A total of 140 species recorded at the site in 2014 – worst year since 2007 (record 151 in 2013). (See Latest Site Species List for details). With my personal total for the site in 2014 at 133 species (10 less than last year - mainly due to time spent training for an Ironman Triathlon which I completed in August !). Some relatively common birds not recorded at all at OPS this year : Little Stint (!), Brambling (not even a fly-over this autumn !), Little Owl (no longer resident), Yellow-legged Gull (no gull roost on Lagoon 3 due to vegetation), Arctic Skua (but 2 Great Skuas, usually much less common).
31/12/14 – Only a Treecreeper and 92 Stock Dove of note, but 62 species today.
3 Roe Deer in fields south of Lagoon 2.
30/12/14 – The lake is frozen, apart from a small area, and crammed in it were: 2 Little Grebe, 1 juv. Mute Swan, 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Wigeon, 5 Teal, 4 Coot and 5 Moorhen. c15 Song Thrush included more than usual along the shore, and 50+ Redwing in fields, probably show a cold-weather movement.
29/12/14 – MP/AM reported, this morning: 1 Gadwall, 2 Little Grebe, 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Grey Plover, 400 Dunlin, 160 Curlew, 150 Lapwing, 12 Snipe, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Stonechat (pair at Sailing club), 1 Rock Pipit and 2 Grey Wagtail.
26/12/14 – The male Shoveler again - this time at the yacht club with Wigeon, and 1+ Yellowhammer there again.
25/12/14 – A lovely male Shoveler in fresh breeding plumage on the Lagoon 3 scrape.
24/12/14 – Some good counts: 6 Yellowhammer at the yacht club, 5 Stonechat, c80 Stock Dove and 24 Skylark (both on Lagoon 3).
23/12/14 – The large evening Starling roost has moved on (first reported by AM on 19th), with only c100 into reeds on Lagoon 2 this evening. But, the corvid roost next door at Jobsgreen Farm had 500+ birds this evening, including 300+ Jackdaw. Also a very good count of 10 Great Black-backed Gull (all ages) on the Tidal Res..
21/12/14 – 2 Mistle Thrush defending Mistletoe in orchards by stable to SE of Lagoon 2. And 3 Tree Sparrow reported on Avonbirds website in the stubble field upriver of The Windbound.
20/12/14 – Not much to report at OPS this morning. But the Tree Sparrow reported on Avonbirds website on 13th was again in the hedge at the stubble field. It was with c80 Linnet, 2 Yellowhammer and 10 Reed Bunting.
The Tree Sparrow is upriver from the Windbound (large arrow), seen at circle on 13th and small arrow today. (Thanks for map, PB)
19/12/14 – AM reported: 3 Pintail at Shepperdine, 45 Stock Dove, 2 Little Grebe and just the 2 juv Mute Swan as the adults left on 13th.
13/12/14 – A lovely sunny afternoon. 32 Stock Dove and 2 Stonechat on Lagoon 3. Also, a Chiffchaff and 2 Little Grebe.
Starling roost. (Photo by CL).
11/12/14 – An impressive flock of 12 Raven at Shepperdine this morning. (Record number for the site is 13 in 2005.)
10/12/14 – A Treecreeper in trees along the bridleway to the shore.
7/12/14 – The 1st-winter male Black Redstart seen again at the jetty. (It has been here since 15th Nov, but only seen 4 times as it is very mobile and elusive.) A Jack Snipe was flushed with 17 Snipe from Lagoon 3. HT at yacht club: 2 Black-tailed Godwit, c500 Dunlin, c200 Lapwing and 42 Canada Goose. On the lake, the 2 juvenile Mute Swans which fledged on 4/5th June were being given take-off lessons by the adults, so will probably be leaving soon. And the 2 juv. Little Grebe again.
(The Golden Plovers yesterday were the 140th species seen at OPS in 2014, with my own total on 133.)
6/12/14 – A cold (-3 degrees C) but sunny morning, and a clear night with full moon, but the only migrants obvious were c100 Woodpigeon heading high over to East. At yacht club: 2 Yellowhammer, 6 Little Egret and c1,000 Dunlin. AM reported: 8 Golden Plover (downriver), 1 Knot, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 260 Curlew, 125 Teal, 98 Wigeon, 4 Raven, 1 Chiffchaff and 4 Stonechat.
5/12/14 – 10,000+ Starling in the evening roost and 6 Water Rail heard on Lagoon 2.
3/12/14 – c8,000 Starling roosted again in reeds on Lagoon 2 around 4pm. At about 4.20pm, what appeared to be a Barn Owl briefly was seen popping up over the reeds and then back into them (and same was seen by MB yesterday), so I hung around until after dark when it come out and started hunting just yards from me. JS reported, at yacht club: 1400 Dunlin, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 380 Curlew on Oldbury Sands, but only c100 came into the roost on the shore, the rest flew into fields, mainly between the Yacht Club and the Power Station. 20 colour-rings read.
2/12/14 – JS reported: 3 Bewick's Swan just SW of yacht club (Pillhead Gout) at 11.45am (but soon flushed by dog walker). Also, 900 Dunlin, 250+ Lapwing, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 1 Black-tailed Godwit.
1/12/14 – An Avocet with c200 Curlew and 500+ Dunlin at the yacht club.
Avocet. A low-flying Chinook does nothing to calm the HT roost !
30/11/14 – A real 'pea-souper' ! With visibility just 75 yards on the shore, even at midday. But, c50 Fieldfare around the orchard, a Stonechat on Lagoon 2 and the 2 Little Grebe on the lake still.
29/11/14 – Two Black Redstart (1st-winters) mobile around the jetty/waterworks. A probable Water Pipit seen quite well in flight again - but difficult to find in spartina grass.
28/11/14 – c20 Snipe flushed from Lagoon 3 (including 1 probable Jack Snipe), the 2 juvenile Little Grebe on the lake again and a good count of c290 Teal. JS reported at high tide, mainly at yacht club: 3 Brent Goose, c600 Dunlin, 450 Lapwing, 75 Curlew, 6 Redshank, 2 Little Egret, 4 Stonechat and 2 Black-tailed Godwit.
27/11/14 – Foggy again this morning, and 3 Dark-bellied Brent Goose at the yacht club (adult with 2 juvs.). A 1st-winter Black Redstart at the waterworks again - last seen around the buildings. Also, 2 Yellowhammer and a Mistle Thrush in hedges on way to yacht club.
Brent Goose family.
25/11/14 – In freezing fog this morning: 40+ Black-tailed Godwit flew upriver along near shore - using it for navigation, a Mistle Thrush and an adult male Shoveler. At the yacht club: a possible Water Pipit with 4 Rock Pipit, 8 Reed Bunting, 1 Skylark and 3 Stonechat.
24/11/14 – 8,000+ Starling flew in to roost in reeds on Lagoon 2 between 4:10 and 4:30pm. Unusually, only c2,000 flew around and the rest flew straight in to roost. Mesmerising as they noisily fly in low overhead. Also a Chiffchaff, and c80 Common Gull on shore.
Gossamer threads covering Lagoon 3, highlighted by setting sun.
23/11/14 – MB reported a Kingfisher on the lake and a Chiffchaff. 3,000+ Starling in pre-roost flight around Lagoon 2 until 4.30pm.
