April 2021

25th. The bluebells are at their best in Prior's Wood near Portbury.

bluebells

We went to see the ravens nesting on St Werburgh's church tower, and saw this noble false widow spider on the pavement outside.

Noble false widow spider

23rd. Wood mouse on the decking.

Wood mouse

18th Batsford Arboretum for Kiara's birthday. Red kite en route, and 2+ grey partridges and 5+ red-legged partridges in the Cotswolds.

17th. Shapwick Heath and Ham Wall with the Euphrasians. First whitethroat of the year. Little egret below, and lots of cattle egrets again near sand. Male marsh harriers in tumbling flight too.

little egret

Marsh harrier

15th. An early morning walk to the Island where I saw my first wheatears of the year (3). We walked west from Perranuthnoe towards Marazion and back, and then east to Cudden Point. We saw 4 whimbrels.

Wheatear

St Michael's Mount

14th. A walk up Buttermilk Hill and back along the coast. No ring ouzels, and quiet on the bird front. 3+ Sandwich terns offshore at St Ives.

13th. Back to Newlyn Harbour for low tide. Great views of the first winter AMERICAN HERRING GULL at last. My first in Britain, and about the 35th record here. The black-tipped pink bill (like a glaucous gull), barred tail and thick tail band were all evident. The bird was confoimed as being of Nearctic origin by DNA analysis in July 2021.

American herring gull

American herring gull

American herring gull

American herring gull

American herring gull

American herring gull

In the afternoon we visited the Goldolphin estate and walked up Goldolphin Hill. Bluebells are starting to appear, and there were some nice fritillaries in their gardens.

Godolphin gardens

Godolphin Hill

Godolphin House

12th. Lockdown eases, and we are now permitted to stay away from home. I've been to Cornwall for 3 days in the past 6 months, so it was nice to return. We went to Newlyn, though there was no sign of the American herring gull at high tide.

11th. North Meadow, Cricklade to see the snake's head fritillaries after taking Martha to her latest hospital placement. They are still a few weeks from peak flowering time.

Snake's head fritillaries

Snake's head fritillaries

Snake's head fritillaries

10th. Chew Valley lake. Red kite over and 2 garganey at Herriot's Pool, adult yellow-legged gull at Heron's Green, and Egyptian goose at the picnic area near the dam. Mute swans displaying and mating on Herriot's Pool.

Mute swans

9th. Around Pensford: wild daffodils (Lords Wood) and little owl.

wild dafffodils

little owl

7th. Roe deer, Compton Dando.

Roe deer

6th. Back for more of the osprey, though no fishing in choppy conditions in the evening. I used the 500mm prime lens with converter mounted on a gimbal head. The hit rate with animal eye focus was better, and the images marginally better in quality. The bird appears to have some fishing line in its claws in the second image.

osprey

osprey

osprey

5th. Chew Valley Lake: stunning views of the osprey at Herriot's Pool. Photos with the 100-500mm plus 1.4x extender. Two garganey at the back of the pool.

osprey

osprey

4th. Levels - ca.30 cattle egret near Sand, S of Wedmore; reed warbler heard Ham Wall, red kite over car park, ca. 6 marsh harriers and only 3-4 bitterns heard on Ham Wall and Shapwick Heath. Orange tips and brimstones flying.

brimstone on purple dead nettle

male marsh harrier

3rd. Chew Valley Lake: sand martins, female scaup and an osprey fishing on Herriot's Pool.

2nd. A circular walk from Chewton Keynsham to Compton Dando via the Wansdyke and Burnett. Male redstart in woodland near the Wansdyke, and willow warbler singing.

Wansdyke

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