See 2021 for a Review of last year.
24/5/22 – A Red Kite sat in a tree by yacht club, flushed by dog-walker and drifted off to NE.
23/5/22 – The Cuckoo still calling, but mobile around Lagoon 3 (photo below), and a Great Spotted Woodpecker nest in a dead tree has young in it. Also a Painted Lady butterfly - there has been a large influx into the UK in the last week.
22/5/22 – Heather England reported: Broad-bodied Chasers (photo below), Four-Spotted Chaser, Large Red Damsels, Azure & Blue-tailed Damselflies.
21/5/22 – 2 Greylag Goose low to NE early morning.
A Red Kite reported by Stuart Evans along Kington Lane, Oldbury on Severn.
Craig Lewis found the first of the Orchids out - a probable Early Marsh x Southern Marsh crossbreed.
20/5/22 – 2 probable Great White Egret flying high to NE, distantly and inland.
19/5/22 – The Cuckoo still calling, but mobile around Lagoon 3. The photo below is of a Hairy Snail - widespread in UK, but a first for OPS and for me. Tony Krajewski reported a Marsh Harrier over Lagoon 2 and his superb photos of the Peregrine pair, below.
18/5/22 – A probable 3cy Yellow-legged Gull on shore and 4 Painted Lady butterflies. Lois Pryce reported: 9 Chiffchaff, 12 Reed Warbler, 5 Blackcap, 10 Song Thrush and a Rock Pipit carrying food on jetty.
16/5/22 – A young Treecreeper frozen in motion on a tree branch near the small triangular reedbed on Lagoon 2,
a Gadwall flew downriver and a nice male Bullfinch posed - video.
Andy Middleton's WeBS count: 1 Whimbrel (heard), 35 Shelduck - plus broods of 4, 6 and 9, 26 Mallard (plus brood of 13), 2 Little Grebe (plus a brood of 2+), 1 Cuckoo (calling), 13 Chiffchaff and a Painted Lady butterfly.
Matt Plenty's WeBS count at Littleton: 1 juv. Mute Swan, 8 Whimbrel, 7 Curlew, 11 Ringed Plover, 14 Dunlin, 1 Turnstone and 2 Wheatear.
15/5/22 – A Treecreeper in tall trees by the triangle reedbed on Lagoon 2 and plenty of Azure Damselflies along the main rhine (photo of female below). Barry Dursley reported a Willow Warbler (photo below by BD).
14/5/22 – The first 4-Spot Chaser dragonfly of the year along the main rhine this morning, and a mobile Cuckoo calling around the site. Also a Weasel ran across the path on Lagoon 3. There are still 10 of the juv. Shelducks in the Pill, but the 11th has been stolen by a male and was right out in the middle of the estuary, being hassled by more males. Andy Middleton reported from Pillhead Gout: a Marsh Harrier, 1 Yellow Wagtail and 1 Sanderling.
13/5/22 – Waders on the shore again at Shepperdine at HT: 3 Sanderling, c75 Dunlin and 10+ Ringed Plover. Also 3 Whimbrel and a Curlew at the yacht club and a Mallard with 12 ducklings on the lake (photo by Heather England below).
Gulls in the weedy field being ploughed, inc. a 2y Common Gull.
12/5/22 – A Grasshopper Warbler reeling at the yacht club, on far side of Pill, from a hedge between two uncut grass fields. The first brood of 11 Shelduck juvs. in the Pill, being hassled by 5 adults as usual for first ones. There are now two broods of Canada Goose in the Pill - 5 & 1 ! And 6 Wheatear (3 x Pillhead Gout, 3 x ploughed field).
Possible 'Arctica' Dunlin (photos by Tony Krajewski), on their way to Greenland !
The Shelducks, and one of the Little Grebe pair feeding 2 of the 3 juvs., with the Coot still.
11/5/22 – Some waders on the shore at Shepperdine at HT: 7 Sanderling, c70 Dunlin, 22 Ringed Plover and 2 Turnstone. The Stonechat pair now have TWO juveniles. And on the lake, I finally found the Little Grebe nest - with THREE juvs back in it for a rest, and the Coot is back.
Sanderling in mix of summer and winter plumage, and the 3 Little Grebe juvs..
10/5/22 – A damp morning. 4 Swift over to N and 2 Siskin over to W. (All heard before seen.)
9/5/22 – A Fox foraging in the seaweed right out on the estuary at Low Tide - a first for me ! A silent Cuckoo on Lagoon 3 and the Stonechat pair still with a juvenile. Heather England reported in evening at yacht club: 42 Whimbrel (11 in Weedy field), 1 Whinchat, 7 Wheatear and the Canada Goose pair with one gosling.
Fox and Bird Cherry in flower.
8/5/22 – Tony Krajewski reported a Red Kite over Lagoon 3 this morning and a Whitethroat. A Little Grebe parent was feeding the two chicks on the lake.
7/5/22 – A pair of Eider drifted up past Pillhead Gout on tide at 10:30am (having been found by Oscar Dewhurst at Severn Beach, then seen at Aust Wharf at 9am).
Video. They were then flushed by a yacht at 10:45am and flew upriver - Video.
(Later seen at Berkeley at 10:55am, and then at Sharpness at 11:30am, where they stayed as tide turned, then drifted back down to Berkeley at 1:30pm.)
This is the third record of Eider for OPS - last in 1994 ! It is a new OPS species for me - my 203rd.
Two Cuckoo flying around Lagoon 2, calling, early morning.
6/5/22 – This odd looking Gadwall is at Oldbury sluice - it has adult male features, apart from its head, which looks like an adult female. I have been advised that it is a male going into eclipse plumage early (usually done in autumn !). And the two helicopters landed. Also, 22 Whimbrel, 6 Ringed Plover and 3 Dunlin.
5/5/22 – A pair of Stonechat have fledged the first young in S. Gloucs. for at least 14 years !
[A pair probably bred on Lagoon 2 in 2006, when 2 juvs on 7th July and adult on 1st May, and young juvs also seen at OPS on 27/6/16 & 29/6/20.]
