Work Party Dates:
6th August 2019 – 6 pm
3rd September 2019 – 6 pm
5th October 2019 – 2 pm
9th November 2019 – 2 pm
7th December 2019 – 2 pm
Update to 2nd August 2019
Update to 11th August 2019
Update to 14th August 2019
15th August 2019
Breezy from the north-west, mostly sunny.
There was a Common Sandpiper on Car Park Pool this morning along with 49 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (five adults, the rest juveniles). Two Swifts, ten Sand Martins and six House Martins went through by 9 a.m. whilst along the Old Road there were Goldcrests and Chiffchaff by the cottages, and a further Chiffchaff by the car park gates.
A Green Sandpiper on the river, north of the Reserve and later in the morning two Little Egrets, a juvenile Little Ringed Plover and the Red-eared Slider Terrapin were all on Car Park Pool.
An impromptu work party of four spent most of the time controlling the vegetation on the Railway Pool islands, which considering the re-gravelling this winter, has become very dense.
Thanks to those who attended.
14th August 2019
Mostly dry until about 9 a.m. when the rain set in. Light south-easterly.
An early morning ringing session in the back gate copse was particularly productive with 54 birds ringed, all bar one adult Garden Warbler being juveniles. The tally was as follows: 26 Blackcaps, four Garden Warblers, four Willow Warblers, nine Reed Warblers, four Common Whitethroats, one Lesser Whitethroat, one Sedge Warbler, one Chiffchaff, two Robins one Song Thrush and one Wren.
Ringing session in the back gate copse – Photographs by Ben Dolan
Just as the rain was about to arrive birds on or over Car Park Pool included 31 Lesser Black-backs (all bar three were juveniles, the rest were adults), presumably yesterday’s juvenile Common Gull, eight Shoveler, 15 Sand Martins, four Swallows and five House Martins (all the hirundines through by 9:15). A Greenshank moved through by 10 a.m. and around the car park green, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and two Stock Doves were also present.
Final totals for Lesser Black-backed Gulls by 12:30 were 50 including 36 juveniles, six Herring Gulls, of which 5 were adults, 35 Sand Martins, six Swallows and five House Martins.
Late afternoon and early evening counts of wildfowl and other birds, included 23 Teal, 16 Shoveler, 32 Mute Swans, one Little Egret, one Great Crested Grebe, five adult and four fledged juvenile Little Grebes and three broods totalling six on Railway Pool, a juvenile Little Ringed Plover, five further Swifts and a Peregrine.
13th August 2019
Sunny and warm.
The only birds noted today were two Green Sandpipers and an early juvenile Common Gull.
Green Sandpipers – Photographs by Steve Pattison
12th August 2019
Progressively sunnier and warm.
An unseasonably early Meadow Pipit went over this morning between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and four Swallows also moved south.
There were four Little Egrets on Car Park Pool, a Goldcrest in the causeway bushes, along with two Linnets and some Reed Warblers. 15 Sand Martins were feeding over Railway Pool and there were at least three Green Woodpeckers on the fence line towards the South-west pond.
The viewing from the Railway Hide has been improved since some of the Guelder Rose bushes were cut down and Blackcap, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff all showed well from there.
In the warm weather, butterflies were plentiful with those recorded including: Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Peacock, Small and Large and Green-veined Whites with odonata extending to Common Darter, Common Blue Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle and a Migrant Hawker.
11th August 2019
Sunshine and showers.
Today’s star bird was a juvenile Spotted Redshank which arrived at Car Park Pool about 11:40 and stayed for about 40 minutes before it flew off to the north. Pulses of Sand Martins were coming through in the showers, with at least 50 noted, along with a few House Martins and 12 Swifts. 50 Lesser Black-backs went over and there were a further 12 on the pools, plus three Herring Gulls.
In the sunny intervals there were a lot of butterflies in the Old Road game crop, including at least two Brown Argus’, five Common Blues, five Small Coppers, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and a Small Tortoiseshell, a Painted Lady was nectaring along the concrete road and the first Migrant Hawker was seen along the causeway. A Brown Hawker and a Southern Hawker were patrolling the edges of the Old Road just opposite the horse paddock.
