Twelve members met at Herriott’s Bridge on a warm sunny morning for this walk around the various areas of the Lake. At Herriott’s Bridge and pool we all observed three Black-Tailed Godwit, seven Ruff as well as Gadwall, Shoveler and Teal. A small flock of ten Long-tailed Tits flew into some dense bushes on the lakeside of Herriott’s Bridge along with a small creamy coloured bird that vanished into the dense undergrowth. A bird matching this description was later identified as a juvenile Reed Bunting by another group visiting the lake. Just before leaving this area some members observed a Grey Wagtail, Chiffchaff and two Kingfishers that flew across the pool from the lakeside. Small numbers of Swallow, House Martin and Sand Martin were also observed. Moving to Heron’s Green Bay all members had good views of a Ferruginous Duck with a group of Tufted Duck not far from the shore. Both Common and Green Sandpiper were noted as well as two Snipe, four Little Egrets, eight Little Grebe as well as a small number of Pied Wagtail and a single Meadow Pipit. Just before moving off to Villice Bay Hide members had a good view of a Wheatear. After only adding three Grey Herons to our tally at Villice Bay we finished off the meet at Stratford Hide where we observed Pochard, Teal, and Wigeon. A probable Garganey was located as well as two Ruddy Duck and a further Wheatear rounded off what was a good mornings birding. Total number of species recorded for the morning was 44. Thanks to Charles Stapleton for leading.
The two groups, arriving on busesfrom different directions, met at the gateway to Leigh Court, Abbots Leigh on a lovely sunny morning, 14 of us in all. I decided to divert from the direct path to the river into Paradise Bottom and this proved fruitful. Tits of almost every sort were flitting high in the very tall trees (deciduous, redwoods and pines) and necks were craned trying to follow them and also a couple of Treecreepers. Nuthatch and Goldcrest were heard, a Green Woodpecker called, a Wren sang and Comma and Speckled Wood butterflies were found basking in the sunshine, so I called an early coffee break in this beautiful area. We then retraced our steps to the main path to the river. The high tide meant we did not find Redshank or Lapwing (seen on a recce the previous week) but the setting was lovely and we did find a Common Sandpiper, courtesy of Roger’s scope. Also 50+ Black-headed Gulls, an immature probable Lesser Black-backed Gulland some Mallardwereon the water, and four Herons on the bank. Ham Green pool produced a Moorhen and a Mute Swan among the water lilies and a young Rook in a tree above us. 32 species in all.
19 people set off on a warm, calm morning and accumulated eleven species by the time we had left the village. These included House Martins (still nesting), Swallows, Blackbird, Gulls, a flock of Jackdaws and a Greenfinch on a Hawthorn by the Churchyard. Down the lane by Priddy Pond, a Nuthatch called then landed close by, giving good views. There was also a distant view of a Jay. Climbing through fields, the wider horizon revealed Buzzards, a Magpie (surprisingly few around), a flock of Goldfinch on Teasels and a flock of Linnets. Bullfinch and Wren were heard. On the high ground, by the nine Barrows, Ravens, Crows and a pair of Meadow Pipits flew off.
Several Buzzards were up by now and we watched Wheatears on the stone walls and fence posts. A Moorhen was heard down by the ponds near Stock Hill. The hot sun brought out a number of butterflies, including Clouded Yellow and Small Copper. The day’s total was 26 bird species.
The few spots of drizzle at the beginning gave way to bright skies and, at times, sunshine. Eleven of us set off from Elberton and were soon walking through a forest of three metre high sweet corn which, fortunately, was still dry. Reaching Littleton-on-Severn with18 bird species on our list, including House Martin, Swallow, Collared Dove and Pied Wagtail, we bade farewell to two in our group and continued up to a magnificent view-point overlooking the Severn, which was at flood-tide, and there we rested a while, having added Mallard, Goldfinch and Blue Tit to our totals. Two more members then left as the remaining seven headed further up the hill to reach our lunch stop at a viewpoint overlooking Thornbury. Refreshed, we then walked the remaining two miles back to our cars, passing through Elberton churchyard on the way and with only 23 regularly seen birds on the list, which included Blackbird, Jackdaw and Raven.
A return to warm sunny weather welcomed the eighteen members who set off from the Globe in Frampton Cotterell. House Sparrows and Jackdaws accompanied us as we approached the adjacent meadows which had been refreshed by the previous days rain. The first section of the walk took us in the direction of Iron Acton alongside a very narrow River Frome where a flyover of Goldfinches and a startled Green Woodpecker were the best of the early sightings. The pre-coffee break highlight for some of the group, however, was the slow procession across a gap between two trees of a flock of Blue, Great and some 16 Long-tailed Tits. We left the stream and moved along hedgerows where Bullfinch were seen and a family of warblers flitted around, eventually being identified as Willow Warblers. Moving uphill we skirted horse fields, corn fields and hay meadows where Swallows and House Martins zoomed around in the warm conditions. Two Swifts were also spotted. There were several sightings of a Buzzard which proved to be the only raptor of the day. Mention must be made of the multitude of butterflies encountered particularly the abundance of the Large and Small White variety (100+). Others identified include Comma, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Small Copper, Peacock and the once common Small Tortoiseshell. As to the birds, 27 species were noted. Thanks to Peter for leading a very pleasant walk.