Also a Sanderling in summer plumage at Shepperdine with 2 Ringed Plover, c25 Whimbrel around,
and 13 Jay (6 to NE landed in tall trees by Windbound and 7 in trees on Lagoon 2). The Cuckoo has called all week.
The Canada Goose pair and their one remaining juv. were out in the middle of the estuary this morning. I wrote an article for the Oldbury Community Magazine about the journey they undertook, including map - here (page 4)
67 bird species today - best this year.
The middle estuary over the far Tidal Res. wall was busy - the Canada Goose family were there and a Roe Deer walking and swimming over from far side.
4/5/22 – A flock of c50 Kittiwake upriver at 10:53am just after HT. (The second largest flock ever reported here, behind 90 in Feb 2014.) A Brent Goose (Dark-bellied) at Littleton Warth, the Barnacle Goose still, c25 Whimbrel at yacht club/Littleton, and 15 Dunlin and a Common Sandpiper at yacht club.
3/5/22 – A Little Grebe parent still carrying 2+ young on the lake this morning. A Cuckoo reported by walker calling at Severn House Farm, upriver of Shepperdine.
2/5/22 – In mist and drizzle and slight NE breeze, still lots of hirundines moving upriver: 800 Swallow, 115 Sand Martin, but only 10 House Martin, and 3 Yellow Wagtail. The Cuckoo still singing from Lagoon 2. At Shepperdine: a Whinchat, a Mistle Thrush singing and 10 Whimbrel. Warbler counts from Lagoons 2 & 3: 15 Sedge Warbler, 16 Reed Warbler and 7 Lesser Whitethroat. Also 2 Greylag Goose flew over (one with a distinct crooked neck).
1/5/22 – Reported on Avon Birding: 100 Swallow, 50 Sand Martin, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Tawny Owl and 1 Grasshopper Warbler.
30/4/22 – 80+ Whimbrel between yacht club and Littleton at HT, a Cuckoo flew between yacht club and Littleton (probably new in), and the Little Grebe pair have 2+ new young on the lake (carried on one's back) - video. Also 50 Sand Martin and 50 Swallow low to NE (but no House Martin this morning), and a Yellow Wagtail over. And a 2cy Mediterranean Gull with ad Common Gull and 11 Black-headed Gull upriver at HT. Pairs of Grey Wagtail and Rock Pipit on the jetty.
29/4/22 – 2 Avocet feeding on Tidal Res. at Shepperdine (Andy Middleton reported them at Pillhead Gout in morning),
AM also reported 2 Cuckoo on Lagoon 2 (one seen in NE corner whilst another was calling from SW corner),
50+ Whimbrel between yacht club and Littleton and a Kingfisher by the Anchor pub this evening. Swallows streaming through to NE all day.
Andy Middleton also reported this morning, at Pillhead Gout: 6 Wheatear and a Yellow Wagtail.
That is 134 bird species at OPS in 2022 for me - my record by end April (with the total for all-comers on 138 - also a record).
Avocets and a Lesser Whitethroat on Lagoon 3.
28/4/22 – Hirundines streaming through to NE this morning (especially early on):
c200 Swallow, c70 House Martin, 15 Sand Martin and a Tree Pipit (heard).
Also 5 Greylag Goose flew upriver, 17 Whimbrel on shore and a Mistle Thrush singing at Shepperdine.
Heather England reported in evening, at yacht club: 42 Whimbrel, 1 Whinchat, 7 Wheatear and the Canada Goose pair with just one remaining gosling.
The difference between native Bluebells (left) with drooping heads and flowers on one side, curled flower tips (& nice scent) and Spanish bluebells (right), with upright stem and open tips (& no scent). Both are along the wooded path from the road entrance/lake to the shore.
27/4/22 – Amazingly, another Ring Ouzel, a male, was in the weedkilled field to SW of Lagoon 3 (video). It stayed for over 1.5 hrs. (Photo by Heather England below.) As the tide came in this evening, 37 Whimbrel, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 3 Ringed Plover on the shore. Also, a Whinchat in the N corner of Lagoon 3 and the first Swift flew to NE. HE also had a Kingfisher and 2 Common Sandpiper at yacht club.
26/4/22 – Andy Middleton reported: the first Garden Warbler of the year, 7 Whimbrel (6 at Windbound), 3 Wheatear, 15 Chiffchaff, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 17 Whitethroat and 9 Reed Warbler.
Rock Pipit (photo by Tony Krajewski).
25/4/22 – A female Ring Ouzel sat on a hedge at Shepperdine for a few minutes (video), but bizarrely flushed by a Peregrine attacking a Jay flying along the shore ! The Jay was screaching loudly, and forced to ground on the Tidal Res. mud. Another 3 Jay over to S/SW (which is odd in a NE wind) and 3 in a tree. Also at Shepperdine, a Tree Pipit flew to NE from a tree and a Wheatear. Jackie Miles & Ray Lemin reported a Cuckoo calling from Lagoon 2. Plus, 4 Willow Warbler singing this morning - video. And sunrise wasn't too bad either...
24/4/22 – c60 each of House Martin and Swallow to NE this afternoon. Also 9 Sand Martin, a Yellow Wagtail, 3 Whimbrel, 1 Ringed Plover and 1 Dunlin. The Scurvy Grass is flowering on the saltmarshes (photo below). Heather England reported: a Whinchat at the yacht club, a Common Sandpiper, Barnacle Goose still and 4 Wheatear. Incredibly, the Canada Goose pair have done the same as suspected last year and walked the 3-day old young over 1 km from lake to the yacht club!! Presumably overnight.
Whinchat (photo by HE) and a juvenile Blackbird on Lagoon 1
Pheasant Egg on Lagoon 2 and Scurvy Grass.
