January to December 2013


2012 sightings

2011 sightings

2010 sightings

2009 sightings

2008 sightings

2007 sightings

2006 sightings

2005 sightings

2004 sightings

A total of 151 species recorded at the site in 2013 – the most in any year (beating 150 in 2012). (See Latest Site Species List for details). With my personal total for the site in 2013 at 143 species (my record in any year, beating 138 in 2012).

31/12/13 – The annual thrash round with MP/AM produced: 2 Water Rail out in the open on lagoon 3, apparently fighting (and another heard on lagoon 2); c60 Linnet, c75 Chaffinch and 8 Reed Bunting on lagoon 3; c600 Lapwing, the Stonechat pair by the jetty, and c2,200 in the Starling roost.

JS reported a big roost of c600 Curlew on Lagoon 3 at dusk.


30/12/13 – MP reported: a Barn Owl at the south end of Lagoon 2 and towards the orchard at dusk, when the Starling roost was also being attacked by a Peregrine again; and the pair of Pintail at Shepperdine again.

Earlier, a Cetti's Warbler heard again and the Stonechat pair still.


26/12/13 – A pair of Pintail at Shepperdine. Also, a pair of Gadwall, a Little Grebe and 3 Tufted Duck on the lake.

Plus AM reported: 243 Wigeon, 159 Teal, 2 drake Pintail (so 3+ of this species seen today), 3 Water Rail, 122 Curlew, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 2 Stonechat.

     Pair of Pintail



24/12/13 – At dusk, a flock of c2,000 Starling gave a mesmerizing performance before going to roost in the main reedbed on lagoon 2. The pair of Stonechat and the Little Grebe are still around.

      Starlings in formation.                                                                                Zoomed-in on photo on left, showing male Peregrine attacking !


     The flock going to roost at 4.15pm



21/12/13 – A pair of Stonechat and a pair of Gadwall by the jetty. Little Grebe on the lake and a flock of 7 Bullfinch in trees and over Lagoon 2.

MP also reported: 25+ Stock Dove on lagoon 3, 4 Mistle Thrush ( 1 over to sw and 3+ at Jobsgreen farm) and a Chiffchaff at Jobsgreen farm.


15/12/13 – A pair of Stonechat by the jetty.


14/12/13 – Two blokes with shotguns out on the Tidal Res. wall this morning. A Treecreeper was around the small triangular reedbed, Lagoon 2. At the Water Works were a Grey Wagtail and a Rock Pipit. Also, the 2 Cetti's Warbler still on Lagoon 2.


13/12/13 – AM WeBS count: 1 Jack Snipe, 1 Snipe, 285 Curlew, 23 Redshank, 1240 Lapwing, 650 Dunlin, 55 Turnstone, 2 Gadwall, 277 Teal, 148 Wigeon, 79 Mallard, 1 Tufted Duck.


9/12/13 –JS reported: a male Merlin, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 600 Lapwing, 300 Dunlin and 150 Curlew at the yacht club. Also, 5 Ringed Plover (Lagoon 3) and 2 Stonechat (jetty).


7/12/13 – If you want the challenge of finding mobile and elusive birds, OPS is definitely the place to be. MP/AM reported: 1+ Firecrest in reeds and then in scrub in south east corner of Lagoon 2, a female-type Black Redstart by the jetty and among buildings, and a Brambling.

Also, 2 Cetti's Warbler still on Lagoon 2. Plus, 3 Pintail, 2 Gadwall, and 2 Stonechat by the jetty. Lagoon 3 had c250 Teal, c200 Chaffinch, 5 Ringed Plover and 7 Reed Bunting. 300+ Lapwing in sky to avoid a Peregrine inland of yacht club; and c10 Bullfinch around.


1/12/13 – MC reported a Hawfinch over the orchard and seemed to drop down into trees there. MP reported: 2 Gadwall, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 400+ Lapwing, 394 Curlew (roost, lagoon 3), 2,000+ Black-headed Gull, 500+ Common Gull (roost, tidal res.), 1 Cetti's Warbler and 3 Stonechat.


30/11/13 – A warm sunny day with fantastic light. The Firecrest(s) were possibly heard (only) again, in dense scrub on south end of Lagoon 2. Also, 2 Stonechat, a Chiffchaff and (remarkably for time of year) a Common Darter dragonfly there.

MP reported a Brambling with c40 Chaffinch on Lagoon 3.


24/11/13 – 6 Bewick's Swan flew up the middle of the river, then turned towards the near bank and u-turned back downriver again, at 1pm. A Pintail was with the Mallards on the shore by Lagoon 3. And still a Cetti's Warbler on Lagoon 2.

MP reported the Barn Owl again at the yacht club at 4.30pm.




23/11/13 – A Seal slowly made its way upriver past Lagoon 2 to Shepperdine. A Lesser Redpoll on Lagoon 2 and 3 more over. A probable Nuthatch called on Lagoon 2, and still a Cetti's Warbler there. Numbers of ducks and waders have increased: c1000 Dunlin, 400+ Teal and c200 Wigeon.

MP also reported: 1 Brambling (with finch flock on Lagoon 3), 2 Stonechat, 1 Treecreeper, 1 Siskin and a Chiffchaff.

      Seal offshore



22/11/13 – KP reported: 500+ Dunlin and 150+ Lapwing.


19/11/13 – A Kingfisher and 200 Wigeonreported on Avonbirds;


18/11/13 – The latest Swallow ever at OPS, reported by TF on Avonbirds;


17/11/13 – The Barn Owl was reported again at the yacht club in the evening, and 4 Snipe on Lagoon 2 (RL). The 2 Firecrest again in the hedge on the east side of Lagoon 2, and a Cetti's Warbler there. Also, 3 Stonechat along the shore and a pair of Gadwall on the lake.

MP reported: 4 Bewick's Swan over to NE, 5 Redpoll, a Siskin, a Mistle Thrush and a Chiffchaff.

      A Roe Deer behind the hide.



16/11/13 – It took 4.5hrs of searching (yesterday and today), but I finally tracked down the pair of Firecrest in the hedge on the east side of Lagoon 2. They were with a mobile tit flock and 2 Goldcrest near the main reedbed (SE corner). Also there, 2 Cetti's Warbler and 2 Chiffchaff. Vis mig (in freezing mist): 370 Woodpigeon (mainly to SE), 15 Fieldfare and 300+ Redwing.

A Kingfisher on rhine by lake; 3 Little Egret over; Black-tailed Godwit and 200+ Dunlin at Shepperdine; and a Water Rail seen in flight across the lake.

Plus 3 Roe Deer on Lagoon 2 (very unusual here).


15/11/13 – FS reported a Firecrest again in NE corner of Lagoon 2 this morning. And Vis Mig: 1,800 Woodpigeon, 25 Fieldfare, 75 Redwing, 5 Brambling, 2 Siskin, 1 Bullfinch.

I couldn't find it this afternoon, but 2 Cetti's Warbler heard on lagoon 2 and c370 Dunlin at Shepperdine.


13/11/13 – FS reported 2 Firecrest (pair) and a probable Common Redpoll on Lagoon 2 (only second record for OPS).

JS reported at Yacht Club: 280 Curlew (44 colour-ringed), 450 Dunlin, 6 Grey Plover and a Little Egret.


12/11/13 – 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Grey Plover c300 Teal, 220 Dunlin, 6 Snipe and 4 Rock Pipit.

Also a Red Admiral Butterfly (and two more feeding on ivy in Frampton Cotterell).


10/11/13 – A Kingfisher on the pond by Lagoon 2 and a Siskin in birches by entrance; 3 Stonechat (2 at yacht club, 1 at Lagoon 2); the pair of Gadwall and now 2 Little Grebe on the lake; 3 Water Rail heard in reeds, Lagoon 2. Still 1 Chiffchaff (Lagoon 2). WeBS counts: 207 Lapwing, 183 Mallard, 126 Wigeon, 92 Teal, 17 Shelduck, 11 Moorhen, 5 Grey Heron, 4 Coot, 3 Cormorant, 2 Mute Swan (lake), 1 Canada Goose (with damaged wing), 97 Black-headed Gull, 5 Great Black-backed Gull. Also a late Red Admiral Butterfly.

61 species seen today - the most at OPS since April (and 60 species yesterday).


9/11/13 – A fem/juv Merlin flew along Littleton Warth, where it attacked a Meadow Pipit in a spectacular dual (unsuccessfully), and then flew past the yacht club and on to OPS, where it put up the Lapwing and the Curlew. 2 Stonechat at the yacht club; a pair of Gadwall and the Little Grebe on the lake; a Cetti's Warbler heard again in main reedbed, Lagoon 2. Number of Shelduck increased to 16. Also 1 (or 2) Chiffchaff (Lagoon 2) and 5 Ringed Plover (Lagoon 3).


3/11/13 – The only birds of interest were: a Stonechat (Lagoon 2), a Little Grebe and 3 Shelduck (Lagoon 3 - first at OPS since 6/9/13). But, 4 butterflies seen, all different species: Clouded Yellow, Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Red Admiral Butterfly. And 5 Common Darter dragonflies. In November !

      Latest Clouded Yellow I have ever seen.



2/11/13 – A Cetti's Warbler heard again in main reedbed, Lagoon 2. Water in Lagoon 1 has attracted 157 Teal, and pumping into Lagoon 3 attracted 143 Mallard. Also, 6 Goldcrest and a Red Admiral Butterfly.


1/11/13 – A dusk visit produced: a Barn Owl hunting by the yacht club, 2 Raven roosting in the small copse, a Grey Plover (calling), a Snipe and 3 Bats.

JS reported (this afternoon, at yacht club): 310 Curlew (including 42 colour-ringed - he has seen 57 of the 70 colour-ringed on 7th Oct), 20 Canada Goose and 2 Snipe.

AM reported (this morning): 2 Stonechat (towards yacht club) and 2 Blackcap eating blackberries.


31/10/13 – MP reported: a Stonechat and a Little Grebe.


30/10/13 – JS reported (at yacht club): 2 Stonechat, 350 Curlew (including 40 colour-ringed), 180 Dunlin, 40 Canada Goose, 3 Oystercatcher and a Little Egret.


29/10/13 – AM reported: 2 Stonechat, 225 Lapwing, 175 Mallard, 42 Teal, 3 Little Egret, 1 Shelduck, 2 Clouded Yellow and 3 Red Admiral Butterfly.

      Yacht Club with Common in foreground, and a shower over the estuary, 27/10/13.



