22/2/20 – MP reported: c50 Turnstone and 3 Ringed Plover. And a hunting Barn Owl near junction of Foss Lane and Pickedmoor Lane on way back to Thornbury. .
Kestrel and Lagoon 1 very flooded.
20/2/20 – A Chaffinch singing this morning on Lagoon 2. Also singing: 1 Dunnock, 1 Robin, 5 Song Thrush and 5 Wren. MP reported 77 Wigeon and 55 Teal.
18/2/20 – c55 Redwing today.
The river above the sluice at the yacht club burst its banks (well, it spilled over onto the Common) at the weekend. Looking at the River Level information, it had its highest recorded level on Sunday night, beating the record that went way back to 26th Oct 2019 !
17/2/20 – c25 Linnet, 22+ Chaffinch and a Mistle Thrush feeding in the very wet maize-stubble field along the main rhine. And still 2 Blackcap (male + female) in the Anchor Inn car park.
MP has uploaded a video of the Starling murmuration over Lagoon 3 from January.
A Skylark on the yacht club common - strangely, it was eating a small slug. And a very large branch of a Willow tree has come down, by the newly thrashed hedge along the main rhine.
The lake is as full as I've ever seen it.
14/2/20 – The Peregrine pair reported courting on Avonbirds..
13/2/20 – Some excellent birds, despite the wintery showers this morning. A Short-eared Owl flew along the bridleway to the shore and turned left along the shore towards Lagoon 3 at 8am. Then at 9:30am an adult male Marsh Harrier went slowly downriver past the yacht club and along the shore towards Littleton. But then at 10:20am it was quartering the reedbed on Lagoon 3, giving superb views until 11am when I left. (Video of it over Lagoon 3.) It flushed c25 Snipe from the reeds, and another 10+ seen along tideline. I also found a Corn Bunting along the tideline at High Tide, by the yacht club. It then perched in the hedge there. (Video of it preening.) It was with c25 Meadow Pipit, 1 Rock Pipit and 2 Skylark.
9/2/20 – 6+ hours spent watching the estuary today (4 in morning, 2+ in eve), but no seabirds blown in by Storm Ciara.
But here's some more photos by JM. Female Black Redstart by the 'Seal Pit' (from 7th Feb), 2 of 3 Roe Deer in the orchard and a Meadow Pipit.
7/2/20 – A Short-eared Owl flew over the entrance road at 3:50pm, heading for Lagoon 3.
A Coal Tit, a Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest in firs in NE corner of Lagoon 1.
On the lake: 2 Canada Goose, 3 Tufted Duck (2m, 1f), 1 Gadwall, 11 Moorhen and a Water Rail heard.
JM reported the Black Redstart in the waterworks by the 'Seal Pit' again.
6/2/20 – The female Black Redstart again on the fence of the waterworks by the 'Seal Pit'. And a Reed Bunting chose this morning to start singing on Lagoon 3, in freezing fog and -2 Degs C !
The Damson is flowering already.
3/2/20 – The female Black Redstart was on the fence of the waterworks, by Lagoon 2, then it flew to the 'Seal Pit'.
1/2/20 – BD (@BirderGinger) reported a Chiffchaff behind the (old) visitor's centre and 3 Raven.
30/1/20 – The female Black Redstart in the waterworks again. It favours the 'Seal Pit' by Lagoon 2, but I am only finding it when it is vocal - calling 'whit' repeatedly. (Today because a sewage lorry was up other end, and last time due to a perched Crow.) And 4 Stonechat still (2 x Lagoon 3, 2 x near jetty).
29/1/20 – A Goshawk 'scoped over ridge on far side of estuary (i.e. Gloucs.). An adult with gleaming white underparts and light grey above. Very distant, but perfect viewing conditions - bright sun from behind me and zero haze. It was soaring and doing some exaggerated slow-flapping display flight, for about 3 mins.. (Recalled SE Owl when slow-flapping.) 4 Buzzard and a pair of Peregrine seen along same ridge in same half hour for size comparison.
27/1/20 – A Short-eared Owl getting hassle from corvids, and went to roost in middle of Lagoon 3 at 3pm. And a Chiffchaff again at south end of Lagoon 2.
25/1/20 – HT at Pillhead Gout at dawn: 236 Curlew, 400+ Dunlin,
13 Oystercatcher (12 was max. count in 2019 !), 5 Ringed Plover and a Grey Plover.
And the very light coloured Buzzard (with white head) is still about from last year.
A note from JS on the Curlews: "At the last WeBS count there were 315 at Aylburton Warth and 80 at Guscar Rocks. I reckon there are no more than 650 on the river, down from about 1000 ten years ago."
24/1/20 – 4 Mistle Thrush in paddock to south of Lagoon 2.
23/1/20 – The female-type Black Redstart in the waterworks late pm, and c300 Jackdaw and c200 Rook in corvid roost in trees along road from entrance.
22/1/20 – The adult male Black Redstart was by the most SW building, and very vocal, calling 'whit'. And an adult Mediterranean Gull moulting into summer plumage on the evening roost on the Tidal Res., drifting upriver as tide came in, along with c2,000 Common Gull and 2,000+ Black-headed Gull. .