23/4/22 – A good seawatching session this morning (6-8:30am), with birds moving to NE into cold medium wind:
a 2cy Iceland Gull loafing and flying with 5 juv. Herring Gull on the far Tidal Res. wall at dawn, and stayed for 25 mins.,then all six flew slowly upriver (mis-id'd by me as Glauc Gull, but later found by Martin McGill at Framilode (Gloucs.), then photo'd at Longney); c27 Bar-tailed Godwit (12 + c15), an Arctic Tern, 4 Little Egret, 14 Black-headed Gull and 9 Swallow.
A lovely Whinchat on the saltmarsh at Shepperdine. And a pair of Stonechat looking like they have young!
Also, a flock of 8 Jay flew over (or from trees) on Lagoon 2 to NE. Heather England reported 18 Dunlin at HT (photo by HE below).
That is 130 bird species at OPS in 2022 for me (with the total for all-comers on 134).
Iceland Gull - photos by @RobertaBirder
Whinchat (phone-scoped) and Dunlin (photo by HE)
22/4/22 – 3 Whimbrel at HT. Matt Plenty had (to NE): 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 20 Black-headed Gull, 1 Little Egret, 2 Redpoll and 4 Linnet.
21/4/22 – This morning, a Grasshopper Warbler still reeling on SW side of Lagoon 3 (heard from metal dismantled weather station). Matt Plenty had a Tree Pipit along the bridleway to shore (photo by MP below). Also 2 Whimbrel on the shore at Shepperdine and the Canada Goose pair have 8 goslings fresh out the nest !
Little Grebe on the lake and a Curlew for World Curlew Day
20/4/22 – This afternoon, 2 Red Kite flew low to NE over Lagoon 1, kept going to Shepperdine, then circled up high and went inland.
19/4/22 – I picked a good morning to do an audit of singing warblers on Lagoons 2 & 3 (+ yacht club):
An OPS record count of 5 Grasshopper Warbler reeling at SW end of Lagoon 3 (video), my first 4 Lesser Whitethroat,
16 Whitethroat, 11 Sedge Warbler, 9 Reed Warbler, 7 Cetti's Warbler, 3 Willow Warbler, 20 Blackcap and 9 Chiffchaff.
Also, an OPS record count of 16+ Jay (3+3 flew high to NE - see videos below, then 15 together in tall trees at old Windbound site, and another lowish to NE later),
a Red Kite (on far side of estuary, i.e. Gloucs.) and my first Common Sandpiper on Tidal Res. wall.
Heather England had 4 Common Sandpiper on jetty at HT, later.
Video of the first group of 3 Jay over, with a Grasshopper Warbler alarm-calling, "click, click, click..." at me ! (You can hear me snigger in the video when I realise what it is - I did move away.) And video of second group of 3 Jay.
18/4/22 – Andy Irving had the first Lesser Whitethroat heard on Lagoon 2 this afternoon, and also a Red Kite circled over at 15.45pm from the W and drifted off to the E.
That is the 130th species at OPS in 2022 for all-comers (with my total on 124).
My first Grasshopper Warbler of the year, reeling in the SE corner of Lagoon 2 this morning. At Pillhead Gout over HT: an OPS record count of 26 Oystercatcher (beating 25 from 2021 & 2009), 4 Dunlin, 4 Redshank and 6 Wheatear. A pair of Kestrel are nesting in the rusty vent holes just below the Peregrine nest-ledge.
17/4/22 – Heather England found the first 2 Common Sandpiper of the year on the jetty this morning (photo by HE below).
16/4/22 – A Grasshopper Warbler reported by Tim Salkeld at 1pm, reeling "left hand side of the road south of the power station". This morning, the first Whimbrel, at Pillhead Gout with 12 Curlew and 6 Oystercatcher. At the yacht club, 4 Wheatear, a Ringed Plover (heard) and the injured Barnacle Goose still. A Redpoll went over to NE, calling. Andy Middleton reported (WeBS): a female Black Redstart on the fence between jetty and old disused cylinders (late, but not quite as late as 25/4/20!), 27 Chiffchaff, 36 Mallard, 38 Shelduck, 2 Teal, 17 Great Tit and 16 Blackbird.
Whimbrel with a Curlew
15/4/22 – A Brent Goose (Dark-bellied) flew downriver at 7:55pm.
14/4/22 – The first 3 Yellow Wagtail over to NE, 7 Sedge Warbler, 9 Whitethroat (inc. 3 from Matt Plenty in hedge towards yacht club), 2 Willow Warbler, a near-record 7 Cetti's Warbler (best was 10 last April), a Greylag Goose upriver and Brent Goose (Dark-bellied) out on the estuary (equal latest date with 14/4/2018). Andy Middleton also had: 14 House Martin, 3 Wheatear and the Barnacle Goose at the yacht club (so another 4-goose day for OPS), 34 Chiffchaff, 60 Linnet, 1 Little Egret, 41 Curlew (inc. colour-rings BYY & RYO), 31 Swallow, 11 Teal, 32 Sand Martin and 2 Reed Warbler.
Brent Goose and Whitethroat (latter photo thanks to Heather England)
13/4/22 – The first 2 Whitethroat seen (1 each in NE corners of Lagoons 2 & 3 - first found by Matt Plenty this morning), 2 Willow Warbler singing and 20+ Blackcap. And numerous butterflies: a pair of Orange-tip, 6 Speckled Wood, 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Peacock and 3 Brimstone. And Heather England had 13 Wheatear at the yacht club (10 males).
12/4/22 – In the afternoon, leading to HT, 2 Common Tern went upriver, then a Sandwich Tern fished around the (flooded) Tidal Res. for about an hour (from 3:20pm), then at 4:30pm, 2 Sandwich Tern went upriver, and 2 Great Crested Grebe drifted up on tide, right out in middle of river. (I only saw them because they attracted the attention of the local gulls.) This morning, the first 3 Sedge Warbler (2 x Lagoon 3, 1 x Lagoon 2), 1 Reed Warbler still and 2 Willow Warbler all singing in the rain. That is 120 species at OPS this year for me, and 124 for all-comers.
Sandwich Tern and Loch Ness Monster !
