8 January 2015

CWP 29: 4 smew (2m, 2f), 2 goosander (1m, 1f), grey wagtail, raven.  Richard Vernon

CWP 30: smew (m). Richard Vernon

Blakehill:   3 Short Eared Owls around 3.30 briefly and then 2 more in a different area around 4.30.   Peregrine in middle of distant field seen for 30 minutes (with two kills).  female Sparrowhawk.   2 Buzzard. 3 Kestrel.  3 Stonechat.  2 Meadow Pipit.  100 Fieldfare.  50 Redwing.  75 Starling.      Blackbird, Robin.  40 Jackdaw, 20 Rook, 7 Carrion crow and 9 Magpie.    Bob Markham.  Jon Mercer

Lechlade:    Red Kite.   172 Canada Geese by the lock, including 16 with red collars   Pat Mabon

Neck Collared Canada Geese:

It is not only in the CWP that Geese are being monitored.  Mike Smart has a monitoring programme for Canada and Greylag Geese in the Severn Vale.   It is interesting that very few of CWP birds seem to make their way to the Severn Vale but he is finding ringed Canada Geese coming from as far as Lake Windermere.

Mike has kindly sent us the below an entry for this blog  which will be of interest to anyone finding groups of geese:

“Most birders look down their noses at feral Canada and Greylag Geese; but as climate change limits the numbers of Whitefronts at Slimbridge, we may have to get our thrills from looking at large flocks of feral geese.  A mixed flock of Canadas and Greylags, with the odd Barhead, hybrid or semi-tame Whitefront, is quite a sight, with their calls, noise of wings and social interactions, and provides a real wildlife spectacle. Quite a number of these birds are now being ringed using engraved darvic rings with alpha-numerical codes, either as chicks or at moulting sites when they are flightless, and a number of new schemes now apply in our area, so please be on the look-out for marked birds.

As everyone will know, about 250 moulting Canada Geese have been marked with neckbands in the CWP (orange neckbands with two black letters); surprisingly few make their way down to the Severn Vale which is only a short distance away: in fact I have only ever seen one, in exceptional conditions of high flood in February 2014, near Coombe Hill, and it proved to have made a side trip to Alkborough Flats near Scunthorpe between ringing and the Severn sighting – to moult perhaps?

Recently I have found Canada Geese with red leg rings and a four letter inscription in white, beginning AA; these turn out to be from a group of 500 birds marked in summer 2013 and 2014 in a moulting concentration at Lake Windermere: I have so far seen four, and Gloucestershire is the furthest south they have so far been found.  Please keep a look out in the CWP for others; you can report them to me, or to Kevin Leighton at kevin.leighton@rspca.org.uk.

Greylags are marked at Llanwern in South Wales, in the Forest of Dean, and at Slimbridge(white leg rings with black numbers/letters (usually letter/number/letter).  Many of them go to moult at Hogganfield Reservoir near Glasgow, then return to winter either at Slimbridge or the Severn Vale; any records from CWP please?   Again, report either to me or to Kane Brides at Slimbridge.

It’s really interesting to see whether these geese make up separate populations in the CWP and the Severn Vale.  And there may of course be other groups of geese occurring in the CWP which haven’t yet made their way to the Severn Vale.”  

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