Sightings – November 2007

Hempsted (29 November, contributed by Gordon Avery)

A pair of Stonechats again on Fieldings Playing Field, Sudmeadow Road.

Sharpness area (26 November, contributed by Gordon Avery)

Sharpness shoreline to Berkeley Pill in the morning

65 Wigeon
73 Dunlin
5 Redshank
2 Rock Pipits
3 Stonechats, a female by the coastguard cottages and a pair along the ditch passed the water works.

Berkeley Pill

6 Redshank
24 Snipe
2 Rock Pipits
1 male Stonechat

Sharpness Docks (midday)

Adult Peregrine at the Silo nest box
First winter male Black Redstart on the high gabled office building at the end of the road passed the Post Office.

Severn Hams (23 November, contributed by Mike Smart)

An early morning check at first light to see if any Whoopers were roosting on the water at Ashleworth reserve. None were found there, and none in the broader Ashleworth/Hasfield and Leigh Meadows area later in the morning.

The level of the Severn is still fairly high, holding up water in the ditches, and beginning to bring water on the reserve up to winter levels: there were fair numbers of ducks – 150 Wigeon, 50 Teal, 20 Shoveler, 5 Gadwall.

Sudmeadow (21 November, contributed by Gordon Avery)

An extremely quiet afternoon; the presumed same pair of Stonechats are in the field just past the Lower Parting.

Severn Hams (20 November, contributed by Les Brown and Mike Smart)

The scrapes at Coombe Hill are nicely filled: about 120 Wigeon doing just what Wigeon should do – moving out of the water to graze on the grass round the edge of the water, taking no notice of a passing fox; about 20 Teal; 12 Shoveler; nearly 200 Lapwing flew down river, which might be a weather movement; a Redshank which is unusual at this time of year. Birds of prey were much in evidence, including a Peregrine, a Sparrowhawk and a Goshawk. There 35 Meadow Pipits and 15 Pied Wagtails on the nearby damp fields.

At Ashleworth, the water rising on the reserve following recent rain and it looks as though winter water levels should be reached soon. About 30 Wigeon present and still one Water Pipit right in front of the hide.

Sudmeadow (20 November, contributed by Gordon Avery)

Male Stonechat on the edge of GLS behind Presswelds and a Kingfisher on the pool by the plantation on Sudmeadow.

Coombe Hill (19 November, contributed by Andy Jayne)

At Coombe Hill Meadows today there were two Water Pipits loosely associating with a flock of 35 Meadow Pipits on wet fields north of the Long Pool. Also two adult Whooper Swans, an immature Peregrine, a Water Rail, two Redshank, a Green Sandpiper, a female Stonechat and four Blackcaps along the canal.

Sudmeadow (18 November, contributed by Gordon Avery)

A Little Egret in flight over Sudmeadow, from Castle Meads towards the river at 9.34 this morning.

Nagshead RSPB Reserve (11 November, contributed by Robert Homan)

Not a lot in the way of birds, but still plenty of interest including many fallen leaves with “green islands” made by the larvae of micro-moths feeding as leafminers and able to maintain some green tissue in the leaves, probably by some type of chemical secretion. Two examples are shown below; on the left, the mine of Stigmella tityrella in a beech – a very common sight in beech woods at the moment and, on the right, Stigmella basigutella in an oak leaf – one of many species to be found on oak in the autumn.

Late Autumn leaf mines, Nagshead November 2007, R Homan.

In addition, this bird box, equipped for digital TV, was an interesting find – the only one seen on the reserve.

Birdbox, Nagshead November 2007, R Homan.

Cheltenham (10 November, contributed by Robert Homan)

A female Blackcap in Swindon Lane this morning and a male at lunchtime on the Honeybourne Cyclepath at St Pauls.

Sudmeadow (7 November, contributed by Gordon Avery)

Up to 2 Chiffchaffs in the marsh in the morning. One was trapped for ringing.

Sudmeadow area (5 November, contributed by Gordon Avery)

The female Stonechat still on Fieldings old playing field and it is posible the male is still around as well. Also 2 Red-legged Partridges – unusual here.

Frith Wood (3 November, contributed by Juliet Bailey)

There was a GWT fungus foray in Frith Wood today, led by John Roberts. This has not been a good autumn for fungi, as it has been far too dry. Nevertheless, a wide variety of species was found, including the Death Cap, Amanita phalloides, shown below.

Deathcap Fungus, November 2007, Juliet Bailey

Beachley Point (3 November, contributed by Gordon Avery)

The highlights of a visit at high tide were:

Mallard – 75
Wigeon – 15
Peregrine – adult male on pylon
Lapwing – 80
Dunlin – 60
Curlew – 4
Redshank – 12
Jack Snipe – 1
Rock Pipit – 2
Stonechat – 1 male
Blackcap – 1 male

Sudmeadow (2 November, contributed by Gordon Avery)

The pair of Stonechats found on Fieldings playing field were still present this afternoon, quite nearby on the GLS slope behind Presswelds is yet another pair.

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