Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Monday 27 February

On Monday 27 February, a number of members of the Nats bird song group walked from The George at Bathampton along the towpath back to the stone bridge towards Grosvenor then down to the fields by the River Avon, and headed east to Mill Lane and Tollbridge. Groups of Redwings sang from tall trees as this species often does at this time before departing the UK for their breeding grounds further north. Great to hear Blackbird in full song and Greenfinches "wheezing" including display flight. The early Spring sound-scape is really underway now so get out there, listen, learn, and enjoy!"

Lucy Delve

Recce on Sunday 26th for Nats field meeting

Lucy and Phillip did a recce on Sunday 26th for Nats field meeting on 24 March in South Glos. The warm sunny conditions brought out a male Brimstone and Red Admiral, our first butterfly species for the year. Within about 60 seconds, we saw Little Egret, Grey Wagtail and a male Kingfisher at Sherston by the stream. Primrose and violets in flower. Late afternoon on the way back to Bath, we stopped near Marshfield and saw lots of Yellowhammers and Cornbuntings and finished the day with super views of a Short Eared Owl.
Has anyone else seen any butterflies locally yet?

Thanks Lucy

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Shapwick on the Somerset levels

 Took this picture of a female Adder basking in weak sunlight today at Shapwick on the Somerset levels.
Then from Decoy Hide, saw three distant Whooper Swans and eventually three Smew including a drake which had been hidden behind reeds.
On the way to The Levels, diverted to Combe Hill Wood just south of Street near Compton Dundon and saw at least a dozen Brambling.


Friday, 24 February 2012

Some birding news

Was out and about yesterday Thursday 23rd February.
Saw my first Kingfisher for 2012, from the A36 viaduct at Monkton Combe beside Midford Brook.
Since beginning of January I have spent many hours bird watching by local rivers and lakes without seeing this species.
Have most of them moved away for the winter?

Along the River Frome, there were two Dippers just upstream from the old mill site at Freshford.
There was also a small day flying Bat here. Further upstream at Iford an additional Dipper seen from Britannia Bridge along with a female Goosander.

Incidentally I counted 17 Goosanders on Corsham Park Lake in the morning. (10 drake and 7 redheads). This is a lower count than last week, but I may have missed some.

Phillip Delve

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Corsham Court Lake

18 Goosander , 6 Great Crested Grebes on the lake this morning and in the park were 2 Green Woodpeckers and several Reed Buntings.


2 Dippers on the By Brook at Box this morning

Friday, 17 February 2012

Corsham Court Lake

On Tuesday 14th i was at the Lake at Corsham Court. There I counted over 30 Goosanders including 16 males.
Also with the half dozen larger gulls there was an adult Yellow-legged Gull.


Eagle Owl

On Thursday 16th went to Timsbury to help Mike Bailey with the magazine. Following Mike's directions soon found th escaped Eagle Owl, which has been in the village for a week or so.
As I was the only birder on site an HTV southwest crew with David Westwood latched onto me and I found myself being interviewed and featuring on last nights local news.
Unfortunately I missed the dramatic recapture of the bird by falconers. Apparently the bird drew blood pecking its captor's head.


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Blashford Lakes trip report

Click here for photos

Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve, Ringwood, Hampshire (joint meeting with
Bath & District RSPB Members’ Group): 12 February 2012
Leaders: Alan Barrett, Terry Doman, Lucy & Phillip Delve

Thirty-seven members of the societies enjoyed an excellent six hours bird
watching around this very well laid out site consisting of lakes, woodland,
reed beds and grassland, some areas being viewed from hides. Steve Lankester
greeted us outside the Education Centre before we split into three

As at our first coach trip to Blashford in 2010, the Woodland hide was
extremely popular, where we could view various species on or around the
well stacked feeders, namely, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Greater Spotted
Woodpecker. Most of us saw the Bittern (one of three birds reported on
the site), and some were also lucky enough to see a Water Rail, also from
Ivy North Hide. The calm conditions on the day were ideal for listening to
bird song and calls and we helped our group recognise the distinctive
notes of a number of species including Greenfinch, Siskin, Bullfinch,
Chaffinch and members of the “tit” family.

Most of the open water remained frozen following the very
cold overnight temperatures over the preceding weeks. Nevertheless, we
saw a good variety of species including Goosander, Goldeneye (several
males displaying to females), Gadwall, Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler and
Egyptian Goose. Of non bird interest, Phillip located two sleeping foxes
curled up on the edge of the frozen lake close to Lapwing Hide.

A total of some 60 species was clocked up by the end of the meeting and
some fortunate members glimpsed a Barn Owl from the coach on the way
home, after a grand day out! We also raised about £60 in donations to
help Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust maintain the excellent
facilities on site.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012


There have been sightings of 3 Otters between Grosvenor foot bridge and Meadow farm.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Blashford Lakes

Great day out at Blashford Lakes, please add anything i have missed from the list in the comments below.

1 Great tit, 2 Blue tit, 3 Coal tit,4 Longtail tit  5 Chaffinch,  6 Greenfinch 7 Siskin 8 Lesser Redpoll  9 Nuthatch  10 Reed Bunting  11 Robin  12 Blackbird  13 Collard dove  14 Great spotted woodpecker  15 Tree creeper  16 Bittern  17 Goldeneye  18 Canada Goose  19 Pheasant  20 Coot  21 Barn owl

Some of the pictures from the tip http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/natsblashfordlakes/
or view in slide show http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/natsblashfordlakes/show/
Video http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/natsblashfordlakesv/

A big thank you to Alan Barrett for a well organised trip.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Garden birds

A couple of new birds in the garden , a male Blackcap and several Siskins.