Latest News

Work Party Dates:

July 10th -6 pm

August 8th – 6 pm

September 11th – 6 pm


Photograph added 5th July 2018

15th July 2018

Hot and sunny.

The first Greenshank of the year spent most of the day feeding in the shallows west of the Car Park Pool islands where it was intermittently joined by two adult Little Ringed Plovers and a Common Sandpiper. Four Little Egrets roosted on the gravel bar on Railway Pool and amongst the other birds seen today was a small collection of hirundines over the Aeromodellers. This included at least four Sand Martins, three juvenile Swallows and two House Martins.

Adult Common Terns were still bringing in fish to at least eight fledged juveniles and the Cetti’s Warbler family was calling by River Hide.

In the warm weather there were plenty of butterflies including at least three Peacocks and a Marbled White, with one White-letter Hairstreak visible on the Wych Elm by the Aeromodellers steps where there was also a Comma. In the Old Road game crop a Banded Demoiselle showed particularly well and there was a Brown Hawker on Dragonfly Pool.

Many thanks to Mike Hearn and John Hunt for running the website with Kay Gleeson during late June and early July.

14th July 2018

Hot and sunny.

Three Black-tailed Godwits were the first of the autumn with one on Car Park Pool and two on Railway Pool. There were also three Little Ringed Plovers and two Common Sandpipers.

There was an adult and a juvenile Water Rail seen in the newly cleared channels along the causeway, four Little Egrets, 29 Common Terns, a Hobby, at least two Cetti’s Warbler calling along the central stream and a Green Sandpiper at Patrick Bridge.

Aside from this there were 16 Mute Swans and five cygnets, 87 Greylags, one Canada, a drake Wigeon, 35 Mallard, 24 Gadwall and ten broods, four Teal, 26 Tufted and 21 broods, four Little Grebes, three Oystercatchers, 47 Lapwing, 14 Moorhen, 75 Coot, two Herons, eight Cormorants, 100 Black-headed Gulls, seven Lesser Black-backed Gulls and two Great Crested Grebes.

13th July 2018

Slightly cooler but remaining warm and sunny.

Aside from an impressive seven Little Egrets there were just two Common Sandpipers and a lingering drake Wigeon.

12th July 2018

Remaining hot and sunny.

There were two Little Ringed Plovers on Car Park Pool along with the usual collection of Terns, Gulls and Waders. In front of Oak Hide there were two Common Sandpipers, three Little Egrets and two Oystercatchers with Reed Warbler and Water Rail on view from the causeway. Seven Swifts went over.

11th July 2018

Warm and sunny.

Today’s highlight was undoubtedly the proof that Cetti’s Warblers had bred again on the Reserve. Three newly fledged young were seen on the path to River Hide.

Other cumulative counts today were as follows: 15 Mute Swans and five cygnets, the Mallard brood of five on Railway Pool, ten Gadwall broods with 64 chicks in total, one drake Wigeon, six Teal, an impressive 26 Tufted broods (137 chicks including a brood of 29 plus two Gadwall), 15 Common Terns (eight adults and seven juveniles), three Little Egrets, two Common Sandpipers, three Stock Doves, two Buzzards over Siden Hill Wood, both Common and Brown Hawker, Ringlet, Peacock, Small Skipper and Marbled White.

10th July 2018

Slightly cooler, but dry and sunny, light north-easterly wind.

The Whooper Swan was still present again today though it has been seen up on the lakes in Packington Park. There were also 18 Mutes, a drake Wigeon, three Teal, at least ten Gadwall broods including one with two Tufted ducklings. There was also a drake Pochard on Car Park Pool. 20 Tufted broods was a good count including one of 15 which contained two Gadwall ducklings.

Other birds included two Little Egrets, two juvenile Water Rails from a successful breeding in the causeway, four Oystercatchers, one Little Ringed Plover, one Common Sandpiper, 16 adult Common Terns and ten juveniles, a Nuthatch along the Old Road and 83 Lapwings including 60 on the flood plain.

Seven attended the Work Party in the evening and achieved a lot of useful work including mowing, strimming, Alder and Willow cutting back / removal, Ragwort clearance and general visibility improvements. Thanks to all those who attended.

9th July 2018

Hot and sunny.

No records.

8th July 2018

Sunny and very warm. Light NNW

The star bird of the day was the first returning Ruff of the season, a male which stayed until around 1230, having arrived earlier in the morning and been seen by several observers. The run of Common Sandpiper records continued, with one on each pool during the morning, and there were also up to three Little Ringed Plovers on Car Park Pool during the day.

There is plenty of evidence of continuing nesting activity across the Reserve with Sedge Warbler seen attending a nest near Oak Hide, Whitethroat feeding young in a nest by Railway Hide and Reed Bunting with young close to River Hide.

Other records of note included a large number of Jackdaws, initially 150+ on the Flood Plain, later rising to some 300-400, both Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper in the hedge behind Oak Hide and two Ravens over Siden Hill Wood.