28/10/13 – 2 different Cetti's Warbler heard on Lagoon 2 - one at small pond on west side and one at south edge of main reedbed. There are still 3 Wheatear between the jetty and Shepperdine. Also, 1 Redpoll in alders, Lagoon 2, 1 Siskin over to west, 1 Chiffchaff and 7 Grey Plover.

'The Great Storm of 2013' didn't quite live up to expectation, but the rain has filled Lagoons 1 and 3.


26/10/13 – A Jack Snipe flushed from under my feet at the yacht club saltmarsh, a Mistle Thrush with 7 grounded Blackbird at Shepperdine, where also 2+ Wheatear (one with bad left leg), a Little Grebe on the lake and a Siskin over to west.


25/10/13 – JS reported (at yacht club): 16 Grey Plover, 40 Redshank, 200 Curlew, 250 Dunlin and 65 Lapwing.

Also, at Thornbury Sewage Works (2 mile inland) there was a Black-headed Gull with a German colour-ring.


24/10/13 – AM reported: The Cetti's Warbler in Lagoon 2 reeds, 3 Stonechat (yacht club), a male Blackcap, 12 Wren, 45 Redshank, 73 Curlew, 110 Dunlin, 125 Lapwing, 6 Grey Plover, 7 Ringed Plover (Lagoon 3), 20 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare, 1 Little Egret and a Clouded Yellow Butterfly still.


23/10/13 – The Wheatear still by the jetty, 1 Stonechat (lagoon 2), and 1500+ Starling flying NE to roost in 4 large flocks.

JS reported (mainly at yacht club): 300 Curlew, 200 Dunlin, 150 Lapwing, 60 Turnstone, 9 Grey Plover, 1 Snipe, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Ringed Plover (Lagoon 3) and another 2 Wheatear at yacht club.


22/10/13 – 3 late House Martin over the meadow/orchard area at dusk (equal latest date at OPS), the Cetti's Warbler gave a burst of song from the SE corner of the main reedbed on Lagoon 2 and the 2 Stonechat on the shore by the jetty.


20/10/13 – A Cetti's Warbler singing loudly from the reeds at the pond by Lagoon 2 was a surprise - only present at OPS before in 2005 & 2006. Also a Kingfisher disturbed from there. On the yacht club saltmarsh were: 6 Rock Pipit, 2 Snipe, a Wheatear, 38 Canada Goose and c120 Lapwing (an increase). Also, 2 Stonechat on the shore and a late Clouded Yellow Butterfly.

A feature of Autumn 2013 at OPS has been an amazing lack of Tern records - the only one being a single Arctic Tern upriver on 31/8. This contrasts with a very good count of 6 Skuas.

      Long-winged Conehead.



19/10/13 – 4 Rock Pipit around reeds by Lagoon 3 and 12 Meadow Pipit. My first 39 Fieldfare of the autumn over to SW. Also, the Wheatear still, 2 Chiffchaff, 11 Bullfinch and a Little Egret.

AM's WeBS count: 1 Swallow, 1 Stonechat, 151 Mallard, 109 Wigeon, 84 Curlew, 11 Redshank, 29 Lapwing, 12 Skylark and 6 Stock Dove.

      This light Ringed Plover was with 3 others on shore by Lagoon 2 - a worn juvenile ?



18/10/13 – A Black Redstart seen briefly (twice) around the main pipe just NE of the jetty this evening, and the Wheatear still there. (MB reported a 'probable' Black Redstart around main pipe just SW of jetty on evening of 15th - thanks.)

      Wheatear, bedding down early.



15/10/13 – A short evening visit produced c145 Pied Wagtail gathering to roost, 1 Grey Wagtail over, 1 Water Rail heard in the main reedbed and a Weasel crossing the path.


13/10/13 – A Stonechat on the shore. Vis mig not so apparent (but still to NE into wind): c120 Redwing and c50 Chaffinch.

MB reported, in afternoon: 9 Fieldfare over the orchard and a Wheatear on the shore.


12/10/13 – A Nuthatch was in the trees on NE side of Lagoon 2. A big visible migration day, with the following seen 10:30am-12:30pm (all to NE into wind): 1,000+ Redwing (but zero Fieldfare), 100+ Chaffinch, 8 Brambling, 18 Skylark, 4 Siskin, 11 Linnet, 2 Reed Bunting.

A mixed flock of waders flying highish NE over south end of Lagoon 2 contained: c5 Black-tailed Godwit, c10 Grey Plover and a few Dunlin. The Wheatear still on shore.


11/10/13 – c90 Redwing to NE into stiff breeze (in hour before sunset).

Reported on Avonbirds; Vis mig 7.15-8.15am: 21 Fieldfare, 2,550 Redwing, 7 Brambling, 40 'alba' Wagtail, 36 Canada Goose.


10/10/13 – AM reported, in the 'fresh' wind: 1 Kittiwake (adult upriver into the wind), 1 Little Egret, 25 Canada Goose and 8 Great Black-backed Gull (a good number).


9/10/13 – A wintery feel this evening. The first Water Rail of the autumn heard on the lake and the Wheatear still by the jetty.

The BTO cannon-netted 70 Curlews on 7th (on the far side of the estuary) - they would appreciate any sightings of colour-ringed birds. (2 coloured-rings above 'knee' on right, and one above on left, plus yellow/white below on left.)

      Example of Colour-rings on Curlew.



6/10/13 – JS found a female Common Scoter distantly, on the estuary at High Tide, and it drifted downriver. JS also reported: 1 Wheatear, 18 Grey Plover (yacht club), 3 Knot, c120 Teal, 24 Ringed Plover, 47 Dunlin, 1 Little Egret and c250 Curlew. The BTO were to cannon-net and ring the Curlews again at Wibden Warth (on far side of estuary) this morning, but the fog probably stopped this.

A flock of 11 Skylark headed over, going north (!), a Siskin over and 2 Grey Wagtail together around the site.


5/10/13 – A summer-like morning. At about 8am on Lagoon 2, out of a group of about 10 Blackbird (dark-beaked, 1st-w or continental birds ?), a 'chuck, chuck, chuck' (Fieldfare-like) call came. It took another half an hour, 3 brief glimpses and 2 more lots of calls before I was certain it was a 1st-winter Ring Ouzel (eventually 'scoped in a tree). (That is the first autumn record at OPS.) A 2 hour look around Lagoon 2 also produced: 1 Lesser Whitethroat (latest ever at OPS), 4 Blackcap, c15 Chiffchaff, 7 Redwing (5 briefly in a tree - earliest OPS records, if FS hadn't found 4 on 3rd !) and 4 Song Thrush. A later visit (11am) to Lagoon 2, found the latest ever OPS Garden Warbler on brambles by pond (but no Blackbirds). Also, 1 Wheatear (Shepperdine), 6+ Skylark over, 28 Ringed Plover and a juvenile female Peregrine through lagoon 3 in hunting mode.

Some late butterflies: 1 Clouded Yellow, 1 Small Copper, and a Comma yesterday.

(A thrash along the saltmarsh produced no pipits.)

AM reported: The Ring Ouzel (heard) late morning, 1 Shoveler, 3 Little Egret, 37 Lapwing, 34 Redshank and the juv Peregrine on a Black-headed Gull kill.


4/10/13 – A warm evening and High Tide at Shepperdine: 18 Grey Plover (a good number for here), 5 Knot, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 41 Dunlin, 21 Ringed Plover and 2 Little Egret. Also, 2 probable Water Pipit flushed from the saltmarsh and flew upriver, calling. Plus 18 Swallow to south, 31 Canada Goose upriver at dusk and 300+ Curlew roosted on Lagoon 3.


3/10/13 – FS reported: 4 Redwing (earliest ever at OPS), 76 Swallow, 15 Dunnock, 20 Robin, 6 Song Thrush, 6 Blackcap, 17 Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrest.


2/10/13 – On the evening High Tide, 31 Black-tailed Godwit (18 flying downriver, and 13 at Shepperdine), 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Wheatear.


1/10/13 – Only birds with white bums to report this evening ! At least 1 Curlew Sandpiper with c40 Dunlin flying around (but never landing) at Shepperdine. And c100 House Martin spread out over the sky above the fields there. Also, 1 Wheatear.


30/9/13 – Reported on Avonbirds: 14 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Song Thrush and a flyover Tree Pipit.


29/9/13 – This evening, a dark phase Arctic Skua flew down river at Shepperdine and attacked the gull roost. It singled out a Common Gull which disgorged a morsel which the Skua caught. Then the Skua landed on the tidal reservoir for a few minutes, before again attacking the gull roost. It later flew down to Littleton Wharf and attacked the whole gull roost there - sending up c5,000 gulls !

A Turtle Dove was reported by CL on wires at the yacht club this morning.

      Pretty conclusive shot of the Skua sat on the tidal res!



28/9/13 – A murky day. A steady stream of Swallow heading south with c300 in 2 hours from 10.30am (then lesser numbers). A few more waders: 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Grey Plover, 26 Dunlin, 18 Ringed Plover, 38 Lapwing, 2 Snipe and a Little Egret. Also, 5 Wheatear together on the shore and 10 juvenile Teal feeding on the lake (and later on shore).

      Grey Plover.



27/9/13 – 2 Black-tailed Godwit at Shepperdine this evening.

AM reported: 31 Lapwing, 29 Redshank, 31 Turnstone, 5 Canada Goose (including possible Todd's type), 1 Little Egret, 5 Wigeon, 6 Teal and 4 Skylark.

Also reported: 1 Whinchat (Lagoon 2) and 2 Siskin.


26/9/13 – JS reported, in mist and drizzle: at 9am a Great Skua landed on the water at the yacht club, and joined three others! All four drifted up on the incoming tide, and then about 20 minutes later flew off downstream. Also: 45 Curlew (9 colour-ringed), 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Grey Plover, 3 Dunlin, 1 Lapwing and a Little Egret.


24/9/13 – A lovely warm, sunny and still evening. There were 2 Whinchat and a Stonechat on Lagoon 2. Also: 1 Wheatear, 2 Little Egret and c30 House Martin (over the towers).

FS reported: 1 Hobby, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 232 Linnet, 36 Chiffchaff, 5 Whitethroat and 16 Blackcap.


21/9/13 – JM found a Grey Phalarope at Littleton Wharf (thanks for the call, AM). It was on the estuary in still conditions at 9am (HT) and then flew to the yacht club inlet at 9.30am and stayed for 20 minutes, before it went out of sight, but seemed to go back to the water just over the edge of the Wharf again. (5th OPS record, but last was 18 years ago !) Also at the yacht club was a small (Todd’s-like?) Canada Goose, with 9 others (and the one with a broken wing). (The 10 were earlier on the lake.) It is about 10% smaller than the others, with a restricted (off-white) cheek patch and smaller bill. The wings are darker, with restricted light edges to feathers.(See photos below - I have original High Res ones if anyone is interested.) The 10 flew upriver at 10am.

