Bird News: March 2022

Congresbury Cricket ground is in the headlines again. Following three Green Woodpeckers at the end of February there were 50 Pied Wagtails late afternoon on the 3rd. This was no doubt a pre roost flock as this species roosts communally in winter. The next day two Siskins, both males, were at a garden feeder in Congresbury. A Red Kite over Cadbury Hill was spotted by Richard Tompkins.

In Yatton I was surprised to see a Buzzard on the road verge by the big roundabout. It flew off as I approached: Buzzards are becoming ever more an urban or in this case suburban species.

The 12th dawned lovely and sunny and I heard my first Chiffchaffs in Wemberham Lane then Littlewood, others were reported from the Strawberry Line at Congresbury where a Treecreeper was seen. Also there were five Lt Egrets and four Bullfinches. But Littlewood stole the show, it was full of Siskins, at least 150 I reckon. They were either feeding voraciously on Alder seeds or chattering in groups high in the Alders. Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers and two Goldcrests were also seen as well as the aforementioned Chiffchaffs. A week later, another sunny morning and not a Siskin to be seen in Littlewood, no doubt the flock had fed and headed north.

It was sunny and calm again on the 14th and two Green Woodpeckers were yaffling on opposite sides of Cadbury Hill. There were four Nuthatches including three in an apparent courtship battle. The beautiful weather saw four Buzzards, a Peregrine and a Kestrel on the pylons, two Buzzards, obviously a pair on the nearest pylon. Ravens ( juveniles?) had started a nest on the pylon by the railway but seem to have given up.

Congresbury had regular fly by Sparrowhawks mid month, a Buzzard and on the 19th a Red Kite over that was also seen over Stowey Road, Yatton. Another Kite was over Congresbury heading north on the 26th. A sunny walk around the Lanes at Cleeve and Brockley Way produced an encouraging number of common birds – there are lots of little wild spaces. A Goldcrest was singing and six Buzzards started to soar as the temperature climbed.

The last Snipe count of the season at Kenn Moor (26th) revealed 10 birds, a Stonechat and a passing Kestrel. The Snipe will soon be returning to Iceland to breed.

At Congresbury Moor the last Snipe count produced six birds ( one more than our Roe Deer total). The fields were very dry but a couple of Teal flew from the ditch between Meakers and Norton’s and the Kestrel was on station in 10 Acres. The first bird survey of the season along the Strawberry Line yielded 16 singing Chiffchaffs but just two singing Blackcaps with females. Four Song Thrushes doing what their name says was encouraging as this species continues to increase locally albeit slowly.

All the best,

Trevor