January to December 2011


2010 sightings

2009 sightings

2008 sightings

2007 sightings

2006 sightings

2005 sightings

2004 sightings

A total of 141 species recorded at the site in 2011 (see 2011 Site Species List for details). With my personal total for the site in 2011 at 129 species.


31/12/11 – Same good selection of ducks on lake, with one of the Shoveler going into eclipse plumage.

WK reported: 109 Wigeon, 51 Teal.
And a second-hand report of 4 Purple Sandpiper by the yacht club (Thanks Steve Hale – his blog is here.)


30/12/11 – Much the same birds today; 5 male Shoveler and a male Gadwall on the lake. 14 Yellowhammer, 67 Stock Dove and c50 Chaffinch to west of Lagoon 3. 8 Greylag Goose on the saltmarsh past the yacht club. Also a Blackcap in the small copse.


27/12/11 – See the Dog Rose flowering, below – my book says they flower June-July !! A good collection of male ducks on the lake again: 5 Shoveler, 1 Gadwall, 1 Wigeon. (It’s so mild, maybe all the females are on nests already ?!!) c200 Curlew seen, including c180 that roosted overnight on Lagoon 3, and c300 Black-headed Gull there. Also 6 Wren heard, mainly singing.

MP reported: 14 Reed Bunting, 22+ Yellowhammer and 25 Stock Dove in fields to West of Lagoon 3.

Dog Rose on Lagoon 2.


26/12/11 – I had a fantastic view of a Lanner falcon attacking Lapwing on the shore by Lagoon 3. It had a buffy-coloured cap, well-marked moustache and was heavily barred below, with brown uppers (darker on final third of wings) and a multiple barred tail. Its flight was subtly different to Peregrine, more like a Merlin – with an impression of being not as powerful, but more agile. It flew from inland and flushed the Lapwing off the seaweed, and had a go at them, but not whole-heartedly. It then flew slowly into wind, low, along the water’s edge, seemingly trying to flush other birds. And then flew over Lagoon 3, back inland. (No jessies on this bird.) There was also an adult Peregrine sat on the saltmarsh at the yacht club. Later, an adult female Peregrine was lazily floating in the wind by the towers. And 5 minutes later, I heard a loud female Peregrine calling above me – the sort of guttural call heard when you see chicks being ringed at a nest, on TV. There were 2 female Falcons shouting at each other. Then a male stooped at one, at a tremendous speed. It continued stooping, ferociously, every 30 seconds, then gained height and repeated. It actually hit the much larger bird a couple of times, and at every stoop, the female turned over onto its back to show talons. The male only stopped after it had seen the other bird off about a mile inland. I watched it through telescope, but could not make out any features. It’s tempting to think it was the Lanner being seen off.

3 Shoveler and the Gadwall on the lake again. A flock of c35 Yellowhammer flew from the saltmarsh by the small copse to the trees on west side of Lagoon 3. In the SW corner of Lagoon 3 was a flock of c100 Chaffinch (searched for a Brambling unsuccessfully).


24/12/11 – The 4 Shoveler and Gadwall were on the lake again, and the Mute Swan pair were getting ‘jiggy’ and being a bit vocal. A flock of 25+ Yellowhammer and 10+ Reed Bunting ranged from the small copse to the SW corner of Lagoon 3. 100+ Fieldfare, 100+ Redwing and c10 Song Thrush around the site. A dead sheep on the tideline by the yacht club attracted 2 Raven. Also 65 Stock Dove, and a Water Rail heard in the Lagoon 2 reedbed.

Mute Swans on the lake. Male Shoveler.


23/12/11 – The main interest is on the lake, where there were 4 male Shoveler (one partial eclipse), the male Gadwall, a male Wigeon and 2 Mute Swan again. A male Peregrine swooped past me before attacking the waders at the yacht club. I got a great view of the action through my telescope – the mixed flock darted in all directions and the Peregrine couldn’t decide on a single target and ended up missing everything and landing on the saltmarsh. Also 4 Raven and a Grey Wagtail.

JM reported 85 Stock Dove.

Gadwall on lake.


21/12/11 – MP reported no sign of the Twite this morning and only 10 Chaffinch on Lagoon 3. But 4 Shoveler on the lake still.


20/12/11 – MP reported being ‘fairly sure’ there were 2 Twite with a large finch flock on Lagoon 3 this morning, seen for 10+ minutes, among tall weeds and briefly perched on a bush. The flock was then flushed by workers and birds not refound despite looking. Also: 5 Shoveler on the lake, 331 Teal and 103 Wigeon.


18/12/11 – Some ducks have been displaced from their usual haunts; a female Goldeneye with the Wigeon and Teal at Shepperdine at High Tide. A male Pintail was on the partially frozen lake, with 10 Moorhen. And a male Gadwall on the shore by the jetty with the Mallard flock. Also, 2 Mistle Thrush by Lagoon 2.

Goldeneye with Wigeon and Teal.



17/12/11 – Surprisingly little has been pushed onto the estuary by the cold weather, but Lagoon 1 has water in it for the first time since January. Also a large dead tree has fallen this week, along the main rhine near the entrance. 12 Bullfinch is a good count (flocks of 6, 4 & 2). A Knot on the shore. 8 Greylag Goose and 2 Canada Goose at the yacht club. 2 adult Mute Swan upriver.

AM’s WeBS count: 1 Gadwall, 130 Wigeon, 88 Teal, 137 Mallard, 163 Curlew, 170 Dunlin, 300 Lapwing, 19 Redshank, 1 Oystercatcher, 51 Common Gull.


12/12/11 – AM reported: 400 Lapwing, 525 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, 80 Stock Dove, 3 Yellowhammer and a Little Egret.


11/12/11 – A Merlin hunting over the fields at Shepperdine was a fantastic sight. A drake Gadwall on the lake and a male Shoveler on the shore. 38 Stock Dove in a flock SW of Lagoon 3, 9 Yellowhammer feeding on the saltmarsh just before the yacht club and 2 Raven perched on pylons.


10/12/11 – A few migrants due to the cold weather (-1.5 degrees C): A male Shoveler on the lake, a Knot at Shepperdine and 2 Water Rail heard - one in the small reedbed on the shore by Lagoon 3 – squealing very eerily when heard from only 10 feet ! Other in main reedbed, Lagoon 2. A Grey Wagtail along the main rhine. The Swans have left the (partially frozen) lake and the geese were not by the yacht club. Not a single person, or footprint, seen this morning – lovely.


4/12/11 – The juvenile Brent Goose was still with 10+ Greylag Goose past the Yacht Club. The High Tide roost on Lagoon 3 held c2000 Dunlin, c400 Lapwing and 217 Curlew (including 14 colour-ringed). Also a Herring Gull with darvic ring ‘EBD’ (orange letters on dark blue, left leg), which was here last Sept-Dec and was ringed at Gloucester Landfill site on 11/10/08. Plus 16 Stock Dove on Lagoon 3.


3/12/11 – A Dark-bellied Brent Goose was with 12 Greylag Goose on the salt-marsh mile SW of the Yacht Club.

Dark-bellied Brent Goose.


1/12/11 – AM/AB reported: a very late Yellow Wagtail, located on call in a flock of Alba Wagtails, and seen to be very grey and white with little or no yellow in a brief view. The bird flew and could not be relocated when the Wagtail flock reappeared in the newly ploughed field immediately south of No 3 lagoon despite prolonged searching. Maybe an Eastern-type.

Also: 35+ Yellowhammer, 1500 Dunlin and 600 Lapwing.

26/11/11 – Lagoon 3 HT roost this morning: 676 Lapwing, c1000 Dunlin, 42 Curlew (inc. 2 colour-ringed), 3 Ringed Plover. News from the lake . . . a 4th Coot has arrived this week; the less-mature of the three Mute Swan was not present (presumably kicked-out), and the two left had a brief fly around before one landed back (and then other came back an hour later);. also 2 Wigeon and 2 Teal.


20/11/11 – DS reported 4 Woodcock on a night survey in the week; two between Lagoon 1 and The Windbound (one alongside the path, another sat in the middle of a field) and the other two much further up-river, between the white house and the far sluice.


20/11/11 – My first Water Rail of 2011 was softly piping from the main reedbed on Lagoon 2, and 10+ Redpoll in trees by small reedbed. There were lots of Redwing and Fieldfare everywhere today. Also, 1 Siskin (over), 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Grey Wagtail.

