U3A Birdwatching: Field Meeting at Oldbury Power Station 14th January 2019

We welcomed Julia, a new birder , at Thornbury Leisure Centre and then made our way to the Power Station Car Park. In all, 20 people assembled in the Power Station car park on a beautiful sunnyish morning. We left the car park onto the path that leads past the Orchard. Blackbird and blue tits were quickly spotted and a greater spotted woodpecker was heard. There were no birds around the feeders, probably because they were empty! It was deemed to be too warm for the redwings and fieldfare that we have seen in the Orchard during past visits.
We continued along the path and onto the small pond where again nothing was seen. Then, through the gate to Lagoon 2 . Carrion crow flying over and great tits were spotted. Along the path by the trees we saw long tailed tits and a group of goldfinches flying over. A plaintive call was heard by several of us, but we weren’t able to distinguish what the actual bird was. It was beginning to look like there were more members that birds!

At the River we were joined by another two birders, making our total 22. It was colder and windy near the river and the tide was further in than I hoped. However, wigeon, a grey heron, a red shank and black headed gulls made the list of species seen look more respectable. We had a fly past of another grey heron, a lesser black backed gull and a herring gull. Walking along the Severn Way we encountered mallards, six male and two female and more wigeon. We stopped to look at the bullfinch and greenfinch in the small trees. Our party became quite spread out and the birders at the rear saw a group of three female reed buntings feeding near the path, a chaffinch and a couple of dunnocks.

We followed the embankment path back towards the Power station. A black redstart had been reported near the jetty but was not evident when we were there. There no sightings of the peregrine on or near the Power Station, this was a first for our group as we have always seen them there. After passing the jetty, we saw curlew, oyster catchers, another grey heron and another smaller, yet unidentified wader. An excellent sighting of a stonechat was enjoyed by many as it flew from one dead branch to perch atop another. The grey heron flew past, another good sight. After watching two pairs of raven an informative discussion about the differences between them and carrion crow ensued – thank you to our experts!

We turned inland along the bank of Lagoon 2. Various small birds were seen and a robin was heard in the thickets alongside the footpath back to the car park. We visited the large pond and saw mute swans, tufted duck, coot, moorhen and teal.

An enjoyable walk, in two definite halves, with pleasant company and, after a disappointing start, a respectable list of species.

Species List. (In case I have missed any, please add additional ones via Cilla)
Green Woodpecker (heard) Great tit
Robin (heard) Long tailed tit
Blue tit Greenfinch
Goldfinch Bullfinch
Raven Carrion Crow
Blackbird Magpie
Chaffinch Dunnock
Tufted duck Wigeon
Mallard Curlew
Oyster Catcher LBB Gull
Stonechat Cormorant
Mute swan BH Gull
Moorhen Herring Gull
Coot Teal, Redshank,
Total Species 29