Bristol Ornithological Club
Oct 06 2015

Tuesday 06 October – Upton Cheney/Swineford

A group of 13 ‘hardy souls’ set out from Upton Cheyney in pouring rain. It did not look very promising for birding but we soon got our morning’s list started with Blue and Great Tits on a garden feeder and a Starling and Chaffinches were seen in the same area. A Thrush was seen flying and quickly identified as a Redwing which was the first of this autumn for the Tuesday walk. By this time the weather was improving and we soon had a nice rainbow to lift our spirits and, apart from a few very light showers, the rest of the morning was very pleasant and decidedly warm in the October sunshine. We soon added Long-tailed Tit (approximately 25 were seen during the walk), Wood Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Robin and Buzzard with a large number of Jackdaws seen over and around the church tower. We saw Collared Dove and Blackbird and some had a good view of the first of three or four Jays with one having an acorn in its bill. A small flock of about 40 Black-headed Gulls flew over and two Goldcrests were heard and then seen. After walking along the Bristol to Bath cycle path we took a footpath along the River Avon. Two or three of our group were fortunate to see a Kingfisher and we also added Kestrel, Yellowhammer and Skylark. A Green Woodpecker was heard and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen briefly. Towards the end of the walk a Chiffchaff was heard and Thrushes were spotted in a dead tree; three were identified as Mistle Thrush and one as a Song Thrush. There were also two Greenfinches in the same tree. It was a much more enjoyable morning’s walk then we envisaged when we set off and we managed a total of 28 species. Thanks to Nick Hawkridge for keeping a record of species seen and to David Body for leading.

Mike Landen


Sep 29 2015

Tuesday 29 September – Hawkesbury Upton

This is one of our most popular Cotswold walks so, on a perfect Autumn day, it was no surprise it attracted a big turn-out – 28 members. We set off from the Beaufort Arms car park in warm sunshine, soon noting Collared Dove on a rooftop, Jackdaw, Blackbird, House Sparrows and a flock of 30 Starling. As we walked past fields of stubble we saw a Kestrel flying from bush to bush – the first of three Kestrels seen – then a solitary Yellowhammer on a telegraph wire, its colours showing well in the sunshine. A pair of Pied Wagtail and a Meadow Pipit in a field were followed by a Buzzard atop a post, seemingly trying to disguise itself as part of the post. Three Skylark were singing lustily as they rose from the stubble and some of us saw a Hare jumping over a bale of straw. Half a dozen migratory Swallows were heading south. After coffee stop, the list grew steadily as we noted female Chaffinch, a singing Wren, Great Tit and Chiffchaff. A Comma butterfly was sun-bathing on a bush and a Robin sang its wistful autumn tune. Other notable sightings were a fly-over by four Greenfinch, a Goldcrest in an Ash tree, and a flock of Linnet. Total species, 30. Thank you, Peter, for leading and Nick for taking the count. John Beaven


Sep 27 2015

Sunday 27 September – Clevedon to Kingston Pill

Eight members assembled outside Clevedon Cemetery on a beautiful “blue-sky” morning, ready for a walk along the coast to Kingston Pill as the tide started to recede. Our leader, Jason Williams, quickly spotted a Nuthatch in the cemetery closely followed by very good views of a Goldcrest, a flock of mixed tits, a Chiffchaff and Swallow; and all before we had reached Clevedon Pill. A large roost of Black-headed Gulls and a few Shelduck were noted but the sight of a Kingfisher in flight and a flock of 25 Cormorants overhead were highlights. A very obliging Rock Pipit, several Reed Buntings and more Swallows were seen as we approached the sluice gates at Blind Yeo where a Grey Wagtail was spotted. From here on there were many Meadow Pipits, small flocks of Linnets and Goldfinches, some Skylarks but only one Wheatear. A lone Buzzard and a variety of corvids, including a Raven, were observed. A Sparrowhawk flew along the hedge causing mayhem by setting up the smaller birds and four Lapwings. Along the coast, small flocks of Turnstones, Dunlin and Oystercatchers rose and settled frequently in the company of Curlew, two Black-tailed Godwits and a Common Sandpiper. Redshanks and Little Egrets busied themselves in the steadily emerging creeks and gullies, mixing with gulls and a Grey Heron. With a species count of 45 this was a good morning’s bird watching. Thanks to Jason for leading such an enjoyable walk. Ken Carruthers


Sep 22 2015

Tuesday 22 September – Barrow Gurney

Fifteen people met to start the walk. From the car park Chiffchaff and Robin were heard and as we made our way up Hobbs Lane we saw Blue Tit, with Swallows and House Martins flying overhead, and some people seeing a Kestrel and a Jay. At the tanks, Cormorant, G C Grebe, Coot, Tufted Duck, Grey Heron, Mallard and 28 Canada Geese were seen. During the walk we counted four to five Buzzards and a party of seven or eight Long-tailed Tits, Goldfinch and lastly two Ravens. We also saw Specked Wood and Red Admiral butterflies. A total of 31 bird species seen or heard. Geoff Harris

Sep 15 2015

Tuesday 15 September – Tickenham

Eleven people met by the church on Tickenham moor, on a fine day after the previous one’s torrential rain. Numbers of Mistle Thrushes undulated across the fields with a couple perching on the church weather vane, and Crows flew past with nuts pulled from an adjacent walnut tree. More Crows, Rooks and Jackdaws fed amongst the sheep and cattle with a Buzzard above. Swallows flying low almost brushed our bodies as we crossed the levels towards the Land Yeo, and a Kestrel hunted nearby. We had nice groupings of small birds clustered in trees up to Tickenham Ridge – Wren, Robin, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Blue Tits and Chiffchaff, with a Nuthatch calling in adjacent woodland. In the fields past Cadbury Camp, keen-eyed Jan spotted small birds flitting up and down on the woodland margin – a Spotted Flycatcher group of one adult and two young. Green Woodpeckers perched on apple trees in an adjacent orchard. More small birds clustered in the small sunny quarry at the base of the descent, including Chiffchaffs and Goldfinch, with House Sparrows and House Martins towards the moor. As we returned along the Land Yeo we saw a Hobby, five Herons, a Kingfisher, Mute Swans, and two Kestrels hunting in a field newly cut for hay.Oddly we saw not a single Starling, but the total species count was a respectable 34.Also of interest: Wild Basil, a Yellow Waxcap mushroom, and Migrant Hawker and Common Darter dragonflies. (Thanks to Lois and Jan for leading)
Lois Pryce

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