Sightings – October 2008

Cheltenham (31 October, contributed by Robert Homan)

2 Ravens flying over the Tivoli area at tree top height.

Sudmeadow (22 October, contributed by Gordon Avery)

A pair of Stonechats on the old Fieldings Playing Field in Sudmeadow Road today.

Coombe Hill (21 October, contributed by Mike Smart and Les Brown)

The water level is back to the autumn normal. Seen today were: 7 Grey Herons, 7 Wigeon, 20 Teal, an adult Peregrine in the dead tree, a female Merlin sitting on the grass in front of the hide before taking off and chasing a passing Mallard, a male Sparrowhawk chasing Skylarks, 1 Water Rail calling, 6 Snipe, 1 Curlew (unusual here at this time of year), up to 60 migrant Skylarks, and about 50 passing Meadow Pipits.

Guscar and Aylburton (20 October, contributed by Mike Smart)

On the high tide this morning: 1 Little Egret, 35 Wigeon, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Peregrine sitting on the grass, 85+ Lapwings, 35 Golden Plover (sitting on Aylburton Warth), 435 Curlews at high tide roosts, 1 Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, a little visual migration of Skylarks and Meadow Pipits.

Standish (10 October, contributed by Juliet Bailey)

Two unspecified Redpoll species were seen drinking at a pond today.

Hempstead (9 October, contributed by Gordon Avery)

A cat brought in a dead Harvest Mouse the house this morning – an unusual location for this species.

Coombe Hill and Ashleworth Ham (7 October, contributed by Mike Smart and David Anderson)

The Severn is rising quite fast and water levels on meadows increasing slowly in response.

The Coombe Hill area is still very brown and muddy with not a lot of birds about: 70 Greylags and 100+ Canadas roosting, only 3 Wigeon, 70 Teal, 50 Mallard, 2 Shoveler, 1 Peregrine, 5 Ringed Plovers dropped in briefly before moving on, 10 Snipe, 6 Swallows, 2 House Martins.

At Ashleworth the water is also rising; 40 Teal, 20 Mallard, 4 Wigeon, 1 male Sparrowhawk were seen.

Walmore Common (5 October, contributed by Andy Jayne)

Seen today were 15 Teal, two Little Egrets, a Water Rail (heard), a Jack Snipe, five Snipe, two Stonechats and a Wheatear.

Coombe Hill and Ashleworth (3 October, contributed by Mike Smart)

A remarkable decrease in bird numbers at Coombe Hill compared to a week ago, now that the floods have receded. Instead of 1,000 ducks, only about 90 Teal and 30 Mallard. Wader numbers and variety also much lower: 1 Lapwing, one or more Golden Plover heard going over at first light, 1 Greenshank departed to south west at 07.30am, about five Snipe. Good numbers of feral geese roosting on the Long Pool, departing at 07.00am, 200 Canada going off towards Tewkesbury, 70 Greylags to feed in nearby stubble fields.

Ashleworth was also very quiet: the great Grey Shrike still perched on a dead tree opposite the hide with about a dozen Teal and five Snipe

Ashleworth (1 October, contributed by Mike Smart and Lawrence Skipp)

A Great Grey Shrike was showing nicely this evening, perched on top branch of a dead tree right opposite the hide, recalling the one seen at Ashleworth last year in mid October.

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