19/11/14 – 2 Red Admiral butterfly today. (Guess they'll keep flying until the first frost.)
16/11/14 – At Shepperdine: 5 Pintail, 3 Snipe and 2 Grey Plover; now 2 juv. Little Grebe on the lake; and 2 pairs of Gadwall on the Tidal Res..
15/11/14 – Fog grounded lots of birds, giving my best morning's birding this year. A 1st-winter male Black Redstart at the waterworks, but mobile. A Red-breasted Meganser and a juv. Great Crested Grebe were on the Tidal Reservoir off Lagoon 3. There were 50+ Blackbird, 30 Robin (site-record) and 18 Song Thrush with the first real show of Redwing and Fieldfare this autumn. Also site-record counts of c15 Dunnock (inc. two 'flocks' of 4) and 15+ Wren. Also, a Treecreeper and 2 Chiffchaff; 2 male Blackcap and 3 Stonechat in the hedge on way to yacht club. At HT, the yacht club held 8 Rock Pipit, 8 Snipe, c600 Dunlin and a Little Egret. (67 species seen.) SD reported in evening: 37 Redshank, 2 Great Black-backed Gull, 20 Common Gull, c200 Wigeon, 4+ Bullfinch, 20 Linnet, 3 Goldcrest and c2,000 Starling displaying over Lagoon 2.
Black Redstart on waterworks fence. Red-breasted Merganser on Tidal Res..
14/11/14 – AM reported: 70 Wigeon, 1 Little Grebe, 420 Lapwing, c300 Dunlin, 230 Teal, 3 Little Egret, 2 Chiffchaff and 1 Water Rail.
12/11/14 – 2 Grey Plover at Shepperdine, 3 Water Rail heard in Lagoon 2 reedbed, a Red Admiral butterfly and 2 Common Darter dragonfly.
9/11/14 – Lovely sunny afternoon. 3 Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcap on track to hide; 50+ Fieldfare over to East; 4 Water Rail were the first this winter (2 on Lagoon 2, 1 on Lagoon 3 and AM had 1 in small reedbed on shore). Some late insects: a Peacock butterfly and a Common Darter dragonfly. AM's Webs count earlier: 136 Wigeon, 1 Little Grebe, 183 Mallard, 109 Curlew, c200 Lapwing, c270 Dunlin, 23 Teal, 23 Redshank, 90 Canada Goose, 2 Little Egret, 1 Shelduck, 2 Gadwall, and 83 Common Gull. Also: c14 Reed Bunting (Lagoon 3), 1 Cetti's Warbler, 6 Bullfinch, 1 Stonechat, 1 Grey Wagtail and 7 Stock Dove.
8/11/14 – Now that is what I call RAIN ! On the lake: A 1st-winter Little Grebe, Gadwall pair and 10 Wigeon. 2 Stonechat by metal gate and 2 Grey Wagtail by the jetty. (Lagoon 1 has some water in it.)
3/11/14 – A Cetti's Warbler calling 'chet' and seen well in brambles by the pond on Lagoon 2.
2/11/14 – A Brent Goose (dark-bellied) flew from the yacht club upriver to Lagoon 3, then turned around and flew back to the yacht club area (where lost to view). (Last recorded here in December 2011.) The Gadwall pair and the Shoveler were on the estuary, and 2 Stonechat still. (That's 130 species I have recorded at OPS in 2014, with the all-comers total on 135.)
1/11/14 – Another warm, sunny morning. A new-in Cetti's Warbler along the bridleway to the shore (very unusually), calling 'chet' often. A Common Sandpiper by the jetty (and was also here yesterday, and a juv. Little Grebe again on the lake yesterday). Also, a Redpoll, 2 Stonechat, 2 Chiffchaff and c300 Starling over to SW in flocks of c25. MB reported a Treecreeper.
31/10/14 – Warmest Halloween recorded, and a lovely evening. A Mistle Thrush and 2 Chiffchaff. AM/MP reported: A superb butterfly list for the date; 4 Clouded Yellow, 4 Red Admiral, 3 Peacock. 160 Dunlin, 135 Lapwing, 70 Curlew, 35 Redshank, 70 Turnstone, 8 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret, 1 Shelduck (only), 1 Shoveler, 30 Wigeon, 2 Gadwall, 20 Teal and 2 Stonechat.
There's oil in that there estuary !!
28/10/14 – A fantastic, sunny and still, autumn morning; a Short-eared Owl was flushed from the saltmarsh near the metal gate - last seen high over the estuary. And a site-record equaling 8 Stonechat. Another site-record, c10 Rock Pipit by the yacht club and 103 Canada Goose. At Oldbury village, a Chiffchaff and a Red Admiral.
26/10/14 – 7 Grey Plover at Shepperdine. MB reported a Tawny Owl calling at 7am. AM reported a Cetti's Warbler.
25/10/14 – 6 Grey Plover flying around Shepperdine at HT. At the yacht club, at HT: 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 90+ Canada Goose, 50+ Redshank, c60 Lapwing, 10 Dunlin, c250 Curlew and 2 Little Egret. 2 Stonechat in the reeds by metal gate on way to yacht club. Visiting Cheltenham birders reported a Chiffchaff and Redwings.
Rock Pipit - c5 at yacht club.
24/10/14 – c70 Canada Goose SW of yacht club and another 64 flew downriver to Shepperdine, with a Greylag Goose. Also there a Black-tailed Godwit. And a Cetti's Warbler singing at dusk from main reedbed, Lagoon 2.
23/10/14 – This morning, the lake held: a pair of Gadwall, 1 Shoveler, 14 Wigeon (unusually), 13 Teal, 4 Coot, 5 Moorhen, a pair + 2 juv Mute Swan and 2 Tufted Duck. A female/juv. Merlin flew downriver just above the water (appeared to be migrating). AM also reported: 35 Redshank, 64 Lapwing, 2 Dunlin, 150+ Curlew, 14 Canada Goose, 2 Little Egret, 1 Shelduck, 1 Stonechat, 1 Rock Pipit, 24 Meadow Pipit and 7 Skylark.
21/10/14 – Nothing on the estuary in the highish west wind this morning, but 5 Raven over and a Ringed Plover.
18/10/14 – c80 Black-tailed Godwit flew downriver this evening past the yacht club and landed on the shore just to SW; also there: 4 Knot and 2 Grey Plover. There were 5 Stonechat together on way to yacht club, and a male Tawny Owl was calling at 6:45pm by the entrance.
17/10/14 – 15-20 Black-tailed Godwit flew downriver this evening. (And yesterday, a Red Admiral butterfly flew SW along the shore, actively avoiding a Meadow Pipit going for it.) Late News from PZ of a Snow Bunting on the sea wall at 11am, and then flew South.
Snow Bunting (photo by PZ).
16/10/14 – A Short-eared Owl was over the power station this morning, mobbed by Crows. It gained height towards Lagoon 1, and then started dropping down along the shore, towards Lagoon 3. Surprisingly, the Peregrine pair sat on the towers ignored it, but the male had earlier had a little 'play' with the Crows over the estuary. Two Stonechat along the bridleway to the shore.
Short-eared Owl, heading high SW.
