Diary – April to June 2012


 

 

26th June 2012 – Mid-afternoon and I went to Symonds Yat Rock viewpoint for two hours.  It was again very quiet but towards the end of my visit, the female and a juvenile flew around the breeding cliffs for a few minutes. 

 

25th June 2012 – I spent a couple of hours over lunchtime at Symonds Yat Rock viewpoint on a warm and dry day.  It was very quiet with no bird song of note and the two adult Peregrines were perched up all of the time and there was no sign of any young.

          In the evening I had a walk along the south side of the canal at Lydney.  Again it was very quiet but the habitat to the south over the slightly undulating fields with crisscrossed hedgerows looks good for breeding birds. 

 

24th June 2012 – Late in the day I walked up the Gloucestershire Way towards Nagshead Information Centre.  I came across a number of young Wild Boar.  There were at least 9 individuals which ran off into the bracken as I approached.  I did not see any adults.  On my way back down the ‘Way’ I also found 2 Fallow Deer. 

 

20th June 2012 – I went to Daneway Banks in the Cotswolds today to try to find the Large Blue butterflies which have been reported.  It was a successful day with eight sightings and a maximum of four individuals at one time.  Later in the day, I saw two of them in copulation which is good news for next year and even better news following the very poor weather so far this year for Lepidoptera. 

          At Selsey Common there were an enormous number of Small Blues, probably the greatest number that I have ever seen in one location.  Marbled Whites were also on the wing.  There was a report of an Adonis Blue but I did not see it.  Large Skippers were also a new species for the year.

 

19th June 2012 – I was in Upton-upon-Severn this afternoon and of note was a Peregrine soaring high over the town.

 

18th June 2012 – On a dry and sunny day I walked over Crabtree Hill.  The Linnets were in numbers and the males were stunningly pink in brilliant breeding plumage.  There were several Tree Pipits on view also. 

          Later in the day I walked up the Gloucestershire Way at Nagshead but it was very quiet. 

 

17th June 2012 – A short walk up the Gloucestershire Way at Nagshead produced the sound of Wild Boars grunting but the bracken is so tall that I did not see them.  A Garden Warbler was singing near the site of the old information centre but generally it was quiet in the late afternoon.

 

15th June 2012 – A quick visit of half an hour to Symonds Yat failed to give up a view of the two young Peregrines but both parents were perched up for the duration of my visit.

          After lunch, I walked around the Nagshead area where the most unusual thing was a male Pied Flycatcher with no white on the head at all.  A very unusual variation in plumage.

 

14th June 2012 – I spent an hour or so on Crabtree Hill again.  Birds noted were Dunnock, Whitethroat, many Linnet, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and a pair of  Carrion Crows.  Several Jay were noted at various locations over the hill. 

 

13th June 2012 – I spent an hour at Symonds Yat viewpoint today and saw the 2 reported young unfledged Peregrine on the nesting ledge as well as the 2 adults. 

          At Boy’s Grave, the Wood Warbler near the car park was still singing.  Spotted Flycatcher were deep in the wood.  The Great Spotted Woodpecker nest near Cannop was being attended two by both adults.  It was difficult to know how many young there are but I suspect from the calling, only one.  Back at the car park, the original Wood Ant’s nest that I found some years ago has been built up into a neat cone. 

 

12th June 2012 – Two visits to Boy’s Grave with a trip to Coleford in between.  A Wood Warbler was again heard from the car park and a Tawny Owl was in a known tree.  3 Siskin and 3 Goldfinch were on the feeders at Cannop Stoneworks when I eventually got there and a Great-spotted Woodpecker nest was located nearby.  On my way back to Boy’s Grave, I noted a Wild Boar with young in the woods.  They all ran off but the adult came back onto the path and followed me for a short while but then must have picked up my scent because it ran off at high speed into the woods in the direction that the young had gone.  On my second visit, 2 Fallow Deer and 2 Wood Warbler were the highlights. 

