7th September 2017 – Chipping Sodbury Common

Earlier in the year I was looking for a female smew on the lake on Chipping Sodbury Common and couldn’t even find the lake, so today I was extremely pleased to find the juvenile woodchat shrike that many local birders seemed to have spotted.

I thought that I was bound to see a gang of birders twitching but initially was disappointed to see only two dog walkers on the whole common. However, I was lucky enough to find a solitary birder (Ken from Suffolk!) who beckoned me over and pointed out the shrike.

MT1D6727Woodchat shrike

There were also whinchats darting about. I felt very anxious for the shrike when a kestrel appeared, especially when it dived and didn’t appear again. Fortunately I saw the shrike again later.



MT1D6748The woodchat shrike



On the way back to the car a saw a dozen long-tailed tits and then a small flock of yellow wagtails. I  hung around by the cows and got some distant shots.

MT1D6822A yellow wagtail beneath the bovine creature

MT1D6825Yellow wagtail

A very satisfying morning.

Click below for gallery of photos from this morning.





1st September 2017 – Severn Estuary

It was a beautiful morning and I was hoping to catch the tide before it was too low but I had misjudged it and arrived too late to see the waders on the estuary. I walked towards the wetlands hoping to see the waders there and perhaps some yellow wagtails, wheatears or whinchats but all I saw was a swallow and some distant (very brownish) starlings.



However, I did meet a chap walking along the coastal path (with his dog Koda), and had a very interesting conversation with him. His name was Wayne Dixon and he had walked over 7,000 miles in aid of the charity “Mind” and was litter picking along his route. He has collected over 42 tonnes of rubbish in 6,000 bags as he walks across the UK. His motto : “Clean Minds, Clean Streets, Clean Life” really appealed to me. You can read about him on his Facebook page



I carried on for a while but had lost interest in the birds and returned to the car. On my way home I did stop at Aust Warth for a while and had good views of a pair of kestrels.