There wasn’t much bird activity on a Sunday afternoon walk through Lower Woods Nature Reserve near Wickwar until right at the end when a Kestrel was conserving its energy by watching carefully for prey from the telegraph wires.
A couple of years ago we had stayed on Skye on our way to the Outer Hebrides and thought that it would be fun to explore Skye and its near neighbour the island of Mull.
The trip was a great success with magnificent landscapes and (in the end) plenty of wildlife to see and photograph.
Here I have displayed some of the wildlife we saw but I have made a blog of our trip (see index) where (for our benefit mainly) there is a brief description of our itinerary and some photographs of some of the magnificent scenery and the wildlife.
The highlights were the white-tailed eagles (sea eagles), the divers (such as great northern divers, red-throated divers, red breasted-merganser, eider duck), oystercatchers, hooded crows, siskins, wheatears and a twite.
I have tried to provide links to the craft centres and different venues we visited but need to work more on this. Amendments and additions will come soon.
Female white-tailed eagle
Female white-tailed eagle
Male white-tailed eagle
Male eider duck
Male and female eider duck with accompanying gull
Great northern diver
A dipper in flight
A morning’s birding on the Severn Estuary: I started at Aust Warth but could only see a whitethroat so I moved on to the Pilning wetland in the hope of seeing the reported black-winged stilt.
Other birders reported that it had been showing well at the front of the ponds but it had now moved to the back. I was able to locate it by going down the lane leading off the main path (where I heard a cuckoo) but it was still quite some way off. The one benefit was that I was now out of the cold wind; unfortunately the light was not good.
There were also lapwings (6), pied wagtails (3), little ringed plovers (6), and a greenshank not too far off. On the way back I saw 3 male reed buntings and another whitethroat.
I counted a dozen swallows too.
A flock of 9 yellow wagtails were reported but I didn’t see them. There were shelduck and tufted duck on the wetlands and more shelduck (6) on the warth and on the estuary.
On the way home I stopped at Aust again and had a very good view of a kestrel.
Click below for gallery of photos from this morning.
Just a small window of opportunity this morning to get some fresh air and enjoy nature and I was well rewarded in the hour and a half on my walk around Duchess Pond in Stoke Park, Bristol. Quite chilly to start but it soon warmed up especially with so much activity.
I saw 4 chiffchaffs and a wood warbler (probably feeding some young), a long-tailed tit, a reed bunting, a whitethroat, a wren, 6 swifts flying around (but not coming close to the pond), a heron and a cormorant fishing quite successfully, 4 Canada geese and a good number of mallards (but only one duckling on view). On the small pond there were 2 coots and a moorhen and in the meadows behind masses of crows and jackdaws.
There were white butterflies and a tortoiseshell butterfly and a fisherman who had caught an eel. As well as the beautiful hawthorn blossom there were yellow and purple irises around the pond.
Wood warbler (I think)
Cormorant swallowing a fish
Grey Heron grabbing a fish before the cormorant eats them all
A bee making the most of the yellow irises.
The only duckling to be seen
A distant swift
One of the two coots on the small pond
Click below for my gallery of photos from this morning
More flora than fauna on our walk through Lower Woods Nature Reserve (http://www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/reserves/lower-woods). We could hear chiffchaff and other warblers but could only see robins and blackbirds. It was a gloomy day but the bluebells and wild garlic looked magnificent. A beautiful walk.