Sunday 25th November 2012

   Fairly local day again today, due to crap weather. There had been some Waxwings reported in Weston-super-Mare, so that was our first stop. No sign!! Was told while waiting that there was a juvenile Great Northern Diver showing well on the Marine lake, so that was the next stop. It was really close in too. That was until i got my camera ready and walked to the shoreline. It then decided to stay as far away as possible, then the rain came, and didnt it rain!!!!! Got some really poor shots, due to the distance and the weather, they all went in the bin!!!! Lets hope for better photo opportunities next weekend!

Sadly, later in the week i found out the Diver had died!

Saturday 24th November 2012

   As it was raining and dull, i decided a trip to the Forest of Dean, was the best bet. As you can bird from the car in some places. As it turned out it was very quiet everywhere we went. The best of a not very good bunch was, quite a few male Mandarins all performing for a female, showing right off! A Marsh Tit was visiting the feeders at Cannop ponds, where there were 2 female type Goosanders too.

Sunday 18th November 2012

   A trip to Oldbury Power Station today, to look for a Yellow-browed Warbler, in the nice sunshine. What a pain in the butt!!! I heard it fairly early after arriving, but seeing it was not easy at all. We did manage it, and it became easier to see as the day went on. Sadly, not easy enough to get photos though.
   There were a few other bits seen while we were there. A pair of Bullfinchs, a Chiffchaff, Great Spotted and Green Woodpecker, and a few Fieldfares and Redwings going over.

Saturday 17th November 2012

    A visit to the Levels today, what could we find?

   Greylake RSPB was first stop. A walk around, nothing found, even after a friend had told me that some visitors, had heard and maybe seen Bearded Tits there! No sign for me. In the distance towards West Sedgemoor a big flock of waders took off, there were probably c1000 Golden Plover, and the same number of Lapwing. Quite a few Snipe flew around too. But, no sign of any Raptors, so i dont know what had put the wader flock up? Around the fields near the reserve there were flocks of winter Thrushes (Redwings and Fieldfares).
   As there seemed to be rain in the air, we decided to go to Catcott to sit it out in the hide. Not a lot happening, until a female Marsh Harrier flew across the back of the reserve, and away. Luckily for us, she returned about half an hour later, and put lots of birds up, which had previously been invisible in the grass and sedges! Quite a few Snipe, probably 30+, were seen, along with a little flock of 6+ Meadow Pipits.

Common Snipe

Marsh Harrier (Female)
Common Buzzard
    Driving through Burtle a very pale Buzzard posed briefly for some photos, before flying off.

  Last stop was Chew on the way home, which saw the Ring-necked Duck again in Herons Green along with 3 Scaup. But, not a lot else!

Sunday 11th November 2012

   A really bright, sunny winters day again. This time the Bonapartes Gull at Dawlish Warren was calling to me! When i arrived it was rather distant on one of the 'groynes'. But the tide was on its way in, so it may get closer. It did! I walked along the beach, and managed some half decent shots. The light was brilliant, but always at the wrong angle. I know, typical photographer, never satisfied!!!!!!

Bonapartes Gull
   Sadly there was not much else to see on the sea there. So we drove around to Bowling Green Marshes RSPB reserve. I walked to the viewing platform. There were at least 3 Red-breasted Mergansers there, a Little Grebe and a Kingfisher. A couple of flocks of Dark-bellied Brent Geese flew over as well. As i walked back towards the hide, a Sparrowhawk put all the thrushes up from the Hawthorn hedge. From the hide there was a big flock of waders. Going through them saw c180 Avocets, 100+ Redshanks, 50+ Black-tailed Godwits, a few Bar-tailed Godwits in amongst them too. Half a dozen Greenshanks, 30+ Dunlin and a few Lapwing were also there. In the hedge at the back, not disturbing anything, was a fast asleep Fox. Even the Rabbits didnt seem worried!

Dark-bellied Brent Geese

Saturday 10th November 2012

   A nice sunny, but cold day today. Visit to Chew to see if anything was photographable. Quite a few winter Thrushes about today. Best of the day was from Stratford hide. There were 6+ Scaup there, as well as double figures of Goldeneye, and a drake Ruddy Duck, along with all the other 'usual' ducks.

Greater Scaup (1st Winter Drake)

Greater Scaup (Duck)

Greater Scaup (Juvenile)


Sunday 4th November 2012

    A trip to Chew today. Not massive amount to see, but some decent things. A drake Ring-necked Duck in Herons Green Bay showed distantly. Also there were 2 Scaup, both female types. A drake Red-breasted Merganser, the same one which has been about for quite a few years now, he was AGAIN following a female Goosander about everywhere! All these around Herons Green Bay, and distant. But showing close there was a female Tufted Duck, with a rather big white blaze around the base of her bill, almost Scaup-like!

Tufted Duck

Saturday 3rd November 2012

   Another visit to Sand Bay to look for the Hoopoe, and it showed well again!! Nice bird.