2nd November 2017 – There were 8 Goosanders on the River Wye at Ross-on-Wye today, this being the highest count of this autumn. While I was standing on Wilton Bridge, a Black-headed Gull suddenly started alarm calling and flying around in tight circles over the river just downstream from the bridge. I could see something in the water and as it came nearer, I was able to identify it. It was an Otter, the first that I have seen on the river ever.
28th October 2017 – A Sparrowhawk was high over where I live at 1130 this morning.
26th October 2017 – There were possibly three Kingfishers around the brook by the side of the building where I live and near the rowing club and the river. It may have been the same bird! The River Wye was a little bit higher than of late.
16th October 2017 – Ex-hurricane Ophelia was over Ireland today and this morning the sun was very pink in the sky and the clouds were very yellow giving an eerie light. This was apparently caused by sand particles from the Sahara being sucked up into the upper atmosphere by this storm.
14th October 2017 – Today, I went on a rare twitch for me. I went to the Blorenge area of the mountain not far from Abergavenny to view a Rock Thrush. When I arrived in the early afternoon at about 2pm, it was perched up on one of the ridges. It was a beautifully marked bird and I was able to watch it through the scope for about 2 minutes when it flew. Despite constant searching over a wide range and many rock faces, I could not relocate it and I left at 5pm. It was an excellent bird.
13th October 2017 – Two Buzzards of different sizes and therefore probably a pair, were soaring for quite some time over Garway Church while I was there in the early afternoon.
12th October 2017 – I had a walk over Crabtree Hill today to see if there was a returning Great Grey Shrike but I did not find one. There were two, possibly three Stonechat actually on the tarmac road and nearby was a Green Woodpecker. A Fallow Deer buck was roaring near the southern end of the tarmac road. On the pond scrape area there were a number of odonata. There were lots of red-type darter, a single Southern Hawker and a blue damselfly. It was indeed a bumper day for these creatures nearly half way through October. There were lots of Coot on Woorgreens Lake and a juvenile Peregrine was wheeling around over the water before it flew off to the north.
10th October 2017 – I was at RSPB Nagshead this lunchtime. It was a beautiful, autumnal day with a gusty breeze which is causing the coloured leaves to fall adding to the carpet of acorns on the paths along the Gloucestershire Way. Off that track, I found 4 Fallow Deer moving relatively quickly to the north. A Coal Tit was foraging very close to me along the short trail and seemed oblivious of me standing there and watching this bird move methodically along the various twigs of one of the oak trees.
9th October 2017 – I made a visit to WWT Slimbridge this morning. There were a good number and variety of waders present including Ruff, Redshank, Little Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Avocet, Dunlin and Little Stint. There were about 10 Little Stint which was the biggest number that I have seen together for several years. A Common Gull was present in the Black-headed Gull flock on South Lake. There was one of the latter species with a white darvic with the characters ‘2N28’.
8th October 2017 – There were a number of ladybirds around the windows at home on a pleasant and warm day.
At Garway church there was a pristine Red Admiral butterfly in the churchyard. Overhead and down the Monnow Valley there were many Ravens wheeling around in the updrafts produced by the breeze and the warmth of the day.
2nd October 2017 – There was an October Red Admiral butterfly in the garden today. There have been reports nationally of good numbers of this species of late.
1st October 2017 – I went to RSPB Nagshead and walked up as usual from the Stoneworks at Cannop. The woods were quiet but there was a mixed tit flock around the Gloucestershire Way which included some Coal Tits. There has been a very good yield of acorns judging by the number lying on the paths. It is also very muddy on the trails for the time of year.