28th April 2019 – Pilning Wetlands, Severn Estuary

Martin Tayler's bird blog & nature photos

There have been reports of two rarities at Pilning recently – a Citrine wagtail and a “Channel ” wagtail and so on Sunday we joined lots of “twitchers” to see them.

I did manage views through the telescopes of some kind twitchers who had their telescopes trained on them but didn’t manage to get any photos.

There weren’t many birds around but we did get quite decent views of wheatears, a small flock of linnets and a little egret but all of my photos were disappointing.

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3rd May 2019 – Eastville Park

Martin Tayler's bird blog & nature photos

It was a lovely morning in Eastville Park where it was generally warm and occasionally sunny. There was lots of bird activity too with the best being several views of a female kingfisher, mute swans mating and the first of the Canada Geese goslings. There were still no ducklings though. You could also just make out a tawny owl in a nest box on the kingfisher island.

IMG_5425The trees are quite magnificent

DSCF1639If you look closely you can see a tawny owl

DSCF1592The first “babies” I’ve seen in the park this year – Canada geese goslings

DSCF1601I was assured this pike in the lake could probably eat one of the goslings in a mouthful

DSCF1607Mute swans mating (although only the male is above water)

DSCF1608Emerging from the water

DSCF1624DSCF1613… and a tender kiss

DSCF1654A wary mum with her goslings

DSCF1664Close up of the goslings

DSCF1767Female kingfisher

DSCF1799Robin

DSCF1831Grey heron on…

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4th May 2019 – Goldcliff Lagoons, Newport Wetlands

Martin Tayler's bird blog & nature photos

There was a sharp wind but it remained sunny for our visit to Goldcliff Lagoons on Newport Wetlands on the other side of the Severn Estuary from Bristol. The highlight of the visit were the avocets but there were also lots of Greylag and Canada geese with their goslings. There was a report of a glossy ibis but we didn’t see it. I took lots of photos but only ended up editing a few as most of the birds were too far away for my lens.

DSCF2222Greylag goose

DSCF2229Canada goose

DSCF2215Gadwall

DSCF2169Black-tailed godwits

DSCF2101Lapwing with oystercatcher and a redshank

DSCF2092Redshank and oystercatcher

DSCF2028DSCF2007Avocets

DSCF2363Tufted duck

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7th May 2019 – Eastville Park and Snuff Mills

Martin Tayler's bird blog & nature photos

As the birds become more difficult to see the butterflies begin to appear in good numbers; in the park this morning there were plenty to see.

The only  birds I managed to photograph were grey wagtails, a robin, a grey heron (skulking underneath the road bridge) and the first ducklings I have seen in Eastville Park this season (one pair of mallards with ten ducklings).

FP5A1398Grey wagtail

FP5A1388Robin

FP5A1343Ducklings

FP5A1447Grey heron

FP5A1307Small White

FP5A1311FP5A1320FP5A1381Green Hairstreak

FP5A1413Speckled Wood

FP5A1419Orange Tip

FP5A1424Green-Veined White

IMG_5432.jpgRamsons besides the River Frome

The trees are beginning to look their best.

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And pollinators too:

FP5A1318IMG_5433The Snuff Mill

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8th May 2019 – Cornwall

Martin Tayler's bird blog & nature photos

The 200 mile journey through Somerset, Devon and Cornwall to St Ives, where we are spending a short holiday, passes through some beautiful lush countryside and wasn’t particularly spoilt by the regular periods of torrential rain that we encountered en route.

Having seen the weather forecast we didn’t really expect to have much opportunity for nature photos but we are able to stop briefly at the Hayle Estuary where we saw whimbrel, curlew and little egrets;  later in the afternoon we got out for a walk around St Ives when it brightened up a little. There we were particularly pleased to catch sight of a pair of gannets.

The flora here is certainly different from what I saw in our local park yesterday.

DSC00565Whimbrel

DSC00598Curlew

DSC00680Little egret

DSC00712Gannet

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9th May 2019 – Cornwall

Martin Tayler's bird blog & nature photos

It was a bright and breezy day in Cornwall. We spent most of the day on The Lizard Peninsula; firstly at Kynance Cove and then at Lizard Point (the most southerly point in England). There were lots of small birds around, the most common of which were stonechats.

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The spring flowers were quite amazing and more like we had seen in Portugal at this time of year than any where else in the UK.

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11th May 2019 – Cornwall

Martin Tayler's bird blog & nature photos

Another beautiful day in Cornwall with sunshine and blue skies all day; however, the wind was a little fresh and so not a T-shirt and shorts day, although a lot of people had not worked that out.

In the morning we walked along the coastal path by the Godrevy Lighthouse and had good views of birds at sea and inland. The best at sea were guillemots and inland we saw common  whitethroats, rock pipits, stonechats, skylarks and swallows.

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In the afternoon we crossed to the south coast to visit St Michael’s Mount but it wasn’t open so we spent time at RSPB Marazion Marshes where there were more stonechats, various warblers including Cetti’s, dunnocks, house sparrows, little egrets and grey herons.

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I’ll label photos tomorrow!

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2nd June 2018 – Somerset Levels

Martin Tayler's bird blog & nature photos

Another amazing day on the Somerset Levels: we briefly visited Westhay Moor National Nature Reserve and RSPB Greylake at the beginning and end of the day but the best was at RSPB Ham Wall and Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve, two fantastic reserves only divided by a road but run by two different bodies.

There were regular views of bitterns, great white egrets, grey herons and marsh harriers.

FP5A6896FP5A6920Great white egret

FP5A6882FP5A6992Bittern

FP5A6968Grey heron

MT1D6192FP5A7021Marsh harrier

FP5A6844Great crested grebe

There were plenty of other ducklings, cygnets  and (greylag goose) goslings too.

FP5A7144Mute swan and cygnets

FP5A7140Greylag goose and gosling

The only small birds I managed to photograph were  a whitethroat and a young great spotted woodpecker calling for its parents.

FP5A7128Whitethroat

FP5A7175Great spotted woodpecker

The dragonflies and damselflies were everywhere.

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But above all the countryside was lush and looked amazing in the sunshine.

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Click below for gallery of photos from…

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