Diary – October to December 2019


31st December 2019 – A Little Egret was perched up as yesterday.  Four Cormorants were flying around Wilton Bridge.


30th December 2019 – A Little Egret was perched in a tree near Trenchard Street in Ross-on-Wye today and two more were in a field just upstream of Wilton Bridge.  Two Goosander were just to the downstream side of the bridge diving in the shallows were there was less current with the river being quite high and fast flowing.


28th December 2019 – I went to Greathough Brook, near Brierley to look for the recently reintroduced Beavers but failed to see any of the two animals.  There is some evidence of their presence in the shape of gnawed trees.  I did see Treecreeper, Goldcrest and Wren around the area and inside the enclosure, I found a Dipper with a ring.  I have not seen this species here but, the habitat looks very good with plenty of clear water in the fast flowing stream.


23rd December 2019 – After much heavy rain over the past few days, the River Wye has flooded many fields.  There were a large number of gulls on the flood water and these were mainly Black-headed Gulls.


18thDecember 2019 – There was fog most of the day yesterday and it was still present at dawn although it did clear fairly quickly.  The River Wye, which had come over its banks a few days ago, has gone down again and on my walk, I encountered 2 Goosander near the Rope Walk.


16th December 2019 – I went to WWT Slimbridge to do a Bewick’s Swan count.  I found a total of 57 birds at various locations although most birds were on the Tack Piece.  At least 188 Curlew were on the edge of the Dumbles and 8 Pink-footed Geese were near the northern cross-fence. There were a nice number of Redshank around the edges of the pool in front of the Halfway Hide and along with them there were several Ruff. A Sparrowhawk was quartering the hedgerows on the approach road to the Center as I left.  I have found that using the telescope and looking through the side glass of the new Holden Tower hide is very difficult because of the thickness of the glass and coupled with the fact that there are two sheets of this glass with a tiny gap between them.


15th December 2019 – There were some very heavy showers today and sometimes it was quite dark.  However, there was a Grey Wagtail on the roof of the swimming pool which brightened up the day. It was sleeting at lunchtime but after lunch, I walked down the river and found a good number of Black-headed Gulls on the floodwater and some of them had their brown hoods and these looked in immaculate condition suggesting an early moult.


14th December 2019 – The river has flooded some fields at Ross-on-Wye and a Kingfisher was along Rudhall Brook by the swimming pool.  This was probably because of the high level of the river which is fast flowing and very brown with silt.  4 Goosander were on the floods between the canoe launch and Wilton Bridge. There was also a few Redwings on a small grassy island in the floods at this location with some Blackbirds.


10th December 2019 – It was a very wet and windy WWT Slimbridge.  There were a few Bewick’s Swans on the Rushy Pen but of note was the appearance of the first of the cygnets of the season.  The resident Mute Swan female still has her 5 cygnets with her on the pond in contrast to the species along the River Wye at Ross-on-Wye whose offspring have gone a few weeks ago. Two hybrid Pochards were also present in the late afternoon amongst the other diving ducks.


9th December 2019 – There was a Red Kite and later a Common Buzzard over the canoe launch this afternoon.


7th December 2019 – A very late afternoon walk revealed a Little Egret in the trees by Rudhall Brook.  It may be roosting there.

30th November 2019 – There were 8 Little Egrets again near Wilton Bridge and 2 more at Rudhall Brook making a total of 10 today. The biggest number that I have seen in one day recently.


28th November 2019 – I went to WWT Slimbridge to go to the new Holden Tower hide.  There were 23 Bewick’s Swans on the Tack Piece and 2 on the Dumbles.  The Turkey Oaks at the back of the Tack Piece have been felled as they were not native and native trees are going to be planted to replace them.  The new tower hide is very good but the side glass on the top floor has bird stickers on it to stop bird strikes but it makes viewing more difficult.  I think there could have been a few less stickers and more viewing available. That is just my opinion and does not detract from the usefulness of the hide.  I do wonder, however, if the presence of people out in the open on the top floor may keep birds away from the general area of the tower.  Only time will tell.

          There was very heavy rain later in the day.


26th November 2019 – There were plenty of Ravens flying around Garway Church this afternoon but no sign of the reported Black Redstart.


23rd November 2019 – A Little Egret was near Edde Cross Bridge, Trenchard Street, Ross-on-Wye.


15th November 2019 – The River Wye is over its banks yet again this autumn\winter.


14th November 2019 – There was 18mm of rain today.


