1-30 November 2009, Martins blog and sightings

24-30 November 2009 Still more seabirds to end the month with Great Northern Diver being notable on the estuary off WWT.

Exhausted Great Skua at Saul Warth MJM

Great Skua, Bonxie, Saul Warth 23 November 2009 MJMcGill

23 November 2009 The WeBS count can produce a rarity at WWT but today seabirds were on the menu…. after counting much of the reserve we headed for the 50/100 Acre to carry on, first up we missed a Gannet that headed inland but it was not too long before JSL picked up another adult that made it’s way upriver past us and then lingered on the far shore. A Great Skua was found exhausted by Gloster Birders at Saul Warth as well as a petrel sp. We recovered the skua but it died soon after. The petrel turned out to be a Leach’s and we were soon watching four together, sometimes down to  a few feet. It was excellent watching them patter along the surface. Some of these birds were seen to head inland. I picked up another Great Skua on the estuary sat on a sandbar but were too distracted by the wonderful petrels. Heading back to the landrover I picked up two more Leach’s, we made it a minimum of six for the day. A memorable birding spell.  A selection of images below…

Leach's Petrels, Seven Est, November 2009 MJMcGill 003

Leach's Petrell, Severn Est, 23 November 2009 MJMcGill

Leach's Petrel, 23 November 2009 MJMcGill 002

Leach's Petrel, Severn Est 23 November 2009 MJMcGill

Leach's Petrel, Severn Est 23 November 2009 MJMcGill 125

16- 22 November 2009 An amazing run of birds at WWT Slimbridge due to gales are all very well documented on the trust website. The pick of the lot for me has been the Pomarine Skua (though distant) on 22nd and what appears to be a Pacific Diver on 18th.

13-15 November 2009 Norfolk for the weekend, a trip report coming soon.

My latest ever Grass Snake, 12 November 2009 MJM

Grass Snake, SFinger, WWT 12 November 2009 MJMcGill 002

Wood Mice (or is the left one a Yellow-necked)
This cheeky pair were having a ball in our Black Sunflower seed bin MJM

Wood Mouse 9 November 2009 MJMcGill 0001

7-9 November 2009 Lots of birds around WWT with 1000’s of Fieldfare and 100’s of Redwing and flocks of Redpoll, Siskin and Meadow Pipit.  The icing on the cake has been the Wilson’s Phalarope on the Top New Piece ( a Gareth Bradbury find).  Today (9th) I saw and heard possible Siberian Chiffchaff that looks and sounds correct.  Two images from the Holden Tower below.

9 November 2009 MJMcGill

Siberian Chiffchaff 9 November 2009 MJMcGill 003

The Wilson’s Phalarope at WWT Slimbridge MJM

Wilson's Phalarope 9 November 2009 MJMcGill 0001 

Wilson's Phalarope 9 November 2009 MJMcGill 000

6 November 2009 A Black Redstart is around the centre buildings at WWT today (per JSL).

The Tundra Bean Geese at WWT MJM

Tundra Bean Geese 9 November 2009 MJMcGill 005

3-5 November 2009 Still the same birds at WWT Slimbridge, am influx of Stonechat and the 34 E.Whitefronted Geese, two Tundra Bean Geese, 2 Cattle Egret and 13 Bewick’s Swans being the best of the birds, a Rock/Water Pipit on 2rd over the 100 Acre would have been more notable if I had a decent view of it.

Bewick’s Swans, WWT Slimbridge

Bewick's Swans, 2 November 2009 MJMcGill 100

2 November 2009 My leave ended today so back to work at WWT. A Whooper Swan dropped in to the Rushy at 1300 but soon departed so I missed it. Whilst commentating on and feeding the Rushy I spotted the two Tundra Bean Geese flying in on the tail of some Bewick’s Swans (9) before heading back out to the river. I also noted two Cattle Egret this morning and one this afternoon at the N end of the reserve today.

I have uploaded some images from a visit to the Forest of Dean on 27 October 2009 on last months post, we timed it perfectly this year for the autumn colours as the gales yesterday may well have changed things. A warm dry autumn has helped to make it such a good display with ‘leaves falling all around’ (time I was on my way) Led Zeppelin 2, Ramble on.

1 November 2009 Fieldfare and Redwing moving over Whitminster today along with a few hundred Woodpigeon.

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