... 'a bad day birding is infinitely better than a good day at work' ...


BIRDING

 

 

SOUTH

 

 

GLOUCESTERSHIRE

 


 

Saturday June 29th - Monday July 1st 2024

 

 

Welcome to the inaugural S. Glos Big Bash event!

 

Our aim was to record as many species of bird, butterfly, dragon and damselfly as possible across the recording area over a weekend period spanning from Saturday June 29th to Monday July 1st 2024 without travelling great distances or indeed exerting too much time and effort outside of the normal 'wildlife watching' activities. We took on a 'where you are is just fine' approach with I have to say excellent results for the birds but somewhat underwhelming counts of butterflies, damsel and dragonflies (the results are listed below).

 

In total one-hundred and thirteen (113) species of bird, butterfly, dragon and damselfly were logged across the whole weekend from the S. Gloucestershire recording area which equates to around 29% of the total ever recorded here!

 

Some of the highlights recorded were ten Red Kite at North Common, a flock of nine Common Sandpiper at Shepperdine, a surprise Silver-washed Fritillary (as an Oldland Common 'garden tick') and three White-letter Hairstreak at Frampton Cotterell.

 

A huge thanks to all of the contributors and participants for entering into the spirit of the event; a sterling effort thank you!

 

Weather

 

Mostly overcast with a gentle breeze, the odd sunny spell and a maximum daytime temperature of 20c.

 

Birds

 

A grand total of eighty-seven (87) species were logged across the weekend which equates to 47.5% of the 2024 year list total to the end of June, 42.5% of the average year list total and 28.5% of the complete S. Glos Systematic List.

 

Conspicuous by their absence were things like Red-legged Partridge, Hobby, Avocet, any Owls, Dipper, Marsh Tit, Garden and Willow Warbler and Stonechat. Nevertheless a remarkable total given weather conditions and the seeming paucity of numbers generally.

 

Here's what was recorded:

 

Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Shelduck, Common Teal, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pheasant, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Little Grebe, Red Kite (12), Sparrow Hawk, Common Buzzard, Kestrel, Peregrine, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Little Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Redshank, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper (9), Black-headed, Mediterranean (2), Common, Herring, Lesser Black-backed and Great Black-backed Gull, Stock Dove, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Ring-necked Parakeet, Cuckoo, Swift, Kingfisher, Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Raven, Long-tailed, Coal, Blue and Great Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Grey, Yellow and Pied Wagtail, Sand and House Martin, Swallow, Cetti's Warbler, Sedge and Reed Warbler, Common and Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Goldfinch, Starling, Spotted Flycatcher, Robin, Common Redstart, Blackbird, Song and Mistle Thrush, Wren, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Linnet, Bulfinch, Yellowhammer, Reed and Corn Bunting.

 

Coal Tit | Martyn Hayes

 

Butterflies

 

Despite unfavourable weather conditions at least sixteen (16) Butterflies were logged. That's 50% of the usual year list total and a whopping 64% of the 2024 year list total to the end of June!

 

What was seen?

 

Common Blue, Large Skipper, Large White, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Painted Lady, Ringlet, Silver-washed Fritillary, Small White, White-letter Hairstreak (3), Small Heath, Gatekeeper, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Green-veined White.

 

Ringlet | Nigel Jones

 

Dragon and Damselflies

 

Disappointingly just four (4) Dragonflies were noted on the wing over the weekend (still 80% of the 2024 total so far though)! They were Common Darter, Emperor, Black-tailed Skimmer and Four Spotted Chaser.

 

As far as Damselflies were concerned, a marginal improvement, with six (6) species recorded (75% of the 2024 total so far this year). Large Red Damselfly, Beautiful Demoiselle, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle all put in an appearance.

 

Black-tailed Skimmer | Chris Teague

 

Conclusions:

 

I think what can be drawn from the results of this, the inaugural 'S. Glos Big Bash' event are a number of conclusions.

 

     The weather conditions over the weekend had, I feel, a huge impact on the number of species observed.

 

    However, though, the drive and enthusiasm of participants counteracted that to a large degree.

 

     The general paucity of species and numbers across the UK, not just S. Gloucestershire was evident.

 

     The statistics/ percentages show that, generally, what was available to be observed in our neck of the woods in the main, was.

 

     The novelty of the event is yet to be fully realised and supported.

 


 

Contributions from:

John Barnett, Paul Bowerman, Mark Coller, Alan Daniells, Barry Dursley, Nick Ford, Tim Ford,  Anthony Goodwin, David Hanks, Martyn Hayes, Pete Hazelwood, Mike Jackson, Nigel Jones, Linda Moysey, Alan Piper, Mike Prior, Andy Pym, Steve Richardson, Larry Sweetland, Chris Teague, Nick Tippett. Avon Birds, OPS Birding, Severnside Birds

 

 

 

 

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