13th November 2019 – There was a Little Egret and a Grey Heron on a flooded Rudhall Brook and a Goosander flew downiver. 2 Cormorants were in the day roost opposite the rowing club and a Kingfisher was near Rudhall Brook by the bridge there.


9th November 2019 – I could see 8 Little Egrets on the flooded fields upstream of Wilton Bridge.  They were in two groups of four.


6th November 2019 – There are plenty of gulls around at the moment on the vast expanses of floodwater. Most of them are Black-headed Gulls although there are a few Herring Gulls around too.


4th November 2019 – The river at Ross-on-Wye is over its banks again.  I went to WWT Slimbridge to try to find the first of the Bewick’s Swans of the season but could not find them.  They could be anywhere as there are plenty of flooded fields around the general area for them to rest up after migration.


3rd November 2019 – There was a surprise today in that there was a Red Admiral butterfly on the wing along the river opposite the football pitches at Wilton Road.


2nd November 2019 – A Goosander was the only bird of note today on the river, which is still high, at the Hope and Anchor public house.


1st November 2019 – A female Goosander was by the canoe launch and a male was downstream of Wilton Bridge today.


27th October 2019 – The River Wye came over it’s banks yesterday and today the water was over Wye Street which is the deepest that I have seen a flood here in the 3 years that I have lived here.  There is a lot of water!


22nd October 2019 – A Kingfisher by the Hope and Anchor public house was the only bird of note on my walk today.  Again, there was no sign of any cygnets.


21st October 2019 – There were 2 Goosander in Rudhall Brook, 6 upstream of Wilton Bridge and 1 downstream of the bridge.  I have noted a Little Egret flying over the north side of the town of Ross-on-Wye on several occasions and they appear to descend onto the pools at the old Chase Hotel.  I think that they may roost there.


19th October 2019 – The River Wye at Ross-on-Wye is very high after the recent rains.  There are no cygnets either upstream or downstream of Wilton Bridge.  They are all gone, banished by their parents, I assume.


16th October 2019 – There were two Kingfishers flying around the Wilton Bridge area for some time but there was no sign again of any hirundine activity there.  At the Hope and Anchor public house there were only the adult pair of Mute Swans, all of the cygnets were absent.


15th October 2019 – There was a small bat species flying around over the river at Ross-on-Wye this afternoon.  A Sparrowhawk flew through the Wilton Bridge area and small flocks of Starling were tracking over there and moving downriver.  There was no activity at the House Martins nest near there.  I think that they have gone.


13th October 2019 – 5 cygnets still present and correct at the Hope and Anchor public house.


10th October 2019 – I could only find 8 Goosanders with an extra one by the Hope and Anchor public house where there were still 5 cygnets.  2 Little Egrets were near Wilton Bridge.


9th October 2019 – There were the usual 5 cygnets at the Hope and Anchor public house.  House Martins are still at their nest at the White Lion public house and a hawker species of dragonfly was on the wing over the river and 10 Goosander were around the area too.


8th October 2019 – It was the same Mute Swan news as of 6th October.


6th October 2019 – 5 Mute Swans cygnets upstream of Wilton Bridge and at least 2 downstream today.


5th October 2019 – The 5 Mute Swan cygnets are back together again today.  A Kingfisher was opposite the White Lion public house twice and House Martins are still calling from their nests there.  10 Goosander were noted at various points on the river.


4th October 2019 – There were 3 Mute Swan cygnets below Wilton Bridge this afternoon.  A Grey Wagtail was foraging on the debris stuck against a pillar in the river at the bridge. A female Sparrowhawk swept through the bridge area on the hunt. Further upstream, I could only find 4 cygnets


3rd October 2019 – A Chiffchaff was singing along the Ropewalk at Ross-on-Wye today.  The five Mute Swan cygnets are getting a lot of their white, adult feathers.  House Martins are still feeding young at their nests at the White Lion public house at Wilton.


2nd October 2019 – A Green Woodpecker was on the Bixlade tramway at Cannop and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was at RSPB Reserve at Nagshead. Also there were 2 Fallow Deer which I saw twice and at least 4 Boar were near the Gloucestershire Way.


1st October 2019 – Good October records today included a Hawker species dragonfly, a White butterfly species on the wing on a cool day with some very heavy showers.  In the evening just at dusk there were many hirundines, mainly Martins passing through but very high. There was probably a record number of gulls for the autumn passing to the east en route to the roosts probably in the Severn valley. A Common Buzzard was low over my home in the later evening too.



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