 

11th June 2012 – I had another hour or so on Crabtree Hill.  It was a very wet day with rain falling all through the daylight hours..  Along the Gloucestershire Way not far from the Speech House Woodlands car park, there was a Wild Boar adult apparently sheltering under a dense conifer tree.  The animal moved out of it cover when I passed but must have returned because when I returned from my walk it was back under the tree.  It moved back out of cover and into the bracken again as I passed but later I saw it returning to the shelter of the tree.  There were 8 Fallow Deer on the newly cleared area north of Woorgreens Lake and two of these were very dark individuals.  There were still there when I returned but a few minutes earlier I had seen 3 more in the woods nearby, thus 11 deer noted today.  In spite of the poor conditions, on the heath there were Tree Pipit, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Robin, Blackbird and Song Thrush.  A Cuckoo was heard from the car park.

 

10th June 2012 – A dry but generally overcast day until rain started in the early evening.  I walked over Crabtree Hill looking for evidence of Turtle Dove but none were found.  What I did find was, at least 2 Tree Pipits, several Linnets and a Buzzard overhead.  Around the area of the trig point, there was at least one Fallow Deer and a short time later I noted 4 of this species and one may have been the animal that I had seen earlier.  Not far from the trig point, I found a large warbler, generally light brown/orange on the upper surface and light buff underneath.  No wingbars or other marking were noted but the legs were brilliant pink/orange.  Unfortunately some people appeared and the bird disappeared and I was unable to get any better views and this bird will have to remain as warbler sp. 

 

9th June 2012 – A walk around the long trail at Nagshead yielded Spotted Flycatcher, female Pied Flycatcher and female Blackcap at the far end of the short trail.  Not far from the Centre when I was returning along the shale track was a number of Wild Boar young but no sign of any parents.  There were several Fallow Deer also in that general area as was a Golden-ringed Dragonfly on the trail.  On the Gloucestershire Way, as I was walking back towards Cannop, there were young boars again.  This may have been the same group as before. 

 

8th June 2012 – A wet and windy morning.  I went to Beachley to see if there were any storm blown seabirds being swept upriver.  Between the two bridges was a flock of 35 Kittiwake and an Arctic Tern.  Among the Kittiwakes there was a bird which looked at long range like a Sabines Gull but which will have to go unidentified. 

 

7th June 2012 – A very wet day again.  Since the beginning of April, there must be close to 200mm of rain has fallen which is over 7 ½ inches.

 

6th June 2012 – A Grey Wagtail foraging on a small piece of overgrown grass near to Gloucester city centre seemed to be a bit out of place. 

          At Nagshead a few minutes before sunset, a Barn Owl quartering a field was a fantastic close sight especially when viewed with the binoculars. 

          On the way home at Brierley, a very big Wild Boar crossed the main road in front of my car.  I think that it was the very big individual that I had seen in this area some weeks ago.  It really is a big fellow. 

 

4th June 2012 – Parked at Boy’s Grave and then crossed the road to have a walk around the habitat there.  Fallow Deer were the only mammals seen but there were extensive areas of clearance, new plantings and mature woodland.  An area to keep an eye on.  Back on the car park side of the road, I came across at least one Spotted Flycatcher foraging in the area where I often see Hawfinches.  I was sure that there was more than one bird. 

 

3rd June 2012 – A very wet day.  There have been some 30mm of rain over the past two days.  A male Redstart was in the gloom in the car park at Speculation.

          The Wood Warbler at the start of the long trail was still singing in the misty conditions in the woods at Nagshead today as I walked up the Gloucestershire Way from Cannop Ponds. 

 

2nd June 2012 – Yet again, a damp day with some drizzle.  I parked at Woorgreens car park and walked in a zigzag fashion over Crabtree Hill in search of Turtle Dove.  I did not find any evidence of this species but there were exceptional views of Tree Pipit perched on debris from the scrub clearance.  There were also big numbers of Swallow and House Martins flying around the small pine wood isolated in the clearance.  This was a great spectacle on such a dismal day. 

 

1st June 2012 – I walked the same walk at about the same time as the previous two days.  A Wood Warbler singing at the start of the long trail seemed to be a new territory or it may be the bird that was singing on the lower short trail has moved.  Either way, it was a very strong and beautiful song.  A bit of a damp day with drizzle during the walk.

 

31st May 2012 – I walked the same walk as yesterday with similar results.

 

30th May 2012 – I walked up the Gloucestershire Way from the Stoneworks at Cannop but it was a quiet evening in terms of birds and mammals with not much seen. 

