January to December 2010


2009 sightings

2008 sightings

2007 sightings

2006 sightings

2005 sightings

2004 sightings

A highest total ever of 151 species recorded at the site in 2010 (see 2010 Site Species List for details). With my personal total for the site in 2010 at 134 species.


30/12/10 – A very grey and misty day, but the thaw is complete. A flock of 9 Goosander flew highish and fast downriver in a V-formation at 11am. A male Pochard was with the Mallards on the Tidal Reservoir. There are large numbers of birds at the Yacht Club, including: 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Canada Goose, c1300 Wigeon and c500 Dunlin. 55+ Skylark were moving NE. Also a Mistle Thrush on Lagoon 2.

Male Pochard with Mallard on the Tidal Reservoir.


27/12/10 – MP reported a Brambling over to south.

And a couple of late reports:

-         ML had a nice Xmas present when on Christmas day at approx 12:45 he saw a Red Kite flying south above farmland just north of Thornbury Castle.

-         MB reported another Woodcock on 1st December, flying out of trees in SW corner of Lagoon 2.


26/12/10 – Another amazingly cold night; -9 degrees C, with frozen fog on the estuary and a deep hoar frost. 3 Woodcock seen probing in the snow – two sat by the lake (viewable from the metal gate by the entrance) and another by the small copse towards the yacht club. A large flock of 22+ Reed Bunting were on Lagoon 3, and a Rock Pipit on the shore. Also, 32 Canada Goose and 10+ Song Thrush.

Woodcock in the snow by the lake.                                                                 Another photo of Woodcock by lake, by RL



24/12/10 – Rather quiet this afternoon. But a flock of 116 Skylark on the fields towards the yacht club. Also a Song Thrush among the seaweed on the shore and 7 Pheasant visible in the snow, including 2 on Lagoon 3. Still lots of Fieldfare and Redwing in the orchard. Inland, a Fox was walking on the ice of the rhine by the Severn Drainage Board office.

Three Pheasants perched in a dead tree.                                                       Close-up of one of them.



23/12/10 – WK reported: 4 Pintail flying upriver and 3 Rock Pipit


22/12/10 – AM reported: 2100 Wigeon (hugely increased numbers at High Tide, especially at Oldbury Yacht Club), 10 Tufted Duck (unusually on the Estuary), 12 Teal (seem to have fled), 730 Lapwing, 1200 Dunlin, 300 Curlew, 33 Canada Goose and 4 Yellowhammer.


19/12/10 – AM reported: 2 White-fronted Goose - flying high upriver (to NE), 1 Woodcock (in flight from small copse on path to hide, across track towards Power Station - WK had 2 others at Shepperdine), 275 Wigeon (feeding on arable crops in field to SW of Lagoon 3), 500 Fieldfare and 200 Redwing in old cider orchard and 4 Gadwall.


18/12/10 – Two inches of snow, freezing fog and -2 degrees C brought some more bird movements to the estuary. 6 Bewick’s Swan flew over the road at the entrance at c10:15am, heading NE in direction of the main rhine, at a height just clearing the pylons. There were large numbers of thrushes in the orchard and over – c250 Fieldfare & c100 Redwing. Also a single flock of 90+ Skylark, heading SW ! And 2 Siskin over, calling, to south. Two juvenile Mute Swan flew onto the river from the north, and a Sparrowhawk (possible Goshawk) flew in-off the estuary out of the fog, heading south. (150 species reported at the site this year !)

The track past the orchard to Lagoon 2 in freezing fog.                                Fieldfares in the orchard.


When you thought you’d seen everything at OPS . . . SKIERS !!                      Snow on the Nature trail.



14/12/10 – DS/AB reported: a ‘ringtail’ Hen Harrier at 1.20pm, over Lagoon 3, then flew across fields towards Thornbury yacht club. Nearby: at 9:15am 1 Waxwing in Thornbury (unknown location).

Interestingly, the 3rd-yr Herring Gull ‘EBD’ was seen twice at Gloucester Landfill Site between when it was at OPS last and this latest sighting (below).


12/12/10 – The Black Redstart was still around – on the grey out-buildings to SW of cooling towers, but very mobile. Lots of thrushes moving through, including a flock of 8 Song Thrush (and 7 others around the site). The 3rd-year Herring Gull with ‘EBD’ in orange on dark-blue darvic ring was on Lagoon 3 again (last seen in September). 3 Ringed Plover on Lagoon 3.

(Waxwings not on Moreton Way today, when I drove through.)


11/12/10 - The adult male Black Redstart again, around the Peregrine ledge of the cooling tower. Also: 4 Ringed Plover (Lagoon 3), 2 Shoveler, 3 Oystercatcher, 1 Rock Pipit, c150 Fieldfare (including 80 to SW), 50+ Redwing, 3 Goldcrest and 10 Bullfinch.

Nearby: 18 Waxwing sat in a tree at Moreton Way, Thornbury (by Chiltern Park) at 11:30am.


10/12/10 – WK reported: The male Black Redstart again, around the Peregrine ledge of the cooling tower. Also, 150+ Wigeon, 26 Teal, 250+ Dunlin, 20+ Fieldfare and 9 Redwing.

Black Redstart, on the cooling tower (photo by WK).



07/12/10 – Wow, what a morning ! Freezing fog and -6.5 degrees C gave a very thick layer of frost, and visibility of 200 yards. I’ve been stalking the Chaffinch flock for two weeks trying to find a Brambling and finally a female landed in the hedge by Lagoon 3 only 5 yards from me, giving a squeaking call. For the next hour I saw very little: 3 Canada Goose, 8 Shelduck, lots of thrushes, 50 Lapwing and c100 Dunlin. By then I was walking upriver to Shepperdine, and was very cold ! A flock of 6 Pintail flew out of the fog (and later 2 more). Then some geese started calling from out on the river, and I could just see a few silhouettes as they took-off and flew downriver – they sounded like Canada Geese. But luckily they then turned and flew past me, upriver – 80+ Barnacle Goose and one light-grey-winged Goose (Pink-footed/White-fronted/Greylag – it appeared to have an all-white tail, so latter ?). On the sea-wall at Shepperdine was a very random collection of birds feeding (desperately): 1 Turnstone, 1 Robin, 2 Pied Wagtail, 2 Rock Pipit , 5 Meadow Pipit and a Water Pipit (4th site record) ! There was a light, but incredibly chilling, NE wind and I was frozen by now and headed back. Walking along the main rhine, there were lots of Fieldfare, Redwing and Song Thrush scattering. But from amongst them, one was Starling shaped and was giving a musical trilling as it went overhead – a Waxwing (first record for site) ! It flew along the bridleway past the south end of Lagoon 2.

Also: 2 Mistle Thrush, c140 Curlew (at HT roost, Lagoon 3, including 5 with coloured rings over white and another 3 with dark rings), 6 Skylark and 8 Bullfinch.

The bridleway to the shore.                                                                            View along the shore by Lagoon 3



04/12/10 – A Tawny Owl ‘twooo’ing from the trees by the entrance at 3.40pm, on a dark and grey afternoon. That’s the 145th species reported at the site this year. Also: c100 Chaffinch, c20 Fieldfare, c40 Redwing and 10+ Song Thrush.

And a Little Egret a mile inland.


02/12/10 - AB/DS reported: a 1st-winter Spoonbill south over the Thornbury Yacht Club; and 19 Goosander heading north across the river near the power station.


01/12/10 – Sadly the Mute Swan died on the lake. (Thanks for the info., PL.)

Some news from elsewhere – I found 11 Waxwing in the business park (Windmill Hill) that I work in at Swindon on 30/11/10.

AB/DS reported: an adult female Marsh Harrier a little way inland (near Shepperdine).


30/11/10 – AB/DS reported: 3 Bewick's Swan flying NW across the river in the evening.


