Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Post Skokholm


On Sunday evening the Northants Ringing Group contingent left Skokholm and set off back home to sunny Northants.  We had travelled down in three cars and one contingent decided to stay overnight in Wales and complete some birding in the Forest of Dean on the way home.

So on Monday afternoon, three of us found ourselves enjoying a sandwich and cake at the cafe at Symonds Yat (again) in Gloucestershire.  We then waddled to the rock itself and scanned over the River Wye and surrounding countryside to espy Peregrine, Common Buzzard and Red Kite.  Nuthatch and Siskin provided views and we then left to take a short but enjoyable walk around the RSPB reserve at Nagshead which is deeper in the forest.  Here six elusive male Pied Flycatchers proclaimed their territories and a singing Redstart showed briefly.  Plenty of Nuthatches and Treecreepers were a good indication of the health of this veteran forest.  Three Hawfinches were heard calling but remained hidden. A couple of brief stops at Parkend and New Fancy View was sufficient to see common woodland birds and we then travelled east to the rose of the shires and home.

Today (Tuesday) and some time at Pitsford Res yielded a Ruddy Shelduck in the grounds of the yacht club, a Little Ringed Plover on the shingle near Catwalk Bay and a half a dozen Common Terns south of the causeway.

Please be aware that if you are contemplating walking/running/cycling around the area between the dam and the causeway, the access track along the dam is currently closed for maintenance.  This section will remain closed until 21st May and prevents the opportunity of a typical circular route between the dam and causeway.  The reserve to the north of the causeway is unaffected.

Eleanor saw four Wheatears in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton this morning but didn't see anything of note at Harrington Airfield this afternoon (apart from lots of dog-walkers).

Provisional numbers of birds captured and processed by the Northants Ringing Group on Skokholm for the six days we were there were as follows:-

403 Manx Shearwaters
1 Herring Gull
25 Chiffchaffs
63 Willow Warblers
22 Sedge Warblers
7 Blackcaps
10 Whitethroats
2 Grasshopper Warblers
4 Wheatears
1 Whinchat
6 Wrens
1 Dunnock
1 Black Redstart
3 Meadow Pipits
1 Rock Pipit
2 Reed Buntings
1 Blackbird
1 Goldfinch


Neil M

Whinchat - Skokholm
Courtesy of Chris Payne

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