Birding at Oldbury Power Station

@opsbirding

20/4/24 – A cold but sunny start this morning. An Arctic Tern around the Tidal Res. at HT; 12 Whimbrel and a Greylag Goose at the yacht club. One of 5 Lesser Whitethroat video'd singing in the open.

 

19/4/24 – This evening, a beautiful Arctic Tern feeding along the Tidal Res. shore at HT. Also, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, c15 Dunlin, c10 Ringed Plover, 15 Oystercatcher and 14 Swallow (to N). Plus a Redpoll reported.

 

18/4/24 – The first 4 Whimbrel of the year flying around the estuary, giving 'whimpering' call (or should that be 'whimbreling'?). Also: 5 Wheatear (over the pill from yacht club), 6 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Reed Warbler, 3 Willow Warbler, but only 3 Whitethroat and 1 Sedge Warbler. And 3 Bar-tailed Godwit on the shore at yacht club, a Swallow around the yacht club, a Sand Martin and 10 Mallard ducklings on the lake.
(#118 species for me at OPS this year, and #123 for all-comers.)

      

 

16/4/24 – My first Sedge Warbler, singing by the lake.
(#117 species for me at OPS this year, and #122 for all-comers.)

 

15/4/24 – I got an absolute soaking walking from the car park to the bench at Shepperdine, but my fist scan of the estuary picked-up a Diver species about a mile upriver and quite high up, battling into a strong WSW wind, as it made its way downriver. 'Scoping showed that it did not have the dagger-like bill or neck collar of Great Northern Diver, so at that point I switched to binoculars held by one hand as I got the camera out of the bag with the other hand. By now the bird was over the Tidal Reservoir, and as it went past me at about 150 yards range, I managed to get two photos and a very short video. I had to wait until I was home to study the images properly and come to the conclusion of a Black-throated Diver - a first for OPS and only 6th for S. Gloucs.. I also had a Wood Warbler calling "tu, tu, tu, tu" for 5 minutes and sub-singing in some sun (but not seen). There was a surprising amount of passage (mainly to NW): a Red Kite, a Yellow Wagtail, 4 House Martin, 20 Dunlin (upriver), 11 Linnet (NE) and 4 Goldfinch (SW).
The Little Grebe pair have 2+ juveniles (being carried on the back of an adult) on the lake.
(#116 species for me at OPS this year, and #122 for all-comers.)

      

      

13/4/24 – A nice warm (but hazy) morning. The earliest Whinchat for OPS (by 4 days) was in the demolition area near the jetty. Also, singing around the site: 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 3 Reed Warbler and the first Sedge Warbler of the year (latter found by Matt Plenty).
It has been a ridiculously early spring this year, with the following records of early migrants (old earliest OPS record in brackets): Common Sandpiper 6/4/24 (7/4/2010), Arctic Tern 9/4/24 (15/4/2012), Yellow Wagtail 6/4/24 (10/4/2020), Whitethroat 4/4/24 (4/4/2002), Pied Flycatcher 6/4/24 (14/4/2013 & 2018); and a couple of not quite earliest: Grasshopper Warbler 8/4/24 (2 days after 6/4/2020), Reed Warbler 8/4/24 (one day later than 7/4/20).
(#114 species for me at OPS this year, and #120 for all-comers.)

 

11/4/24 – The first Lesser Whitethroat of the spring, singing by the lake and 2 House Martin in Oldbury village.
(#113 species for me at OPS this year, and #118 for all-comers.)

 

10/4/24 – 5 Tufted Duck on the lake (3m) and a female Wheatear at the yacht club.
Andy Middleton organised a litter pick along the shore - 7 people cleaned the whole length from Shepperdine to Oldbury sluice - Marvellous work ! Thanks.

 

9/4/24 – 6 Arctic Tern downriver at 7:30am in strong W wind, and a Grasshopper Warbler reeling at S end of Lagoon 3.
(#111 species for me at OPS this year, and #116 for all-comers.)

      And a Carrion Crow killing and eating a Toad on the tideline!

