All records are from Avon Meadows Wetland.

16 March 18

BIRDS:  Sunny periods and less wind today resulted in a count of 46 species.  The undoubted highlight of the morning was an adult Iceland Gull flying over, and uncommon winter visitor in Worcestershire and the first record for Avon Meadows, our 124th species.  Other notable records included a Little Grebe and 6 Tufted Ducks on the main pool.  A Jay was recorded beside the river and a Goldcrest found in the north hedge.  No spring arrivals yet but our Common Stonechats were last seen on 9 March.  A Treecreeper was seen in willows along the northern boundary.

FLOWERS:  Spring is around the corner!  The Lesser Celandines (Ranunculus ficaria) are coming out on the Wetland.

8 March 18

BIRDS:  Better weather this week although still  a stiff breeze to keep the smaller birds down.  A count of 40 species cheered us all up!  Several species of wildfowl are using the scrape to roost in the evening; Canada Goose, Shelduck, Teal and Shoveler.  Rather more dramatically a roost of ~300 Pied Wagtails have been reported in early evening!  We recorded a single Pied Wagtail flying over this morning!  Land clearance for building for a site just to the north of Avon Meadows has brought in a lot of gulls.  Today we recorded 150 Black-headed Gulls, several Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls and an adult Common Gull.  Three common birds of prey were recorded during the morning, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and 3 Common Buzzards.

FLOWERS:  One or two clumps of Snowdrops have appeared in an area where the brambles have been cleared, a new species for us!

3 March 18

BIRDS:  Plenty of snow cover today but little wind and the birds were quite active.  This report is a summary of several observers' visits during the day.  The three species from 1 March (Lapwing, Snipe and Fieldfare) were still present.  The scrape held a Common Gull, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail and 3 Stonechats.  A Grey Wagtail stopped briefly on the icy part of the main pool.  Two Linnets flew up off the scrape, our first record for this species in 2018.

1 March 18

BIRDS:  Challenging weather today (-4°C, NE wind Force 4-5 and snow showers) so we only managed about an hour and a quarter during which time we logged 32 species.  The main interest was species that have been uncommon on Avon Meadows this winter but were quite numerous today.  These were Lapwing, Snipe and Fieldfare.  This is apparently a country-wide phenomenon. There was on Common Gull with the Black-headed Gulls on the scrape.

22 February 18

BIRDS:  A cold wind today giving a hint of the icy wind promised for next week.  A total of 43 species were recorded today.  Less frequent sightings for us included Canada Geese, Common Teal, Common Snipe, Common Gull and Skylark.  There were 3 Stonechats present and we found both Green Woodpecker and Buzzard today both of which had been absent for several weeks.

15 February 18

BIRDS:  Better weather this seem with sunshine but a chill wind and the temperature stayed below 8°C.  The count was 40 species again.  Looking at last week's highlights below, the Water Rail and Ravens were recorded again this week but the others were replaced with Great Spotted Woodpecker, Pied Wagtail, Cetti's Warbler (called briefly) and Treecreeper.

8 February 18

BIRDS:  A bleak windy day but we managed 40 species this week.  The undoubted highlight was 4 Bullfinches all in the same bush (beside the mini football pitch), 3 males and 1 female.  It is unusual to see more that 2 on Avon Meadows.  There were 3 Common Teal on the main pool and the Water Rail could be seen on the margins in the same place as last week.  We are due to raise the water levels quite soon so the Water Rail is likely to get pushed back into the reed beds then.  A single Common Snipe flew over as did a small flock of Meadow Pipits.  Three Ravens flew over at different times.

1 February 18

BIRDS:  Although sunny there was a cold wind which kept the birds down resulting in a count of a modest 36 species.  Notable observations were; a Water Rail showing well at the base of the reeds on the main pool, a pair of Sparrowhawks displaying early on, 3 Stonechats, 1 Cetti's Warbler seen and a Lesser Redpoll.

25 January 18

BIRDS:  A good count of 47 species this week in the face of a cold southerly wind offset by sunshine.  With the river in spate there was a pair of Kingfishers on the Wetland today providing excellent views.  With the water level on the main pool lowered for reed cutting a Water Rail can occasionally be seen on the margins.  There were 3 Sparrowhawks around today including a male on the scrape which put up a Snipe.  A single Common Gull flew over as did a Great Spotted Woodpecker.  The Pied Wagtails no longer inhabit the wet meadows but are to be found in hedges and on houses around.  There was one male Stonechat in the S meadow.  A pair of Goldcrests were seen displaying in the sunshine.  Jackdaw and 2 Ravens flew over as did a female Bullfinch.

18 January 2018

BIRDS:  Only 43 species this week but some interesting ones included in the count.  Three Sparrowhawks today, 2 females fighting over a male.  7 Teal on the main pool looking very smart.  Two Common Gulls flew over and a Water Rail was heard calling.  Long-tailed Tits appeared for their first Thursday record this year.  There was one Lesser Redpoll feeding on Great Willowherb seeds beside the main pool.  Most exciting of all was a female Brambling found in a mixed flock of finches and tits.  This is only our second record for this species the previous one being in January 2013.

11 January 2018

BIRDS:  Better than expected weather with good visibility and little wind helped us to record 48 species today.  Key species were Teal on the main pool and Wigeon and Shoveler on the scrape.  The main pool is low enough now (lowered for reed cutting) for Water Rail to be seen occasionally on the margins.  Both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers showed as did a pair of Cetti's Warblers.  Of the less common passerines Blackcap, Goldcrest, Coal Tit and Yellowhammer were all recorded.  So a very good day with some unusual birds for us on show.

4 January 2018

BIRDS: A pleasant morning turned into a rather blustery one reducing the bird count in the latter part of the morning.  Much of the meadows are water logged which serves to attract Pied and Grey Wagtails together with a flock of Meadow Pipits.  Our eventual count rose to 46 species which is our highest for the first week in January.  The undoubted highlights of the morning were only our 3rd records for Goosander and Greater Black-backed Gull.  There were 2 Snipe hiding in the grass on the scrape.  Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler were both heard.  A Peregrine Falcon flew over and our pair of Stonechats is still present around the scrape.

The Friends of Avon Meadows CIO is a Registered Charity, registered number 1174083

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