Birding at Oldbury Power Station


18/7/24 – The Great White Egret was on Oldbury Pill again - and it has a red leg-ring 'AFC' - it is the first sighting of a male, ringed in the nest on Shapwick Heath, Somerset, on 16th April 2024, one of a brood of three. (I also read the ring on a Black-headed Gull - '27H1' and another yesterday'24X1'.) A Grey Heron caught a Bass.
There were some waders at Pillhead Gout/Littleton over the HT: a Turnstone, 23 Dunlin, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Curlew and 5 Redshank. This afternoon Heather England reported some dragonflies: 2 Ruddy Darter, Emperor, Broad-bodied Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Small Red-eyed Damselfly and Blue-tailed Damselfly.

      The Great White Egret 'AFC' and when it was being ringed in the nest ! (Thanks Bob Medland!).




17/7/24 – 2 Common Gulls and Black-headed Gull '24X1'.


16/7/24 – A Great White Egret stalking in the reeds above the sluice of Oldbury Pill early morning - my first on the ground, after 35 fly-bys (going back to 2015). Also 2 Common Sandpiper and a Whimbrel.


15/7/24 – A Whimbrel flew to S over the lake, calling and 2 Redshank on the shore. And 3 of the juv. Kestrels still around.


11/7/24 – A brood of 10 large Shelduck are new-in, and able to fly. See table below for how this year compares. Also 8 Grey Heron today, 6 of which roosted in a field at Shepperdine (including 3 juvs.). The 3 Oystercatcher juvs. are growing fast and are starting to have some orange in their bills.



No. of broods

No. hatched

No. survived

First brood

Last juvs noted





31st May

11th Jul+





17th May

12th Jul+





12th May

14th Aug





18th May

6th Jul





29th May

18th Jul





10th Jun

24th Aug





16th May

6th Aug (3)





24th May

30th Jul





3rd Jun

6th Aug





2nd Jun

29th Jul





21st Jun

22nd Jul





12th Jun

27th Jul





7th Jun

19th Jul





12th Jun

29th Aug





3rd Jun

24th Jul





23rd May

12th Jul





20th Jun

18th Jul





13th May

29th Jul





27th May

25th Aug





10th Jul





18th Jul


9/7/24 – This morning in the rain: 9 Bar-tailed Godwit on the shore at Shepperdine and 3 Black-tailed Godwit on shore by waterworks (all in summer plumage). Also, 2 Stonechat (ad + juv) by L3, the 3 juv Oystercatcher still and the Coots still have 2 juvs.


8/7/24 – Andy Middleton reported: 7 Dunlin, 3 Redshank, 2 Curlew and a Common Sandpiper before HT at Shepperdine. And 2 Black-tailed Godwit and 5 Redshank at the yacht club.


6/7/24 – The Oystercatcher pair still have 3 growing juvs. (on the jetty at HT) and a 2nd-summer Common Gull with 170 Black-headed Gull at the yacht club.


4/7/24 – A few waders at HT: 1 Dunlin, 3 Common Sandpiper and 16 Curlew. Also, 8 Raven on saltmarsh opposite yacht club and 2 Sedge Warbler in the reedbed by the squeaky gate.


2/7/24 – A Great White Egret flew from S, and a Red Kite to NE. Also 2 Black-tailed Skimmer dragonfly and Borage flowering at the yacht club. And this evening Chris Tymko photo'd (see below) a Red-legged Partridge with 8+ chicks at Cowhill, Oldbury on Severn !



30/6/24 – A flock of 9 Common Sandpiper flew into the Shepperdine shore at HT. And at least 4 (probably 5) Kestrel have fledged and are noisily pursuing the parents around the towers. Andy Middleton counted 184 Black-headed Gull.


      The Knapweed in the meadow is looking lovely.


29/6/24 – 2 Nuthatch calling together in trees by entrance - first multiple count and first photo of one on site (16 previous records at OPS). Other big news is that the Coot pair have 3 small young on the lake - last bred here in 2019 (and bred nearly every year before that).


      Large Skipper butterfly.


27/6/24 – The Oystercatchers still have all three juveniles (amazingly !) and a Roe Deer has two fawns.


26/6/24 – A Siskin over was the only bird of note this afternoon (28 degs C !). Jackie Miles reported an adult Moorhen with 2 juvs. in the pond by Lagoon 2. A butterfly count produced: 52 Meadow Brown, 10 Marbled White, 2 Ringlet (photo), 1 Brimstone, 1 Painted Lady, 1 Large Skipper and 1 Large White; helped by all the grass on site being left uncut this year. Also a Silver-Y Moth.


25/6/24 – A Kingfisher on Oldbury sluice this morning (thanks to the early dog walkers for putting me onto it). (That makes this June my equal best at OPS for variety with 82 bird species seen.) A juvenile Peregrine attacking (unsuccessfully) c50 Black-headed Gull on the Tidal Res.. That caused the Oystercatchers to wake up and fly around giving warning calls.
(#138 species for me at OPS this year, and #141 for all-comers.)


24/6/24 – A Barn Owl briefly hunting the saltmarsh this morning at 7am, by the old Windbound. The same Harbour Porpoise as 2+ weeks ago (with wound on back) was hunting Mullet at the mouth of Oldbury Pill for 1+ hours, and went up the Pill 100 yards past the yacht club slipway. And the 3 Oystercatcher chicks are still doing well (they are very well camouflaged - see photo). Mike Prior reported a Great White Egret over to NW.
(#137 species for me at OPS this year, and #140 for all-comers.)


