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Slimbridge WWT 8th January 2019

We started the new year with a visit to Slimbridge WWT. A couple of Coots were fighting over feeding territory. In the Rushy Pen were a few Common Teal, Black-headed Gulls, Pintails & a Dunlin. Then to the Martin Smith Hide, where a Common Snipe was showing well out in the open before flying to back of the reeds. A Water Rail walked & swam past briefly in front of the hide. The Jack Snipe, that had been there since November 2018 was still and showing well feeding with it's bobbing gait. A pair of Pintail swam past in front of the hide. At the Willow Hide, we had the regular sighting of the Water Rail. This is the first time though, that we had seen 3 birds at the same time. Afterwards we headed back home as Dad had work to do. But it was a lovely couple of hours out.


Forest of Dean 15th January 2019

We went to the Forest of Dean to see the Common Crossbills that were showing well drinking from the puddles. We also saw Great Spotted Woodpecker, Goldfinches, Nuthatches, & Marsh Tits while we waited for the Crossbills to show. There were lots of cars there, but everybody was well behaved and didn’t seem to put the Crossbills off. We could hear them coming before we saw them perched in the tree above us. Some flew off but a couple came down to the puddle. The birds were mainly 1st Winter Males & Females. The Adult Males were a bit more nervous of coming down with a lot of people about. In another part of the forest, the Hawfinches were still feeding on the remaining Yew berries. A couple of Blackbirds, Nuthatch and Magpie were feeding on some seed that somebody had scattered. A couple of Grey Squirrels were chasing around.  We finished the day at Aust Warth. We saw one Short-eared Owl out hunting, but not over the saltmarsh. This individual chose, on this occasion to hunt over the fields. It disappeared over the trees and didn’t come back. It was a good day anyway.


Common Crossbill [Female]

Common Crossbill [Male]

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Goldfinch [Adult]

Marsh Tit [Adult]

Common Crossbill [1st Winter Male]

Common Crossbill [Female]

Common Crossbill [Male]

Common Crossbill [Female]

Common Crossbill [Female]

Blackbird [Female]

Nuthatch [Adult]

Nuthatch [Adult]

Hawfinch [Female]

Hawfinch [Female]

Hawfinch [Female]

Common Snipe

Jack Snipe

Coot [Pair]

Water Rail [Adult]

Water Rail [Adult]

Water Rail [Adult]

Pintail [Pair]

Water Rails

River Exe 28th December 2018

We went to the River Exe to look for Winter Waders. It was a very cold frosty day. We started at Bowling Green Marsh RSPB near Topsham. There was a massive flock of Eurasian Wigeon, a few Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwings & Common Redshanks. A flock of 9 Common Snipe flew around the marsh. A Fox was foraging on the far side by the railway embankment. At nearby Goosemoor was a Little Egret. A cyclist had fallen off his bike on the slippery board walk and was waiting for an ambulance. There were lots of people with him, so we went to the entrance to let the ambulance know where he was. We were relieved when it came as it was very cold for the poor man to be lying there. On the way back towards Darts Farm RSPB, we saw a large flock of Dark-bellied Geese in the roadside field. We explored the other side of the Exe Estuary at Powderham. Four Common Pheasants were feeding in the field and a Robin sang on a post by the railway line. A few Waders were present, which included Curlew, Common Redshank, Ringed Plovers, Dunlin, Oystercatchers & Black-tailed Godwits until they were flushed by a passing train. However, the Dark-bellied Brent Geese seemed to take no notice of the trains. Along the seawall were a couple of Goldfinches feeding on seed. Two Little Egrets flew over heading from the fields to the estuary and a Carrion Crow was bathing in one of the puddles. Finally, we finished the day at Starcross Station. We saw a Little Egret, Grey Heron, Dunlin, Curlew, Common Redshank & Greenshank. A lovely day out. I hope the cyclist was not too badly hurt. A rotten way for him to end the year.


Forest of Dean 26th December 2018

We went to the Forest of Dean on Boxing Day to see the Hawfinches. We saw a few birds feeding in the Yew Trees on the remaining berries. Also in the forest, we saw Nuthatches, Chaffinches, Robins, Blue Tits, Coal Tits feeding on seed that had been put on the ground. The Great Spotted Woodpecker didn't come down for any nor did the Hawfinches unfortunately.

European Red Fox

Common Snipe [Flock]

Eurasian Wigeon [Flock]

Lapwing [Adult]

Black-tailed Godwit [Winter]

Common Redshank [Winter]

Little Egret

Goldfinch [Adult]

Dark-beilled Brent Goose [Adult]

Brent goose

Curlew [Adult]

Common Redshank & Greenshank

Greenshank [Winter]

Greenshank [Winter]

Grey Heron [Adult]

Dark-bellied Brent Geese

Hawfinch [Male]

Hawfinch [Male]

Nuthatch [Adult]

Blue Tit [Adult]

Coal Tit [Adult]

Great Spotted Woodpecker [Female]

Great Spotted Woodpecker [Female]

©  Christopher Teague 2019