AM's WeBS count: 47 Redshank, 62 Curlew, 25 Dunlin, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Lapwing, 26 Turnstone, 14 Wigeon, 128 Mallard and 25+ Chiffchaff.

      Grey Phalarope with Black-headed Gull and Snipe (on shore).                     Zoomed in on photo on left.


      Small Canada Goose type (on right).                                                             Smaller bird is sat down (white line is yacht rigging!).


      Smaller Goose preening.                                                                                 Smaller Goose is middle one in flight (seems to have stubbier, darker wings).



20/9/13 – The Bar-tailed Godwit was at Shepperdine again this evening.


16/9/13 – AM reported: a dark phase Arctic Skua upriver at 10am, 5 Raven (over lagoon 2), 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, c600 Curlew (mainly on mudflats), 8 Redshank, 2 Ringed Plover, 21 Dunlin, 12 Chiffchaff and 45 Meadow pipit (over to SW).


15/9/13 – Nothing upriver over the High Tide, despite the wind and rain.

This morning, MB reported: a Wheatear and 3 Yellow Wagtail.

FS reported a juv female Goshawk early morning.


14/9/13 – Late afternoon, FS reported: 20 Dunlin, 16 Ringed Plover, 1 Sand Martin and 30 House Martin.

A nice walk around with FS this morning, and an increase in species: 2 Siskin low over to N (into wind), a Bar-tailed Godwit with 2 Black-tailed Godwit at Shepperdine, 2 Little Egret, 1 Wheatear, 10+ Chiffchaff (3 still singing), 5+ Blackcap and 2 Whitethroat. Also, 3 juvenile Green Woodpecker together on the grass by the entrance.

      The Peregrine pair were active, and the female landed on the shore.



13/9/13 – Reported on Avonbirds: 20 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Grey Wagtail, 47 Sand Martin and c30 House Martin.


12/9/13 – There were 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Ringed Plover, 6 Dunlin and 2 Lapwing at Shepperdine.

AM also reported, 4 Wheatear and a Willow Warbler.

      Black-tailed Godwits.                                                                                                  A Female Pheasant with 2+ juvs on Lagoon 1 (on 10th).



11/9/13 – Reported on Avonbirds: 27 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Goldcrest.


10/9/13 – Very quiet on the shore at High Tide. I flushed a Snipe from the saltmarsh, but apart from that just 1 Little Egret, 2 Dunlin and 4 Redshank. The first 'sip, sip' calls of autumn Meadow Pipit going over and c30 of them at the yacht club, with c50 Linnet and 5 Wheatear. I was watching a Speckled Wood butterfly when a Swallow came over my shoulder and gobbled it up in a flash !

Also FS reported: 2 Whinchat (lagoon 2), 1 Tree Pipit, 2 Ringed Plover, 20+ Chiffchaff, 15 Blackcap, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 3 Reed Warbler.


9/9/13 – 3 Curlew Sandpiper with 6 Dunlin and 4 Ringed Plover on the shore by Lagoon 2 at HT. A Yellow Wagtail was with 27 Pied Wagtail in the field by the green gate.

      2 of the 3 Curlew Sandpipers.



6/9/13 – A Whinchat, a Sedge Warbler and a Wheatear together by the metal gate (on way to yacht club).

There was a constant stream of Swallow upriver into the breeze, and 1 Sand Martin. Also a flock of 35 Dunlin.

      Migrant Hawker dragonfly.



5/9/13 – AM reported: a Goshawk coming in off the estuary and having a go at a Buzzard over Lagoon 1. The pair then soared up over Lagoon 1 until so high they were lost to sight. Also, a Hobby there, a Wheatear and 9 Clouded Yellow butterfly.

There were 9 Yellow Wagtail with cattle on Lagoon 1 and a moulting male Redstart on fence at end of track to shore.

FS reported: 2 Garden Warbler and a Spotted Flycatcher on Lagoon 2.

      Yellow Wagtails with cattle.



4/9/13 – Still 3+ Yellow Wagtail on Lagoon 1 with cattle, c80 House Martin around the towers and 5 Clouded Yellow butterfly.


3/9/13 – Atlast, some Yellow Wagtail on Lagoon 1 with the cattle - at least 10 of them (and maybe up to 15). Unfortunately no adult males. Also, 2 Song Thrush eating black Dogwood berries.

FS reported: a Sedge Warbler and 4 Whitethroat on Lagoon 2.


2/9/13 – There were 2 Tree Pipit on Lagoon 2 this morning, and a Lesser Whitethroat there.

A Little Egret on the shore, and another four, 1 mile inland of OPS at rhine by Severn Drainage Board office.

FS reported: a Knot and 5 Yellow Wagtail.


I entered a new country-wide birdwatching competition this year, called 'Patchwork Challenge'.

And, as of end-July, I am 3rd in the South West division ! . . .





. . . and 27th in UK overall (out of 91) !


The idea is to see more bird species, and rarer birds, on your 'patch' than you have as an average of the previous two years.

The organisers of the competition have rated the rarity of each species and you get points depending on how rare.

The table above shows that I've currently seen 93% of the average score for the bird species that I saw over the last 2 years at OPS. 


31/8/13 – Early morning, a Whinchat was on the fence of the Water Works and an Arctic Tern flew upriver. A Spotted Flycatcher (7th bird-day this year) was reported on Lagoon 2 (by the water works), with a Chiffchaff flock. And a possible Little Stint reported with 2 Ringed Plover on tidal res..

But my best spot, was a Red Underwing Moth flying around the trees to SW of lake - as big as a butterfly; superb sight.

Of note, was a report of a Mute Swan hitting the power lines over the lake yesterday morning, i.e. BEFORE I saw the pair flying around hesitantly. Hopefully it survived and was one of them. They were on the lake today.

MP reported 3+ Yellow Wagtail in the field with cows viewed from the green gate (down the main rhine bridlepath).




30/8/13 – A few more waders along the shore today at HT: 37 Turnstone, 14 Redshank, 14 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Lapwing and a Little Egret. A pair of Mute Swan flew from the Tidal Reservoir to do a couple of passes of the lake, before landing on Lagoon 3. (Don't think they liked the pylons and wires.) Also, a Wheatear.

MP reported the juvenile Little Grebe on the lake and also a Raven reported.

      Mute Swans flying past the lake and landing on Lagoon 3.



29/8/13 – A Hobby flew over Lagoon 3, identified by the Swallow alarm calls of 'leggit, leggit'. A Spotted Flycatcher was along the newly cut bridleway hedge, past the green gate again, and 3 Chiffchaff still singing. Also, 13 Ringed Plover and a Dunlin.

      Spotted Flycatcher - the 6th bird-day of 2013. Unprecedented at OPS!



28/8/13 – A juvenile Spotted Redshank was at Shepperdine just after High Tide, but then flew downriver - calling 'tu-it'. A short video, with the call audible, is here. (First one at OPS, since Oct 2010.) Also, 2 Common Sandpiper and a Lapwing there.

Also, the annual gathering of House Martin around the towers started today, with c100.

      Spotted Redshank.



27/8/13 – There were 2 Spotted Flycatcher and a Redstart along the bridleway to the shore, and another Redstart on the Lagoon 1 fence, by the water trough.

Also, 3 Clouded Yellow butterfly on the flood bank, 1 Grey Wagtail in the water works and 3 Little Egret.

      Spotted Flycatcher on the bridleway fence.



25/8/13 – 1 Redstart reported.


23/8/13 – MP/AM reported: 3 Greenshank, 3 Redstart (2 on Lagoon 1 and 1 at yacht club), 3+ Yellow Wagtail, 1 Garden Warbler, a Mediterranean Gull, 2 Wheatear, a Common Sandpiper, a Whimbrel, a Grey Wagtail, 2 Wigeon, 16 Turnstone, 11 Ringed Plover, 15 Redshank, 12+ Chiffchaff, 2+ Willow Warbler and 2 probable Great Crested Grebe upriver.


22/8/13 – Overnight 'fall' conditions produced: 3 Redstart (at shore end of the Lagoon 1 hedge), c10 Yellow Wagtail (over Lagoon 1), 1 Spotted Flycatcher (with tit flock along path to shore), 1 Garden Warbler and 3 Lesser Whitethroat.

MP reported 7+ Clouded Yellow butterfly between OPS and yacht club this pm.

      Redstart, Lagoon 1.



21/8/13 – A flock of 10 Yellow Wagtail upriver over Lagoon 1 during a shower this afternoon, and a moulting male Redstart on the Lagoon 1 fence, by the cows. Also, a juvenile Goldcrest seen.

MP reported: A Tawny Owl flew across the path to the shore at 7am, 4 Yellow Wagtail and a Mediterranean Gull.

A Parakeet sp. was heard (but not seen) flying over Frampton Cotterell at 11am, heading south.


20/8/13 – My best ever count of Tree Pipit at OPS this morning: 4 over to SW at 7.30am (one calling); one heard over Lagoon 2; another to SW; then 4 found on trees by the pond next to Lagoon 2. (All different birds.) Interestingly, NO Meadow Pipit heard or seen. Also a Grey Wagtail went over to SW. A juvenile Spotted Flycatcher was along the bridleway past the green gate - fly-catching from the ground ! A Shoveler and 2 Teal on the lake. Also, 21 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin, 1 Sedge Warbler and a Wheatear.

      Tree Pipit by Lagoon 2.



17/8/13 – An autumnal feel this morning. The juvenile Little Grebe was on the lake with fem + juv Tufted Duck. And, a Black-tailed Godwit at the yacht club.


16/8/13 – A Black-tailed Godwit was at Shepperdine.

      Common Darter.



14/8/13 – MP reported: 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Wheatear, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Yellowhammer.


10/8/13 – AM/MP reported: 2 flyover Crossbill to NE 7.15am, 1 Hobby, 1 Little Egret, 5 Ringed Plover, 10+ juv. Willow Warbler and 4 Green Woodpecker.


9/8/13 – 3 Crossbill ‘chip’ed over at tree-top height at 11am (one seen well was a juvenile and unfortunately had no wing-flashes !). Then a 4th went over alone. There were 3 juvenile Wheatear on the shore by the waterworks, and another at the yacht club. Also, 2 Clouded Yellow butterfly and a site-record equal count of 30 House Sparrow in the paddock south of Lagoon 2.

      Little Egret, Lagoon 3.



An update on the Curlews by JS - Recent maximum of 960 Curlew at Guscar Rocks (on far side of estuary), with 76 colour-ringed birds so far (probably not many more to be found).


