Gloucestershire half day trip 10 January 2015

We began at 0900 with a  slow drive along the lanes of Fretherne which produced a total of 26 Little Egret, all were presumably worming in the wet fields. A forecast of gales was accurate so we began by meeting the incoming Severn estuary tide from the footpath just in case any seabirds made an appearance. A squall went through which forced us to shelter for a while but moved on allowing us to scope a flock of Curlew and take note of Meadow Pipits and Goldfinches that braved the exposed shore. Moving into the bushes we found shelter along with a couple of Chiffchaff that were fly catching. Out on the estuary Shelduck and a variety of gulls moved off with the tide.

A short drive away and we were soon looking through the ducks on the Court Lake at Frampton, it was busy with birds especially Tufted Duck, Coot, Shoveler and Gadwall. The first winter Greater Scaup and female Goldeneye were among the Pochard and a male Pintail was notable for this site. The sun was out which had enticed the Tawny Owl to sunbathe in the entrance to its hole.

It was a case of what to do as the wind had not abated so we tried our luck birding around Sharpness Dock recording a number of bird species, 2 Peregrine, Bullfinches and a Stonechat were the highlights but no Black Redstart was found on this occasion.

Heading back to Fromebridge we stopped to scan the gull flock roosting on the floods seeing all the expected gull species. The best surprise was a Green Sandpiper feeding on the edge of the water. The trip out ended at 1.30pm.

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