January to December 2008


2010 sightings

2009 sightings

2008 sightings

2007 sightings

2006 sightings

2005 sightings

2004 sightings

Total of 148 species recorded at the site in 2008 (see 2008 Site Species List for details). With my personal total for the site in 2008 at 137 species.


Wednesday 31/12/08 – A bitterly cold afternoon (-2 degrees C) forced 3 Pochard (2 adult males) onto the tidal reservoir (first record since December 2002). There were 9 Golden Plover with the Lapwing on Lagoon 1. The flock of 54 Canada Goose were still in the fields by the yacht club. Also: 2 Ringed Plover, 6 Oystercatcher and 4 Stonechat.

Pochard, Tidal Reservoir, 31/12/08.


Views downriver and of Lagoon 1, 31/12/08.



Tuesday 30/12/08 – The annual stroll with AM/MP produced: 3 Yellowhammer, 2 Mistle Thrush, 20 Snipe, 14 Shoveler, 68 Canada Goose, 1 Peregrine, c500 Dunlin, 100+ Herring Gull and c40 Lesser Black-backed Gull (heading low upriver). (A good total of 56 species.)


Monday 29/12/08 – MP reported: 203 Wigeon and c300 Common Gull roosting on tidal reservoir, with many 1,000’s of Gull sp on river.


Saturday 27/12/08 – A Treecreeper and a Stonechat reported.


Wednesday 24/12/08 – A Treecreeper along the bridleway to the shore.


Tuesday 23/12/08 – MP reported: 8 Shoveler, 3 Tufted Duck, 70 Curlew, c2,000 Dunlin, c1,000 Lapwing, 200 Fieldfare and 4 Snipe.


Monday 22/12/08 – AM reported: 8 Stonechat, 2 Raven, 240 Teal, 183 Wigeon, 14 Shoveler, 2 Tufted Duck, 60 Mallard, 44 Curlew, 250 Dunlin, 320 Lapwing and 4 Oystercatcher.


Saturday 20/12/08 – Lots of birds and species (55 seen) today, but nothing out the ordinary. A pair of Tufted Duck on the pond. Totals of c550 Lapwing and c450 Dunlin from Shepperdine to the yacht club, where 57 Canada Goose and 2 Oystercatcher. The Peregrine pair flying around the towers in the wind. Flocks of 37 Stock Dove, c50 Linnet and c50 Chaffinch on the seeds of lagoon 3. At Shepperdine, c120 Wigeon and c150 Teal.

[A dog-walker reported, what sounds a good description of, a male Hen Harrier – flushed from the long grass on lagoon 2, about 3 weeks ago.]


Sunday 14/12/08 – An eclipse male Tufted Duck on the pond (first since 23rd July), and a Siskin over.

AM reported c6,000 Gull sp, most thought to be Black-headed Gull at dusk on tidal reservoir.

Buzzard, 14/12/08.



Saturday 13/12/08 – A family party of 5 Bewick’s Swan flew low overhead and upriver at 2:50pm, calling sofly “whu,whu,whu” (2 adult & 3 juveniles). The fields towards the yacht club held 56 Canada Goose, c400 Lapwing and 14 Skylark. Also: 2 Stonechat and 17 Shoveler.

MP reported: 2 Yellowhammer, 2 Mistle Thrush and 1 Golden Plover.


Tuesday 9/12/08 – A Black Redstart again, this time on the jetty. And a Spotted Redshank on lagoon 1.


Monday 8/12/08 – A Merlin again, flew from lagoon 1 all the way downriver to lagoon 3. 10 Black-tailed Godwit on lagoon 1.


Sunday 7/12/08 – The ponds and lagoons completely frozen this morning, and freezing fog with bright sun giving a magical feeling to the estuary. A (juv/fem) Merlin again; this time it perched briefly in the small wood towards the yacht club, before streaking off over the fields. A Golden Plover amongst the Lapwing in the corn-stubble field by the yacht club. There is a good flock of birds building on the weeds of lagoon 3: c25 Skylark, c50 Chaffinch, 2 Reed Bunting and c10 Linnet. 


Saturday 6/12/08 – A Treecreeper with a tit flock by  lagoon 2. Also 4 Raven at Shepperdine and 5 Stonechat.

AM watched a Marsh Harrier fly over the river being mobbed by gulls, and carry on over lagoon 3 and on towards the south. (This is the latest S. Gloucs. record by 21 days – thanks, MH.) Also: c800 Dunlin, 425 Lapwing, 23 Redshank, 51 Curlew, 137 Wigeon, 3 Snipe and 2 Mute Swan.

And a Chiffchaff was reported.


Friday 5/12/08 – A male and a female Merlin in an aerial duel over the shore by lagoon 3, with plenty of calling between them. And later, a male Peregrine unsuccessfully attacked a lone Dunlin over the river. Also: 1 Grey Wagtail and 3 Stonechat.


Sunday 30/11/08 – A Knot and 3 Oystercatcher with the c1,000 Dunlin along the shore, and a flock of 73 Canada Goose on the salt-marsh at the yacht club.

SK and the BOC reported the Black Redstart.


Saturday 29/11/08 – Some cracking views of a juvenile Merlin this morning. First seen along shore by lagoon 3, and then later sat on a fence-post at Shepperdine, where it then attacked the c500 Dunlin there. Also: 3 Stonechat, 10 Shoveler and c200 Lapwing.

SK reported the Black Redstart again along the shore.


Saturday 22/11/08 – The Black Redstart was at the Water Works again, on the fence by Lagoon 2, but mobile. Along the shore towards the yacht club there was a flock of 64 Canada Goose on the mudflats, and a Bar-tailed Godwit with them. In the hedge there, were 2 male Yellowhammer.


Black Redstart, probably 1st-winter male (with light tertial panel), Water Works/Lagoon 2, 22/11/08.



Friday 21/11/08 – MB reported: Black Redstart still (by the parked Fire Engine).


Sunday 16/11/08 – A Little Owl, 3 Stonechat and 6 Great Black-Backed Gull were the only birds of note.

MP reported a Black Redstart (possibly juvenile male) at the Water Works.


Saturday 15/11/08 – A male and a ‘red-head’ Red-breasted Merganser flew over Lagoon 3 and down the river. While scanning for them, a female/juv Merlin was spotted out over the water, heading for the yacht club where it put-up c400 Lapwing and c300 Dunlin. Also: a Mistle Thrush (lagoon 1), 2 Little Egret, 2 Stonechat, 3 Ringed Plover, c50 Redshank, 300+ Fieldfare and c200 Redwing.  

MP reported a Greenshank on lagoon 3 and a Rock Pipit.

AM reported (WeBS count): 2 Water Rail, 5 Snipe, 200 Wigeon, 107 Teal, 220 Mallard, 14 Shelduck, 11 Shoveler, 477 Dunlin, 149 Curlew, 450 Lapwing and 28 Common Gull.


Saturday 8/11/08 – The Spotted Redshank on Lagoon 1.

AM reported: 11 Knot, 1 Little Egret, c320 Dunlin, 215 Lapwing, 215 Wigeon, 105 Teal, 90 Curlew, 37 Shelduck and 35 Redshank.

MP reported: 56 Black-tailed Godwit and 5 Grey Plover.


Tuesday 4/11/08 – A Greenshank landed in front of the hide, on Lagoon 3, at 11am. Chaffinch were heading E/NE in even higher numbers today with 800+ counted in 3 hours. Also: 2 Little Egret, 1 Chiffchaff and 13 Snipe.


Greenshank, Lagoon 3, 4/11/08.



Monday 3/11/08 – 6 Greylag Goose highish over to East this morning. Also 1+ Redpoll on tall weeds in NE corner of Lagoon 2. Chaffinch still moving through to NE with c200 estimated. Good selection of waders: 1 Spotted Redshank (Lagoon 1), 2 Knot, c60 Black-tailed Godwit, c500 Dunlin, c250 Lapwing and 25+ Redshank.

[A dog-walker reported a Short-eared Owl on Lagoon 2, “2 weeks ago”.]


HT Roost containing Gulls, Lapwing, Wigeon, Teal and other ducks and waders, Lagoon 1, 3/11/08.



Saturday 1/11/08 – I watched a Merlin for 10 minutes this morning, as it flew from the shore past the yacht club out over the river, heading NE into the wind and gradually gaining height. It then headed over to the far shore. Not such a big migration this morning, but the following seen over to NE from 7:30 – 8am: c175 Starling, c160 Woodpigeon, 60 Chaffinch, 32 Fieldfare, 20 Redwing (+ 100 in bushes) and 1 Skylark. The high-tide roost on Lagoon 1 had: c60 Black-tailed Godwit, c430 Dunlin, 3 Snipe and 5 Shoveler. Also: 1 Siskin (over), another c50 Dunlin, 10 Shelduck, 3 Raven and 2 Stonechat.

