High winds and high tides – it looked like we might have a disappointing morning ahead of us Watching Wildlife at Sharpness Docks. We know that nature can still thrive amidst the industrial surroundings, and we hoped to see how well it was doing. But the birds we did see were hunched against the wind while the rest were tucked away out of sight and the sandbanks which might have been busy were under ten feet of water.
In the main Dock Basin we saw Gulls, Ducks and a Great Crested Grebe.
A box has been put on the outside of the grain silo a dizzying 100 feet up – there are quite a few more on cathedrals: Bristol, Leicester, Norwich, Winchester, Salisbury, Derby, Chichester and Christ Church Cheltenham. A pair of Peregrine Falcons think it is a handy concrete cliff and we saw both of them sitting by the box where they will doubtless be nesting soon, if not already.
The old Pleasure Grounds are well-wooded and the wind was less fierce there, although the Rooks don’t seem to mind the wind anyway. We saw Goldfinches twittering in the bushes, a Great-spotted Woodpecker passing through and a good variety of woodland birds.
Down to the estuary and the Old Dock, then back to the Picnic Area – a great place when it is less windy. The birds we had seen were: Great Crested Grebe, Stockdove, Cormorant, Woodpigeon, Heron, Wren, Mute Swan, Dunnock, Mallard, Robin, Peregrine, Blackbird, Moorhen, Blue Tit, Coot, Great Tit, Oyster Catcher, Jackdaw, Redshank, Rook, Curlew, Carrion Crow, Black-headed Gull, House Sparrow, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Greenfinch, Great Black-backed Gull, Goldfinch, Herring Gull, Bullfinch, Common Gull, Great-Spotted Woodpecker (this last not verified by Martin). 33 species in all.
Many of us found a lot of interest to see in the industrial scene: a cement boat leaving the dock using Bow Thrusters and making it look oh so easy – the Berkeley Vale Railway depot – Brunel’s Dredger for the SS Gt Britain’s Dock – all the boats in the Marina waiting for better weather to head off up-country. But those things are not Wildlife Watching, which is what we are all about.
Lydney next time on the 27th March. The tide will be rising, hopefully less wind and where we will be there is much less industry. Ring Martin for lift-sharing.
Please click on the link below for a full list of Wildlife Watch Sessions.