22/6/24 – A Nuthatch was a surprise this morning, calling 'doit, doit,...' from the old oak along the bridleway to shore. (Seen in 7 of last 10 years, but used to be very rare here - only 2 records in the 30 years before 2010. Increasing as oaks mature on site.) The first juvenile Black-headed Gull was in a group of 27. And, a Kestrel that flew directly across the estuary - very unusual to see one do this, so must be a juvenile dispersing. I thought I had found an exotic new tree species, but it was Alder with loads of 'Alder Tongue' in the fruits (caused by a a fungus) - see photo below. Also, lots of Sea Clover along the shore by Lagoons 1 & 2 - nationally rare, only relatively common along Severn and Thames Estuaries. (Smaller flowers and leaves than the White and Red Clovers also here. And with prickly fruit.)
(#136 species for me at OPS this year, and #139 for all-comers.)



21/6/24 – Andy Middleton reported: 4 Whimbrel, 1 Lapwing and a Cuckoo at Yacht Club.

      Bird's-foot-trefoil looking splendid on the shore - from photos, seems to be Narrow-leaved, a new species for OPS. (Somehow this mass has been over-looked !)


20/6/24 – Over HT this morning, some return migration already at the yacht club: 2 Common Tern (first of the year), 4 Lapwing, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Redshank, 1 Curlew, 27 Black-headed Gull and 2 Common Gull. The Oystercatcher family still on the shore - Video. Also a Cuckoo still calling and a juvenile Stonechat between yacht club and Lagoon 3.
(#135 species for me at OPS this year, and #138 for all-comers.)



19/6/24 – This afternoon, the Oystercatcher family still on the shore, 4 Dunlin (probably early returning non-breeders) at Shepperdine and a male Stonechat at a surprise location, on the jetty.


18/6/24 – This afternoon, Heather England photo'd the Oystercatchers on the shore with THREE chicks !
This morning, 7 Avocet - one feeding on shore at yacht club and 6 flew from Aust Cliffs across to far shore, then upriver to feed on shore. The Oystercatcher pair still have both chicks. Also, 5 Little Egret, a juv. Stonechat still and many juveniles fresh out the nest: 2 Cetti's Warbler, a Robin, 2+ Linnets and a Peregrine around the towers still not mastered the air. Shelduck broods now number: 9, 8 and 1. And the Pyramidal Orchids are looking very nice.


14/6/24 – The Oystercatcher pair have TWO young chicks ! Video.


12/6/24 – The Oystercatcher pair have a young chick ! Video (taken through two security fences). The first successful nest of the species at OPS, and the first confirmed wader species to breed anywhere at the site or nearby since Lapwing on Lagoon 1 in 1998, and most years before then. (Closest recently was Little Ringed Plover in 2012 which nested on Lagoon 3, but no young seen. They last successfully bred in 1983 on Lagoon 2 with 3 young.)


10/6/24 – Andy Middleton's WeBS count: fem. Tufted Duck, 43 Mallard, 27 Shelduck, 2 Mute Swan, 60 Canada Goose, 26 Moorhen, 1 Coot, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Cormorant, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret, 2 Oystercatcher (one still sitting, one standing guard), 1 juv. Stonechat and 16 Swallow.


8/6/24 – One of the Crane from yesterday returned NE inland of Lagoon 2 at 7am. (The Oystercatcher is still sat on the nest.)
(#134 species for me at OPS this year, and #137 for all-comers.)


7/6/24 – Andy Middleton had 3 Crane circling over Oldbury village, and then heading SW this morning at 9:15am. (Last here in 2016.) This afternoon, the Pied Wagtail pair on the jetty have fledged 2+ juvs.. (The Oystercatcher eggs should hatch in next 3 days, as they have been brooded for 24 days now.)


6/6/24 – A Harbour Porpoise close to shore just upriver of the jetty at 7am this morning. (It appears to have an injury on its back.) A video where it rises four times.


4/6/24 – At the yacht club: 10 juv. Shelduck still, the pair of Stonechat with 2 juvs. and a family group of 5 Raven. And I wonder if the yacht club are going to leave any of the lovely meadows uncut this year ? The annual sad sight of Skylarks singing over the cut grassy farm fields where their nests were, this morning.


2/6/24 – Still waders at Shepperdine: 10 Ringed Plover and 25 Dunlin.

      And these Oxeye Daisies were looking very summery.


1/6/24 – A Gadwall in the Pill, 2 Whimbrel (one calling) and at Shepperdine still: 18 Ringed Plover and 14 Dunlin.


31/5/24 – The first brood of 10 Shelduck with parents on shore at yacht club. Andy Middleton reported 38 Ringed Plover and 18 Dunlin at Shepperdine before HT.


29/5/24 – The Stonechat pair have fledged 2 young by the yacht club. Two broods of 6 and 4 Canada Goose are in the Pill. And these Alder Leaf Beetles are all over an Alder bush in the NW corner of Lagoon 2.


25/5/24 – My first Sanderling of the year, with a flock of 35 Ringed Plover and 25 Dunlin at Shepperdine before HT.
(#133 species for me at OPS this year, and #136 for all-comers.)

      Excellent photos by Dave Staley - thanks !


24/5/24 – 2 Coot now on the lake. And the pair of Stonechat still at the yacht club.


23/5/24 – Andy Middleton reported, a new brood of 2 Little Grebe from the second pair on the lake, and a Gadwall at the yacht club.


21/5/24 – This morning, over high tide, 2 Avocet flew upriver, and, remarkably, a Coot was on the estuary (and the one from yesterday was also still on the lake).


20/5/24 – A Coot was on the lake today (last here on 3rd Jan.).


18/5/24 – One Cuckoo still around. And a Slow Worm yesterday by the pond next to Lagoon 2.


