Diary – July to September 2019


30th September 2019 – I made a short visit to WWT Slimbridge today.  There appeared to be a constant stream of Swallow passing through. A Grey Wagtail on the Rushy Pen was in pristine plumage, the powder yellow parts were really striking. 


26th September 2019 – There were only 3 cygnets at the Hope and Anchor public house, however there is much vegetation and the other two could be still present but hidden.


24th September 2019 – The five cygnets were as yesterday and the three cygnets were just downstream of Wilton Bridge.


20th September 2019 – The five cygnets were present and correct by the Hope and Anchor public house.


19th September 2019 – At Wilton Bridge there was still at least one House Martin attending a nest.  A Buzzard was atop a large bush and a Blackcap was noted there.


18th September 2019 – There were the usual five cygnets near the rowing club but below Wilton Bridge there was a flock of at least 35 Mute Swans including the family with three cygnets nearby.


17th September 2019 – There are still hirundines on the wing around the Wilton Bridge area today.


16th September 2019 – The five remaining cygnets were by the canoe launch again today.


15th September 2019 – There were at least four pristine Red Admiral butterflies on the Buddleia in the garden today.  This is an increase in recent numbers for this species.  It would appear that there has been a recent emergence.


14th September 2019 – One Painted Lady butterfly near the garden on Buddleia today.  It has been a very good year for them.


13th September 2019 – The five cygnets continue to do well on the river but there were fewer hirundines on the wing today.


12th September 2019 – Several Painted Lady and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies at Walford today.


11th September 2019 – The remaining five cygnets were being fed at the canoe launch site today.


5th September 2019 – There were still the five cygnets on the river. 


4th September 2019 – There were 8 Goosander on the river at Wilton Bridge today.  It appeared to be a family party.


3rd September 2019 – Again there were only 5 cygnets on the river today.  I have heard that one was found away from the family group and was taken into care.


2nd September 2019 – There were only 5 cygnets on the river today.


1st September 2019 – At least 4 cygnets on the river but difficult to see and there were probably more.  Various dragonflies and damselflies and butterflies on the wing today.  Also there were a number of hirundines present.


30th August 2019 – There were only 5 cygnets on the river today.


28th August 2019 – Today there were all six cygnets on the river and Swallows and House Martins in many areas from the rowing club to Wilton Bridge. Three Mute Swan cygnets were with their parents just downstream of Wilton Bridge.  The cygnets are now the same size as their parents and it looks to have been a good breeding year in this area.


26th August 2019 – Today there were only 5 cygnets with the two parents.


25th August 2019 – The six cygnets were still present as 23rd August.


23rd August 2019 – There were still six cygnets as yesterday.


22nd August 2019 – There were two Kingfishers and possible a third one near the Rope Walk at Ross-on-Wye and much calling was heard.  This suggested a family party and that they probably bred nearby. There were still six Mute Swan cygnets nearby.


21st August 2019 – A Kingfisher was again noted near Wilton Bridge.


20th August 2019 – Still the six cygnets near the Hope and Anchor public house.


19th August 2019 – There was a record four Painted Lady butterflies in the garden today along with a Small Tortoiseshell.  Along the river, the 6 local cygnets are continuing to do well.  Swallows are still visiting nests at Wilton Bridge and a Kingfisher seen.  A Common Buzzard was again over the skate park as yesterday.


18th August 2019 – Two Painted Lady butterflies in the garden again today. Two Common Buzzards were soaring over the skate park at Ross-on-Wye.


17th August 2019 – Two Fallow Deer were on the Gloucestershire Way at RSPB Nagshead today.  Also of note was a Spotted Flycatcher doing what they do, catching flies.  Two Painted Lady butterflies were on the Buddleia at Bixslade Tramway and two Silver-washed Fritillaries were at Cannop Stone Works.

It has been an extremely good year for the Painted Lady butterfly.


15th August 2019 – The same report as 13th August except there was only one Painted Lady butterfly today.


13th August 2019 – Again, there were two Painted Lady butterflies in the garden and when I walked down the river, I found the six Mute Swan cygnets opposite the Hope and Anchor public house.


12th August 2019 – Two Painted Lady butterflies in the garden today.


9th August 2019 – There were 2 Painted Lady butterflies in the garden today after a night of heavy rain which measured at about 10mm. To the south of Wilton Bridge, there were at least 60 Canada Geese on the river together with a white domestic goose.  There were plenty of hirundines wheeling around this area and at the Rope Walk, there were Swallows feeding low over the grass.

          There was a dragonfly in the garden today which was a first, but unfortunately it was too far away to identify before it disappeared.              