8/8/13 – A walk round with MP produced 58 species this sunny morning. A ‘fresh’ juvenile Garden Warbler (main rhine), 2 Willow Warbler (one in sub-song, lagoon 2) and 2 Lesser Whitethroat. At Shepperdine: 1 Sanderling, 18 Ringed Plover, 11 Turnstone and 7 Dunlin. Also 3 Little Egret, 2 Common Sandpiper and 25 Canada Goose (past yacht club). A first, was a juvenile Coot swimming for cover on the main estuary at Shepperdine ! (Only 2 juvs on lake, so probably from there.) A moulting adult Mediterranean Gull was with c200 Black-headed Gull on lagoon 3 (by the water collected in the east end). Lastly, 7 Teal on the Tidal Reservoir.

That’s 130 species for me at OPS this year, and 138 for all-comers.

NB. JS had a possible Pectoral Sandpiper at the yacht club yesterday evening. 


7/8/13 – JS also reported in evening: 10 Oystercatcher, 6 Curlew (including colour-ringed BYN) and a possible Pectoral Sandpiper at the yacht club. A Cormorant with a white ring on the right leg landed in the water (so no chance to identify it). At lagoon 3, 2 adult Mediterranean Gull and a Black-headed Gull with white ring ‘2H16’ (seen last year), probably from the Cotswold Water Park.

A few more migrants moving through now. A flock of 40+ House Martin went upriver, and 2 Willow Warbler and a Lesser Whitethroat at Lagoon 1. Also, along the shore there, a Clouded Yellow butterfly. The female Tufted Duck on the lake has one quite well-grown duckling left.

MP reported: 1 Greenshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Whimbrel at the Yacht Club at HT.

      Clouded Yellow.



6/8/13 – AM reported: 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and a Clouded Yellow butterfly at the Yacht Club, also 1 Sedge Warbler.


5/8/13 – A lovely fresh, yellow Willow Warbler and a Lesser Whitethroat in the Lagoon 1 hedge. 2 Whimbrel with c100 Curlew at the yacht club, and a Common Sandpiper. MP reported a Yellowhammer singing distantly from the green gate along the main rhine.

 Yesterday at the Windbound - MP saw a Clouded Yellow butterfly and heard a Roesel's Bush Cricket (a clip of which can be found here).


3/8/13 – MP reported: 11 Black-tailed Godwit, 29 Dunlin and 3 Ringed Plover.


1/8/13 – AM found a Redstart in the hedge along the main rhine (past the green gate). A Black-tailed Godwit was on the tidal res. and a Little Egret at Shepperdine. MP reported 2 Lesser Whitethroat this morning.

AM also reported: 6 Dunlin and 4 Ringed Plover.

      Summer Black-tailed Godwit.



31/7/13 – A Hawfinch flew from the trees on the right of the entrance, with two other birds (which I think were Bullfinch). It flew towards the power station, but then had the decency to turn back and fly right over my head at tree-top height – showing characteristic black and white underwing pattern. It then flew over the trees along the bridleway to the shore. It called continuously throughout – a piercing call given every second. There are plenty of food trees here for it; Sycamores full of keys where it flew from, and on the left of the road, two large Cherry trees which are full of ripe fruit.

A juvenile/1st-year Mediterranean Gull flew downriver (looking exactly like the photo from Sunday on Gloster Birder site), and a moulting adult on Lagoon 3 at HT with c700 Black-headed Gull. Also 6 Kestrel again, including 3 juveniles flying noisily behind an adult.


30/7/13 – A Purple Hairstreak butterfly was a surprise find on a Turkey Oak along the main rhine ! 2 Lesser Whitethroat about (adult and juv. at different places). 2 moulting adult Mediterranean Gull on Lagoon 3 at HT with 712 Black-headed Gull. 2 Turnstone on the green 'ledges' buoy.

      Purple Hairstreak butterfly. (Photo digi-scoped at 20 yards across the rhine!)



28/7/13 – The moulting adult Mediterranean Gull on Lagoon 3 at HT with c700 Black-headed Gull.

      Young Green Woodpecker.


27/7/13 – A total of 7 Kestrel seen today (equal site record), including 4 or 5 juveniles on the shore fence of Lagoon 1. 600+ Black-headed Gull and 11 Common Gull in the Lagoon 3 roost. There were 4 ducklings with a female Tufted Duck on the lake today (possibly 2 broods going in and out of the reeds ?).

      Young Kestrels.                                                                                                  A wasps nest dug out of rocky ground – must be a badger.



26/7/13Nearby, at Whale Warf (Littleton), KP reported 3 Yellow Wagtail and 40+ Linnet. (And here is why it is called ‘Whale Warf’ - http://www.thornburyroots.co.uk/other/whale/)

On Lagoon 3 at HT: an adult Mediterranean Gull beginning to moult and 400+ Black-headed Gull. On the lake: a well-grown juvenile Little Grebe and the Tufted Duck brood seems to be down to just 2 ducklings. On the shore: 8 noisy Oystercatcher and 3 Common Sandpiper. Also, 3 Kestrel seeing-off a Sparrowhawk, so it looks like they have fledged one or two young.

      Little Grebe.                                                                                                         Mediterranean Gull (standing in centre).


      Small Skipper.                                                                      Ringlet.



25/7/13 – The first new species of the year for 2 months was a Grey Wagtail over (that's 24 visits between species!). 424 Black-headed Gull and 6 Common Gull on Lagoon 3. MP found a number of Essex Skipper butterfly on knapweed along the paths to the lake and hide.

      Essex Skipper (photos by MP).


This dragonfly was on the path at south side of Lagoon 2 - a very old female Black-tailed Skimmer (pattern dulls with age).



23/7/13 –MP reported this evening: an eclipse Garganey with Mallards by the jetty, 1 Whimbrel, 4 Great Black-backed Gull and c400 Black-headed Gull.


John Sanders has kindly produced a very interesting report on the findings of the colour ringed Curlew scheme - Here.

(This is a shortened version of a paper to be published in the Gloucestershire Naturalist.)


22/7/13 –Lagoon 3 HT roost this evening: 11 Common Gull and c375 Black-headed Gull (and another 75 downriver). Also a Common Sandpiper at Shepperdine and a Teal on the lake.


21/7/13 –MP reported: an adult Mediterranean Gull, 21 Common Gull and c300 Black-headed Gull this evening. AM reported (WeBS count): a brood of 8 Tufted Duck still, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 650+ Curlew (56 on shore and c600 on mudflats), 4 Grey Heron, 11 Canada Goose and 240 Black-headed Gull.

Med. Gull (photo by MP)



20/7/13 –The HT gull roost on Lagoon 3 had: 16 Common Gull and 1,100+ Black-headed Gull. Lots of butterflies about this year and a fresh Red Admiral this evening.


17/7/13 –The HT gull roost on Lagoon 3 had: one 2nd-year Mediterranean Gull, 8 Common Gull and 409 Black-headed Gull (plus c90 on river). A Redshank and 3 Oystercatcher on the shore. The Tufted Duck brood now numbers 7, and the 9 Shelduck juvs are well-grown at Shepperdine.

      Part of a flock of 102 Swallows sat on wires at the Water Works (plus 2 Sand Martin, bottom right).



15/7/13 – The HT gull roost on Lagoon 3 had: one adult Mediterranean Gull, 5 Common Gull and 424 Black-headed Gull.


11/7/13 – The High Tide gull roost on Lagoon 3 had 3 Common Gull with the 275 Black-headed Gull (inc. a white-ringed bird that is probably the Polish-ringed bird from last year), and another c125 at the yacht club.


9/7/13 – The first early morning visit for a while was rewarded with an early returning Whinchat on the Lagoon 1 fence. And a couple of returning waders: a summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwit and a Redshank. The High Tide gull roost on Lagoon 3 is building, with 281 Black-headed Gull today. The 9 Tufted Duck ducklings are still on the lake, and 9 Shelduck ducklings at Shepperdine. Also 11 Sand Martin heading upriver into breeze and 2 or 3 juvenile Green Woodpecker with parents.


7/7/13 – Scorchio ! All 9 Tufted Duck ducklings are still on the lake, and an adult Little Grebe there. A Lesser Whitethroat sang at south end of Lagoon 2. On the shore were c100 Black-headed Gull (inc. 2+ juvs.) and 10 Shelduck ducklings at Shepperdine.

MP also reported: 10 4-Spotted Chaser, 4 Emperor, Black-tailed Skimmer and Common Darter dragonflies, 6 Marbled White butterfly and 5 Bee Orchid.

On the way to OPS, a Red Kite was at Earthcott Green (ST68M).


5/7/13 – The first brood of the year of 9 Tufted Duck on the lake.(Exactly Same date as last year.) Also a Marbled White butterfly.


3/7/13 – It seems to be a productive year for small birds at OPS, as there are lots of juveniles everywhere. The Shelduck family still has 8+ ducklings at Shepperdine and the 5 Coot juvs are still on the pond. There were 69 Curlew out on the mudflats at Low Tide, and another 8 on the shore. Also 3 Oystercatcher.

The Pyramidal Orchids are looking superb and the first 2 flower spikes of Bee Orchid seen today.

      4-Spotted Chaser by the Lagoon 2 pond.


     Common Spotted Orchid.                                                           Burnet Moths on Tufted Vetch.



25/6/13 – This morning, in glorious sun and no wind, a Kingfisher flew from the pond by Lagoon 2, and 3 Siskin went over to SW. Lots of juveniles around, including: Pied Wagtail, Reed Bunting, lots of Whitethroat, Linnet and Blue/Great/Long-tailed Tit. 3 Sedge Warbler singing on Lagoon 2. Still a brood/creche of 10 Shelduck and the one at Shepperdine hidden in long grass. The Pyramidal Orchids were first out on 22nd.

     Brood/crèche of 10 Shelduck ducklings.                                                           Migratory Silver-Y Moth.



22/6/13 – No seabirds upriver on evening HT, but two large broods/creches of 12 and 10 Shelduck.


19/6/13 – Juvenile Swallow and Reed Bunting seen today. On the shore were 9 Canada Goose with 2 small goslings (which may be the ones from the lake). Also 8 Black-headed Gull and a flyover Little Egret.


18/6/13 – MB reported: fledgling Whitethroat and Reed Warbler; a Cuckoo flying around but not calling; 2 Sedge Warbler probably feeding young and a flyover Little Egret.


17/6/13 – MP reported a Little Egret.


15/6/13 – No seabirds blown upriver over the High Tide, but the first 2 Curlew since 9th May. Also, the pair of Shelduck still have 9 ducklings off lagoon 3 and only 3 drake Tufted Duck on the lake so hopefully the females are sitting.