 

8/4/24 – Matt Plenty found 2 Grasshopper Warbler reeling at each end of Lagoon 2, and the first Reed Warbler for this year there; and Andy Middleton had another 2 Reed Warbler on Lagoon 3.
At the yacht club over HT: 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Black-tailed Godwit (first of year), 5+ Common Sandpiper, 170 Curlew, 19 Oystercatcher, 32 Redshank and 1 Dunlin. Also, 2 Whitethroat singing (Lagoon 2 and by metal gate) and 2 Sand Martin over.
AM's WeBS count: 28 Mallard, 27 Shelduck, 5 Teal, 4 Tufted Duck (2 pairs), 1 Snipe, 24 Chiffchaff and a Common Seal close in off Lagoon 3.
(#110 species for me at OPS this year, and #115 for all-comers.)

      Whitethroat and 3 Bar-tailed Godwit.

      

6/4/24 – Over the evening tide: 4 Sandwich Tern and a 1st-w Little Gull went downriver at 6:35pm; and a Redstart at S end of Lagoon 2.
An excellent morning for migrant birds, and 16 deg C (SW wind). 2 male Pied Flycatcher are the first here since 2018 and the earliest by 8 days. Matt Plenty found a third (immature male) giving the highest OPS count (and first multiple count since 1994). At yacht club over HT: an Avocet, the first Common Sandpiper of the year, a Grey Plover, only 2 Dunlin, 13 Oystercatcher, 36 Redshank, c80 Curlew, 1 Teal and a pair of Pintail downriver. Vismig: 1 Yellow Wagtail (first of year), 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Siskin and my first 3 Swallow. A Whitethroat was singing by the metal kissing-gate near yacht club. 65 species seen today, inc. 8 new for year. (#107 species for me at OPS this year, and #112 for all-comers.)

      

4/4/24 – A Firecrest singing and calling (video (turn sound up!)) in pines by the meadow (next to the car park) this morning (after rain) and the equal earliest Whitethroat for OPS singing from a bush on Lagoon 2, briefly. Also: 6 Blackcap and 5 Willow Warbler singing. (#99 species for me at OPS this year, and #105 for all-comers.)

      Best I could do in half hour chasing the Firecrest.

      

1/4/24 – 4 Willow Warbler singing, and butterflies: 6 Brimstone and 2 Small Tortoiseshell.

      Managed to photo an elusive Cetti's Warbler.

 

30/3/24 – 4 Mute Swan this morning; 3 adults downriver and a juv. upriver. Heather England reported: 2 Peregrine, female Black Redstart (jetty), 4 Reed Bunting, 2 Stonechat (male singing), 3 Wheatear (yacht club), plus Brimstone and Tortoiseshell butterflies. Louise Bailey reported a Speckled Wood butterfly.

 

28/3/24 – A lovely sunny morning (before rain !) - the first Willow Warbler singing by the lake, 3 Blackcap singing and a Wheatear. Over HT: 4 Grey Plover (inc. one on seawall by Lagoons 1/2), just 1 Dunlin, 130 Curlew, 6 Oystercatcher and a Snipe. (#97 species for me at OPS this year, and #103 for all-comers.)

      

 

27/3/24 – A pair of Tufted Duck on the lake and 3 Sand Martin through Lagoon 1 to SW.

 

26/3/24 – Lois Pryce reported a Great White Egret flying over the lake. (Species #102 for all-comers.)

 

22/3/24 – 3 Wheatear at the yacht club (earlier by the jetty, reported by Louise Bailey), a Red Kite at Shepperdine and a female Black Redstart also reported by LB. The Mute Swan pair still on the lake, and a Weasel along the path on Lagoon 3. (#96 species for me at OPS this year, and #101 for all-comers.)

      Little Egrets in evening light by Dave Staley.

      

21/3/24 – The first 5 Sand Martin flew to SW, into breeze this morning, and 25 Redwing also to SW. The first pair of Tufted Duck for the year were on the estuary. 11 Little Egret were by Oldbury sluice, then went upriver. At yacht club: 6 Knot, 2 Grey Plover and c190 Curlew. My first singing Blackcap of the year was at SW end of Lagoon 3 (3 days later than earliest in 2021). And 4 Little Grebe in breeding plumage were chasing and vocal on the lake. Lois Pryce reported 3 Mute Swan (a pair on the lake and another over). (#95 species for me at OPS this year, and #101 for all-comers.)