15/10/14 – Disturbance in the gull roost this evening felt like a Great Skua before I eventually found it (after 30 mins. search), flying slowly around the middle of the river. It forced a lot of gulls to the shore: 500+ Black-headed Gull, c100 Common Gull and c50 Herring Gull. Also, a juvenile Yellow Wagtail (latest date for site) was with 60+ Pied Wagtail in the pre-roost around the outbuildings, and a juvenile Little Grebe on the lake.FS reported (vismig): 500+ Redwing, 1 Mistle Thrush, 7+ Song Thrush, 87 Chaffinch, 11 Greenfinch, 40 Goldfinch, 2 Siskin, 1 Redpoll, 8 Bullfinch and a probable Richard's Pipit (large pipit over to SE, not calling).
12/10/14 – 3 Grey Plover calling in foggy, white-out, conditions this morning - lured to 20 yards right over my head by whistling back their call ! This afternoon: 2 Swallow, a Wheatear, 2 Stonechat, 30+ Chaffinch over East in small groups and 40+ Lesser Black-backed Gull highish downriver in two flocks.
11/10/14 – WeBS count at HT this morning. Between the yacht club and Pillhead Gout (Littleton Warth): 1 Greenshank, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Little Egret, c130 Redshank, 2 Greylag Goose (downriver), but only 17 Canada Goose and 2 Dunlin. A Little Grebe was in the rhine near the yacht club. Also, 5 Stonechat, 4+ Wheatear and a Rock Pipit.
Greylag in flight between Canada Geese.
10/10/14 – The Greylag Goose with 98 Canada Goose on the shore at Shepperdine (and another 6 Canada Goose on the Tidal Res.).
Greylag (arrowed) with Canada Geese.
9/10/14 – Briefly there was a proper wetland at the yacht club/Littleton Warth due to a very high tide, with good numbers of birds: a Greylag Goose with c140 Canada Goose (new site high count), 214 Curlew, c70 Turnstone, 48 Redshank, c30 Lapwing, but only c10 Dunlin and c5 Ringed Plover. Also, 5 Swallow and a Wheatear. And c100 Mallard have been roosting overnight on the lake recently.
A very high tide flooded the salt marsh around the yacht club.
7/10/14 – c5 Swallow by Lagoon 2 in shower at dusk.
4/10/14 – 2 Wheatear at the yacht club.
3/10/14 – In the bushes at north end of Lagoon 1: a Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Stonechat and 2 Wheatear. (Also, a late report of a Lesser Whitethroat on lagoon 2 on 28th.(Thanks AI.))
Lesser Whitethroat, Lagoon 1. Peregrine on pylon.
2/10/14 – AI reported a Rock Pipit and a Wheatear.
28/9/14 – c10 House Martin around the towers and a Swallow. Also 2 Clouded Yellow butterfly. SH reported: 1 Common Sandpiper and a Wheatear. AM reported: 3 Stonechat (pair by metal gate and juv male on Lagoon 3), c85 House Sparrow, 10 Teal, 28 Redshank, 2 Dunlin, c55 Turnstone, the Peregrine pair displaying around the towers, 3 Little Egret, 20 Lapwing and 10 Cormorant. Late reports from AI: a Lesser Whitethroat and a Stonechat on Lagoon 2, and c30 Swallow. Also a Hobby 1 mile inland of OPS.
27/9/14 – This morning, the maize stubble fields on way to the yacht club held 114 Canada Goose - a record for OPS (beating 79 in 2008). Also there, 1 Whinchat and a nice male Stonechat. Some vismig: 2 Grey Wagtail, 1+ Siskin, a few Meadow Pipit, c35 House Martin around the towers and a Great Spotted Woodpecker that flew out over the shore before flying SW. The 2 Cetti's Warbler are singing again on Lagoon 2; by the small pond and the small triangular reedbed.
25/9/14 – FS reported a Dotterel flying high over the estuary to other side, calling, at 8.15am. (First for OPS.) Also, 1 Redstart, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 Cetti's Warbler and 1 Reed Warbler. And, over to SW: a Snipe, 7+ Jay, 1 Siskin, 28 Chaffinch, 41 Linnet, 33 Meadow Pipit, 25 Swallow and 24 Pied Wagtail. Also this morning, there were 2 Whinchat on Lagoon 2 and a Wheatear along the shore.
Whinchat, Lagoon 2. Wheatear on the jetty.
24/9/14 – AM reported: 1 Wheatear and 55 Turnstone.
17/9/14 – AM reported: 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Shoveler, 173 Mallard, 21 Teal, 2 Little Egret and 250 House Martin (around towers).
13/9/14 – WeBS count this morning: 6 Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Little Egret (yacht club), 42 Canada Goose, 23 Wigeon. A steady stream of House Martin and Swallow to NE after about 9am, and 3 Grey Wagtail over. In the hedge by the stubble fields on way to yacht club there was a Whinchat and 100+ House Sparrow (and may be another c100 hidden, calling, in hedge).
2 Common Sandpipers by the jetty.
12/9/14 – A Bar-tailed Godwit on the shore for its second day. The annual gathering of House Martin on the towers is now, with 900+ there today, and c1000 Swallow have been around the site for last 3 days (but a few hundred less today). Also, a Yellow Wagtail on the shore, 4 Little Egret and a Shoveler on the lake again.
House Martins on the towers.
6/9/14 – 5 Little Egret together on the shore by Lagoon 3; 3 x 1st-winter Little Grebe on the lake was a surprise; and a Spotted Flycatcher on a fence at Shepperdine. Also, a Whinchat there and a Shoveler.
5/9/14 – A very good flock of 15 Yellow Wagtail circling Lagoon 2 at dusk, and 2 more commuting between shore and Lagoon 1; and a 1st-winter Little Grebe skulking in the reeds on the lake this evening. Also, a Grey Wagtail over to SW and 80+ Swallow and 30+ House Martin around the towers and Lagoon2.
4/9/14 – AM reported a Whinchat and a Shoveler.
3/9/14 – 4 Avocet feeding on the falling tide this evening at Shepperdine, and 3 Knot there. A Spotted Flycatcher was on the fence at the end of the bridleway to the shore.
Some of the 4 Avocets at Shepperdine.
31/8/14 – An excellent morning's birding, with 65 early autumnal species. At 7.15am a flock of exactly 30 Greylag Goose flew low-ish over to south (calling). A male and juv Redstart along the hedge in middle of lagoon 1. At Shepperdine: 2 Knot, a Whinchat briefly (before flying off high to SW) and an incredibly early Merlin flying low over the water, downriver, at 10.30am. At the yacht club: 4 Grey Wagtail in the pill (2 adult with a juv, and another calling nearby) and 2 Wheatear (inc. a young juv with speckled head). Also, a Yellow Wagtail there, and 4 more in with the white cows on Lagoon 1 (before they also flew off high to SW - is it me ?). A Tree Pipit was flighty in the trees on Lagoon 2. Also: A Treecreeper, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Reed Warbler and the one that got away - a possible male Goldeneye (or another white breasted water fowl), flew fast upriver, but only 'scoped for 2 secs before lost to view. (A Hobby was reported 'last week'.) SH reported: 2 Greenshank and 6 Wheatear.
30/8/14 – An adult male and juv Redstart together along the hedge between lagoons 1 & 2 (on cow field fence) and another juv along main rhine (by entrance). Lagoon 2 had a massive flock of mixed small birds, including 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 6 Blackcap and c20 Chiffchaff. Another 4 Whitethroat around, including one singing on passage at Shepperdine ! The Shoveler on the lake again and 5 Yellow Wagtail over to SW. Also forgot to add on 28th, that a Cetti's Warbler was in sub-song again on edge of main reedbed, Lagoon 2.