11/4/22 – This afternoon, as tide came in, at Shepperdine: a Little Ringed Plover, 9 Ringed Plover, 12 Turnstone and 2 Dunlin. And a Sandwich Tern flew at medium height upriver at 3pm - the 8th Spring in a row I have had this species here ! This morning: a Reed Warbler singing at S end of lagoon 2, 1 Tree Pipit (heard, over), 15 Sand Martin, 1 House Martin, 4 Swallow, 2 Willow Warbler singing, 340 Woodpigeon to NE, and a Redpoll in a tree on Lagoon 2. A pair of Tufted Duck on the Tidal Res. at Shepperdine and 9 Dunlin flew upriver. Also 22 Common Gull and 15 Black-headed Gull upriver. The injured Barnacle Goose still at yacht club and Mute Swan on saltmarsh at Littleton. (64 species today.)
Nice comparison of Little Ringed Plover and Ringed Plover - video.
9/4/22 – A Willow Warbler singing at S end of Lagoon 2 and a pair of Peregrine on a kill on a sandbank. On the lake, there is a male Tufted Duck, 3 Coot, 1+ Little Grebe and the Canada Goose continues to sit on the nest (not visible).
7/4/22 – 4 Kittiwake (1w @9:25, 1w @10:15, 2ad @11:15) and a Swallow upriver between 8:30am and 11:40am in a strong Westerly wind. Also 13 Oystercatcher and 19 Teal on the shore at Shepperdine.
5/4/22 – The first Willow Warbler of the year singing in trees between road and lake.
The Hawthorn is just starting to flower as the Blackthorn flowers start to fade. (Hawthorn comes into leaf before flowering, and the Blackthorn is just starting to leaf-up now.)
(There is a dead Fox at the edge of the reeds on Lagoon 2, which may have been poisoned as it has been wandering around Lagoon 1 in the daylight recently. Keeping dogs on leads would be good for the dogs and the wildlife.)
4/4/22 – Andy Middleton reported: 44(!) Chiffchaff, 4 Cetti's Warbler, 28 Teal, the Barnacle Goose, 13 Blackbird, 11 Robin and 17 Wren.
3/4/22 – A redhead (i.e. fem/juv) Goosander flew low and fast upriver at 8am, quite close to near shore at Shepperdine. And 43 Redwing (5 in trees on Lagoon 2, 30 over to E & 8 over to NE).
2/4/22 – 2 Redwing at S end of Lagoon 3, 2 Rock Pipit (looks like they are going to nest again on the jetty), a Wheatear at Pillhead Gout and the first Speckled Wood butterfly of the year..
31/3/22 – Some movement to NE into the very cold wind this morning: A 3cy summer plumaged Mediterranean Gull (i.e. black head, small black tips to wings), 5 Swallow and 40 Meadow Pipit. Also, 180 Curlew in HT roost at yacht club. Andy Middleton reported: 2 Brent Goose (Dark-bellied) upriver, 2 Kingfisher on Oldbury Pill sluice (at 8am) and a male Wheatear at Pillhead Gout.
29/3/22 – John Barnett reported 6 Swallow this evening, by the lake.
27/3/22 – A pair of Raven are nesting on a pylon.
26/3/22 – Two Brent Goose (Dark-bellied) flew upriver at 7:25am. (Not had two here since Oct 2019.) Also 2 Mute Swan flew upriver, and a third (a juv.) was on the estuary off Littleton.
Primroses flowering near the yacht club.
25/3/22 – A Red Kite flew low around Littleton Warth at 11:15am, then went slowly SW. Also 7 Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Peacock butterflies.
Lesser Celandine shining in the sun.
24/3/22 – Rather quiet this morning, in a cold (-1 degs overnight) breeze, but 3 Brambling calling as they went over to NE with 5 Chaffinch, and 80 Woodpigeon. A Dunlin caused some excitement on Lagoon 1. Photo of a Peacock from 2 days ago, by Tony Krajewski.
23/3/22 – T-shirt weather ! A Red Kite drifting to NE over towers is my 108th species at OPS in 2022 - my record by end-March. The Brent Goose (Dark-bellied) is still at Pillhead Gout. A Grey Seal floated downriver as the tide went out, snoozing with just its snout in the air ! Video. The male Stonechat was singing again, on Lagoon 3 - video. And a Water Rail flew across the lake to the island !
22/3/22 – Another lovely sunny day. The Brent Goose (Dark-bellied) was still at Pillhead Gout at HT (photo by Craig Lewis below), as was the Barnacle Goose (which appears to have a damaged right wing). A (nearly) summer plumaged Water Pipit was on the far side of the Pill from the yacht club from 11am to 2pm (amazingly, for this species) - video. Photographing it, I flushed a Little Stint from a marshy pool, and it alarm called, 'prrrt' as it flew. A female Marsh Harrier was quartering the fields to SW of Lagoon 3, then circled up VERY high and went across the estuary. 5 Pintail floated up on the tide, then flew upriver. A Redpoll eating nectar from Pussy Willow and a Brambling heard in Lagoon 2 trees. The juv. Mute Swan was still on the estuary. A big movement of 400+ Woodpigeon to NE this morning (250 in an hour at dawn), and 3 Siskin. Two pairs of Stonechat still.
21/3/22 – A 4-Goose morning: a Brent Goose (Dark-bellied) and a Greylag Goose at Pillhead Gout, Barnacle Goose and 10 Canada Goose (female on nest). 1 (probably 2) Water Pipit with c70 Meadow Pipit in the wet field just to SW of Lagoon 3. (Last one at OPS was in 2019.) 3 Black-tailed Godwit flew upriver. The first Mute Swan of the year; a juvenile on the shore. 200+ Woodpigeon (73 + 66 over to NE & 70 in field). The Stonechat pair on Lagoon 3 and 2 singing Blackcap. The white form of Sweet Violets are in flower near the orchard. AM's WeBS count: 36 Teal, 18 Mallard, 9 Snipe (flushed out of reeds by HT), 26 Redshank and 5 Dunlin.