      

 

20/3/24 – 27 Golden Plover still on the shore at Shepperdine this afternoon and 8 Little Egret in flooded field to SW of Lagoon 3.

      

18/3/24 – 76 Golden Plover on the shore at Shepperdine after HT and 15 Chiffchaff around site (13 singing). (#93 species for me at OPS this year, and #99 for all-comers.)

 

15/3/24 – Heather England photographed the first Wheatear of the year at the yacht club.

 

9/3/24 – A Knot on shore by Lagoon 3 is new this year for me (#92). Vismig (wind from ENE): 100+ Meadow Pipit, 200 Woodpigeon, 2 Stock Dove, 13 Pied/White Wagtail, 2 Siskin and 12 Lesser Black-backed Gull. Also, 2 Greylag with 20+ Canada Goose at Littleton and a flock of 17 Long-tailed Tit flew along the fence past the jetty.

 

8/3/24 – 3 Little Grebe on the lake still (2 in breeding plumage, and one in winter plumage). Some late news - there was some shell from a Pheasant egg on the path round Lagoon 3 a couple of days ago. Morris Benson reported a Red Kite over the carpark, going towards the estuary.

 

7/3/24 – Good vismig this morning into ENE breeze: 520 Woodpigeon, 4 Stock Dove, 1 Yellowhammer, 8 Siskin, c15 Meadow Pipit, 6 Chaffinch, 18 Jackdaw (in with Woodpigeons), 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull, c50 Black-headed Gull, c20 Common Gull. A Red Kite went SW at 9am and a Merlin was flying high, then went lower towards the yacht club in hunting-mode. And 7 Chiffchaff (6 singing) around the site. 59 species - best this year. Lois Pryce reported 4 Green Woodpecker and a Blackcap singing at S end of Lagoon 2. A probable Sand Martin reported at Oldbury sluice yesterday.

 

6/3/24 – A beautiful, sunny, afternoon - first coatless day this year (12 degs C). The male Black Redstart was near the building next to the waste-ground (near jetty) and 2 Chiffchaff on Lagoon 3. Martin Preedy reported the Kestrel pair mating on a pylon.

      Colt's-Foot flowering on the waste-ground.

 

5/3/24 – Peter Coslett reported 3 Black Redstart downriver of the jetty (TWO females and a male).

 

4/3/24 – Andy Middleton reported: the male Black Redstart in wasteland inside security fence (near jetty) and a Red Kite over Lagoon 3.

 

2/3/24 – A pair of Greylag landed on the lake, but chased off by resident Canada Goose.

      Snow on the 'Mountains of Aust'.

      

1/3/24 – I found a Raven sitting on a nest this morning.

      "You have 15 minutes to get back to the car!"

 

29/2/24 – A Merlin near the yacht club (then flew across estuary), a Chiffchaff singing in Lagoon 3 reeds (not quite earliest - 9/2/2008), 5 Stonechat around and the Canada Goose pair nest-prospecting. (#91 for me at OPS this year.)

      

27/2/24 – A Brambling calling from trees by pond in S corner of Lagoon 3 (but only located when it flew) and 8 Stonechat (3 x L3, rest on shore nearby). Species #90 for me at OPS this year.

 

26/2/24 – Andy Middleton reported: the female Black Redstart, 5 Stonechat and 4 Grey Plover.

 

25/2/24 – Matt Plenty reported: 2 Black Redstart (m & f) near jetty (male singing !) and a Lesser Redpoll.

 

24/2/24 – 2 Black Redstart (m & f) near jetty and 13 Stonechat between jetty and yacht club (7m, 6f).

 

20/2/24 – All the action was on the lake this morning, as the annual 'battle of the lake' begins between the newly arrived Mute Swan pair and the Canada Goose pair that arrived on Saturday. Also the pair of Little Grebe were noisily seeing off the third one.

      Signs of spring.

