Latest News

Work Party Dates:

September 11th – 6 pm

October 13th – 2 pm

November 10th – 2 pm

December 8th – 2 pm


6th September – Record updated.

5th September – Record updated.

16th September 2018

Mostly overcast, light rain pm.

The Great White Egret continues to withdraw and showed well. A juvenile Peregrine went over Railway Pool, there were at least five Little Egrets on site, nine Swallows, ten House Martins and two Meadow Pipits went south and there was a large count of Canadas (358).

15th September 2018

Mostly sunny, light south-westerly wind, generally mild.

The Great White Egret was again on site showing well, along with up to four Little Egrets. At dusk, it and the four Little Egrets were showing particularly well at the end of the Marsh channel from where a Water Rail also called.

Other counts today included: 13 Mute Swans, 258 Greylags, a party of five Greylag / Canada hybrids, 271 Canadas, 14 Wigeon, 41 Gadwall, 77 Teal, 15 Mallard, 64 Shoveler, 21 Tufted, eight Little Grebes (one adult and seven juveniles), seven Cormorants, three Herons, 23 Moorhen, 27 Coot, 161 Lapwing, one Snipe, 245 Black-headed Gulls, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a Water Rail which called from the southern end of Railway Pool, at least one Cetti’s Warbler singing along the causeway, a Kingfisher up by Patrick Bridge and the Red-eared Slider (Terrapin) on the car park island.

At dusk, at least 150 Jackdaws went into Siden Hill Wood to roost, there were two Green Sandpipers on the gravel bar on Railway Pool, both very vocal, and at least two House Martins were feeding at the north end of Siden Hill Wood.

There was still at least five Small Coppers in the Old Road Game Crop.

14th September 2018

Sunny intervals increasing westerly

The Great White Egret returned to the Reserve today spending most of the day on Railway Pool and showing very well. There were also at least three Little Egrets, two Ravens and a Green Sandpiper.

In the early afternoon, two Hobbies were interacting over Railway Pool, catching dragonflies and food passing between them. Up to nine Swallow and five House Martins went south along with two Meadow Pipits and there was a Willow Warbler in the Car Park copse.

Other birds included 50 Shovelers, at least 80 Starling, four Chiffchaffs in a Tit flock on the causeway and two Snipe on Car Park pool.

13th September 2018

High cloud, light westerly

A Hobby put in a number of appearances today, with at least one of the birds seen clearly being an adult. There were at any one time up to six Little Egrets and two Yellow Wagtails flew south over Railway Pool in the afternoon. Other birds included a few Chiffchaffs, Kingfisher, Nuthatch, 274 Canadas and six Swallows went south over the Old Road.

An incredible 29 Small Coppers were counted in the Old Road game crop.


12th September 2018

Overcast, light westerly

Yesterday’s Great White Egret was again present for much of the day moving between the Pools and showing well on occasions. It was joined in the morning by two Green Sandpipers on Car Park Pool. In the afternoon, the Egret caught a large fish in the bay between River Hide and the Marsh.

Other birds today included a Hobby, at least 30 House Martins, Water Rail, five Little Egrets, a late Willow Warbler, two Chiffchaffs, 284 Canadas, 12 Wigeon, 78 Teal, 28 Shoveler, at least two Cetti’s Warbler, Kingfisher, Sparrowhawk, eight Meadow Pipits south, and a Nuthatch on the Oak Hide feeder.

There were again, good numbers of Small Coppers in the Old Road game crop with at least six seen.


11th September 2018

Overcast with occasional sunny periods, light westerly and occasional rain showers

Today’s highlight was undoubtedly a Great White Egret which showed on Car Park Pool this morning along with a Little Egret. 120 Starlings came into roost during the work party, which was well attended. The causeway channels were re-opened, some Willow and Alder clearance was undertaken, along with hedge cutting, strimming and hide clearance. Thanks to all those who attended.