7th July 2018

Sunny and very warm. Light NNW

The weekly count across the pools, combined with other records, was as follows: 14 Mute Swans with five cygnets, the long-staying Whooper Swan, 63 Greylag Geese, 23 Gadwall + 14 broods totalling 60, female Teal, male Wigeon, 20 Tufted Duck + 15 broods totalling 67, two Little Grebes with a juvenile (Reedbed), two Grey Herons, two Little Egrets, six Cormorants, six Moorhen, 65 Coot, 41 Lapwing, three Oystercatchers, up to four Little Ringed Plovers, two Common Sandpipers, a Water Rail with two juveniles (Causeway) and 27 Common Terns plus 13 juveniles. Gull numbers were 250 Blackheaded and three Lesser Blackbacked.

Butterfly records were five Purple Hairstreaks (Old Road (3) + Aeromodellers (2)), a Whiteletter Hairstreak (Aeromodellers) and a Holly Blue (Old Road).

6th July 2018

Sunny and very warm. Light NW

Records from the pools were four Little Ringed Plovers, two Common Sandpipers, two Little Egrets and two Ravens over. Two Purple Hairstreaks were seen in Siden Hill Wood, along the path to Tower Hide

5th July 2018

Sunny throughout and very warm. Light NNE

Car Park Pool held three returning Common Sandpipers in the morning, along with three Little Ringed Plovers and a Little Egret. The first Water Rail sightings for a while were of an adult and juvenile from the Causeway hide with an immature also seen from Oak Hide. Other records included a Hobby hunting overhead and, along the Railway Embankment, two Whitethroats.

Purple Hairstreaks were much in evidence with nine in total, eight of which were along the Old Road between the Car Park and the Concrete Road, while the other was seen in the marsh on the north side of the Causeway. Other butterfly records were of 12 Marbled Whites and a single Essex Skipper.

Highlights from later in the day were up to four Common Sandpipers (possibly two on each pool), 60+ Sand Martins which passed through, five Oystercatchers, one of which was a near-adult, and a pair of Great Crested Grebes, with a youngster, on Car Park Pool.

Juvenile Water Rail – from North Causeway Screen – Photograph by John Hunt – 5th July 2018

4th July 2018

Very warm and sunny throughout the day. Light N

A mid-week count produced the following: 15 Mute Swans with five cygnets, 57 Greylag Geese with 29 young, a male Shoveler, two male Teal, eight Gadwall broods totalling 44 plus three adopted Tufted ducklings, 14 Tufted Duck broods totalling 78, four Great Crested Grebes in total with a pair nesting on Railway Pool, two Little Grebes with one juvenile, two Little Egrets, a Little Ringed Plover, 12 Common Terns with eleven chicks and, finally, two Oystercatchers with a single chick on Car Park Pool.

3rd July 2018

Sunny throughout the day and very warm. Light NE

The first returning Common Sandpiper was on Car Park Pool this morning, together with two Little Ringed Plovers.

The other record of note was a Purple Hairstreak which was found in the Oak on the edge of the Old Road, just south of the dung heap in the field between the road and the river.

2nd July 2018

Sunny throughout the day and very warm. Light NE

There was quite a lot of activity around the Car Park, with Green Woodpecker, Chiffchaff, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting, Great Tit, Blue Tit and Chaffinch all noted and a male Kestrel hunting. Elsewhere, there were two Buzzards over Siden Hill Wood, four Stock Doves from River Hide and a group of some 70 Jackdaws was on the Flood Plain.

Finally, 12 Greenveined White butterflies were noted on a patch of mud in the Marsh.

1st July 2018

Very warm all day. Sunny during the morning/early afternoon but clouding over later. Very light NE

The combined results of this week’s count across the pools and other logbook entries during the day were as follows: 16 Mute Swans with five cygnets, the long-staying Whooper Swan, 36 Greylag Geese, 22 Gadwall + five broods totalling 29, male Teal, male Wigeon, m+f Pochard, 22 Mallard, 30 Tufted Duck + twelve broods totalling 65, four Little Grebes with a juvenile and a new brood of three, two Great Crested Grebes, four Grey Herons, Little Egret, four Cormorants, five Moorhen, 58 Coot, 60 Lapwing, three Oystercatchers with a fledged colour-ringed juvenile and one chick, up to four adult and two juvenile Little Ringed Plovers (the juveniles possibly from elsewhere) and up to 23 Common Terns plus 18 juveniles. Gull numbers were 200 Blackheaded with 215 chicks and four Lesser Blackbacked.

Other records across the Reserve included three raptor species: Buzzard from Railway Hide, Sparrowhawk from River Hide and Hobby hunting over Car Park Pool. A Whitethroat was singing along the Railway Embankment with Chiffchaff likewise around the Lorry Park in the early evening. Both Green Woodpecker and Great Spotted Woodpecker were seen, the former around the Back Gate and the latter between Oak and Railway Hides.

Finally, an amusing family dispute was observed between two adult and two juvenile Blackheaded Gulls over the ownership of a fish – the youngsters kept dropping it until, after 5-6 minutes, one of the adults lost patience, picked it up and flew off!