16/5/24 – A pair of Stonechat were taking food to a nest by the yacht club this morning. On the lake, an OPS record count of 8 Little Grebe (pr + 4 juvs, and another pair), and 2 Greylag. The Canada Goose pair with 6 goslings are settled in at the yacht club.


15/5/24 – 4 Grey Plover on the shore and 20 Moorhen (6 ad, 14 juv) on the lake. Plus butterflies: 1 Brown Argus, 1 Painted Lady.


14/5/24 – There were 2 juv. Mute Swan stood on a sandbank in the Tidal Res. at 7am this morning, which I 'scoped from the seawall by Lagoon 2, and as I had the 'scope up I thought I would check a group of large gulls next to them. They were the usual mix of juveniles, but I got to one LBB Gull that was stood upside-down! It had black underneath and white on top. I let out an expletive-ridden gasp, meaning, "what is that ?" The bird then lifted its head from preening and it was an adult drake Eider. It had a paddle round the reservoir, including a couple of dives (video), then sat on the Res. wall, and was still around at midday, when the tide pushed it upriver. Only the 4th record for OPS; a pair drifting upriver on tide in May 2022, 5 flew upriver in June 1994 and 18 flew downriver in Oct. 1993 (during an exceptional inland movement).
The pair of Oystercatcher are still nesting on the demolition site. And I counted the warblers on the lagoons early morning: 24 Reed Warbler (12xL2,12xL3), only 3 Sedge Warbler (1xL2,2xL3), 12 Whitethroat (7xL2,5xL3), 3 Lesser Whitethroat (2xL2,1xL3), only 1 Cetti's Warbler and 20 Chiffchaff (11xL2, 5xL3, 4xOther). Also 17 Wren, 7 Dunnock and 2 Red Kite.
(#132 species for me at OPS this year, and #136 for all-comers.)




13/5/24 – The Canada Goose pair have walked their 3-day old goslings to the estuary from the lake for the 4th year ! I saw them doing it this year, as they were on the seawall just SW of Lagoon 3 this morning. Unfortunately a Carrion Crow grabbed one of the goslings, and they lost 2 more, so ended up with 6 when they swam down to the yacht club.
In other surprising news - a pair of Oystercatcher are nesting on the demolition site of what was the large hall at the SW end of the industrial site. And 3 Sandwich Tern flew slowly downriver, lingering around Littleton for a few minutes.
Also note the photo of a Hobby taken by Tony Krajewski on Saturday, below.



12/5/24 – Andy Middleton's WeBS count: 2 Great Crested Grebe on the Tidal Res., than drifted upriver with tide, 7 Little Grebe (pr & 4 juv, and an ad), 3 Whimbrel, 45 Mallard, Canada Goose pair with 9 goslings on lake and 4 Cuckoo.
(#131 species for me at OPS this year, and #135 for all-comers.)

      Tony Krajewski photo'd the 9 goslings and a Hobby over Lagoon 2 yesterday.


11/5/24 – Some good waders early morning: 1 Avocet, a summer plumaged Grey Plover, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 19 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin and 1 Common Sandpiper. Then a probable Little Tern upriver with typical erratic flight. And at Shepperdine, a Short-eared Owl out over the estuary (video), then flew right past me only 50 yards away and continued upriver along the shore. Lastly, two families of Long-tailed Tit fresh out the nest.
(#130 species for me at OPS this year, and #133 for all-comers.)

      Shame it didn't turn round for second (uncropped) photo.



10/5/24 – The Canada Goose has 4 goslings on the lake. (The male was not around.) They are a couple of weeks later than in recent years. The female started sitting on (or before) 9th April this year. Will the parents walk them all the way to Oldbury village this year, like the last 3 years ?! And the first orchid out.


Below are the previous Canada Goose nest records:

1st on nest                          1st fledged juvs.     Incubation (days)    No.of juvs.

05/04/2005                         07/05/2005                                   37            3 (first breeding at OPS)

14/04/2006                         06/05/2006                                   22            6

27/04/2008                         30/05/2008                                   33            1+

29/03/2009                         02/05/2009                                   34            5

27/03/2010                         01/05/2010                                   35            6

26/03/2011                         01/05/2011                                   36            3

24/03/2012                         21/04/2012                                   28            3

31/03/2013                         failed (successful 2nd pair)                          3

04/04/2014                         02/05/2014                                   28            3

31/03/2015                         04/05/2015                                   34            4

02/04/2016                         04/05/2016                                   32            1

23/03/2017                         21/04/2017                                   29            6

25/03/2018                         failed                                                      

21/03/2019                         20/04/2019                                   30            7

23/03/2020                         22/04/2020                                   30            7

23/03/2021                         23/04/2021                                   31            7

21/03/2022                         21/04/2022                                   31            8

01/04/2023                         28/04/2023                                   27            7


7/5/24 – A Bar-headed Goose (or cross with Barnacle/Greylag?) flew from estuary up Oldbury Pill and 3 Mute Swan (juv flew onto estuary and an adult pair flew into Oldbury Pill then later on the lake). At Pillhead Gout over HT: 25 Whimbrel, 17 Dunlin, 5 Ringed Plover, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit and Andy Middleton reported a Knot, a Common Sandpiper and a Great White Egret (upriver). And some migration to NE in murky conditions: 91 Swallow, 2 Swift, 1 House Martin and 1 Sand Martin (AM).



6/5/24 – A pair of Raven with 2 juvs. on a pylon and the Kestrel pair have young in the vent hole below the nest platform on the towers (male seen passing food in this morning).
Some late news - a Short-eared Owl flushed from Lagoon 3 on Saturday.

      One of only two Sedge Warblers this year.