13&14/6/13 – The pair of Shelduck now have 9 ducklings. (Two ducklings looked lost at Shepperdine yesterday, being led by a male, but continually attacked by a young female. Hopefully these have attached themselves to the pair with 7.) Also yesterday, a male Kestrel carrying food. The juvenile Peregrine is still about. A family of Chiffchaff together today. There are 2 Moorhen chicks on the pond by Lagoon 2. At least 40 Swift were in the sky to south of OPS – brought lower by some drizzle.


12/6/13 – A pair of Shelduck with 7 ducklings on the estuary by Lagoon 3; the first juvenile Whitethroat of the year on Lagoon 2; and a brown juvenile Peregrine on the cooling tower. On the lake, the Coot pair still have 5 young and 9 Tufted Duck (5 drakes).

     Shelduck ducklings.                                                                                           Juvenile Peregrine.



9/6/13 – The female Cuckoo in bushes at north end of Lagoon 2 and 2 Moorhen chicks on the lake. MP reported 2 Little Egret.


8/6/13 – MP reported: The Cuckoo calling (Lagoon 2), a pair of Shoveler on lake with 8 Tufted Duck, 3 young Coot and 3 Mallard ducklings, and 2 pair of Stock Dove around the site. Also, a Small Copper butterfly and damselflies: Common Blue, Azure Blue and Blue-tailed.

      Small Copper (photo by MP).



3/6/13 – A Cuckoo heard by the entrance again and 3 or 4 Canada Goose goslings have hatched. Also the Carp in the lake are spawning in the weeds and there were a pair of Broad-bodied Chaser dragonflies. Plus a Little Egret, over.

      A female Broad-bodied Chaser.



1/6/13 – 3, may be 4, Cuckoo around today. Two males were calling at each other by the reeds on Lagoon 2, with a brown female flying nearby. Then another (or same) male heard calling from the hide later.

MP reported (in morning): 1 Lesser Whitethroat and 1 House Sparrow by the entrance, 3 Sedge Warbler and 4 Reed Warbler (lagoon 2) and 2 Pike in the lake.


30/5/13 – Two Cuckoo calling today: one in small reedbed next to lagoon 2 and one in Meadow area (on nature trail, over road from hide). On the lake, the Coot pair have 4 tiny chicks in the reeds and the Canada Goose is still sitting. Two broods of Mallard: 5 half-grown on the lake and 3+ small on main rhine. A pair of Pied Wagtail have young in the Water Works.


29/5/13 – The Cuckoo was reported again. (Avonbirds)


28/5/13 – I witnessed a food-pass from male to female Peregrine in the rain, but it looked more like theft than display ! The female pursued a male around for 5 minutes, with both flying fast and low through trees several times (unusual for Peregrines). The female attacked the male from below with talons up, and just after this, the male dropped a small kill. The female caught it, and they both flew up to the cooling towers. Strangely, there was no calling between the two, throughout. The prey was probably a hirundine-type, as there were 100+ House Martin and 13 Swift around the towers in the drizzle. At HT, there were 5 Redshank on lagoon 3 (the first of this species at OPS for over a month).


27/5/13 – At High Tide, Lagoon 3 had: 3 Sanderling (summer plumage), 2 Dunlin and 1 Ringed Plover. Also, a pair of Stock Dove nesting on-site.


26/5/13 – A Gadwall was on the lake, and the Cuckoo calling still.

MP also reported: 3 Sanderling (Lagoon 3), 1 Dunlin (Yacht Club), 8 Ringed Plover, 1 Wheatear (a large ‘Greenland ’-type male) and 10 Tufted Duck on the lake. MP reported 10 Sedge Warbler, 4 Mute Swan on the river and a Little Grebe on the lake.


24/5/13 – A Spotted Flycatcher was at the end of main rhine, by the road. It flew up from the rhine and perched on a branch for a few seconds (giving time to get bins on it) then disappeared into the hedge. Also the Cuckoo was heard again.


22/5/13 – At HT this afternoon were 7 Ringed Plover and 3 Dunlin.


19/5/13 – AM reports the final scores as:  Hobby 1 Cuckoo 1 !


18/5/13 – A few waders on the early afternoon tide. 4 Sanderling, 6 Ringed Plover and a Dunlin at Shepperdine; and a non-breeding Black-tailed Godwit on the shore by Lagoon 3. The male Cuckoo was very busy, but visible, on Lagoon 2, by the Water Works.




17/5/13 – AM reported, on Lagoon 3: 3 Ringed Plover and 11 Dunlin.


16/5/13 – Singing around site (mainly Lagoon 2) in the sun were: 1 Cuckoo, 14 Reed Warbler, 9 Sedge Warbler (a good number for here), 7 Whitethroat and 2 Lesser Whitethroat. Good numbers of ‘hirundine-types’ again: c60 Swift, 20+ House Martin and lots of Swallow. The only waders of note were a Turnstone in summer plumage at Shepperdine and a Little Egret on Lagoon 1 briefly.

       Sedge Warbler.                                                                                                Turnstone.



15/5/13 – The flooded Lagoon 3 attracted (at HT): 1 Greenshank, 4 Ringed Plover and 3 Dunlin. Plus, on the shore at Shepperdine were: c10 Dunlin and 2 Sanderling. The heavy showers and wind caused a movement of 84 Swift, 5+ House Martin and lots of Swallow. Lagoon 2 had: 1 Cuckoo, 6 Reed Warbler, 3 Sedge Warbler and 5 Whitethroat singing.

      Greenshank.                                                                                                     2 Sanderling.



11/5/13 – MB reported a Gannet upriver at 7.30am, and 1 Whimbrel.


10/5/13 – In 2 hours from 9am (after HT) the following went upriver: 1 Kittiwake, 1 Arctic Tern, 5 ‘Commic’ Tern and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit. Lagoon 3 had: 1 Sanderling, 1 summer plumaged Grey Plover, 3 Ringed Plover and 2 Dunlin. Also, the first Swift of the year at OPS and 2 Turnstone.


9/5/13 – Just 2 Kittiwake upriver in 2 hours on the evening tide, despite high SW winds and showers. And 8 Dunlin at Shepperdine.

A Whinchat on Lagoon 2 this morning. Also 3 Ringed Plover and 10 Canada Goose (including one sitting on a nest).




8/5/13 – 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 1 Whimbrel. No birds blown up the estuary this evening in the W/SW wind.

PR reported a Red Kite over Thornbury yesterday (1200h going east), with very pale secondaries, and also same (?) over Tytherington at 1.40pm.

      Red Kite over Tytherington, yesterday.



7/5/13 – 3 Lesser Redpoll on the ground and bushes along the bridleway to the shore. 1 Grasshopper Warbler on Lagoon 2.

A Cuckoo reported by a dog walker, calling on Lagoon 2 yesterday.

      One of two young Fox cubs seen near a den.



6/5/13 – There was some movement on the early evening tide, with the following upriver: 28 Arctic Tern and 2 Black Tern at 4.24pm; 19 Arctic Tern and 15 Bar-tailed Godwit at 5.20pm (but these 19 with c5 Bar-tailed Godwit went back down river 20 minutes later); 1 Common Tern went slowly up along the near bank at 6pm and caught a fish at Shepperdine, before continuing up higher. Then at 6.10pm a Red Kite quartered low over Lagoon 2 before drifting NE.

Also, 8 Dunlin and 9 Ringed Plover in front of the hide, 1 Grasshopper Warbler on Lagoon 2, 7 Oystercatcher and 3 Whimbrel on the shore and a Mallard brood of 6 ducklings on the lake.


5/5/13 – 12 Dunlin and 12 Ringed Plover in front of the hide on a flooded Lagoon 3. Also, 1 Grasshopper Warbler on Lagoon 2 and the Canada Goose pair are nesting on the island in the lake again, having abandoned their first attempt. MB reported a Weasel.


4/5/13 – At 6am, 3 Grasshopper Warbler ‘reeled’ on Lagoon 2 in showery conditions. Also, 1 Willow Warbler and 5 Whimbrel.

AM reported: 2 Yellow Wagtail (on the lake), 23 Dunlin, 15 Ringed Plover.


3/5/13 – The Grasshopper Warbler ‘reeling’ on Lagoon 2 again, 1 Common Sandpiper and 35 Whimbrel.


2/5/13 – A male Redstart on Lagoon 2, 1 Yellow Wagtail over and 33 Whimbrel, mainly at yacht club.

      Tall ship, ‘Pelican of London’, down the estuary. (Digi-bin’d image !)



1/5/13 – The Grasshopper Warbler was ‘reeling’ on Lagoon 2 again this evening. And 2 Orange-tip butterflies.


30/4/13 – ND reported a Little Egret between Lagoons 1 & 2 at lunchtime.

The Grasshopper Warbler was ‘reeling’ on Lagoon 2 again this morning. At 9.30am, 12 (probable) Common Tern went straight upriver, and a much smaller bird accompanying them could have been a Little Tern (but very distant). 15 Whimbrel and 1 Wheatear at the yacht club. Counts around site: 7 Sedge Warbler, 5 Lesser Whitethroat and just 4 Reed Warbler. A Lapwing was displaying in a field. On the shore by Lagoon 3 were 2 Black-tailed Godwitmy 121st species at the site in 2013, with all-comers total on 128 (my best end-April total ever at OPS).

Another one that ‘got away’ this morning was a possible Short-eared Owl – circling high over the yacht club at High Tide, seen distantly from Lagoon 3, and went out of sight when came down. Also, 3 Yellow Wagtail.

      Black-tailed Godwits in summer plumage.



29/4/13 – AM reported (on brief look): 1 Whimbrel, 2 Peregrine (on nesting shelf) and 8+ Reed Warbler singing on Lagoon 2.


28/4/13 – MB reported a Grasshopper Warbler on Lagoon 2 (SW corner) this morning.


27/4/13 – MP reported this morning: a Grasshopper Warbler on Lagoon 2, 2 Arctic Tern on the Tidal Reservoir (then N at 7.30am on tide), 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Common Sandpiper; lots of Goldfinch to NE, plus a few Siskin and a probable Crossbill.

AM reported late morning: 1 Hobby, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew, 10 Turnstone and 1 Little Egret.


25/4/13 – A Cuckoo was seen (but not heard) between Lagoon 3 and yacht club. 2 Grasshopper Warbler ‘reeling’ on Lagoon 2 – one in SW corner and other at North end by old outfall. Totals of other warblers over whole site: 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Sedge Warbler, 4 Reed Warbler. Also: 3 Redpoll, 3+ Whimbrel, 5 Dunlin, 6 House Martin. A fisherman landed a Sea Bass !