8th August 2019 – I found a Kingfisher near the rowing club at Ross-on-Wye and another near Wilton Bridge near to where I saw on the 1st August.


7th August 2019 – I made a short visit to WWT Slimbridge for a meeting.  There were many Green Sandpipers around the site and I found another Painted Lady butterfly and a Dunlin in summer breeding plumage on Rushy Pen.


6th August 2019 – There were a few bats over the River Wye near the Rope Walk at twilight.


3rd August 2019 – A single Painted Lady butterfly was in the garden again so setting the record at three days in succession.  There has been a large influx of this species into the U.K. this year and the most numbers have been on the east coast.


2nd August 2019 – There were 3 Painted Lady butterflies in the garden today setting a new record on numbers. 6 cygnets were still present by the Hope and Anchor public house.


1st August 2019 – Today I found a first for the garden.  There was a Painted Lady butterfly on the buddleia in the garden.  Also present were two pristine Red Admiral. In addition, I saw Speckled Wood, Peacock, Small White and Large White as well as a Blue species butterfly. There were plenty of hirundines and Swifts over the River Wye at Wilton Bridge where I also saw a Kingfisher with food in its bill. Buzzard was also soaring high over the bridge.


26th July 2019 – The same report as 21st July!


21st July 2019 – Still 6 cygnets near the Hope and Anchor public house today.  They are getting to size where they are too big for many predators such as pike.  Their future looks bright.


20th July 2019 – I made a short visit to RSPB Nagshead today.  The Nursery Pond now has much vegetation in it but nevertheless there was some odonata on the wing including Emperor Dragonfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly and a Large Red Damselfly.  At Cannop Ponds by the Stoneworks, I found the resident Grey Wagtails down the sluice at the back of the works. The resident Mallard and Mandarin Duck are well into their eclipse plumage.


17th July 2019 – The swans by the Hope and Anchor public house still have their 6 cygnets.  While I was watching them, I found a pair of Mandarin Duck with 3 ducklings.  These are probably the pair I have seen in this location on and off over the past few months.  They must have bred not far away.


14th July 2019 – There were 9 Goosanders on the River Wye at Ross-on-Wye today.  There was one adult and 8 juvenile.


9th July 2019 – The swan families on the River Wye continue to thrive.  The 3 cygnets downstream of Wilton Bridge and the 6 cygnets near the Hope and Anchor pubic house are all doing well.


8th July 2019 – In the late afternoon, I stopped by the Stoneworks at the ponds at Cannop. There were at least 6 Swallows flying around feeding and there was at least one juvenile. This was particularly good to see in that not only have I not seen any at this location this year apart from an odd passage individual, they have bred not too far away as well.


6th July 2019 – There were hirundines perched up in a tree at the Rope Walk in Ross-on-Wye and they were wing fluttering and appeared to be waiting to be fed.  It would seem that they have bred nearby.  Downstream of Wilton Bridge, the Mute Swans still have their 3 cygnets.


5th July 2019 – I caught up with the Mute Swans by the Hope and Anchor public house today.  They are doing very well and continue to raise all 6 of their cygnets.

          A Garway church this afternoon, the Swifts which nest in the church tower were there in abundance.  They were screaming around the area and sometime were so low that I could hear the wind through their wings. 


4th July 2019 – I called in at Cannop Ponds by the Stoneworks late this afternoon.  Again, I could find no hirundines.  The highlight of the visit was of a Common Sandpiper in the outfall behind the works.


3rd July 2019 – I noted the swans downstream of the bridge with their 3 cygnets.


2nd July 2019 – At Wilton Bridge the Mute Swans downstream of the structure still have their three cygnets.  I walked one field down river from Wye Street and noted 2 Buzzards in the distance in the Goodrich area.  There were 2 Mandarin Duck with the male in eclipse plumage downstream of the bridge too.  There were settled in some of the large amounts of weed now showing again now that the river level has fallen to summer levels after the recent spell of heavy rain in June.


1st July 2019 – I had a walk down to Wilton Bridge and stayed for 20 minutes or so. There was a Blackcap and a Chiffchaff singing near the bridge. On the way back there was a pair of Bullfinch on the sandstone cliffs of Wilton Road.

          In the evening, I sat outside the Man of Ross public house and watched the sandstone cliff/wall opposite in the hope of seeing returning Sand Martins using the holes for nesting. Eventually, I noted 2 holes which were being used.  There is a bird of prey type of kite flying from a pole in the garden above the wall and this has been there for a few weeks. The local feral pigeons and the Sand Martins are ignoring it. Swifts were wheeling around above too.



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