Saturday 10 April 2021

Frampton on Severn and Crabtree Hill - 5th April

With a free day in the Cotswold's I decided to head out for the day to visit various local sites. First stop was Frampton on Severn sailing club lake where a 1st winter Bonaparte's Gull had been present since 31st March. I found the bird fairly quickly roosting on pontoon but unfortunately I was viewing directly into ths sun and so my views were rather poor - I later found out that I could have viewed the pontoon from the north which would have been much better. This was a lovely little spot with my first Willow Warbler of the year singing as well as large numbers of Sand Martin and Swallow present. It felt very spring like. My eBird checklist can be viewed here.

Bonaparte's Gull - 1st winter, Frampton on Severn Sailing Club Lake

Bonaparte's Gull - 1st winter, Frampton on Severn Sailing Club Lake

I then headed to Crabtree Hill in the Forest of Dean for the wintering Great Grey Shrike and after a short search was soon enjoying good views of this bird. As I watched the bird dropped to the ground and took a Common Lizard before flying to its larder. My eBird checklist can be viewed here.

Great Grey Shrike - Crabtree Hill, Forest of Dean

Great Grey Shrike - Crabtree Hill, Forest of Dean

Finally, I headed to Cleeve Hill Common to look for Ring Ouzel but other than my first Wheatear of the spring I saw little. My eBird checklist can be viewed here.

Walrus, Tenby - 3rd April

We had a week at our cottage in Cowley, Cheltenham and I could'nt resist a naughty twitch to Tenby to see the Walrus that had taken up residence on the lifeboat slipway. First seen on Valentia Island, County Kerry, Southern Ireland on 14th March,  it then appeared at Tenby on 27th March after being seen at various locations in SW Wales including St. Govan's Head, Saundersfoot and Monkstone Point. The animal regular hauls out onto the ramp of the lifeboat station but today I spent a pleasant couple of hours watching this beast of an animal feeding close in shore just off the lifeboat station. The animal was diving frequently for periods of approximately five minutes before spending a minute or two on the surface before diving once more - apparently there is a high abundance of Razorclams in the bay and presumably the animal is feeding on these.

Thursday 1 April 2021

Odds and Ends from the 1st Quarter of 2021

Through this horrendous Covid-19 pandemic I have been fortunate in being able to continue to work and to travel for my work. During this time I have managed to make a few short detours to see a few birds. However, during this time I decided to cease posting on this blog, now that April is here and the Country is slowly easing out of lock-down I am planning to revive my posts. Here are some images from the very end of 2020 and into 2021.

Northern Mockingbird - I headed down to Exmouth for this bird at the end of March, not the best of twitches having to stand on a ladder and peer into someones garden.

Cirl Bunting - After the Mockingbird I headed to Labrador Bay RSPB Reserve where around 15 Cirl Bunting showed well

Baikal Teal - A short diversion during the school run got me this very wary bird at Sopley in Hampshire.

Garganey - Some time at Pennington Marsh either side of school drop off produced this fine male at the end of March

Dusky Warbler - I had great views of this bird at Siddington, Gloucestershire in early March

Grey Phalarope - School drop off also produced this bird at Pennington Marsh at the end of February

Bufflehead - I made a short visit for this bird at Lee Marston Lakes at the end of February

Dipper - A nesting pair showed well in Stroud at the end of February

Great Bustard - I dropped into see this bird in Oxfordshire from the Salisbury release programme 
in early March

Little Bunting - Showed well at Thursley Common in December

Rustic Bunting - A visit to Thursley Common in December produced good views after a long wait