      

19/2/24 – An adult Mediterranean Gull and a male Shoveler on the estuary this afternoon. The first two new species for the year since 26th Jan.; #89 for me at OPS this year, and #94 for all-comers. Also, the female Black Redstart and 10 Stonechat by the jetty (plus another pair of Stonechat at the yacht club).

      

17/2/24 – Matt Plenty/Heather England reported: 3 Black Redstart (2 male), 12 Stonechat between jetty and yacht club (with another pair at Shepperdine) and a Siskin over to N.

      Photos of all three Black Redstarts below by HE.

      

 

15/2/24 – Lots of Toads in the pond by Lagoon 2, including a mating scrum.

      

14/2/24 – The adult male Black Redstart was on the waste ground again early afternoon (Matt Plenty), and then on the security fence between there and Lagoon 3 mid-afternoon - video.

 

13/2/24 – Pillhead Gout before HT: 4 Grey Plover, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 8 Oystercatcher, 1000 Dunlin, 50 Curlew and a Little Grebe in Oldbury Pill. Also 14 Greenfinch leaving overnight roost in brambles.

 

12/2/24 – A female Marsh Harrier over Lagoon 2 reedbed this afternoon in the sun - video. And the ad m Black Redstart was inland of jetty (on waste-ground).
Andy Middleton's WeBS: 92 Wigeon, 72 Teal, 23 Shelduck, 38 Mallard, 3 Little Grebe, 1 Jack Snipe, 20 Snipe, 1000 Dunlin, 32 Redshank, 45 Lapwing, 7 Oystercatcher, 120 Turnstone, 4 Little Egret, 2 Peregrine, 4 Stonechat and 50 Fieldfare.

      

10/2/24 – This morning, nice to see the estuary without rain for the first time in a week ! A surprise flock of 11 Mute Swan flew inland along Oldbury Pill and 4 Pintail (3 male, including one displaying to a female). The Damsons are flowering around the site. The female Black Redstart was reported on Birdguides.

      

3/2/24 – 3 Little Grebe on the lake, early morning.

 

1/2/24 – Female Black Redstart on the jetty and 6 Raven flying around the towers 'kronking' this morning, and briefly touched-down together.

 

31/1/24 – The 3 Cattle Egret with a Little Egret in same field by road, a Mistle Thrush in the orchard and 2 Little Grebe on the lake (one making a 'trilling' sound in display).

 

30/1/24 – Two Cattle Egret in the field by the entrance again. 3 Mute Swan flew downriver at HT, plus the pair on the lake. Also, at HT: 26 Oystercatcher, 11 Little Egret and c1,000 Dunlin. Plus, 4 Stonechat (3 male) and a Skylark singing, between Lagoon 3 and yacht club.

 

29/1/24 – Andy Middleton reported: 3 Cattle Egret with a Little Egret in same field, a female Yellowhammer at the yacht club, 1200 Dunlin, 20 Snipe, 120 Wigeon and 51 Teal.

 

28/1/24 – Barry Dursley reported: the female Black Redstart at the jetty and 3+ Siskin in the orchard.

 

27/1/24 – Two Cattle Egret in the field by the entrance again at dawn. Terry Winter reported the female Black Redstart by the jetty (nice photo by TW below).

 

26/1/24 – A single Cattle Egret was in the field by the entrance in the afternoon, a distant Red Kite down estuary and a pair of Tawny Owl calling. Louise Bailey reported: the ad male Black Redstart by the jetty, 2 Blackcap in The Anchor carpark and 4 Grey Plover (photo by LB on left below). Species #87 for me at OPS this year, and #92 for all-comers.

      

25/1/24 – 3 Mistle Thrush in 'The Plantation' wood on way to yacht club and 5 Grey Plover over HT at Pillhead Gout.

 

23/1/24 – 3 Cattle Egret with 4 Little Egret in field on right of approach road, feeding (8:30-10:15am at least). Video. The lake is now unfrozen but 4 of 7 Moorhen seen were along the track to Lagoon 3 from the road. And the first Snowdrop was poking through.