ID reported 2 Greylag Goose, 2 Brent Goose, 1 Snipe and 2 Blackcap.

A lot of the Hawthorn bushes are heavy with berries, but are also flowering in the mild weather!


19/11/11 – A ‘redhead’ Red-breasted Merganser flew into the tidal reservoir from downriver at 9.15am and fished avidly in the shallows until 10.30am when the incoming tide pushed it away (probably upriver). 14 Greylag and 32 Canada Goose at the yacht club. 10+ Redpoll around the alder trees in NE corner of Lagoon 2 (and another 2 over). Also, 6 Mute Swan (3 adult on lake and 2 ad + juv on river), 1 Little Egret and a Chiffchaff. (61 species seen today.)

AM reported 30+ Yellowhammer at the copse to SW of Lagoon 3.

Red-breasted Merganser. Redpoll.

Colour-ringed Curlew (Light Green over Red on right, Blue over knee on left).


18/11/11 – DS reported: 10+ Yellowhammer, 14 Greylag Goose beyond the sailing club and a Redwing singing in the orchard next to the car park, fooled by the mild temperatures !

WK reported 36 Fieldfare in the orchard.

17/11/11 – DS reported: 1 Wheatear and 2 Brent Goose beyond the sailing club; 1 Chiffchaff near The Windbound and 3 Pintail on the shore between Lagoon 1 and The Windbound; also, 2 Rock Pipit and 17+ Yellowhammer. Plus, a falconer with what he described as, a 'Russian' Goshawk x Eurasian Sparrowhawk hybrid on his arm!


15/11/11 – AM had a good morning: 69 Golden Plover (on Lagoon 3 – a record count for OPS), 800 Lapwing, (660 on lagoon 3), 1500 Dunlin (970 on lagoon 3), 1 Knot, 3 Ringed Plover, 1 Short-eared Owl (over fields between lagoon 1 and Shepperdine), 54 Wigeon, 1 Little Egret, 70 Redwing, 4 Fieldfare, 1 Mistle Thrush, 2 Raven and 231 Mallard.


13/11/11 – A Green Sandpiper on the lake and a great count of 22 Yellowhammer in the hedge SW of Lagoon 3. The HT roost on Lagoon 3 had: c300 Lapwing, c300 Dunlin and 4 Ringed Plover. Also: 1 Mistle Thrush and 1 Raven.


12/11/11 – Loads of insects about in the warm sunshine, including 2 Red Admiral, 1 Small Copper, a Bumble Bee and several dragonflies.

MP reported: 1 Swallow over to N (previous latest date at OPS 1/11/97), 10+ Yellowhammer in the copse, and 2 Crossbill over Thornbury.

Also reported: 2 Raven and a possible Bearded Tit in NW corner of Lagoon 2.


11/11/11 – DS reported: a Brambling heard and a Hawfinch flying high NE.


9/11/11 – A Mistle Thrush at Shepperdine, 23 Canada Goose on the shore and c300 Lapwing on mudflats at Low Tide. DS reported 1 Yellowhammer and 1 Little Egret at yacht club.


8/11/11 – DS reported: 16 Dark-bellied Brent Geese flew down river at 12:40 landing on the far side of the tidal lagoon, they then floated back up river on the incoming tide; 1 Yellowhammer near The Windbound; 1 adult winter Mediterranean Gull near the yacht club; and 2+ Rock Pipit.


6/11/11 – A more wintry feel this evening, as there were c1000 gulls in the evening roost on the estuary, at least 25 Pied Wagtail went to roost on the buildings, the corvid roost at Jobsgreen farm builds up and flocks of Starlings fly over. Lagoon 3 held c700 Dunlin and 184 Lapwing, and 4 Snipe flew high over. MP reported a Short-eared Owl at the yacht club.

A stupendous sunset in cloudless skies !


5/11/11 – Some visible migration (generally to SE): 6 Crossbill (low over Lagoon 3, calling), 1+ Siskin, 1+ Yellowhammer, c25 Fieldfare and c30 Redwing. Also: 1 Little Egret and c200 Mallard.

WK reported: On Lagoon 3 were c290 Lapwing, 1 Oystercatcher and c270 Dunlin. The Severn produced 29 Wigeon, 29 Lapwing, c30 Turnstone and 11 Redshank. Around the site were 4 Raven displaying, calling and tumbling - magic! Also c30 Pied Wagtail.

Ravens (photo by WK).


1/11/11 – WK reported a Short-eared Owl.


Photo of the 2 Harbour Porpoises at the Yacht Club on 26th here.


30/10/11 – A pair of Raven displaying over Lagoon 2, with one closing its wings, turning upside-down, and making a purring sound – repeated four times. A Little Egret on the shore, a Grey Wagtail along the main rhine and a late Red Admiral.


29/10/11 – MP reported: No Pied Wheatear this morning up to 11am (cloudless night probably induced it to travel). A Mistle Thrush at the Anchor pub, 3 Redpoll, 15 Fieldfare and 11 Skylark all over.


28/10/11 - The female PIED WHEATEAR was reported at the Yacht Club early morning. A Spoonbill reported on Birdguides over yacht club heading south at 11:35am.

Some late news from 26th: a pair of Garganey reported on the lake behind the hide, and 2 Harbour Porpoises reported at Yacht Club.


27/10/11 - The female PIED WHEATEAR is still at the Yacht Club. And a late report of a Merlin there yesterday.

[Some news of the Curlew caught at Wibdon Warth last year. Two had metal rings: a Dutch bird ringed 13 years ago, having hatched earlier that year; and a British one ringed 16 years ago, as a chick in North Yorkshire. The BTO state the typical age as 5 years (with max. 31 years), so these are both old.]


26/10/11 – The female PIED WHEATEAR showing very well in bright sun at the Yacht Club. (Read DS’s blog for finder’s story !) Also at the yacht club: a Wheatear, 2 Little Egret, 2 Redpoll over (buzzing) and a Short-eared Owl (first seen by MP) which circled up high from near Lagoon 3, being mobbed by corvids, and appeared to go across the river. MP also reported some Siskin over.

Pied Wheatear


25/10/11PIED WHEATEAR found by DS at 4pm – went to roost around Thornbury Yacht Club car park.


This morning, 2 Yellowhammer and a Wheatear by the yacht club. Also roosting there a good count of c380 Curlew (AM), c150 Dunlin and c25 Redshank. A flock of 25 Canada Goose flew onto the shore from the south, 2 juvenile Mute Swan flew downriver and landed to SW and a Snipe over. A Grey Wagtail was along the main rhine. 15+ Skylark headed over SW (inc. 11 together). The female Peregrine had a kill on the towers, with the male attending. Also, a few Redwing in the hedges, and a Red Admiral.



24/10/11 – DS reported a Short-eared Owl on the foreshore just up-river of the tidal reservoir for most of the day, only moving when harassed by corvids/gulls or, later in the afternoon by the tide.


22/10/11 – At High Tide, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Wheatear along the shore. On Lagoon 3: 183 Lapwing (plus c50 at Shepperdine) and 21 Dunlin (plus c60 at Shepperdine).

Bar-tailed Godwit

This morning, some birds over: 2 Siskin, 7 Skylark 15 Greenfinch and Chaffinches. Also c10 Redwing and 1 Blackcap – 2 were here last week – probably incoming rather than outgoing.


21/10/11 – WK reported a high count of 53 Turnstone.


19/10/11 – DS did a nocturnal survey on night of 19th, with the highlight a Barn Owl hunting over Lagoon 2.


18/10/11 – DS reported: 1 Dark-bellied Brent Goose flew down-river along the edge of the saltmarsh at c.10:30, 1 Short-eared Owl (flushed everything off Lagoon 3 at 12:00 before heading SW), 1 Little Egret (Lagoon 3), 1 female Stonechat (Lagoon 2); also small numbers of Skylark, Redwing, Siskin and Redpoll overhead.


16/10/11 – MP reported: 1 Stonechat and 2 Mistle Thrush to south of Lagoon 3 and a few Siskin, Redpoll, Redwing and Skylark over to west. Also 5 Ringed Plover (Lagoon 3).

Stonechat (cracking photo by MP !)


