31 Mar 16

Liden Lagoon
Location

Pair of Buzzards displaying high over Liden Lagoon whilst being harassed by seagulls.

(Don Hopkins)

Savernake Forest
Location

6 Common Crossbills and 12 Siskins

(Robin Nelson)

Folly Farm / Liddington
Location

Malcolm Royal
c70 Corn Buntings, 7 Yellowhammer, Linnet, 24 Meadow Pipits, Goldfinch, Kestrel, Buzzard.

Nigel Sluman
A lunchtime visit to Liddington Hill gave no Wheatear or Ring Ouzel, but did get the following: 100 Fieldfare, 2 Red Kite, 2 Kestrel, 5 Buzzard (circling together), Yellowhammers, Corn Buntings, Linnets, Chaffinches, Skylarks, c30 Lesser Black-backed Gull and 3 Blackbird.

Also Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies and a Red-tailed Bumblebee.

Flowering plants included Common Dandelion, Common Daisy, Coltsfoot, Field Speedwell & Red Dead-nettle.

Field Speedwell (Nigel Sluman)

Coltsfoot (Nigel Sluman)

Chiseldon
Location

Malcolm Royal
Ruddy Shelduck
, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Richard Williams
This evening the Ruddy Shelduck was still present and also a Grey Heron which made sure the duck kept its distance!

Lawns Pool
Location

Jon Mercer
A Red Kite over at 3pm.

Martin Adlam
I had a pleasant walk around the pools and woods this afternoon and recorded the following: 2 Grey Heron, Mallard, 1 Red Kite, Moorhen, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 1 Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, 2 Coal Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, 2 Jay, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Siskin, Goldfinch and Greenfinch.

Plus 2 Grey Squirrels and the earliest Bluebells I think I've ever encountered!

Grey Heron (Martin Adlam)

And its mate......

.....having a stretch of its wings. (Martin Adlam)

A pair of Jays were upsetting the local Blackbirds.......

....this is his mate and I suspect they were egg hunting. (Martin Adlam)

The earliest Bluebells I've ever come across (Martin Adlam)

Coate Water
Location

Around the Diving Board dozens of Herring Gulls and a few Lesser Black-backed Gulls, all waiting for a free meal from the visitors at Coate this afternoon.

I'm not sure why I am struggling with this one, but I reckon this is a 2nd Winter Herring Gull. The last image on this page here, has a very similar looking bird. Any thoughts gratefully welcome. (Martin Adlam)

Note: Thank you to Nigel Sluman who correctly ID the gull above as 2nd Summer and not a 2nd Winter as I have it. It does pay to look at the right page and Nigel's example is the 5th one down on this page Here.

Adult Herring Gull. (Martin Adlam)

Adult Herring Gull. (Martin Adlam)

Pentylands, Highworth
Location

On an evening walk at Pentylands the Chiffchaffs were out in force and I got the best pictures I have ever managed to get of one. Lots of other birds out, as well, and I was pleased when I managed to focus through the branches to get a picture of a nest-building Long-tailed Tit with moss in its beak.

(Neil George)

Chiffchaff (Neil George)

Chiffchaff (Neil George)

Chiffchaff (Neil George)

Long-tailed Tit (Neil George)

Goldfinch (Neil George)

Note: More on Pentylands Here

Stanton Fitzwarren
Location

House Martin

(David Taylor)

M4
Location

A possible sighting of an Osprey at around 2:45pm, today. Large pale raptor like bird circling between Junctions 15 & 16!!!

(Nigel Sluman)

30 Mar 16

CWP Pit 74
Location

Highlights from Twitchers Gate: were 4 Sand Martin over and 14 Goldeneye (6m 8f)

(Ian Searle)

Brinkworth
Location

An adult Great Black-backed Gull flew west over Ramps Hill at 16:00.

(Ian Searle)

Coate Water
Location

Malcolm Royal
No sign of Great White Egret but did get a Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff.

Martin Adlam
Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff and 29 Mute Swan

Froxfield
Location

3 Little Egret, 4 Gadwall, Green Sandpiper.

(Malcolm Royal)

Stanton Park
Location

Great Spotted Woodpecker, Greenfinch, 2 Mute Swans, Lesser Black-backed Gull.

(Malcolm Royal)

Swindon Railway Station
Location

Greenfinch added to my station list.....I should have had a station list!

(Richard Williams)

Chiseldon
Location

Ruddy Shelduck on the flood-water

(Malcolm Royal)

Swindon

Red Kite floating low over the gardens before moving off towards the town centre.

(Bob Philpott)

Sparcells Scrape
Location

A Little Egret back at the "Sparcells Scrape" this evening.

(Richard Williams)

29 Mar 16

Folly Farm / Liddington
Location

Malcolm Royal
This morning a single Wheatear Liddington Hill area. From Folly Farm towards Ridgeway. Also seen Fieldfare, Linnet, Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Wood Pigeon and Kestrel.

Martin Adlam
This afternoon was definitely the wrong time to visit Liddington Hill and after 2 hours of walking around in the torrential rain, I gave up looking for Wheatears and returned home to dry out.

