Sunday 30th December 2012

   A trip to Chew today produced very little again, except a few Goldeneye dotted about the lake. There were a couple of flocks of Winter Thrushes to be found about too.

Saturday 29th December 2012

Pied Wagtail
    Cold, dull and crappy day again on the Levels! The best of which was Catcott Lows. A Great White Egret showed fairly close at times, a Whooper Swan was still there, though always distant, and a female Marsh Harrier put things on edge. The usual Lapwings and Snipe were amongst the Ducks.
    Second best were the 10 Whooper Swans at Tealham Moor, showing fairly well, even in the crap light.

Saturday 22nd December 2012

Coal Tit
    Forest of Dean today. Sadly not a lot going on, weather still not great either! Had the usual species, the 5 more regular species of Tit, including Marsh. Mandarins were around Cannop ponds, and we heard Siskins and Crossbills over in the gloom.

Tuesday 18th December 2012

    A Barn Owl flew over the car again, driving to work this morning. Over the A38, near Almondsbury.

Saturday 15th December 2012

Bohemian Waxwing (Adult Female)
   As i said, a return to the Waxwings this morning. I managed to get myself parked nearby and pointed my camera out of the car. There were 15 birds again, in the bigger tree behind the shrub, with the berries on it. One came down then another, i got about 10 shots, then a few more came down. Then while watching through the camera they flew off, i looked up to see someone walking by. That cant be helped as it is a main road, but......they didnt come back!!!! I waited for 20 minutes, drove around looking for them, went home, came back and drove around again...nothing. Got home to find that, out of those 10 shots, only one was in focus properly. Well the tree was swaying about, and the light was rubbish... thats my excuse anyway.

   Lets hope we get another flock close soon. There are still berries on that same tree. Sadly the Waxwings dont read this blog, so they wont know that!

Friday 14th December 2012

    15+ Waxwings near home tonight, on Kings Weston Avenue. Back tomorrow for photos hopefully as it was nearly dark tonight.

Sunday 9th December 2012

   Slimbridge WWT. Thought it was a good easy choice just to get some photos. sadly, not long after i got to the hide, the sky clouded over. Oh well, im here now, lets give it a go. The fields in front of the Robbie Garnett hide were flooded, but there were loads of birds. Ducks included Wigeon, Teal, Pintail, Shoveler, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Pochard and Mallard. There were Mute and a few Bewicks Swans. Also there were plenty of waders feeding, Dunlin, Redshanks, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwits, Golden Plover and Curlews. Trying to get flight photos is not easy in failing light, and it only got worse.

Black-tailed Godwits
Lapwings (and a Dunlin)
     Decided to go to the South Lake and search there. When i got there, there was very little there, but soon all the waders started to arrive from the surrounding fields. Black-tailed Godwits, Redshanks and a Dunlin. Then i spotted the long staying, Long-billed Dowitcher flying in, as usual it landed as far away as possible from the hide! It did get closer a bit later, but by then the light had gone, but all in all, not too bad an afternoon.

Bewicks Swan

Saturday 8th December 2012

   Nice, sunny, but cold weather, so i had my first chance to give the Temmincks Stint, which had been showing for a few days, at Steart/Stockland Reach in Somerset, a go. So, after a fair and muddy walk, probably a mile+, i was watching the 1st Winter bird, which had been originally ID'd as a possible Least Sandpiper. The yellow legs showed well, and you could see why the finders had thought this possible! The bird showed well, but just too distant for the best photos, i took some anyway, and crossed my fingers that it would come closer. After an hour or so of walking along the edge of the ditch, it reached the end of it. The ditch then turned towards where we were standing, maybe it would follow this, better photos, maybe??? It seemed to take ages to get right to the end, stopping, feeding, preening all the way! It got to the end flew, bugger! But, it flew towards the seawall and landed a lot closer, lots of photos were taken before it walked away from us, and then decided to stretch its wings a bit more. It flew around the fields a bit, 'trilling' as it went. I then lost it in the sun, and it went quiet. About 3minutes later it flew back over the seawall, calling again. It landed near to its original spot, then ran away and flew again. This time its disappeared for longer, and had not returned by the time i left. I found out it returned a bit later though.
Temmincks Stint
   Also there was some large flocks of waders. Mainly Dunlin and Redshanks, but also a lot of Lapwing and Golden Plover. I also found 11 Avocets on the walk back. In the field near the Temmincks field was a flock of 50+ Stock Doves, lots of Starlings and 100+ Linnets. Two or three Buzzards were there and a couple of Kestrels were seen too.
Temmincks Stint

   While still at Steart, i was told that a friend had found some Waxwings nearby in Combwich. So, that was to be our next stop. Sadly, as usual with Waxwings, they had disappeared by the time we got there.

   We then moved on to Catcott Lows. There was a fairly close Great White Egret there. No rings this time. Quite a few Snipe flew around the reserve. A distant Kestrel, was the only Raptor though. Only a few ducks there at the moment, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler and Pintail. I then noticed a swan which had come a bit closer than the others. It was a adult Whooper, one of the Tadham birds maybe??
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Wednesday 5th December 2012

    A flyover Barn Owl this morning on my way to work. It flew over the A38 about 6.15am. First time i have seen one there!

    No sign of the Waxwings in Latteridge on the way home though, there were a few Thrushes about and a Green Woodpecker in the Apple tree.

Tuesday 4th December 2012

    Had a look around Yate, dinnertime and after work, for Waxwings today. No sign though.

    Driving home and keeping my eyes peeled, i actually managed to find 6 Waxwings, feeding on an Apple tree, near Latteridge. Sadly nearly dark so were just shapes really!

Saturday 1st December 2012

   Somerset Levels.

   First stop was Ham Walls RSPB. From the first viewing platform, we had  quiet a nice variety of birds, especially after the fog lifted. We had a Great White Egret showing well directly in front of the platform. Another was seen flying farther away at least 3 times. The one showing in front of the platform was a ringed bird. Its left leg had an Orange ring above, what looked like a Green ring. On its right leg was another Orange ring above a metal one. I think this is one of the regular ones here. After a bit of a search of the net, i think this is one of the breeding females from this year. I am sure i will be told if i am wrong!!!
   There was also just one sighting of a Bittern, unusual now here, as they are normally showing quiet regular, must be the time of year i suppose? Three Marsh Harriers were seen from the platform too, a female and two males, one looks like an adult, the other looks like a younger one. A few different species of duck were seen and unusually a lot of Snipe were seen, at least when they were flying anyway.

Marsh Harrier

   On the way home, we stopped at Tadham Moor, where there were 10 Whooper Swans, 4 adults and 6 juveniles.

Whooper Swans