WK reported: 13 Pintail downriver, 11 Shoveler, 131 Black-headed Gull on lagoon 1 and flocks of 300+ & 400+ Redwing.


Friday 31/10/08 – Fantastic visible migration this morning: c3,000 Starling, c3,000 Redwing, c500 Fieldfare, c300 Chaffinch, 16 Skylark, 12 Siskin, c20 Jackdaw, c10 Rook and 1 Blackbird. All heading NE, into wind. (Why would they want to go in that direction ?!) Not classic weather, either; little cloud and sunny. But they were still moving at 10:30am. Lagoon 1 had 57 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Snipe and a Knot. A Rock Pipit was on the jetty, with 2 Stonechat nearby (and another 2 on Lagoon 2). A probable female/juvenile Goldeneye flew upriver.





Tuesday 28/10/08 – The single Spotted Redshank and Knot plus the Black-tailed Godwit flock were on Lagoon 1 again. A definite influx of Blackbird overnight with c30 counted, many thin-looking and gulping Haws from the bushes. Also: 1 Yellowhammer, 1 Stonechat, c90 Dunlin and 40+ Redshank.


Sunday 26/10/08 – A Red-breasted Merganser was on the tidal reservoir. A large flock of 72 Canada Goose were grazing on the salt-marsh by the yacht club, and 9 Grey Plover there on the shore. Lagoon 1 had: 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Knot, 56 Black-tailed Godwit, c20 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, 12 Shoveler, 1 Little Egret and a Fox. Also 2 Stonechat.


Red-breasted Merganser, Tidal Reservoir, 26/10/08.



Saturday 25/10/08 – 11 Bullfinch were at the south end of Lagoon 2 this morning. Other migrants over: c30 Redwing, c50 Chaffinch, c20 Greenfinch, c100 Starling and movements of Woodpigeon. The 60 Black-tailed Godwit and 174 Teal were at Shepperdine. Also 2+ Stonechat and 15 Snipe on lagoon 1.


Thursday 23/10/08 – A male Merlin zoomed along the shore by lagoon 3, heading downriver into strong wind. The Spotted Redshank on lagoon 1 again.


Sunday 19/10/08 – Even more birds seen migrating to SW this morning: 300+ Redwing, c250 Starling, 60+Fieldfare, 1 Mistle Thrush, c100 Chaffinch, 3 Greenfinch and 3 Yellowhammer. Waders pretty much same as yesterday, but Spot. Redshank not seen and 5 Grey Plover at the yacht club. Also 1 Blackcap eating sloes.


Saturday 18/10/08 – Potentially excellent weather conditions for visible migration this morning (low cloud and light drizzle following a clear night), didn’t disappoint: 250+ Redwing, 11 Fieldfare, 1 Mistle Thrush, c20 Song Thrush, 3 Siskin, 1 Redpoll, 3 Skylark, c50 Chaffinch and c10 Greenfinch over, most heading SW into wind. A late Swallow was at the south end of lagoon 1, where also: 1 Spotted Redshank, c30 Redshank, c80 Dunlin and 50+ Black-tailed Godwit. Lagoon 3 had c150 Lapwing. Also: 5 Stonechat (lagoons 2 & 3) and 1 Peregrine.

MP also reported: 86 Starling, 92 Chaffinch, 7 Meadow Pipit, 1 Mistle Thrush (back of field to N of lagoon 1), 21 Woodpigeon, 2 Rock Pipit (sluice to lagoon 3) and 1 Collared Dove on stone bank near lagoon 1.

AM also reported: 25 Shoveler, 57 Canada Goose and 1 Little Egret.


Spotted Redshank, Lagoon 1, 18/10/08.



Sunday 12/10/08 – The mist this morning caused a ‘fall’ of thrushes again with 15+ Song Thrush and 10+ Blackbird along the main rhine. There were 8+ Stonechat on-site (2 on lagoon 3, rest on lagoon 2). Lagoon 1 held; 11 Snipe, 17 Shoveler and 56 Black-tailed Godwit. Also: 25 Dunlin, 1 Oystercatcher and a Redpoll over.


Saturday 11/10/08 – Waders at Shepperdine approaching High Tide: 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 4 Grey Plover, c50 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Dunlin and c70 Lapwing. There were 6 Snipe on lagoon 1. Also, 2 Stonechat at Shepperdine and another 3+ on lagoon 2 (reported by AM). The first Redwing of the autumn was along the main rhine (5 days later than last year).


Curlew Sandpiper at Shepperdine, and a Mystery Bird sat on the water of the Tidal Reservoir (click Link to reveal what !), 11/10/08.



Friday 10/10/08 – MP reported, in evening: 64 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Greenshank, 11 Redshank, 6 Snipe, 8 Shoveler (all on lagoon 1), 3+ Stonechat (lagoon 2), 59 Lapwing, 5 Ringed Plover (lagoon 3).


Thursday 9/10/08 – MP reported: 67 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Knot, 1 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 12 Grey Plover, 48 Dunlin, 8 Ringed Plover, 16 Curlew, 44 Redshank, c70 Lapwing, 75 Turnstone, 4 Snipe (lagoon 1), 1 Little Egret (not even a hint of blue !!), 17 Shoveler, c150 Teal, 42 Wigeon, 2 Pintail, 2 Stonechat, 2 Raven and c100 Pied Wagtail.


Wednesday 8/10/08 – A glorious sunny day! A Kingfisher flashed along the main rhine; 3 Rock Pipit on the shore (2 on reservoir wall and one at Shepperdine); a Little Grebe was in the pools by the tidal reservoir just off lagoon 3; and, an unusual sight of 4 Rook with Crows on the shore. A lot of waders about today: 11 Grey Plover, 150+ Redshank (inc. a flock of 144 towards yacht club), 66 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Little Egret, 6 Snipe, c50 Lapwing, 6 Ringed Plover and 40+ Dunlin. The Treecreeper was along the track to the hide. Also 9 Skylark, 4 Stonechat and 50+ Stock Dove (flying to SE of lagoon 2).

[60 species seen today. Rock Pipit was my 130th species at the site this year. 142 species seen by all-comers at the site this year.]


Tuesday 7/10/08 – On lagoon 1 at high tide: 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, c60 Black-tailed Godwit, c10 Redshank, 1 Knot, c200 Starling, 2 Mute Swan, 155 Teal, 8 Shoveler, c20 Lapwing, c40 Wigeon and 10+ House Martin.

Also: 1 Oystercatcher, 3 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin and 2 Siskin heading downriver.


Adult Knot (on left) and juvenile Curlew Sandpiper at back of right-hand photo (but on the move), 7/10/08.



Sunday 5/10/08 – 2 adult winter Mediterranean Gull on Lagoon 3 this morning. There appeared to have been a passage of thrushes overnight, with c10 each of Song Thrush and Blackbird on lagoon 1, and also 5 Robin there. The number of Goldcrest has also increased in the last week with c10 counted on-site today. The 59 Black-tailed Godwit on lagoon 1 were joined by a Curlew Sandpiper, 23 Turnstone and c15 Dunlin at high tide. Flying over were: 10+ House Martin, 20 Canada Goose and a few Chaffinch.  Also: 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Grey Plover and c20 Redshank.

MP reported: The Treecreeper along the main rhine and a ‘White’ Wagtail with 26 Pied Wagtail on lagoon 1.


Adult winter Med. Gull, 5/10/08.



Saturday 4/10/08 – Heading downriver into the wind were 6+ House Martin and 7+ Swallow, which are quite late. The large flock of 62 Black-tailed Godwit were at Shepperdine again, plus 1 Grey Plover and 70 Turnstone there. Also 2 Raven on a sheep carcass in a field there. A Treecreeper was with a tit flock along the bridleway to the shore (same place I found one on 6/10/07 !). A pair of Mute Swan are on Lagoon 1 (having been absent from the site since May. Only 3 Ringed Plover and 2 Dunlin.

AM also reported: 2 Pintail and 1 Little Egret.

MP also reported: 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 1 Stonechat.


Wednesday 1/10/08 – A wintery NW wind this evening. Lagoon 1 had a Pintail, 9 Shoveler, 1 Snipe and 65 Black-tailed Godwit.


Sunday 28/9/08 – PD reported: 1 Wheatear, 1+ Water Rail (heard, lagoon 2) and 1 Green Woodpecker.


Saturday 27/9/08 – AM reported: 1 Wheatear (probably of ‘Greenland’ race), 65 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Shoveler, 6 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, 4 Snipe, 82 Teal, 115 Wigeon, 1 Little Egret, 63 Lapwing, 2 Raven, 40 Turnstone, 50 Meadow Pipit, 20 Stock Dove and 5 Jay.


Friday 26/9/08 – On the shore this morning were: 1 Greenshank, 1 Knot, 4 Grey Plover, 71 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Snipe (plus one on lagoon 3), c40 Redshank, c10 Dunlin, c80 Wigeon and 51 Canada Goose. A Stonechat was on lagoon 2. Also, 5 Swallow, c20 House Martin, a Little Owl (heard) and a Grey Wagtail.


