Diary - April to June 2007

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26th June 2007 - I was at Ashleworth at 1030. After the floods yesterday, there was not much extra water at all. This is probably due to the sluice boards being out for the summer. It was no longer raining but was overcast and cool - 10 deg. C.. Buzzard, Shelduck, Curlew and Chiffchaff were seen or heard from the hide. Along Stank Lane, 2 Willow Warbler, 20 Swift and an adult male and a juvenile Redstart. Back at the hide, the Mute Swan family had appeared with 6 cygnets. There were also, 3 Mallard and a female Wigeon.

21st to 24th June 2007 - I was out of the county sea watching at Stumble Head.

19th June 2007 - Ashleworth. Breezy, overcast and mild. From the hide, 2 Cuckoo and a Curlew were heard. 5 Canada Geese and a Buzzard, 2 Mallard, 2 Chiffchaff and a Sparrowhawk was hunting along Ham Road. Along Stank Lane, 2 juvenile Redstarts and another adult female at the top of the lane by the public footpath. Other birds seen from the lane were Moorhen with 5 chicks 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Long-tailed Tits, Willow Warbler, 7 Swift, 60 Starling, 15 Swallows including juveniles and a Grey Heron flew over the hide on my return.

12th June 2007 - Ashleworth. The weather was overcast, humid and calm. From the hide, 5 Canada Geese, 3 Grey Heron and 2 Stock Dove. Along Ham Road, Common Whitethroat, Chiffchaff a Cuckoo heard and 9 Long-tailed Tits. I walked Stank Lane where there were 2 Willow Warblers, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a Mallard, a juvenile of both Robin and Great Tit and finally a Reed Bunting.

10th June 2007 - 2 Goldfinch and 10 Blackbird were near the cricket pitch in Parkend. At Nagshead the bird of note was a Nuthatch with 2 young. Further on, at Cannop Ponds, 2 Grey Wagtails were near the stone works. Moving on to Slimbridge, where it was warm, sunny and hazy, 4 Oystercatcher and 50 Curlew. The Severn Bore ran up river at 1530 but there was much disturbance from a powered hang-glider.

9th June 2007 - Overcast, humid and warm at Ashleworth. At 1030, 25 deg. C., 73% humidity and pressure 1019 millibar. It is now noticable the the Willows along the main rhine across the reserve as seen from the hide are beginning to show brown leaves as they did last year. This was attributed to a disease which causes the premature death of the leaves and subsequent leaf fall. From the hide, Cuckoo heard, 5 Canada Geese, Coot, Grey Heron and a Curlew. Along Ham Road, a Lapwing and along Stank Lane, a pair of Redstart, Buzzard, 2 Willow Warbler, 4 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Goldfinch and a Chiffchaff. Another Chiffchaff was singing along Ham Road on my return.

1st June 2007 - Ashleworth was sunny, calm with a slight mist and cool. The two Mute Swans have at least 2 cygnets but it is difficult to see them in the long vegetation. From the hide, the only wildfowl were 4 Mallard and 8 Canada Geese. A Cuckoo was calling and a Sedge Warbler was singing, the Great Spotted Woodpecker was in evidence and Coot and Lapwing were visible, the latter mobbing a Buzzard. Along Stank Lane, 5 Stock Doves and another Mallard were in the middle of a field, a male Redstart and 2 more Buzzards were the last of the sightings.

19th May 2007 - Ashleworth at 0930 on a day of sunny periods, mild, breezy but with heavy showers. The water level has risen because of heavy rain. A Cuckoo was noted perched in the distance and another was calling. The Mute Swans have hatched 6 young. A Peregrine was menacing on one of the pylons and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was passing to and fro along Ham Road near the hide where it appears to have young in a nest in the copse. 10 Mallard and 2 Wigeon were the only duck noted and a male Blackcap was foraging just in front of the hide for a while. I wonder if there is a nest nearby. A Curlew was calling again and there was a small passage of Swifts.