28/8/14 – A Spotted Flycatcher was on the inner fence on right of bridleway to the shore, from entrance. A Shoveler on the lake and 2 Wheatear on seawall.
25/8/14 – A juvenile Curlew Sandpiper with c30 Dunlin and 40+ Ringed Plover at Shepperdine on the falling tide. Also 3 Wheatear and c50 each of House Martin and Swallow.
24/8/14 – 2 Willow Warbler along footpath to shore, 2 Ringed Plover at Shepperdine and a Lesser Whitethroat. AM reported: a Little Egret, c220 Curlew (yacht club), 6 Dunlin, c45 House Sparrow and 140 Mallard.
23/8/14 – An adult male Redstart on the fence by the concrete trough on Lagoon 1; a Black-tailed Godwit at Shepperdine and 1+ Lesser Whitethroat still.
17/8/14 – SH reported a Redstart at Shepperdine and 2 Siskin by the hide.
Redstart. (Photo by SH.)
16/8/14 – A Garden Warbler along the main rhine, 1 Sedge Warbler and 2 Lesser Whitethroat. Also, NO Shelduck seen - probably gone to moult.
15/8/14 – Early morning (feeling autumnal): a Garden Warbler eating black berries of Dogwood by Lagoon 2 pond, 3 Wheatear, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 10+ Whitethroat, 3 Little Egret, a Common Sandpiper and c200 House Martin around towers. Also, prompted by report below, JM reported an even larger flock of c75 House Sparrow on 13th (same place).
14/8/14 – The Hobby was still about (over lagoon 3 today). Also, a Wheatear, 1+ Lesser Whitethroat and 4+ Whitethroat. AM reported, this morning: 5 Little Egret and a very large flock (for OPS) of 35 House Sparrow on way to yacht club (by kissing gate, where pasture has been converted to wheat this year).
13/8/14 – JM reported: 1 Whinchat, 1 Redstart, 4 Common Sandpiper, a Wheatear, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, a Little Egret and 4 Clouded Yellow butterfly.
11/8/14 – AM reported: a Hobby, 4 Wheatear, a Common Sandpiper and 10 Turnstone.
8/8/14 – AM/MP reported, over evening HT: a Hobby, 1 Shoveler, 1 Wheatear, 2 Teal and 9 Turnstone.
7/8/14 – This morning, a juvenile Hobby was ranging widely over Lagoon 3, highlighted by the Swallow cry of "Leggit, Leggit". Also there, a Cetti's Warbler in sub-song and a Wheatear.
4/8/14 – JS reported, at yacht club: 350 Curlew on the mudflats (but none roosting this side), 1 Whimbrel, 1 Wheatear and Clouded Yellow butterfly. Also, 200 Black-headed Gull, on Lagoon 3.
3/8/14 – A Treecreeper along the bridleway to the shore and 10 Tufted Duck ducklings still on the lake (a very productive year for them here). AM reported a Wheatear, 2 Clouded Yellow butterflies and a Weasel.
31/7/14 – MP reported a Clouded Yellow butterfly and Small Red-eyed Damselflies again on the lake.
26/7/14 – c50 Swallow flying low along the shore by Lagoon 1 included a stunning leucistic one - all-white except a brown head and some brown patches on underwing.
Leucistic Swallow by small pond on Lagoon 2
25/7/14 – 3 Little Egret on shore together.
23/7/14 – A Greenshank flushed from the shore towards Shepperdine at HT. MP found c10 Small Red-eyed Damselfly on the lake.
Small Red-eyed Damselfly. The small black 'x' at the end of the tail is diagnostic, apparently - thanks Matt. (Photo by MP)
22/7/14 – AM reported: 1 Whimbrel, 1 Little Egret, 12 Tufted Duck (10 juvs.) and 21 Shelduck (19 juvs.).
21/7/14 – At dusk (9.30pm) 2 Grasshopper Warbler reeled on lagoon 2 by the main reedbed (one on north side and other on west side of reeds). Also, a superb view of a Noctule bat hunting around trees in SW corner of Lagoon 2. (Twice size of Pipistrelle and brownish, with long, narrow wings.) Also, 5 Dunlin and a Yellow Wagtail.
20/7/14 – The Green Sandpiper still present and 3 Black-tailed Godwit flew downriver at HT. MP reported, in the morning: The Green Sandpiper, a Grasshopper Warbler singing briefly, 2+ Willow Warbler, lots of Essex Skipper and 3+ Roesel's Bush-cricket.
Tufted Duck brood (with Mute Swan family at back). (Photo by MP) Roesel's Bush-cricket, Lagoon 2. (Photo by MP)
19/7/14 – A Green Sandpiper and a Little Egret on the Lagoon 3 scrape. Also, a summer plumaged Dunlin, 16 Redshank, 3 Turnstone and a Lapwing at Shepperdine.
16/7/14 – 2+ Common Sandpiper calling along the shore - the first reported at OPS this year.
13/7/14 – AM reported (WeBS count): A Sedge Warbler singing on lagoon 2, Shelduck broods of 8,7 and 5, Tufted Duck broods of 8 and 7, 98 Mallard, 14 Canada Goose, 85 Curlew, 3 Turnstone (on 'ledges' buoy), and a very large mixed flock on Lagoon 2 containing: 25 Long-tailed Tit, 10 Blue Tit and 6 Chiffchaff.
12/7/14 – A Sedge Warbler reported by MB on lagoon 2. Shelduck broods of 14 and 7 at yacht club, also 11 House Sparrow in wheat there.
11/7/14 – A Mistle Thrush on lagoon 1 is unusual and the first 2 returning Teal at Shepperdine. Also, Tufted Duck broods of 8,8 & 4.
9/7/14 – Tufted Duck broods of 9,8 & 6 give a total of 23 ducklings.
6/7/14 – A Mediterranean Gull in breeding plumage flew low upriver past Shepperdine in the evening.
5/7/14 – A Purple Hairstreak butterfly in the big Turkey Oak along the main rhine. The only birding highlight was a mixed flock of c30 (mainly) juveniles in bushes on Lagoon 2, including (all juvs.): 1 Lesser Whitethroat, c10 Whitethroat, 2 Robin.
4/7/14 – A leucistic Black-headed Gull at Shepperdine - very distinctive, and rather lovely. An adult Tawny Owl attracted a lot of attention along the bridleway to the shore from all the local birds, including Magpie. It flew along the footpath and perched in a tree looking at me with big black eyes, before flying off again.
Leucistic Black-headed Gull with a normal one.
3/7/14 – AM reported the juvenile Little Ringed Plover on Lagoon 3 again. Also, 1 Whimbrel, 2 broods of 7 and 8 Shelduck, c500 Black-headed Gull and 17 Canada Goose.
2/7/14 – On the scrape on lagoon 3 this evening: a juvenile Little Ringed Plover, 14 Lapwing and a Little Egret. At Shepperdine were 3 young Kestrel sitting together on the ground, giving begging calls. Also 35 Sand Martin over to south.
Juvenile Little Ringed Plover.
29/6/14 – A fem/juv Redstart flitting in and out of the hedge along the bridleway by the main rhine.