Thursday 25/9/08 – MP reported: 2 Snipe, 76 Canada Goose, 60 Black-tailed Godwit, 54 Lapwing, 15 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover and 15 Shoveler.


Sunday 21/9/08 – A Kingfisher flew past the hide and then around the reeds on lagoon 3 several times (where water being pumped in). There were 2 Stonechat towards the yacht club, with another (juv) on lagoon 2. A good flock of 34 Black-tailed Godwit at Shepperdine, but just 26 Dunlin, 16 Ringed Plover and 8 Redshank at high tide. Still c500 House Martin gathering around the cooling towers.

MP also reported 2 Little Stint at Shepperdine with a flock of small waders and 2 Snipe.


Juvenile Ringed Plover. (Photo by MP) (21/9/08).



Saturday 20/9/08 – A few migrants over this morning: 19 Greenfinch, 1 Skylark, 8 Meadow Pipit and a Siskin. 3 juvenile Grey Wagtail briefly landed by lagoon 2. A flock of c60 Redshank were along the shore to the yacht club. A flock of 56 Canada Goose flew downriver. Also: 1 Wheatear, 1 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap and c35 Lapwing on the flooded lagoon 3. Butterflies seen: Small Copper, Comma and Red Admiral.

The female Peregrine carried a large kill (later seen to be a Racing Pigeon with a blue leg-ring) to a pylon, followed by the male. The female ate her fill, before handing over the carcass to the male. They also dive-bombed a Buzzard flying past beneath them.

AM reported a Redstart on lagoon 2, a total of 79 Canada Goose and c700 House Martin around the cooling towers.


The Peregrines squabble over a kill.(20/9/08).



Friday 19/9/08 – 30 Black-tailed Godwit and a Little Egret on the shore by lagoon 1 this evening. (Water being pumped into lagoon 3.)


Wednesday 17/9/08 – On the shore by Lagoon 1, this evening: a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 254 Curlew, 12 Ringed Plover and 11 Dunlin. 133 Teal were on Lagoon 1. The first 2 Water Rail of the autumn ‘squealed’ from the reeds on lagoon 2. A flock of c500 House Martin were gathering around the cooling towers, and a similar sized flock was hunting high over the fields to SW. A Green Sandpiper was heard by the outlet to lagoon 3.


House Martins perched on the power station.(17/9/08).



Sunday 14/9/08 – MP reported, in evening: a juvenile Little Stint, 2 Knot, a Siskin, 29 Wigeon, 77 Teal, 1 Common Sandpiper, 18 Lapwing and 212 Mallard.


Saturday 13/9/08 – An adult Little Grebe on lagoon 1; plus 120+ Teal and 5 Shoveler there. A flock of c60 House Martin gathered on and around the cooling towers and c20 more headed SW. Lagoon 2 had 1+ Whinchat and a Whitethroat. A large High Tide roost of 324 Curlew at the yacht club. Also: 5 Ringed Plover, 41 Redshank, 1 Little Egret and 14 Lapwing.


Little Grebe (lagoon 1) and Whinchat (lagoon 2). (13/9/08).



Friday 12/9/08 – This evening a site-record flock of 75 Canada Goose noisily flew upriver and settled briefly on the water at Shepperdine, before most headed further upriver. The only small waders were 2 Common Sandpiper and 2 Turnstone (one juvenile).  3 Wheatear along the shore.

Earlier MP also reported: 5 Shoveler, 55 Teal, 1 Little Egret, 10 Lapwing and 10 Ringed Plover.


Sunday 7/9/08 – Another first for the site this morning; a cracking Firecrest in the hedge along the bridleway from the entrance to the shore, by the large oak tree (halfway along), and still there at 12:30pm. There were 55 Canada Goose on lagoon 1 (MP count) and 3 Wheatear still. Also a flock of 14 Cormorant downriver (and another 6 seen).


Saturday 6/9/08 – AM had a spectacular morning. At c10:30am he watched a Spoonbill flying across and up river, circle a few times and land into lagoon 3. It stayed for 5 minutes, but was extremely flighty, and despite being with 2 Little Egret on the ground, left and headed downriver (relocated at Northwick Wharf at c11:05). Then at 11:45am he watched, first an Arctic Skua (dark phase) and then a juvenile Long-tailed Skua fly downriver. They were seen first upriver at Sharpness, and later seen at Severnside. (First record at the site for Long-tailed Skua.) He had earlier seen a Kingfisher on the main rhine.

At 10am a flock of 55 Knot flew high upriver, circled around Shepperdine for 10 minutes and then flew low back down river. The birds were in various states of moult, with some having quite a lot of red, but others all grey. (This is the third largest flock ever to be seen at the site; largest being 63 and 80, in 1994.) There were another 2 Knot on lagoon 1, with 81 Black-tailed Godwit and 97 Teal. A Tree Pipt was on lagoon 2. c10 Blackbird (mainly juveniles), 5 Song Thrush and 3 Blackcap in the hedge of lagoon 1. Also 3 Wheatear, 2 Grey Wagtail and a c30 Swallow.

(That’s 140 species at the site this year.)


Friday 5/9/08 – Zero small waders this evening. 95 Teal, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Lapwing and 4 Redshank on a very full lagoon 1. Also, 6 Song Thrush and 4 Blackbird on lagoon 1, which were probably migrants. 3 Wheatear on the shore. Mixed flocks of c60 House Martin and c50 Swallow.


Thursday 4/9/08 – MP reported, in evening on lagoon 1: 1 Greenshank, 1 drake Gadwall, 93 Teal, 9 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Redshank, 25+ Canada Goose (flew on at dusk) and 6 Lapwing. Also, 284 Curlew with 2+ Whimbrel in pre-roost gathering on shore near lagoon 1, then onto lagoon 1 when nearly dark. Plus 13 Black-tailed Godwit on shore, 20 Dunlin, 15 Ringed Plover, 2 Little Owl and 1 Wheatear.


Wednesday 3/9/08 – Stormy winds and rain blowing up the channel this evening left an exhausted juvenile Shag on the shore by the jetty at dusk. It struggled back in the water when I approached along the path and disappeared round the end of the jetty. Some good waders around as well, with juveniles of Curlew Sandpiper and Sanderling. Also, lagoon 1 held a good count of 23 Black-tailed Godwit, with 2 Turnstone (unusual here) and 5 Wigeon. A juvenile Moorhen was away from permanent water along the bridleway from the entrance to the shore. Plus a Wheatear.


Monday 1/9/08 – MP reported: 1 Grey Plover, 1 Sanderling, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit (lagoon 1), 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Little Egret, c100 Ringed Plover, c120 Dunlin, 27+ Turnstone, 3 Redshank, c30 Curlew (lagoon 1), 14 Teal, 1 Wheatear, 1 Yellow Wagtail (over) and quite a few Swallow moving SW early morning.

AM reported: 100 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Sanderling and a Tree Pipit (lagoon 2).


Grey Plover starting to moult out of summer plumage (Photo by MP). (1/9/08).


High Tide roost on lagoon 1 from 31/8/08 (Photo by MP).


Here is a report of my recent trip to The Camargue, south France


Sunday 31/8/08 – MP reported, this evening: 143 Curlew, 1 Whimbrel, 9 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Knot, 1 Redshank, 12 Teal, 1 Wigeon, 6 Lapwing, 5 Grey Heron. Also: 10 Cormorant roosting, 1 Wheatear and the Peregrine pair on the cooling tower.

This morning, a Lesser Whitethroat was ‘tac’ing from bushes along the road. A Willow Warbler and c10 Chiffchaff were about (with latter singing).


Saturday 30/8/08 – This evening, a Redstart in the Buckthorn bush at the river end of Lagoon 1, and a Whinchat and 2 Whitethroat on lagoon 2. Along the shore were 11 Black-tailed Godwit, 40 Redshank, 5 Common Sandpiper, 4 Wheatear, 1 Little Egret and a flock of c150 Ringed Plover and Dunlin. A flock of c300 Swallow headed downriver at dusk.

MP reported, this morning: a Kingfisher along the shore at high tide, c15 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Common Sandpiper, c40 Ringed Plover, c20 Dunlin and 6 Grey Heron.

WK also reported: 2 Blackcap and 60+ House Martin over the lake.


Wednesday 27/8/08 – AM reported: 2 Knot, 37 Dunlin, 64 Ringed Plover, 1 Little Egret, 1 Wheatear and a Peregrine retrieving a dead Redshank from a cache on the cooling tower.


Saturday 23/8/08 – 12 Black-tailed Godwit and a Knot at Shepperdine. The high tide roost on lagoon 3 had 68 Ringed Plover and c50 Dunlin. Around 100 House Martin were gathering on the cooling tower and c80 Goldfinch were on weeds. Also: 2 Sanderling (in flight, downriver), 1 Whinchat (lagoon 2), 2 Wheatear, 5 Whitethroat, 1 Common Sandpiper, 4 Oystercatcher, 16+ Turnstone (on ‘ledges’ buoy), 9 Redshank and a singing Chiffchaff.