4/5/24 – Two male Cuckoo calling this morning (Lagoons 2 & 3) - video. My first Redpoll of the year high over to NW and 2 Siskin over. Plus a few waders: a summer plumaged Grey Plover, 4 Whimbrel, 2 Dunlin and a Ringed Plover. In the afternoon, TK reported 2 Sanderling (photo below) and 2 Ringed Plover.
(#128 species for me at OPS this year, and #132 for all-comers.)

      Note the Blackcap in the photo below.


      Photos from Tony Krajewski in the afternoon: Sanderling, Reed Warbler and Roe Deer buck on the seawall.



3/5/24 – 11 Tufted Duck on the lake (6m, 5f) - the most since 12 in 2019. And 3 Gadwall (2m, 1f) along the shore this afternoon.


2/5/24 – A 3rd-year, almost in adult plumage, Yellow-legged Gull upriver along the near bank, and the Cuckoo still calling around the site.
(#127 species for me at OPS this year, and #131 for all-comers.)


1/5/24 – The Cuckoo calling again, and very mobile around the whole site. The lake is very productive this year: 4 juv Little Grebe still, 2 new Moorhen juvs., and broods of Mallard juvs of 10, 4+ & 2.


30/4/24 – The first Cuckoo of the year was calling from the south end of Lagoon 2 this morning - Hurray! Matt Plenty had 2 Whinchat just downriver of Pillhead Gout.
(#126 species for me at OPS this year, and #130 for all-comers.)


29/4/24 – A lovely Wood Warbler in Sallows next to path in W corner of Lagoon 3, calling and singing occasionally. (An excellent video for a change.) Also, 29 Whimbrel and 4 Wheatear still at yacht club and 14 Reed Warbler (photo below) singing. Matt Plenty found a Hairy Dragonfly by the lake - a new species for OPS !



      Photos by MP showing the hairs that identify this species.


27/4/24 – Some movement in continuous rain and a cold NE wind: my first 41 Swift (flocks of 20,12,9), 57 Swallow, 46 House Martin and 6 Sand Martin. 4 Whimbrel at Shepperdine.
(#125 species for me at OPS this year, and #129 for all-comers.)


26/4/24 – A juv. Goshawk circling inland of Lagoon 2, with a flock of corvids panicking around it, and 2 Carrion Crow hassling it until it went to SE. The Little Grebe pair have 4 juvs. on the lake. And a predated Song Thrush egg on the path of Lagoon 3.



25/4/24 – At last the Whitethroats have arrived, with 9 around the site this morning, but still only a single Sedge Warbler (by the lake). A male Sparrowhawk hedge-hopped onto a male Blackbird and killed it.


23/4/24 – Some vismig this morning in overcast conditions and into a NE breeze: a pair of Goosander at 7:45am (video), 2 drake (one adult) Common Scoter flew downriver, then back up, 2 drake Gadwall (first for year), c50 Bar-tailed Godwit (at 7:05am), 1 Skylark, 1 Collared Dove and 3 House Martin. Matt Plenty also had (from Pillhead Gout): 33 Whimbrel, another 15 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Swift (first of year), 2 Yellow Wagtail, 5 Wheatear, 90 Swallow and 10 Sand Martin.
The Reed Warblers have finally arrived back, with 11 chirping in the reeds, but Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat are still very low in number.
(#123 species for me at OPS this year, and #128 for all-comers.)


      Photos by MP of Whimbrels and Bar-tailed Godwits (showing winter plumage of bird on right of group and breeding plumage).



22/4/24 – 2 Great White Egret over Lagoon 2 to NE, a Tree Pipit flew from Lagoon 3 to NE (first for year), 37 Whimbrel on the shore (inc. 33 reported by Andy Middleton at yacht club), and 6 Bar-tailed Godwit (reported by AM). 6 Black-tailed Godwit reported.
(#120 species for me at OPS this year, and #124 for all-comers.)

      The two Great White Egret and Bogbean looking nice on the shallow pond by the visitor centre.


21/4/24 – 30 Bar-tailed Godwit, 10 Whimbrel, 1 Knot and 2 Greylag Goose along the shore this evening.


20/4/24 – A cold but sunny start this morning. An Arctic Tern around the Tidal Res. at HT; 12 Whimbrel and a Greylag Goose at the yacht club. 7 Tufted Duck (3 pairs + male) on the lake. One of 5 Lesser Whitethroat video'd singing in the open.


19/4/24 – This evening, a beautiful Arctic Tern feeding along the Tidal Res. shore at HT. Also, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, c15 Dunlin, c10 Ringed Plover, 15 Oystercatcher and 14 Swallow (to N). The Little Grebe pair have 3 young. Plus a Redpoll reported.


18/4/24 – The first 4 Whimbrel of the year flying around the estuary, giving 'whimpering' call (or should that be 'whimbreling'?). Also: 5 Wheatear (over the pill from yacht club), 6 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Reed Warbler, 3 Willow Warbler, but only 3 Whitethroat and 1 Sedge Warbler. And 3 Bar-tailed Godwit on the shore at yacht club, a Swallow around the yacht club, a Sand Martin and 10 Mallard ducklings on the lake.
(#118 species for me at OPS this year, and #123 for all-comers.)



16/4/24 – My first Sedge Warbler, singing by the lake.
(#117 species for me at OPS this year, and #122 for all-comers.)