27/6/14 – A nice view of a Hobby from the south end of Lagoon 2, flying to SW. The 9 Tufted Duck ducklings are still on the lake, the brood of 8 small Shelduck on the estuary and c170 Black-headed Gull on Lagoon 3 at HT.
25/6/14 – 9 tiny Tufted Duck ducklings on the lake, with the Mute Swan pair + 3 juvs, and the two pairs of Coot with 3 + 2 well-grown young. And a brood of 8 small Shelduck on the estuary. 188 Black-headed Gull on the Lagoon 3 scrape at HT and a Little Egret. A juv. Cetti's Warbler heard on Lagoon 2 again.
22/6/14 – 4 Knot (2 in summer plumage) and a Turnstone at Shepperdine on HT. c165 Black-headed Gull on the Lagoon 3 scrape (which looks superb for some waders) and 2 Little Egret on the shore. (The 2 juv. Cetti's Warbler yesterday are the first proof of breeding for the species in S. Gloucs., although suspected at Severn Beach last year. Thanks MH/PB.)
4 Knot and a Turnstone - early returners ?
This Scarlet Tiger moth has been day-flying in my garden for the last week - spectacular red underwing.
21/6/14 – 2 recently fledged Cetti's Warbler on Lagoon 2, calling 'chet' continuosly. Other young included: 3 Jay (with adults), 2 Moorhen on small pond by lagoon 2, 7 young Shelduck (Shepperdine), 1 Green Woodpecker, and a juv. Black-headed Gull with 28 adults on shore. Also, 3+ Marbled White butterflies.
Pyramidal Orchids (and a Six-spot Burnet Moth).
15/6/14 – 2+ young Buzzard chicks in the same nest they fledged from last year. Not much else of interest bird-wise, but plenty else around, including a Slow Worm sunbathing on the bridleway by the main rhine, lots of Bee, Pyramidal and Marsh Orchids, and hundreds of dragonflies on the lake, including Broad-bodied and Four-spotted Chasers. Also, a Small Skipper butterfly. AM's WeBS count: 7 young Shelduck, a Yellow Wagtail (over lagoon 3), 80 Mallard, the 3 Mute Swan young, 15 Canada Goose, 12 Reed Warbler and 1 Cetti's Warbler.
14/6/14 – The Yellow Wagtail reported by Avonbirds at the yacht club again.
7/6/14 – A male Yellow Wagtail on top of a hedge by the metal gate (to yacht club), then flew to shore. A couple of newly fledged Whitethroat on Lagoon 3. A large white Mute Swan egg (unhatched) can be seen just by the nest on the island.
6/6/14 – A Tawny Owl was being noisily chastised by the local avifauna in the wood on left of the path to the shore. The Mute Swan pair have 3 recently fledged young on the lake. Also, recently fledged Blackcap and Chiffchaff seen. And 1 Cetti's Warbler still singing. There are also 30+ spikes of Bee Orchid.
5/6/14 – HL reported: The Mute Swan pair with 3 young (fledged in last 2 days) and 4 pairs of Tufted Duck on the lake.
1/6/14 – A pair of Gadwall back on the lake. And pleased to report that 2 Raven chicks have fledged from a nest on a pylon near OPS. The large nest was built in the first week of March (same week as in 2012, when the nest blew down in high winds), and the female sat for about a month. Then the 2 young were first seen when they were quite well-grown on 14th May. The first fledged around 25th and the second on 29th/30th May.
Young Raven wing-flapping at the nest with an adult sat nearby, 14/5/14.
31/5/14 – Just 3 Ringed Plover on Lagoon 3 this afternoon. Also a Painted Lady butterfly.
30/5/14 – A Little Ringed Plover on Lagoon 3 this evening, with 5 Ringed Plover and 2 Dunlin.
LRP with Ringed Plover and Dunlin. Little Ringed Plover.
27/5/14 – 2 adult Great Crested Grebe floated up on the incoming tide (that's 3 this year after a gap of 6 years). The male Peregrine knocked a Crow off a freshly-killed Pigeon carcass and then struggled to take it up to the towers, where the female robbed it from him and proceeded to eat it. (So they do not have young hidden somewhere, else they would have fed them.) The Mute Swan eggs will be hatching in next few days, and the cob was very aggressive.
Mute Swan cob. Male Peregrine on a kill.
26/5/14 – A flock of 28 small waders at the yacht club appeared to all be Sanderling (but only seen distantly in flight, several times). Also 10 Curlew there and 3 Little Egret at Shepperdine. A Blue Tit nest is in a hollow metal gate post, and has young in it.
25/5/14 – AM reported: 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Cetti's Warbler and 6 Reed Warbler on Lagoon 2. Rather excitingly, a Water Rail calling from Lagoon 3. And Pyramidal Orchids on Lagoon 2.
24/5/14 – The Cuckoo is still around Lagoon 2 (and has been all week). Very quiet on the estuary.
17/5/14 – A very distant Red Kite over the ridge on the far side of the estuary and 8 Buzzard seen in total.
16/5/14 – This evening: 1 Dunlin, 1 Ringed Plover and 4 Curlew on the tide. On Lagoon 2: the mobile Cuckoo, 3 Sedge Warbler, 2 Cetti's Warbler and 2 Reed Warbler (a bad year for the latter at OPS).
14/5/14 – 5 Whimbrel, a summer plumaged Turnstone and a mobile and calling Cuckoo on Lagoon 2.
13/5/14 – A second pair of Coot have fledged 2 chicks, with the first pair still feeding 3 large chicks.
Male Bullfinch, Lagoon 2 Pair of Bullfinches, feeding on dandelion seeds.
11/5/14 – A Spotted Flycatcher along the fence and hedge on NE side of Lagoon 1. (Nothing in 2 hours sea-watch upto High Tide, as wind not high enough.)
Earlier, AM reported a Water Rail and a pair of Shoveler on Lagoon 3.
10/5/14 – Another 3 hours sea-watch to High Tide finally payed off with a Gannet (at 4pm) and 5 Arctic Tern upriver in high SW wind.
Sea-watching at OPS takes some sticking at - 4 hours yesterday and 2 hours from dawn today for just one Commic Tern !
Lagoon 2 is alive with warblers. The Mute Swan pair are on eggs on the lake (but the Canada Goose pair with 3 goslings have disappeared, like last year). An attentive female Mallard has 12 ducklings on the lake, and has managed to keep them for a week. WK reported a Cuckoo calling to NE of Lagoon 2.
9/5/14 – A probable Common Tern upriver at 4pm.
FS reported this morning: 7 Sanderling, 296 Swallow, 40 House Martin, 4 Swift and singles of Sand Martin and Yellow Wagtail all to North.
Oak Eggar moth caterpillar on Lagoon 2.
7/5/14 – An adult Gannet flew upriver at 6pm in quite high SW wind and showers.
5/5/14 – At Shepperdine: 13 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Whimbrel, a Grey Plover, a Dunlin and a mobile Cuckoo calling.
Grey Plover looking splendid Bar-tailed Godwits.
Cuckoo, Lagoon 2 (Photo by CL).
