November 2019 News

Thank you for checking back with Anser Birding.

Residential trips

With regret, I haven’t any residential trips planned at present, sorry.

Contact via email- Martin@Anserbirding.com or text/call 07733 363905.

Please note that a reply to email or text may not be until the evening or following day or so. I am in full time employment for WWT so will endeavour to reply to  you after getting home. May I  politely remind you that during my working hours at WWT  I’m obliged to keep the two roles professionally separate as I’m very busy at Slimbridge, it won’t be possible to discuss Anser related matters. I do hope you understand as I wouldn’t wish to offend anyone while I’m rushing about. In anticipation, I thank you for your consideration and look forward to hearing from you after the ‘working day’ or weekends (Friday/Saturday for me). Whilst on the trips I can of course give you my full attention, help to spot plenty of birds and plan bird filled daily itineraries.

Martin

Next day/half day trip date

No trips planned for the forthcoming week, sorry.

Typical Birding day/half days include some of the following Gloucestershire birding venues

These meetings usually fall on Fridays or Saturdays. Price guide and a selection of destinations follow

Forest of Dean-A variety of birds occur with Great spotted and Green Woodpeckers, Lesser Spotted (extremely elusive), Crossbill, Hawfinch (can be shy), Goshawk, Mandarin, Willow Tit (scarce), Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Redpoll, Siskin, Jay, Goosander and Dipper are all possible. In summer Nightjar and Woodcock can be seen and heard on nocturnal forays in good weather.

WWT Slimbridge where I work has plenty of events on offer year round. I usually cover the Sunday events. See website for latest sightings here http://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/slimbridge/wildlife/latest-sightings/

Upper Severn Estuary Includes migration of waders, wildfowl and passerines. Habitat, seasonal wetlands, intertidal estuary and freshwater pools and lakes.

Sharpness A good spot for ‘seawatching’ should we have gales or for watching visible migration. Black Redstarts (in winter), Peregrine and often Common Sandpiper or commoner waders.

Cotswolds Downland birds- Buzzard, Red Kite, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, Grey Partridge (scarce) and Red legged Partridge (most, if not all are released birds) Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer, Marsh Tit, Linnet, Golden Plover (in winter), Lapwing and more. Habitat-upland hills, heath and some areas farmed with wildlife in mind.

Rarity reaction
If anything special arrives nearby (or futher afield) a half or full day of quality birding can be built around the target bird or birds. This type of trip can be organised at late notice with a very early start. If this is of interest then keep a close eye on what birds are around, twitter feed and here on the news page.

Pricing and how to book a place

Prices based on a minimum of four participants- £20-25.00  for a half day (5 hours) and £40-50.00 for a full day (10 hours).

It is best to text or call 07733 363 905 to confirm a place or if you have any queries, alternatively send an email to Martin@anserbirding.com . See below (near bottom of page) for the typical meeting point details if not meeting at the destination.

Do you use Twitter?
Anser Birding events are on
 @AnserNews

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General news

Watching Waterbirds with Kate Humble and me

The book I had been working on with Kate Humble, Think Publishing and A and C Black (now Bloomsbury) over the last couple of years is available in WWT shops, online, Amazon and all good book stores. It is intended as a bridge guide to introduce common wetland birds to those new to the hobby and also features the Great Waterbird Challenge for you to try out.

If you have bought it already, thank you very much, we do hope you enjoy using it. Link to bookshop.

https://www.wwt.org.uk/shop/shop/books/natural-history-books/watching-waterbirds-with-kate-humble-and-martin-mcgill/

Martin J McGill

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Whitminster Meeting Point

Directions for events if you meet at Whitminster…. leave Junction 13 of M5 and head to A38 Roundabout. On the A38 take exit for GLOUCESTER, WHITMINSTER heading North. Second exit if coming from A38 South or 3rd exit from A419. Head up the hill and take first left (after the Garden Centre) turning left at the village hall  (opposite is the Old Forge Pub which is on the east side of the A38, School Lane is on the West side).

There is a layby (4+ cars) just past Whitminster School on the right. To reach here continue down school lane and straight over the mini roundabout, the layby is immediately after the school where the village ends. Alternative parking can be found nearby, we can direct you.

Link to map to search for Holbury Crescent http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

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BBC Tide Timetable for the West (note you can search anywhere in Britain from this link)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/coast/tides/west.shtml

Shetland 1-10th October 2019

I was fortunate enough to get some time off from work during the peak migration season and was looking forward to another visit to Shetland with friends to ‘bird’ all day, every day. Paul M kindly picked us up (Nige W, Rich H and myself) and then drove every mile to Aberdeen, a stay near to the airport gave us time for a beer and burger before bed and we flew to Sumburgh the next day. We departed and arrived with no bother, it was a tad chillier than we were used to so far this autumn. We headed to Grutness beach to have a look at the confiding Semi-palmated Sandpiper and other waders, Jeremy S who was already on Shetland arrived by bus and joined us for the trip.