During some Willow clearance on the islands, a Warbler was flushed from the denser vegetation only flying a few yards on each occasion. It appeared sandy with a prominent supercilium and a dark eye stripe, but nothing else was clinched on it in failing light. One that got away!

10th September 2018

Sunny intervals, high cloud, light south-westerly wind.

The cattle are making a regular habit of coming across the river and wading around the end of the stock fencing on Car Park Pool so, tomorrow morning (11th) there will be some further fencing put across the causeway bay to try and prevent this. It is also intended that with some additional fencing to be carried out later in the week they will be able to graze the banks to Railway Pool as well.

Possibly because of the presence of cattle, there were at least three Yellow Wagtails around the car park area at 7.30 this morning and a presumed fourth at 9.20. A few House Martins could be heard flying over but they were too high to register in numbers and a Green Sandpiper also flew over.

At least two different Cetti’s Warblers were in song on Railway Pool, one west of Oak Hide and the other opposite Oak Hide. A Peregrine also went over and there were at least five Small Coppers in the Old Road crop field and another one, along with two Common Blues, in the main crop field. Today’s Little Egret count was nine.


9th September 2018

Drizzle on a south-westerly breeze early on and then clearing to sunshine later.

There was nothing particularly out of the ordinary today although a small trickle of hirundine passage continues. In no particular order there was a Water Rail seen in front of Oak Hide, at least two different Cetti’s Warblers were heard with a male singing on the causeway with a female-type calling there as well. A Kingfisher was seen on a number of occasions, a pair of Ravens went over the Car Park Pool at 9.20, there were up to six Little Egrets, 40 Shoveler and ten Wigeon; and there were two Blackcaps and five Chiffchaffs seen or heard.

8th September 2018

Mostly overcast with some light rain.

Today’s counts were as follows: 27 Mute Swans, the two Whooper / Mute hybrids, 211 Greylags, a Greylag / Canada hybrid, 29 Canadas, 18 Wigeon, 36 Gadwall, 65 Teal, 24 Mallard, 42 Shoveler, 35 Tufted, ten Cormorants, six Little Grebes (three adults and three juveniles), three Herons, four Little Egrets, 164 Lapwing, four Snipe, 84 Black-headed Gulls, five Lesser Black-backed Gulls, one Herring Gull, one Kingfisher north over Car Park Pool and a Grey Wagtail south over Railway Pool.

7th September 2018

Sunny, cool, brisk westerly wind.

The cows had decided not only to cross the river but also Car Park Pool and were enjoying the delights of fresh grass actually around the car park. They were their usual frisky selves and caused a number of the members to age prematurely as a consequence!

Whilst herding them back, a flock of at least 25 House Martins arrived to feed over the pools. The back gate copse was busy with at least five Blackcaps there and a flock of Tits included at least two Chiffchaffs, four Nuthatch and two Goldcrests. A pair of Ravens also flew over there at just after 9 am.

A ringing session in the Reedbed and along the causeway had thin pickings with eight Reed Buntings (all but one were adults), one Reed Warbler and one Blackcap.

Other birds today were as follows: five Little Egrets, 20 Wigeon, one Cetti’s Warbler, three Chiffchaffs, a Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel, 30 Teal, 140 Lapwing, a Snipe and Raven and two Sand Martins over Siden Hill Wood in the afternoon.

6th September 2018

Sunny but cool a.m., light north-westerly, rain p.m.

There were at least two Chiffchaffs in the back gate this morning, one of which was in song. The causeway was busy with at least eight Goldfinch, a Greenfinch and one of the Cetti’s Warblers. There were three Snipe on site as well.

Two Kingfishers were again seen this time flying across Car Park Pool and a Hobby went over.

As the afternoon wore on, there were apparently lots of hirundines again but sadly numbers were unquantified. There was a Greater Black-backed Gull again, briefly, 20 Wigeon and three Little Egrets.

5th September 2018

Sunny, light northerly wind.