15/10/11 – Some visible migration this morning: 20+ Redwing (and some around site), 6 Siskin, 12 Skylark and 2 Grey Wagtail (upriver). Also: 2 Wheatear, 5 Raven, 2 Little Egret, 2 Chiffchaff (1 singing), c200 Lapwing and 3 Grey Plover (on Lagoon 3). A Roe Deer was on the track around Lagoon 2 (very unusual to see one on-site).

Redwing. Grey Plover (and Dunlin).


13/10/11 – AM reported: 5 Fieldfare (1 in Orchard, 4 at Lagoon 3), 4 Wheatear, 35 Canada Goose (on lake), 64 Lapwing (Lagoon 3), 5 Ringed Plover, 55 Dunlin, 14 Redshank 17 Curlew (Lagoon 3), 31 Turnstone, 31 Wigeon, 2 Raven, 1 Rock Pipit and a Peregrine taking a Starling at second attempt.


9/10/11 – MP reported, on Lagoon 3: c3000 Black-headed Gull, c180 Curlew, c50 Lapwing, 41 Wigeon and c100 Mallard.


8/10/11 – A few migrants over, generally heading North (?!) with a wind from NW, including 6 Crossbill (over quite low, calling – a first for me at OPS), 2 Skylark, c20 Chaffinch and c20 Meadow Pipit. A lone Swallow headed south. There is water being pumped into Lagoon 3, which is attracting Mallard and Wigeon. c200 Curlew roosted in the bay just past the yacht club.


That’s 120 species at OPS in 2011 for me and 130 species for all-comers.


5/10/11 – DS reported: 1 juv (prob female) Merlin just up-river of Lagoon 1; c4 Mediterranean Gull towards yacht club (3 roosted on Lagoon 3); 1 Golden Plover flying south; 1 Sanderling, 3 Grey Plover, 1 Little Egret towards The Windbound and 5 Wheatear dotted along the sea wall.  


2/10/11 – The latest recorded Whinchat at OPS was enjoying the sunshine on the fence at Shepperdine, and the latest Whitethroat also today. The HT roost on Lagoon 3 had an adult Mediterranean Gull with 260 Black-headed Gull. There have been some probable migrant Song Thrush this weekend (7 today and 5 yesterday). Also: 2 Grey Wagtail again, 10 Skylark over to S, 1+ Little Egret, and 2 colour-ringed Curlew (Y/W and ?/R). There were lots of butterflies around still: Small Copper, Red Admiral and Speckled Wood.

Whinchat. Med Gull.

Male Small Copper.


1/10/11 – A remarkably warm October day (20 degrees C at 11am). 5 Knot and 3 Snipe at Shepperdine. (My first record of Snipe in 2011 at OPS !) The number of Goldcrest have increased this week to 8 and a Treecreeper. A few migrants over: 3 Siskin to SW and 5 Skylark. Also: 2 Grey Wagtail and 2 Little Egret. Lastly, a couple of colour-ringed Curlew (yellow over white and dark blue over light green), from the 66 birds caught last September at Wibdon Warth on the west bank of the upper Severn (59 of which have now been sighted back on the estuary this autumn - a remarkable effort). A further 29 birds, have been ringed there recently. Please let me know if you see any of these.

MP reported, at Littleton: 3 Pintail, 7 Knot, 1 Grey Plover, 3 Little Egret, 1 Snipe, 22 Wigeon, 30 Dunlin and 35 Turnstone.


5 Knot. Turnstone roosting on ‘Ledges’ buoy. (A few Dunlin flew over with them, but didn’t attempt to land.)


25/9/11 – AM reported at HT: 1 Grey Wagtail, 4 Wheatear, 23 Turnstone, 35+ Redshank, 157 Mallard and 6 Shelduck.


24/9/11 – Rather quiet, considering the seemingly good conditions for visible migration (overcast and SSW light wind). Between 7am and 9am, just 20 Meadow Pipit (in small flocks) and a Grey Wagtail that dropped onto the shore. Then hirundines started to appear, heading SW: c100 House Martin, c150 Swallow and a few Sand Martin. Another c150 House Martin gathering over the towers. (All those in just 1 hour). Also: c30 Pied Wagtail exiting roost at dawn, 1 Little Egret, 1 Skylark (over), 1 Wheatear and 13 Wigeon (inc. 1 on lake).


21/9/11 – DS reported: 2 Little Egret feeding on the foreshore and roosting in the field just down-river of The Windbound, 7+ Wheatear and c10 Siskin, 1 Redpoll and 2 Reed Bunting all overhead.


18/9/11 – AM reported an adult Gannet floating upriver on the tide at 10:05am (7th in last eleven days). A juvenile Little Grebe was on the lake, and also there a Wigeon and 3 more flying downriver (first of the autumn).

AM WeBS counts: 213 Curlew (on mudflats), 147 Mallard, 7 Wigeon, 27 Lapwing and 33 Redshank.


13/9/11 – A juvenile Arctic Tern flew upriver in wind at High Tide.


12/9/11 – DS/Surveyors reported: a juvenile Little Gull in the evening Black-headed Gull roost on the river, an Arctic Skua upriver and a Whinchat on the shore. AM also reported a Gannet.


11/9/11 – A Fulmar glided around just off the Tidal Reservoir at 6:50pm, before being chased by a gull and forced to land on water. Then floated upriver on incoming tide. There were 2 Curlew Sandpiper again with c100 Dunlin and c50 Ringed Plover at Shepperdine. The Peregrine pair were perched on the Tidal Reservoir wall. Also, 1 Raven and 3 Wheatear.

AM reported an Arctic Tern.


10/9/11 – Back to normal this morning. 4 Yellow Wagtail and 4 Meadow Pipit over to SW. A Lesser Whitethroat around Lagoon 2 and a Whitethroat. c100 House Martin over the towers. One Little Egret on main rhine and another 3 together a mile inland of OPS.


9/9/11 – A calm day, saw some seabirds re-orientating downriver. A Great Skua flew straight down the middle of the river at 3pm, and an Arctic Tern flew down later. DS reported: a flock of 24 mainly Arctic Tern, with a couple of them Common Tern at 2:50pm, a juv. Arctic Tern on Tidal Res. earlier and a Manx Shearwater downriver at 11:10am. There were 2 Curlew Sandpiper with c30 Dunlin and c30 Ringed Plover at Shepperdine. A Spotted Flycatcher was around the end of the bridlepath along the main rhine (near the road). Also: 1 Little Egret and the first colour-ringed Curlew of the autumn (yellow-over-white). DS/AB also reported: 1 Whinchat and 12+ Wheatear.

DS reported upiver of Shepperdine: 2 Siskin (over), 1 Redstart and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit.


Spotted Flycatcher. Curlew Sandpiper (photo by WK).


8/9/11 – A third day of westerly winds, all be it only medium strength today, forced 3 exhausted Gannet to float upriver on the tide. All 3 were visible together at 2:45pm. Then a 4th flew upriver before also settling at 3:30pm. (That doubled the number of Gannets ever recorded at OPS !) Even rarer was a juvenile Shag sat on the concrete pontoon next to the jetty – exactly same place I saw one on 3rd Sept 2008. At 4pm a Manx Shearwater flew downriver and settled on the tidal reservoir. Another unique record was of 20+ Sanderling that landed briefly on the mud of the Tidal Res.. They were part of a flock of c40 small waders that flew upriver in wind – may have all been same species. (Easily the highest count at OPS.) Also a juvenile Arctic Tern on Tidal Res briefly, 7 Wheatear, c50 Dunlin, c50 Ringed Plover and a Little Egret on the main rhine.

AM reported 1 Fulmar and 1 Knot in the evening.

Juvenile Shag. Gannet on river, over Tidal Reservoir wall.


7/9/11 – A second windy day brought some seabirds upriver. The westerly wind of c20mph blew 3 adult Arctic Tern upriver at 2pm, and a juvenile seen around Tidal Reservoir 5 minutes later and another juvenile upriver at 3pm. Also at 3pm an adult Gannet was seen briefly flying across the estuary (looking towards the bridges). (Only 2nd record of a live Gannet at OPS.) 5 minutes later a Fulmar went ‘shearing’ upriver – 100m out, past jetty. (Amazingly – 1st record at OPS !) Finally a Manx Shearwater flew slowly downriver and then sat on the estuary 100m off Lagoon 1. (Only 4th record at OPS, following one on 15th Sept 2010.) Also, an unusually tame juvenile Lesser Whitethroat, sat on the edge of a bush just 3 yards away along the path to shore, 9 Wheatear. 1+ Sanderling with c40 Dunlin and c80 Ringed Plover (all flying downriver at HT).

