Saturday 17 December – Oldbury Power Station Leader: Pete Hazelwood

An exceptionally rich walk round a still but very cold Oldbury Power Station ended with 60 bird species seen. 14 people met at 08.30 – early enough for the sun to be rising as we travelled there; and many eyes found many birds, including Shelduck, Teal, Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Gadwall and a handsome male Pintail (the latter ducks presumably driven from their usual currently frozen lakes).There was also Lapwing, Curlew, Grey Plover, a single Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwit, Turnstone, over 1000 Dunlin, Redshank, Snipe, a Woodcock flushed from a grassy bank in Lagoon 2, Common Gull, Cormorant, Heron, a single Cattle Egret flying over, and extraordinarily – two Mute Swans who had made and maintained a circular ice free area in the frozen lake. Raptors and corvids included a Buzzard, two Kestrel, two Sparrowhawk, two Peregrine, two Raven and five Rook. Smaller birds seen included Skylark, Long-tailed Tit, Starling flocks, a Mistle Thrush, ten Song Thrush (eight on the salt marsh along the shore – looking desperate our leader thought!), Redwing and Fieldfare, Meadow Pipit, Linnet flocks, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Reed Bunting – and for those who love Yellowhammers, a flock of at least 17 in the salt marsh and adjacent hedgerow by Thornbury Sailing Club south of the power station. We also saw two Hares tucked in like small boulders on open meadow, a Fox snoozing into a south facing bank just above the lake, and most amazingly – at least three Common Dolphins hunting up the Severn with gulls circling above. Thanks to Pete for leading. Lois Pryce