3/5/14 – A migrant Mistle Thrush was on Lagoon 2, rattling away, and then flew up and circled round, gaining height, before flying off over the towers, to SW. Around the patch were: 10 Lesser Whitethroat (a site record), 21 Whitethroat, 6 Sedge Warbler and the 2 Cetti's Warbler still. Also, 4 Wheatear (yacht club), 6 Black-headed Gull (upriver) and c25 Whimbrel. 60 species seen today. A late record of 5 Barnacle Goose flying ENE at Gaunts Earthcott (north of Winterbourne) yesterday evening.
Brilliant light this morning, as a cloud bank rolled away to the West.
2/5/14 – A Cuckoo and a Whinchat on Lagoon 2 this evening, and 2 Swift heading NE. The Canada Goose pair have fledged 3 goslings on the lake.
Cuckoo A 'fairy ring' of Horse mushrooms by the orchard.
1/5/14 – MB reported an adult Tawny Owl on a post by the lake in the evening, giving great views.
29/4/14 – AM reported a fledged Tawny Owl sat in a tree, unconcerned by 15 young birders watching it !
27/4/14 – 2 Crane flew upriver at 5pm, dodging heavy showers (1+ colour-ringed). 33 Whimbrel at HT (30 at yacht club and 3 on Lagoon 3), 6 Wheatear and 6 Willow Warbler.
26/4/14 – A good count of 31 Whimbrel this morning (21 at Shepperdine, 10 at yacht club), and 2 Grey Plover (plus a probable Golden Plover). Around the site were a record equalling 8 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Sedge Warbler (Lagoon 2) and the 2 Cetti's Warbler still. Also, 8 Wheatear (yacht club), 3 Yellow Wagtail over and 6 Black-headed Gull.
25/4/14 – An amazing view and sound as 7 Crane flew low, just inland of the towers, across Lagoon 3 and headed SW, giving their loud trumpeting calls as they went. Some movement NE: 20 Yellow Wagtail (one flock of 18), 70+ Swallow, 25 House Martin and 1+ Sand Martin.AM reported an adult Tawny Owl. A video of the Cranes, with the amazing calls audible, especially at the start, if you turn up the volume (a lot), is here.
Common Cranes from the Great Crane Project.
23/4/14 – A Whinchat on the fence by the (dried) flooding on Lagoon 1.
21/4/14 – I arrived at 10am to the sound of a Tawny Owl calling, and upon investigating, found 2 large, fluffy Owlets nearby. Then a Wood Warbler started singing in the trees near the entrance (where the Y-B Warbler was). (Still there at 2:50pm.) A good selection of waders at Shepperdine at HT: 6 Whimbrel, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Grey Plover and 13 Dunlin. Also, a Yellow Wagtail over. The only birds upriver were 6 Black-headed Gull. (There have only been 6 records of Wood Warbler at OPS, and interestingly, 3 of them are on 21st April - 1996, 2007, 2014.)
Tawny Owlets Bar-tailed Godwits, Shepperdine.
20/4/14 – A flock of c20 House Martin through in murk and 1+ Whimbrel at the yacht club. Singing on Lagoon 2: 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 8 Whitethroat, 2 Sedge Warbler and 2 Cetti's Warbler.
18/4/14 – PR reported a Grasshopper Warbler reeling in the evening. 3 Lesser Whitethroat on Lagoons 1 & 2 and the 3 small Coot chicks still on the lake. Suddenly, Swallows everywhere ! And 17 Sand Martin through today. A fisherman caught a Flounder. And an Orange-tip butterfly.
17/4/14 – A fantastic male Pied Flycatcher on the fence between Lagoon 2 and the next field upriver. And 2 Grasshopper Warbler reeling on Lagoon 2. Plus a Redpoll in the Orchard. AM reported: the earliest ever Garden Warbler at OPS (south end Lagoon 2) and a Wheatear.
16/4/14 – A Little Gull, surface feeding and sat, on the Tidal Res for an hour at dusk, then went upriver. 2 each of Reed Warbler, Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat on Lagoon 2.
15/4/14 – MB & PR reported a Marsh Harrier on Lagoon 2 at 7.30pm before being mobbed by Crows and heading inland. The first Reed Warbler was heard in the main reedbed; and on the estuary, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Black-headed Gull (first for 2 weeks) went upriver at dusk.
14/4/14 – MB reported a Whitethroat on Lagoon 2 this evening. (And a Tawny Owl heard early morning at Alveston.)
13/4/14 – In evening, a Lesser Whitethroat singing on Lagoon 2, 16 Swallow and 2 Little Egret inland.AM reported, this morning: a Water Rail and 2 Cetti's Warbler very vocal, Lagoon 2; 6 Wigeon and 5 Teal still around. [And some info. on the 2 Cranes, on 10th, with colour-rings read: a 4-year old female "Squidgy" and probably a 3-year old Female "Beatrice". (The 3rd Crane didn't land.)]
12/4/14 – Early morning: 2 Whitethroat singing on Lagoon 2 and a Lesser Whitethroat singing in NE hedge of Lagoon 1. (4 and 10 days earlier than 2013, respectively.) Also, a Whimbrel heard on the estuary. Another Lesser Whitethroat heard near Oldbury-on-Severn, and 2 more between OPS and Berkeley.
11/4/14 – The Mute Swan pair are building a nest 2 yards from the sitting Canada Goose on the lake ! Surprisingly, both parties seem happy with the arrangement - added protection, I guess. Also, a Wheatear on lagoon 3 again. No movement on the river over the evening high tide.
Mute Swan and Canada Goose nests.
10/4/14 – AM reported 3 Common Crane (ringed from GCProject) in field at Shepperdine, for c20 minutes at 10.30am, then flew NE. Lagoon 2, early morning: A Sedge Warbler singing in main reedbed, 2+ Cetti's Warbler (2 singing and a possible 3rd (female?) flying in reeds) and 4 Willow Warbler (+ another, lagoon 3). On the lake were 4 new Coot chicks. And a Wheatear on lagoon 3. That is 101 species at the site this year for all-comers, with my own count on 95.
Wheatear, lagoon 3.
8/4/14 – 5 Swallow heading north in ones/twos, early morning. Also, on the lake was: a Coot on a nest, 5 pairs of Tufted Duck, a Little Grebe, the Canada Goose on the nest and a pair of Mute Swan.
7/4/14 – MB reported, 2 Wheatear and a Swallow.
6/4/14 – At Shepperdine, HT: 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Ringed Plover and 2 Swallow. MP reported: 1 Greenshank, 2 Cetti's Warbler and a Grey Wagtail.
5/4/14 – HL/ML reported: Green Woodpecker 'laughing', a Peregrine, a Kestrel, a Canada Goose on the nest still, 2 Mute Swan and 6 Tufted Duck.
4/4/14 – In the evening, 2 Little Egret on Lagoon 1; a Canada Goose on a nest on the island in the lake; and a Roe Deer in a field. A horserider reported a resident Swallow back in the stables to south of Lagoon 2 yesterday. This morning, a Great Crested Grebe in summer plumage on the Tidal Res. (last recorded here in 2008) and 10 Shoveler (5 pairs) on the res. wall. Also, 10 singing Blackcap and a Willow Warbler.
Great Crested Grebe Some of the Shoveler on the outer wall of the Reservoir.
3/4/14 – AM reported: 3 Wheatear, 12 Blackcap, 24 Chiffchaff, 7 Wigeon, 67 Teal, and 21 Turnstone.
1/4/14 – 2 Willow Warbler singing along the bridleway to the shore; 6 Blackcap (4 males singing + 2 females) and 2 Shoveler.