An Osprey reported (to AM) downriver at Littleton yesterday.


Manx Shearwater sat on estuary. (Apologies for photo quality! Digiscoped blind in wind.)


4/9/11 – A remarkable 30+ Wheatear along the shore, with 26 counted along the fence at Shepperdine. This is only the second double-figure count I have had at the site, with the other being 10 in April this year. Also a Whitethroat with them and another on Lagoon 2. The annual gathering of House Martins around the towers has been happening this weekend, with c200 today. Also a Little Egret (and one yesterday) and a Whimbrel..

AM reported a Great Spotted Woodpecker hammering a hazelnut into a crack in a telegraph pole (with a Kestrel box on top) near the hide – see photo below. The bird then continued hammering the nut to eat the contents. Surely a sort of use of a tool ?

Wheatear House Martins gathering on towers

Hazelnut hammered into hole by Woodpecker


3/9/11 – A Tree Sparrow on the fence just to NE of Lagoon 1 was the first I have seen here for over 10 years. It then flew along the shore to SW. (They used to nest in the chicken huts at Jobsgreen farm; last recorded there in 2000.) A flock of 40 Canada Goose flying downriver was quite a sight. A Yellow Wagtail flew over to SW, calling. Also, 1 Common Sandpiper and an Orange Underwing Moth in the hide.


Note – the holes that have been dug in the island on the lake are for Kingfishers (thanks PL).


31/8/11 – DS reported: c35 Yellow Wagtail (c20 near yacht club, others overhead or up-river of The Windbound), 8 Wheatear and 2 Tree Pipit.


29/8/11 – AM reported (mainly from yacht club): 56 Ringed Plover, 25 Dunlin, 15 Curlew, 1 Common Sandpiper, 38 Redshank, 12+ Turnstone, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Wheatear, 5+ House Sparrow (in hedge by metal gate on way to yacht club), 208 Black-headed Gull and 17 Lapwing.


28/8/11 – Quiet. 2 Raven, 1 Sand Martin, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 10 Chiffchaff, c30 Ringed Plover, 2 Wheatear and the first Shelduck I’ve seen here since 2nd July.


27/8/11 – On evening incoming tide, at Shepperdine: 5 Sanderling, c80 Ringed Plover (high count for here), c10 Turnstone and c10 Dunlin. Two Peregrine put on a spectacular aerial display over the towers, in the high winds. Also, 2 Wheatear.

Total of 120 species seen in 2011 around the site (including the shore between Shepperdine and the metal gate on way to yacht club). My personal tally is 108.


26/8/11 - A Hobby chasing Swallows along the shore by Lagoon 2, and again later over Lagoon 2 (brilliant aerial dogfight between them). Waders at Shepperdine: 1 Black-tailed Godwit, c35 Ringed Plover, 10 Turnstone, 3 Lapwing, 2 Oystercatcher, 2 Dunlin. A Teal on the lake, and also the 3 Mute Swan, 2 Coot and 3 Moorhen there.

KP reported: 2 Wheatear, c60 Goldfinch and a Little Egret. Also, at the Yacht Club: a male Redstart (in horse paddock), 2 Yellow Wagtail (ditto), 6 Wheatear, c70 Linnet and 11 Redshank.


25/8/11 – MP reported: 3 Wheatear, 7 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Lesser Whitethroat.

DS reported: 1 Spotted Flycatcher and 1 Redstart (in hedge halfway between Lagoon 1 and The Windbound), 3 Whinchat (near metal gate towards yacht club), 2 Tree Pipit (overhead), 1 Brent Goose (down-river of yacht club), 16+ Yellow Wagtail and 12+ Wheatear.


24/8/11 – DS reported (in between torrential showers): 1 Arctic Tern and 1 Common Tern (both briefly roosting just up-river of The Windbound), 2 Curlew Sandpiper (with Dunlin on foreshore, 1 just up-river of Lagoon 1, 1 c1km up-river of The Windbound), 1 Brent Goose (down-river of yacht club), 1 Yellow Wagtail (yacht club), 6+ Wheatear and a flock of 90 Linnet (again approx 1km up-river of The Windbound).


21/8/11 – KP reported: a male Redstart (in horse paddock by yacht club), 2 Wheatear, 3 Yellow Wagtail and 1 Lesser Whitethroat.


20/8/11 – A Hobby flew low over the main rhine carrying a kill, and chased by c20 Swallow giving alarm calls. Waders at Shepperdine: 28 Ringed Plover, 12 Turnstone (on ‘Ledges’ buoy) and 9 Dunlin. Also 2 Goldcrest.

MP reported: 1 Coal Tit, 2 Tree Pipit, 2 Wheatear and 1 Whimbrel.


A reminder to look out for colour-ringed Curlew on the estuary, returning to winter here after being ringed at Wibden Wharf (other side of estuary) last year.

18/8/11 – MP reported: 1 Common Sandpiper, 18 Ringed Plover and 1 Whimbrel.


17/8/11 – PL reported a Hobby on edge of Thornbury.


16/8/11 MP/AM reported this morning: 1 Brent Goose, 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 33 Ringed Plover, 10 Dunlin, 22 Redshank, 13 Curlew, 10 Turnstone and unusually, c25 House Sparrow.


14/8/11 – MP reported, from the yacht club, this morning: 1 Brent Goose, 1 Greenshank, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Wheatear, 24 Canada Goose and a Peregrine.


13/8/11 – Another Redstart on the Lagoon 1 fence (by the water trough). The evening gull roost had c1300 Black-headed Gull. On the shore were 2 Turnstone and c15 Ringed Plover. Also 2 Lesser Whitethroat and c50 Linnet. MP reported: an adult Mediterranean Gull and 1 Yellow Wagtail.


12/8/11 – Impressive gull roost this evening on Lagoon 3: 1 adult Mediterranean Gull, 880 Black-headed Gull, c10 Common Gull and 2 Great Black-backed Gull. 2 Sedge Warbler by the lake. 3 Fox cubs gambolling around a field and 2 adults seen – all completely unperturbed by my presence. Plus a Bat sp..


11/8/11 – MB reported a Tawny Owl which flew low overhead at 9pm, between the hide and the road.


This could account for the bee swarm seen last month - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-14460807


9/8/11 – DS reported, this morning: 3+ Wheatear along the sea wall, 1 Yellow Wagtail near the yacht club, 1 adult Mediterranean Gull and 1 Little Egret.


8/8/11 - MP reported: a Brent Goose on the Tidal Reservoir and a Treecreeper.


7/8/11 – Along the shore were: 3 Wheatear, 6 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin and 2 Common Sandpiper. Also, 2 Egret sp. flying quite high upriver (presumably Little Egret) and a Lapwing on the overgrown Lagoon 1.


6/8/11 – A Tree Pipit ‘fizz’ing over to East. Also: 1 Wheatear, 1 Willow Warbler (singing), 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Sedge Warbler and 5 Reed Warbler. On the lake were 4 Moorhen (including 2 small juvs), 3 Mute Swan and 2 Coot. Barn Owls were reported ‘a couple of weeks ago’ during late night security patrols along the shore at Shepperdine and on Lagoon 3.


5/8/11 – AM reported from the yacht club: 3 Yellow Wagtail, 23 Redshank, 1 Wheatear, 12 Canada Goose, 1 Shelduck with a new brood (lagoon 1) and 514 Black-headed Gull.


3/8/11 – 2 Wheatear and a Raven this evening.


31/7/11 – A lot of migrant warblers around today (especially for July). The male Redstart was again in the horse paddock south of Lagoon 2. In the hedges along the main rhine were: 1 Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Sedge Warbler, 3 Willow Warbler (2 singing), 1 Goldcrest and lots of Chiffchaff. There were another 3 Willow Warbler around the site, and a total of c10 Whitethroat. In the HT gull roost on Lagoon 3 were: 2 Mediterranean Gull (adults moulting), 500+ Black-headed Gull, 3 Common Gull and 3 adult Great Black-backed Gull. The 2 Common Sandpiper were still on the shore. The Moorhen pair on the lake had 3 very small young with them, and the 3 large juveniles are still there (presumably two broods for this pair). Also 3 Mute Swan and a Coot still there. Also, a Great Spotted Woodpecker was high up on a metal pylon (!) and a large female Peregrine was stooped at and seen off by the male Kestrel (about half its wingspan!).