 

29th May 2012  - A slightly cooler day.  Late this evening, I went to Boy’s Grave,  I had 5 sightings of Woodcock and there were at least 2 Nightjars singing which included a classic pose of one bird on the branch of a dead tree.  The churring of these birds was continuous until well after dark.  Cuckoo and Tawny Owl were heard as were the grunts of Wild Boar.  A Fallow Deer briefly showed.  This animal was superbly marked with dazzling white spots. 

 

28th May 2012 – A Dunnock has a nest in a hedge in my garden.

 

27th May 2012 – The temperature today matched that of yesterday.  Late in the day as yesterday, I walked up the Gloucestershire Way from the Stoneworks and found the Wood Warbler still singing.

 

26th May 2012 – Even hotter today – 28 deg C.  I went on a short visit to Boy’s Grave and found 2 Fallow Deer.  It is worthy of note that in the first three months I had been seeing Wild Boar or Fallow Deer or both on about one in three visits to suitable areas.  Now in the last two months I am seeing these mammals about 8 times in ten.  Either they are becoming more common or I am getting better at finding them.

          Spent 45 minutes sitting at the Nursery Pond and a nearby bench at Nagshead RSPB Reserve this afternoon.  12 species of bird noted and Large Red Damselfly and Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonfly as well as Brimstone Butterfly and a ‘blue’ which was probably a Holly Blue. 

          Much later in the day, I walked up the Gloucestershire Way from the Stoneworks and found a singly Fallow Deer and a Wood Warbler singing.   

 

25th May 2012 – An even hotter day with the top temperature at 27 deg. C.  I went to Boy’s Grave and walked down through Wet Wood.  In the more open woodland to the west of this wood, I found very fresh evidence of Wild Boar and as I did so, I looked around and there they were.  They saw me at the same moment that I saw them.  There appeared to be only one adult and at least 3 boarlets but it was difficult to count them in the growing vegetation.  They settled down to forage after becoming alert and then they gradually moved off to the east still foraging.  In another area, I found 2 Fallow Deer.  A Hawfinch, Chaffinch and a Nuthatch were in their usual area.  I was just walking back up the slope to the track leading to the car park when I found 2 different Fallow Deer.  The nearest one did not see me but was alerted by another animal I had not seen.  Yet another Wood Warbler territory found.  There are at least 6 in this area. 

          Back at home, a Rabbit was a newcomer to the garden, the first that I have seen here in over four years.

 

24th May 2012 – 26 deg. C. again today.  It was misty at home at 0730 but a scarce bird was a Green Woodpecker near the house. 

          I had a walk around the Cyril Hart Arboretum with a friend’s dog.  There was a lot of bird activity which was not surprising as there are feeders at the car park and in many places around the trail there was a scattering of bird seed.  This looks likely to be set down regularly.  A Red Kite was over Milkwall at lunchtime.

          I moved on later, after I had returned the dog, to Boy’s Grave.  I found yet another Wood Ants nest in the Wet Wood.  This one is perfect steep cone.  Further on, down deep in the woods to the east of  Cannop Ponds there was an Iberian Chiffchaff singing for about 15 minutes.  I had not heard one here before but had spent some time listening to one in Wales last year. 

          At Nagshead, on the short trail, I found a pair of Redstart and the female was carrying food.  There were at least 2 Pied Flycatchers around this trail.

   

23rd May 2012 – Warm again today with another one degree on top of the temperature of yesterday.  I went to Woorgreens and walked over Crabtree Hill to Foxes Bridge.  The newly cleared area I had not seen before.  The resulting heathland will take a couple of year or so to mature but it should be good when this happens.  The butterflies on the walk today included Small Copper, Small Heath, Wood White, Grizzled Skipper, Dingy Skipper, Green-veined White, Small White and Speckled Wood. A Comma was seen much later. 

          Later I went to New Fancy View to look for Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries but none were found.  I was probably a few days too early. 

          On a short visit to Boy’s Grave it was great to note that the Wood Warblers were still singing.

 

22nd May 2012 – Another warm day with similar temperatures to yesterday.  Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff singing in the wood near Sling football pitch.

          Later in the day, I went to Boy’s Grave.  2 Fallow Deer were in Wet Wood and one more on its own was on the main ride at the bottom of this wood. 

 

21st May 2012 – A warm day with 25 deg. C. being the maximum temperature. 

 

20th May 2012 – The weather appears to be warming up with 20 deg. C. being the maximum temperature today.  A Wood Warbler was singing in the woods near Sling football pitch.