Black-tailed Godwit (Shepperdine). (23/8/08).


Friday 22/8/08 – This evening there were 4 Whinchat and 3 Whitethroat on lagoon 2, in the SUN ! Along the shore were 2 Wheatear, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Oystercatcher, 7 Ringed Plover and 1 Dunlin. On lagoon 1 there were 7 Lapwing and 3 Teal.


Thursday 21/8/08 - MP reported, on falling tide this afternoon: 10 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 23 Canada Goose, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Whimbrel, 13 Curlew, 3 Common Sandpiper, 7 Lapwing, 2 Yellow Wagtail (feeding on lagoon 1 around cattle), 14 Redshank, 3 Little Egret, 2 Raven and only 2 Dunlin and 2 Ringed Plover.


Wednesday 20/8/08 – 1 Little Egret and 6 Common Sandpiper on the shore this evening. Also 10 Canada Goose and 2 Teal on lagoon 1, and 150+ Swallow.

MP reported: 2 Little Tern downriver at 8am, 3 Sanderling (downriver at high tide), 1 Whinchat (lagoon 2), 1 Little Egret, 10 Black-tailed Godwit, 42 Dunlin (lagoon 3), 71 Ringed Plover (lagoon 3), 1 Whimbrel, 4 Common Sandpiper, 1 Wheatear, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 13 Teal, 63 Mallard, 1 Redshank, 1 Oystercatcher, a House Sparrow and lots of warblers about including many bright juvenile Willow Warbler.


Tuesday 19/8/08 – MP reported: an eclipse male and a female Garganey (lagoon 1), 1 Whimbrel, 1 Wheatear, 42 Ringed Plover, 37 Dunlin, 5 Common Sandpiper, 1 Tree Pipit (over) and a Teal.


Sunday 17/8/08 – This evening, 2 Little Egret and 4 Common Sandpiper.

This morning, MP reported: 40 ‘Commic’ Tern and 1+ Black Tern downriver at c10:30am. Also the Redstart again and 7 Common Sandpiper.


Saturday 16/8/08 – A good variety of autumn birds; matching the weather ! 1 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Tree Pipit over to SW (latter may be going onto lagoon 2), 2 Wheatear on lagoon 2 and 2 Knot on lagoon 1. The Redstart was again on the lagoon 1 fence (viewable from lagoon 2). Also: 26 Dunlin, 3 Common Sandpiper and c10 Ringed Plover on lagoon 3. Best sighting was a huge Red Underwing moth, 2 inches long, flying down the shore.

RS reported a Whimbrel on lagoon 1.

Wheatear(lagoon 2) and Knot (lagoon 1). (16/8/08).


Red Underwing moth on the shore. (16/8/08).



Friday 15/8/08 – A Hobby was over the farm to south of lagoon 2. A Redstart was on the same fence as on 8th, so assume same bird. The family of 4 Canada Goose moved to lagoon 1, with the young probably taking their first flight to get there. A juvenile female Peregrine flew low over my head and then half-heartedly attempted to attack a Mallard , then a Black-headed Gull. Also: a Yellow Wagtail over, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Whitethroat and 3 Blackcap.

AM reported: 86 Ringed Plover, 38 Dunlin, the Peregrine pair flying to a pylon with a kill, 2 juvenile Sparrowhawk and a Wheatear.


Tuesday 12/8/08 – A mixed flock of waders at Shepperdine had: 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Whimbrel, 77 Ringed Plover and c40 Dunlin. There were c25 Canada Goose at the yacht club and the family of 4 still on the lake.

MP/AM reported: 1 Green Sandpiper, 4 Green Woodpecker and 2 Oystercatcher.


Saturday 9/8/08 – At Shepperdine this morning were: 34 Ringed Plover, 18 Dunlin and 4 Oystercatcher. 12 Canada Goose on the lake and nearby the female Sparrowhawk brought in a kill for the two noisy juveniles.


Friday 8/8/08 – A juvenile Redstart was on the fence in the middle of lagoon 1. Lagoon 3 had 43 Ringed Plover and 43 Dunlin roosting on it at high tide, as well as lots of gulls. A Willow Warbler was by the reeds on lagoon 2. There were 14 Canada Goose on the lake, with a further 10 at the yacht club. A family of Sparrowhawk were very vocal in trees by the hide.

AM also reported: 1 Common Sandpiper, a family party of 7 Raven and 21 Whimbrel.

Redstart, lagoon 1. (8/8/08).



Wednesday 6/8/08 – 1 Green Sandpiper and 10 Lapwing on lagoon 1, 3 Raven, 5 Redshank,


Sunday 3/8/08 – At high tide, Lagoon 3 held: 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Dunlin and c300 Black-headed Gull. There were 6+ Turnstone roosting on the ‘Ledges’ buoy, 2 Common Sandpiper at Shepperdine, an adult Reed Warbler feeding a young fledgling and c90 Mallard.

AM reported: 8 Common Sandpiper, a female Tufted Duck with 12 ducklings on the lake, 20 Redshank, 2 juvenile Sparrowhawk.

Large Yellow Underwing moth in the hide. (3/8/08).



Thursday 31/7/08 – MP reported: 7 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover, 3 Common Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper, 6 Lapwing, 1 Whimbrel, 7 Canada Goose, c400 Black-headed Gull, 5 Common Gull and the Peregrine pair.


Wednesday 30/7/08 – MP reported: 1 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, 1 Mediterranean Gull (adult), 1 Green Sandpiper (juvenile), 3 Common Sandpiper, 8 Lapwing, c400 Black-headed Gull, 9 Common Gull (7ad, 1 2nd sum, 1 juv).


Tuesday 29/7/08 – MP reported: 33 Pied Wagtail (inc. 25+ juvenile), 7 Stock Dove, 9 Lapwing, 1 Little Ringed Plover (juvenile on lagoon 1), 1 Wheatear (juvenile), 2 Redshank, Peregrine pair, 61 Mallard, 2 Common Gull, c.550 Black-headed Gull and 2 Fox.


Sunday 27/7/08 – MP reported: 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 juvenile Sedge Warbler, 8+ juvenile Willow Warbler, 11 Canada Goose and 1 Little Egret.


Saturday 26/7/08 – AM reported: 8 Lapwing (lagoon 1), 6 Stock Dove, a family of Bullfinch and Reed Warbler very active with estimated 30 pairs.


Friday 25/7/08 – This evening, lagoon 1 held: 1 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 9 Lapwing, 1 Grey Wagtail and 5 Stock Dove. A female Mallard was with 9 small ducklings on the shore.


Wednesday 23/7/08 – A Greenshank and a Lapwing on lagoon 1, c200 Swallow going to roost in the reeds on lagoon 2 and c300 Curlew on mudflats.


Sunday 20/7/08 – A male Teal was a surprise, moulting in reeds on the lake.

MP reported: 4 Dunlin, 6 Great Black-backed Gull, c700 Black-headed Gull, 6 adult Common Gull, c150 Swallow, 1 Sand Martin and 2 Peregrine.


Saturday 19/7/08 – What looked to be the same Yellow-legged Gull as MP reported, on lagoon 1 this morning; it appears to be a 3rd year moulting to adult (or a ‘worn’ adult moulting). Large high tide gull roosts on lagoons 1 and 3, and after the latter dispersed, an adult and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull were left.

AM reported: a Grey Wagtail at the water works (possibly carrying food) and 15+ House Martin.

(Total of 130 species seen at the site so far this year.)

Yellow-legged Gull, lagoon 1. (19/7/08).



Friday 18/7/08 – A Sedge Warbler singing on lagoon 2. Another large gull roost at evening High Tide, including 3 Great Black-backed Gull (2 x 3rd yr and a adult). Also 5 Jay and 3 Fox seen.

Earlier, SK reported: 1 Little Egret and 3 Green Woodpecker.


Thursday 17/7/08 – MP reported a 3rd year Yellow-legged Gull and a Mediterranean Gull on lagoon 3 in the evening, with c900  Black-headed Gull.

Yellow-legged Gull, lagoon 3. (17/7/08). (Photo by MP)



Wednesday 16/7/08 – A Mediterranean Gull moulting from summer plumage (thought different to yesterday’s bird) with the c800 Black-headed Gull on lagoon 3 in evening roost, another c200 Black-headed Gull on lagoon 1. 


Tuesday 15/7/08 – MP reported: 1 Mediterranean Gull beginning to moult from summer plumage with the c600 Black-headed Gull (inc. 11 juveniles) and 2 Common Gull on lagoon 3 in evening roost. Also: 2 Redshank and 2 Peregrine.