Adult male Redstart in the horse paddock – seen from Lagoon 2.


30/7/11 – Some waders at Shepperdine on the falling tide: 3 Greenshank (adult + 2 juv), 4 Whimbrel, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 1 Dunlin. Also 2 Common Sandpiper on the shore by Lagoon 2. There were 2 Willow Warbler singing and an adult male Redstart showing well (if distantly) in the paddock below the south embankment of Lagoon 2.


29/7/11 – A Hobby was over Lagoon 2 – it’s presence shown up by the Swallows giving ‘legit, legit,…’ calls. Also a Sedge Warbler there and 3 Lesser Whitethroat, including the leucistic male with a white head again (as per 25th May) but this time it had a juvenile with it. The evening roost on Lagoon 3 held c700 Black-headed Gull and 3 Common Gull.


25/7/11 – AM reported from the yacht club: 2 Yellow Wagtail.


20/7/11 – DS reported: 1 Mediterranean Gull (almost full summer adult) and 2 Little Egret.

Also, further up-river, near the sluice which empties out onto 'Hills Flats': 2 Whimbrel and 2 Yellow Wagtail.

Late news from yesterday of an Essex Skipper along the sea-wall near Lagoon 3, and a Salmon/Sea Trout leaping near the yacht club.


19/7/11 – DS reported: 3 Mediterranean Gull (2 almost full adult summer, 1 almost full adult winter), 1 juvenile Yellow Wagtail, 1 Sanderling, 1 Little Egret and 1 Whimbrel over WSW


18/7/11 – DS reported: 2 Mediterranean Gull (2 almost full adult summer).

16/7/11 – No birds to report, but an 18 inch Eel and the remains of a Squid on the Severn Way – looked like they were dumped on the overnight high tide. The eel was still alive, so I threw it back in.

(And related late fish news from last weekend – a 2ft long Sea-trout leapt out of the Tidal Reservoir.)


11/7/11 – DS reported: 6 Yellow Wagtail over ENE.


10/7/11 – 4 Common Sandpiper on the shore by Lagoon 2.


9/7/11 – 2 adult Mediterranean Gull in summer plumage, sitting on the edge of the Tidal Reservoir this morning. Also 2 Little Egret there (one with breeding plumes), before flying upriver. 3 Black-tailed Godwit at Shepperdine and c275 Curlew on mudflats. Only 3 Mute Swan and 1 Coot on the lake. Also: 2 Sedge Warbler and 4 Green Woodpecker (all adults).

Adult Mediterranean Gull in summer plumage.


3/7/11 – The juvenile Redstart was again in the hedge along the path to the hide, and was sunbathing/anting at one point, with red tail spread wide on ground. A rarer bird for Oldbury was in the wood behind the hide; a Coal Tit calling continually. Again there were no waders on the shore – a whole weekend without seeing one ! An impressive Honeybee swarm contained over a thousand bees, in the hedge between Lagoon 1 & 2.

AM reported: a Treecreeper sunbathing along the bridlepath to the shore, 325 Black-headed Gull counted on Lagoon 3 and a large Pike in the lake.


2/7/11 – A juvenile Redstart was along the track to the hide this morning, and another was on the fence on Lagoon 1 (viewed from Lagoon 2). There were c300 Black-head Gull on the Lagoon 3 HT roost (but no Med. Gulls). The shore was very quiet, and NO waders were seen from the yacht club to Shepperdine ! But a pair of Shelduck with 5 young were at Shepperdine. A pair of Tufted Duck were nest-prospecting in the undergrowth on the island in the lake. 16 Sand Martin headed upriver, and also 1 House Martin and 1 Swift seen. Also: a juvenile Goldcrest and 2 Sedge Warbler.

MP counted 385 Black-head Gull on Lagoon 3, including 5 juveniles.


26/6/11 – A Grasshopper Warbler reeling intermittently from the lake, and the Little Grebe still there. A Treecreeper with tit flock in trees along the bridleway to the shore. The Lagoon 3 HT roost had 28 Black-headed Gull including a juvenile. 2 Sedge Warbler singing (Lagoons 2 & 3), 5 Canada Goose (pair + 3 well-grown young) on the shore and the brood of 8 Shelduck ducklings still at Shepperdine.


25/6/11 – On the lake: an adult Little Grebe, a pair of Tufted Duck, 3 Mute Swan, 3 Coot (ad + 2 juv) and a Moorhen. A brood of 8 Shelduck ducklings with parents at Shepperdine. Also: 3 Sedge Warbler (2 on Lagoon 2 and 1 by Lagoon 3), 3 Reed Warbler and 3 Reed Bunting.

Little Grebe with pair of Tufted Duck.


24/6/11 – AM reported: a Redstart along the track to the hide and a Little Grebe on the lake, with 7 Tufted Duck. On the shore: 5 Canada Goose (pair + 3 well grown juvs), 61 Mallard and 1 Oystercatcher.


12/6/11 – 2 House Martin and Swallows feeding low at the lake, in the rain. 5 small waders seen at distance at Shepperdine, but one of which appeared to be a Sanderling from the way it ran about the mud. Also the first Shelduck brood of the year. While standing next to a hedge to get some protection from the rain, a bird of prey flew along the Severn Way towards me, at speed and only a couple of feet off the ground. I presumed that it was going to be a Sparrowhawk; it kept coming to within 10 feet of me, and then veered out over the estuary, gaining height and revealing itself to be a Hobby!

Bee Orchid (photo by PL)


11/6/11 – A couple of minor surprises with the tit flocks along the main rhine: a young Goldcrest and a male House Sparrow. The 3 Coot chicks were with parents on the lake, plus 2 pairs of Tufted Duck and 3 Mute Swan there. 15 Curlew on the mudflats. 10 Long-tailed Tit in a single flock. Pyramidal Orchids flowering and 20 spikes of Bee Orchid.

WK reported a 2nd-summer Yellow-legged Gull on Lagoon 3.


7/6/11 – AM reported: 2 House Martin, 6 Tufted Duck, 5 Coot, 3 Mute Swan and 5 Grey Heron.


Video of the Cuckoo calling from trees by the small reedbed in the SE corner of Lagoon 2 . . .



5/6/11 – 4 Dunlin and a Ringed Plover at Shepperdine, and a calling Cuckoo by the small reedbed at Lagoon 2.


4/6/11 – A sunny morning with cool NE wind; lots of juveniles about already: 2 Wren, 2 Robin, 7 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Blackcap and 2+ Coot still. A Sedge Warbler on Lagoon 2, 17 Whitethroat in total about the site and 1 Lesser Whitethroat singing. On the shore were 4 Black-headed Gull, 1 Oystercatcher and 1 Curlew. On the lake were 4 pairs of Tufted Duck and 3 Mute Swan. Also, a Fox sat in the middle of lagoon 3 and Common Spotted Orchids on Lagoon 2.


27/4/11 – WK reported: 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 juvenile Coot with adult and 3 Mute Swan.


24/5/11 – AM reported a Common Tern making slow progress downriver into the wind and the Cuckoo still by Lagoon 2.


22/5/11 – No seabirds blown upriver in strong SW winds between 10am and 12. A quite late Turnstone was on the shore.


21/5/11 – Just a Grey Plover and 3 Dunlin on the shore. A leucistic (partial-albino) Lesser Whitethroat was singing in bushes at south end of Lagoon 2 – white head and back with grey wings. A Jay was, unusually, among brambles on Lagoon 2; no doubt looking for nests. The lake held: the 3 young Coot with parents, 3 Mute Swan, 2 pairs Tufted Duck, a Moorhen and 4 Mallard ducklings. A pair of Pied Wagtail had 2 young on grass at Waterworks. Also, 2 Sedge Warbler. An impressive flock of corvids flew onto Lagoon 3 from nearby fields: 84 Carrion Crow (inc. young), 20 Rook (inc. young) and 6 Jackdaw.

Grey Plover.


19/5/11 – The Cuckoo still calling from trees by the small reedbed next to Lagoon 2. 3 pairs of Tufted duck, 6 small ducklings with a female Mallard and a pair of Mute Swan on the lake. (The Canada Goose family disappeared.) Very quiet recently on the estuary.


17/5/11 – AM reported: 9 Dunlin, 7 Ringed Plover, 1 Whimbrel, 3 Oystercatcher, 4 Tufted Duck and 5 Mute Swan.


