This month is normally very quiet for birds, I tend to look at inland reservoirs for wintering divers and grebes, Chew Valley Lake is always a good bet for a Great Northern Diver, I also head out onto Salisbury Plain for Hen Harriers and Short eared owls, a slow drive across just before dusk normally gets you one or both species along with Barn Owls 

Slimbridge in Gloucestershire is brilliant for Ducks, Swans and Geese, all giving very close views from the many hides.

The Cotswold Water Park is well worth a visit with so many pits to look at there is always something to find, there should be Goosander, Goldeneye and with a little luck Smew and Scaup, try pits 29, 30, 44, 57, 68 a, 68b and 74, if you are out late then try pit 74 or 16 for a gull roost, I have found Iceland and Glaucous Gulls here in the past

Severn Beach area can also be very good for Wildfowl, the best area is between the 2 motorway bridges at Northwick Warth / New Passage area looking upriver from the last house, Severn Beach sea wall can be worth a look and if you are lucky you might find a Diver or winter grebe, if you do please let me know!


Recent Bird records (South Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and the old county of Avon)


3 Tree Sparrows at Sheperdine, the first time I have seen these in South Gloucestershire!


5 Short Eared Owls at Blakehill


7 Jack Snipe at Aust Warth

8 Red Kite at Stoford


4 Mediterranean Gulls at Chew Valley Lake


Male Smew at the Cotswold Water Park on pit 28a


Bearded tit at Pilning Wetlands

Great White Egret back at Chew Valley Lake


Whooper Swan at Slimbridge with 74 Bewick’s swans plus 1 pink footed goose and 88 white fronted geese


2 Smew at the Cotswold Water Park on pit 31, 9 goosander on pit 34 and 49 Red Crested Pochard on pit 44 with another 18 on pit 30

Bittern and Great Northern Diver both still at Chew Valley Lake