Sunday 22nd April 2012

   Chew again today.

   The female Long-tailed Duck was still about today. A drake Goldeneye on Herriotts, brought a reminder of the breeding pair a couple of years ago, i wonder???
   Some decent migrants today too. House Martins, Grasshopper Warbler (heard), Sedge & Reed Warblers too. Then last thing there were 3 Whimbrel on the Dam itself.

Saturday 21st April 2012

   A visit to the Forest of Dean today, to see if any summer migrants had arrived for the breeding season.
   A gathering of people, brought the first result of the day, as 2 Wild Boar sows and 6 piglets were seen feeding opposite the Boys Grave car park.
   First migrant stop was Speech House, where last year there had been a pair of breeding Redstarts. They were there again, but very flighty. After a while i managed some decent shots of the male. While doing this i found a Treecreepers nest, and the pair were already feeding young.

Common Redstart

Tree Pipit
   On to Moseley Green to see if there are any Tree Pipits in, had 1, could quite easily have been more though!

Tuesday 17th April 2012

Green-winged Teal

   A return visit to the Bernhard King hide at Chew. This time the light was very slightly better, but not the best, but did manage a couple of shots.

Monday 16th April 2012

  A text message, phone call and pager report, told of a Drake Green-winged Teal at Chew today. This saw me rush home after work and straight back to Chew and the Bernhard King hide. The bird was feeding with a little group of Eurasian Teal. Sadly the light was not the best at that time of the evening.

Sunday 15th April 2012

   Chew Valley lake was the aim today. From Stratford hide there were 3 Garganey (2 Drakes and a Duck). The Spotted Sandpiper and the 'Richardsons' Cackling Canada Goose were at Herriotts pool. As we were watching an Osprey flew along the reedbed, on the lake side. We drove to Sutton Wick, but we were just in time to see it fly by. Then onto picnic site 2, where it caught a fish, and i managed to at least get a shot before it flew towards the dam and picnic site 1. We drove to the dam, but it flew straight over and on towards Chew Magna, followed and harrassed by some Crows and Rooks.

Richardsons Canada Goose

Richardsons Canada Goose (right) with a normal Canada Goose

   On the bugs side of nature, we had at least 5 Orange-tip butterflies today.

Saturday 14th April 2012

   The Somerset Levels today.
   We saw at least 2 Bitterns at Ham Wall RSPB, but we heard many more 6+! Also a Great White Egret showed there.
Long-billed Dowitchers
   Then onto Meare Heath. The 2 Long-billed Dowitchers were still there, one now coming into summer plumage. A Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwits and a Redshank there too. Also a Cuckoo.

Tuesday 10th April 2012

   Messages today to say there is a Black-winged Stilt at Chew, from Stratford hide. Spent all day at work thinking 'i bet its gone before i can get there'. But, luckily it stayed. Got there to be told its just walked behind the island out of view. After a bit of a wait, it decided to walk out and feed in, what i was told was its favoured area. Sadly this was a bit too far for decent photos. Oh well, at least the light was really nice, so i will wait!!!

   Luckily i waited long enough for it to walk towards the hide, and spend a few minutes only at a good photographic distance. Brilliant.
Black-winged Stilt

Monday 9th April 2012

Short-eared Owl

   After finding out there was a very high tide yesterday and this morning, i decided to head to Aust Warth first thing. There were at least 3, probably 4 Short-eared Owls there and a female Merlin. But the weather was absolutely rubbish!


   After the heavy rain of the morning we decided to go and have a look at the pair of Peregrines, which had taken up residence in central Bristol. Luckily one had perched up with a kill, and i managed the shots below.


What a good Raptor day!!!

Sunday 8th April 2012

   Trip to Devon today to try and pick up on a few odds and ends which were about. Started off at Dunster to look for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker again, nothing this time. We did have a pair of Dipper collecting nesting material. A Grey Wagtail, at least 6 Treecreepers and some Marsh Tits were the best we could do.