      Lesser Redpoll on Lagoon 3.



24/4/13 – The Peregrine pair were very active around the towers and visited the nest-platform together several times. Apart from that, just 11 Whimbrel and 2 Turnstone to report.

      Peregrine on the nest-platform.



UPDATE on the Skua I reported below on 18th April. I now think that this was a Pomarine Skua – description below:


I was 'scoping Terns out in the middle of the river at the time, and the Skua flew within 50 yards of me !

Unfortunately I only saw it just after it had past me, so my best view of it was a 3/4's view from behind (i.e. from 45 degrees, at rear).

Description from this view:

The body was bulky with breast coloured white at back and middle to creamy-yellow at front. Behind and above the breast was a blotchy brown area. The rest of the body, tail and wings were a continuous dark brown colour (I don't recall any white wing patches above or below, so they must have been minimal). There was also a blotchy brown area of breast band. I didn't see the head at all.

The bird was only visible for about 8 seconds in total. After above view it buzzed some juvenile Herring Gulls along the shore, and appeared similar size to them. The remaining views were from behind.

As it went away I did check the tail, and got a good view of it from above, as it swooped up. It had a long pointed tail - but no ‘spoons’. 

NB. This bird was tracked up the estuary from Sand Point (7.30am), to Burnham, to Severn Beach (11.30am).


23/4/13 – A Sandwich Tern made it’s way downriver at 8.48 am. Also c50 each of Herring Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull going same way. At the yacht club: 56 Curlew (one colour-ringed), 4 Whimbrel and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit. A Grasshopper Warbler reeled in the SW corner of Lagoon 2, and a Roe Deer there.

      Roe Deer.



22/4/13 – AM reported a Common Crane heading SW at 11.40am.

The first Reed Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat singing on Lagoon 2 (and another Lesser Whitethroat on Lagoon 1). On the shore were 15 Whimbrel and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit. A Yellow Wagtail flew over. There is some frogspawn in the reedbed on Lagoon 2.

      3 Whimbrel at Shepperdine.                                                                             2 Bar-tailed Godwit.


     Fox dozing in the woods.



20/4/13 – CL reported 3 Whimbrel and 6 Arctic Tern in afternoon.

MB reported a female Redstart along the main rhine, MP reported a Coal Tit and a Siskin by the small reedbed on Lagoon 2 and AM/MP reported the male Garganey on the lake again. Other combined reports: 4+ Sedge Warbler, 14+ Whitethroat (9 singing on Lagoon 2), 20+ Blackcap, 4 Willow Warbler singing, 2 Wheatear at the yacht club, 1 ‘White’ Wagtail; the Peregrine pair on the tower and later one attacked Racing Pigeons over the estuary and managed to single one out, chase it down and kill it, then ate it on the shore.


18/4/13 – High winds overnight and up the estuary this morning, sent the following upriver between 11am and 2pm: 1 Arctic Skua Pomarine Skua (pale phase, at 11.45am), 34 Arctic Tern, 2 Common Tern, 10 ‘Commic’ Tern (best guess: 3 Common, 7 Arctic). The male Garganey was still on the lake and 10+ Ringed Plover flew downriver.


17/4/13 – Rather quieter this morning. The male Garganey flew to the estuary with 6 Teal. That’s 2 full weeks it has been present for. A Redpoll and a Redwing on Lagoon 2; 1 Common Sandpiper at the yacht club; and 1 Yellow Wagtail.

A Hobby over Thornbury.

     One of the 4 Jays around Lagoon 2 at present.



16/4/13 – AM reported a male Pied Flycatcher along the bridlepath to the shore this afternoon (and a total of 5 male Redstart, so I have updated numbers below). Plus 2 Whimbrel, 3 Wigeon and butterflies: Comma, Brimstone and Peacock.

With a Southerly wind for a couple of days and a Depression sweeping in from the West giving overnight rain, it was classic conditions for a fall. And with the rain clearing by the morning, it was a spectacularly good day to be out. There were 11+ Redstart (5+ male) around: 3m+2f along the path to the shore, 2m+1f (by pond) on Lagoon 2, 1f in horse paddock (inevitably), 1f by orchard, 1f by main rhine. (Easily an OPS record.) Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff were very numerous, and I counted the main flock along the hedge to NE of Lagoon 1: 25+ Chiffchaff and c10 Willow Warbler (2 singing). Also a Sedge Warbler singing here. A Grasshopper Warbler started reeling when I passed the bush it was in, at South end of Lagoon 2. Then things starting getting better ! A Nuthatch called (it’s high-pithched, tit-like, call) in the hedge on NE of Lagoon 2 and while I was still computing what bird’s call it was, it flew head-long into the gale across the middle of Lagoon 2 and landed somewhere in the scrub (a rare bird for OPS – 5th record). In an hour’s seawatch nothing went upriver as HT approached, but as I walked downriver, 4 Avocet flew past out in the middle of the river at 11.42am. They landed just past the yacht club, by the small pill just SW of there. They stayed until after 1pm. The short, flat, grass area by Oldbury Pill (at yacht club) was awash with 27 Wheatear ! (Only 2 more seen elsewhere.) Also there were 1 Yellow Wagtail and a ‘White’ Wagtail here. The male Garganey was on the lake (but elusive and mobile). A Common Tern went upriver (at midday, and about 50mph!) and 3 ‘Commic’ Tern (best guess - Arctic) at 1.40pm. Also: the first 3 Whitethroat (2 singing), 4 Blackcap (first brown-cap) and a summer plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit.

61 species today. That is 113 species for me at OPS this year (and 122 for all-comers).


      3 of the Avocets at the yacht club.                                                                  All 4 Avocets, just for the record.


     Male Redstart along bridleway to shore, and female’s tail above it !              And female Redstart.



14/4/13 – The male Garganey on the hide scrape. A stunning male Yellow Wagtail circled over the lake and landed on a reed stem for a few seconds. 50+ Swallow, c40 Sand Martin and a House Martin were in a steady stream north. 3 Blackcap and 1 Willow Warbler in song.

MP reported 20+ Waxwing at Wye Vale garden centre, Thornbury.


13/4/13 – Combined reports (inc. MP/MB/RL): The male Garganey looking spectacular on the lake in the morning sun and heard giving its ‘match in a box’ rattle, before going to the hide scrape; 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 male Wheatear; 2 Water Rail in lagoon 2 reeds; 3 Blackcap, 6 Swallow, 1 Siskin over, and still 1 Redwing.


12/4/13 – AM reported: the male Garganey (mobile between hide scrape and river), 1 summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwit (Yacht Club), 140 Curlew, 1 Knot, 25 Redshank, 9 Tufted Duck, 21 Swallow (flying West), 1 House Martin (flying NE), 1 Water Rail (lagoon 2) and 61 Teal.


11/4/13 – The first singing migrant Blackcap of the year (two). The male Garganey is still commuting between the lake and the scrape in front of the hide. To NE went 4 House Martin, 3 Swallow, 8 Sand Martin and an adult Mediterranean Gull with c30 Black-headed Gull. A female Merlin was hunting at the yacht club, and the HT roost there held: c125 Curlew, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Grey Plover, 2 Knot, 1 Little Egret and c40 Dunlin. Also, 2 Redwing, 1 Stonechat on lagoon 2 and a Skylark singing over Lagoon 3.


10/4/13 – In the mist over the estuary this morning there was quite a large movement upriver, including a constant stream of Meadow Pipit. A rough estimate is c3,000 between 8 and 10 am (with 70 counted in a random 2 minutes). Also 1 House Martin (earliest at OPS ever, beating 12/4/2003), 57 Swallow and 62 Sand Martin. Among c30 Chiffchaff there was 1 Willow Warbler. Along the shore were: 1 Whimbrel, 17+ Curlew, 2 ‘White’ Wagtail (on seawall by lagoon 2), 2 Knot and 2 Grey Plover. Adding to the mix was at least one Redwing and 2 Siskin (one over and a female in trees on Lagoon 2). (A total of 63 species.)

That is 104 species for me at OPS this year (and 112 for all-comers).

     Male Sparrowhawk on shore.                                                                          Dunlin posing on the yacht club slipway.



8/4/13 – MB reported in the evening: the male Garganey on the lake still, 1 Sand Martin, 1 Swallow and a Redwing.

AM reported in the morning: the male Garganey being mobile between the lake, the scrape in front of the hide and the river; a summer plumaged Little Gull upriver; 2 Swallow, 2 Wheatear, 13 Chiffchaff, 3 Little Grebe, 9 Tufted Duck, 2 Mute Swan, 3 Canada Goose, 18 Curlew, 2 Peregrine (female carrying prey), 90 Dunlin, 68 Teal and 3 Wigeon.

John Sanders (monitoring the ringed Curlews) writes: “I was at Wibdon last evening. 270 Curlew came into roost (plus a Whimbrel), of which 33 had colour rings, a very respectable total for the time of year. What was interesting was that several of the birds I saw normally roost up at Aylburton. One of the birds was originally ringed in Finland, so it would seem that the northern birds have not left the estuary yet.

I shall be very grateful to receive all your Curlew counts over the next couple of months, no matter how small. Clearly the birds that we see in May are non-breeders, and are likely to be mainly first-summers. Curlews do not start breeding until their second-summers. I believe counts of these first-summer birds will give us an indication of breeding success in the previous year. There were just over 30 birds on the estuary in May and early June last year, and none had colour rings.

– In an evening visit, a Sanderling was flying around, calling, along the shore by Lagoon 1 and a Sand Martin went upriver. The only other birds upriver were 50 Black-headed Gull and 10 Common Gull. There were 3+ Peregrine around the towers (with one eating a pigeon sp.). AM reported a Black-tailed Godwit flying around the lake, trying to land.

The male Garganey on the lake again this morning with Teal. Very little movement this morning. 224 Curlew and 4 Bar-tailed Godwit at the yacht club.

     Male Garganey (screen-grab by MH, fromMP’s video – thanks both).



6/4/13 – After the first glorious sunny day of the year, this evening saw a real visible migration event up the estuary. At OPS it started after High Tide, at about 6pm and lasted for just one and a quarter hours, but in that time the following went upriver: c800 Black-headed Gull, 200+ Common Gull, 35 Kittiwake (a single flock – all adults), an adult Little Gull (which was spotted floating downriver at Shepperdine, before taking off) and then at 7:17pm, 4 Sandwich Tern (earliest ever for OPS, beating 17/4/94). After this, the gulls were flying to the estuary to roost, rather than heading purposefully upriver.