15/4/24 – I got an absolute soaking walking from the car park to the bench at Shepperdine, but my fist scan of the estuary picked-up a Diver species about a mile upriver and quite high up, battling into a strong WSW wind, as it made its way downriver. 'Scoping showed that it did not have the dagger-like bill or neck collar of Great Northern Diver, so at that point I switched to binoculars held by one hand as I got the camera out of the bag with the other hand. By now the bird was over the Tidal Reservoir, and as it went past me at about 150 yards range, I managed to get two photos and a very short video. I had to wait until I was home to study the images properly and come to the conclusion of a Black-throated Diver - a first for OPS and only 6th for S. Gloucs.. I also had a Wood Warbler calling "tu, tu, tu, tu" for 5 minutes and sub-singing in some sun (but not seen). There was a surprising amount of passage (mainly to NW): a Red Kite, a Yellow Wagtail, 4 House Martin, 20 Dunlin (upriver), 11 Linnet (NE) and 4 Goldfinch (SW).
The Little Grebe pair have 2+ juveniles (being carried on the back of an adult) on the lake.
(#116 species for me at OPS this year, and #122 for all-comers.)



13/4/24 – A nice warm (but hazy) morning. The earliest Whinchat for OPS (by 4 days) was in the demolition area near the jetty. Also, singing around the site: 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 3 Reed Warbler and the first Sedge Warbler of the year (latter found by Matt Plenty).
It has been a ridiculously early spring this year, with the following records of early migrants (old earliest OPS record in brackets): Common Sandpiper 6/4/24 (7/4/2010), Arctic Tern 9/4/24 (15/4/2012), Yellow Wagtail 6/4/24 (10/4/2020), Whitethroat 4/4/24 (4/4/2002), Pied Flycatcher 6/4/24 (14/4/2013 & 2018); and a couple of not quite earliest: Grasshopper Warbler 8/4/24 (2 days after 6/4/2020), Reed Warbler 8/4/24 (one day later than 7/4/20).
(#114 species for me at OPS this year, and #120 for all-comers.)


11/4/24 – The first Lesser Whitethroat of the spring, singing by the lake and 2 House Martin in Oldbury village.
(#113 species for me at OPS this year, and #118 for all-comers.)


10/4/24 – 5 Tufted Duck on the lake (3m) and a female Wheatear at the yacht club.
Andy Middleton organised a litter pick along the shore - 7 people cleaned the whole length from Shepperdine to Oldbury sluice - Marvellous work ! Thanks.


9/4/24 – 6 Arctic Tern downriver at 7:30am in strong W wind, and a Grasshopper Warbler reeling at S end of Lagoon 3.
(#111 species for me at OPS this year, and #116 for all-comers.)

      And a Carrion Crow killing and eating a Toad on the tideline!


8/4/24 – Matt Plenty found 2 Grasshopper Warbler reeling at each end of Lagoon 2, and the first Reed Warbler for this year there; and Andy Middleton had another 2 Reed Warbler on Lagoon 3.
At the yacht club over HT: 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Black-tailed Godwit (first of year), 5+ Common Sandpiper, 170 Curlew, 19 Oystercatcher, 32 Redshank and 1 Dunlin. Also, 2 Whitethroat singing (Lagoon 2 and by metal gate) and 2 Sand Martin over.
AM's WeBS count: 28 Mallard, 27 Shelduck, 5 Teal, 4 Tufted Duck (2 pairs), 1 Snipe, 24 Chiffchaff and a Common Seal close in off Lagoon 3.
(#110 species for me at OPS this year, and #115 for all-comers.)

      Whitethroat and 3 Bar-tailed Godwit.


6/4/24 – Over the evening tide: 4 Sandwich Tern and a 1st-w Little Gull went downriver at 6:35pm; and a Redstart at S end of Lagoon 2.
An excellent morning for migrant birds, and 16 deg C (SW wind). 2 male Pied Flycatcher are the first here since 2018 and the earliest by 8 days. Matt Plenty found a third (immature male) giving the highest OPS count (and first multiple count since 1994). At yacht club over HT: an Avocet, the first Common Sandpiper of the year, a Grey Plover, only 2 Dunlin, 13 Oystercatcher, 36 Redshank, c80 Curlew, 1 Teal and a pair of Pintail downriver. Vismig: 1 Yellow Wagtail (first of year), 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Siskin and my first 3 Swallow. A Whitethroat was singing by the metal kissing-gate near yacht club. 65 species seen today, inc. 8 new for year. (#107 species for me at OPS this year, and #112 for all-comers.)


4/4/24 – A Firecrest singing and calling (video (turn sound up!)) in pines by the meadow (next to the car park) this morning (after rain) and the equal earliest Whitethroat for OPS singing from a bush on Lagoon 2, briefly. Also: 6 Blackcap and 5 Willow Warbler singing. (#99 species for me at OPS this year, and #105 for all-comers.)

      Best I could do in half hour chasing the Firecrest.


1/4/24 – 4 Willow Warbler singing, and butterflies: 6 Brimstone and 2 Small Tortoiseshell.

      Managed to photo an elusive Cetti's Warbler.


30/3/24 – 4 Mute Swan this morning; 3 adults downriver and a juv. upriver. Heather England reported: 2 Peregrine, female Black Redstart (jetty), 4 Reed Bunting, 2 Stonechat (male singing), 3 Wheatear (yacht club), plus Brimstone and Tortoiseshell butterflies. Louise Bailey reported a Speckled Wood butterfly.


28/3/24 – A lovely sunny morning (before rain !) - the first Willow Warbler singing by the lake, 3 Blackcap singing and a Wheatear. Over HT: 4 Grey Plover (inc. one on seawall by Lagoons 1/2), just 1 Dunlin, 130 Curlew, 6 Oystercatcher and a Snipe. (#97 species for me at OPS this year, and #103 for all-comers.)



27/3/24 – A pair of Tufted Duck on the lake and 3 Sand Martin through Lagoon 1 to SW.