28/11/10 – AM reported: A Brambling with the Chaffinch flock on Lagoon 3, 2 Gadwall on the shore, 4 Snipe on Lagoon 1 and a Mistle Thrush.

There were 3 Raven having a dispute over Lagoon 1, with two of them tumbling from high with talons locked together. The Mute Swan had one foot trapped in the ice on the lake, and the RSPCA were called. More thrushes around today: c25 Fieldfare, c40 Redwing and 5 Song Thrush. Also, a Rock Pipit at Shepperdine and a Snipe was along the main rhine. (Couldn’t find the Black Redstart.)

Mute Swan trapped on the frozen lake.



27/11/10 – 2 Shoveler at Shepperdine, c45 Stock Dove on Lagoon 3, 1 Raven and c500 Dunlin. A bitter NE wind and -3 degree temperatures in the week have frozen 90% of the lake, but the Mute Swan and 3 Moorhen have stayed for now. Also, c10 Fieldfare and c10 Redwing. The good news about having January’s weather now is that we can expect Spring in February !!

WK reported a male Black Redstart on the Shepperdine side of the station this afternoon at 2.30pm.

Black Redstart (Photo by WK ).



21/11/10 – AM reported: 1 Stonechat (male), 700 Curlew (including 480 roosting on Lagoon 3 at first light) – the highest count at OPS since 2007, 600 Lapwing, 800 Dunlin, 15 Shelduck, 10 Turnstone, 5 Grey Plover, 50 Teal and 250 Wigeon.


20/11/10 – Only birds of note this morning were a Treecreeper, and a flock of c50 Fieldfare in the small copse by Lagoon 3. Other totals: c100 Teal, c100 Wigeon, c100 Mallard, 12 Shelduck, c300 Dunlin and a recent record 10 Moorhen.

2 Little Egret again inland in cow field.


19/11/10 – WK reported: 53 Wigeon, 106 Teal, 200 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 2 Peregrine, 310 Dunlin, 62 Fieldfare and 1 Raven.


14/11/10 – MP reported a Ring-necked Parakeet - Flew over lagoon 3 at 3:35pm, calling loudly. It spooked the Lapwing flock which flew to the shore. Then circled a number of times up to 3:50 pm, over shore and, at one point over to mid-river, always at quite a height. Eventually flew off towards Oldbury village. Also: 1+ Brambling with c50 Chaffinch on lagoon 3. And, c200 Chaffinch feeding in maize stubble field next to allotments, 500 yards inland of OPS.


13/11/10 – Lagoon 1 has water in it for the first time since April, and c200 Dunlin there. Another c200 Dunlin on Lagoon 3 with 1 Golden Plover and c100 Lapwing. Another c300 Dunlin at the yacht club, with 6 Grey Plover and 29 Canada Goose. A few Redwing and Song Thrush, plus an increase in Blackbird with 15+ seen.

4 Little Egret with cows by Severn Drainage Board office.

AM WeBs counts: Lapwing 370, Dunlin 700, Redshank 54, Curlew 38, Teal 192, Wigeon 63, Mallard 184, Mute Swan 1, Moorhen 7, Grey Heron 5. Also, Stock Dove 7, Blackcap 1.

Cormorant on pylon wires over the lake.                                                       Showing where the Cormorant was (circled) !


Turnstone roosting on ‘Ledges’ buoy at Shepperdine.



12/11/10 – DS/AB reported a Merlin over Lagoon 2 this morning and a Great Skua upriver at 11.45am.

(An hour’s seawatch at dawn produced no seabirds. But 8 Little Egret in a cow field by the Severn Drainage Board, a mile inland.)

WK reported: 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Rock Pipit, 140+ Dunlin and 4 Fieldfare.


6/11/10 – A Water Rail was piping at the north end of Lagoon 2. A few thrushes around: 2 Mistle Thrush (and another seen inland), c15 Fieldfare, c45 Redwing (including 34 high over heading SW), c10 Song Thrush and c10 Blackbird. Quite good numbers of waders at the yacht club: c55 Grey Plover, 600+ Dunlin, c200 Curlew and 38 Turnstone. Also: 1 Little Egret, and another 3 inland.

AM reported: c1500 Dunlin and 3 Bar-tailed Godwit.


31/10/10 – AM/MP reported: 10 Golden Plover (with the Lapwing), 21 Grey Plover, 22 Redshank, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 265 Lapwing, 90 Wigeon, 5 Teal and a Partridge species on Lagoon 1.


30/10/10 – At the yacht club: 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, c20 Grey Plover, c800 Dunlin and c80 Lapwing. c35 Skylark, mainly heading SW, including a single flock of 21. Also, 2 Shelduck – the first I’ve seen at the site since 19th September !


26/10/10 – Oldbury Power Station wildlife on the local BBC News . . .



23/10/10 – Some waders at last ! An exceptional count of 62 Grey Plover (24 at yacht club, 8 by Lagoon 3 and 30 at Shepperdine), 1 Little Stint, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and c300 Dunlin. A Treecreeper was along the bridlepath to the shore. Also: 12 Fieldfare and the Little Grebe still.


20/10/10 – DS reported: 1 Brambling and 29 Fieldfare overhead, plus 1 Wheatear at the yacht club and the Little Grebe on the pond.  Also, a colour-ringed Curlew (different from ones I saw recently, but from same Gloucestershire ringing).


17/10/10 – This afternoon, a Kingfisher was hover-fishing on the lake; hovering for 2-3 seconds at a height of 6ft, then moving a couple of yards and doing the same before plunging and catching a small fish. The Little Grebe was also there, and a good count of 8 Moorhen, plus a Coot and an adult Mute Swan (unringed). (Lots of dragonfly too.) At High Tide there were some good wader counts: 23 Grey Plover (at Shepperdine), 50+ Redshank, 33 Turnstone, c100 Dunlin, 1 Knot and 1 Little Egret. Also, 7 Swallow moving SW, 1 Rock Pipit and the Little Owl again. And Butterflies: 1 Red Admiral, 1 Large Tortoishell and a Speckled Wood.

Fog banks rolling up the Severn on this wintry (-1 degrees C) morning. Rather magical when they clear, to reveal bright sunshine. The only notable birds were: 1 Mistle Thrush and 14 Grey Plover. A flock of c35 Fieldfare went over heading East, and c550 Jackdaw headed high over to SW in 5 flocks (one flock went down into fields).

MP reported 2 Greenland White-fronted Goose heading NE at Littleton (9:20am).

  Sun breaking through the fog over Lagoon 2.



16/10/10 – 2 Whooper Swan flew downriver at 9.55am (only 3rd record for site); with a backing wind they were flying at speed ! One was definitely an adult, the other was all-white, but I didn’t catch the yellow on bill so presume juvenile. Between Lagoon 3 and the yacht club were 1+ House Sparrow (female at yacht club and one calling from hedge later), 7 Yellowhammer (1 in hedge, others over to NE), 10+ Reed Bunting, 10+ Skylark, 1 Stonechat, 1 Snipe (over), 1 Little Owl and a Raven. (One possible Lapland Bunting in a flock of 3 birds heading over upriver, but only called once at distance.) 3 Collared Dove high over the station towers, heading downriver, caused a bit of excitement. Also, 2 Swallow heading SW. On the shore: 7 Grey Plover, 1 Knot and c70 Dunlin. Increased numbers of Song Thrush, Blackbird and Goldcrest (5). The Little Grebe seen again on the lake.

AM also reported a Fieldfare by Lagoon 3 and a Wheatear. And c30 Siskin reported, over in 2 flocks.

