1-31 December 2008 wildlife sightings and blog

27-31 December 2008 I ventured out to do a little birding, a few hours over in the Forest on 27th with the 14 Waxwings, a Willow Tit and 2 Crossbills being the highlights and a morning out with Neil Smart and Bob Radford on 30th to the CWP to have a look at an Ian Ralphs find..a Slavonian Grebe on 114, the first for many years in Glos. We also noted 9 Smew, 125+ RCP on 44, 6 on 114 and 5 on another pit. Chiffchaff along the Thames and 13+Goosander. The year finished with a male Black Redstart at Sharpness and a Dipper at Damery.

24-26 December 2008 Still no birding due to illness for me. Waxwings are in the Forest of Dean and the cold weather with Easterly airflow should see more wintering birds arrive locally.

21-23 December 2008 I have been laid low with a bad cold, I did see a male Blackcap in Whitminster yesterday and Jeremy Squire reports 2 Glaucous Gulls at Longney Crib this afternoon.

Fuerteventura Chat MJMcGill

16-20 December 2008 On the Anser trip to Fuerteventura, the gallery has been updated and should be accesssible soon.

Monarch, La Lajita, Fuerteventura MJMcGill

15 December 2008 I flushed a Woodcock this lunchtime from the Decoy Wood near the Willow Plantation today whilst filling the feeders, the first of the year for WWT. It seems to be a good year for numbers with many being seen locally.

13-14 December 2008 No birding over my days off from WWT, the poor weather made me cancel the half day out on Saturday. Back at WWT Slimbridge and is was great to see the large numbers back on the reserve thanks to milder weather and much needed rain. Highlights during Low tide and WeBS counts included 11 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Ruff, 1 Jack Snipe, 1 Water Pipit, 2 Rock Pipit, 151 E White-fronted Geese, 5 continental/Euro or Icelandic Greylag, 89 Bewick’s Swan, 3700 Lapwing and 1000 Dunlin. A good 2-0 win for BRFC over Tranmere on Saturday was enjoyed by myself, Joe and Jeremy Squire, too dark to go birding!

8-12 December 2008 The cold weather continues, ice and sub zero temperatures are playing their part in determining bird numbers locally. The most productive birding at work has been around the feeding stations with the Kingfisher hide giving views of the E White-fronted Geese too. Short-eared and Barn Owls continue to be seen around the reserve and I have seen Water Pipit a couple of times in flight. Any ice free lake or pond is holding large numbers of duck. I am still seeing Chiffchaffs around the WWT reserve, a Siberian Chiffchaff was seen in the car park on Wednesday.

Chiffchaff at WWT Slimbridge MJMcGill Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ28

All three British Swans, Mute, Bewick’s and Whooper in the mouth of the Swan Pipe, Rushy, WWT Slimbridge MJM Nikon Coolpix/Swarovski 65 30x WA

7 December 2008 A Whooper Swan flew in to the Rushy this morning (S Heaven) and stayed around for the feed. It returned at 1615. Another highlight was the hunting Barn Owl at the Holden Tower at 0845 this morning, it was out again this afternoon. I did also note Water Pipit twice in flight today.

6 December 2008 A quick look at Frampton Court Lake to meet with Graham Clarkson and his college group gave up a male Red-crested Pochard and two Egyptian Geese. A couple of Greater Scaup were also present.

5 December 2008 Only a brief look from Sharpness Pier for me today but at least a Little Egret flew South.

1-4 December 2008 Some birding back at WWT, see the website for details.

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