A Whinchat, originally found on one of the thorns along the river, subsequently moved to in front of Oak Hide and an Osprey went over going south-west at just after 10 am. There were also at least 15 Shoveler, 11 Wigeon, two Snipe and five Little Egret, and two Swallows went south at 9 am. Although elusive at times, the Whinchat was still present at 1.30.

Whinchat in front of Oak Hide – 5th September – Photograph by Max Silverman

As the morning wore on, the hirundine movement got going to a greater extent and by mid-day, at least 40 Swallows and two Sand Martins headed south. The two Whooper Mute hybrids flew over and at least two Kingfishers were seen on a fairly regular basis during the day.

At 2.30 three Ruffs flew into Car Park Pool but had moved on 35 minutes later. A Hobby was also seen briefly in the early afternoon and there was a Sparrowhawk over the crop field.

Ruffs on Car Park Pool 5th September 2018 – Photograph by John Hunt

4th September 2018

Mostly sunny.

There were four Snipe and four Little Egrets on Car Park Pool, a Green Sandpiper on the Reedbed Pool and at least 12 Wigeon now. Two Ravens went over and there was another passage of hirundines with 20 House Martins and 20 Swallows through in the morning.

3rd September 2018

Mostly sunny.

It was relatively quiet today in terms of variety, although the car park feeder remained busy, including a flock of at least 30 Goldfinches, seven Greenfinches, four Reed Buntings, seven Blue Tits, three Great Tits, a male Chaffinch, a male Pheasant, one Moorhen and a Collared Dove.

2nd September 2018

Sunny, southerly wind.

There was a small increase in Wigeon and Shoveler, numbers to ten and 19 respectively, and there were the regular congregation of Little Egrets with eight today. The only migrant wader was a juvenile Little Ringed Plover from Railway Hide. A Reed Warbler was in sub-song along the causeway, there was a flock of 16 Stock Doves on the flood plain and two Snipe were visible from Car Park Hide.

1st September 2018

Misty start, sunny for most of the day, light variable winds.

Another fascinating morning of ringing in the back gate copse yielded 63 birds of which 59 were Blackcaps. They were all juveniles weighing between 15.3g and 20.2g. The split of the sexes was 43 males and 16 females. The other four birds caught were Sedge Warbler, an adult male Greenfinch, a juvenile Goldfinch and a juvenile Goldcrest. Interestingly there was obviously a considerable throughput of birds as none of those that were ringed were re-caught.

The main highlight of the day was a female Marsh Harrier which came in from the east at just after 9.30, circled the pools but was driven off by pretty well everything on site and headed off north over Siden Hill Wood and may well have been the same birds seen later in the day at Middleton.

Hirundines were again on the move, though seemingly not in the numbers of yesterday. Nevertheless, 82 Swallows went through between 7.30 and mid-day, most arriving from the west. There were only two each of House Martin and Sand Martin with them. Possibly because of the hirundines, a Hobby was seen regularly over the flood plain during the day. Two Raven went south at just after 11 am.

There was a Whitethroat at the south end of Siden Hill Wood and a handful of Chiffchaffs around the Reserve. In Siden Hill Wood there were at least three Nuthatches, a Coal Tit, aTreecreeper and a Great Spotted Woodpecker with further Treecreepers heard throughout the day in the back gate copse and by the main car park.

The other counts today, courtesy of Graham Rowling, were as follows: 28 Mutes, two Whooper Mutes hybrids, 325 Greylags, nine Canadas, four Wigeon, 80 Gadwall, 58 Teal, nine Shoveler, 32 Mallard, 37 Tufted, 12 Cormorants, seven Little Egrets, four Herons, nine Little Grebes (five adults and four juvenile), 14 Moorhen, 23 Coot, 162 Lapwing, four Snipe, 205 Black-headed Gulls, six Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a Kingfisher (perched by Patrick Bridge); and, butterfly wise, aside from lots of Small Whites and Speckled Woods, there was a Painted Lady in the car park and Small Coppers both by the Dragonfly Pond and in the Marsh.