14/5/11 – MP reported: 1 Cuckoo low over reedbed by Lagoon 2 and a Whimbrel.


12/5/11 – This evening, 5 Mute Swan on the lake, and the 3 Coot chicks still with their parents. On Lagoon 2: 1 Cuckoo, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat. Also, 1 Grey Plover at Shepperdine and a few Black-headed Gull upriver. DP reported 2 Cuckoo.


8/5/11 – HL reported the 3 gosling Canada Goose with parents. (Last time they were reported.)


6/5/11 – AM reported: 1 Cuckoo (in reedbed by Lagoon 2) and 6 Whimbrel, of note.


5/5/11 – WK reported a Hobby.

PG reported: no sign of Hoopoe, but 1 Cuckoo, 15+ singing Whitethroat, 6 singing Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Sedge Warbler, Holly Blue butterflies and a Hornet.
Cuckoo (Photo by PG).


4/5/11 – No joy this morning with a thrash around Lagoons 1 & 2. But a Grasshopper Warbler reeling again and 2 Common Tern went lazily upriver at 7:20am.


3/5/11 – A brief search at dusk only produced a Grasshopper Warbler reeling on Lagoon 2, a pair of Cuckoo (male calling and female checking out the reedbed) and a Badger.

JL reported a HOOPOE - “On my lunchtime daily bird spot around site I watched a Hoopoe feeding on the track between Lagoons 1 & 2 roughly level with Reactor 1. We had brilliant views of the bird through binocs and only 20 yards away. Eventually it flew away when other walkers approached towards a hedge on Lagoon 1. It's rounded wings and black and white barring and bouncy flight were great to see.”

AM reported this morning: 1 Ruff, 46 Bar-tailed Godwit, 43 Whimbrel, 2 Grey Plover, 18 Ringed Plover, 14 Dunlin, 2 Wheatear, (all at Yacht Club), 8 Swift, 2 Sand Martin, 8 Oystercatcher and 48 Shelduck.


2/5/11 – 4 Arctic Skua came upriver at 8:15pm, just as the sun was setting. They were all dark phase, and headed round the Power Station, into the wind from the East, and seemed to go inland across Lagoon 2. Just before that, at 7:55pm 60+ Arctic Tern dropped down from the sky onto the estuary and headed low upriver. (I believe that they do this after gaining height to go over the Severn bridges. Although this flock appeared just as I had packed up my telescope and started going home, so I presume they were watching from above !) More good flocks of Bar-tailed Godwit headed upriver, with a total of c115 and 4 Knot with them. At Shepperdine were 2 Sanderling, 2 Grey Plover and a few Dunlin and Ringed Plover.

All was quiet on the morning tide until 8:22am when 8 ‘Commic’ Tern went low upriver into the Easterly wind. Then at 8:55am a flock of c50 ‘Commic’ Tern appeared from the sky and went low upriver, and finally at 9:05am a flock of 9 Arctic Tern went low upriver. (Others were probably Arctic also.) Then went quiet again. At the same time, waders were moving around the estuary: c35 Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Grey Plover (summer plumage), 2 Knot (one summer plumage), c30 Whimbrel, 3 Sanderling, c50 Dunlin and c30 Ringed Plover. Also spotted going upriver: 3 House Martin, 5 Sand Martin and 4 Swift. Lastly: 3 Wheatear, 5 Sedge Warbler and 3 Lesser Whitethroat.

MB also reported 2 Yellow Wagtail.

2 Sanderling(with a Dunlin between) Grey Plover


1/5/11 – On the evening tide there were c40 Bar-tailed Godwit and 7 splendid summer plumaged Grey Plover. A Cuckoo called from trees at the small reedbed on Lagoon 2 and 4 Swift flew over. The Canada Goose young have hatched and left the nest – 3 gosling with the parents, and the 3 Coot chicks are still ok. But the star spot was a Slow Worm, basking on the bridleway to the shore.

A Red Kite was between Falfield and Lower Stone this afternoon ( ST6794, 6m east of OPS).

Slow Worm on the bridleway to the shore.



29/4/11 – 18 Bar-tailed Godwit and 15 Whimbrel on the shore this morning, plus another 11 probable Whimbrel flying upriver. One Grey Plover and a Wheatear at the yacht club. Swallow still heading upriver in a steady stream, as they have been all week.


25/4/11 – MP reported 4 Whimbrel.


24/4/11 – At High Tide, the only birds to go upriver were 18 Black-headed Gull and 8 Swallow. But 5 Whimbrel on the shore and a Cuckoo calling from the copse to SW of Lagoon 3. The Little Ringed Plover was again on Lagoon 3 at HT, with 3 Ringed Plover and 5 Great Black-backed Gull (3 adult and 2 x 2nd-summers). Also a Grasshopper Warbler by the lake and 4 Mute Swan there (2 adult and 2 juvenile).

This morning: 3 tiny Coot chicks on the lake with the parents. 1 Grasshopper Warbler (Lagoon 2, NW corner), 6 Lesser Whitethroat and 4 Sedge Warbler all singing.

Little Ringed Plover on Lagoon 3.


23/4/11 – This evening a Red-legged Partridge was on the Severn Way path by Lagoon 3, and then on the path round Lagoon 3. And a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling again from the lake.

Walkers reported a Cuckoo seen and heard, on-site.

Red-legged Partridge on the path round Lagoon 3.


22/4/11Little Ringed Plover again on Lagoon 3 at HT, plus 2 Ringed Plover and 2 Wheatear there. Also, 4 Lesser Whitethroat and 4 Sedge Warbler singing around the site.

AM reported this morning: 3 Whimbrel and 3 Peregrine; female on tower roof, joined by male. Sat together for 5 minutes before another male flew in and the two males tussled briefly before interloper flew to pylon.

Fox on the seaweed dump, Lagoon 3.


21/4/11 – A Little Ringed Plover flew into Lagoon 3 at HT, as did 5 Ringed Plover and 5 Dunlin. Some visible migration heading upriver as the morning mist cleared: 4 Yellow Wagtail, 1 House Martin, 3 Sand Martin, steady Swallow passage, c60 Goldfinch, 21 Black-headed Gull, 1 Common Gull and a few Linnet and Meadow Pipit. Around the site were: 3 Grasshopper Warbler (Lagoon 3, Lake & Lagoon 2), 5 Lesser Whitethroat and 6 Sedge Warbler. At the yacht club were a Common Sandpiper and 2 Wheatear.

64 species recorded today.

Little Ringed Plover, Lagoon 3.


20/4/11 – MP reported 3 Tree Pipit this morning.


That’s 100 species recorded at the site in 2011.


19/4/11 – 5 hours wandering around this morning produced some good results: 2 Little Ringed Plover on Lagoon 3 early, but just one there with 15 Ringed Plover and 45 Dunlin at HT, 2 Grasshopper Warbler (reeling on Lagoon 2 and in rank meadow between there and orchard), 1 Tree Pipit (Lagoon 2), 3 Sedge Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 32+ Whitethroat (!), 4 Reed Warbler, 10+ Wheatear (including 8 together) and 3 Willow Warbler. On the lake: 3 Mute Swan, 5 pairs Tufted Duck, 1 Canada Goose (couldn’t see the nest, due to high grass), 2 Coot and 2 Moorhen. Also, heading East into wind were: c25 Swallow (in ones/twos), 40 Black-headed Gull (over high in tight flock) and 5 Meadow Pipit. Lastly, 7 Whimbrel.

(Below are the best of 98 photos !)

Grasshopper Warbler reeling on Lagoon 2. Reed Warbler, Lagoon 2.

Little Ringed Plover, with Ringed Plover, Lagoon 3. Wheatear along the seawall.


18/4/11 – This evening, a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling from the lake (probably on the island, but tricky to place). On the lake were 5 pairs of Tufted Duck, the Mute Swan pair and the Canada Goose pair (female still on nest). Also c10 Swallow over, heading East, and 30+ Shelduck.

DS also reported: 3 Whimbrel, 1 Yellow Wagtail (over), 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Reed Warbler, 2+ Wheatear and a few Sand Martin and Swallow (over). Also 3 Lapwing in the ploughed field SW of Lagoon 3.


16/4/11 – MP reported this morning: 3 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Garden Warbler, 13 Whitethroat, 3 Sedge Warbler, 4 Reed Warbler and 1 Wheatear.