26/3/24 – Lois Pryce reported a Great White Egret flying over the lake. (Species #102 for all-comers.)


22/3/24 – 3 Wheatear at the yacht club (earlier by the jetty, reported by Louise Bailey), a Red Kite at Shepperdine and a female Black Redstart also reported by LB. The Mute Swan pair still on the lake, and a Weasel along the path on Lagoon 3. (#96 species for me at OPS this year, and #101 for all-comers.)

      Little Egrets in evening light by Dave Staley.


21/3/24 – The first 5 Sand Martin flew to SW, into breeze this morning, and 25 Redwing also to SW. The first pair of Tufted Duck for the year were on the estuary. 11 Little Egret were by Oldbury sluice, then went upriver. At yacht club: 6 Knot, 2 Grey Plover and c190 Curlew. My first singing Blackcap of the year was at SW end of Lagoon 3 (3 days later than earliest in 2021). And 4 Little Grebe in breeding plumage were chasing and vocal on the lake. Lois Pryce reported 3 Mute Swan (a pair on the lake and another over). (#95 species for me at OPS this year, and #101 for all-comers.)



20/3/24 – 27 Golden Plover still on the shore at Shepperdine this afternoon and 8 Little Egret in flooded field to SW of Lagoon 3.


18/3/24 – 76 Golden Plover on the shore at Shepperdine after HT and 15 Chiffchaff around site (13 singing). (#93 species for me at OPS this year, and #99 for all-comers.)


15/3/24 – Heather England photographed the first Wheatear of the year at the yacht club.


9/3/24 – A Knot on shore by Lagoon 3 is new this year for me (#92). Vismig (wind from ENE): 100+ Meadow Pipit, 200 Woodpigeon, 2 Stock Dove, 13 Pied/White Wagtail, 2 Siskin and 12 Lesser Black-backed Gull. Also, 2 Greylag with 20+ Canada Goose at Littleton and a flock of 17 Long-tailed Tit flew along the fence past the jetty.


8/3/24 – 3 Little Grebe on the lake still (2 in breeding plumage, and one in winter plumage). Some late news - there was some shell from a Pheasant egg on the path round Lagoon 3 a couple of days ago. Morris Benson reported a Red Kite over the carpark, going towards the estuary.


7/3/24 – Good vismig this morning into ENE breeze: 520 Woodpigeon, 4 Stock Dove, 1 Yellowhammer, 8 Siskin, c15 Meadow Pipit, 6 Chaffinch, 18 Jackdaw (in with Woodpigeons), 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull, c50 Black-headed Gull, c20 Common Gull. A Red Kite went SW at 9am and a Merlin was flying high, then went lower towards the yacht club in hunting-mode. And 7 Chiffchaff (6 singing) around the site. 59 species - best this year. Lois Pryce reported 4 Green Woodpecker and a Blackcap singing at S end of Lagoon 2. A probable Sand Martin reported at Oldbury sluice yesterday.


6/3/24 – A beautiful, sunny, afternoon - first coatless day this year (12 degs C). The male Black Redstart was near the building next to the waste-ground (near jetty) and 2 Chiffchaff on Lagoon 3. Martin Preedy reported the Kestrel pair mating on a pylon.

      Colt's-Foot flowering on the waste-ground.


5/3/24 – Peter Coslett reported 3 Black Redstart downriver of the jetty (TWO females and a male).


4/3/24 – Andy Middleton reported: the male Black Redstart in wasteland inside security fence (near jetty) and a Red Kite over Lagoon 3.


2/3/24 – A pair of Greylag landed on the lake, but chased off by resident Canada Goose.

      Snow on the 'Mountains of Aust'.


1/3/24 – I found a Raven sitting on a nest this morning.

      "You have 15 minutes to get back to the car!"


29/2/24 – A Merlin near the yacht club (then flew across estuary), a Chiffchaff singing in Lagoon 3 reeds (not quite earliest - 9/2/2008), 5 Stonechat around and the Canada Goose pair nest-prospecting. (#91 for me at OPS this year.)


27/2/24 – A Brambling calling from trees by pond in S corner of Lagoon 3 (but only located when it flew) and 8 Stonechat (3 x L3, rest on shore nearby). Species #90 for me at OPS this year.


26/2/24 – Andy Middleton reported: the female Black Redstart, 5 Stonechat and 4 Grey Plover.


25/2/24 – Matt Plenty reported: 2 Black Redstart (m & f) near jetty (male singing !) and a Lesser Redpoll.


24/2/24 – 2 Black Redstart (m & f) near jetty and 13 Stonechat between jetty and yacht club (7m, 6f).


20/2/24 – All the action was on the lake this morning, as the annual 'battle of the lake' begins between the newly arrived Mute Swan pair and the Canada Goose pair that arrived on Saturday. Also the pair of Little Grebe were noisily seeing off the third one.

      Signs of spring.


19/2/24 – An adult Mediterranean Gull and a male Shoveler on the estuary this afternoon. The first two new species for the year since 26th Jan.; #89 for me at OPS this year, and #94 for all-comers. Also, the female Black Redstart and 10 Stonechat by the jetty (plus another pair of Stonechat at the yacht club).


17/2/24 – Matt Plenty/Heather England reported: 3 Black Redstart (2 male), 12 Stonechat between jetty and yacht club (with another pair at Shepperdine) and a Siskin over to N.

      Photos of all three Black Redstarts below by HE.



15/2/24 – Lots of Toads in the pond by Lagoon 2, including a mating scrum.


14/2/24 – The adult male Black Redstart was on the waste ground again early afternoon (Matt Plenty), and then on the security fence between there and Lagoon 3 mid-afternoon - video.