21/1/20 – A Treecreeper in freezing fog (-3 dec C) this morning. And 2 sightings of Red Kite reported this year - one along road to OPS and one over towers.
20/1/20 – Nice sunny afternoon. 2 Great Crested Grebe flew downriver and landed in middle of estuary off Lagoon 3. (One in winter plumage and the other in breeding, and some display seen.) That is the 80th species I've seen at OPS in 2020 ! The female Black Redstart was down the road looking through the blue gate at jetty. And 8 Stonechat (pair at yacht club, 2 pairs by small wood on way to there, and pair by jetty).
19/1/20 – A male Pintail in middle of estuary and 30+ Snipe - 7 on Lagoon 3 and 23+ flying out of saltmarsh as tide came in at Shepperdine.
18/1/20 – First day of Winter ! -1 Deg C this morning. 4 Song Thrush singing around the site.
AM reported: 6 Gadwall (4 on lake, 2 on river), 60 Turnstone, 6 Oystercatcher, 18 Great Tit (new OPS record !) and 18 Blue Tit.
MP/CL reported late afternoon: TWO Black Redstart fem-type on the jetty (CL) and adult male on towers (MP) (ad m last seen 22nd Dec 2019 !), c5,000 Starling in murmuration, Peregrine on a tower, pair of Stonechat, 2 Cetti's Warbler and 6+ Water Rail calling.
Excellent photos - thanks Craig and Matt!
17/1/20 – The obligatory photo of Snowdrops in the wood by the lake. Lovely to see.
16/1/20 – The Coot still on the lake and now 4 male Gadwall.
15/1/20 – A Black Redstart very briefly on fence by waterworks. And a Chiffchaff at south end of Lagoon 2.
14/1/20 – The Coot is back on the lake ! Also, a Grey Plover and 5 Ringed Plover in the HT roost at Pillhead Gout.
13/1/20 – AM's WeBS count: 4 Tufted Duck (3m, 1f on lake), 3m Gadwall, 174 Wigeon, 65 Mallard, 3 Shelduck, 65 Teal, 300 Dunlin, 75 Curlew, 21 Snipe (19 at Shepperdine, 2 on Lagoon 3), 50 Turnstone, 74 Redshank, 102 Lapwing, 3 Grey Heron, 6 Stonechat, c200 Carrion Crow and 13 Blue Tit.
12/1/20 – Superb Starling murmuration this evening (4:15-4:35pm) over Lagoon 3 - a video showing about 5,000 of them flying into roost in the reedbed, and then you can hear them shifting in the reeds (there is a Water Rail in there). Another c2,000 had already gone into the reeds.
11/1/20 – 3 male Gadwall on the lake this morning, displaying to a female Mallard. (But Tufted Ducks have gone.)
10/1/20 – Good view of an adult female Marsh Harrier in the sun, flying downriver across the Tidal Res., and then going over the hedge onto Lagoon 3 (where lost to view and not refound). (Some video.) Also 2 Chiffchaff seen and calling in scrub at south end Lagoon 2. And the corpse of a Harbour Porpoise on Shepperdine Sands being eaten by Great Black-backed Gulls. Plus 2 male Tufted Duck on the lake, joined a pair of Wigeon and the male Gadwall.
Marsh Harrier silhouette (Crow below). And GBB Gulls at dead Harbour Porpoise.
9/1/20 – The female Black Redstart again showing well on the fence between waterworks and Lagoon 2. (Some video.)
The Black Redstart and some Candlesnuff Fungus (just 2cm tall) on a rotting tree stump.
8/1/20 – A female-type Black Redstart showing well on the fence and around the brown tiled building on NE side of power station (viewed from Lagoon 2).
6/1/20 – Good view of a Weasel hunting along the top of the seawall by the waterworks.
5/1/20 – At 12:30pm an Egyptian Goose flew in towards the lake from the direction of the road, and looked like it was going to come down but saw the power-lines and me and veered away to the South. Also, a Grey Wagtail by Lagoon 1 outfall and a Chiffchaff along bridleway to south of Lagoon 2. AM reported at Shepperdine: 34 Wigeon (5 on lake), 39 Teal, 43 Mallard, the male Gadwall on the lake, 44 Lapwing, 86 Dunlin, 37 Turnstone, 6 Curlew, 3 Stonechat and an OPS record count of 16 Great Tit !
4/1/20 – The female Black Redstart in the waterworks again, but difficult to see. (Some video of it.) A Black-tailed Godwit and a Rock Pipit at Shepperdine and 29 Snipe flushed from there.
3/1/20 – Saw the sun for the first time this year today ! A male Tufted Duck is on the lake (last here in October), but the Mute Swans have departed.
2/1/20 – 27 Skylark on the set-aside field inland from yacht club (+ 1 on saltmarsh). Another Blackcap, this one in the car park at The Anchor pub. And a House Sparrow by Oldbury Pill sluice.
1/1/20 – A female Black Redstart was very vocal ("whit") at the waterworks. A pair of Blackcap were eating mistletoe berries in the paddock to south of Lagoon 2, and a Mistle Thrush there. And a Merlin atttacked c300 Lapwing & c600 Dunlin in the HT roost at Pillhead Gout. A male Gadwall on the lake and 3 Stonechat (pair + male). 59 species seen today.
(since Jan 2004)