20/3/22 – 100+ Woodpigeon over to NE from 2-3pm in flocks up to 50. The 3rd Coot is back on the lake, and as popular as ever with the resident pair ! HE reported a female Wheatear and the Barnacle Goose. CL counted 30 Chiffchaff.
19/3/22 – A Great White Egret flew low upriver at 8:20am (HT) - video. 2 female (so different to last week's) Wheatear at the yacht club. A Greylag Goose upriver with Canadas. And some vismig to NE into light, cool, wind: a Siskin, c30 Linnet, c40 Woodpigeon, 7 Pied Wagtail, 1 Chaffinch. HT at yacht club: 103 Curlew (plus c30 at Littleton and c80 on far side of est.), 42+ Turnstone, c35 Redshank, c30 Shelduck, 5 Oystercatcher and just 2 Dunlin.
GW Egret and moon at first light.
18/3/22 – The first singing Blackcap (on Lagoon 3), and butterflies: 15 Brimstone and 2 Tortoiseshell reported by Louise, and a Peacock.
17/3/22 – Some good birds in the sun, after a cold (-1 deg C) night, with full moon. The second Green Sandpiper of the year, by the yacht club (where the Barnacle Goose still). A Merlin was sat on the large log at Pillhead Gout. (Seems to be a juvenile male, with greyish back.) A Greylag Goose flew upriver, calling, a Siskin flew around calling, and the male Stonechat was singing to his partner by the jetty. HT at Pillhead Gout: 80+ Curlew (colour-ring 'RWY'), 14 Oystercatcher and c25 Dunlin. I think that the Canada Goose pair have a nest already, as the male is guarding the lake on his own most of the time.
15/3/22 – 63 bird species in the sun yesterday (best of the year). But the only unusal sighting was a pair of House Sparrow chirping away at Lagoon 1 outfall. Also, 20+ Chiffchaff, 2 Rock Pipit on jetty, a Greylag Goose flying around Oldbury Pill and 2 Siskin over.
A few Cowslips starting to flower and a photo of Toads by TK.
Photo by TK - a garden escape Hyacinth at Shepperdine point.
14/3/22 – AM reported a Wheatear still. 10+ Chiffchaff singing this morning, a juv. female Peregrine (so different to ones yesterday) on the shore, c110 Redwing and c10 Fieldfare, 2 pairs of Stonechat still (inc. a male singing by Lagoon 3 outfall !), and the pair of Yellowhammer again in the shore hedge of Lagoon 3. Some early migration: a male Bullfinch circled up from a hedge to gain height, then flew off high to WSW and a Collared Dove flew fast through to SW. DP reported the first Brimstone butterfly of the year.
13/3/22 – HE reported: 2 Wheatear still and 2 adult Peregrine. (Nice photos by HE below.) Plus the Barnacle Goose.
12/3/22 – The first 2 Wheatear of Spring were at the yacht club this fine sunny morning (both males). 3 days earlier than the last 10-year average. The Barnacle Goose still, and 2 Greylag Goose flew upriver. A male Yellowhammer again in the shore hedge of Lagoon 3 (LP reported 2), and the Kestrel pair were mating on the towers. The first Barn Owl of the year reported by very early morning dog walker - "regularly around the yacht club area this week".
11/3/22 – c120 Redwing mainly feeding in the rain by the small wood on way to yacht club, and the Barnacle Goose still.
10/3/22 – Mild S wind; 10+ Chiffchaff (6 singing), a male Blackcap seen and 2 Mistle Thrush singing.
9/3/22 – 6 Chiffchaff (4 singing) and a Muntjac deer.
8/3/22 – The female Black Redstart along the fence between Lagoon 2 and buildings. (And the male photographed on the jetty, Sunday.) The Barnacle Goose still. And 3+ Yellowhammer, inc. one singing, again in the shore hedge of Lagoon 3.
7/3/22 – AM reported: a female Marsh Harrier hunting on Lagoon 3 and then out over estuary, a Tawny Owl calling, 2 Little Grebe and 57 Teal. And the Canada Goose pair are back on the lake.
5/3/22 – All action on the lake early morning: 2 Little Grebe chasing and 'trilling', the Gadwall pair were keeping close together with the other male near by; but the main event was a fight to the death between 3 Coot ! A presumed 2nd male was being viciously attacked by the resident male, with the female giving a few pecks to help. The resident male was trying to drown the other by holding it underwater. Last I saw, it managed to get away, but was being doggedly pursued. (March 2019 was the previous time when there were more than 2 adult Coot.) The Barnacle Goose is still at the yacht club.
4/3/22 – The female Black Redstart briefly on a roof this afternoon. AM reported: 2 Knot, 138 Wigeon, 18 Oystercatcher, 1 Barnacle Goose, 1 Chiffchaff (singing) and 4 Stonechat. LP reported: 1 Snipe, 40 Black-headed Gull upriver, 1 Tawny Owl calling repeatedly, 2 Redwing and a possible Nuthatch heard on Lagoon 1/2.
3/3/22 – There was a good HT roost between yacht club and Pillhead Gout this morning: 1 Knot, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, c200 Curlew, 1 Grey Plover, 12 Oystercatcher, c50 Turnstone, only c10 Dunlin and c60 Redshank. Also, a juv. Peregrine sat on a log, a pair of Shoveler at Oldbury Pill sluice, the Barnacle Goose still, and my first Jack Snipe for 3 years. (It is remarkable that this is the first Black'wit of the year, as there are 800 upriver at Slimbridge and 400+ downriver at Pilning Wetlands !) 2 male Yellowhammer were in the hedge on Lagoon 3, with one singing ! Four new species for the year at OPS, brings my total to 101 and for all-comers it is 104.