14/4/11 – A Lesser Whitethroat singing in bushes at south end of Lagoon 2.

DS reported: 2 Grasshopper Warbler (1 singing near yacht club, 1 singing near Lagoon 3), 1 Reed Warbler (pond by Lagoon 2), 1 Sedge Warbler (Lagoon 3), 1 Yellow Wagtail (over, by yacht club), 1 Little Ringed Plover (flying between yacht club and Lagoon 3), 3 Wheatear, 3 House Martin (beyond 'The Windbound'), plus a trickle of Swallow and Sand Martin overhead.


13/4/11 - WK reported: 3 Mute Swan, 25 Shelduck, 2 Tufted Duck, 5 Chiffchaff, 4 Willow Warbler, 5 Whitethroat and 1 Sedge Warbler.


12/4/11 – A Wheatear and the first Hawthorn blossom open.


11/4/11 – DS reported: 1 Lesser Whitethroat (singing near The Windbound), 1 Yellow Wagtail (over), 1 Little Ringed Plover (near the yacht club), 6 Wheatear (mostly near the yacht club) and c6 Whitethroat.


10/4/11 – AM reported: 5 Wheatear (at Yacht Club), 4 Whitethroat (Lagoon 2), 2 Reed Warbler, 4 Sand Martin, 41 Redshank (Yacht Club), 4 Teal, and a Lapwing in diplay flight over fields to SW of Lagoon 3.


9/4/11 – This evening, a (very early) Arctic Tern dropped in to the Tidal Reservoir at 6.45pm and surface-fed for 10 minutes, then departed. The Reed Warbler was still in Lagoon 2 reedbed, but was joined by OPS’s earliest Sedge Warbler (by 6 days).

This morning - a Reed Warbler singing in the reedbed on Lagoon 2 (earliest ever at OPS by 1 day), and 3 Whitethroat there. Also: 1 Wheatear, 10 Canada Goose (including the female still sitting on the island) and 4 pairs of Tufted Duck now. Plus, 2 Orange-tip butterflies.


8/4/11 – Another fantastic evening – sunny, and nobody else about. The first Whitethroat (two singing on Lagoon 2) and Whimbel (one seen very well, and calling, at Shepperdine) of the year. Also a Grey Plover, 4 Dunlin and 3 Teal at Shepperdine. The lake now has 3 pair of Tufted Duck and a pair of Moorhen with the other birds still. 48 Curlew and 4 Ringed Plover roosting on Lagoon 3.


NOW for the big news – a Peregrine egg was found on the roof of the Power Station, by workmen on 29th March !


7/4/11 – On a sunny evening, a Partridge sp. flew across the main rhine and towards the orchard. The number of Blackcap (c15) outnumbered Chiffchaff and 2 Willow Warbler sang. Also 4 Swallow and just 2 Teal (pair). There are now 2 pair of Tufted Duck on the lake with the rest of the birds all still there.

(A male Redstart was in the woods at Windmill Hill, Swindon at lunchtime.)


3/4/11 – AM Reported: 151 Curlew, 30+ Chiffchaff, the female Peregrine (spending a lot of time on the nesting shelf), 1 Willow Warbler, 7 Blackcap, 1 Sparrowhawk (possibly on territory), 2 Raven, 4 Bullfinch, 6 Sand Martin and 20 Shelduck.


2/4/11 – 3 Swallow and 8 Sand Martin heading North. In the bushes were 3 Willow Warbler, 8 Blackcap and loads of Chiffchaff. A remarkable 17 colour-ringed Curlew among a flock of 158 on Lagoon 3 at High Tide, and 22 Black-tailed Godwit with them (21 headed downriver later). Also a Ringed Plover flew around Lagoon 3. The lake is still interesting, with the Canada Goose sitting, the male Mute Swan trying to get rid of the sub-adult, which just walks onto the bank to avoid the aggression; and a pair of Tufted Duck. The total number of birds on the shore between Shepperdine and the yacht club were: 8 Teal, 6 Shelduck, 1 Curlew and about 10 Mallard !


1/4/11 – WK reported: 2 Willow Warbler, 11 Singing Chiffchaff, 27 Shelduck, 24 Curlew and  2 singing Wren. The female Canada Goose still on nest at the lake with the male nearby. Also 3 Mute Swan and two Tufted Duck.


31/3/11 – AM reported: The high tide roost tonight had 108 Curlew on Lagoon 3 (plus another 7 on shore), including 2 colour ringed birds. Also, 26 Shelduck, 2 Tufted Duck, 5 Canada Goose, 3 Oystercatcher and 4 Teal.

(NB. One of the colour-ringed Curlew has moved inland along the Severn, where some Curlew are known to breed.)


28/3/11 – AM reported: 1 Swallow, 1 Wheatear, 2 Blackcap, 21 Chiffchaff, 16 Teal and 7 Curlew.

27/3/11 – RL reported 2 Roe Deer between the car park and the meadow.


26/3/11 – It certainly feels like Spring today. A Willow Warbler sang along the bridleway to the shore (don’t get many in March !). There were 2 Wheatear on the shore by Lagoon 3 and another 2 at the yacht club. Also 3 Blackcap singing around the site (one has been singing in my garden since last Sunday). Visible migration, heading NE, included: 160+ Woodpigeon, 3 Siskin, 8 Linnet and Gulls. The female Canada Goose is sat on a nest, with the male guarding. The 3 Mute Swan (pair + sub-adult) are still on the lake. A Starling was seen taking nest material into a building. The Peregrine pair were active around the towers. Only 16 Teal remain at Shepperdine, and no Wigeon seen. See the photos below of Otter tracks (or possibly Mink ?) along the main rhine – the same were also present last weekend.


Probable Otter (or Mink) tracks. Where it has slid along on its belly, leaving track of its tail, along the main rhine.


25/3/11 – WK reported: 2 Mute Swan and 2 Canada Geese on the lake, a few singing Chiffchaff and 15 Teal on the shore.


24/3/11 – MB reported the first Wheatear of the year along the shore by the pumphouse.

AM reported: 21 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap 1 (male), 1 Sand Martin, 2 Redwing, 5 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 6 Oystercatcher, 15 Teal and just 7 Curlew. (NB. The first of the colour-ringed Curlew seen at OPS over winter have been seen back on their breeding grounds in the Netherlands.)


21/3/11 – MB reported: 2 Lesser Redpoll on bridle-path by lake early this morning.


20/3/11 – A male Shoveler at Shepperdine, with the remaining 23 Wigeon and 10 Teal.


19/3/11 – 11 singing Chiffchaff, but no other signs of migration.


13/3/11 – 5 Chiffchaff singing today. 7 Oystercatcher and a male Tufted Duck on the lake were the only other additional birds to yesterday. The Peregrine pair were on the artificial nesting ledge together for 5 minutes, calling.


12/3/11 – A hint of Spring in the air, Blackthorn blossoming, and the first Spring migrants; 3 Chiffchaff (2 singing) and a handsome Stonechat (Lagoon 2). The winter visitors have dwindled to: c75 Dunlin, 12 Wigeon and 15 Teal. At the yacht club were 2 Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Oystercatcher. On the lake were: 4 Canada Goose, 1 Mute Swan, 1 Moorhen and 1 Coot.

Also, AM reported for WeBS: 53 Curlew (including 3+ colour-ringed), 22 Redshank, 9 Turnstone, 30 Mallard, 16 Shelduck, 60 Common Gull and 2 Coot. Also, a Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Brimstone on the wing.

Blackthorn flowers.


11/3/11 – DS reported: Mediterranean Gull (adult summer on Lagoon 1 - photo on Gwent Blog), Crossbill (over, NE), a Brambling (NW over car park), a male Stonechat on the fence NE of The Windbound and a singing Chiffchaff there.


5/3/11 – 53+ Siskin heading NE upriver, in three flocks in the early mist. Unusually, Lesser Black-backed Gull predominated in the morning gull movement upriver, with 60+ counted. At the yacht club: c200 Curlew, c200 Dunlin, c20 Redshank and 2 Oystercatcher. 5 Canada Goose were on the shore then on the lake, with the Mute Swan trying to see them off. A Lapwing was displaying over the maize-stubble field between Lagoon 3 & the yacht club. Generally rather quiet.


