Sightings – September 2009

Hartpury Orchard Centre (30 September, contributed by Robert Homan)

There were two Brown Hares in the orchard and 2 Snipe and a Kingfisher in the wetland area. (There will be a field meeting at the centre on Sunday 15 November at 11.00am)

Sudmeadow (29 and 30 September, contributed by Gordon Avery)

On the 29th there was a Peregrine over the tip and a Green Sandpiper was by the pylon pool. The Green Sandpiper was also there on the 30th.

Coombe Hill and Ashleworth Ham (29 September, contributed by Les Brown)

Today at Coombe Hill a Marsh Harrier flew past the Grundon Hide at 07.20am and kept going to the west. There were two Fieldfares along the canal. Overall the water level is dropping and there were no waders left.

At Ashleworth there were two Snipe and a Green Sandpiper.

Sudmeadow (28 September, contributed by Gordon Avery)

A ringing session this morning produced relatively few birds. The only migrants trapped were 3 Chiffchaffs and 2 Blackcaps. Of note was a Wood Pigeons’ nest with 2 young in it at quite a late date. Over the Oxlease at 10.15am was a flock of c.70 Canada Geese flying east then they split up and half of them flew over Sudmeadow – a massive flock for around here.

Ashleworth Ham (27 September, contributed by Mike Smart and Mervyn Greening)

The results were very different today from yesterday. The conditions were similar although there were rather more sunny periods making the nets a bit more visible at times. Only 46 birds caught, essentially the same species as yesterday: 17 Meadow Pipits, 16 Reed Buntings, seven Chaffinches, three Chiffchaffs, but no Greenfinches. In general, small birds were much less in evidence; had they perhaps departed on migration last night, which was bright, moonlit and very suitable for passerine migration. The Canadas were flying downriver again early in the morning in even greater numbers, 55 from Coombe Hill and 100 from Tirley Court.

Sudmeadow (26 September, contributed by Gordon Avery)

There was still a Green Sandpiper present in the garden mulch area today.

Ashleworth Ham (26 September, contributed by Mike Smart and Mervyn Greening)

Perfect ringing conditions this morning with practically no wind and high cloud, so that the birds could not see the nets producing one of the best catches of the year with 148 birds. Clearly some passerine passage was going on: 29 Meadow Pipits caught (out of 50 or more present), the majority being first year birds with only seven adults; 36 Reed Buntings caught, clearly many migrants; there was also evidence of a finch passage with 17 Chaffinches and 25 Greenfinches caught. Nine Chiffchaffs were caught, but no other warblers. The water level iss very low with few waterbirds present: 50 Canada Geese flew down the Severn from the roost at Coombe Hill, another 50 from the Tirley roost, perhaps going to feed at Minsterworth Ham.

Hasfield Ham and Coomble Hill (24 September, contributed by Andy Jayne)

At Hasfield Ham today: three Kestrels, a Kingfisher, a Redstart, five Whinchats, a male Stonechat and a Common Whitethroat.

At Coombe Hill Meadows – a Shelduck, 28 Teal, five Shoveler, a Water Rail, a Snipe, a Greenshank, a Kingfisher and a Sedge Warbler. Most of these in the Long Pool area as the other scrapes have almost completely dried out.

Sudmeadow (20 September, contributed by Gordon Avery)

Seen today were 1 adult Dabchick on the pylon pool, 5 Cormorants in the roost tree (the largest number this Autumn so far), 2 Snipe (the first birds of the Autumn), 2 Green Sandpipers and 22 Meadow Pipits. There was at least 1 Whinchat at Port Ham.

Stoke Orchard and Bishops Cleeve tips (18 September, contributed by Gordon Avery and John sanders)

Seen at Stoke Orchard tip were 1 Green Sandpiper, 20 Meadow Pipits, 1 Whinchat and 80 Goldfinches, while there was a male Stonechat at Grundon’s B.C. tip.

Ashleworth Ham (18 September, contributed by Robert Homan)

As Mike Smart has previously noted a crop of hay has been taken from the fields on and around the reserve and bird diverters have been placed on the electricity transmission lines across the reserve. The pictures here show the scene in mid-September and convey some of the richness of the wildlife to be seen in the area. Second from bottom is the gall of the psyllid Trichochermes wakeri on buckthorn and bottom is Ribautiana ulmi, a common bug associated with elm.

Coombe Hill (15 September, contributed by Les Brown and Mike Smart)

A very early visit today, before first light, produced both Barn and Tawny Owl calling over fields south of the canal. Otherwise, the water is dropping gradually in the scrapes and Long Pool, leaving extensive muddy edges. 175 Canada Geese and 145 Greylag Geese had roosted on the Long Pool and flew to the meadows in front of the scrapes to feed for a while before departing to the south east, probably to the Barrow Ponds area. 2 Shelducks, 40 Teal, 6 Shoveler, 1 Pintail, 3 Curlews, 2 Greenshanks, 1 Green Sandpiper, 5 Snipe. A male Peregrine surveying the scene from the top of a willow. A light Swallow passage, about 30 individuals, plus flock of 15 Mistle Thrushes and a few Chiffchaffs calling in the scrub.

Coombe Hill and Ashleworth (8 September, contributed by and Mike Smart)

A visit to Coombe Hill at first light today produced: 2 Little Egrets, which had roosted but flew off early on, 2 Shelducks, 40 Teal, 1 Shoveler, 1 Sparrowhawk, 15 Lapwings, 5 Snipe, 1 Dunlin, 1 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper; interestingly, three Curlew had roosted – they too flew out early on. There was a light passage to southwest of Swallows (15) and Meadow Pipits (5). Fox sprainting all over the open grass meadow.

Scrub clearance along canal bank has not yet started.

At Ashleworth, all the hay has now been cut and baled and trees on the island have been cut right back in an attempt to restore the scrape to its original condition.

Walmore (2 September, contributed by Andy Jayne)

At Walmore Common this afternoon: a Redstart, three Whinchats, two Reed Warblers, two Lesser Whitethroats and a Spotted Flycatcher.

Coombe Hill (1 September, contributed by Les Brown and Mike Smart)

Coombe Hill is looking excellent after the first almost “normal” summer for three years. The hay is all cut (both northern and southern meadows), cattle are grazing the meadows and the water levels on the scrapes and Long Pool are just right for passing waders, with plenty of exposed mud round the edges of the scrapes; most of the vegetation and willow scrub has been cleared from the islands in the scrapes.

Two Little Egrets, one juvenile Shelduck, 120 Mallard, 50 Teal, 2 Shoveler, six Lapwings, three Ringed Plover (NOT Little), one Ruff, 3 Greenshanks, one Green Sandpiper, 15 Snipe, one Wheatear, two Whinchats.

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