13/2/24 – Pillhead Gout before HT: 4 Grey Plover, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 8 Oystercatcher, 1000 Dunlin, 50 Curlew and a Little Grebe in Oldbury Pill. Also 14 Greenfinch leaving overnight roost in brambles.


12/2/24 – A female Marsh Harrier over Lagoon 2 reedbed this afternoon in the sun - video. And the ad m Black Redstart was inland of jetty (on waste-ground).
Andy Middleton's WeBS: 92 Wigeon, 72 Teal, 23 Shelduck, 38 Mallard, 3 Little Grebe, 1 Jack Snipe, 20 Snipe, 1000 Dunlin, 32 Redshank, 45 Lapwing, 7 Oystercatcher, 120 Turnstone, 4 Little Egret, 2 Peregrine, 4 Stonechat and 50 Fieldfare.


10/2/24 – This morning, nice to see the estuary without rain for the first time in a week ! A surprise flock of 11 Mute Swan flew inland along Oldbury Pill and 4 Pintail (3 male, including one displaying to a female). The Damsons are flowering around the site. The female Black Redstart was reported on Birdguides.


3/2/24 – 3 Little Grebe on the lake, early morning.


1/2/24 – Female Black Redstart on the jetty and 6 Raven flying around the towers 'kronking' this morning, and briefly touched-down together.


31/1/24 – The 3 Cattle Egret with a Little Egret in same field by road, a Mistle Thrush in the orchard and 2 Little Grebe on the lake (one making a 'trilling' sound in display).


30/1/24 – Two Cattle Egret in the field by the entrance again. 3 Mute Swan flew downriver at HT, plus the pair on the lake. Also, at HT: 26 Oystercatcher, 11 Little Egret and c1,000 Dunlin. Plus, 4 Stonechat (3 male) and a Skylark singing, between Lagoon 3 and yacht club.


29/1/24 – Andy Middleton reported: 3 Cattle Egret with a Little Egret in same field, a female Yellowhammer at the yacht club, 1200 Dunlin, 20 Snipe, 120 Wigeon and 51 Teal.


28/1/24 – Barry Dursley reported: the female Black Redstart at the jetty and 3+ Siskin in the orchard.


27/1/24 – Two Cattle Egret in the field by the entrance again at dawn. Terry Winter reported the female Black Redstart by the jetty (nice photo by TW below).


26/1/24 – A single Cattle Egret was in the field by the entrance in the afternoon, a distant Red Kite down estuary and a pair of Tawny Owl calling. Louise Bailey reported: the ad male Black Redstart by the jetty, 2 Blackcap in The Anchor carpark and 4 Grey Plover (photo by LB on left below). Species #87 for me at OPS this year, and #92 for all-comers.


25/1/24 – 3 Mistle Thrush in 'The Plantation' wood on way to yacht club and 5 Grey Plover over HT at Pillhead Gout.


23/1/24 – 3 Cattle Egret with 4 Little Egret in field on right of approach road, feeding (8:30-10:15am at least). Video. The lake is now unfrozen but 4 of 7 Moorhen seen were along the track to Lagoon 3 from the road. And the first Snowdrop was poking through.


20/1/24 – 2 Cattle Egret flew low from S (inland) diagonally across Lagoon 2 and then upriver. And a probable Short-eared Owl reported by dog-walker flushed from saltmarsh near yacht club 'about 3 weeks ago'. The lake is still frozen and 6 Moorhen were on the grass between the lake and the (unfrozen) rhine; also 8 Teal on the main rhine. Species #85 for me at OPS this year, and #90 for all-comers.


19/1/24 – Heavy frost and -5 deg C again this morning. 5 Pintail (3 male) on Tidal Res., c300 Redwing and c100 Fieldfare feeding on unfrozen patches of fields.


18/1/24 – A heavy frost and -5 deg C this morning. The only bird species I added to the year-list was Feral Pigeon. But c100 Redwing in the hedges. And the 3 Ringed Plover were feeling the cold. Species #84 for me at OPS this year, and #88 for all-comers.



16/1/24 – A cold morning (-1 deg C) brought some new birds in. A 2nd-year male Marsh Harrier was hunting on Lagoon 3 at dawn; my first Jack Snipe for over a year was flushed from the saltmarsh at Shepperdine by the tide and flew to a field; and a Bar-tailed Godwit was with Curlews at the yacht club then flew to far side of estuary. HT at yacht club: 3 Grey Plover, c700 Dunlin, c200 Lapwing and 36 Canada Goose + the Canada x Greylag (photo below). The female Black Redstart was at the jetty. The lake was 100% frozen with just 1 Moorhen on the ice. 56 species today. Species #83 for me at OPS this year, and #88 for all-comers.



15/1/24 – 3 Water Rail, 4 Jay in the orchard, 20 Fieldfare and a Rock Pipit at Shepperdine.
Andy Middleton's WeBS count: 36 Mallard, 73 Wigeon, 31 Teal, 34 Redshank, 400 Dunlin, 70 Lapwing, 95 Turnstone, 21 Curlew, 35 Canada Goose, 17 Snipe, female Black Redstart, 4 Stonechat, 120 Redwing, and 35 Linnet.

      Water Rail at the back of the reeds, from Lagoon 3.


14/1/24 – The female Black Redstart and 3 Stonechat by the jetty. Also 83 Lapwing, a Grey Wagtail and 5 Cormorant.


13/1/24 – An enjoyable Bristol Ornithological Club walk this morning: a Water Pipit again on the saltmarsh near the squeaky gate, the adult male Black Redstart at the jetty (and the female photo'd by HE later, below) and 5 Stonechat (+ a different two reported). 15 visitors saw 52 species.