Video of this morning’s Garganey (by MP) - http://youtu.be/WdpCS6wBbJM.

The male Garganey on the lake again this morning with c15 Teal, in the reeds at the back (in right-hand corner as looking from the road). It disappears into the reeds for a sleep. A Coal Tit flew low over Lagoon 2, towards the towers, and then same (or another) in the hedge round Lagoon 3. 2 cracking Mediterranean Gull in summer plumage flew over my head, upriver, and lots of Black-headed Gull upriver also. Plus, 5 Grey Plover (inc. the lame one), 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 8 Chiffchaff (4 singing), 3 Wheatear and 110+ Meadow Pipit. [It was -4 degrees C when I arrived at dawn, and +5 degrees C when I left at 10.30am!]

MP reported: a Merlin heading NE inland of Lagoon 2 and the Peregrine pair mating.

     Male Garganey.                                                                                               Wheatear, lagoon 2.



5/4/13 – MP reported: A pair of Mute Swan on the lake, 162 Wigeon on shore, and c55 Teal.


4/4/13 – The male Garganey on the lake again briefly with some Teal at 9am before being flushed by a pair of Peregrine flying low over. A total of 100+ Teal, mainly on Lagoon 1, and 3 Siskin (reported by MP).


3/4/13 – MP reported this evening, a male Stonechat and a Water Rail by the lake.

A beauty of a male Garganey on the lake with 5 Teal, the 3 Little Grebe and an increase to 11 Tufted Duck. The Garganey was later on the estuary with the Teal flock. Some movement over to NE, even at 11am: 5+ Siskin, 2 Linnet, Meadow Pipits and Chaffinches.There were 4 Peregrine having a fantastic aerial dog-fight over the towers and the estuary; a pair with another male and another (male or female). I had three in a single ‘scope view at one point.

That’s 101 species seen by all-comers at the site this year !

     Male Garganey.                                                                                                Stonechat (photo by MP).



2/4/13 – PR reported: 4 Common Crane from the Great Crane Project introduction scheme flying over to NE at 2pm today. (They later joined the other 4 at Slimbridge, where nesting activity was observed today !) Also from PR: Lagoon 1 had 96 Teal, a male Wheatear and c75 Meadow Pipit over; a Peregrine over the Power Station; 1 Chiffchaff on Lagoon 2; 1 Siskin over and a Comma butterfly near the car park.

     Common Cranes (photos by PR).



1/4/13 – Very little movement in the cold easterly wind: 1 Greenfinch, c10 Meadow Pipit and c25 Woodpigeon over. But a surprise Red-legged Partridge on the grass bank by the yacht club. Plus, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and 5 Wheatear there. Also, 7 Chiffchaff around and c50 Blackbird, mainly migrants on the flood-bank along the shore.

2 Little Egret a mile inland of OPS.

     Red-legged Partridge.



31/3/13 – AM reported this morning: 17 Ringed Plover (on Lagoon 3), 110 Dunlin, 35 Redshank, 34 Turnstone, 67 Teal, 57 Wigeon; on the 75% frozen lake: 1 Water Rail, 1 Little Grebe, 3 Canada Goose (1 on nest), 1 Tufted Duck; 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Peregrine.


30/3/13 – No sign of the Stone Curlew, despite a couple of sweeps of all the likely looking fields it could be in.

In the evening, 2 Jack Snipe and 15 Snipe flushed from Lagoon 3. Also 21 Magpie in one large tree at dusk, so presume it is a roost site.

There were a few migrants heading over East/NE this morning (into -2.5 degrees C wind): 5 Siskin, 1 Rock Pipit, c25 Meadow Pipit and 60+ Woodpigeon. And 5 Wheatear at the yacht club. The lake now has 8 Tufted Duck (5 drakes) and the 3 Little Grebe still. Also: 34 Ringed Plover at Shepperdine and 494 Common Gull on the foreshore (‘Mew’ing).


29/3/13 – I found a Stone Curlew sat in a rutted field between Lagoon 3 and the yacht club (by the metal gate on the Severn Way at ST601935). Scanning the muddy and wet field, there was a ‘Stone Curlew-shaped’ and -coloured lump, but I expected this one to be the same as the hundreds seen before – a clump of dead grass. So it was very rewarding to get a view of a golden eye through the ‘scope ! The bird moved around a little, but mainly just sat in a rut. (It looked like it had an injured right eye, which was closed.) It was present from 1.20pm until 6pm.

Also: 551 Curlew out on the mudflats, 197 Wigeon, 7 Tufted Duck on the lake, 3 Raven and the Peregrine pair on the towers.  

     Stone Curlew.



28/3/13 – MP reported the Barn Owl out at 5.30pm and watched for 45minutes around the yacht club approach road (access opposite The Anchor pub, Oldbury-on-Severn), giving brilliant views down to 2 metres ! Video clip (by MP) here. . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftsOxom2JF8&feature=youtu.be. Also, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and 14 Ringed Plover.

Another video of the Barn Owl here  . . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DwOxrX_Ydk


27/3/13 – JS reported: c160 Curlew (mainly HT roost at yacht club),  c200 Dunlin, the lame Grey Plover, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 22 Turnstone, 15 Ringed Plover, c20 Redshank and 20 Meadow Pipit. JS says, “On Lagoon 1 were 6+ Chiffchaff perched on the exposed stems protruding from the water, and flitting between stems they dipped on to the surface of the water to pick up insects. (Finding food must be a big problem for them.) One had a very black face which we often saw when ringing. While migrating through Spain they feed on insects in orange trees, and as the birds feed they pick up pollen, which congeals around the base of the bill.” Also there, one Stonechat.


26/3/13 – A Stonechat was at the Water Works (Lagoon 2 end) this afternoon. Also: 1 Wheatear (yacht club), 6 Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrest around. A pair of Peregrine were sat on the SW side of the towers. A Canada Goose was nest-prospecting the island in the lake (as the Mute Swans which were controlling the lake seem to have gone).

PR reported a Red Kite at 11.30am, c10km inland of OPS at Cromhall Sewage Works (ST686893).

     Red Kite (photo by PR).



24/3/13 – The Barn Owl was out at 6.25pm, ranging along the yacht club approach road, and in the fields towards Lagoon 3.

MP also reported: c150 Curlew, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 3 Ringed Plover on Lagoon 3, 3 Little Grebe on the lake and the Peregrine on the nest ledge of the cooling tower.


23/3/13 – 3 Wheatear (males), 6 Chiffchaff and a ‘hirundine’ sp. that briefly popped-up over a hedge before disappearing again. It had the jizz of a Swallow, but I didn’t even have time to get bins on it, so is more likely a Sand Martin this early. There were c170 Meadow Pipit grounded by the sleet, including c100 at the yacht club. Another 20 went over later, heading west. The lake had 3 Little Grebe again, 7 Tufted Duck and now 4 Coot. And 2 Grey Plover on the shore.

Some Redwing were chattering again in the bushes, videoed sound here . . . http://youtu.be/AO_jvhTpjv4  (the wind-noise goes after first 10 seconds).

MP had 4 Wheatear at the yacht club, where there was one earlier – so 6 around today.

    Curlew – the classic silhouette of the estuary.



22/3/13 – 2 Wheatear (male + 1st-w/fem) at the yacht club and c40 Meadow Pipit over, heading directly north. The 2 Little Grebe ‘trilling’ again on the lake.


20/3/13 – 3 Chiffchaff singing and there are now 7 Tufted Duck on the lake (4 drakes). Also 200+ Redwing, including c100 ‘chattering’ in song together in bushes around Lagoon 3 (sounding like a flock of chattering Starlings at dusk).

JS reported 8 Oystercatcher, 40 Meadow Pipit and a Peregrine. He estimates that only about 250 Curlew are left from the wintering flock on the estuary around OPS and Wibden.


17/3/13 – A male Pintail flew downriver; a Chiffchaff singing on Lagoon 2, and 2 Little Egret seen.

AM WeBS count: 2 Little Grebe, 5 Tufted Duck, 1 Gadwall, 36 Teal, 71 Wigeon, 2 Snipe, 33 Redshank, 240 Dunlin, 46 Curlew and 4 Lapwing. Also: 2 Chiffchaff and a female Peregrine on a log at the yacht club.


14/3/13 – The lake froze overnight in -5.5 degrees C, but huddled on the small patch of open water were 3 Little Grebe and now 8 Gadwall.

On the shore were: 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Grey Plover and 30+ Redshank. Also, 1 House Sparrow on Lagoon 1 and 5 Goldcrest around.

59 species recorded today.

AM reported: 4 Water Rail (calling from reed bed, Lagoon 2), 130+ Common Gull (estuary), 111 Wigeon, 89 Teal and 4 Snipe.

      Pair of Little Grebe.



13/3/13 – Now 7 Gadwall on the lake (4 drakes) with 4 Tufted Duck (3 drakes), 1 Little Grebe, 2 Mute Swan and 4 Canada Goose (+ another 2 at yacht club).

JS reported: 2 Ringed Plover (lagoon 3 and also 2 at Shepperdine), 1 Grey Plover, 250+ Curlew, 350 Dunlin, 4 Oystercatcher, a very pale female Wigeon (Shepperdine) and a Peregrine. (JS estimates that c500 Curlew are still on the estuary around OPS/Guscar Rocks, so only c100 have departed for breeding grounds as yet.)


10/3/13 – 2 Chiffchaff seen today and 6 Gadwall on the lake (4 drakes).

      Pair of Gadwall.



9/3/13 – The blue and orange flash of a Kingfisher flying from the lake and along the rhine by the road, this morning. And another Chiffchaff singing, at the yacht club this time. Also: 14 Skylark and a Siskin flew over heading east into cold wind, a Grey Plover on the shore and c100 Wigeon (mainly at yacht club). The lake had a Little Grebe ‘trilling’, 5 Gadwall, 4 Canada Goose (fighting), 2 Mute Swan, 3 Tufted Duck and 3 Coot.

AM also reported: 2 Little Grebe, 24 Shelduck, 118 Teal, 160 Lapwing, 27 Redshank and 480 Dunlin.


7/3/13 – A Chiffchaff was singing (in the rain!) on Lagoon 2 this morning. And at the yacht club there were deer tracks right on the muddy foreshore. The lake had 4 Tufted Duck (3 males) as well as the 5 Gadwall, 5 Wigeon and 2 Mute Swan still.


4/3/13 – JS reported 5 Avocet feeding along the tide edge, 700 Dunlin and a Little Egret all at the yacht club this morning.

2+ House Sparrow chirping from brambles by the lake (unusual on-site). A Grey Plover with a damaged right leg on the shore.