Other counts or birds of note from today were as follows: 19 Mute Swans, 166 Greylag, 142 Canadas, a Greylag Canada Cross, 32 Mallards, eight Shoveler, 51 Gadwall and two well grown broods of two and seven, five Teal, 14 Tufted and 74 ducklings from at least 20 broods, three Herons, one Little Egret, 11 Cormorants, 10 Little Grebes (six adults, four fledged juveniles and still three broods on Railway Pool, of three, one and two), 19 Moorhen, 91 Coot, 84 Lapwing and 32 Black-headed Gulls.
10th August 2019
Heavy rain, clearing as the afternoon progressed.
The river had flooded at Patrick Bridge this morning and as the wind increased, and the rain lashed down, there were at least 150 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and five Herring Gulls on the floods, along with 50 Black-headed Gulls, 140 Canadas, 115 Greylags and a Green Sandpiper.
Five Shoveler and 15 Teal were noted on the pools.
A seeming influx of Chiffchaffs, with at least 16 counted today, ten in a tit flock on the central streamline, four on the Old Road and singles by the back gate and the entrance gate cottages. There was a Reed Warbler in the same tit flock, a Blackcap in the game crop, a Nuthatch along the Old Road, a Little Egret on Railway Pool and at least two Swifts, 30 Sand Martins and two House Martins went through.
In the afternoon a juvenile Curlew dropped into Railway Pool briefly but was spooked by a Peregrine and flew off north with the Lapwings. A female Yellowhammer was at the car park feeders and as the weather improved, a few Gatekeepers and Speckled Woods were noted. Ten Sand Martins and two House Martins were feeding over the pools.
9th August 2019
Windy with heavy showers.
8th August 2019
The record of two juvenile Grey Partridges on the grass bank leading to car park hide would be an exceptional record. The species has not been recorded for over two years and it seems more likely that these were juvenile Pheasants, with adults having been seen in the same area.
Reed Warblers were active in the north causeway bay and there was a Whitethroat showing well in front of Railway Hide. In the sunny intervals there were nine Common Blues, two Peacocks and a Comma were all noted.
In the evening there was a single Little Egret and a Common Sandpiper on the pool margins, three Buzzards and a Sparrow Hawk on the thermals, Water Rail in the causeway channel and eight Sand Martins through.
7th August 2019
Waders today comprised singles of Black-tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper, adult Little Ringer Plover and two Common Snipes, whilst on the pools at 9 a.m., there were 83 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (78 juveniles and five adults) plus four Little Egrets. Two Ravens went over.
On the pools there was a single Shoveler, eight Teal, two Gadwall broods of five and two on Car Park Pool, a total of 25 Tufted broods of 100 ducklings, eight Little Grebes (seven adults and a juvenile) plus three broods of five, one and two on Railway Pool, a juvenile Water Rail in a newly cleared causeway channel and finally a Swift and 20 Sand Martins went through.
Plants noted today included perennial Sow Thistle growing tall in the crop field, Unbranched Bur-reed (a Warwickshire notable) and Golden Dock on the Dragonfly Pool shoreline, Red Bartsia now in flower on the path edges, Weld outside Railway Hide, Spindle in the hedgerow to Railway Hide and in the back gate copse.
Least Duckweed in the causeway channels, Hemp Agrimony in flower in the car park between the feeding station and the record box and all the Buck Lawn in fruit along the Old Road between the car park and cottages.
6th August 2019
Mostly sunny, occasional heavy showers, south-westerly wind.
There was at least one Little Ringed Plover still on the pools this morning, along with a single Little Egret whilst, in the evening, a Whitethroat and at least three Willow / Chiffs were in the back gate area. A Peregrine flew south over the crop field at 6pm, there were 90 Lapwings on Car Park Pool and 16 Swallows at Patrick Farm. At dusk (at 9pm) against the darkening sky, four Swifts and a Sand Martin came in very late to feed over the streamline and at least 100 Jackdaws went to roost in Siden Hill Wood.
Ten attended the work party and undertook some weeding on car park pool together with the clearance of some of the vegetation around Railway Hide and the back gate copse. Many thanks to those that attended.
5th August 2019
Sunny, brisk south-westerly wind.