          After lunch I went to Boy’s Grave but it was very quiet. Only a lone Nuthatch was in the spot where I regularly see the Hawfinch. 

 

19th May 2012 – I went again to Boy’s Grave and found the Hawfinches in the usual place.  The Wood Warbler was singing near the car park again.  The small Wood Ants nest along the track through the Wet Wood has been destroyed by Wild Boar.  Their fresh footprints are clearly seen in the mud nearby.  There seemed to be many birds singing today including Nightingale which seemed out of place here.  I also found 2 Fallow Deer and a Sparrowhawk quietened down the song for a while as it flew through.  I had another walk in a different area and found 2 more Fallow Deer and another Wood Warbler and a Tree Pipit was in a new clearing to the south. 

 

17th May 2012 – I went back to Boy’s Grave again today.  I could hear the Wood Warbler from the car park.  A Blue Tit is nesting in the very prominent black nest box in the car park and a Tawny Owl was heard before I had left the car.  The Wood Ants nest in the Wet Wood that has been there for many years is still flourishing although it is not so conical.  This may be the result of the recent heavy rains.  I found another, smaller nest next to the path a little further to the west.  Later, I noted a small animal running through the undergrowth.  This may have been a lone boarlet but there were 5 Fallow Deer in this area as well.  I found another large Wood Ants nest on the track parallel to the main road.  It is a very good area for this insect.  They are all over the paths around here. 

          At Symonds Yat there were a lot of House Martins and Swifts swirling around.  That was a great sight.  The Peregrines were very active, especially the female, which suggests that hatching has taken place. 

 

16th May 2012 – I had a look around Yewtree Brake for the reported Firecrests but failed to find them.

          At Boy’s Grave, there were a family of Wild Boar including at least 9 boarlets.  Later I found some more boar but they could have been the same ones that I had seen earlier. 

 

15th May 2012 – There was some Peregrine activity over lunchtime today at Symonds Yat.  Having said that, there is no evidence that hatching has taken place.  The level of the river has fallen again since 12th May.

          Later, I had a walk along the western ridge of the Cannop Valley looking for Tree Pipits but did not find any.  However, there were plenty of Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warblers singing. 

 

14th May 2012 – There was a family of Wild Boar just up the Bixslade Tramway from the Stoneworks.  There were 3 adults and at least 9 boarlets.  Along the Gloucestershire Way at the junction with the short trail there was a very showy Wood Warbler and in song too.  A Garden Warbler was at the back of the Information Centre.

 

13th May 2012 – I had a change to my usual trips and went to Boy’s Grave where the first bird of note was a Cuckoo calling in the distance.  Two Hawfinch and 2 Nuthatch were in the usual location.  At least one deer passed quietly in the background and later not far from the carpark I found a reported Wood Warbler.  This is a species which seems to be plentiful and doing well this year. 

 

12th May 2012 – I went again to Symonds Yat this morning.  In contrast to yesterday, the Peregrines were flying quite a lot. 

          I moved on to Nagshead RSPB Reserve and noted at least three Pied Flycatchers as I walked the long trail.  There were few Willow Warblers but Blackcaps seem plentiful.

 

11th May 2012 – I went to Symonds Yat in the late morning.  The river Wye has risen again and the Kingfisher was seen again and the nest is well clear of the water for the moment.  7 Fallow Deer were in the near clearing on Coppett Hill and at least one had short antlers which appeared to be ‘in velvet’. There was no sign of either Peregrine in the one and three quarter hours that I was there.  They are probably still incubating. 

 

8th May 2012 – A dry day.  At Symonds Yat, the river is clear and much lower than of late.  The Kingfishers appear to be excavating a new hole.  There seemed to be some Peregrine activity.  Have they hatched?  A large, probably female juvenile Peregrine was perched up on an unusual perch late in the afternoon.

 

7th May 2012 – A very wet day with about 20mm of rain.

 

6th May 2012 – HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY WEBSITE, which is 10 years old today.  Driving back from the Forest of Dean, I noted Wild Boar and boarlets near Beechenhurst Lodge.

 

5th May 2012 – On May Hill there was a Redstart and a Common Whitethroat near the car park on the western side of the hill at lunchtime.

          At Boys Grave in the afternoon, there were two Hawfinch, male and female and a very young Fallow Deer buck with tiny antlers.  I was able to get quite close to this animal for some photographs. 