   Grey Plover



14/10/10 – DS reported: 4 Lapland Bunting. 2 seen by DS from the seawall between Lagoon 1 and The Windbound at 10am; they flew NE along the seawall and, whilst not too high up, continued until lost to view. Another bird surveyor (RM) then found 2 at 1pm between Lagoon 3 and the yacht club; on the upper saltmarsh either side of the metal fence that crosses the seawall (the one with a noisy ‘kissing gate’), and in the adjacent 'sprayed/brown' field just inland.  When in the field they were very tricky to pick out, however, they did fly around and call every now and again. These two were last seen at 3:20pm in the field.
Also: a Jack Snipe on the saltmarsh up by the sluice 2km up-river of The Windbound. And: 1 Hobby (SW at 8:30am), 5+ Wheatear, 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 20+ Swallow and 45+ Siskin NE.


The Curlew seen at the weekend were colour-ringed as adults during a catch on the Severn Estuary at Wibdon Warth on 26 September - see http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/gloucestershire/hi/people_and_places/nature/newsid_9044000/9044748.stm?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter.


9/10/10 – A very high High Tide this morning pushed some waders around the river: 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, c150 Curlew (including 4 colour-ringed on Lagoon 1 – will report details when I hear), 1+ Grey Plover, c20 Redshank and c100 Lapwing. But NO small waders again. Visible migration upriver into wind: c400 Chaffinch (in 3 hours), 5 Skylark, 4 Greenfinch and c20 Meadow Pipit. Also: 1 Little Owl, 3 Wheatear, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Little Egret and 4 Mute Swan (juvenile on lake still and adult+2 juv landed on river).

MB reported a male Blackcap.

  Little Owl in field towards yacht club. (Not seen here nearly as regularly as they were a few years back.)



8/10/10 – WK reported: 45 Wigeon, 8 Teal, (no waders on show at low tide this pm), c12 Meadow Pipit, 1 Wheatear and 50+ Pied Wagtail.

Brave/reckless fisherman on the outer wall of the Tidal Reservoir ! He’s the other side of the thin black line running along the middle of the estuary in the first photo ! (Photos by WK.)



2/10/10 – A search of the fields between the yacht club and Lagoon 3 found: c20 Skylark, c50 Meadow Pipit, 1 Snipe, 4 Reed Bunting and 2 Wheatear (plus another 4 seen). A Spotted Redshank flew from the yacht club to Lagoon 3, calling “tu-it” repeatedly. A S. Gloucs. record count of 8 Little Egret was made (4 at Shepperdine, 1 off Lagoon 3 and 3 at the yacht club). The Garganey was again flushed from Lagoon 3 to the Tidal Reservoir with 3 Teal and c30 Wigeon. (Latest Garganey at the site by some way.) 11 Grey Plover were on the shore at the yacht club. c50 House Martin and c15 Swallow still around. Also: 27 Lapwing and the Juvenile Mute Swan on the lake.

  Garganey with Wigeon.



30/9/10 – DS/AB (Site bird surveyors) reported: a RICHARD'S PIPIT flying over Thornbury Yacht Club early this afternoon. The bird was with a group of Skylark but despite a quick search of the nearby fields could not be relocated (but could still be around). Also Partridge sp. on Lagoon 1 (presumably the Red-legged Partridge again), 4 Wheatear, 3 Rock Pipit, c.30 Swallow and passing over were: Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail and Grey Wagtail.


26/9/10 – A newly ploughed field (next to Lagoon 3) held: 1 Mistle Thrush, 1 Wheatear, c15 Meadow Pipit and c10 Pied Wagtail. A Rock Pipit was with another c10 Meadow Pipit on the shore. c45 House Martin flew NE into wind and c10 Swallow over lagoons. A juvenile Mute Swan flew onto the lake, where 1 Little Grebe still. Also: 1 Black-tailed Godwit (Lagoon 3), 20 Canada Goose (field over road from hide), 4 Blackcap, 2 singing Chiffchaff, 1 Little Egret, c30 Redshank and 27 Turnstone. No small waders today, and only 3 yesterday.


25/9/10 – AM/MP reported 2 Pintail (juvs/fems) and 1 Black-tailed Godwit on Lagoon 3, 1 Stonechat, 3 Little Egret and 2 Little Grebe (on the lake). Also on Lagoon 3 were 1 Shoveler and 300+ Black-headed Gull. 2 Treecreeper were together with a mixed tit/warbler flock along the main rhine and a Chiffchaff still singing there (total if c15 on-site). A flock of 21 Canada Goose flew upriver, probably the same flock seen earlier about 5 miles inland heading that way. A total of 21 House Martin seen heading into the wind; 7 going directly North (!!) and 14 upriver. Also: 5 Swallow, 5 Blackcap, 1 Wheatear, and c30 Redshank. Butterflies: 2 Small Copper, 1 Red Admiral and 3 Speckled Wood.


22/9/10 – The evening High Tide roost on flooded Lagoon 3 had: 248 Curlew, 1200+ Black-headed Gull, 26+ Common Gull and the Herring Gull ‘EBD’ again. The Little Grebe is still on the lake. Also a Bat over Lagoon 2 at dusk.


19/9/10 – At High Tide late afternoon, the Garganey was still on Lagoon 3 (and then on the lake) – it’s a juvenile. There were 23 Bar-tailed Godwit, 11 Black-tailed Godwit,1 Knot, 16 Dunlin and 9 Ringed Plover at Shepperdine (and another Black-tailed Godwit on Lagoon 3). The Little Grebe is still on the lake. The partridge on Lagoon 1 was finally nailed as a Red-legged Partridge (not Grey as reported earlier). Also: 2 Little Egret and a few House Martin and Swallow.

Garganey on the lake.                                                                                                   The breast didn’t look this red in the field - presumably the setting sun.



18/9/10 – AM reported at High Tide on Lagoon 3: 1 Garganey, 2 Knot, 2 Black-tailed Godwit (with another 12 on shore), 4 Teal, 17 Wigeon, 124 Mallard, 3 Shelduck, 5 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 3 Little Egret.

This morning, the water pumping into Lagoon 3 attracted some ducks. They were flushed and flew to the shore, where a juvenile/female Garganey was with a Teal, 22 Wigeon and 50+ Mallard. A Greenshank flew along the shore calling “tu, …tu,…tu” and 3 Little Egret and 1 Black-tailed Godwit there. At the yacht club were: 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Snipe and 1 Wheatear. Also 5 Skylark in fields nearby. A juvenile Little Grebe has found the lake. A Partridge species was flushed from Lagoon 1 again. c150 House Martin and c20 Swallow massed around the cooling towers and a flock of c100 Linnet were on Lagoon 3. Also: 1 Lesser Whitethroat (2nd latest date for the site), 2 Blackcap and c25 Meadow Pipit.

A total of 65 species seen at the site this morning.

 Garganey with Teal.                                                                                        Little Grebe





15/9/10 – On a brief visit this evening, scanning the estuary, I found what looked like a dark-coloured duck sitting out on the river. In the fading light it looked very dark and I was thinking it may be a Scoter, when it took to the air. It was immediately apparent that it was a Manx Shearwater ! It circled round one area for a couple of minutes, with typical flap-flap-flap-glide flight, then sat back on the water where it probably stayed to roost.

(Lagoon 3 has water pumping into it.)


The Herring Gull with darvic ring ‘EBD’was ringed at Gloucester Landfill site on 11/10/08 and was subsequently seen there 37 times (!) until 7/5/10.


12/9/10 – A spectacular morning, in weather and birds. Crisp and bright day. At 8.30am a juvenile Little Tern was successfully plunge-diving for small fish on the Tidal Reservoir. Watched for 10 minutes, when it sat on the shore at Shepperdine. On checking Lagoon 1 after this a Partridge sp. flew from the outfall to the Eastern hedge. Also a Tree Pipit flew from there to Lagoon 2, and another went high over to SW. The first Meadow Pipit movement of the autumn was noted with 10 birds. Then at the Yacht Club at High Tide, the small wader roost contained 12 Curlew Sandpiper (a very high count) and  2 Little Stint with c70 Dunlin and c25 Ringed Plover. Also: 7 Wheatear (6 at the yacht club), 5 Sand Martin, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Raven and 1 Common Sandpiper.