We were to be based on the most Northerly island of Unst for seven days, our intention was to have at least a day on Fetlar but otherwise not leave Unst until we returned to mainland Shetland for the last two nights. Despite various scarce birds being present on mainland Shetland we stuck to this plan. Notes and images follow.

M.J.McGill

Brambling, female, Tresta, Fetlar MJMcGill
Yellow-browed Warbler, Tresta, Fetlar MJMcGill
Short-toed Lark, Tresta, Fetlar
Looking through a metal seven bar gate!
Dusky Warbler, Haroldswick, Unst
Twite, Norwick, Unst, Shetland MJMcGill
Goldcrest, Sumburgh Quarry.
We watched this bedraggled migrant desperately looking for food after crossing the sea, it managed to find a harvestman type spider which was a little too big for it to handle, after sorting the legs out it swallowed it whole and settled down to preen seemingly oblivious to our presence.
Juvenile Waxwing, Camb, Yell
We searched for this bird and was struggling to find it when JS spotted at the base of a bonfire pile, it was feeding on the dried berries of a cut Rowan.
Red-breasted Flycatcher, Mainland Shetland
Our second of the week.

Highlights of this trip were as follows..

Flocks of Pink-footed Geese as we headed into Cumbria and as we travelled through Scotland to Aberdeen. On Shetland our highlights were…

1 October

Semi-palmated Sandpiper at Grutness, Mainland, Red-breasted Flycatcher at West Yell, Yell Whinchat, 2 Brambling and Mealy Redpoll at Norwick, Unst.

2 October

Wheatear, Redwing, Merlin and Willow Warbler at Haroldswick.
2 Lesser Whitethroat, Fieldfare, 3 Brambling, 2 Tree Sparrow, 3 Mealy Redpoll, Red-flanked Bluetail, Siskin, 5 Redwing, Redstart and Blackcap at Norwick.
12 Redwing, Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Swallow, Pied Flycatcher, Yellow-browed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and Merlin at Baltasound.

3 October

Wheatear, Whinchat and Merlin. Lapland Bunting, 4 Snow Bunting and Purple Sandpiper at Lamba Ness.
Dusky Warbler and Song Thrush at Haroldswick.
Willow Warbler, Whinchat and Swallow at Westing.
Scaup, 2 Goldeneye, Blackcap and Tree Pipit at Uyeasound.
Song Thrush, Slavonian Grebe and Knot at Baltasound.
2 Song Thrush and 2 Fieldfare at Burrafirth. 13 Mealy Redpoll at Norwick.

4 October

Glaucous Gull and 2 Fieldfare at Burrafirth.
Jack Snipe, 3 Mealy Redpoll, 2 Fieldfare and Redwing at Northdale.
3 Redwing, Yellow-browed Warbler and 10+ Mealy Redpoll at Baliasta.
4 Blackcap, 4 Yellow-browed Warbler, 4 Robin, 6 Goldcrest, 15 Brambling, 2 Chiffchaff, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, 2 Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat and Redstart at Baltasound.

5 October

Otter at Baltasound. 25+ Long-tailed Duck, 5 Black Guillemot, and 3 Otter at Belmont.
Fetlar- 7 Whooper Swan, Brambling, 2 Yellow-browed Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, 15 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare, Short-toed Lark.
Lamba Ness, Unst- Barred Warbler and 6 Snow Bunting.

6 October

Wheatear, 4 Mealy Redpoll, c20 Redwing at Burrafirth.
2 Lapland Bunting, 10 Snow Bunting and 12 Mealy Redpoll at Lamba Ness.
2 Wheatear, 2 Mealy Redpoll, Blackcap, Redstart and Whinchat at Norwick.
Wheatear, Tree Pipit, Brambling, Chiffchaff and Blackcap at Sandwick.

Spotted Flycatcher, Lesser Whitethroat and Merlin at Muness.
2 Yellow-browed Warbler, Merlin, Siberian Chiffchaff, Brambling and 10 Redwing at Baltasound.

8 October

3 Snow Bunting, 20 Mealy Redpoll, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Yellow-browed Warbler, Siskin, Robin, c20 Redwing at Burrafirth.
Ring Ouzel and Stejneger’s Stonechat at Westing.

Willow Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat at Uyeasound.
Waxwing and Linnet at Camb, Yell.
Yellow-browed Warbler, Red-breasted Flycatcher and Blackcap at Burn of Valayre, Brae.
Waxwing at Ollaberry.

9 October

Reed Bunting at Brake.
Siberian Chiffchaff, 2 Mealy Redpoll, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Grey Wagtail at Quendale.
Lapland Bunting at Sumburgh.
Siberian Chiffchaff, Jack Snipe and Yellow-browed Warbler at Swinster Burn, Hoswick.
Siskin at Sandwick.

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