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Work Party Dates:

July 11th – 6 pm

August 9th – 6 pm

September 6th – 6pm


Photographs added to 17th June.

New records and photographs added to the 7th June.

New records added to the 4th and 5th June.

Courtesy of Ben Dolan and the Brewood Ringing Group, a Lesser Redpoll which was originally ringed at Marsh Lane on the 20th October 2016 was re-trapped on the 20th April 2017 at Damhead Farm, Carluke, South Lanarkshire. The ringers were part of the Clyde Ringing Group.

Photographs of Red-veined Darters added to 1st and 2nd June 2017.

22nd June 2017

Overcast, breezy from the west, south-westerly and noticeably cooler.

Swifts were coming and going over the Old Road and Car Park Pool this morning and felt like they were on the move. Portland Bird Observatory have already recorded Swifts leaving to the south. In addition to the Swifts there were up to 50 Sand Martins at any one time.

The Cetti’s Warbler was singing just north of the car park gates and a Greenfinch was calling from the causeway and presumably a separate bird from the car park, with a third pair at the top end of the Old Road.

A rather scruffy moulting drake Mandarin showed well from Oak Hide and a Garden Warbler was in sporadic song at the south end of the orchid field this morning. Five Redshanks were on Car Park Pool and there were 22 young Gadwall in two broods with two females in the north causeway bay.

The area north of the car park gates was busy with at least ten young Blue Tits and some Chiffchaffs and it was even busier at the north end of the Old Road by the Patrick Farm locked gate with family parties of young Blackcaps, Blue Tit, Goldfinch and Chiffchaff, together with a juvenile Robin. There was also two Mistle Thrushes at the farm.

21st June 2017

Hazy sunshine, slightly cooler, light easterly wind.

There were at least two fledged Goldfinches being fed by parents in the Hawthorne adjacent to the entrance gate by the cottages this morning. A number of Common Terns have either laid or re-laid in the more open area on the islands straight in front of Car Park Hide and any young Terns are particularly difficult to see in the increasingly thick and dense vegetation on the islands.

20th June 2017

Hazy sunshine, slightly cooler, light easterly wind.

There was a Cuckoo along the railway embankment, a Water Rail seen from the north causeway screen and a female Great Spotted Woodpecker on the car park feeder. A Little Ringed Plover put in a brief appearance on the islands.

19th June 2017

Hot and sunny.

With temperatures up to 30 degrees C it was perhaps unsurprising that there was not a great deal in the log. A Water Rail was seen from the north causeway bay and the Twayblades, from the path in the back gate copse have now spread along the side of the path to Railway Hide. There were six counted there.

18th June 2017

Hot and sunny.

There was an additional Teal this morning with a female on Car Park Pool and also an additional Gadwall brood with a new brood of seven on Car Park Pool. Three juvenile Oystercatchers were still present on site and amongst the Lapwings was a leucistic individual.

A Mistle Thrush flew over Car Park Pool, a Garden Warbler was in song by the south-west pond, at least 400 Black-headed Gull juveniles were counted, a Cuckoo was calling at the north end of the flood plain, there was a Kingfisher seen on the river and Jays with young were also towards the north end of the Old Road.

17th June 2017

Hot and sunny.

The rather elusive Garden Warbler is back in song around the south-west pond this morning and there were one, possibly two, Cuckoos along the railway embankment. At least eight Bee Orchids are visible between the Reedbed and the crop field.

The composite site records this morning were as follows: five Mutes and nine cygnets, six on Railway Pool and three on the Dragonfly Pool, 12 Greylags and ten goslings, a male Shoveler, a pair of Teal, 18 Mallard and three broods (Car Park Pool: 4, 6; Railway Pool: 3), 54 Gadwall and two broods with three on each pool, 71 Tufted and two broods (one of 7 on Car Park Pool and one of 6 on Railway Pool; these are the first broods recorded so far this year), nine Cormorants, two Herons, one Little Egret, 11 Little Grebes, three Great Crested Grebes, four Moorhens, 52 Coot, 21 Lapwing, five Oystercatcher, three Redshank, 11 Common Terns and five chicks, 240 adult Black-headed Gulls and 350 chicks, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls, one Herring Gull, one Hobby, and a Cetti’s Warbler along the Old Road by the horse paddock.

Photographs 17th June 2017 – by Dave Shakespeare

Little Egret

Swan and chicks

Young Blue Tit


16th June 2017

Sunny intervals, warm, westerly wind.

In the early morning there were at least 20 Sand Martins and seven Swifts over the car park with a moulting male Shoveler on Railway Pool. Two pairs of Redshanks were together on the Car Park Pool islands, seemingly prospecting for nest sites.

15th June 2017

Mostly sunny, warm, south-westerly wind.

A Water Rail was again seen from the north causeway screen and at least one Cuckoo was present in the evening.

Cuckoo flying over the crop field toward the Old Road, evening of 15th June 2017

Photograph by Dave Shakespeare


14th June 2017

Sunny and warm, south, south-easterly wind.