(That’s 131 species at the site this year, with my personal total on 119.)


11/9/10 – This morning there was 1 Little Egret , 1 Raven, 1 Goldcrest and 2 Blackcap (one singing). Plus I finally managed to read the orange letters on dark-blue darvic ring on left leg of a 3rd-year Herring Gull – ‘EBD’. AM reported a flock of 600+ Swallow (mainly) and House Martin sat on the fences and wires to south of Lagoon 2, including c40 Sand Martin. AM also reported 7 Common Sandpiper and 2 Wheatear.


8/9/10 – A very brief visit at dusk found 6 Wheatear and c1000 Black-headed Gull roosting on Lagoon 3.


7/9/10 – AB (surveyor) reported: 2 Black Tern flying down-river, 5+ Curlew Sandpiper between Shepperdine and the yacht club, 20+ Wheatear, 1 Whinchat at the yacht club and a Kingfisher near Lagoon 3.


5/9/10 – AM reported: 2 Little Egret, 2 Raven, 10 Tufted Duck and 500+ House Martin around the Reactor Towers, perching, fluttering and feeding. Then from time to time ALL flying off in a "dread" in the manner of Terns in a nesting colony before just as quickly all returning a few minutes later. A further 200+ House Martin were feeding on insects at almost ground level around the trees at the northern end of Lagoon 1.


4/9/10 – This afternoon at High Tide: 1 Sanderling, 4 Little Egret, 7 Dunlin, 1 Ringed Plover, 10 Turnstone and 1 Redshank.

That’s a total of 63 species seen at the site today.

Juvenile Sanderling.


A magical morning; spent an hour and a half checking the large mixed warbler/tit flocks around Lagoon 2 with not a soul (or dog) around. Results were: 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Treecreeper, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Whitethroat, 3 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, c35 Chiffchaff, 4 Willow Warbler (two short songs heard), c20 Blackcap (inc. 8 adult male), 15+ Long-tailed Tit and lots of Blue Tit. There were c250 House Martin gathering around the towers, and a flock of 50 of them exhibited some very unusual behaviour. They landed on the muddy shore at Shepperdine, and then ate the mud ! Now this wouldn’t be at all unusual in Spring or Summer – they would be gathering mud for their nests. But what are they doing it now for on their migration ? Guesses are that they could be teaching the young ? Or maybe there is some essential nutrient in it ? A video I took of it is here. . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVJi7AF2S90

Not as many Swallow this week, as last. To cap the morning off, there were 2 Spotted Flycatcher together along the main rhine – this is only the second multiple record for the site, ever ! (2 in May 2005.). The only waders were 2 Common Sandpiper.

  Adult Spotted Flycatcher.                                                                                Juvenile Spotted Flycatcher



3/9/10 – WK reported: 100+ Mallard, with a female Pintail (reported by Bird Surveyors), 1 Hobby (over the small pond). There is a steady stream of House Martin and Swallow passing through, with 200+ counted. Also, two groups of Goldfinch of 20+ and 3 Whitethroat.


1/9/10 – The skies around Lagoon 2 held about 500 Swallow this evening, with c200 of them going to roost in the reeds at dusk. Also c30 House Martin around the towers and 1 Sand Martin positively identified. A Little Owl called at dusk and there was 1 Reed Warbler. On the shore were 10 returning Wigeon and 2 Teal.


See Trip Reports for a write-up of my recent visit to Menorca.


30/8/10 – The cold start to the morning gave an autumnal feel. A Tree Pipit was on Lagoon 2 and a Spotted Flycatcher was with a Long-Tailed Tit and Blue Tit flock along the main rhine. Also: 2 Whitethroat, 7+ Blackcap (inc. 2 singing), 5+ Willow Warbler (inc. one singing) and 25+ Chiffchaff. There were 31 Canada Goose on the shore at the yacht club.


29/8/10 – The only birds of note were a Wheatear and two Herring Gull with dark-blue darvic rings on left leg with orange characters; a 1st year with ‘ESB’ ringed at Gloucester Landfill site 12/12/09 and an adult with something like ‘EBO’ or ‘380’ ?


23/8/10 – DS reported: 3 adult Arctic Tern down-river, 1 male Redstart, 10+ Wheatear, 5+ Yellow Wagtail and 2 Little Egret.


22/8/10 – MP reported, this morning: 6 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Tree Pipit (over), 1 Garden Warbler, c30+ ‘phyllosc’ Warbler, 3 Sedge Warbler, 54 Ringed Plover, 21 Dunlin, 80+ Curlew (at Yacht Club), 2 Oystercatcher, 8 Turnstone, c70 Goldfinch and c20 Linnet.

Wheatears (photos by MP).



21/8/10 – The light rain forced a few migrants onto the ground: 3 Wheatear, c25 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler, 5+ Willow Warbler, 6 Whitethroat and c6 Blackcap. Just 3 Ringed Plover on the shore. At least 250 Goldfinch at the site, including a flock of c200 on Lagoon 3.


20/8/10 – WK reported: 50+ Ringed Plover, 12 Dunlin, 1 Little Egret, and 5 Oystercatcher.


19/8/10 - DS reported: 12 Wheatear, 2+ Yellow Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Tree Pipit, and 3+ Little Egret.

18/8/10 - DS reported: 1 Hobby over Lagoon 3, 5 Sanderling briefly on the shore, 3+ Wheatear, 1 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Tree Pipit.


16/8/10 – MP reported: 1 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear and 1 Lesser Whitethroat.


15/8/10 – MP reported a 2nd summer male Marsh Harrier going downriver at 9.10am; last seen towards Littleton Brick Pits.

Also: 12 Teal, 12 Turnstone, 20 Ringed Plover, 10+ Dunlin and a Lesser Whitethroat.


14/8/10 – A Hobby hawking over Lagoon 2. Plenty of warblers in the bushes at the south end of Lagoon 2, minimums of: 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 8 Willow Warbler (inc. 2 singing), 3 Reed Warbler, 3 Whitethroat, c20 Chiffchaff and 2 Bullfinch. 14 Ringed Plover and 7 Dunlin on Lagoon 3 and c200 Curlew on far side of river. Also, 5 House Martin, a Common Sandpiper, and a Great Spotted Woodpecker strangely pecking the ground, near a juvenile Green Woodpecker – presumably copying the latter. Broods of 6 & 3 Tufted Duck still on lake and the Coot pair with well-grown juvenile. Lastly 9 Canada Goose in flight.

Spotted Flycatcher.



13/8/10 – A Yellow Wagtail looked like it was going to roost in Lagoon 2 reedbed this evening. A dead Canada Goose is in the lake.


8/8/10 – 4 Ringed Plover and a Dunlin at Shepperdine and 4 Lapwing on Lagoon 3. Also a Sand Martin with 100+ Swallow.

(Adult Herring Gull with muddy red darvic ring on Left leg – unable to read.)

MP reported 2 adult Mediterranean Gull and a Yellow Wagtail this evening.


7/8/10 – Lots of warblers in the bushes around Lagoon 2: 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat (seen by MP), 5 Willow Warbler, 5 Sedge Warbler, 4 Reed Warbler, 15+ Blackcap and c10 Whitethroat. A Bar-tailed Godwit was at Shepperdine (but no small waders seen). On the lake there was still broods of 6 and 3 Tufted Duck, and the Coot pair + juvenile.