 

3rd May 2012 – It was a damp morning but there was a steady passage of hirundines once more over Longhope. 

 

2nd May 2012 – It was a little bit misty at first this morning at Longhope and the Chiffchaff was still collecting nesting material.  A Red Kite overflew my house which was only the second time that I have recorded this species in this location in 4 years. 

          I went to Symonds Yat and found that the river had risen to the highest level that I have seen it.  The river was over its banks to the north in at least one field.  The Kingfisher nest is now inundated but the bird was still in the area.  A Peregrine was seen briefly and incubation seems to be continuing as expected.  The Greylag Goose, Canada Goose pair were seen again, this time flying down river.

          At Nagshead, I walked the short trail where there were at least 2 male Pied Flycatchers, a Wood Warbler heard and two Hawfinch seen at the furthest point of the trail. 

          I moved on to Slimbridge in the afternoon.  The Avocet is still on its nest as seen from the Holden Tower.  New birds for the year for me were Sedge and Reed Warblers.  There was a Wheatear on the Dumbles and a steady passage of migrants including House Martin, Sand Martin, Swallow and Swift.  On South Lake, a Common Tern flew in, an Egyptian Goose  and 3 Mediterranean Gulls, one a first summer and 2 adults.  64 species were noted today.

 

1st May 2012 – Very heavy rain again overnight and particularly at 0400.  18mm of rain by midday.  There were Swifts over Longhope at lunchtime and at about this time the rain stopped.  I went to Symonds Yat and the rain started en route but it was relatively dry once I had got to the viewpoint.  Rain started about half an hour into my stint there and I stayed for another half an hour.  There were clouds of mist drifting around the area including the Peregrine nesting cliffs.  It was very ethereal.  There were two sightings of the Peregrine.  The male was in the right hand hole of the right hand cliff but flew a few seconds after I had found this bird.  It returned to the same place a little later.  The other raptor of note was of a Sparrowhawk flying around to the north of the viewpoint.  Surprisingly, the river was a little lower than yesterday but there was no sign of the Kingfishers.  Although the water level may not have reached their nest hole, there is a different look to their ‘cliff’.  It may be that the nest hole has collapsed. 

          On the way back, there were two large Wild Boar near Brierley again. 

          In the evening after the rain had stopped, there was a steady passage of hirundines over Longhope. Stock Doves were mating and a Chiffchaff was collecting nest material near my garden.

 

30th April 2012 – A warmer and drier day and little rain for a change.  I made a very short visit to Symonds Yat.  The river is the highest that I have ever seen it and it is close to the top of the bank.  The Kingfisher nesty is about 6 inches above the water level but I think that it is doomed and that by tomorrow it will have been inundated.  There was a steady stream of hirundines passing through including a House Martin. 

          I had a short walk around the Boys Grave area this afternoon and noted 3 Fallow Deer near an area I call Observation Point 1 which is a regular area that I will be watching in the future. 

          On a general note, the Meteorological Office is reporting that April has been the wettest on record.  I believe that there will be some flooding in the next few days as rivers top their banks. 

 

29th April 2012 – An exceedingly wet day with nearly 30 mm of rain from early morning. 

 

28th April 2012 – A cold day at Symonds Yat with the temperature at 1230 being only 6 deg. C. with a chilly north easterly wind.  There was plenty of Peregrine flying action and a changeover at the nest.  A Swift gave a very close view and there appeared to be about 50 Swallows with continually fed low down on the river for at least one and a half hours.  There did not appear to be birds coming through and departing and it appeared that these same birds remained in the area all the time I was there. 

          A juvenile Blackbird at my garden was the second species juvenile noted here. 

 

27th April 2012 – At Symonds Yat, the Peregrine incubation continues with just one bird on show at any one time.  Later in the afternoon I found a pair of Sparrowhawks then later a single Sparrowhawk and even later, the highlight of the day – a pair of Swifts.  This species was my first of the year and it was an April bird too. 

          Earlier, a Swallow over my house was a first of the year for that locality. 

 

26th April 2012 – En route to Nagshead, I noted a Wild Boar family at Cannop Crossroads and these animals were being photographed by several people at the side of the road and they appeared to be completely relaxed about this and seeminly used to people which is a worrying sign.  Nagshead itself was awash with plenty of song and I also noted 2 Fallow Deer before I moved on to Symonds Yat.