However I did record: 2 Red Kite, 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 1 Pheasant, 1 Herring Gull, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, 5 singing Skylark, Dunnock, Robin, 5 Blackbird, 60+ Fieldfare, 20+ Redwing, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 1 Raven, 23 Starling, 30+ Chaffinch, 100+ Linnet, 12+ Corn Bunting and 40+ Yellowhammer.

Also 1 Rabbit.

Apologies for the poor quality images, but it was chucking it down.

Red Kite low over the fields (Martin Adlam)

Red Kite (Martin Adlam)

Red Kite and a few Fieldfare for company (Martin Adlam)

This Kestrel seemed to be doing quite well catching "prey" in the sheep field next to the farm. (Martin Adlam)
19 Fieldfare just part of a bigger flock. (Martin Adlam)

Westlea

Jay in SE corner of Westlea nr farmhouse.

Richard Williams

Liden
Location

This morning there were a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers on feeders in front garden and a Little Egret landed on the mound at southern end of Liden Lagoon.

(Don Hopkins )

Coate Water
Location

Tony Martin
Back at Coate Water today and the first birds to be seen on the island were a Great White Egret and just below on a branch a Little Egret. Two nice birds to start the day off. A Snipe also flew in and landed to the left of Hide 2 and there were a few House Martins flying about with a pair of Buzzards.

Great White Egret (Tony Martin)

Great White Egret (Tony Martin)

Ian Stewart
A few more sightings at Coate today, including the first Common Sandpiper this Spring. Also seen were Sand Martin and Swallows down in the rain, several Siskins, 8 singing Chiffchaff, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 male Reed Bunting, 1 Water Rail, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Treecreepers, Gadwall, Teal, Shoveler and Pochard

28 Mar 16

Nythe Pool
Location

A walk around the flooded pool this evening and a few birds noted: 8 Magpies, a single Chiffchaff, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and a male Blackbird with white outer feathers on both sides of his tail.

(Martin Adlam)

A flooded Nythe Pool (Martin Adlam)

Eysey Area
Location

Jon Mercer
2 Green Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover and Sand Martin.

Richard Williams
Highlight birds were the 2 Little Ringed Plovers.  Also seen were 2 Shelduck, 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Greylags, 2 Buzzards including one on the bank for some time before upset by 2 Crows, a Skylark and a Fox.  Another couple of birders reckoned on a White Wagtail there as well.

More on CWP Blog Here

CWP Pit 74
Location

Curlew

(Jon Mercer)

Coate Water
Location

Reed Bunting, Goldcrest and Red Kite.

(Malcolm Royal)

27 Mar 16

M4
Location

Hobby low over the motorway 1 mile west of junction 15. Via Wiltshire Grapevine

(Barry Trevis)

Note: Considering the thousands of hirundine that have just arrived, it is highly likely this Hobby has followed them across the channel. (Martin Adlam)

Blakehill Farm NR
Location

Displaying Curlew, 34 Fieldfares, 6 Redwings, 4 Reed Buntings, 3 Linnets, 3 Meadow Pipits and Kestrel.

Note: Because of the Curlews will all visitors to Blakehill keep off the plateau at all times.

(Robin Griffiths)

Toothill Area
Location

Stock Dove back on the lawn with Wood Pigeon and Collared Dove at same time

(Richard Williams)

Coate Water
Location

At Coate today got this Muntjac at the side of Hide 2 but it only came out enough for a head shot. Also at the hide:  Water Rail, Jay, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Reed Bunting, Kingfisher. Also my first Swallows, Sand Martin and House Martins. Back down at Hide 1 there was a Dunnock looking a bit poorly but it was feeding ok. The Treecreeper, Long-tailed Tits and Water Rail showed as well. Chiffchaffs at both hides.

(Tony Martin)

Muntjac (Tony Martin)

Chiffchaff (Tony Martin)

Treecreeper (Tony Martin)

Reed Bunting (Tony Martin)

A poorly Dunnock (Tony Martin)

Dunnock (Tony Martin)

Lydiard
Location

My wife and I walked over to Lydiard and around the lake early evening.  Highlights were 4 Sand Martins over the water, 2 Little Grebes, a pair of Great Crested Grebes and a Song Thrush.

Also seen Mallards (including a pair perched quite high in a tree), Tufted Ducks, Moorhens, Coots, a pair of Mute Swans seemingly nesting on the island on the small lake, Canada Geese, Jackdaws, Rooks, Starlings, Long-tailed Tits, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Robins, Wrens, Wood Pigeons, Collared Doves, Blackbirds and House Sparrows.

There was also a Herring Gull with c6 Black-headed Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls flying about.

(Richard Williams)

26 Mar 16

Coate Water
Location

An early morning walk around the main lake with main highlight being 10 Chiffchaffs with 8 singing. But also, just past the cafe on the right, a "Willow Warbler type song" was heard by the small pool. Unfortunately after 5 minutes of looking and listening it wasn't heard again. Probably the wind playing tricks!!

