Diary - October to December 2004

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12th December 2004 - Ashleworth on WeBS count Sunday. It was overcast and damp with a slight mist. The vegetation continues to be high as it has not been possible to cut it this autumn as the site was so wet. This is in complete contrast to last year when it was bone dry! Few birds could be seen but the list includes - 5 Gadwall, 150 Wigeon, 8 Shoveler, 2 Pintail, 1 Teal, 1 Coot, 25 Canada Geese, 15 Common Snipe, and 2 Mallard. The Peregrine was on one of the pylons as usual. A medium sized flock of Fieldfares were over the reserve and near Colways Farm there was a flock of Chaffinch on the newly manured field near the farm drive. The only other bird of prey was a Buzzard flying over.

5th December 2004 - Yorkley Road, Parkend. A mixed flock of birds moved through this area. They included, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Robin and Woodpigeon. These were all in view over about a period of 2 minutes.
Just off the long trail at SO602085, Nagshead RSPB reserve, there was at least one Brambling feeding with Chaffinches on fallen Beechmast.

1st December 2004 - Fieldfares were very prominent at Red Lane, Ashleworth where I gradually 'pushed' them along the lane as I followed the public footpath there. Redwings were on the berries in the copse by the hide as was a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Goldcrest and Greenfinch. A count of 6 Snipe in the dense vegetation just over the hedge on the opposite side of the road to the hide on the bank, was a good find. 27th November 2004 - At Ashleworth, in the morning, a Stonechat was present from the hide and a Chiffchaff was showing very well in the hedge opposite. The usual Peregrine was on one of the pylons.

22nd November 2004 - Nagshead. Tit flocks continue to roam the Forest with Chaffinch flocks also in evidence but no Bramblings seen with them yet.

21st November 2004 - Rain still falling at dawn in the Forest but it brightened up later. A Redpoll flock was on the ridge at Oakenhill Plantation.

20th November 2004 - A Saturday during which it rained all day. At the highest point of the long trail at Nagshead there was a passing tit flock with possibly several Crossbills high in the trees overhead. It was difficult to check them through the binoculars in the driving sleet.

4th November 2004 - Slimbridge. 114 White-fronted Geese were on the Dumbles today including two neck collared birds, U37 and U53 which appear to be a pair.

24th October 2004 - Parkend, Forest of Dean. Many birds were calling in and around the Nagshead area on a cool but still morning with a clear sky.

18th October 2004 - at Slimbridge, the White-fronted Goose numbers are at 34 and winter Redwings were present. No Bewick's Swans yet.

17th October 2004 - WeBS count day at Ashleworth. Totals were 2 Mute Swan, 13 Wigeon, 11 Mallard, 1 Shoveler and 1 Grey Heron. Also of note were 2 Stonechat, a Peregrine on one of the electicity pylons and 2 Buzzards and a Kestrel.

11th October 2004 - Another first for the season was the noting of White-fronted Geese on the Dumbles at Slimbridge today. 29 birds were present including 7 goslings.

9th October 2004 - Much more passage occurred today but it was not only the summer visiting hirundines but also a strong presence of Redwings and Fieldfares which passed through all morning at the Coombe Hill Canal. These birds were the first of the season for me.

5th October 2004 - A Green Sandpiper was on the Dumbles at Slimbridge in the late afternoon.

2nd October 2004 - Coombe Hill Canal at 0830 on a breezy and sunny day. Yet more passage but the bird of the morning was a ring tail Harrier species which flew directly away from me and I was unable to make an exact species identification. 4 Common Snipe were also of note.

1st October 2004 - At Slimbridge there is still evidence of passage with many Swallows and House Martins over.

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