Sunday, 31 March 2013

March updates.

Caunsall Canal Walk.
Redwings were in good numbers feeding in one of the paddocks alongside the Canal. This walk is usually good for seeing numerous bird species and today was no exception on the 2 hour plus walk. A few Siskins were good to see and hear, I have not seen or heard any in the Brake Mill Pool area during this last Winter unlike the Winter of 2011/2012 when they were seen in good numbers. The usual Finches were seen and a Song Thrush singing it's heart out was a delight to hear though trying to spot it despite leafless trees was a trial! At the Water Treatment Plant Pied Wagtails were seen in large numbers, too large to count as they flitted around and a few Grey Wagtails added a nice splash of colour to the mix! A Goldcrest was seen in an area that usually comes up trumps with this species. 25 species seen and 3 were heard only, these being Nuthatch, Green Woodpecker and Skylark.

Brake lane.
Arriving at Brake lane and parking up it was hard to miss the huge number of Gulls and Corvids that were feeding in a field alongside the lane. They lifted not long after I took a few photo's and dispersed to trees and fields close by. MIstle Thrush, Yellowhammer, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, and a Raven were seen on my walk along the lane. I checked the Chaffinch flock in the field carefully hoping for a Brambling or two but no luck.
I later headed to Brake Mill Pool where Goosander were in abundance, well 8 female and 2 males is pretty good going for a small local pool! also on and around the water were Canada Geese, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Long-tailed Tit, Robin, Blackbird, Jay and Buzzard.

My first Coltsfoot of 2013 seen on a local walk also a Great Spotted Woodpecker.
A male Stonechat was a joy to see again in this area, I wonder if it was the male of the pair that I found in February? A large miixed flock of Fieldfares and Starlings were feeding in one of the pasture fields, they were very flighty so difficult to try and count but lovely to see. A stunning Yellowhammer was also a joy to see other than that it was fairly quiet on this walk.


Upton Warren N R
My first of the year Avocets and a Chiffchaff were my main highlight species today though Curlew, Teal, Oystercatcher, Water Rail, Lapwing, Teal, Great Crested Grebe and Reed Bunting amongst other species were all a pleasure to see.

I found a pellet whilst at the Moors. I soaked it once home and was intrigued by the contents. It has been suggested that the bones may be from a small bird. There is definately feather quills in the mix too!

Brake Mill Pool
Four male and two female Goosander were on the water along with the usual and a Grey Heron was posing as it waited for a meal to come it's way. On the walk I was pleased to have a fleeting glance of a Chiffchaff, good to see at least one return. Goldcrest, Wren, Blue & Great Tit, Treecreeper, Buzzard and a Kestrel were good to have had good sightings of.
On the 27th there was just 1 male and 2 female Goosander on the water along with a few Mallards, Coots and Moorhens. I was pleased to see a flock of 30+ Meadow Pipits feeding in a paddock and several Fieldfare paid a couple of fleeting visits and a small flock of Siskin passed overhead!

In my garden.
A delightful Wren.
A singing Song Thrush was a good start to my walk! also seen on my walk were Yellowhammer,Goldfinch, Wren, Skylarks ( singing), a sizeable flock of Fieldfare, Buzzards x5 circling and a male Stonechat, they all collectively made for a good walk!
Hurcott Wood and Pool.
A pair of Great Crested Grebe, Canada Geese, a few Coots, Moorhen and a Grey Heron were good to see on the pool as for some reason this pool can be devoid of any bird species!
The walk in the wood was a good one though it was rather muddy and heavy going at times. Blue & Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Treecreeper, Chiffchaff, Robin, Goldcrest, Jay, Mistle Thrush, Buzzard and Raven were a delight to see, Nuthatch, Great Spotted and Green Woodpecker were heard only. Good to see a little colour appearing in the form of Lesser Celandine.

Brake lane, fields.
 It was good to see several Pied Wagtails in one of the fields along with Gulls and Corvidswhich were in good numbers. A Song Thrush and a few Fieldfare were the only other notable species on my walk today.

The start of the walk was in glorious sunshine but as I headed up the path to the top fields the sky darkened and light snow fell. At the end of the path a new 'kissing gate' has been installed, as you will see from the photo it was impossible to open the gate due to the snowdrift! . The gates are not such a
good idea in inclement weather! I had to climb over the fence next to the gate or turn back! It is a good job I am!
"Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush."
- Doug Larson

I have not mentioned the weather too much in this post as I am sure you will all have heard enough of and have had enough of the penetrating cold winds, snow and freezing temperatures that March has thrown at us and will continue to in to April! Hopefully it will not be long before our weather settles in to a more seasonal weather pattern for the sake of us and of course the wildlife that are struggling in these extremely cold temperatures.
Brandon Marsh N R
 Easter Sunday, the last day of March and the start of British Summer Time today, a busy day! So a relaxing walk around Brandon Marsh seemed in order! Highlights today were: Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Shoveler, Marsh Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Reed Bunting,  Nuthatch, Ringed Plover x2 ( lovely to see these two),  Gadwall,  Common Gull, Kestrel and a cheeky Robin (or two)! One of the Robins almost begged for food as it perched in a hedgerow close to a path looking very appealing and the other Robin flew in to a hide through an open window....both had some crumbled biscuit I put down for them.


Sunday, 17 March 2013

Forest of Dean revisited....8th-10th March 2013

A return visit to the Forest of Dean in the hope of seeing displaying luck with the Goshawks but still a good weekend! No rain but it was damp and cold on the Friday and on the Saturday foggy/misty and colder for the whole day!

It was good to walk around Cannop Ponds again even on a dull and cold day! Highlight birds were Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Goldcrest, Coal, Marsh and Long-tailed Tit, Song Thrush in full voice, Jay, Pied and Grey Wagtail, Little Grebe, x3, Mandarin x19, Tufted Duck and 32 frogs spawning!

Saturday was the day planned for New Fancy View and Goshawks. The mist/fog and cold temperatures were not enthralling to say the least so a proposed long and patient wait at the viewpoint was somewhat curtailed due to the dull and cold conditions! Oh well, maybe 3rd time lucky on a return visit sometime in the future. Green Woodpecker and Song Thrush x2 were the highlight at the viewpoint!

A Peregrine pair at Symonds Yat Rock were a delight to see as they perched in the trees and on the cliff ledges and several times took flight! A Common Buzzard and a tree full of Cormorants were the only other birds seen during the short stay at what was another cold viewpoint!
Spot the Peregrines!
For a change of scenery a visit to Puzzlewood  was made late afternoon on Saturday as the birds were keeping their heads down and who could blame them! A visit here in late Spring/ Summertime in sunshine would I am sure show the Ancient Woodland at it's best, a misty dull day as today  I felt did not do it justice!

It was a great weekend away despite the miserable weather!