      

20/1/24 – 2 Cattle Egret flew low from S (inland) diagonally across Lagoon 2 and then upriver. And a probable Short-eared Owl reported by dog-walker flushed from saltmarsh near yacht club 'about 3 weeks ago'. The lake is still frozen and 6 Moorhen were on the grass between the lake and the (unfrozen) rhine; also 8 Teal on the main rhine. Species #85 for me at OPS this year, and #90 for all-comers.

 

19/1/24 – Heavy frost and -5 deg C again this morning. 5 Pintail (3 male) on Tidal Res., c300 Redwing and c100 Fieldfare feeding on unfrozen patches of fields.

      

18/1/24 – A heavy frost and -5 deg C this morning. The only bird species I added to the year-list was Feral Pigeon. But c100 Redwing in the hedges. And the 3 Ringed Plover were feeling the cold. Species #84 for me at OPS this year, and #88 for all-comers.

      

 

16/1/24 – A cold morning (-1 deg C) brought some new birds in. A 2nd-year male Marsh Harrier was hunting on Lagoon 3 at dawn; my first Jack Snipe for over a year was flushed from the saltmarsh at Shepperdine by the tide and flew to a field; and a Bar-tailed Godwit was with Curlews at the yacht club then flew to far side of estuary. HT at yacht club: 3 Grey Plover, c700 Dunlin, c200 Lapwing and 36 Canada Goose + the Canada x Greylag (photo below). The female Black Redstart was at the jetty. The lake was 100% frozen with just 1 Moorhen on the ice. 56 species today. Species #83 for me at OPS this year, and #88 for all-comers.

      

      

15/1/24 – 3 Water Rail, 4 Jay in the orchard, 20 Fieldfare and a Rock Pipit at Shepperdine.
Andy Middleton's WeBS count: 36 Mallard, 73 Wigeon, 31 Teal, 34 Redshank, 400 Dunlin, 70 Lapwing, 95 Turnstone, 21 Curlew, 35 Canada Goose, 17 Snipe, female Black Redstart, 4 Stonechat, 120 Redwing, and 35 Linnet.

      Water Rail at the back of the reeds, from Lagoon 3.

 

14/1/24 – The female Black Redstart and 3 Stonechat by the jetty. Also 83 Lapwing, a Grey Wagtail and 5 Cormorant.

 

13/1/24 – An enjoyable Bristol Ornithological Club walk this morning: a Water Pipit again on the saltmarsh near the squeaky gate, the adult male Black Redstart at the jetty (and the female photo'd by HE later, below) and 5 Stonechat (+ a different two reported). 15 visitors saw 52 species.

      

11/1/24 – A frosty morning with some good birds. 2 Water Pipit flew up from the saltmarsh between the yacht club and the squeaky gate, with 15 Meadow Pipit, and a male Yellowhammer. And a male Siskin feeding in Alders (with 4 Goldfinch) in W corner of Lagoon 3. A male Blackcap and a Mistle Thrush were on Mistletoe in the Anchor Inn car park. 55 species today, best so far this year. Species #80 for me at OPS this year, and #85 for all-comers.

      Siskin and Yellowhammer.

      

      A leucistic Pheasant photo'd in Oldbury village by Christabelle Tymko.

 

10/1/24 – Lois Pryce reported 8 Knot. The Little Grebe and Mute Swan pair were still on the lake and a Chiffchaff along the shore fence by waterworks. Species #76 for me at OPS this year, and #81 for all-comers.

 

9/1/24 – Heather England reported in the afternoon: the female Black Redstart (on the jetty saltmarsh), and a Little Grebe on the lake.
A chilly morning (1 deg C); 10 Skylark were the only addition to the OPS year-list, and I added the 2 Mute Swan on the lake to mine. A big flock of Fieldfare and Redwing were feeding on the field next to the main rhine, counted at c500 and roughly split 50:50. Species #75 for me at OPS this year, and #80 for all-comers.
Some late news from Saturday 6th Jan, when I counted c9,000 gulls on the water of the estuary in the evening roost. The light was not good enough to see species, but from proportions of gulls flying in, estimates are: c6,000 Black-headed Gull, c2,000 Common Gull and c1,000 Herring Gull!