28/2/22 – The first summer migrants have arrived - 3 Chiffchaff singing (and AM saw a 4th). Also, 4 Little Egret flew up Oldbury Pill early morning; a 'Scandinavian' Rock Pipit coming into breeding plumage on Shepperdine seawall; and the male Black Redstart was having a shower in the drizzle - video. AM also reported: the Peregrine pair on a pylon, 100 Woodpigeon and a Muntjac. (16 Wren reported in February in BOC Bird News.)
27/2/22 – 2 Siskin in a treetop on Lagoon 2, then flew high to NE, calling. That is the 100th species seen at OPS in 2022 by all-comers ! The earliest we have got to that. And 97 species for me, also a record by end of February.
26/2/22 – 4 Skylark - 3 over to NE and one singing to SW of Lagoon 3.
The Wych Elms are flowering by the pond next to Lagoon 2, at the end of the track from the car park.
25/2/22 – HE reported: 8 Yellowhammer, 8 Stonechat(3xlagoon 3 and 5 towards yacht club), 10 Oystercatcher, 2 Little Grebe, 3 Gadwall, 2 Coot and 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker.
The Pussy Willow is flowering.
24/2/22 – The Barnacle Goose has returned to the yacht club, after a few days absence.
23/2/22 – The male and female Black Redstart still along security fences on NE side of power station.
22/2/22 – A juv. Glaucous Gull flew in from S to the seawall at Shepperdine and then drifted upriver on the wind. When taking some distant Video, it seemed to come down on the estuary, past the Windbound (about a mile away), so I ran all the way there and found some large gulls on the estuary, but it wasn't with them. So I kept going to Hill Pill and found more gulls, but not the one I wanted. (One also video'd here last January.) Also, 13 Yellowhammer; a new flock of 8 by the NHS bench at Shepperdine Point, and the 5 still by the 'squeaky gate'. Plus a Blackcap on mistletoe in the Anchor Inn car park and a Mistle Thrush.
21/2/22 – DOUBLE the number of Coot on the lake - now 2! Also 1 Little Grebe and 3 Gadwall (2m, 1f). No seabirds in 3 hours of high W winds to HT (and none yesterday in 3 hours). AM reported c100 Redwing and c40 Fieldfare on Lagoon 1, and 153 Wigeon (from a restricted WeBS count due to wind).
Photos by HE.
19/2/22 – The BIG news is that a Coot is back on the lake !
And 21 Oystercatcher at the yacht club on HT.
Coot is the 95th species for me at OPS in 2022 - the best year yet for the first two months. And the 98th species for all-comers, also a record.
18/2/22 – A 4 hour seawatch for storm Eunice brought 2 Fulmar upriver; one shearing in middle of estuary at 8:15am ahead of worst weather and one low over my head along the shore at 11:40am. And 5 Kittiwake; one sat on water upriver and one flying downriver early, 2 flying around with Black-headed Gulls and Common Gulls and one sat/fluttering on water downriver later. (There have only been 6 previous Fulmar records at OPS, all singles. Last one was in 2019.)
The green 'Ledges' buoy was barely visible.
17/2/22 – No seabirds after a windy night, but a male Pintail at Shepperdine, then flew downriver. And TK saw 2 Peregrine over the orchard and then the towers (photo below by TK).RE also reported a Tawny Owl calling.
16/2/22 – 48 Golden Plover feeding on the mud of the Tidal Reservoir, by Lagoon 1, in high wind. Video.
14/2/22 – Damsons and Daffodils already flowering.
13/2/22 – 3 Avocet at Pillhead Gout over HT, 2 Little Grebe on the lake and the Barnacle Goose still by the yacht.
The Avocets rather distant from the yacht club at dusk.
12/2/22 – The adult male Black Redstart was in the waterworks, 5 Grey Wagtail coming out of roost at first light in the reeds of the pond by Lagoon 2, and a Little Grebe on the lake. The Barnacle Goose still by the yacht club and 5 Yellowhammer still.
Little Grebe and cracking photo of Yellowhammer by IA.
10/2/22 – A pair of Raven nest-prospecting the Peregrine nest platform, with one carrying a stick in its bill. (Not seen a Peregrine since 25th Jan..) A Yellowhammer at Lagoon 1 outflow, and the Barnacle Goose still by the yacht club.
8/2/22 – 5 Mistle Thrush this morning (3 x lake, 1 x Lagoon 1, 1 x Lagoon 2).
7/2/22 – A different Merlin, a male, flashed through the fields next to the main rhine. My first Chiffchaff of the year in the Lagoon 2 reedbed. The Barnacle Goose still by the yacht club and 7 Yellowhammer there still.
This farmyard-type Greylag Goose with the Canadas.
6/2/22 – No seabirds in a strong W wind, but a flock of c80 Golden Plover flying to NE inland early morning (probably going to Slimbridge having fed in fields overnight) and 70 Turnstone on the shore at Shepperdine.
5/2/22 – MP reported the female Marsh Harrier, by Oldbury Pill. 2 Little Grebe this morning (in Oldbury Pill by sluice and on the lake) and 2+ Skylark singing. The Barnacle Goose still and the Merlin was sat on the large log just downriver of Pillhead Gout and then chased a Dunlin flock all the way to the Power Station. And a male Yellowhammer still.
Redwing on the Severn Way.
4/2/22 – The female Marsh Harrier again - cruising low along the shore from Lagoon 1 to Lagoon 2, then lost behind hedge. 3 Stonechat (2 x jetty, 1 x waterworks) and a Coal Tit with a Long-tailed Tit flock. LP reported 3 Avocet flying downriver.
3/2/22 – The Barnacle Goose still by the yacht club. The 5 Ringed Plover still on the seawall at HT. AM reported: a Kingfisher at Oldbury Pill sluice, 320 Dunlin, 218 Curlew, 133 Wigeon and 36 Redshank.
The Snowdrops in full flower, to bring some February cheer !
2/2/22 – A juv/fem Merlin flew in and sat on the shore at Shepperdine.