5/8/10 – AM/MP reported, this morning: 1 Garden Warbler, 3 Sedge Warbler, 1 Whinchat, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Tree Pipit, 6 Wheatear, 54 Ringed Plover, 21 Dunlin, 8 Turnstone, c80 Curlew (at Yacht Club), 25+ phyllosc Warbler, c70 Goldfinch, c25 Linnet, 3 Common Sandpiper, 3 Redshank, 11 Oystercatcher, 10 Cormorant, 3 Green Woodpecker and 6 Canada Goose. Still broods of 6 and 3 Tufted Duck. A multitude of juvenile Blue Tit, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff.


2/8/10 – A Garden Warbler seen very well in the Hawthorn shrubs at south end of Lagoon 2, and 2 Willow Warbler nearby (one in half-hearted song). Also c10 Chiffchaff, c10 Blackcap and 3 Reed Warbler (one in song). Broods of 6 & 3 Tufted Duck still with 3 adult females in total. A Little Egret over the lake (earlier on the rhyne by the Severn drainage board office). Butterflies: Small Copper and Painted Lady.

Small Copper (male).                                                                                       Giant Puffballs



30/7/10 – WK reported: 1 Sedge Warbler and 2 Reed Warbler.


29/7/10 – AM reported: 3 Common Sandpiper, 1 Dunlin, 12 Redshank, 2 Oystercatcher and lots of Chiffchaff, plus Sedge Warblers and Reed Warblers. Also Tufted Duck broods of 3 & 6 with 5 adult females in total.

DS reported: a Mediterranean Gull and a juvenile Wheatear near the site; upriver of ‘The Windbound’.


28/7/10 – MP reported the juvenile Mediterranean Gull again on Lagoon 3 in the evening, with c750 Black-headed Gull and 18 Common Gull. Also: 10 Lapwing, 3 Dunlin and the 3 Canada Goose goslings + parent.


27/7/10 – MP reported a juvenile Mediterranean Gull in the roost on Lagoon 3 this evening, with c600 Black-headed Gull and 9 Common Gull. Also 2 Oystercatcher.

Juvenile Med. Gull (Photo by MP).



26/7/10 - AM reported: 6 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew and 5 Lapwing.


24/7/10 – This evening, there were 3 Whimbrel and 24 Curlew on the shore. Also 3 Oystercatcher reported by a visitor.

WK reported 425 Curlew on the sandbanks at Low Tide and 2 Lesser Whitethroat.

This morning; an adult summer plumaged Mediterranean Gull in the roost with c500 Black-headed Gull again today. On the shore were, 2 Whimbrel and 1 Common Sandpiper. Juvenile birds on the lake still: 1 Moorhen, 1 Coot, 6 Tufted Duck and 3 (full-grown) Canada Goose. A Sedge Warbler sang in the reeds on Lagoon 2, and another seen close-by.


21/7/10 A Saker x Gyr hybrid escaped from a falconry display(at least for a time) and sat on the power station buildings.


20/7/10In Thornbury - MB reported a Red Kite over Country Wide Store’s car park at 12.15pm.


17/7/10 – AM reported (WeBS count) – 1 Little Egret, 10 Curlew, 3 Common Sandpiper, 8 Lapwing, 3 Redshank, 8 adult + 3 juv Tufted Duck, 4 adult + 3 juv Canada Goose, 124 Mallard, 450 Black-headed Gull, 2 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Common Gull and 1 Peregrine.


11/7/10Tufted Duck broods of 4 and 6 ducklings on the lake. There were about 20 Blackcap (mainly juveniles) along the main rhine, congregating around cherry trees which have a bumper crop this year.

AM also reported: 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Lapwing and 69 Mallard.


(A brand new hide has replaced the old one overlooking Lagoon 3 !)


10/7/10 – An adult, summer plumaged Mediterranean Gull on Lagoon 3 with 300 Black-headed Gull (with another c300 on the estuary). The lake is proving productive this year: 1 juv Moorhen, 1 half-grown Coot, 4 small Tufted Duck ducklings (out of brood of 6; brood of 8 last week not seen), 11 adult Tufted Duck and the three Canada Goose goslings with the single adult still. Also seems like a productive year for warblers: 6 juv Blackcap with parents, 2 juv Sedge Warbler begging at parent, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and lots of Whitethroat. Also: a Little Owl calling from SW of Lagoon 3, a Grey Wagtail (on shore by Water Works), a Little Egret downriver and a good count of 7 Great Black-backed Gull (6 adult + a 1st year).

Adult Med. Gull – asleep at bottom of photo.


4/7/10 – Broods of 6 & 8 Tufted Duck ducklings on the pond now (plus 8 adults). Another 4 Sand Martin flew through, heading SW into wind. There were 350+ Black-headed Gull on Lagoon 3. Also an adult Lesser Whitethroat and a Little Egret.

A dead Roe Deer was in a field towards the yacht club, and a dead Slow Worm was on the track to the shore (found by MP).

A total of 120 species have been seen at the site by all observers so far this year (with my total on 111).


3/7/10 – A Nuthatch was a first at the site for me, and first definite record since 1996 (although one was reported last year). It flew along the hedge between the lake and the road, giving contact calls which alerted me to it. Undulating, but also erratic flight – which immediately made me think it was a Nuthatch. Landed in the tall trees by the entrance and gave ‘droit, droit, droit’ calls to confirm id.. Couldn’t relocate it by sight, but heard a further two times.

There were 8 very small Tufted Duck young with a female on the lake (plus a further 5 adults). Also, the juv Coot with adults. A flock of 200 Black-headed Gull, including 3 juvs, roosted on Lagoon 3. Another unusual record for July was 6 Sand Martin, heading west over Lagoon 2. Also a Sedge Warbler in small reedbed along the shore.

Juvenile Green Woodpecker, by the entrance.                                                  Tufted Duck ducklings on the lake


Ringlet (female).                                                                                                 Blue-bordered Carpet moth.



27/6/10 – A Coal Tit in trees by the entrance (unusual here - last recorded on-site Sept 2006). Remarkably, a juvenile Cuckoo flew low ‘in off’ the river and onto Lagoon 1 where it flew between posts. There were 104 Black-headed Gull roosting on Lagoon 3 today. A male Bullfinch fed 2 juvs along the bridlepath to the shore. On the lake, the pair of Coot still have one chick, but the Canada Geese have left. Butterflies: 3 Marbled White and 2 Ringlet.


26/6/10 – A few different birds seen today, and LOTS of juveniles. A Mistle Thrush along the main rhine, a Grey Wagtail on the shore by the water works and a Great Spotted Woodpecker flying along the shoreline at Shepperdine (but there are some big oaks in the fields here). A Swift gave fantastic views as it flew around the lake, taking a couple of swooping drinks from the surface. There were 88 Black-headed Gull roosting on Lagoon 3 and 80+ Mallard moulting on the shore.  Juveniles seen: c10 Whitethroat, 5 Greenfinch, 4 Robin, plus Great Tit, Blue Tit and Chiffchaff. Also, a Marbled White butterfly.

Burnet moths.



23/6/10 – Only 1 Coot chick seen with the adults today.


19/6/10 – Broods of 9 & 2 Shelduck ducklings on the estuary. Juvenile Lesser Whitethroat and Whitethroat. The best spot was a brood of 6 very small Coot chicks on the lake. Also, three of the Canada Goose goslings have survived and are now half-grown. 2 Black-headed Gull headed upriver. Lots of orchids around: 40+ spikes of Bee Orchid, lots of Pyramidal Orchid, and Common Spotted and Southern Marsh Orchid also.


3/6/10 – 10 Shelduck ducklings at Shepperdine and 4 Sedge Warbler singing.


1/6/10 – The four Canada Goose goslings are half-grown now. Three Sedge Warbler heard singing (2 on shore by Lagoon 3 and one on Lagoon 2). A large flock of hirundines hawking insects low over the sea-wall at Shepperdine in rain contained: c120 Swallow, c100 House Martin and c15 Swift.