A Hobby was hunting over the flood plain this morning whilst on the pool margins there were three Little Egrets and one Common Sandpiper. 40 Sand Martins and ten House Martins were feeding over the pools.
4th August 2019
Sunny start clouding over by 9 a.m., still.
The male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker appeared again this morning at around 10 a.m. when it called and showed well to four people on the central streamline before flying to the causeway and then back to the streamline again where it called for a second time and promptly disappeared. It was moving towards the lorry park and was being harassed by a Great Spotted Woodpecker.
There were plenty of warblers again with a least four Reed Warblers, a Whitethroat and Blackcap around Railway Hide, two Chiffchaffs and two Reed Warblers along the causeway and Blackcap, Chiffchaff, a juvenile Chaffinch and a family party of Wrens between the Old Road and the car park.
The pools were generally quiet with two Green Sandpipers, a pair of adult Little Ringed Plovers and presumably the juvenile, although that was not actually seen by about 11 a.m.
3rd August 2019
High cloud, bright light south easterly wind, light evening rain.
There was no sign of the Spoonbill this morning, clearly departed overnight.
Graham and Dave’s counts today were as follows: 12 Mute Swans (seven adults and five juveniles), 71 Greylags, 12 Canadas, a Greylag Canada, 41 Mallard, 6 Teal, a female Wigeon, 47 Gadwall and three broods of 15 ducklings, 28 Tufteds and 27 broods of 125 ducklings, three Little Egrets, three Heron, seven Cormorants, 11 Little Grebes (eight adults, three juveniles presumed from elsewhere, plus three broods of three, five and three), 11 Moorhen and three broods with one of three on Car Park Pool and two on Railway Pool of three and two, 68 Coot, 22 Lapwing, one Snipe, 11 Black-headed Gulls, four Lesser Black-backed Gulls and one Herring Gull.
Aside from the usual warblers a Lesser Whitethroat was seen by the car park.
2nd August 2019
Sunny, warm, some cloud beginning to build, light northerly wind.
Whilst the pools were relatively quiet, aside from wildfowl, three Snipe, one Common Sandpiper and at least one Little Ringed Plover, the bushes and scrub were lively with small birds, the highlight of which was a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker which was part of a roving tit flock along the central streamline near Oak Hide, at 9 am. It called very briefly a few minutes before near Oak Hide.
There were three Blackcaps calling by the cottages along with a family party of Goldcrests, both Cetti’s Warbler and Chiffchaff around the car park and a singing Willow Warbler at the central stream crossing.
At least six Reed Warblers were showing very well in the north causeway bay or just along from the Hide with two separate adults feeding two different lots of young. A Water Rail called from the north causeway bay as well.
Around Oak Hide there was further Reed Warbler activity with at least two separate birds and there was also a Great Spotted Woodpecker coming to the feeder.
In the section of scrub around the south west pond Reed Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler and Blackcap all showed or called whilst, in front of Railway Hide, there were two further Reed Warblers in the shore line vegetation along with a Whitethroat.
In the crop field Oaks a Nuthatch and family party of Chaffinches were present along with a singing Stock Dove. Bullfinches were heard around both the car park and back gate copse and prior to 9 am one Swift and three House Martins went south.
A Lesser Whitethroat showed later in the morning in the back gate compound near Railway Hide and then at midday a juvenile Spoonbill flew in to Car Park Pool where it showed well amongst the islands until at least 2 pm.
Other wildlife of note included a Stoat by car Park Hide at 8.30 am and a Painted Lady nearby at 9 a.m.
Spoonbill on Car Park Pool – 2nd August 2019 – Photograph by Nick Barlow.
The Spoonbill was present until at least 8:10 in the evening and other birds present included a Greenshank, which was heard calling from the river, two Green Sandpipers and four Little Egrets.
1st August 2019
The pair of Little Ringed Plovers plus the growing chick remains on Railway Pool. A Green Sandpiper was feeding along the river by Patrick Bridge whilst on the Reserve there four Little Egrets, two Common Sandpipers, two further Green Sandpipers, one Snipe and one Common Tern. Seven Swifts drifted south over Siden Hill Wood at mid-day with a further 50 in the late afternoon.
Green Sandpiper numbers had increased to five in the evening and there was also a Sparrowhawk and a Buzzard recorded.