Latest bird sightings and wildlife reports from the Newton St Loe area, near Bath and occasional national sightings. Reports coming at least twice weekly.
Any sightings or business enquiries please email: NSLBirding@hotmail.co.uk
Date:27/11/2014 Location:Patch Walk Observation:Brook was running fast so no Kingfisher today but start of dog track Chiffchaff posed for a picture then he was off !
Squirrels around 4 in small wooded bit were busy collecting nuts, not much else up byway to cross roads where usual Buzzard was being mobbed my a single Magpie. On lower fields by Globe pub there was around 150 Black Headed Gulls. Into Village bare.Into Church yard Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Goldcrest a group of around 20 birds feeding in trees.
Redwing,Thats Why !
Out to Lakes Little Owl present more Goldcrest 3 Grey Herons, Kingfisher and the Teal are back 12 birds on Top Lake. Headed back through village saw some Meadow Pipits on the Swallow wire. Almost back and a little Goldcrest showed a few times bad light but nice to see bird in open ! and still !
Observation: A few days in Norfolk, we had a nightime base of Hunstanton at Searles Campsite (well worth a stop if your around the area!). A sunset walk along the beach, produced good numbers of Turnstone, Dunlin and Oystercatcher. Monday morning we headed to Titchwell Marshes, cold but a good total of species seen including Sparrowhawk causing havoc with the waders. Most of the good birds were along the beach Sanderling and Grey Plover were both new birds for us so good start to the trip. Onto Cley Marshes, a pair of Marsh Harriers hunting over the reserve. A fly-past Skua sp. A tip-off for a few Snow Buntings along the shingle beach, proved correct although very elusive little birds! Also a few Skylark and Stonechat along the beach, and a surprise sunbathing Grey Seal!! Last reserve of the day was Holkham Reserve, arrived just before sunset in hope to see the Common Scoter, although not seen, an amazing sight of 40,000+ Pink-Footed Geese roosting in the fields next to the car park against a stunning sunset, the noise is spectacular! Tuesday morning we got up to see the Snettisham wader roost, well that didn't happen (Typical!), the mist was awful and waders were going off in small groups rather than one big lift off, but never seen so many waders ever! As we had more time than planned we moved onto Holme Nature Reserve (along the coast) and walked along to Thornham Harbour. All wildlife made us wait until we were about to turn around and head back, when a small group of Twite and a fly-past Hen Harrier and Merlin hunting together! A few shots and no longer seen!!
Today we headed home, but had a stop off at WWT Welney, a very difficult reserve to Slimbridge, but was packed with wildlife! A Sparrowhawk fly-past and landed 20 foot in front of hide before posing for a few shots and was off again. A few Whooper and Bewicks around the reserve also. Overall an amazing few days in Norfolk, we will be back early next year! A total of 72 species of bird isn't bad!
Weather: Cloudy, Sun, Rain (Bit of everything!)
Other Species:Buzzard, Kestrel, Merlin, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Sanderling, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Brent Geese, Pink-Footed Geese, Little Grebe, Skua sp., Snow Bunting, Stonechat, Curlew, Bewick Swan, Whooper Swan, Twite, Skylark, Oystercatcher, Goldcrest, Red Kite, Quail, Red-Legged Partridge, Avocet, Redwing - Of Note
Observation: Within minutes of starting the walk a bright blue flash on a branch, we crept around so we could see it full view.... KINGFISHER! As your properly aware (if your a frequent reader) we aren't very lucky when it comes to seeing or photographing Kingfishers so this was a huge surprise! He didn't seem too bothered we were there, he made a few attempts at diving, all attempts were unsuccessful so he kept moving downstream to try again. After about 15 minutes of following him and photographing him, we moved on and walked up to Seven Acre Woods, just the normal there, 1 Kestrel hunting, a few Skylark singing in the fields. I go to the crossroads and decided I would head back through the campsite whilst Wayne walked on out to the lake. Highlights were 5+ Goldcrest, 20+ Redwing and a Mistle Thrush (on the same tree).