The bird hide overlooking Lagoon 3 has been demolished ! It says it is ‘Closed for refurbishment’ – I’ll try and find out when it’s back.


31/5/10 – ML reported: Canada Goose with 4 goslings, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 pairs Tufted Duck, Cuckoo heard persistently to north of the station and Swallows everywhere.


29/5/10 – 56 Barnacle Goose reported.


24/5/10 – DS reported a Barn Owl hunting over Lagoon 2, also Grasshopper Warbler singing there, in the evening. Plus another Barn Owl hunting by the sluice 1.5 km up-river of ‘The Windbound’.


15/5/10 – The first summer-like morning of the year brought 2 Arctic Skua upriver at 7.15am – one light and one dark phase together. A few waders: 15 Ringed Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Dunlin, 8 Curlew and 2 Oystercatcher. The adult and 5 young Canada Goose were on the lake, with 8 Tufted Duck (2 female). Also: 1 Cuckoo (heard) and 4 Sedge Warbler singing.

MP reported a Grasshopper Warbler singing on Lagoon 2 again.

Also 3 Cuckoo were reported on 2/5/10 – 2 males singing and a female (all seen also).

Sedge Warbler.                                                                                                  The orchard in bloom (with wonderful scent - not captured on photo !)



12/5/10 – There were 5 Sanderling looking pretty in near-summer plumage, on the shore this evening, and 4 Whimbrel on Lagoon 3. A pair of Coot are back on the lake, and 8 Tufted Duck there (inc. 3 pairs), but no sign of any Canada Geese this evening. The Cuckoo was still calling on Lagoon 2, but no Grasshopper Warbler there this week. The real surprise was a Badger loping across Lagoon 2 at 8.30pm (only the 2nd I’ve ever seen at OPS).

Four of the Sanderling.                                                                                     Sanderling.


Female Peregrine . . .                                                                          . . .with male sat close by.



10/5/10 – A few signs of migration this evening. There were 2 Whimbrel, 15 Ringed Plover and 5 Dunlin on the shore. Moving upriver were: 11 Swift, 1 Sand Martin, 1 House Martin and 2 Black-headed Gull. The male Cuckoo was still calling from Lagoon 2. There are only 4 gosling left with the adult Canada Goose on the lake, but a Coot there. Also, 3 Little Egret heading East to roost.


4/5/10 – WK reported the male Cuckoo on Lagoon 2 and a reeling Grasshopper Warbler still there.

Male Cuckoo, Lagoon 2.



3/5/10 – A pair of Cuckoo together along the shore fence of Lagoon 1, giving great views. The female (larger and browner) caught and ate a caterpillar, while the male called continuously and wiggled his tail slowly left and right. A Whinchat was on the hedge by the cow field towards the yacht club, and a Grasshopper Warbler reeled again from the small reedbed there. 5 Whimbrel, 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Dunlin and 2 Oystercatcher were along the shore. Also, 3 Lesser Whitethroat singing still.

Female Cuckoo on Lagoon 1 fence.                                                                 Cuckoo pair together – showing size/colour difference.


Canada Goose goslings.



2/5/10 – 11 Swift, 6 House Martin and a few Swallow passing low to NE against the cold wind. Also: a Wheatear, 2 Sedge Warbler singing, the Cuckoo still calling and 50+ Shelduck. Excitingly, there was a possible Black Redstart singing on the jetty, and then seen fleetingly as it flew to the main building.

3 Little Egret 1 mile inland on the rhyne by the Severn Drainage offices.


1/5/10 – A Cuckoo calling from Lagoon 2 (a dog-walker first heard it on 28th April). Singing around the site this morning: 2 Grasshopper Warbler (middle of Lagoon 2 and small reedbed towards yacht club), 5 Sedge Warbler, 4 Lesser Whitethroat (+ 2 more seen), 24 Whitethroat and 13 Reed Warbler. There are 6 small gosling on the lake with an adult Canada Goose. 28 Whimbrel along the shore but just 1 Dunlin and 2 Oystercatcher also. A pair of Great Spotted Woodpecker together in trees by Lagoon 2. Also, 7 House Martin and a few Swallow upriver. (54 species present today.)

Cuckoo, Lagoon 2 (Photo by WK).


Whimbrel.                                                                                                          Canada Goose goslings.



27/4/10 – WK reported a Sedge Warbler and 2 Reed Warbler on Lagoon 2.


25/4/10 – MP reported 51 Whimbrel at the yacht club.


24/4/10 – The only additions at high tide this afternoon were 1 Wheatear and 8 unidentified small waders flying high upriver.

A large increase in migrants in last few days. Lagoon 2 had: 2 Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Tree Pipit, 5 Reed Warbler, 2 Sedge Warbler and a Yellowhammer. The only birds actually seen moving NE were : 2 House Martin, 3 Goldfinch , a few Swallow and (unusually) a Collared Dove. Totals around the site: 14 Whitethroat, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Willow Warbler, 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker (one drumming), 6 Black-headed Gull and 4 Oystercatcher. Another Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler were in hedges towards the yacht club. Also, 9 Tufted Duck, 3 Lapwing and a Little Owl heard (Shepperdine). The Canada Goose is still on the nest at the lake.

Grasshopper Warbler, reeling, Lagoon 2.                                                         Tree Pipit, Lagoon 2.


Cowslips at dawn in the meadow.                                                                                                                                  



23/4/10 – This evening, on Lagoon 2 there were: 2 Grasshopper Warbler (one in middle and another by reedbed) and the first 2 Reed Warbler. Also a Bar-tailed Godwit with 40 Curlew (sp.) on the mudflats and a Black-headed Gull (not seen for a few weeks).

That’s 100 species for me at the site in 2010.


21/4/10 – MB reported the first Swift of the Spring over Lagoon 2 in the evening and WK reported the first House Martin.

DS reported even more exciting news, that a 1st-summer male Black Redstart was singing on and off in the afternoon on the SW side of the power station buildings, also 7 Yellow Wagtail over NE and 4 Wheatear on the shore up-river of 'The Windbound'. Also, some disappointing news, that the farmer has ploughed the field in which the Lapwing were nesting (between the power station and the yacht club).


18/4/10 – A Common Sandpiper, 2 Whimbrel and 3 Ringed Plover (Lagoon 3) at High Tide. Also 3+ Lesser Whitethroat and a Little Owl (heard from Lagoon 1).

ML reported a very good count of 6+ Reed Bunting on Lagoon 2.


17/4/10 – A Grasshopper Warbler reeling from the SW corner of Lagoon 2 early morning. 2 Whimbrel, 5 Curlew and 2 Lapwing were the only waders. A warbler was mimicking Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Blackbird and Blackcap from the thick hedge on SW side of Lagoon 3, but after half an hour the only bird seen was a Blackcap. Extraordinary song from it ! Also: 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat and 2 Willow Warbler.

AM’s WeBS count: 3 Wimbrel, 236 Curlew (mainly on sandbanks in middle of river), 6 Lapwing, 1 Dunlin, 4 Oystercatcher, 12 Teal, 54 Shelduck, 22 Mallard, 4 Mute Swan, 3 Canada Goose, 2 Peregrine, 5 Whitethroat, 8 Blackcap, 2 Raven and a Weasel.

Sunrise over fields to south of entrance. (No filtering or colour alteration !!)                                                                                                                                            



15/4/10 – Early morning: 2 Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Whitethroat around Lagoon 2, 2 Willow Warbler, and heading NE: 1 Yellow Wagtail, 19 Swallow and a few Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Linnet.


12/4/10 – MP reported: the 2 Little Ringed Plover still on Lagoon 1 and 2 Whitethroat.