A Cuckoo called from 8 am to at least 8.15 this morning, initially along the central streamline and then subsequently from Siden Hill Wood. There was no obvious sign of the brood of Lapwings in the crop field however.

On Car Park Pool there were 42 adult Gadwall and two broods of three young.

In the evening a second Cuckoo was present on the Reserve, along with that presumably from the morning. A Water Rail was in the north causeway bay and, on the pool margins, there was a single Little Ringed Plover, three Redshank, eight adult Oystercatchers and three chicks, a drake Shoveler, a pair of Teal, a single Gadwall brood, five Mallard broods, at least 250 Black-headed Gulls, a Brown Hawker over the orchid field and 35 Common Spotted Orchids in the field behind Oak Hide.

13th June 2017

Mostly cloudy with a sunny, fine and warm evening.

Four Lapwings chicks on the crop field this morning with a single Little Ringed Plover and a pair of Redshanks on the Car Park Pool margins. Over the pools there was a mixed flock of hirundines totalling about 60, mostly Swifts but with a few Swallows and House Martins.

On the crop field side of the Reedbed there are a further six Bee Orchid spikes.

Reed Warbler nest – 13th June 2017 – Photograph by Ben Dolan

12th June 2017


40 to 50 Swifts were again over the north end of Car Park Pool and the old road.

From River Hide, Whitethroats were feeding young and 50 Sand Martins were feeding over Railway Pool.

A Red Kite was visible to the west of the railway line mid-morning, with Hobby and Kestrel over Car Park Pool. The car park feeder was again busy with birds, including a family of Great Tits, a pair of Goldfinches, one Greenfinch, an adult male plus a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker, a pair of Stock Doves, four Reed Buntings, a male Chaffinch and a Pheasant.

11th June 2017

Mostly sunny, brisk, south-westerly wind.

The usual pair of Mediterranean Gulls were back on site along with pairs of Shoveler and Teal. There was a brood of 12 Gadwall in the north causeway bay and a fourth Tern chick was counted on Car Park Pool along with a single Little Ringed Plover. There was a Coal Tit by the back gate and, in the late afternoon, a male Cuckoo called from along the railway embankment towards Bradnocks Marsh. There were also two Little Egrets and a Hobby.

10th June 2017

Mostly overcast, humid, light south-westerly wind.

Today’s counts saw the following recorded: four Mute Swans and six cygnets, 25 Greylags and 25 goslings, five Canadas and four goslings, one Shelduck, 48 Gadwall, a male Shoveler, a pair of Teal, 12 Mallard and three broods, all on Railway Pool and totalling 16 young, 69 Tufted, seven Cormorant, three Great Crested Grebes, seven Little Grebes, six Moorhen and three broods, 36 Coot and two broods, nine Oystercatchers, and three chicks, one Little Ringed Plover, 42 Lapwing, three Redshank, 14 Common Terns and three chicks, four Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 300 Black-headed Gulls and 192 chicks, a Hobby over the crop field, a Tawny Owl along the central stream, one Little Egret, two Heron, a Collared Dove by Corrie Farm and an impressive 1,400 Southern Marsh Orchids, in the orchid field.

9th June 2017

Cloudy, light south-westerly wind, occasional showers.

The usual pair of Mediterranean Gulls (second-summer and fist-summer) were on site today, along with pairs of Teal and Shoveler, one Little Ringed Plover and a Cetti’s Warbler. Three Meadow Browns and three Larger Skippers were seen, the latter I think the first of the year and the Meadow Browns being the second record in the log.

8th June 2017

Showery, south-westerly wind.

No records.

7th June 2017

Breezy, north-westerly wind, sunny intervals.

At 7.30 am there were 25 Swifts and 30 Sand Martins over Car Park Pool, but the number of Swifts increased as the morning went on and there were at least 60 by 10 am. At least nine Lesser Black-backs and a Herring Gull were constantly cruising over Railway Pool, a Kestrel hunted the car park, a Peregrine came in over Railway Pool and the Lesser Whitethroat was still feeding young on the railway embankment.

The Brewood Ringing Group visited site this morning and ringed 99 Black-headed Gulls on Railway Pool with Darvic Rings to continue the project to find out movements from Marsh Lane. A young Oystercatcher was ringed and two Common Terns from Car Park Pool also had Darvic Rings applied.

Black-headed Gull Chick – 7th June 2017 – Photograph by Ben Dolan

Oystercatcher chicks – 7th June 2017 – Photographs by Ben Dolan

In the evening a Hobby was seen, as was a Water Rail from the now clearer north causeway hide. The usual pair of Teal and Shoveler were on site and there were still 50 Swifts over Car Park Pool.

The broods of young included the six Mute Swans on Railway Pool, at least 43 Greylag goslings, two broods of Mallard totalling 11, the two Oystercatcher chicks on Railway Pool; there are still four Gadwall ducklings there as well, six Common Tern chicks, 184 Black-headed Gull chicks and the brood of four Canadas.

6th June 2017

Mostly wet, blustery westerly wind.

At 8.30 am there were 120 Sand Martins, five Swallows and six House Martins feeding over Car Park Pool and a Song Thrush was in good song by the car park container where, over the last few days, an adult has been seen taking food.