Here are the birds I did record though this morning: Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Canada Geese, Mallard, 2 Gadwall, 50+ Tufted Duck, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, 17 Herring Gull, 45 Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, 3 Collared Dove, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 2 Redwing, Song Thrush, 2 Mistle Thrush, 10 Chiffchaff (8 singing), 8 Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Nuthatch, Wren, 2 Jay, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, 200+ Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Siskin, Goldfinch and Bullfinch.

(Martin Adlam)


A Chiffchaff singing, with a Robin, Chaffinch and Great Tit singing and calling in the background. Plus the wind again. Martin Adlam)

A bit of weed gathering by a Great Crested Grebe. (Martin Adlam)

A Moorhen looks a bit agitated by my presence. (Martin Adlam)

And even at a distance this male Bullfinch is quite unmistakable (Martin Adlam)

Swindon Sewage Treatment Works
Location

6 Sand Martin, 5 Snipe, 4 Chiffchaff and Cetti's Warbler. Via WOS Site Here

(Matt Prior)

CWP Pit 74
Location

Viewed from Twitchers Gate Here: 50 Swallow and 1 or more Sand Martin. More on the CWP Blog Here

(Jon Mercer)

25 Mar 16

Marlborough
Location

Swallow. Via the WOS Site Here

(Derek Pinchen)

Southleaze
Location

Reed Bunting, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chiffchaff, 10 Mallard, 4 Shoveler, 2 Mute Swan, Little Grebe and a single Tufted Duck

(Malcolm Royal)

Brinkworth
Location

A Blackcap singing in Brinkworth churchyard this morning, probably the bird that has over wintered in the area

(Ian Searle)

Cricklade
Location

My fourth species this year turned up this morning - a Shoulder-stripe, Earophila badiata - and it was completely alone in the trap with just this caterpillar on the wall - not a single moth anywhere else!

(Robin Griffith)

Shoulder-stripe (Robin Griffiths)

caterpillar sp. (Robin Griffiths)

Swindon

Chiffchaff singing in Spring Gardens and Red Kite & Brimstone on Fleming Way. Spring has kicked in.

(Matt Pringle)

Wroughton
Location

I was in Wroughton this morning for a Good Friday re-enactment.  When having lunch around the pond had a few things turn up including a Grey Wagtail and 2 Mallard for birds.  My first Brimstone butterfly of the year, a 7-spot Ladybird, a Harlequin Ladybird, a Tree Bumblebee and c50 Common Frog.

Also Daffodils in full bloom along with Lesser Celandine, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion and Red Dead-nettle.

(Nigel Sluman)

Grey Wagtail (Nigel Sluman)

Frog and fog spawn (Nigel Sluman)

Frogs and fog spawn (Nigel Sluman)

Frogs (Nigel Sluman)

Tree Bumblebee (Nigel Sluman)

Daffodils (Nigel Sluman)

Nythe Pool
Location

Nice to see a Kingfisher at the pool this afternoon. Also seen a Goldcrest, Chiffchaff and a very low-flying Red Kite.

(Martin Adlam)

Hinton Down
Location

8 Red Kites and a Buzzard over the down this evening. Also a Pheasant on the manure heap, which has a good covering of silver on its back..

(Martin Adlam)

Hinton Down. (Martin Adlam)

Ring-necked Pheasant (Martin Adlam)

Aldbourne Area
Location

Along Lottage Road just outside Aldbourne, 100+ Linnet, 4 singing Corn Bunting and Yellowhammer.

(Martin Adlam)

Warneage Wood
Location

This afternoon I saw 3 species of butterfly there: 3 Brimstones, 2 Small Tortoiseshells and a Comma.

Also seen was a Dark-edged Bee-fly (Bombylius major)

(Steve Covey)

Small Tortoiseshell (Steve Covey)

Comma (Steve Covey)

Brimstone (Steve Covey)

Dark-edged Bee-fly (Steve Covey)

Note: More on Warneage Wood Here

Coate Water
Location

Maurice Carne
A beautiful Spring morning at Coate Water but very busy. Noted the following species, Blackbird, Robin, Coal Tit, Dunnock, Jackdaw, Nuthatch, Jay, Blue Tit, Great Tit and Song Thrush. On the lake Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck, Coot, Moorhen, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, and Mallard. At the heronry at least 4 Herons sitting on the nest.

Also seen in the park several Bumblebees, Small Tortoiseshell butterfly, fungus Daldinia Concentrica (also known as King Alfred's cake or cramp balls) and lots of daisies and celandines.

Blue Tit (Maurice Carne)

Blue Tit (Maurice Carne)

Grey Heron (Maurice Carne)

Celandine (Maurice Carne)

Daldinia Concentrica (Maurice Carne)

Jim Day
A long walk around Coate today with the main highlights being a Goose hat-trick on the island from Hide 2 with Canada, Greylag and ( first for me at Coate ) an Egyptian Goose!

Helen Sly
Along with the usual bits at Coate Water today, an Egyptian Goose flew in and landed in front of Hide 2 and then went for an afternoon snooze on the island.

Egyptian Goose (Helen Sly)

Egyptian Goose (Helen Sly)