DS also reported from this afternoon: a Whimbrel up-river and 3 ‘White’ Wagtail (amongst 20 Pied Wagtail) on Lagoon 1.  Also a trickle of Swallow going NE.


11/4/10 – This evening, 2 Little Ringed Plover on Lagoon 1 and a Grey Plover on the shore. The Peregrine pair put on a spectacular flying display over the towers, with lots of calling. Not sure if they were marking territory or complaining about something on the tower roof. Also: 6 Swallow.

MP also reported: 1 Yellow Wagtail, 2 ‘White’ Wagtail and 21 Pied Wagtail on Lagoon 1. And the Peregrines were flying with 4 Buzzard.

Little Ringed Plover, Lagoon 2.                                                                      Grey Plover.



10/4/10 – A cold (1 degree C) but lovely sunny morning brought the first Whitethroat, in song, to Lagoon 2. The Canada Goose pair are still on the lake with 6 Tufted Duck (4 male). There were still c300 Curlew on the mudflats and 2 Wigeon (pair) and 12 Teal on the shore. A few Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Linnet and Woodpigeon upriver. Also: 1 Sand Martin, 8 Blackcap, 1 Raven, c35 Meadow Pipit (single flock on saltmarsh) and another 6 Canada Goose.

(The Barn Owl last week was the 100th species recorded at the site this year.)


Tracks of ducks sifting mud, Lagoon 3.                                                         Cowslips, Lagoon 3.



7/4/10 – AM reported: 2 Water Rail ‘sharming’ in Lagoon 2 reedbed, 1 Common Sandpiper at Oldbury Gout, 1 Little Egret, 8 Sand Martin, 17 Teal, 29 Shelduck, 4 Lapwing on territory and 5 Blackcap. Also butterflies: Brimstone, Peacock and Tortoiseshell.


5/4/10 – Some belated news of a Barn Owl, which was reported by DS on Thursday 1/4/10 between Lagoon 2 and the orchard. It was then hunting on Lagoon 2 on Friday 2/4/10 at 6pm. But, sadly, a swathe of Barn Owl feathers by Lagoon 2 outfall this morning show that it has met its demise.

On the lake this morning, it looked like there may be some more bad news as the Canada Goose nest was unoccupied. (Couldn’t see any contents.) Luckily, the goose returned after an hours grazing on the grass. Also: 4 Ringed Plover (Lagoon 3), 1 Swallow, 1 Goldcrest and 4 Tufted Duck (2 pairs) on the lake.

Barn Owl, Lagoon 2, 2/4/10.                                                                             Barn Owl feather, Lagoon 2, 5/4/10



3/4/10 – 4 Blackcap and a Mistle Thrush again this morning. Also a Siskin over.

Mistle Thrush on wires to south of Lagoon 2.                                                                                                                                               



2/4/10 – 2 Swallow, 2 Blackcap and a Mistle Thrush this evening. Also 7 Little Egret again roosting in field by Pool Farm 1 mile inland.

AM reported this morning: a Swallow, a Sand Martin, 3 Blackcap, 3 Kestrel and 3 Jay.


1/4/10 – DS reported 4 Swallow heading NW.


26/3/10 – The female Black Redstart was on the Water Works fence again (and then on Lagoon 2; very mobile). There were 25+ Chiffchaff around the site. The Canada Goose pair are nesting on the island in the lake and also 3 Tufted Duck there.

AM also reported: 4 Lapwing displaying in fields to SW of Lagoon 2, 8 Wigeon and 11 Teal.

MP reported 1+ Crossbill over Thornbury.

Canada Goose on nest.                                                                                     Four-leafed Clover! (Found just before the Black Redstart, so they DO work !)



25/3/10 – DS reported a bit of movement today:  A Black Redstart near the Water Works, 1 Willow Warbler between Lagoon III and the yacht club, a flock of 5 Little Egret feeding at the south end of the tidal reservoir (then in a field near the yacht club at High Tide), 1 Blackcap and c30 Chiffchaff.


22/3/10 – DS reported: 3 Wheatear (1 male and 2 females) on the saltmarsh up-river of The Windbound, a Merlin and 10 Chiffchaff (mostly singing).


20/3/10 – Spring has definitely sprung this week, with the arrival of 2 Wheatear and 5 Chiffchaff. Also the first Blackthorn blossom is out and Cowslips are flowering. The only waders still around were c35 Curlew, 8 Redshank and 5 Ringed Plover. The ducks have mainly departed and only 8 Wigeon and 8 Teal remain, but numbers of Shelduck are up to 40. A pair of Canada Goose and 3 Tufted Duck were on the pond. Also: 2 Rock Pipit, 3 Jay and 2 Green Woodpecker.


7/3/10 – AM reported: 1 Jack Snipe, 4 Snipe, 1 Knot, 6 Lapwing, 34 Redshank, 13 Oystercatcher, 84 Wigeon, 65 Teal and 8 Turnstone.


6/3/10 – A flock of 35+ Barnacle Goose roosting on the far bank of the River Severn (found by MP) at 9am. They then flew just inland into fields or a reedy area (between Stroat and Woolaston, at ST590980). Very quiet, apart from that. Just a Raven to report.


4/3/10 – WK reported: 177 Wigeon, 33 Teal, 241 Curlew on the sand-banks, 4 Tufted Duck on the lake, 5 Redwing and 194 Woodpigeon.


1/3/10 - Nice photo of a Blue Tit (Thanks RL).



28/2/10 – 7 Little Egret roosting a mile inland of OPS in road-side field by Pool Farm (and 4 there yesterday). (This is the largest single count for S. Gloucs..)

(No Lapwing this weekend.)


27/2/10 – A juvenile Lesser Redpoll in alder and then on ground with 10 Goldfinch on NE side of Lagoon 2. On the lake were, 2 pairs of Tufted Duck, 2 Canada Goose (+ 3 more at yacht club) and 2 Coot. There were c1400 Black-headed Gull (AM counted) and c100 Common Gull in wet fields towards the yacht club.

MP reported: a Spotted Redshank with the Redshank flock by ‘The Windbound’, 2 Raven and 2 Mistle Thrush.

AM also reported: 170 Dunlin, 12 Oystercatcher, 442 Curlew and 153 Wigeon.


26/2/10 – WK reported: 131 Wigeon, 33 Teal, 12 Redshank, 9 Oystercatcher, 200+ Lapwing, 1000+ Dunlin, 1 Ringed Plover, 7 Redwing, and a Knot reported by surveyors among the Lapwing.


20/2/10 – Not much of interest today, but a lovely sunny and crisp day. 7 Skylark included 2 singing. 5 Canada Goose and 2 Coot on the lake (with another 4 Canada Goose at the yacht club). Also: c250 Lapwing, 20+ Redshank, c200 Dunlin and a Fox.

WK also reported: 2 Raven, 1 Redwing and 11 Fieldfare.


14/2/10 – 3 Little Egret flew into the fields over the road from the hide.


13/2/10 – Two Coot are back on the lake; first since March 2009 and first pair since July 2008. Also a pair of Tufted Duck. Also of note were 10 Bullfinch around the site and 2 Water Rail heard on Lagoon 2.

Late news of 5 Crossbill over the river to NW on 11/2/10.


11/2/10 – WK reported: 40+ Lapwing, 320+ Dunlin, 33 Mallard, 2 Coot, 187 Wigeon, 1 Shoveler and 25 Teal.


6/2/10 – c150 large gulls in mixed flocks flying upriver this morning, c10 Snipe on shore, 6 Canada Goose flew upriver, a Grey Wagtail over, 37 Turnstone and c30 Redshank.

WK reported: 59 Lapwing, 39 Mallard, c120 Teal, c70 Wigeon and 1 Shoveler.

Collared Dove, unusually on shore by Lagoon 1.



5/2/10 – WK reported: 58 Lapwing, 34 Teal, 83 Wigeon, 1 Oystercatcher, 40 Shelduck and 51 Mallard.