There were 50 to 60 Swifts feeding over the car park in the evening, along with a Kestrel.

The six who attended the work party cut back the reeds in front of the Reedbed Hide and the vegetation in front of River Hide, and also cut back the hedge to River Hide, dug up Ragwort around Car Park Hide, improved the exit by the back gate and opened up the Marsh and the north causeway reedmace. Many thanks to those who attended.

5th June 2017

Wet and windy for much of the day.

At about 9 a.m., a Sanderling appeared on Railway Pool and remained for a couple of hours before moving on. It was in full summer plumage and not seen after 11 a.m.

The usual pair of Mediterranean Gulls were also on site and all three Oystercatcher chicks were present along with two Ringed Plovers and two Little Ringed Plovers.

In the late morning and early afternoon, there was a Pied Wagtail with three chicks and both singing Garden Warbler and Blackcap by the Aeromodellers set-aside strip. The Cetti’s Warbler had moved up towards the car park, there were four Redshanks on Car Park Pool and at the car park feeder, amongst other things, there were Greenfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, a family party of Great Tits, two Stock Doves, three Goldfinch, Chaffinch, five Reed Buntings, a Pheasant and a male Yellowhammer.

In heavy rain in the evening, hirundines were pushed down to feed and there were an estimated 125 Sand Martins, 30 Swifts, ten Swallows, ten House Martins all feeding over Car Park Pool.

4th June 2017

Sunny start with a cool westerly wind, followed by sunshine and showers.

In the cooler conditions in the early morning there were 27 Swifts, two House Martins and 15 Sand Martins feeding over the Old Road and Car Park Pool, with at least one Swallow amongst them which headed off south.

The pairs of Lesser Whitethroat and Common Whitethroat on the railway embankment also showed well in amongst the mass of Elderflower and Dog Roses in bloom.

There was still a single Lapwing chick on the crop field, a pair of Teal and a drake Shoveler on the Railway Pool, an active pair of Linnets on the railway embankment, a Nuthatch by the back gate and a Garden Warbler singing at Bradnocks Marsh.

A Red Kite flew east to west at about 1.30, viewable from the car park whilst, on the pool islands, all three Oystercatcher chicks were visible during the late morning and early afternoon. Three Common Tern chicks were also spotted amongst the vegetation.

Both Polecat and Stoat were seen on the Old Road, the former near the car park gates and the latter by the top gate.

3rd June 2017

Sunny, warm, south-westerly wind.

In addition to the three male Red-veined Darters which again showed well on the Dragonfly Pool, there was a further male at the car park end of the causeway and may have been what was erroneously identified as an early Common Darter on the 27th.

There was also an increase in Mediterranean Gulls to six, with an adult, a second-summer and four first-summers. Cetti’s Warbler was again on the central stream.

Other counts today were: five adult Mute Swans and six cygnets, 24 Greylags and two broods, a Canada and a single brood, a pair of Teal, two male and a female Shoveler, 13 Mallard and three broods, 21 Gadwall and the first brood of the year, 100 Tufted, eight Cormorants, five Great Crested Grebes, just one Little Grebe, two Herons, five Moorhen and four broods, 44 Coot and one brood, 57 Lapwing and a chick on the crop field, six Oystercatchers, four Redshank, 535 Black-headed Gulls and 105 chicks, four Lesser Black-backs and a Cuckoo which was perched in the Reedbed and central stream for nest.

Other Odonata on the Dragonfly Pool included a female Emperor, one Four-spotted Chaser, one Black-tailed Skimmer and the following Damselflies: Large Red, Red-eyed, Blue-tailed, Common Blue and Azure.

2nd June 2017

Sunny and warm.

The regular pair of Mediterranean Gulls were on Railway Pool this morning where there was also a male Shoveler and a pair of Teal. There was a single Little Ringed Plover on Railway Pool and a pair on Car Park Pool.

There were at least two male Red-veined Darters, probably three, on the field side of the Dragonfly Pool this morning, although they became much harder to see as the cloud came over and rain set in. There were plenty of other Dragonflies and Damselflies including Black-tailed Skimmers, a Broad-bodied Chaser and some Four-spotted Chasers.

There is a fine Bee Orchid specimen by the car park pond just to the right of the lifebuoy and marked with a stick. Please approach with caution.

Close up of Red-veined Darter – 2nd June 2017 – Photograph by Jeff Rankin

Photograph shows red wing veining and the blue to the lower part of the eye that is specific to this species.


1st June 2017

Sunny and warm.

Today’s highlight was undoubtedly the finding of at least three male Red-veined Darters on Dragonfly Pool. Historically, this dragonfly has been a very scarce migrant but there is some suggestion now that with increasing regularity of sightings around the country, that they are breeding and possibly expanding as Small Red-eyed Damselfly did a few years ago.

Other records today included Hobby, Little Ringed Plover and at least one of the Mediterranean Gulls from Oak Hide. A Kestrel was hunting the crop field.

Male Red-veined Darter – Dragonfly Pond – 1st June 2017 – Photograph by Dave Hutton