Sightings – May 2004

Woorgreens area, Forest of Dean (22 May 2004, contributed by Robert Homan)

On the lake at Woorgreens today – male and female Mandarin with 6 ducklings. A Wood Warbler singing at nearby Crabtree Hill. The distinctive mines of the micro moth Incurvaria pectinea found in birch leaves at Crabtree Hill. The circular holes are where the larva has cut out the mine before falling to the ground where it continues to feed on dead leaves.

Pittville Park, Cheltenham (19 May 2004, contributed by Robert Homan)

The very productive pair of Great Crested Grebes now have 4 well-grown young plus another 3 recently hatched.

Woorgreens, Forest of Dean (18 May 2004, contributed by Gordon Avery)

A Nightjar and 2 roding Woodcock seen late evening.

Cleeve Hill – West Down/Wontley Farm (16 May 2004, contributed by Robert Homan)

Tree Pipits at Wardens Wood and Wontley Farm. Lesser Whitethroat and Cuckoo at Wardens Wood. Whitethroats singing at West Down, Wardens Wood and Wontley Farm.

Cheltenham (15 May 2004, contributed by Robert Homan)

2 Large Red Damselflies at a garden pond at Swindon Lane.

Coombe Hill (15 May 2004, contributed by Robert Homan)

As on 25 April plenty of warblers but not the variety of waders found in 2003. Between the Wharf and new scrapes: 4 Sedge Warblers, 1 Reed Warbler, 9 Whitethroats, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Willow Warblers and 4 Chiffchaffs. 2 Cuckoos in the area with at least 6 Curlews. Approx. 10 Lapwings at the scrapes together with 2 Coot, 3 Canada Geese, 2 Greylag Geese and 5 Shelducks. 5 well-grown Coots with adult pair at the Wharf where the female Mute Swan is still sitting on eggs.

Cleeve Hill – Bill Smyllie Reserve (11 May 2004, contributed by Robert Homan)

A very good show of Cowslips on the reserve. Adder’s Tongue beginning to show in its well-known site in “Happy Valley”. A few Common Heaths, a day flying moth, on the wing.

Cowslips and Adder’s Tongue, Bill Smyllie Reserve, Cleeve Hill

Aylburton Warth (6 May 2004, via by Gordon Avery)

A Purple Heron seen today.

Witcombe Res. (5 May 2004, contributed by Gordon Avery)

A Common Sandpiper this morning and at least 60 House Martins and 30 Swallows. Also one of the pairs of Great Crested Grebes already has a well grown youngster.

Longney (2 May 2004, contributed by Sue Stevens)

Two small flocks of Whimbrel, one of 6 and and the other of 12.

Cheltenham (2 May 2004, contributed by Robert Homan)

After several days of rain the sun brought out the insects and firsts for the year in the garden were Dock Bug (Coreus marginatus) and Woundwort Bug (Eysarcoris fabricii).

Dock Bugs and Woundwort Bug, Swindon Lane, Cheltenham

R. Severn, Tewkesbury/Deerhurst (2 May 2004, contributed by Robert Homan)

A variety of warblers in song as the weather cleared this morning, including Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Sedge Warblers, Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat. Sand Martins have returned to the colony in the river cliff on the west side of the Severn. A spectacular show of oak apples and currant galls in the riverside oaks. Both types of gall are caused by species of gall wasp and both are very common. The oak apple is caused by Biorhiza pallida and the currant gall by Neuroterus quercusbaccarum.

Oak Apples and Currants Galls in profusion, Tewkesbury

Walmore Common and Awre (1 May 2004, contributed by Andy Jayne)

A summer plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit, 20 Whimbrel, 2 Whinchats, 2 Wheatears and 32 Ravens today. From Awre on the evening tide were c.6 Little Gulls and several flocks of Bar-tailed Godwit and Whimbrel moving North. The highlight, however, was a Porpoise seen for quite some time close to the Awre bank. Probably a Harbour Porpoise, quite small in size, only 3-4ft long, dark above with a fairly small, blunt fin and a blunt head profile.

Lydney (1 May 2004, contributed by Robert Homan and Andy Jayne)

Early afternoon today – still plenty of hirundines over the lakes near the station and a movement of Swifts through. A Lesser Whitethroat singing, but no sign of the Red-rumped Swallow(s), although the individual with the broken tail re-appeared at 4.30pm. Nearby at Newnham galls caused by the fungus Puccinia phragmitis, forming red blister-like swellings in the leaves, are a conspicuous feature of the docks growing by the riverside path on the NE side of the village.

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