1/2/22 – A female Marsh Harrier reported on Avonbirds
31/1/22 – A Goshawk circling above the fields and pylons (seen from Lagoon 3 over lake) at 9:45am. It put up ALL the birds nearby - Crows, Pigeons, Lapwings and Dunlin. A couple of Carrion Crow tried to mob it at one point. Seen for about 10 minutes, then it circled off to SW. (At dawn I disturbed what I thought was a Goshawk, from trees along the main rhine - it looked like it was carrying a dead corvid. But only seen briefly as it disappeared into trees, with just the sound of cawing Crows to show it was still about.) Fifth year in a row one has been seen here (although not all records accepted !). Earlier, a juv/fem Merlin flew from Lagoon 1 out over the estuary. And a Treecreeper again.
30/1/22 – JA reported a Grey Plover and the Barnacle Goose still by the yacht club. HE reported: 5 Stonechat and 20+ Skylark.
29/1/22 – RL reported 2 Tawny Owl hooting.
28/1/22 – The Barnacle Goose is still with 46 Canada Goose, on the saltmarsh near the yacht club. Still 9 Yellowhammer nearby, a female Black Redstart at the waterworks this afternoon, 17 Oystercatcher, and a single flock of c150 Redwing and c50 Fieldfare in hedges to SE of Lagoon 3. AM reported a Grey Plover (with a limp) and a Little Egret.
27/1/22 – The Barnacle Goose is still with 41 Canada Goose, on the saltmarsh near the yacht club this morning.
And a female Gadwall has joined the 2 drakes on the lake. Apart from that, very quiet on the estuary.
The Starling murmuration on Lagoon 2 still had c3,000 birds last night, 4:30 to 5pm.
25/1/22 – A Coal Tit on the peanut feeder by the orchard is the 88th species for me at OPS this year - equal record start to year (with 2019).
And for all-comers it is now 93 species at OPS this year, beating the old record start of 90 from 2016.
"Thanks", to whoever is filling the feeder ! Also a Treecreeper by the car park.
The male Peregrine attacked the Lapwing flock out over the estuary and singled one out. Peregrines are fast and manoeuvrable, but no chance with a Lapwing ! It could have been different if the female Peregrine had not arrived a bit late.
The male Black Redstart reported on Birdguides.
24/1/22 – The Barnacle Goose still feeding with 45 Canada Goose in field to SW of Lagoon 3. And, strangely, a juv/fem Merlin on the ground in the same field. May have been on a kill, but scared off by geese.
Curlew with coloured rings 'ROY' (Red on Left, Orange over Yellow on Right) at Littleton. (Photo by MP.)
23/1/22 – The Barnacle Goose was feeding with 45 Canada Goose in waterlogged field to SW of Lagoon 3.
22/1/22 – Frosty again. The yacht club saltmarsh had 25 Skylark, 11 Yellowhammer and 3 Rock Pipit (plus a probable Water Pipit seen very briefly).
21/1/22 – A frosty morning (-4 deg C) was good for raptors.
A female Marsh Harrier quartering the shore as it slowly made its way downriver.
Some video. And a Merlin chased an isolated Dunlin low over the estuary.
The Barnacle Goose was still at Pillhead Gout, as was the Grey Plover (photo below).
HE reported a fem-type Black Redstart and a Chiffchaff. MB reported a Grey Wagtail.
PK reported two Harbour Porpoise, just off Lydney Harbour outfall at 10.30am, 150m from shore, moving down stream with falling tide.
20/1/22 – A Barnacle Goose at Pillhead Gout over HT, and a Grey Plover there.
The first Little Grebe of the year on a 95% frozen lake. 2 Black Redstart on roofs.
A male Blackcap and a Mistle Thrush in the Anchor Inn car park.
AM's WeBS count: 42 Mallard, 197 Wigeon, 143 Teal, 225 Curlew, 766 Lapwing, 109 Dunlin, 110 Snipe (along shore), 23 Redshank, 85 Turnstone, 1 Little Egret, 7 Grey Heron, 2 Peregrine and 4 Stonechat. LP reported 7 Golden Plover (flying over with Lapwing) and a Chiffchaff. Golden Plover is the 90th species at the site this year (with my total at 85, and 61 species seen today is best this year).
18/1/22 – The adult male Black Redstart between waterworks and jetty. 2 Redpoll flew from Lagoon 2. The weedy field by the yacht club had: 18 Skylark, 6 Yellowhammer, c100 Redwing and 5 Pheasant. The Starling roost has switched from Lagoon 3 to Lagoon 2 reedbeds, as c4,000 over Lagoon 2 at dusk. And in the Tidal Res. roost, a Common Gull with unusually dark head, which is small with small bill. Could be an Eastern (or Western) subspecies.
17/1/22 – 3 Black Redstart reported (2f, m). AM/MP reported: 250 Redwing and 50 Meadow Pipit in the set-aside field by yacht club and a Blackcap by the lake. 2 Little Egret over and 11 Bullfinch, and I actually got a decent photo. And "thousands" of Starling reported leaving the reedbed roost on Lagoon 2 at dawn.
16/1/22 – The adult and 2 cub Otter reported this morning (photo by HE below - Wow !). And video by HE. Also 3 Black Redstart (m & 2f) and 16 Bullfinch reported. The first Snowdrops flowering (photo taken 1 day earlier than last year).
15/1/22 – A frosty morning (-2 degs C) and 2 Raven on a sheep carcass at the yacht club. Also a Mistle Thrush and 25 Fieldfare. Plus 11 Yellowhammer and a drake Pintail still. 8 Roe Deer is the highest count at OPS. 2 Black Redstart reported.
14/1/22 – An adult winter Mediterranean Gull in the evening roost on the Tidal Res., with c500 Common Gull and 500+ Black-headed Gull. 3 Pintail (2m, 1f) at Shepperdine, 2 Black Redstart (female by the waterworks and male reported by CS), and 10 Snipe on Lagoon 1. TK reported a Tawny Owl hooting by the entrance yesterday at 4:30pm. (Nice photo of Kestrel by TK below.)
