick visit to the Cotswold Water Park which changes out of recognition with each visit and seems to be a massive playground these days. On the Swillbrook Lakes at least 4 male Emperor and 5 Four-spotted Chasers were flying plus thousands of damsels. A fully fledged Nightingale was being fed by a parent, a Common Tern fished and a Cetti's Warbler sang.

Friday, June 08, 2007

WWT Slimbridge and local sightings 4-8 June 2007

Juvenile Great Crested Grebe
Immature male Southern Hawker 8 June 2007 at home
8 June 2007 Two garden ticks for me today, singing Lesser Whitethroat and my first dragonfly species at my new home, a Southern Hawker! Must mow the lawn more often.
Common Darter in the Bull Ground WWT Slimbridge 4 June 2007

Large Skipper in the 100 Acre 4 June 2007

7 June 2007 A survey of the Top and Bottom New Piece revealed Lapwing chicks in the latter site with two incubating females, at least 8 pairs are still engaged in breeding activity. Four Redshank, a Green Sandpiper, 45 post-breeding Lapwing, 15 Teal, 60 Gadwall and 2 male Shoveler were also notable. Two Lesser Whitehroat were in song, one at the South Finger the other in the 5 Acre, are they new birds?
6 June 2007 Most of the day lost due to a migraine but I did get out for a walk thorough survey of Saul Warth aka Frampton Marshes/the Severn Lands. Rather dissapointing to see that things have not reached there potential here. A 2 week old Lapwing chick was being defended but the rest of the birds here appear to be in post-breeding mode. The Redshank also have suffered a setback and none appeared to have young. A pair of Shoveler, 12 Teal, male Garganey, male Little-ringed Plover and a pair of Yellow Wagtail completed the birds. At least 4 Emperor, a Banded Demoiselle and 3 Black-tailed Skimmer were also seen.
5 June 2007 Nothing extra of note.

4 June 2007 An emergence of Common Darter 25+ in the Bull Ground was impressive and a few Azure Damselflies were noted in the 100 Acre. The Black-headed Gull colony in the 100 Acre had grown to 15 pairs with most now having hatched chicks. At leas two pairs of Common Tern are also nesting. The South Lake has 5 pairs of B.H.Gull and a pair of Common Tern. We have a second Oystercatcher nest in the grounds.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

WWT Slimbridge and local sightings 1-3 June 2007

Female Black-tailed Skimmer at the 100 Acre WWT reserve 3 June 2007 images by M.J.McGill

3 June 2007 A great day for dragonflies, at least three Hairy Hawker (inc pair in tandem), 40+ Four-spotted Chaser, 2 male Emperor, male Broad-bodied Chaser, 3 male and five freshly emerged female Black-tailed Skimmer, 8, 3 and 1 Red-eyed Damselfly plus lots of Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselfly all seen in the flashes and pools adjacent to the viewing platform area. On the river 4 Sanderling were seen off Middle Point early am plus a Sanderling, 1 Dunlin and 6 Ringed Plover at 1630. At least two Cuckoo are still in full song. No safari's were possible, the ground is still very wet and boggy.
2 June 2007 Still lots of migrant waders on the river see the WWT website for details and the first returning Green Sandpiper was back. I had an Emperor and 3 Red-eyed Damselfly along the Stroudwater canal at Whitminster.
1 June 2007 A Cuckoo singing and showing well from my garden was an nice addition to the house list, I did hear one on 29th May.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Diary entry for 23-31 May and 1 June 2007

23 May-1 June 2007 No birding news as I have been away in East Anglia on a tour, visiting family in Bournemouth/Poole, taking time out from Birding and ill with a heavy cold. The E.A trip report is on the reports section if you would like to view what we saw.

Recent highlights locally have been a mobile Great White Egret on 28 May that was found by Nick Goatman, it has been seen at various sites including WWT and was reported from the estuary yesterday. The wader passage had been very good, I would recommend viewing the WWT website for details.