     Grey Plover.



3/3/13 – 12 Snipe and 2 (probable) Jack Snipe flushed from edge of Lagoon 3.


2/3/13 – 2 Little Egret in field along main rhine. The Water Pipit and Stonechat are still in the saltmarsh at the yacht club. A male Peregrine attacked the Dunlin on the shore by Lagoon 3, before flying inland. 8 Lesser Redpoll in birches at The Anchor Inn car park, Oldbury-on-Severn village. A few signs of spring, with Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming and Chaffinch and Stock Dove singing. Still 5 Gadwall, a drake Tufted Duck an 2 Mute Swan on the lake.

MP also reported: c30 Snipe and c40 Chaffinch on Lagoon 3.

    Little Egret.



1/3/13 – MP reported a Mistle Thrush and a flock of House Sparrow at Jobsgreen Farm.


28/2/13 – This morning, there were c40 Meadow Pipit on Lagoon 3; a large flock on the flooded maize field to SW of there held 10+ Reed Bunting, 20+ Linnet, 20+ Chaffinch, 7 Snipe and c10 Goldfinch; 2+ Rock Pipit and a Skylark on the shore; the lake had 5 Gadwall, 7 Wigeon, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Mute Swan and 3 Canada Goose.  A hint of Spring, as the first Damson flowers opened.

2 Little Egret a mile inland of OPS.


24/12/13 – This evening there were 500+ Common Gull and c1000 Black-headed Gull roosting on the Tidal Reservoir. Also, 12 Oystercatcher.


23/2/13 – A viciously cold wind blowing down the estuary, but a fantastic quiet morning; people-free and dog-free. 2 Treecreeper were in the same tree along the bridleway to the shore; an adult Yellow-legged Gull flew low and slowly upriver with 3 adult Herring Gull (and I also had a probable flying upriver on its own last weekend); a Little Egret in fields at Shepperdine; the Water Pipit and Stonechat still at the yacht club. The lake had: 2 Little Grebe, 5 Gadwall (2 x pairs and a 1st-winter drake), 6 Wigeon, 5 Canada Goose, a male Tufted Duck, 3 Coot and a Moorhen. Also, 2 Rock Pipit along the shore. Excellent variety – 59 species seen.


22/2/13 – MP reported the Water Pipit and the Stonechat again at the yacht club.


20/2/13 – MP reported the Barn Owl again at the yacht club, from 6:07pm.


17/2/13 – This evening, a Barn Owl was patrolling along the rough grassland next to the access road to the yacht club. It came out at 6:05pm when it was quite dark (and no people were around), and flew to within 10 yards of me. It was quite magical in the cold moonlight and very still air. Lots of Lapwing could be heard in the flooded fields, and a pair of Tawny Owl called to each other (‘Kerwick’ – ‘Twoooo’). Earlier, there were 11 Oystercatcher at Shepperdine, the Gadwall pair were on the lake and MP reported a Water Pipit and 2 Rock Pipit at the yacht club.

AM’s WeBS count: 2 Little Grebe (on lake), 1 Little Egret, 75 Wigeon, 19 Shelduck, 90 Lapwing, 185 Dunlin, 56 Curlew, 99 Teal, 70 Turnstone, 61 Mallard, 32 Redshank, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Peregrine, 1 Tufted Duck (on river) and  2 Water Rail.


16/2/13 – A Stonechat was at the yacht club; a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Grey Plover and 3 Snipe on the shore. The Little Grebe still on the lake.




15/2/13 – MP reported a Redpoll again and 4 Oystercatcher.


14/2/13 – A Water Pipit was on the shore briefly, just after high tide. It flew high over to the SW and looked like it came down on the SW end of Lagoon 3 or the flooded maize field next to it. There were a lot of birds in the maize field just before this: c10 Reed Bunting, c30 Linnet, c25 Chaffinch, c20 Goldfinch, 1 Snipe and a few Meadow Pipit. The lake still had the Little Grebe and pair of Gadwall. The sun brought out the first Spring-like bird-song with 7 Song Thrush (and a Reed Bunting on Lagoon 2) all singing.


13/2/13 – A female Pintail on Lagoon 1 and MP reported a Redpoll on Lagoon 2.


11/2/13 – MP reported 2 Knot and a female Pintail this morning.


9/2/13 – 32 Canada Goose on the shore. The Little Grebe and pair of Gadwall still on the lake. c375 Curlew roosting on Lagoon 3 this morning.


6/2/13 – MP reported 2 Mistle Thrush at Jobsgreen Farm.


5/2/13 – AM reported: 1 Little Grebe, 56 Wigeon, 96 Teal and 2 Gadwall.


3/2/13 – ML reported: 2 Snipe, 1 Water Rail and 3 Bullfinch (Lagoon 3); a Peregrine on the Tower shelf; and c50 Fieldfare over.


2/2/13 – A crisp and sunny morning. A Little Grebe was on the lake (thanks Matt), with the pair of Gadwall. 4 Siskin feeding in alders by pond to SW of Lagoon 3, and 2 Grey Plover on the shore. Also: 23 Canada Goose at the yacht club and a pair of Raven over the towers.


28/1/13 – MP/JS reported: 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 147 Curlew, 6 Ringed Plover (Lagoon 3), 4 Mute Swan, 2 Gadwall, 1 Shoveler.


27/1/13 – The Peregrine pair were back on the tower in the evening, and the male earlier ‘buzzed’ the Teal at Shepperdine half-heartedly, twice.

JS reported 303 Curlew and a Bar-tailed Godwit on Lagoon 3 in the morning at HT.


26/1/13 – In the afternoon, MP reported a Brambling with other finches in the ‘Twite fields’.

This morning, there were a pair of Gadwall on the lake and a Siskin in alders there. Also, 2 Ringed Plover on Lagoon 3.


25/1/13 – AM reported: 1 female-type Stonechat on Lagoon 3, a male Shoveler on the lake, 9 Wigeon on the lake and 120 on Tidal reservoir, 318 Curlew on mudflats at low tide and c45 Skylark.


22/1/13 – In the afternoon, a Water Rail was walking along the path on the east side of Lagoon 2 (and 2 others heard in reeds) and a Peregrine was plucking a kill on the towers (they haven’t been present regularly in the New Year). (60 species seen today – a very good count for January).

In morning: A 1st-winter (or female) Merlin hunting the fields to SW of Lagoon 3, and c45 Skylark there. 3 Siskin flew in and fed on Alders by the pond to SSW of Lagoon 3, and 2 Mistle Thrush on Mistletoe in orchard to south of Lagoon 2. The lake is ¾ frozen, but still has 2 Mute Swan, 1 Shoveler (male coming out of eclipse), 4 Wigeon and 3 Coot.

Up to 4 Waxwings still at Malvern Drive, Thornbury.




20/1/13 – MP reported: an injured Grey Plover, a female Yellowhammer at the yacht club and 40 Canada Goose.

8 Waxwings still at Malvern Drive, Thornbury.


19/1/13 – Not nearly as many birds moving today, just c100 Fieldfare and c100 Redwing heading south.

4 Waxwings still at Malvern Drive, Thornbury.

     Another excellent Waxwing photo by RL.



18/1/13 – A walk around in the snow today with MP. There was a very large movement of birds SSW: c100 Golden Plover (inc. two flocks of c35), c100 Skylark, c1000 Lapwing, c2000 Fieldfare, c1000 Redwing and c20 Snipe. Also a 1st-winter male Pochard on the river with Mallards and a male Yellowhammer at the yacht club again.

    Snow in hedge by Lagoon 3                                                                                         RL still has Waxwings in his garden at Malvern Drive, Thornbury.

    (another cracking photo by RL!)



17/1/13 – RL had the Waxwings back again at Malvern Drive, Thornbury this morning.


16/1/13 – RL had Waxwings turn up in his garden in Malvern Drive, Thornbury this morning ! Up to 12 of them visited all day.

     Waxwings (stunning photos by RL!)



15/1/13 – JS reported: 277 Curlew (9+ colour-rings) and a Bar-tailed Godwit (lagoon 3) and at the yacht club, a Grey Plover, a Kingfisher over the pill, and a Peregrine. And a Black-headed Gull at the Thornbury Sewage Works with a white Polish ring T4PL (the same bird seen back in August on lagoon 3).

MP reported: c80 Snipe, 1 Jack Snipe, and 4 Skylark on lagoon 3, and 2 Rock Pipit on shore.

    Black-headed Gull with Polish ring ‘T4PL’ (Photo by JS)



13/1/13 – AM’s WeBS count: 110 Dunlin, 523 Curlew (including 20 colour-ringed, of which 10 read by JS), 217 Wigeon, 128 Mallard, 12 Redshank, 398 Teal, 265 Lapwing, 28 Shelduck, 55 Turnstone, 1 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 8 Snipe and 1 Rock Pipit.

4 adult ‘winter’ Swan sp. flying high upriver – seemed long-necked and most probably Whoopers. Unfortunately only spotted them after they had passed, when I was following a Jack Snipe in the air over Lagoon 3. Also had 2 other probables that flushed and landed quickly, among 30+ Snipe. A Stonechat and a male Yellowhammer at the yacht club.


12/1/13 – At the yacht club: c35 Canada Goose, c150 Dunlin, 1 Skylark and 1 Rock Pipit. Lagoon 3 at HT had 471 Curlew, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 3 Ringed Plover. A Shoveler with 9 Wigeon on the lake, and a pair of Gadwall with 100’s of Teal and Wigeon at Shepperdine.


7/1/13 – JS reported 4 Little Egret and a Peregrine at the yacht club today.


5/1/13 – A single Golden Plover high over to NE and c70 Snipe flying around Lagoon 3 (then landing in reeds). There were 5 Water Rail in the Lagoon 2 reeds, including 3 having a ‘screech-off’ together in the small triangular reedbed ! Also 35 Canada Goose off Lagoon 3 and then on saltmarsh at yacht club.

AM reported: 3 Golden Plover with 120 Lapwing, 35 Turnstone, 280 Wigeon, 470 Teal and 2 Gadwall, and also asks “where have all the Dunlin gone ?!”.


4/1/13 – MP reported a Water Rail and c200 Fieldfare.


3/1/13 – MP reported a pair of Gadwall.


1/1/13 – AM/MP reported: a Guillemot (drifting downriver, off Lagoon 1), the Red-crested Pochard, the Black Redstart by the jetty, a Siskin over Lagoon 2, 230 Wigeon, 185 Teal, 190 Mallard, 1 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 1 Tufted Duck, 5 Ringed Plover and 45 Turnstone.

    Guillemot (Photo by MP)



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