This is when walking along I heard the Kingfisher again, this time he was trying his luck upstream back on the same perches as before. I was using the trees as cover and going slowly but carefully towards him, but still didn't seem bothered that I was there. I took about 100 shots and left him fishing !
Superb to see them on our local brook, I will try and put up so better perches for him and will hopefully see him more!
Weather: Cloudy, Sunny Intervals, Cold with wind.
Other Species: Buzzard, Kingfisher, Wren, Skylark, Kestrel - Of Note
Observation: A late start to the day only meant one thing... Starlings! We had an hour before the starlings were due to start roosting, so popped to the hides at Shapwick (thinking the Starlings were roosting at Ham Wall). Meare Heath Scrape had a few Snipe, Great White Egret and Teal.
We visited both Meare hide and Noah's Lake hide and stuck to our new 5 species ruling, where we need to see 5 species before moving on. Meare hide showed well for our count which included Teal, Gadwall, Cormorant and Grey Heron, we were amount to move on when a Grey Heron flew in from the left and landed on the island in front which then spooked a Great White Egret in the reeds, amongst all the movement in the reeds and low-flying Marsh Harrier came and had a look what was going on, flying straight towards us and over the hide...! Nice to see one close range for once, shame the light was fading so pictures not brilliant.
On to Noah's Lake hide, there was alot of flyover gulls roosting with the first groups of Starlings gathering so we spotted our 5 species and mowed on. 20+ people were waiting at Meare Heath Scrape for the starlings, we carried on walking back to Ham Wall and spotted the RSPB guiding people to the best place, the night before starlings were 50/50 over both Ham Wall and Shapwick. We chose to watch from Ham Wall, but just before entering the reserve thousands of Starlings were flying towards us so changed our mind (again) and headed back to Shapwick. Although the Starlings didn't put on much of a display, was still nice to see them back and never gets boring to watching them roosting!! We will be back in a few weeks to watch them again I'm sure!
Weather: Blue Sky, Rain Showers, Warm
Other Species: Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Great White Egret, Teal, Snipe, Starling, Goldcrest
Date:05/11/2014 Location:Westhay-Shapwick-Ham Wall Observation:Headed to Westhay as i thought a quiet start to the day, car park almost full and a coach there ! But on wandering round reserve i only see 5 people ! There were 2 Cettis singing away on walk down to hide with nothing from hide, looks like they've cut reeds very recently. A Few Dragonflies about mostly paired up.
On Drive to Ascott Corner in Field 5 Egrets feeding, Parked up and headed along to Noahs and Ham Wall, Scrape Bear ! Noah hide full ! So surveyed the the lake from bushes all distant so walked over to Meare Heath Hide A Gang of Long Tailed tits Abushed me on way Blue,Great TIts And a Goldcrest in flock.
Its a Goldcrest ! You know what there like !
Some Pretty Shrooms Outside Hide
Flyover Cormorant @ Meare Heath
Also a Stonechat got to hide, thinking 5 species before i leave, opened shutter nothing !! Sat for about 10 mins still nothing then a lone cormorant landed followed by Gadwall, Teal, Kingfisher and Coot popped out then a Marsh Harrier ! Followed by Cettis, Moorhen to end Mute swan flyover nice. Now to Ham Wall on way back a Great White Egret was on Scrape with 5 snipe.
Ham Wall saw Marsh Harrier from new Tor Hide with another Great White Egret.
Distant But !!
With the sun starting to set headed home happy, I'll be back soon for Starlings !
On drive home in field A39 Coxley at least 10 Buzzards on ground feeding on ploughed field .
Greylag Geese Over Noah's
Weather:Blue Skies - Cloudy + Cold
Other Species:2 Marsh Harrier, 15 Buzzard, 2 Great White Egrets, 5 Snipe, Goldcrest, Cettis, Greylag Geese, Canada Geese, Teal, Gadwall, Cormorant, Stonechat, Jay, Mute Swan, Kingfisher, Little Egret, Greater Spotted Woodpecker.