31/3/14 – JS reported at yacht club (Pillhead Gout): 250 Curlew, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Grey Plover, 23 Redshank and 15 Dunlin.
Grey Plover (photos by JS) A small Whiting washed up on the tide.
30/3/14 – An exceptionally early Common Tern seen very well as it went upriver at 8.30am (earliest at OPS by 17 days, and might be earliest Avon record ?). (I did Tweet this at time, but it didn't get sent by Twitter until 4pm.) Also upriver: c70 Black-headed Gull, 5 Sand Martin and a Collared Dove (definite migrant, flying with a flicking action of the wings not seen on locals). Lagoon 1 had: 2 male Shoveler (later on estuary) and 2 Coot. Also, 2 Mistle Thrush and 2 Blackcap singing. (58 species seen today.) AM also reported: a Little Grebe back on the lake, 2 Cetti's Warbler, c25 Turnstone and 2 Willow Warbler - reported to him by 3 other birders.
29/3/14 – Early morning: a Wheatear on Lagoon 2/shore and 2 Cetti's Warbler shouting at each other in the main reedbed. Some movement NE/E into slight breeze: 60+ Meadow Pipit, 30+ Chaffinch, c15 Goldfinch and a few Greenfinch and Linnet. And a Grey Wagtail over. A male Shoveler on Lagoon 1 and 2 Redwing around still.A Red Kite seen 1.5 mile to east of OPS at 10.30am, along Hill Lane. (I was on my cycle, but the Power Station was behind the view of the bird, so does that count ?)
28/3/14 – A Bar-tailed Godwit with c 40 Curlew on Lagoon 3 at HT. Lagoon 1 now has TWO Coot (and these are new in; the 3 were still present on the lake), 1 Moorhen, c60 Teal and a Little Grebe.
26/3/14 – Lagoon 1 now has a Coot as well as a Little Grebe.
24/3/14 – AM reported: 27 Chiffchaff, 1 Water Rail, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Little Egret, 11 Wigeon, 55 Teal, 9 Tufted Duck and a Cetti's Warbler still.
22/3/14 – Not too much like Spring this morning (1 degree C at dawn). A Water Rail 'sharming' in the main reedbed (and yesterday, one seen running for cover in pond to SW of Lagoon 3), and 3 Mute Swan (2 adults & a juv) flew downriver, over Lagoon 3, and onto the lake, to much honking from the Canada Goose pair - they have brought reinforcements ! Also, the first House Sparrow of the year (a flock in the farm to south of Lagoon 2).
21/3/14 – A lovely sunny morning, felt Spring-like with 21 Chiffchaff and a Blackcap singing (equal earliest with 2009). A Sanderling flew across the estuary and a winter-plumaged Grey Plover at Shepperdine. Amazingly, there were 2 Little Grebe on Lagoon 1 (one in full breeding plumage). Also a Little Egret in a tree along the main rhine. AM reported 4 Wheatear around the yacht club. (One day earlier than last year.) Also, 15 Wigeon, 92 Teal and a Cetti's Warbler still.
18/3/14 – 11 Tufted Duck on the lake.
16/3/14 – MB reported an Avocet on the shore this morning. This afternoon, in the sun, 6 Chiffchaff (5 singing), the Peregrine pair mating and a probable Raven nest. And plenty of insects on the wing: 2 Brimstone, 2 Peacock, 3 Tortoiseshell.
AM WeBS count this morning: 255 Curlew, 35 Redshank, 9 Oystercatcher, 2 Dunlin, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 52 Wigeon, 70 Teal, 2 Gadwall, 7 Tufted Duck, 6 Canada Goose, 28 Mallard, 1 Little Grebe.
JS advised that several of the colour-ringed Curlew wintering on the estuary have been seen back in Holland and Germany already, but there are still c500 still on the estuary.
14/3/14 – A few interesting ducks today in the fog (and freezing wind up the estuary): a pair of Shoveler on Lagoon 1 and 3 Pintail (1m, 2f) at Shepperdine.
10/3/14 – 4 Siskin over to NE; 3 Chiffchaff today (one singing); on the lake, the Mute Swan pair are back, and 5 pairs of Tufted Duck, plus the Gadwall pair. Shelduck numbers have increased to 46. Also, a Stoat seen carrying a dead Vole.
The Blackthorn is in full flower.
8/3/14 – Lagoon 2 had 2 Chiffchaff, including one singing, and a Cetti's Warbler still. The Little Grebe is still on Lagoon 1. 4 adult Mute Swan today (pair on Tidal Res, and another pair on the lake). The lake also had 7 Tufted Duck. 2 Greylag Goose flew SW down the valley inland of Lagoon 2.
7/3/14 – More sunny days like this please ! A Chiffchaff with 2 Goldcrest and Long-tailed Tit flock. Remarkably, a Little Grebe on Lagoon 1 - which is basically a flooded farm field ! 2 immature Mute Swan on flooded Lagoon 3.
28/2/14 – A pair of Raven starting to nest-build on a pylon and the male Peregrine displaying to the female on the towers. The Starling roost has decreased to c2,000, but c200 Pied Wagtail on buildings and c200 Jackdaw at Jobsgreen Farm roost. AM also reported 264 Wigeon, 46 Teal, 9 Oystercatcher and 5 Tufted Duck.
23/2/14 – A Kittiwake landed on the estuary at HT in strong wind, and 2 more 'wheeled' upriver. Also, a Stonechat.
22/2/14 – A Mistle Thrush over and a Grey Wagtail on the shore. Also a Cetti's Warbler still. A pair of Canada Goose may have usurped the Mute Swan pair that have been on the lake all winter.
Rock Pipit at the yacht club.
19/2/14 – A Blackcap singing in my Frampton Cotterell garden this morning and a Brimstone butterfly on the Bristol-Bath cycletrack on Sunday. First Spring migrants coming soon !
18/2/14 – The c10,000 Starling roost again putting on a good show, and a pair of Peregrine calling together and the male half-heartedly attacking the flock. Also a Cetti's Warbler vocal in main reedbed at dusk. Video of the Starlings by MP is here. And a video of them going into the reeds to roost (by MP) is here.
Starlings in flight over Lagoon 2 (photo by MP).
16/2/14 – MP reported c10,000 Starling roosting again on Lagoon 2 this evening.
WeBS count by AM: 340 Curlew (mainly Lagoon 3), 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Snipe, 107 Wigeon, 110 Teal, 95 Mallard, a superb count of 7 vocal Water Rail, 4 Little Grebe, 3 Tufted Duck, 39 Shelduck, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 2 Raven, 2 Kestrel and c75 Common Gull.
15/2/14 – At dawn, after a very stormy night, a Guillemot flew upriver close to the shore, chased by a Black-headed Gull. Shortly followed by a Kittiwake, and another one at 9am and 3 more at 9:45am. Also, a Bar-tailed Godwit roosting on Lagoon 3 with Curlew at dawn, and 2 Stonechat.
13/2/14 – AM reported the c10,000 Starling roost again, and a Sparrowhawk.
12/2/14 – MB reported 3 Kittiwake in very strong winds at 3pm.
11/2/14 – c10,000 Starling putting on another great display before going to roost at 5.40pm, and attracting Peregrine and Sparrowhawk attacks.
