Thursday, November 01, 2007

Birding diary from 1-30 November 2007

30 November 2007 No birding for me but I was told of a Red-breasted Merganser heading upriver past Sharpness over the high tide.

29 November 2007 Nothing to report from me but the Otter and Bittern were still in front of the Zeiss Hide at WWT.

28 November 2007 At WWT I again saw the six Greylag Geese which were now in the Bottom New Piece feeding amongst the flooded grasses. A large number of waders were present during the day which fortunately led to the refinding of the first-winter American Golden Plover (well done to Bruce Pendlebury for putting in the scopework and for getting the news out, also for reaching 200 for the Glos year with Siberian Chiffchaff). Where has it been since the 1st? The Siberian Chiffchaff showed again as I was finishing up in the South Lake late afternoon and was with a collybitta type.

Some of my intial images of the American Golden Plover below.

27 November 2007 A short search from the Holden Tower between 0800-0900 produced the 6 Greylag Geese that were now feeding on the saltmarsh (the unwanted individual was still present to make 7) and again looking very wary. They are doing the right thing to convince me of their continental origin?. A pair of Peregrine, 90+ E White-fronted Geese and a female Merlin on Dunlin kill were also notable, a single Little Stint was also on the pool in front of the Tower. The Dunlin numbered 400 and included a white-headed individual. Later in the morning around midday a Kingfisher was being very tame at the South Lake and two Chiffchaff were discovered one showing all the characters of Siberian Chiffchaff see my images below or those from JSL and his SLR Nikon on the WWT website.

26 November 2007 At WWT, a pair of Stonechat, 2 Wren, Water Rail and 2 Blue Tits were all vocal in trying to mob a rather showy Bittern on the Top New Piece. The Bittern flew from the left part of the reed-bed to the centre calling as it went. It dropped into the reeds, scrambled rapidly over the top of them before climbing the tallest stems and perching on top to front up a Grey Heron in it's territory. It was encouraging to see a pre-roost gathering of c30 Greenfinch as they are rather scarce lately, a party of 35 Goldfinch are around the entrance and a Redpoll flew over the Zeiss Hide. See images below.

25 November 2007A party of six Greylag Geese that attracted my attention on the Dumbles were heavier billed and bodied, had broader fringes to upperparts and wary. They took flight after a group of Canada Geese landed nearby and approached them. A single but obvious unwanted tag -on individual was trying to keep company, this was a standard W. Greylag that we see around the reserve/grounds in the winter. Worth keeping an eye out for them and study their behaviour. The Bittern was again showing but JSL had the pick of the month with a sighting of one of our resident Otter, the third sighting in a year and using a pool created for them. Will it be the start of showy Otters at WWT Slimbridge? I did see 2 Little Stint, 2 Spotted Redshank, 2 Ruff, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Snipe from the hides as well as thousands of wildfowl. The E.White-fronted Geese have reached 99 with 58 Bewick's Swans on site as well as 2 Chiffchaff. Two Peregrine grappled over the car aprk at 0810 and were very vocal.
The Great Bittern is back and settling in at WWT Slimbridge all images taken on 26 November 2007 from the Zeiss Hide MJMcGill

24 November 2007 Some birding possible today but unable to comment.

20-23 November 2007 Again little birding on my days off or at work.

Lapland and Snow Buntings at Salthouse, Norfolk, 17 November 2007 MJM

Double winter bunt day!

19 November 2007 The E White-fronted Geese numbered 80 and Bewick's Swans 66 with increases in most wildfowl and waders also apparent at WWT Slimbridge today.

15-18 November 2007 The trip report section has details and images from the Norfolk trip.

13-14 November 2007 Little coverage or any time for birding.

12 November 2007 The E. White-fronted Geese goose flock numbered 60 with an attendant Western Greylag, Bewick's Swans increased again to 34 on the Rushy. 4 Redpoll were in the Alders near the Holden Tower (at new feeding station), on the 50 Acre feeding station a flock of 20 Linnet and 8 Skylark were present.

11 November 2007 I did the WeBS count with Neil Smart, we logged 8,100 wetland birds, many wildfowl and waders numbers had dropped from last week! A Bittern was seen in front of the Zeiss Hide around 1200-1300.

10 November 2007 A garden tick arrived on the peanut feeder, Great Spotted Woodpecker.

9 November 2007 A walk to the river along the Severn Way at Saul Warth produced 7 Common Darters. About 200 Dunlin and 4 Redshank were on the estuary and around 500 Fieldfare in the hedges, best bird was a Chiffchaff.

8 November 2007 Due to a succesful duck catch no coverage was possible today but we took 84 duck and 30 Greylag plus the Pink-footed Goose.

7 November 2007 49 E White-fronted Geese, 252 Canada and 114 Barnacle were on the Tack Piece, 2 Spotted Redshank, 3 Redshank and 6 Ruff were also noted this morning.

6 November 2007 53 E.White-fronted Geese on the Tack Piece.

5 November 2007 A Bittern was in the 100 Acre, the first of the winter period. Over 1000 Fieldfare and 250 Redwing were joined by Blackbirds and a few Song Thrushes around the WWT reserve. On the estuary at least 1200 Golden Plover, 1000 Dunlin, 1 Spotted Redshank, 9 Redshank, 2 Knot, 4+ Little Stint, a Snipe (trying to hide among them) and 103 Shelduck.

4 November 2007 A foggy day where very few birds were noted. At least 4 Cetti's Warblers and 5 Jack Snipe were in the 100 Acre and the highlight was a pair of Red-crested Pochard that flew upriver and into dense fog at 1050. I looked through 500 Golden Plover and DBP checked 2600 during the day but we could not locate anything with them. Migrant Hawker and Common Darter on the wing at WWT.

3 November 2007 No birding.

Bittern at the 100 Acre

Eurasian Wigeon near the Knott Pool, there were 1200 on the Tack Piece
Mallard image by MJMcGill

Northern Grey Shrike, Ashleworth Ham GWT 2 November 2007

Water Pipit, Ashleworth Ham GWT 2 November 2007

2 November 2007 Comma and Red Admiral at home plus Redpoll over low, the Starlings were singing in the sun. I had to recycle a number of things at Hempsted so I decided to visit Ashleworth Ham GWT. On arrival in met Duncan Dine who was already watching one of the Northern Grey Shrikes which was showing atop a dead tree. 6 Reed Bunting, 6 Snipe and 10 Teal were also present and we eventually found one of the Water Pipits. This individual was very buff and lacking the cold base tones on the breast.

1 November 2007 The Holden Tower at WWT Slimbridge was productive for common birds, it was nice to see five species of thrush with most of them being migrants. 15+ Blackbird, 4+ Song Thrush, 20 each of Fieldfare and Redwing and a Mistle Thush must have been a fall or moving together locally to strip out the berries. At least 200 Fieldfare are on the reserve. Two adult Peregrine were on the Dumbles with 49 E.White-fronted Geese.

A visiting birder reported a juvenile American Golden Plover on the Dumbles this afternoon but did not leave a name or further details. Hopefully it will be seen again and stay for the weekend. I was busy at the time and could not go to the hides but Dave Paynter had a look at dusk and saw no plovers at all. They are likely to be on the estuary, please report the bird if you see it to staff so that news can be put out.

Late news for yesterday (31st) concerns a Migrant Hawker still flying in the Decoy and a Common Darter on 30th near the Holden Tower.