Sunday 13/7/08 – 2 possible ‘Islandica’ Black-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel and a Little Egret on lagoon 1. 5 Common Sandpiper, 5 Redshank and 2 Oystercatcher on the shore. c450 Black-headed Gull on lagoon 3 and c100 on lagoon 1. The last Buzzard juvenile has fledged the nest. Also a Grey Wagtail on lagoon 2.


Saturday 12/7/08 – Pretty much same again. The possible ‘Islandica’  Black-tailed Godwit and a Whimbrel on lagoon 1; and an adult Mediterranean Gull in summer plumage with the Black-headed Gull flock on lagoon 3. Two of the Buzzard juveniles have left the nest, leaving one remaining. A small juvenile Coot was on the lake. Also a Sedge Warbler and a male Emperor Dragonfly.

MP also reported 2 Mediterranean Gull and 4 Common Sandpiper this morning.

‘Icelandic’ Black-tailed Godwit, lagoon 1. (12/7/08).


Whimbrel (lagoon 1) and Pyramidal orchids. (12/7/08).



Friday 11/7/08 – A Green Sandpiper, a Black-tailed Godwit of Islandica sub-species (I think) and a Whimbrel on lagoon 1. Another 2 male Black-tailed Godwit Islandica on the shore, and 2 Little Egret there. A Peregrine was flying low over the river carrying prey. Also 4 juvenile House Sparrow in hedge along main rhyne.

‘Icelandic’ Black-tailed Godwit and Green Sandpiper, lagoon 1. (11/7/08).




Tuesday 8/7/08 – An adult Mediterranean Gull in summer plumage roosting with the Black-headed Gull flock on lagoon 3, and 2 Whimbrel with Curlew on lagoon 1. The 2 Canada Goose goslings are still on the lake with parents and the Buzzard fledglings were still in the nest.

Mediterranean Gull, lagoon 3. (8/7/08).


6/7/08 – AM reported: 13 Common Sandpiper and a juvenile Herring Gull with orange leg-ring with blue letters ‘DYT’.


Wednesday 2/7/08 – Return passage really got going with an adult Mediterranean Gull among c150 Black-headed Gull flying downriver at High Tide and then roosting at the yacht club, this evening. Also 28 Curlew there. Another c250 Black-headed Gull, 2 Common Gull and 6 Oystercatcher were roosting on lagoon 3. Along the shore were 8 Common Sandpiper and Shelduck broods of 20+ and 8+. A Buzzard nest just off-site has 3 fully grown juveniles in it; wing-flexing and ready to go.

Buzzards in nest. Third juvenile is behind on left. (This was taken from about 100 yards away from nest; digi-scoping using x40 zoom.)  (2/7/08).


Sunday 29/6/08 – An amazing ‘creche’ of 39 Shelduck ducklings at Shepperdine, plus the 9 again at the yacht club.


Saturday 28/6/08 – No birds upriver at high tide, in strong westerly wind, but a Common Sandpiper and 9 Shelduck ducklings at the yacht club, and 62 Black-headed Gull (inc. 3 juvs.) roosting on lagoon 3. Also a juvenile Peregrine on the cooling towers.

This morning - 10 Black-headed Gull included the first 2 juveniles. The Canada Goose goslings are half-grown now. Also: 2 Raven, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Oystercatcher and some Ringlet butterflies.

Ringlet butterfly. (28/6/08).


Sunday 22/6/08 – A very windy day, with 10 Black-headed Gull and 3 (probable) Whimbrel downriver at low tide. The female Peregrine was carrying a large prey item over the mudflats, but dropped it, and the male fed on it. Also 17 Curlew on mudflats.


Friday 20/6/08 – Nine young Shelduck ducklings with parents are the first of the year. There were 22 Black-headed Gull and 3 Dunlin on the shore at the yacht club. Also, 3 Fox cubs playing together on-site.

Shelducks. (20/6/08).


Tuesday 17/6/08 – A Red Kite slowly flew over lagoon 3 from the south at 3.30pm, and then drifted NE along the shore to lagoon 2 before being lost behind the cooling towers. The Canada Goose family still contain two gosling on the lake. Marbled White butterfly and lots of Pyramidal and Bee Orchids.


Friday 13/6/08 – 11 Ringed Plover and 6 Dunlin on the shore are unusual for mid-June.


Saturday 7/6/08 – A pair of Grey Wagtail taking food to the Water Works. Singing in the sun were: 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 15 Reed Warbler (inc. one in each of 4 small reedbeds to SW of lagoon 3) and a Sedge Warbler. Also: a Little Owl, 4 House Sparrow in paddock to south of lagoon 2, and a Chiffchaff family.

Little Owl. (7/6/08).


Sunday 1/6/08 – A Grasshopper Warbler was reeling again on lagoon 2 early this morning. Also a Little Owl calling at each end of the site.

AM reported: 1 Little Egret, another 3 Canada Goose and 3 Raven

Grasshopper Warbler, lagoon 2. (1/6/08).


Canada Goose with 2 goslings. (1/6/08).


Saturday 31/5/08 – An Osprey with a fish in its talons flew low upriver at 2:55pm. It flew over the tidal reservoir by lagoon 3 then started gaining height and headed NNE over to the other side of the river. As it passed the reservoir wall it was mobbed repeatedly by the female Peregrine. The Canada Goose pair have 2 goslings on the lake (first reported by AM on 28th). The first juvenile Whitethroat was on lagoon 2, and a pair of Grey Wagtail were at the Water Works. A single flock of waders held 1 Sanderling, 1 Ringed Plover and 3 Dunlin. Also, 4 Oystercatcher and a distant Cuckoo.

Drinker Moth caterpillar. (31/5/08).



Friday 30/5/08 – A Grasshopper Warbler reeling on lagoon 2 this evening (and reported by security guards yesterday), with 2 Lesser Whitethroat there. A pair of Raven with 2 juveniles, one of which was fed by parent, in sheep field by lagoon 1. The Canada Goose pair have at least one gosling on the lake. Also: a Little Egret on the shore, 2 Lapwing and a Little Owl (heard).


Friday 23/5/08 – A female Yellowhammer was a surprise in trees by the lake. A Grey Wagtail was by the small triangular reedbed on lagoon 2.

Impressive display of buttercups on lagoon 1, where the cattle are grazing now the water level has dropped. (23/5/08).



Wednesday 21/5/08 – Another Spotted Flycatcher this evening, in hedge to SW of lagoon 3, and a Sanderling on the shore. Also, Cuckoo calling again and a Wheatear.

Sanderling, on shore (21/5/08).



Sunday 18/5/08 – 3 Yellow Wagtail in the marshy corner between lagoon 2 and the water works this afternoon. More House Martin and also 30+ Swift moving upriver into wind. A flock of 6 Mute Swan were on the tidal reservoir,  plus the usual one at the yacht club. And 3 Canada Goose here, with pair still on-site. A male House Sparrow was chirping from the hedge along the main rhyne.


Saturday 17/5/08 – A Spotted Flycatcher was mobile in trees around the meadow by the car park late morning. There was a movement of c90 House Martin upriver into wind and 1 Yellow Wagtail also. A Mistle Thrush was unusual on Lagoon 1 and a Grey Wagtail on lagoon 2 is also new. A count of 4 Sedge Warbler singing is good. Only waders were 1 Oystercatcher and 4 Curlew ! 5 Mallard ducklings on lagoon 1 and the Canada Goose still nest-sitting.

MP reported c300 House Martin passing through early morning and a Garden Warbler singing by the entrance.

Mistle Thrush, Lagoon 1 (17/5/08).


Poor photo of Spotted Flycatcher, in meadow by car park (17/5/08).



Wednesday 14/5/08 – MP reported a Garden Warbler by the pond next to Lagoon 2. Also a Little Egret reported.


[ See Pictures from other locations for photos of a Tawny Owl that was sun bathing in a tree at Coate Water, Swindon today (12/5/08).]


Sunday 11/5/08MP reported from Littleton: 5 Whimbrel and 2 Greenland’ Wheatear.

‘Greenland’ Wheatear, Littleton (11/5/08).(Photo by RR)



Saturday 10/5/08 – A male Cuckoo in flight, calling (has been around a couple of weeks now). 3 Dunlin and 3 Ringed Plover on lagoon 3. A Little Egret again, at Shepperdine. 2 Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Sedge Warbler.

AM reported: 5 Grey Heron, 41 Mallard, 42 Shelduck, 3 Oystercatcher, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Black-headed Gull and 4 Collared Dove.

Male Sparrowhawk bathing (10/5/08).



Friday 9/5/08 – Another (or same) summer plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit this evening (on lagoon 1) and a Little Egret on the shore. 12 Black-headed Gull and 4 Common Gull in a flock moving upriver.


Thursday 8/5/08 – MP reported: 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Whimbrel in morning.


Wednesday 7/5/08 – A Bar-tailed Godwit in summer plumage and a Yellow Wagtail over this evening. A flock of 17 Whimbrel upriver. Also 4 Lapwing on the shore (and over lagoon 1) and a Teal there.