30/1/10 – No GW Teal this morning, and the Teal flock has reduced to c100, probably due to Lagoon 1 freezing. A Jack Snipe at Shepperdine again, and 5 Snipe there. Also a female Tufted Duck, 2 Mute Swan and 2 male Shoveler on the river. A Mistle Thrush, c20 Fieldfare and c10 Song Thrush, but no Redwing around. Also: 2 Rock Pipit, 6 Ringed Plover, 356 Curlew (at HT, mainly at the Yacht Club) and a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming.


29/1/10 – MP reported a Jack Snipe at Shepperdine, but no GW Teal, at dusk.


27/1/10 – DS reported a male Green-winged Teal on Lagoon 1, before being flushed onto the tidal reservoir by a dog-walker, and returning to Lagoon 1 at high tide. (The plastic decoy worked ! See 17/1/10.)  Photos on Gwent Birding. DS also reported a hybrid Shelduck, 25 Barnacle Geese flying up-river and a Little Egret in a ditch just west of 'The Windbound'.

Green-winged Teal, Lagoon 1.



24/1/10 – MP found an adult Mediterranean Gull with c1200 Black-headed Gull and c70 Common Gull on the newly muck-spread fields to SW of Lagoon 3. Also there, c2000 Starling. A male Pintail was with Mallards by the jetty at dusk. I counted 275 Pied Wagtail coming in from N, to roost on out-buildings at the Power Station; assuming similar numbers from other directions there must be 500+ in the roost. The roost in tall trees at Jobsgreen Farm held minimums of 250 Rook and 250 Jackdaw. A female Tufted Duck on the lake.

MP also reported a male Blackcap on the feeders by the orchard.

Male Pintail by the jetty.                                                                                  Mediterranean Gull, Lagoon 3 (Photo by MP)



23/1/10 – On fields being muck-spread to SW of Lagoon 3 were: 11 Golden Plover, c300 Lapwing, c900 Black-headed Gull and c50 Common Gull. A very good count of 14 Reed Bunting eating seed at the tops of reeds on Lagoon 2. A pair of Mute Swan has returned to the lake, including the female with orange darvic ring on left leg (couldn’t read it, but probably ‘H97’ returning – hopefully to breed). Also: c400 Wigeon, c250 Teal, 8 Canada Goose, 22 Redshank, c400 Dunlin and 4 Oystercatcher.

AM also reported 3 Shoveler (males), 4 Snipe and 2 Mistle Thrush at Shepperdine.

Yachts waiting to start a race on the river at the Yacht club.



18/1/10 – WK reported: 3 Shoveler, 2 Snipe (over Lagoon 2), 112 Teal (Lagoon 1), 250 Lapwing, 12 Redshank, 159 Wigeon and 167 Curlew (on mudflats).


17/1/10 – A pair of Gadwall with the Wigeon on the river (found by MP – thanks). An unusual sight of 20 Cormorant flying downriver in a long line, and then landing on the river and drifting down on the tide. 20+ Skylark over again today, but in no distinct direction, and 5 Meadow Pipit to SW. A Little Owl and a Raven heard calling. A visiting birder watched a Peregrine attacking ducks on the estuary, but the ducks won by diving into the water at the last moment !

(64 species seen this weekend, a very good winter total.)

AM also reported (WeBS count): 320 Wigeon, 190 Teal, 2 Shoveler, 75 Mallard, 7 Canada Goose, 4 Ringed Plover, 34 Redshank, 280 Curlew, 260 Lapwing, 4 Oystercatcher, 2 Snipe, 30 Turnstone. Note that there is a plastic Green-winged Teal on Lagoon 1 ! (AM hoping to attract another Yank !)

Pair of Gadwall on the estuary



16/1/10 – A really good morning’s birding, with birds moving back after the snow has thawed. A huge migration of Skylark over to NE, with flocks of up to 15 and c125 in total. The only other birds over were: 1 Meadow Pipit, 10 Fieldfare and 3 Redwing. The best bird was a Jack Snipe (bogie bird for me, as this was only my second at the site !), with 6 Snipe at Shepperdine – walked the tideline again to check for Shorelark. Then at 11.15am a male Goosander flew from the water at the Yacht Club, downriver. There were 2 Golden Plover with the Lapwing in fields SW of Lagoon 3. Also: A juvenile Mute Swan on the river, 2 Rock Pipit, 1 Mistle Thrush and a Black-tailed Godwit.


11/1/10 – DS reported a Red Kite over Shepperdine late morning and a Merlin near the 'The Windbound’.


10/1/10 – A male Pochard flew over Lagoon 1, upriver, with a pair of Tufted Duck. A Black-tailed Godwit and a Ringed Plover were on the shore with c500 Dunlin.

Dunlin on a frozen Lagoon 1



9/1/10 – The tideline was walked from The Windbound to Lagoon 3, but no Shore Larks, only: 1 Rock Pipit, 2 Skylark, c10 Meadow Pipit, 4 Blackbird, 1 Robin, 1 Wren and 1 Song Thrush. Compensation came in the form of a Woodcock, sat in the snow by the hedge along the shore by Lagoon 3. It had a few prods in the frozen ground and then flew low over the hedge and looked like it went down on Lagoon 3 (couldn’t refind it though). A Treecreeper was oblivious to me as it searched up trees just a yard away – magic ! Also: 25 Canada Goose on the shore, a Little Egret on the main rhine, and a Mistle Thrush still in Mistletoe to south of Lagoon 2.

AM reported 30 Song Thrush, c1000 Dunlin and c700 Lapwing.

Treecreeper                                                                                                       Grey Heron on a snow-covered Lagoon 3


Snowman at the Visitor Centre


8/1/10 – DS reported 2 Shore Lark feeding on the saltmarsh immediately up river of Lagoon 1; feeding on the mud between the small isolated clumps of saltmarsh and the edge of the saltmarsh proper. They then flew approx. 50m up river and dropped into the saltmarsh just before high tide. Also a male Merlin in the same area as the larks, two Coot just off the Shepperdine road, a Little Egret in a boundary ditch in the field adjacent to the 'nursing home' and a female Pochard just offshore of Lagoon 1 and then just off the marina. Lastly, a pair of Ruddy Shelduck flew up river.


7/1/10 – Heavy snow in the fields concentrated all the birds onto the shore, including foraging Starling, Robin (2) and Meadow Pipit. The Golden Plover was still at Shepperdine with c900 Lapwing, c900 Dunlin, 1 Ringed Plover and 1 Black-tailed Godwit along the shore. 17 Snipe flushed in small parties from the salt-marsh. Also a Rock Pipit and a male Shoveler.

View of the shore by Lagoon 3                                                                         View at Shepperdine


Golden Plover, Shepperdine


3/1/10–3 Snipe were flushed from a field by a quartering Sparrowhawk and 2 more Snipe over Lagoon 2.There were 2 Stonechat by the jetty and a Grey Wagtail at Lagoon 1outfall. A MistleThrush was in an apple tree covered inmistletoe (to south of Lagoon 2). Also a Rock Pipit on the shore and 1+ Water Rail ‘sharming’ from the reeds on lagoon 2.


2/1/10–A Golden Plover with c150 Lapwing at Shepperdine. 2 Raven around the site and 2+ House Sparrow heard calling and seen (at distance) in farm to south of Lagoon 2. Also: 5 Ringed Plover (lagoon 3) and 24 Fieldfare went over.

AM also reported: 650 Dunlin, 142 Lapwing, 112 Curlew, 12 Turnstone, 335 Wigeon, 60 Teal and 6 Shoveler.


1/1/10 – The Peregrine pair out hunting together over the estuary and a Sparrowhawk seen stooping from height at winter thrushes. Also, 9 Oystercatcher.


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