          The river at the Yat was the highest that I have seen so far this year.  The male Peregrine was perched as usual and a pair of Sparrowhawk were over Coppett Hill.

          At Longhope a juvenile Robin at my house was proof of breeding nearby.

 

25th April 2012 – A very wet morning but I went to Nagshead where I found 2 male Pied Flycatchers along the lower part of the short trail.  I also noted two different Wild Boar families which added up to about 20 young which supports my note of 24th April regarding breeding success.  2 different Fallow Deer were also noted. 

 

24th April 2012 – On my way to Symonds Yat, I noted the biggest Wild Boar that I have ever seen.  It was on the side of the road near Brierley.  The Wild Boar appear to be appearing at the side of the road in broad daylight and in some cases along main roads.  They do appear to be seen more often of late and they seem to have had a good breeding period this year so far. 

          At Symonds Yat it was very quiet with just the male Peregrine perched up for considerable time.  The female must still be busy incubating.  I estimate that if all goes well, the hatching should take place around May 10th to 15th. 

 

23rd April 2012 – I went to Slimbridge and noted a Sand Martin with some Swallows over the Tack Piece.  The former was a first for the year for me.  An Avocet was foraging on the Rushy Pen at lunchtime and another pair was on the Top New Piece and another pair were nesting nearby.  The female appeared to turn eggs every time that she returned to the nest even though I was too far away to see any eggs.  A pair of  Oystercatcher appeared to the nesting nearby.  A House Martin was also noted, thereby making the third of the hirundine species noted today.  A Mandarin Duck and a Great Crested Grebe were unusual birds to be seen from the Holden Tower.  The Black-tailed Godwits were very smart in that many of them were in their summer plumage.  Another stunning sight was that of a male Yellow Wagtail on the Tack Piece.  This birds was particularly bright on such a gloomy afternoon.  Later the reported Cacking Goose flew into the Rushy Pen with some Canada Goose and was calling all the time. 

 

22nd April 2012 – At Nagshead this afternoon, the highlights were of 2 Siskin foraging along the short trail, 5 Fallow Deer further along the trail and a single Wild Boar and later an adult Wild Boar with 9 boarlets.

 

21st April 2012 – A sunny, cool and calm day with a few very light showers.  I went this morning to Symonds Yat again.  The River Wye water level is substantially up since Wednesday 18th April.  The female Peregrine made a kill at about 10 o’clock.  She plucked it on a branch above the right hand cliff.  The male was watching and he walked along the branch and managed to steal a beak full of meat.  A female intruder appeared at 1055 but flew off.  A Sparrowhawk was in the cliff area later and a Goshawk was over Coppett Hill and this bird descended into the trees very rapidly and did not reappear.  This female was in moult in both set of primaries.

          At Nagshead later in the day a male Pied Flycatcher was looking at the nestbox numbered 176 and a Nuthatch was prospecting natural nest holes near the furthest part of the short trail.  Two different Treecreepers were noted on the short trail and there seemed to be several Chiffchaff and Blackcap but as yet few Willow Warblers. 

          At Longhope, a Sparrowhawk was soaring this morning.

 

19th April 2012 – I walked through Longhope and into the hills up Station Road and then over May Hill and back again.  There were a number of Swallows at various points along the route and several Blackcaps seen and Chiffchaffs heard. 

 

18th April 2012 – A lot of rain today and only  a very short visit to Symonds Yat.  The male Peregrine was clinging to the rock face on a perch I have never seen used before.  He was undoubtedly sheltering from the incessant rain.  The Kingfisher also showed well as it went into its nest hole.  A good showing for the 20 minutes that I was there in the rain.

 

17th April 2012 – There was rain overnight and a day of blustery showers.  Again, at Symonds Yat it was very quiet with only the male of the Peregrines showing perched up.  There were good sightings of Sparrowhawk, Goshawk and the usual Buzzards. 

 

16th April 2012 – It was a day of sunny periods but was quite cool and at Symonds Yat there was not much activity with the local Pergrines.  This is good news in that incubation is hopefully continuing.  The male spent a lot of time perched and a large brown intruder came in but the exact identification was unsure as I did not see it well.  En route to Symonds Yat at about noon there were two adult Wild Boar just outside the village of Brierley and when I returned late in the afternoon, there were 2 adults and 11 boarlets in the same place and they crossed the main road in front of me. 

