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On the 8th April:


A visit to Chew Valley Lake, where of note were 2 White Wagtails, 3 Green Sandpipers, 2 Chiffchaffs, a Grass Snake and a Long-tailed Duck. At Blagdon Lake there were 10 Ruff.


A visit to Chew Valley Lake where the 1st summer Little Gull remained, with the only new birds that we saw were 3 Snipe. At Blagdon Lake the 2 male Scaup were still there and we saw a Short-tailed Vole, a new mammal, which I'm sure we must have seen before but never bothered to identify to species.

Then a visit to Stock Hill on the Mendips, where there was a Brambling and 6 Redpoll with a loose flock of about 500 Chaffinches and Goldfinches, and 3 Willow Tits.


Overnight on Portland, the weather had improved and was now bright and sunny, on an early morning seawatch we saw lots of Kittiwakes, 58 Gannets, 12 Fulmars, 43 Common Scoters, 3 Eiders, 3 Arctic Skuas, 3 Red-throated Divers, 2 Sandwich Terns,

5 Puffins, a Great Skua and 12+ Purple Sandpipers. It was still quite around the fields with the best being a Black Redstart and 2 Wheatears.

Then we went to Lodmoor seeing a few ducks, waders and warblers, noteable were 3 Water Pipits. The best at Ferrybridge were 40+ Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 Velvet Scoters, 5 Eiders and 2 Sanderling. Back on Portland we did a late afternoon seawatch, seeing 4 Bottle-nosed Dolphins, another Arctic Skua and a Manx Shearwater.


The first day of leading the first Wingspan Bird Tour to Spain.


Co-leading a joint Wingspan/Ibis and Bristol Ornithological Club tour to Cyprus. One new bird seen today.


In Israel, two new birds seen today.









Photo: Spotted Sandgrouse. 


A trip to Chew Valley Lake where amongst the many gulls was a 1st summer Iceland Gull, there was a single Sand Martin and around 10 Swallows, at the dam an albino Coot. On the drive back to Bristol I called in at the viewing spot overlooking the Avon Gorge seeing 2 Ravens and 2 Peregrines.


A visit to Severn Beach where the only birds I saw were 2 Swallows and c12 Kittiwakes.


In the last couple of days I have seen a Brown Rat in the garden in Portishead, attracted by the seed which falls from the bird feeders, finches and sparrows are messy eaters. The rat appears around midday and just feeds in the grass below the feeders, occasionally scared off by a Woodpigeon walking towards it, and scaring the Woodpigeon when it turns and runs back at the bird.

Today, it was out feeding again, a male Blackbird was nearby taking no notice of it, then the rat moved towards the bird, the Blackbird retreated by running a short distance, but the rat began to run at it, the Blackbird then fluttered several feet and took flight, the rat running at full speed lept at the bird, but missed. Perhaps it's not only chicks that rats will take?


On the hottest day of the year so far, a trip to Shapwick where there were lots of Blackcaps and Cetti's Warblers, several Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers, a Reed Warbler, a Sedge Warbler and lots of butterflies, mainly Orange-tips.

On the scrape were 2 Glossy Ibises and 4 Great White Egrets, two of the egrets were in breeding plumage with dark bills and pink/orangy pink legs, the other two with yellow bills and legs.

Also seen were 2 male and 2 female Marsh Harriers, several Buzzards, c60 Black-tailed Godwits, a male Garganey, 40+ Teal, Gadwall and Mallard, a Little Grebe, 2 Little Egrets, a Grey Heron and 2 Bitterns, with another 2 heard booming.






Photo of Great White Egrets.



More photos here.


A brief visit to Chew Valley Lake on the way back from a fruitless drive to Exmouth to see the Northern Mockingbird, it had left overnight and was now in West Sussex!

CVL was overcast and cool, saw Shelduck, Gadwall, Teal, Shoveler and a male Garganey. Also, Great and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Herring and Black-headed Gulls, heard several Cetti's Warblers, lots of Sand Martins over the lake and up high. There was a brief view of a Marsh Harrier and a distant sighting of an Osprey. In Heron's Green Bay there was a Green Sandpiper.

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