Bar-tailed Godwit glowing in the setting sun (7/5/08).



Monday 5/5/08 – 3 Arctic Skua upriver at 7:25am into a NE breeze (at least 2 of them dark phase). A Garden Warbler was singing (and seen well) at south end of lagoon 2. At high tide, 20 Ringed Plover and 20 Dunlin went on lagoon 3 and a Greenshank was on lagoon 1. Also: a Little Egret by the yacht club, 1 Wheatear and 3 Sedge Warbler singing.

Sedge Warbler and 3rd-year Great Black-backed Gull (5/5/08).



Sunday 4/5/08 – A Red Kite flew in off the estuary at the yacht club at about 4pm and then slowly flew East, up over pylons, mobbed by crows. While searching for this from the back of lagoon 2, MP saw a Crane flying to NE before being lost behind trees a few seconds later, also mobbed by crows. MP then watched a flock of c46 Arctic Tern plus c2 Common Tern drop out of the sky to feed on the tidal reservoir. Most left after about 15 minutes, but 17 sat on the reservoir wall, and at least 6 lingered for about an hour. Another flock of 5-10 Common Tern passed upriver. Both flocks were accompanied by a few Black-headed Gull. Some small flocks of waders also passed upriver, gaining height: 1 Sanderling (found by MP), 13 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, 3+ Whimbrel. The corpse of a Porpoise was on the mud flats, sadly.

AM reported (in morning): 2 Grey Plover (1 in summer plumage), 26 Ringed Plover and 18 Dunlin.

HL reported along road to yacht club: 1 Yellowhammer, 1 Skylark, 1 Cuckoo and 2 Grey Wagtail


Saturday 3/5/08 – MP reported a female Marsh Harrier over lagoon 2 at 8:05am, when it headed upriver.

7 Arctic Tern flew up the centre of the river at 6:50am; at 7:50am a Common Tern flew upriver close to shore; and at 8:50am 4 Common Tern flew down river. Other migrants heading upriver: c20 Swift, 1 Sand Martin, 1 Yellow Wagtail and lots of Swallow. The late Short-eared Owl is still at the yacht club and the Australian Shelduck was at Shepperdine. There were 5 Sedge Warbler singing (a good number for here), a Cuckoo, 1 Wheatear and a Collared Dove on-site (unusual). Waders seen: 2+ Whimbrel, 2 Dunlin, 4 Oystercatcher and 1 Lapwing. Canada Goose and Coot on nests. The Peregrine pair were together on separate kills on the towers. (A total of 66 species seen.)


Friday 2/5/08 – AM reported the Short-eared Owl again by the yacht club and a Tree Pipit (singing) and Cuckoo there. Plus a Common Sandpiper on lagoon 1, 5 Ringed Plover (lagoon 3), 2 Sedge Warbler and 2 Whimbrel. Also, 5 Fox cubs on-site.


Thursday 1/5/08

Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon(1/5/08). (Photos by MG)



Wednesday 30/4/08 – A male Australian Shelduck on Lagoon 3 this evening, which appears to be similar to the bird on 15th March, but more grey in the body. Also, a Cuckoo calling, and a Little Egret on the shore.

Australian Shelduck, Lagoon 3(30/4/08).



Monday 28/4/08 – MP reported: a Little Grebe on the lake, 25 Dunlin, 10 Ringed Plover and 2 Mute Swan.


Sunday 27/4/08 – Lots of warblers singing in the sun: 1 Garden Warbler (seen eventually) in bushes at south end of lagoon 2, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Sedge Warbler, 15+ Whitethroat and c10 Reed Warbler. 2 Little Egret flew upriver together and 2 Common Sandpiper, 8 Whimbrel and the male Wigeon on shore. A Canada Goose was nest-sitting on the island in the lake. The first Hawthorn blossom seen today.

Canada Goose on nest in lake (27/4/08).



Saturday 26/4/08 – MP found a male Bearded Tit in the main reedbed on lagoon 2 at 8.30am ! (Only the second record for S. Gloucs., since one was ringed at Littleton, 5/4/81.) It only stayed until 9.15am, when it flew up high, circled for 5 minutes, and headed off high to NE. There were 6+ Whimbrel on the shore and a flock of 25 flew upriver. Other waders: 5 Ringed Plover, 7 Dunlin and 1 Oystercatcher. A Cuckoo was heard (and one reported by dog walker on Wednesday 23/4/08). A late male Wigeon was still at Shepperdine. An Orange-tip butterfly. Also reported by MP: 3 Lesser Whitethroat and the first Swift.


Thursday 24/4/08 – MP reported c30 Sand Martin looking like they were going to roost in the reeds on lagoon 2 in the evening.


Wednesday 23/4/08 – The Grasshopper Warbler was still reeling from the middle of lagoon 2 this evening, with a Lesser Whitethroat there and a Little Egret over. Also: 10+ Whimbrel and a sick looking Common Gull on the shore.

MP reported: 1 Grasshopper Warbler reeling on lagoon 2, 3 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat (first for year) and 4 Whitethroat in morning visit.


Monday 21/4/08 – MP reported: 4 Wheatear, 1 Common Sandpiper, 14 Shoveler and lots of Swallow still moving through.


Sunday 20/4/08 – This evening, a Porpoise wallowing around in the shallows, just 20 yards from shore, by lagoon 3 !

MP reported: 3 Tree Pipit and 2 more Yellow Wagtail over.

Wow, what a morning ! Misty, overcast conditions led to a huge visible migration. Minimum numbers of common migrants heading into wind upriver (inc. from AM): 700 Goldfinch (AM est. c500 per hour !), 300 Linnet, 100 Meadow Pipit, 700 Swallow (c200 per hour), 6 Sand Martin, 1 House Martin, 4 Yellow Wagtail, and lots of Feral Pigeon (racing). A Whinchat and 4 Wheatear were on the shore, along with a Short-eared Owl (considered lighter coloured than recent one). Grounded birds singing were: c75 Chiffchaff, 13 Willow Warbler, 4 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, c10 Whitethroat, lots of Blackcap and finally a cracking male Pied Flycatcher in trees at south end of lagoon 2 (but v. elusive) (my 100th species at OPS in 2008). The only waders were a few Curlew and 1 Lapwing.

(60 species seen in the day.)


Saturday 19/4/08 – The first Sedge Warbler singing from the lake behind the hide. Other migrants were: 5 Whitethroat, 1 Wheatear, 1 Whimbrel and c10 Swallow. Also, 12 Shoveler still on lagoon 1.


Friday 18/4/08 – This evening, A Little Egret over and a Common Sandpiper on the shore. Also, 2 Raven, 10 Swallow. [c20 Fieldfare at Thornbury Sewage Works 1 mile inland from OPS.]

MP reported: No sign of Avocets. 2 Greylag Goose (to NE), lots of Swallow; Linnet and Goldfinch still moving NE; 1 Grey Wagtail and 3 Peregrine together.


Thursday 17/4/08 – MP reported: 4 Avocet at Shepperdine, an adult male Black Redstart by water works, 26 Teal, c70 Dunlin, 5 Ringed Plover, 1 Greenshank (lagoon 1), strong passage of Goldfinch, a few Linnet moving NE, a steady passage of Swallow, 1 House Martin and 2 Sand Martin.

Avocets, Shepperdine (17/4/08).(Photo by MP)



Wednesday 16/4/08 – AM reported: a Ring-necked Parakeet (first for OPS), Common Sandpiper, Whimbrel and Short-eared Owl.


Sunday 13/4/08 – Braving some cold, heavy showers this morning paid dividends, as some good birds showed in the Spring-like breaks in between. At 8am a Cuckoo flew from lagoon 2 out over the river, heading North and gaining height. It flew straight for a dark grey storm cloud and gained height using the updraft around the cloud, before being lost to view. Then at 9:40am a Short-eared Owl was hunting by the yacht club and it was still there at 10am. A Whimbrel was with Curlew in the fields by the yacht club and 3 Whitethroat at lagoon 3 were the first of the year. Lagoon 1 had a Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Shoveler and 20 Teal. Also: a flock of 6 Raven; 7 Swallow, 1 Sand Martin and a Willow Warbler.

HL reported: 12 Oystercatcher, 9 Redshank and c45 Shelduck south of the yacht club.

Short-eared Owl at Thornbury yacht club, 2 Ravens at Shepperdine and a Skylark(13/4/08).




Saturday 12/4/08 – The first Willow Warbler singing by lagoon 2 (the 100th species reported at OPS this year), 3 Swallow, 2 Canada Goose and 7 Tufted Duck on the lake. One male Wigeon remains with 7 Shoveler and c15 Teal.

MG reported a Short-eared Owl by the yacht club again.


Friday 11/4/08 – MP reported: a female Black Redstart mobile around the water works (the 100th species reported at OPS in 2008), 3 Greylag Goose (flying around), 1 Wheatear, 31 Teal, 11 Shoveler, 1 Wigeon and 2 Raven.