 

15th April 2012 – Nagshead in the afternoon.  At the lower part of the meadow, I found a Pied Flycatcher and noted the reported Redstart, both birds being new for the year for me. 

 

14th April 2012 – I made another visit to Symonds Yat  from 1145 until 1400 after the early morning rain had cleared through.  When I arrived, the male Peregrine was eating something in one of the holes on the cliff and after a little while, he flew and was lost to view against the background of the trees almost immediately.  He must have gone hunting as a short time later, he reappeared near the nest hole for a few minutes and then flew.  I was able to see he had some prey in his talons and he was joined by the female which must have come off the eggs.  A food pass followed and she went into a nearby tree and proceeded to eat this prey.  The male was not seen again while I was there but the female after a quiet few minutes after finishing feeding had a fly around and chased a Raven and they returned to the tree where she was feeding.  The male must have been on the eggs all this time.  The fact that, apart from the food pass, only one bird was on show for the rest of the time reinforces my theory that incubation has started. 

 

13th April 2012 – I went to Symonds Yat again on a cloudy day with occasional sunny periods.  There were rain showers showing nearby but the area remained dry while I was there between 1325 and 1800.  The Peregrine behaviour was the same as yesterday.  Late in the afternoon, the resident pair appeared to chase off another bird otherwise there was only one bird on view at any one time.  I am positive now that incubation is ongoing.  There was a distant sight of a Goshawk over Coppett Hill but later in the day, there was another very close flyby.  A Sparrowhawk was also seen as was a later overflying Curlew.  Very late on, two geese were seen flying up river from a distance, one with light wings and one darker bird.  They alighted on the water in front of the viewpoint and they appeared to be a pair as no other geese were in sight.  From the head on, top view, it became clear that one was a Canada Goose and the other was a Greylag Goose.  Maybe there will be some hybrids later in the year.  Such offspring are relatively common.  Later when I was in the car park at 1830, there were some Fallow Deer and a lot of bird and Grey Squirrel activity.  When I left at 1830 there were no cars left in the car park.  I wonder where everyone had gone on such a beautiful evening – strange.

   

12th April 2012 – I went to Symonds Yat again between 1115 and 1530.  There were sunny periods but there were thundery showers around and about.  My first Swallow of the year passed close by and there was some activity from the Pergrines and they are favouring the same hole as yesterday and there is a lot of quiet time when one bird is out of sight, so I believe more positively now that incubation has started. 

 

10th April 2012 – A day of sun, rain, sleet and a little bit of wet snow.  I went to Symonds Yat between 1525 and 1725.  The resident Peregrines saw off a third bird.  They seem to be favouring one particular hole and incubation may well have started as the female was not seen much. 

 

9th April 2012 – There was light rain throughout the day. 

 

7th April 2012 – In similar weather to yesterday, I did a similar walk but this time continued up Coppett Hill and down to the limekilns and retuned.  This time I heard a WillowWarbler en route and saw one on my return.  This was the my first of the year.   

 

6th April 2012 – Another cool and overcast day.  I went to Lower Lydbrook and walked up the far bank of the River Wye to a spot opposite the Peregrines cliff.  There were Mandarin Ducks on the river and I thought that I heard a Willow Warbler but could not be sure. 

 

5th April 2012 – An overcast and cold day.  It was 7 deg. C. at 1400.  I went to Symonds Yat between 1445 and 1645 and both Peregrines were on view for a reasonable amount of time.  Incubation has probably not started as the female was spending a lot of time ont in the open on a quite cold day. 

 

2nd April 2012 – A sunny but cool day and I went to Symonds Yat between 1225 and 1605.  The Peregrines were on show and at least 4 times a third bird flew over and soared but it did not cause any reaction from the resident pair.  Perhaps this was a youngster from this pair from last year.  A Goshawk was seen once over Coppett Hill.

 

1st April 2012 – A white frost on the roofs  this morning.  I went to the Stoneworks at Cannop and walked up the Gloucestershire Way to the Information Centre at Nagshead.  There was quite a lot of song in the woods but there were no summer migrants apart from Chiffchaffs.  A Blackcap was singing near Bixslade Tramway and a Blue Tit was prospecting a nestbox near the Centre. 

 

 

 


 

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