 

8/1/24 – Andy Stockhausen reported a Whooper Swan flying high downriver, calling, at 10am; and a Lesser Redpoll on the feeders. Andy Middleton reported: 2 Black Redstart (ad male seen from Lagoon 2 on fence by recycling bins, and female by jetty), 6 Stonechat (3 x Yacht Club, 3 x Jetty area), 2 Mute Swan back on the lake, 127 Curlew, 289 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 65 Carrion Crow, 6 Dunnock, 13 Great Tit and 100 Herring Gull. Species #73 for me at OPS this year, and #78 for all-comers.

 

7/1/24 – Mike Prior reported this morning: 2 Peregrine (nice photo by MP below), 10+ Bullfinch, 1 Water Rail (Lagoon 2), 50+ Redwing, 20+ Fieldfare, the female Black Redstart (by jetty) and 2 Reed Bunting. Morris Benson had the male Black Redstart from Lagoon 2. The only species I added to the OPS year-list this afternoon was 3 Ringed Plover on shore by Lagoon 1. Also a pair of Stonechat on Lagoon 3. Species #73 for me at OPS this year, and #75 for all-comers.

      Peregrine by Mike Prior.

 

      Ringed Plover and Stonechat.

      

6/1/24 – It all kicked-off this afternoon, when Barry Dursley found an Avocet on the shore by Lagoon 3 at 2:30pm and then at 3pm Dave Staley found 8 Waxwing in a tree by the pond next to Lagoon 2 ! (Last recorded at OPS in 2012.)
A lovely sunny and still morning, with a light frost. A surprise adult male Black Redstart in the sun on small buildings on SE side of power station. The only other species added to the OPS year-list was Kestrel. Ian Armour photo'd the female Black Redstart again this morning (by jetty again) and also had a Pintail on the Tidal Res. by Lagoon 3. Species #72 for me at OPS this year, and #74 for all-comers.

      Superb photos by Dave Staley !

      

      Ad m Black Redstart this morning.

 

      Even better photos than yesterday of Black Redstart and Heron by Ian Armour.

      

5/1/24 – 6 Pintail (3 pairs) at Shepperdine. And a female Black Redstart photographed by Ian Armour by the jetty. Also, 6 Grey Plover, a good count of 20 Oystercatcher, a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming and 3 Stonechat (pr at yacht club, m on L3). Species #70 for me at OPS this year, and #71 for all-comers.

      Excellent photos of Black Redstart and Long-tailed Tit by Ian Armour - thanks !

      

 

4/1/24 – No rain ! And so the first chance this year for a proper look round the site. Watching the tide start to come in at Shepperdine, at 9:30am a 1st-winter Grey Phalarope flew in and settled on the water to feed in the middle of the estuary. A watched it for 5 minutes as it drifted slowly upriver on the tide. Andy Stockhausen reported it at 1pm as it drifted back down again. (The last one reported at OPS was in 2020, and only 8 previous OPS records.) Also, 9 Greylag Goose flew across the estuary from the far side and continued inland. At Pillhead Gout at HT: 13 Little Egret (OPS record count!), 5 Grey Plover, 15 Oystercatcher and c800 Dunlin. When shooting started inland, c550 Woodpigeon, 15 Fieldfare and c100 Redwing flew from woods. Also new for the year: a Reed Bunting, Green Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk and 2 Water Rail calling. Species #68 for me at OPS this year, and #69 for all-comers.

      7 of the 9 Greylags.

 

3/1/24 – A Chiffchaff in the reeds on Lagoon 3. Species #59 for me at OPS this year, and #60 for all-comers.

      The lake has burst its banks and the Coot is still there.

      

2/1/24 – This morning in rain: a Cetti's Warbler, a Coot, a Mistle Thrush, a Rock Pipit, 4 Stock Dove, 2 Stonechat and 100 Snipe - flew out of saltmarsh as HT rose and flew around in a single flock.

      Snipe and a rainbow.

      

      Oldbury Pill flooded.

      

1/1/24 – Matt Plenty reported: a Coot on the lake, a singing Song Thrush and a Grey Wagtail.

 

 

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