13/1/22 – RE reported a Nuthatch with a tit flock at lunchtime. And Little Egret added to OPS year list - roosting in tree by lake in freezing fog. That is 85 species this year (82 for me). The best by end of January was 90 in 2016 (88 for me in 2019).
12/1/22 – 16 White-fronted Goose flew from inland at the yacht club, directly over my head, calling a sqeaky soft 'ky-ok', at 2:45pm.
They then turned and flew SW along the shore. (Towards sun, and lost to view.) They seemed heavily barred below with orangish bills (initial thought was Greylags), so possibly 'Greenland' subspecies (although there has been no double-figure count in England in 2022, so seems unlikely!).
Some video (one calls once right at start). Last at OPS in 2019, and before that in 2010. Were more numerous before 2000.
The male Black Redstart was on SW side of the jetty at 2:20pm - video. Also a drake Pintail, 7 Stonechat and 2 Skylark over to NE.
11/1/22 – AM reported: 2+ Otter at the back of the lake at 9am,
the male Black Redstart between jetty and waterworks first thing this morning, and later with female by the jetty,
6+ Yellowhammer, 2 Kestrel, 47 Canada Goose, 236 Wigeon, 133 Teal, 2 Gadwall, 165 Dunlin, 261 Lapwing,
31 Redshank, 13 Oystercatcher, 65 Turnstone, 8 Ringed Plover and 8 Grey Heron.
2 Greylag Goose were roosting on the Tidal Res. in the fog (photo below); and Redpoll (over) and Jay added to this year's OPS list (81 species). A video of 4 Roe Deer, just 10 yards away and nice and calm.
10/1/22 – A Spoonbill was feeding on the near shore of the Tidal Res. at 11:05am,
but then flew upriver after a couple of minutes. (I spotted it from half-mile away by Lagoon 3 and unfortunately my camera wouldn't focus in the misty drizzle.)
The last one here was in 2018. January is the best month at OPS for Rare (16) and Very Rare (8) birds. Next best is April with 14 Rare and 6 Very Rare, then October with 12 Rare and 5 Very Rare.
A female-type Black Redstart on the fences and still 10 Yellowhammer by the yacht club. Also a Brambling seemed to fly from the Lagoon 3 hedge, but went to NE, calling. 8 Raven seen this morning; 4 high over to W, the usual pair calling from pylons and another pair by a sheep carcass in Oldbury Pill near the yacht club.
9/1/22 – 286 Lapwing and c100 Curlew in flooded field to SW of Lagoon 3.
CL reported 6+ Yellowhammer at the yacht club this morning (photo by CL below) and a flyover Brambling calling.
BD reported 3 Green Woodpecker and a pair of Stonechat.
And this beautiful Fox asleep just 10 yards from the path, completely oblivious to people walking past.
8/1/22 – TK reported 20+ Turnstone with Dunlin flock on seawall by Lagoon 1 at HT (photo by TK below). Also, 26 Stock Dove in a flock at Shepperdine and 3 Greenfinch on Lagoon 3.
7/1/22 – The male and female Black Redstart still, by the jetty this afternoon. And now 11 Yellowhammer by the yacht club.
6/1/22 – A very good morning's birding. -1 deg C at dawn, but calm.
A 1st-winter Shag was close-in to shore at Shepperdine on the incoming tide at 8:45am.
It swam along the shore for 5 minutes allowing me to get some video. Then it flew upriver.
Only the 4th record at OPS. I had the first two records; storm-blown juvs. in Sept. of 2008 & 2011.
The other record is of a flock of 22 that flew upriver in Aug 2016 (first seen at Severn Beach).
There was a flock of 8 Yellowhammer and 5 Reed Bunting on the saltmarsh at the yacht club. 5 Ringed Plover on seawall and a Grey Plover by yacht club. The flooded field between Lagoon 3 and yacht club held: 253 Lapwing, 15 Shelduck, 2 Greylag Goose, 53 Canada Goose and c100 Curlew. A Treecreeper was with a Long-tailed Tit flock in wood by lake.
5/1/22 – c4,000 Starling murmuration over Lagoon 3 between 4pm and 4:32pm, when they all dived into the reedbed together. Mesmerising. Also, 5 Snipe.
4/1/22 – A Grey Plover and 215 Curlew over HT at Pillhead Gout and c900 Black-headed Gull feeding in fields inland of here. A Blackcap and a Mistle Thrush in the Anchor pub car park. In the flooded field between Lagoon 3 and yacht club: 18 Shelduck, 56 Canada Goose and the Greylag Goose.
3/1/22 – 3 Black Redstart (m + 2f) on fence of Lagoon 2, and then in waterworks this morning - the adult male sang briefly ! A Kingfisher at Oldbury sluice (reported by PB), 3 Stonechat (pair at yacht club and male by waterworks) and c2,000 Starling flew E at dawn (coming out of roost, either Lagoon 3 or further downriver). MP reported a Chiffchaff by the entrance, 7 Grey Heron in field and 'headstart' Curlew '21' & '23' on Lagoon 1.
2/1/22 – At dawn, an adult Otter was with 2 cubs on the lake ! I watched them play for 5 minutes, then made a bit of a faff getting my camera out and they melted away. (Last seen in August.) A Green Sandpiper flushed from the muddy and wet field next to the chicken sheds at Jobsgreen Farm; the Greylag Goose is still with an increased flock of 45 Canada Goose; 242 Wigeon counted (145 x yacht club, 97 x Shepperdine) and c1,000 Black-headed Gull flushed to the estuary, from fields inland by Littleton.
1/1/22 – BD reported 3 Black Redstart - ad male near jetty (photo by @petercoslett below), and 2 fem-types.
Mild at dawn (10 deg C). A pair of Stonechat on jetty saltmarsh, a Greylag Goose with 35 Canada Goose in flooded field to SW of Lagoon 3, a Grey Wagtail (waterworks), and the following all singing: Song Thrush, 8 Robin, 1 Cetti's Warbler and a Collared Dove. On the lake were drakes of: Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall and a Teal. (A total of 56 species.)
(since Jan 2004)