Black Redstart, Water Works (11/4/08). (Photo by MP)



Wednesday 9/4/08 – MP reported: 2 Spotted Redshank and 8 Redshank just to the north of OPS, between Shepperdine and Berkley Pill.

Spotted Redshank with Redshank, Shepperdine (9/4/08). (Photo by MP)



Tuesday 8/4/08 – MP reported: 4 Raven, 2 Canada Goose on the lake and 4 Swallow near Great Leaze farm.


Monday 7/4/08 – MP reported: 3 Blackcap, 27 Teal, 15 Shoveler, 3 Grey Plover, 1 Knot, 6 Oystercatcher and the Peregrine pair very active with lots of calling and male display flighting.


Sunday 6/4/08 – AM reported an early male Redstart and a Short-eared Owl at the yacht club this morning.

(MP reassessed the Harrier as a young male yesterday.)


Saturday 5/4/08 – MP reported a 1st/2nd Summer Marsh Harrier heading south at 7.15am.

5 Swallow and a Sand Martin through lagoon 3, and also 10 Ringed Plover there. 4 Blackcap singing and lots of Chiffchaff. A Siskin and c30 Meadow Pipit heading upriver. Also: 1 Wheatear, 2 Raven , 3 Canada Goose, 1 Mute Swan and 3 Redshank.

25 Oystercatcher by the yacht club this evening.


Friday 4/4/08 – A dusk visit was fruitful, with 4 Swallow and another 3 probables, a Greenshank on lagoon 1 (thanks MP) and a Wheatear on the shore. The Peregrine pair were on the nest platform. A Little Owl was again in old trees. Also: 9 Oystercatcher, 40+ Meadow Pipit, 50+ Pied Wagtail and a Fox on lagoon 1.

MP also reported: 83 Shelduck, 15 Shoveler and a ‘White’ Wagtail.

Greenshank, lagoon 1 (4/4/08).



Sunday 30/3/08 – A change to warm sun brought some migrants and butterflies. A Wheatear was on lagoon 2 and then the shore, a male Blackcap was singing with a female nearby and Chiffchaff were singing everywhere. There were 11 Canada Goose on the lake and another 3 on lagoon 1, with 25 Shoveler still there. Also: 5 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing, 3 Stonechat (lagoon 2), 4 Oystercatcher, 3 Redshank and a Snipe (lagoon 2). Butterflies: 2 Peacock, 1 Brimstone, 1 Comma.

Wheatear, lagoon 2 (30/3/08).



Saturday 29/3/08 – A Little Owl in old willows to SW of lagoon 3, 7 Canada Goose on the lake, 10+ Chiffchaff, the Peregrine pair on the nest platform for a short time, 25 Shoveler (lagoon 1), 2 Fieldfare, 6 Great Black-backed Gull (inc. 2 adults, lagoon 3) and 5 Cormorant flying inland (likely migrants). Also, the first Cowslip flowering.

AM also reported: The first Wheatear of the year, 43 Shelduck, 32 Wigeon, 29 Teal, 37 Curlew, 1 Redshank and a Spitfire over ! RC reported 3 Stonechat on lagoon 2.

Shoveler on lagoon 1 (29/3/08).


Wednesday 26/3/08 – RC reported: A very early Swallow, c40 Shoveler (lagoon 1), c40 Wigeon, 1 Oystercatcher, 20 Redwing, 5 Fieldfare, 3 Raven, 10+ Chiffchaff, 6 Tufted Duck (3 pairs) and 1 Canada Goose.


Monday 24/3/08 – A lovely early male Garganey on the lake this morning, watched from 8-8.30am, when it visited lagoon 3 and was last seen flying low around the rhynes/fields to  SW of lagoon 3. Still 8 Chiffchaff around plus c20 Redwing and c10 Fieldfare. A Stonechat was on lagoon 2 and the male Peregrine called to the female on the cooling towers.

MP reported the Peregrine pair mating on a pylon, then flying to the cooling towers at 12:30pm.

Male Garganey on the lake (24/3/08).



Sunday 23/3/08 – Very little to report all weekend, apart from some horrible weather, with Northerly winds and very cold showers. But 6 Chiffchaff and the Peregrine pair still around. Up to 9 Tufted Duck and 2 Canada Goose on the lake. Also Shelduck increased to c40 today. A Weasel crossed the road and a Fox on lagoon 1 on Saturday. 3 Green woodpecker were together on lagoon 2 this morning.

A pair of Green Woodpeckers (23/3/08).


Sunday 16/3/08 – Nothing moving in the biting NE wind this evening, but a Black-tailed Godwit on lagoon 1 and 11 Canada Goose on the shore. Also, 150+ Pied Wagtail went to roost on the roofs of buildings.

[Pumping of water into Lagoon 3 resumed today after a long stop due to repairs.]


Saturday 15/3/08 – The first Spring migration this morning, in still and overcast conditions. 13 Sand Martin headed upriver, as did c30 Meadow Pipit and 4 Skylark. Also, 10+ Chiffchaff singing. An aberrant Shelduck, or Australian/Ruddy Shelduck cross (?) was at Shepperdine, then flew downriver. The female Peregrine landed on the cooling towers with a kill, then after eating for a while flew a short way to allow the male to land on the kill and eat. Also: 20+ Canada Goose (10 on-site and 10+ over), 3 Raven, 2 Stonechat, c15 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing, c70 Turnstone, 2 Oystercatcher and 24 Shoveler.

Aberrant Shelduck or Ruddy/Australian Shelduck x ?, at Shepperdine (15/3/08).



Tuesday 11/3/08 – It’s a funny old world ! News of the Great Bustard at Oldbury Power Station on 26th JANUARY has suddenly hit the outside world !

I was watching the local BBC Points West news last night when MP’s photo from this website (see below) appeared on-screen followed by the story. Then I heard it was in the Bristol Evening Post, and this evening I read it in The Independent. A quick Google found the following:













Sunday 9/3/08 – A Short-eared Owl along the shore and then went to roost on lagoon 3 at 9am (first spotted by AM hunting along the shore and fields to SW of lagoon 3, and then circling near the yacht club). The Knot was back with 8 Grey Plover. The Peregrine pair were on pylons (and one earlier on nest ledge on cooling tower). A Skylark sang over lagoon 2. Also: 1 Raven, 8 Oystercatcher (yacht club), 1 Water Rail (heard), 3 Canada Goose and 3 Green Woodpecker.

AM reported (WeBS count): 6 Stonechat (Lagoon 2), 4 Snipe, 43 Shelduck, 36 Redshank, 34 Mallard, 28 Teal and 229 Wigeon.


Sunday 2/3/08 – The number of Shoveler on the very flooded lagoon 1 rose again to 38 today. Also: 2 Raven, 2 Stonechat, 9 Grey Plover, c250 Dunlin, c70 Fieldfare, the female Peregrine over the cooling towers and a notable exception of any Lapwing over the weekend.


Saturday 1/3/08 – AM reported: 9 Kittiwake downriver at 11am (High Tide), 36 Shoveler on lagoon 1 and the Peregrine pair on the nesting ledge (but no other nesting activity noted this year).

A blustery westerly wind, but a quiet morning: 6 Canada Goose on the shore and a Mute Swan by the yacht club. Also: 9 Grey Plover and 2 Raven.

MP reported a Kittiwake upriver early morning, 33 Shoveler on lagoon 1, 168 Wigeon and a Stonechat.


Tuesday 26/2/08 – A male Merlin flashed low and fast through the flooded fields to SW of lagoon 3 at 3.30pm – picked up when it flew through my telescope view while scanning. It didn’t stay, but kept heading NE, 150m inland. The number of Shoveler on the very flooded lagoon 1 increased to 32.


Sunday 24/2/08 – A couple of very unusual sightings this morning: A Tawny Owl sat in a classic hole in a dead tree to SW of lagoon 3 (8.30am); and a Great Crested Grebe flying high over, heading south. Also, the 10 Grey Plover still, 29 Shoveler (lagoon 1), 4 Stonechat (lagoon 2), 2 Canada Goose (on lake) and a Peregrine sat on the cooling tower (hasn’t done that for a while).


Saturday 23/2/08 – AM/MP reported a Short-eared Owl again flushed from the path around lagoon 3 and then perched for some time on a log along the shore, at 9am. Also 28 Shoveler on lagoon 1.

A walk with Bristol Naturalist Society found: 2 House Sparrow (calling from hedge by lagoon 3 – unusual on site), 1 Peregrine, 3 Green Woodpecker, 10 Tufted Duck (lake), 1 Stonechat and some bat droppings in the hide !


Thursday 21/2/08 – MP reported: on lagoon 1: 28 Shoveler, 229 Wigeon, 31 Teal, 150 Dunlin, 200 Lapwing, 23 Redshank. Also, 2 Water Rail (Lagoon 2) and roost on Tidal Reservoir: c1500 Common Gull, c3500 Black-headed Gull, 42 Lesser-black Backed Gull and 20 Herring Gull.

