1-30 September blog and sightings

28-30 September 2010 A good end to the month waderwise at WWT, a party of 25 Little Stint and 25 Grey Plover being notable for our area.

27 September 2010 Low cloud and a NW wind over WWT made for a dull miserable day but many new birds arrived, 22 Grey Plover, 16 Little Stint, a Curlew Sandpiper were among the many waders around the site. Many Swallows, c100 were noted heading North.

26 September 2010 At least 20 local House Martins were outside my home this morning for how much longer who knows…. Highlight of the day was seeing the Vulcan Bomber flying low over WWT Slimbridge, I was tipped off by NRS who had it fly over him whilst he was watching the Lapland Bunting at Saul Warth. It caused the bunting to run closer to him for protection! I called in on this bird on the way home and saw it as well as a Wheatear.

Lapland Bunting, Saul Warth MJM

Vulcan A common sight for me as a child as I went to primary school at the end of Filton Airport runway.


25 September 2010
A visit to Legoland did not raise any hopes of getting any birding done but I did see a fellow birder and what appeared to be a Turtle Dove?

22 September 2010 I flushed my first Jack Snipe of the autumn today whilst tractor mowing. Other birds of note include 3 Grey Plover, 3 Golden Plover, the 20 or so Bar-tailed Godwits and 3 Yellow Wagtail. the wags are now very yellow having completed moult from juvenile to first winter. I am seeing lots of Small Copper butterflies and c150 Migrant Hawker dragonflies around the reserve at present.

19-21 September 2010 Still plenty of birds around WWT to keep us all interested. Nice to watch the Pectoral Sandpipers although there was only one on 21st when I checked. Up to 8 Little Stint and 2 Curlew Sandpipers among many more species of wader.

This pairing of Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gull was productive. They had a juvenile begging from them on the South Lake and the adults were pair bonding and displaying to each other.


Juvenile Herring x Lesser Black-backed Gull, South Lake

16-18 September 2010 For the Anser cricket enthusiasts…I was on tour to Cornwall and Devon with Whitminster CC.  Despite there being some good birds around I never found the time what with playing cricket and ‘socialising’. I took a wicket for 12 runs in the 20/20 and made a total of four runs from eight balls (bowled out in 19.4 over) trying to hit over being yorked. The 35 over game on Sunday at Nomansland I opened the bowling, bowled six overs, 1 maiden, 2 wickets for 19 runs and made one off six balls faced in last two overs.

15-16 September 2010 At WWT there are still many migrants around, I am seeing up to 15 Yellow Wagtails among the cattle and the waders are still with us, five Little Stint, 19 Curlew Sandpiper, 30 Bar-tailed Godwit and a few others are still around the WWT scrapes. Having looked over both my lunchtimes the Pectoral Sandpiper appeared again on the Top New Piece and could be seen from the Zeiss Hide. It is mobile and was seen heading out toward the estuary again. My top tip would be to stake out the Zeiss Hide an hour before to an hour after high tide to improve your chances. As ever when a bird flies all the way from Arctic Canada to us, it is rude not to go and say hello.

14 September 2010 A slight change in wader numbers and their behaviour today, the scrapes were slightly quieter with many of them preferring the estuary saltmarsh. Constant attention from raptors, the strong winds and the fact that the Dumbles and saltmarsh are now providing perfect feeding conditions thanks to the high tide flooding last weekend mean they are more mobile. The first bird I clapped eyes on this morning from the Holden Tower was a juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper, it is in the company of Lapwing which are up and down like a yo-yo and move large distances about the reserve in the flick of a wing. It gave me the run around for a while but at lunchtime a search of the area found it commuting between the flooded grassland areas to roost and the saltmarsh to feed. Good views were obtained and the call heard etc etc. Pic below. I had a great count of 43 Bar-tailed Godwit -yesterday.

Pec Sand juvenile

Some of my images of the recent/current waderfest….

Curlew Sandpiper juvenile

Little Stint juvenile

Ringed Plover juvenile

Wood Sandpiper juvenile

Northern Wheatear first winter with ‘Issabelline Wheatear like’ black alula

13 September 2010 Still plenty of birds at WWT but the Phalarope and Black Tern have moved on.

12 September 2010 I saw 92 species of bird at WWT Slimbridge today between 0700-1700.

11 September 2010 A walk around Frampton Townfield Lake with my children was not only productive for stone skimming but an adult and juvenile Black Tern, 4 Yellow Wagtail and a few Garden Warblers. There were two Ospreys around but I did not see either.

5-10 September 2010 An absolutely bird packed period and all at WWT Slimbridge, when I get a chance I will have to tell all with images as I have seen so much lately I cannot keep up with writing about it. Look on the WWT site for full details of what is around. I logged 88 species of bird by midday at WWT on 10th.

White Wagtail juvenile


4 September 2010 A Chiffchaff in the garden is always nice. JSL reports a Wood Sandpiper, two Avocet and the Red-necked Phalarope at WWT today.

3 September 2010 A juvenile Yellow Wagtail was perched in the willow in the next door garden this morning before flying low across my garden, I have seen lots in recent weeks around my home. A roost of 150 hirundines included Sand Martins in the maize crop at the back of my house in the evening. I also have them perched on wires during the day over the garden.

I was busy doing various weekly things but got away for a few hours to the Forest of Dean to try to photograph drags in flight. I logged two Raven, a male Redstart, a Tree Pipit over calling, c60 Siskin and a Nuthatch but the Black Darters and Common Hawkers were the highlight when the sun shone. Common Darters, Emerald Damselflies and Southern Hawkers were also present. A very relaxing way to while away a couple of hours. Not sure if it best to publish this site as these species are scarce in Glos and need all the help they can get to conserve them. I had a Black Darter resting on my hood and a female Common Hawker on my arm at one point!

Southern Hawker (male)

Black Darter (male)

2 September 2010 Still lots of migrants around, a Spotted Flycatcher included.

Spot  Fly

1 September 2010 An early start to check hedges for migrants and turned up a large number of passerines, whilst checking out one area out for a work party the next day I spotted a passerine flying toward me along the ditch which I suspected of being an Aquatic Warbler. It showed a few times on the edge of the ditch and gave me some scope views and I got some images. I had to share my scope with JSL who also got some good views of the bird. It was moving along the ditch and after seeing it about four more times went into bullrush, we did not see it for an hour after or during a search at 1310-1400 but did see it at dusk. A decent fall had taken place as we logged 27 Sedge Warbler as well as Reed Warblers feeding young. A male Redstart was also a nice addition. The Red-necked Phalarope was still present.

Aquatic Warbler


Red-necked Phal

Look at August for more late posted images…

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