Starlings at dusk, Lagoon 2 (photo by EH).
9/2/14 – A second day of high wind and rain, delivered probably the best day ever for Kittiwake at OPS. Starting at 11.30 when 2 flew across lagoon 3 and went past me within 20 yards; then 9 went upriver in next hour; at 12.40 a flock of 44 went upriver followed 10 mins later by a flock of 90 (this was between showers when it was sunny and not particularly windy); another 33 (including a nice 1st winter) went by up to 3pm. At 12pm a Great Skua went slowly upriver during a shower. MP reported another 2 Kittiwake upriver in the evening. PR reported a Barn Owl hunting the orchard and Lagoon 2 at 5:20 and c10,000 Starling going to roost.
Belated news of the final 2013 results in the South West region of the Patchwork Challenge. The first table shows % of the 2012 score, which was a record itself for me at OPS.
8/2/14 – A Cetti's Warbler still, in small triangular reedbed, lagoon 2. A male Tufted Duck was on a very flooded Lagoon 1 (plus the 3 on the lake). A Sparrowhawk attacked a flock of c100 Starling. 32 Redshank at the yacht club, 1 Stonechat on lagoon 2 and a Grey Wagtail.
7/2/14 – The roosting flock of 9,000+ Starling put on another superb display at dusk (5 - 5.30pm) and were attacked by a Sparrowhawk. c45 Pied Wagtail flying in from NE, probably to roost on buildings and c80 Mallard counted. This morning AM reported: 2 Stonechat, 2 Little Grebe, 2 Gadwall, 3 Tufted Duck, 224 Wigeon, c500 Lapwing and c200 Curlew.
2/2/14 – AM reported: 2 Gadwall, 27 Canada Goose, 3+ Water Rail, c300 Lapwing and c500 Curlew. MP reported 11 Little Egret a mile inland of OPS at Oldbury Naite.
1/2/14 – On the lake: 2 Little Grebe, pair of Gadwall, 2 Mute Swan and 3 Tufted Duck. Also, 2 Stonechat; and 22 Redshank on Lagoon 3. MP reported 7 Little Egret a mile inland of OPS at Oldbury Naite.
29/1/14 – JS reported 380 Curlew roosting on Lagoon 3 overnight, and left at 8am.
26/1/14 – The pair of Pintail at Shepperdine again.
25/1/14 – RB reported a Merlin over fields by the yacht club. And ML and the Dursley Group reported 5 Pochard on Tidal Res, and a Pintail at Shepperdine.
An odd Rock Pipit (leucistic?) at the yacht club (see photo) with 1+ other Rock Pipit. And a Stonechat there (reported by MP), plus the pair by the jetty. The male Peregrine put on a fantastic display flight over the power station - diving repeatedly at incredible speed past the female, which had a large kill on the roof. Also, 2 Cetti's Warbler heard from the main reedbed and 2 Little Grebe on the lake again.
Light-coloured Rock Pipit (odd pink legs !)? male Stonechat by the jetty
23/1/14 – On Lagoon 2, the Starling roost has grown again to c7,000 birds; the first birds arrived at 4.30pm and the swirling masses grew and put on a fantastic display, diving into the reeds as-one at 5pm. They were half-heartedly attacked by one of the Peregrine pair present. Also, 300+ Jackdaw in roost at Jobsgreen Farm and a Cetti's Warbler called from the reeds.
19/1/14 – MP reported 14 Little Egret in a field 1 mile inland of OPS - a S.Gloucs. record.JS reported: 480 Curlew (inc. 33 colour-ringed), a Bar-tailed Godwit and 250 Black-headed Gull (inc. white ring '27H1', ringed at CWP) in the lagoon 3 roost.
Bar-tailed Godwit (centre) with Curlew on Lagoon 3 (photo by JS)
18/1/14 – A male Yellowhammer in the hedge by the yacht club this morning, and 4 Stonechat (pair by jetty and pair on Lagoon 2). Also, the Cetti's Warbler called from main reedbed on Lagoon 2, the pair of Gadwall by jetty and 4 Tufted Duck now on lake (3 males).
17/1/14 – AM reported (WeBS count): 1 Little Grebe, 2 Stonechat, 14 Skylark, 2 Gadwall, 129 Teal, 95 Mallard, 7 Shelduck, 43 Redshank, 57 Dunlin, 164 Lapwing, 127 Wigeon and 3 Tufted Duck.
JS reported: c600 Curlew again at dawn on Lagoon 3.
16/1/14 – JS reported: a very high count of 620 Curlew at dawn on Lagoon 3, leaving between 8:15 and 8:45am.
12/1/14 – 3 Mistle Thrush and a Blackcap in mistletoe-clad orchard to south of Lagoon 2, and 3 Little Egret nearby; 2 Stonechat on lagoon 2, and a Sparrowhawk picked-off one of the 5,000+ Starling in the evening roost. Also, a Treecreeper and a Grey Wagtail.
11/1/14 – 6 Pintail (2 males) at yacht club, 2 Little Grebe on the lake, a Mistle Thrush 'scoped in orchard south of Lagoon 2, 24 Canada Goose, and 4 Water Rail heard on Lagoon 2.
9/1/14 – AM reported: 3 Little Grebe on the lake, 2 Stonechat, c5,000 Starling in the roost, 300 Curlew, 620 Lapwing and 130 Wigeon.
5/1/14 – 3 Ringed Plover on Lagoon 3 at HT and a male Stonechat by the jetty.
4/1/14 – c30 Skylark and c10 Reed Bunting with the Chaffinch flock on Lagoon 3, and a Jack Snipe with 16 Snipe and a Water Rail (seen again), there. The Cetti's Warbler heard again in same place and the pair of Pintail at Shepperdine again. Also, a Rock Pipit and 27 Canada Goose at the yacht club.
Yesterday there were 4 Little Egret in a muddy field with cows just outside Thornbury.
JS reported: c300 Curlew in HT roost on lagoon 3, with 1 Bar-tailed Godwit.
3/1/14 – On Lagoon 2: a Chiffchaff and the Starling roost has grown to an impressive c5,000 birds and again attracted a Peregrine.
2/1/14 – A Cetti's Warbler is still on Lagoon 2 (heard in small triangular reedbed in SE corner); Lagoon 3 has a lot of small birds feeding on the weeds in the NW corner: c25 Skylark, c100 Chaffinch, 5+ Reed Bunting, 10+ Linnet and 3 Stock Dove. Also 44 Snipe flushed from the wet area of Lagoon 3.
JS reported: 655 Curlew in the overnight roost on lagoon 3, which flew out between 8.15 and 8.45am, and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit with them. (At same time c500 Curlew were counted at Slimbridge.)
1/1/14 – Happy New Birding Year ! Lagoon 1 had ducks for the first time this winter: a pair of Pintail, a pair of Gadwall (and another pair by the jetty), c200 Wigeon and 100+ Teal. On the lake: the Little Grebe, a pair of Tufted Duck, the Mute Swan pair and 4 Coot.
Some news from JS: a Black-headed Gull on lagoon 3 on 28th Dec had white ring '27H1', and was ringed as a young bird at Cerney Wick, Cotswold Water Park, on 10 June 2013 (ring number EY03271).
Curlew roosting on Lagoon 3 at dusk (photo by JS)
The sightings page was accessed 8,162 times during 2014 – many thanks for visiting !