Marsh Tit
   Next stop was Little Haldon, where there had been a Hoopoe for a few days. No sign of that either. But we did manage at least 5 Crossbills and a few Yellowhammers.
   Then Broadsands for Cirl Buntings, there were at least 6 or 8 there. Also a Willow Warbler there.

Cirl Bunting (Female)

Cirl Bunting (Male)
   A Purple Heron at Budleigh Salterton was our next target, no sign of that either. then onto a very quiet Bowling Green Marshes RSPB. A good day, but could have been so much better.

Saturday 7th April 2012

Fallow Deer
   Visit to the Forest of Dean today. Rainy and horrible weather put paid to any real searching of Nagshead RSPB though. We sat in the Campbell hide and waited. Nothing much bird wise, a Nuthatch collecting mud for its nest hole was it! A Fallow Deer Doe came slowly out of cover and gradually there was a bit of life. In the end we had 4 Stags and 5 Does and also 4 Wild Boar. Sadly they stayed just in enough cover to not get any pix, except the first Doe!
   There were a few Mandarins on Cannop ponds, but not a lot else.

   Stopped off at Aust Warth on the way home and there were 4 Short-eared Owls there.

Thursday 5th April 2012

   An afternoon, after work trip out to Chew. Saw me photographing the Long-tailed Duck again, from Whalley bank. It now looks as though it is almost in summer plumage, not sure if they get full adult plumage in thier first summer or not. still nice to see though.

Long-tailed Duck

   I also managed to photograph, what looks like a 1st summer male (judging by the wear on the wing feathers), Little Ringed Plover at Herons Green. I was told there was another LRP at Stratford and then 3 more on the dam.

Little Ringed Plover

Monday 2nd April 2012

   Went to check out an area in Bristol, that i had been told had a pair of Peregrines. Got there and actually saw three! The local pair chased off, what looked like a young bird. Sadly, they kept away from the camera, maybe next time?

  Afternoon at Chew.

  Spotted & Common Sandpipers at Herriotts this time. Swallows, Sand Martins and House Martins in  a decent sized flock. The Long-tailed Duck and Egyptian Goose were seen at the Picnic area near the Dam. Also a pair of Garganey from Stratford hide.

Sunday 1st April 2012

   April already, migration time????

   Portland and Weymouth today hoping for some migrants. Found out when i arrived at the Obs, is t was a bit quiet. Also found out that the day before they had a ringing record, 600+ birds ringed. Today they rang 6!!!! Typical.
   After a quick look around the Bill area, with no real luck, went off to the Reap Lane, Barleycrates Lane area. In the trees around the Stables there, there were a pair, well male and female anyway, Black Redstarts and a male Common Redstart. So a bit better. Swallows and Wheatears around the area too. Went back to the Obs to be told there were 2 Ring Ouzels near Barleycrates Lane, so back there then. Sadly we didnt see either of them, but i did manage to hear one 'chacking' away briefly. Very quiet though really.
   Went down to Radipole RSPB. Two Willow Warblers were in the Buddliea near the duck feeding area. At least 2 more around the reserve, quite a few Cettis Warblers were around as usual, but NOT showing, as usual!
Willow Warbler

Tufted Duck

   Last but not least had a quick look around at Wyke Regis, to try to find the Richards Pipit which had been around for months. No sign. But, did have a male Stonechat and still quite a few Red-breasted Mergansers on the Fleet.

Saturday 31st March 2012

  Somerset Levels today.

  Started at Greylake RSPB, sadly it was rather quiet. We left and headed for Catcott, as i drove through Moorlinch i spotted a Red Kite flying over. A bit of a bonus after Greylake. Catcott was very quiet too.
  Travelled back via Chew. Spotted and Green Sandpipers at Herriotts. The female Long-tailed Duck was still off the dam. Also had a flock of Sand Martins and my first Swallows too.