[Also of local interest: 13 Brambling reported by HL from a Thornbury garden this week.]


Wednesday 20/2/08 – JL reported a male Red-crested Pochard on the lake behind the hide at 1pm (a first for the site, and only the 5th for South Gloucestershire).

Red-crested Pochard (20/2/08). (Photos by JL)



Sunday 17/2/08 – A fresh and sunny afternoon with some big bird counts: 83 Turnstone (Shepperdine), 21 Shoveler (lagoon 1) and c3,000 Starling going to roost in trees by the yacht club. Also: 10 Grey Plover, 7 Canada Goose, 45 Curlew, 6 Snipe, and c300 Dunlin. Lots of Blackthorn bushes flowering.

[1 mile inland of OPS, 2 Little Egret roosting along rhyne by Severn Drainage Board office.]]

Turnstone (17/2/08).


Daffodils in the orchard (17/2/08).



Saturday 16/2/08 – On a very cold morning (-3 degrees), a Little Egret and 7 Canada Goose on the lake. The 10 Grey Plover and an Oystercatcher were at Shepperdine. Also: 5 Stonechat (3 on lagoon 2 and 2 on lagoon 3), 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Raven and a Weasel bounding through the long grass along the shore.

AM also reported 2 Ringed Plover and 36 Shelduck.


Sunday 10/2/08 – The Treecreeper was with a Long-tailed Tit flock again. At Shepperdine there were 10 Grey Plover, 5+ Raven and a Grey Wagtail. A Green Woodpecker was heard calling and drumming (unusual). 3 Chaffinch singing again.

AM reported (WeBS count): c30 Skylark (towards yacht club), 8 Ringed Plover, 221 Wigeon, 36 Teal, 580 Lapwing, 210 Dunlin, 42 Redshank, 34 Snipe, 115 Mallard and a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly.


Saturday 9/2/08 – A foggy and cold start turned into a warm sunny morning and encouraged some birds to sing, including: 1 Skylark, 2 Chaffinch, 4 Song Thrush and a Bullfinch. There were 2 Siskin in alders by the lake and MP reported a Redpoll by lagoon 2. At high tide, c60 Turnstone at Shepperdine, 2 Oystercatcher and a ‘Continental’ Cormorant. 8 Tufted Duck on the lake and 2 Water Rail heard in lagoon 2 reeds. Also: 8 Shoveler, 2 Stonechat, 7 Skylark and 7 Canada Goose (yacht club).


Saturday 2/2/08 – AM flushed a Short-eared Owl from the path round lagoon 3 this morning. There were 2 Mistle Thrush along the track to the shore. A Little Owl was in an old tree to SW of lagoon 3. 8 Canada Goose flew downriver and landed on the shore. 5 Great Black-backed Gull were around; 2 adults eating a 2ft-long dead eel, another adult and 2 juveniles. Also: 4 Stonechat (pairs on lagoons 2 and 3), 1 Raven, 4 Grey Plover, 8 Shoveler, 1 Chiffchaff, 5 Tufted Duck and a Peregrine.

No owls at dusk, but a Redpoll on lagoon 2, 14 Shoveler on lagoon 1 and 8 Grey Plover. Also, a Fox came within 2 yards of me as I sat by lagoon 3 !


Sunday 27/1/08 – A Bullfinch was singing in the warm sunshine. A Redpoll on alders along track to hide, and 2+ Chiffchaff by lagoon 2 outfall. Also: 1 Ringed Plover, 5 Tufted Duck, 7 Shoveler and 25 Shelduck. MP reported 8 Grey Plover.


Saturday 26/1/08 – Update from MP: The Great Bustard flew NE, upriver, over the power station at 3.20pm. (New photo below.)

A Great Bustard from the Salisbury Plain introduction project (orange wing-tag 15) was the surprise find in the flooded fields to SW of lagoon 3, by the yacht club. (View from the metal gate along the Severn Way at (grid ref. ST601933)). A Treecreeper was in the hedge along the main rhyne. Five Tufted Duck were on the lake. Also, 6 Shoveler.   

AM reported 2 Water Rail (lagoon 2).

Great Bustard, to SW of Lagoon 3 (26/1/08). (Photo by MP)



Thursday 24/1/08 – Reported by HL: 6 Tufted Duck, 500+ Dunlin, 1000+ Lapwing, c200 Curlew and 1 Stonechat.


Tuesday 22/1/08 – Reported by HL: 2 Tufted Duck and c250 Wigeon.


Sunday 20/1/08 – To the SW of Lagoon 3, towards the yacht club were: 1 Yellowhammer, 1 Oystercatcher, (the first since 15/12/07), 7 Canada Goose, c450 Dunlin and c400 Lapwing. A Mute Swan is on the flooded lagoon 3. An evening gull roost on lagoon 3 contained: 610 Black-headed Gull, 13 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 4 Herring Gull, 1 Great Black-backed Gull and c10 Common Gull. Also: 2 Stonechat and 1 Peregrine.


Saturday 19/1/08 – A Little Stint with Dunlin at Shepperdine, and 15 Grey Plover there. 16 Shoveler on lagoon 1. Totals of c300 Fieldfare, c250 Redwing and c400 Starling around. A Mute Swan in flight.

MA reported a Barn Owl at Oldbury village on Friday 4/1/08. WK reported: 2 Rock Pipit and a Merlin.


Tuesday 15/1/08 – A Kingfisher along the main rhyne. A Mistle Thrush was at Lagoon 1, and 22 Snipe were foraging along a hedge there with c50 Fieldfare and 60+ Redwing. Also: 2 Raven and 1 Grey Wagtail.


Sunday 13/1/08 – A two hour sea-watch (10:45 – 12:45) produced a female Common Scoter, picked out from a flock of Wigeon in-flight by darker plumage (especially no white on belly). It settled on the considerable swell with 5 Shoveler, 100 yards off shore and drifted downriver on ebbing tide. Also 3 probable Kittiwake, wheeling fast upriver in strong SSW wind – too fast and distant to be certain of id. Lots of other gulls going upriver: c50 Herring Gull, 2 Great Black-backed Gull, c10 Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Black-headed Gull.

HL reported: 7 Canada Goose, 25 Curlew, 10 Shelduck.


Saturday 12/1/08 – A Treecreeper was with a tit flock in the hedge by the metal tower. Lagoon 3 held a Little Egret and 10 Ringed Plover. A Grey Wagtail and a Siskin flew over. A Canada Goose flew downriver, and another 6 were on the lake. Also 35 Turnstone and 2 Stonechat.

AM’s WeBS count: 78 Snipe, 73 Redshank, c1600 Lapwing, c850 Dunlin, 187 Wigeon, 70 Teal, 1 Knot , 13 Grey Plover and  2 Water Rail. Also 8 Yellowhammer (by yacht club), and a Rabbit on top of a hedge ! (Keeping out of all the water in the fields.)

Little Egret, Lagoon 3 (12/1/08).



Sunday 6/1/08 – Lots of birds this evening. A huge roost on the tidal reservoir contained c1,000 Common Gull and c3,000 Black-headed Gull. The flock of 13 Grey Plover and a Knot was at the yacht club, plus 7 Canada Goose and a Mute Swan there. The flocks of c600 Lapwing and 47 Skylark (including the ‘partial-albino’) were in the flooded fields to SW of lagoon 3. A Black-tailed Godwit and c30 Redshank were at Shepperdine. A Little Egret in the flooded field by the entrance, with a Little Owl calling at dusk (and another at Shepperdine). Also: about 500 Dunlin in total, 2 Raven, 4 Stonechat, 9 Shoveler , 2 Siskin heard over and a Peregrine. A Fox by the main rhyne, and a Hare reported at Shepperdine.


Saturday 5/1/08 – A Mistle Thrush briefly landed on Mistletoe then flew along hedge towards yacht club, and c600 Lapwing and c300 Dunlin there. A Grey Wagtail at back of lagoon 1, 4 Stonechat (2 on lagoon 2 and 2 on lagoon 3), 3 Grey Plover (yacht club) and 10+ Shoveler (Shepperdine).

AM reported: 2 Lesser Redpoll at south end of lagoon 2, 240 Wigeon, 200 Mallard, 12 Shoveler and c1,000 Lapwing.


Wednesday 2/1/08 – MP reported: 4 Stonechat, 7 Canada Goose, 12 Shoveler, 572 Lapwing, 2 Water Rail, 1 Peregrine.


Tuesday 1/1/08 – The flock of 13 Grey Plover and single Knot was still around (they have been present for over a month now), and a good winter count of 9 Ringed Plover at Shepperdine. Also a Raven on a rabbit carcass there. The 7 Canada Goose were still at the Yacht Club, the Peregrine was on the pylons, the 7 Shoveler were by lagoon 1, and the impressive flock of c1,000 Lapwing were in fields to SW.

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