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Old Saturday 28th November 2009, 09:07   #1
picknage
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Where to see birds near Avon?

Hi, I have just moved to Keynsham between Bristol and Bath. I was hoping to see tree sparrows, corn buntings, dippers, jack snipe, woodlarks, lesser spotted woodpecker and grey partridge.

Does anyone know of any sites within about an hours drive?

What about any sites near Keynsham itself that are good for general birding?

Thanks in advance, Nick Page
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Old Saturday 28th November 2009, 17:04   #2
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You have the Kennet and Avon canal and the river itself nearby,Claverton Pumping station is a nice little place to visit with regular sightings of Kingfisher,Buzzard,Kestrel,Long Tailed tits,Goldcrest,treecreeper. I have also seen Little Egret and Little Grebe there as well.
Keynsham itself had an irruption of Waxwings a couple of years ago so keep an eye open.
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Old Saturday 28th November 2009, 21:42   #3
picknage
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Thanks a lot Stranger, I'll check it out soon. Cheers.
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Old Sunday 29th November 2009, 05:45   #4
Larry Sweetland
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Hi Nick,

The fields to the east of Marshfield could still be a good bet for Corn Bunting and Grey Partridge. Even Quail some years. The other birds you mention are now pretty rare or absent in your area. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker might still occur near Chew Valley Lake?

Might be a good idea to visit Chew Valley Lake and ask local birders there. Severn Beach and Portbury Wharf are good sites to the west too.

Closer to Keynsham the river and floodplain near the chocolate factory worth checking.
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Old Sunday 6th December 2009, 21:15   #5
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If you, like my younger son and I, love birds of prey you should be a very happy bunny

Burnett (just out of Keynsham on the B3116 Wellsway) is good for buzzards and kestrels by day (there are Hawk and Owl Trust nesting boxes on Elm Farm, and the only nursing roost of Natrass bats in the SW of England - see www.elm-farm.com). We have not seen owls, but they are there.

If you live on the Charlton Estate side, you only have to drive up out of Keynsham towards Whitchurch to see a Kestrel, Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk (there is a nice little triangular patch up by the Hinton Organics composting place).

If you want to see Peregrine Falcons you only have to go to Bristol - down onto the Portway just beyond Clifton Suspension Bridge and look up at the first large bare cliff face to your right. Keep a sharp lookout for the tell-tale white vertical lines of guano (bird poo) that indicate the places where they perch.

Chew Valley Lake is good for waterfowl, and has some interesting rarities at the moment - have a look at Rich Andrews' website:

http://www.cvlbirding.co.uk/logbook/2009december.html

Quote:
SUNDAY 6th
Another pretty decent day at the lake, and some pretty decent weather for a change as well. The Pomarine Skua was present again all day, usually floating about on the Roman Shallows waiting to pounce on anything that flew past (which happened to be another unfortunate Common Gull this afternoon).

It seems that the continued presence of the skua has had some effect on the gull roost as well. The location of the main roost off Nunnery Point varies from night to night, but even allowing for the effects of wind speed and direction, and late arrivals after dusk, this evening was remarkable in that during the hour before sunset there didn't appear to be a single gull anywhere on the main lake south of a line between Nunnery Point and Denny Island.

The Red-throated Diver was off picnic site No.1 again, but was remarkably elusive at times. The rest as follows: two Black-necked Grebes (Nunnery Point), the Long-tailed Duck (briefly at Moreton hide), the male Red-breasted Merganser (Moreton and Villice), Water Pipit and c.10 Snipe (Stratford).

SATURDAY 5th
The immature (presumed 2nd-winter) Pomarine Skua was still present today, spending most of the afternoon floating about in the Roman Shallows area in the murky gloom. The Red-throated Diver was a again off No.1 picnic site, where there were also three Bramblings today. The Long-tailed Duck was seen late morning between Nunnery Point and Moreton Point; the two Black-necked Grebes were still at Nunnery Point and the male Red-breasted Merganser was in Heron's Green Bay. At least one Water Pipit was on the green island at Stratford hide; these will get a lot more difficult to find after the new year when the water levels are higher.
Our favourite place at Chew is Heron's Green Pool - where we spent a blissful hour and a half in late Summer watching a pair of Barn Owls hunting over the reed beds.

If you don't like dogs, want some peace and quiet, and can afford the cost of an birdwatching annual permit (also useful for Chew Valley Lake), try Blagdon Lake just off the A368 between the villages Ubley and Blagdon.

If you can stretch to one and a half hours' drive in the first two weeks in May, there is the wonderful Shapwick Heath (English Nature) Reserve just to the West of Glastonbury, where this year I was lucky to count 30+ Hobbies, plus Herons, Little Egret, and glimpses of an elusive Marsh Harrier.

Hope this has whetted your appetite.

Last edited by jfmgb777 : Sunday 6th December 2009 at 21:16. Reason: for Little Ibis read Little Egret...
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