26/2/11 – A Greylag Goose flew upriver at 10am, but rather quiet and damp this morning. 9 Skylark over to NNE, c300 Starling to SW and 60+ Rook to NE from rookery in wood by road. Also 100 Common Gull bathing in tidal reservoir, and the first Moorhen seen for a month.

MP reported at High Tide: 2 Knot, 3 Raven and a Siskin.


25/2/11 – AM reported: a female Stonechat (Lagoon 3), 85 Wigeon, 48 Teal, 65 Curlew, 36 Redshank, 161 Dunlin and a flock of 86 Common Gull.


22/2/11 – MP reported: the Gadwall pair again, 2 Ringed Plover and a Snipe.


21/2/11 – MP reported: 12 Siskin and a Bar-tailed Godwit.


19/2/11 – 8 Golden Plover flying around, giving their mournful calls, at (a very high) High Tide. A Rock Pipit on the shore by Lagoon 3.


14/2/11 – AM reported: 2 Gadwall, 1 Tufted Duck, 162 Wigeon, 47 Shelduck, 75 Curlew, 63 Teal and 158 Lapwing.

Also, north of The Windbound, at fenceline: 20 Yellowhammer and 10 Reed Bunting.


13/2/11 – On the lake: a pair of Gadwall, 2 Coot and the Mute Swan. Also, c50 Pied Wagtail coming in to roost on the out-building roofs at dusk.

Peregrine at dusk.


12/2/11 – On the Shepperdine shore at High Tide were: 2 Grey Plover, 6 Oystercatcher, 15 Turnstone, 1 Ringed Plover and 15 Curlew including 3 colour-ringed (LGreen over Red, Yellow over White and Dark Blue over LGreen). There were 6 Siskin on Alders by the road at the entrance. c600 Black-headed Gull were sat on the tidal reservoir and another c400 in fields being worked by farmer. 2 Canada Goose joined the juvenile Mute Swan, Coot and male Tufted Duck on the lake. Also, 21 Meadow Pipit on the Common behind the yacht club, 28 Shelduck and 1 Raven over.

MP reported, early morning: an adult Yellow-legged Gull (off yacht club), 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and an adult Mute Swan upriver.

Siskin on alder. Curlew colour-ringed at Wibden Warth last year, showing Dark Blue above ‘knee’ and

Yellow over White below on left leg, as they all have, with unique colours above ‘knee’ on right leg.


10/2/11 – DS reported from The Windbound area: 2+ Water Pipit and 1+ Rock Pipit in same place as before, plus 3 Water/Rock Pipits only seen in flight; 1 male Stonechat near the gate just up-river and 1 Chiffchaff.


9/2/11 – DS reported: 1 Ruff (winter male) between the tidal reservoir and the yacht club (on shore then in the fields at ST 603932, with Lapwing), 1 Mediterranean Gull (adult winter on saltmarsh at yacht club), 1 Golden Plover (towards yacht club), 2 Dark-bellied Brent Goose (200m offshore at yacht club, seemed to fly in from other side of estuary), 1 Chiffchaff (in hedge along shore by Lagoon 3). Also a few Siskin, Redpoll and Linnet overhead and another 5 colour-ringed Curlew.


8/2/11 – DS reported the Water Rail in the NE corner of Lagoon 2 (again).


7/2/11 – MP reported: A male Tufted Duck with the Mute Swan (on the lake), 149 Wigeon, 84 Teal and a Bullfinch in song.


5/2/11 – 3 Pintail downriver, but nothing blown in despite the estuary being fierce at High Tide in the high winds. The Coot and juvenile Mute Swan still on the lake (and late news from PD on 31/1/11 that the swan was temporarily frozen in the lake, with Foxes looking on).


2/2/11 – DS reported a Water Rail in the NE corner of Lagoon 2 (again).


31/1/11 – AM reported: 400 Dunlin, 290 Lapwing, 130 Teal and 42 Wigeon. Plus 2 Water Pipit and 2 Rock Pipit again at the fence-line near the white house NE of The Windbound, and 40+ Yellowhammer in a field there.


30/1/11 – MP reported 2 Water Pipit again at the fence-line near the white house NE of The Windbound.


29/1/11 – A Coot has joined the juvenile Mute Swan on the lake. A Treecreeper and 3 Goldcrest in the woods.


25/1/11 – DS reported: 3 Water Pipit, 1 Rock Pipit and another 2 Rock/Water Pipit on the edge of the saltmarsh up-river of the fence line near the white house at ST619967 (upriver of The Windbound). There are also c10 Meadow Pipit there. Also 1 Rock Pipit near The Windbound and one near Lagoon 1.


Update from the Wibden Warth ringer (Niall Burton) about the colour-ringed Curlew - they have now had sightings of 16 of the individuals caught, with around 40 others yet to be seen. Some of the OPS birds have been reported on the other side of the estuary. All sightings are useful. (More sightings received from OPS than anywhere else, and I have details of 10 different individuals from OPS – available on request.)


23/1/11 – MP reported 2 Water Pipit by fence across saltmarsh at The Windbound (half mile upriver of Oldbury Power Station)..

A juvenile Mute Swan on the (unfrozen) lake and 2 adults upriver. Another 6 colour-ringed Curlew among c120 on Lagoons 1 & 3. A male Shoveler at Shepperdine and a Mistle Thrush in the copse on way to yacht club.

RL reported a Water Rail in view in NE corner of Lagoon 2 (first this winter).

Mistle Thrush on Mistletoe.


22/1/11 – A Rock Pipit on the shore by Lagoon 1, and another by The Windbound (with other unidentified pipits there, but couldn’t get close enough). A Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming by Lagoon 1 and a Mistle Thrush.

AM reported c300 Curlew roosting on Lagoon 3 at High Tide, including 10 colour-ringed birds. Also 140 Lapwing, 3 Ringed Plover, 1000 Dunlin, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 18 Redshank, 3 Shoveler, 99 Teal, 156 Wigeon, 5 Canada Goose and a single flock of 380 Woodpigeon.


18/1/11 – DS reported: 2+ Water Pipit (adult and a first-winter) upriver of The Windbound again, plus the Rock Pipit.

Water Pipit upriver of The Windbound. (Photo by DS.) More photos on DS’s blog (www.gwentbirding.blogspot.com).


17/1/11 – AB reported: 3 Water Pipit and a Rock Pipit up-river of the Windbound. The birds like the edge of the saltmarsh near the fence immediately up-river of the white house (at approx. ST619967).

16/1/11 – MP reported: 174 Wigeon, 83 Teal, 15 Shelduck, 351 Lapwing, 47 Turnstone and 3 Snipe (birds mainly on Lagoon 1).


15/1/11 – MP reported: 115 Wigeon, 64 Teal, c200 Lapwing, 2 Oystercatcher and 37 Curlew (including at least 4 colour ringed birds from the Wibden Warth catch – all different to birds seen in 2010).


9/1/11 – A Treecreeper in the newly thinned woodland along the path to the shore.


8/1/11 – A Dark-bellied Brent Goose was on the saltmarsh at the Yacht Club this morning. A loose flock of 7 Raven flew upriver along the bank. The cider apple orchard is still attracting c400 Fieldfare and a few Redwing, with a Mistle Thrush nearby. A Yellowhammer was by the small copse to SW of Lagoon 3 and c20 Skylark seen from there. Also, 4 Ringed Plover on Lagoon 3 at High Tide.

Brent Goose seen from the yacht club.


3/1/11 - The annual thrash around with AM/MP produced: 3 Yellowhammer, 1 Little Egret, c1000 Wigeon and c600 Dunlin all at the yacht club. A Mistle Thrush was in the orchard with the Fieldfare flock (c100 seen in total). Also, 8 Stock Dove on Lagoon 3 and a Rock Pipit at Shepperdine.


2/1/11 – A Chiloe Wigeon was associating with Mallards on the shore by the metal gate between Lagoon 3 and the yacht club this morning. I think it is a male, (it appeared unringed), and it was last seen heading downriver towards the yacht club. Fairly quiet apart from that, but c700 Dunlin counted (mainly at yacht club).

Chiloe Wigeon.


1/1/11 – A Golden Plover flew from the yacht club, upriver, along the near bank at dusk, and 3 Bar-tailed Godwit also at the yacht club. 5 Siskin flew from alder on Lagoon 3, heading SE.

c2000 Black-headed Gull and 100+ Common Gull came in to roost on the river.

Nearby, 4 Waxwing at Moreton Way, Thornbury.

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