11/1/24 – A frosty morning with some good birds. 2 Water Pipit flew up from the saltmarsh between the yacht club and the squeaky gate, with 15 Meadow Pipit, and a male Yellowhammer. And a male Siskin feeding in Alders (with 4 Goldfinch) in W corner of Lagoon 3. A male Blackcap and a Mistle Thrush were on Mistletoe in the Anchor Inn car park. 55 species today, best so far this year. Species #80 for me at OPS this year, and #85 for all-comers.

      Siskin and Yellowhammer.


      A leucistic Pheasant photo'd in Oldbury village by Christabelle Tymko.


10/1/24 – Lois Pryce reported 8 Knot. The Little Grebe and Mute Swan pair were still on the lake and a Chiffchaff along the shore fence by waterworks. Species #76 for me at OPS this year, and #81 for all-comers.


9/1/24 – Heather England reported in the afternoon: the female Black Redstart (on the jetty saltmarsh), and a Little Grebe on the lake.
A chilly morning (1 deg C); 10 Skylark were the only addition to the OPS year-list, and I added the 2 Mute Swan on the lake to mine. A big flock of Fieldfare and Redwing were feeding on the field next to the main rhine, counted at c500 and roughly split 50:50. Species #75 for me at OPS this year, and #80 for all-comers.
Some late news from Saturday 6th Jan, when I counted c9,000 gulls on the water of the estuary in the evening roost. The light was not good enough to see species, but from proportions of gulls flying in, estimates are: c6,000 Black-headed Gull, c2,000 Common Gull and c1,000 Herring Gull!


8/1/24 – Andy Stockhausen reported a Whooper Swan flying high downriver, calling, at 10am; and a Lesser Redpoll on the feeders. Andy Middleton reported: 2 Black Redstart (ad male seen from Lagoon 2 on fence by recycling bins, and female by jetty), 6 Stonechat (3 x Yacht Club, 3 x Jetty area), 2 Mute Swan back on the lake, 127 Curlew, 289 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 65 Carrion Crow, 6 Dunnock, 13 Great Tit and 100 Herring Gull. Species #73 for me at OPS this year, and #78 for all-comers.


7/1/24 – Mike Prior reported this morning: 2 Peregrine (nice photo by MP below), 10+ Bullfinch, 1 Water Rail (Lagoon 2), 50+ Redwing, 20+ Fieldfare, the female Black Redstart (by jetty) and 2 Reed Bunting. Morris Benson had the male Black Redstart from Lagoon 2. The only species I added to the OPS year-list this afternoon was 3 Ringed Plover on shore by Lagoon 1. Also a pair of Stonechat on Lagoon 3. Species #73 for me at OPS this year, and #75 for all-comers.

      Peregrine by Mike Prior.


      Ringed Plover and Stonechat.


6/1/24 – It all kicked-off this afternoon, when Barry Dursley found an Avocet on the shore by Lagoon 3 at 2:30pm and then at 3pm Dave Staley found 8 Waxwing in a tree by the pond next to Lagoon 2 ! (Last recorded at OPS in 2012.)
A lovely sunny and still morning, with a light frost. A surprise adult male Black Redstart in the sun on small buildings on SE side of power station. The only other species added to the OPS year-list was Kestrel. Ian Armour photo'd the female Black Redstart again this morning (by jetty again) and also had a Pintail on the Tidal Res. by Lagoon 3. Species #72 for me at OPS this year, and #74 for all-comers.

      Superb photos by Dave Staley !


      Ad m Black Redstart this morning.


      Even better photos than yesterday of Black Redstart and Heron by Ian Armour.


5/1/24 – 6 Pintail (3 pairs) at Shepperdine. And a female Black Redstart photographed by Ian Armour by the jetty. Also, 6 Grey Plover, a good count of 20 Oystercatcher, a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming and 3 Stonechat (pr at yacht club, m on L3). Species #70 for me at OPS this year, and #71 for all-comers.

      Excellent photos of Black Redstart and Long-tailed Tit by Ian Armour - thanks !



4/1/24 – No rain ! And so the first chance this year for a proper look round the site. Watching the tide start to come in at Shepperdine, at 9:30am a 1st-winter Grey Phalarope flew in and settled on the water to feed in the middle of the estuary. A watched it for 5 minutes as it drifted slowly upriver on the tide. Andy Stockhausen reported it at 1pm as it drifted back down again. (The last one reported at OPS was in 2020, and only 8 previous OPS records.) Also, 9 Greylag Goose flew across the estuary from the far side and continued inland. At Pillhead Gout at HT: 13 Little Egret (OPS record count!), 5 Grey Plover, 15 Oystercatcher and c800 Dunlin. When shooting started inland, c550 Woodpigeon, 15 Fieldfare and c100 Redwing flew from woods. Also new for the year: a Reed Bunting, Green Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk and 2 Water Rail calling. Species #68 for me at OPS this year, and #69 for all-comers.

      7 of the 9 Greylags.


3/1/24 – A Chiffchaff in the reeds on Lagoon 3. Species #59 for me at OPS this year, and #60 for all-comers.

      The lake has burst its banks and the Coot is still there.


2/1/24 – This morning in rain: a Cetti's Warbler, a Coot, a Mistle Thrush, a Rock Pipit, 4 Stock Dove, 2 Stonechat and 100 Snipe - flew out of saltmarsh as HT rose and flew around in a single flock.

      Snipe and a rainbow.


      Oldbury Pill flooded.


1/1/24 – Matt Plenty reported: a Coot on the lake, a singing Song Thrush and a Grey Wagtail.



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