17th April 2007 - Bright but cooler than of late. A Lapwing was displaying in front of the hide and a Curlew was heard. A good number of 6 Buzzard were soaring over Wainlodes Hill. Swallow numbers were up with 13 present. 2 Greylag Geese, 2 Shelduck on Hasfield Ham and a Lapwing apparently sitting in field 27. About 49 Thrush species flew north and firsts for the season were 2 Redstarts (male and female) and a Cuckoo heard.

14th April 2007 - A sunny, cool morning at Ashleworth where there was a slight mist. A Mallard has produced 9 ducklings. 2 Greylag Geese, Pintail, Teal, Wigeon and Shoveler were the ducks present, 5 Coot, 1 Reed Bunting and a Lapwing displaying. A Peregrine overflew and 2 Chiffchaff and 8 Willow Warbler (counted on a walk around the public footpath around the reserve). 2 Shelduck and 2 Curlew overflew and 4 Lapwing were in field 27. Another Swallow, 3 Buzzard and an Orange-tip Butterfly (first of the season).

6th April 2007- Ashleworth in the afternoon. Sunny and warm again. 2 Buzzards were copulating on one of the pylons and there were a total of 4 in the area altogether. A Curlew was calling and of note in front of the hide were 2 Gadwall and 2 Greylag Geese. 6 Lapwing were displaying near to the hide and a Stoat was seen. Another Swallow passed through and a Carrion Crow took a Coots egg from a nest as noted from the hide.

5th April 2007 - Sunny and warm for a change today at Ashleworth. The Chiffchaff continues to sing. 2 Shelduck were present, 2 of which were on Hasfield Ham and 1 in front of the hide. A Swallow was the first of the season at the site. 2 Gadwall, 2 Buzzard, 1 Reed Bunting and a Greylag Goose were present. 87 Thrush species passed north east at 1305 and 3 Grey Heron were interacting and eventually one was driven off. Swallow and Sand Martin were present after lunch when another Greylag Goose was found, 7 Gadwall and 2 pair of Lapwing were displaying near the hide were of note during the afternoon. A duck caught my attention. A Teal-sized duck with a speckled back with a dark stripe down the centre of the bill and a spreading nail. It had buff underparts which contrasted slightly with the upperparts and an almost rufous mantle. There were light undertail coverts. This was an escaped Speckled Teal.

4th April 2007 - Overcast and cool again at Ashleworth. The Chiffchaff is still singing as expected. In front of the hide there were, 24 Gadwall, 4 Tufted Duck, 2 Stock Dove, 4 Buzzard and 1 Greylag Goose. 25 Lapwing and 4 Shelduck were on Hasfield Ham.

3rd April 2007 - Overcast, cool and a slight drizzle at Ashleworth. Although Shoveler were the most numerous duck present, 5 Tufted Duck were in front of the hide. The water level has gone down since yesterday because the sluice has been opened for the summer levels. 10 Gadwall, 2 Greylag Geese and still the Chiffchaff was singing in the copse by the hide. Some Lapwing disappeared over Hasfield Ham and a Reed Bunting was in the line of pollarded willows.

2nd April 2007 - A sunny but cool day with a north east wind at Ashleworth. Wigeon, Gadwall, Pintail, Shoveler and Teal remaining on the receding water. A Buzzard was perched on Hasfield Ham. There were 4 Tufted Duck and a total of about 250 duck in front of the hide. 23 Lapwing were present and both Chiffchaff, which was singing, and female Blackcap was present in Ham Road. 49 Coot were on the water to the south of the hide. 2 Shelduck, a calling Curlew, 2 Greylag Geese and a Reed Bunting were also present. There appears to be a steady Meadow Pipit passage (Portland Bird Observatory reported 10,000 going through). A Brimstone Butterfly was the first of the year here.

1st April 2007 - The Great Grey Shrike was still present at Farmers Green, near Cannop Ponds.

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