Work Party Dates:
15th April 2017 – 2 p.m.
9th May 2017 – 6 p.m.
6th June 2017 – 6 p.m.
See new photograph added 31st March 2017.
20th April 2017
Mostly overcast but drizzly, light south-westerly wind.
Aside from Little Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper on Railway Pool, there were no unusual waders. At about 9.30 a male Mandarin appeared briefly on Railway Pool.
19th April 2017
Mostly sunny, light south-westerly wind.
Sadly, not a great deal out of the ordinary today. A pair of Wigeon again delaying their migration and Goosander numbers have increased to six with two males and four females. Six Little Ringed Plovers was the best count so far of the spring and, in addition, there were two Ringed Plovers, nine Oystercatchers, four Redshank, ten Common Terns, a Water Rail on the causeway, three Shelduck and a Collared Dove at Corrie Farm.
18th April 2017
Sunny after early morning frost. North-easterly.
An Osprey showed well on at least three occasions this morning, firstly at 9.45am when it flew over Railway Pool and away over Siden Hill Wood, secondly again at 10.25am when it came back, low over Car Park Pool, and thirdly when it flew back again at about 11.15am.
Birds seen at Patrick Bridge were two Common Sandpipers, two Grey Wagtails, Kingfisher, Redshank and Shelduck.
Only the second Yellow Wagtail of the year was one in the reeds from the north causeway hide which flew off to the south, calling.
In addition there were three Little Egrets on Car Park Pool, along with two Little Ringed Plovers, one Ringed Plover, five Common Terns, a Shelduck and a pair of Goosanders.
Photograph by Max Silverman
17th April 2017
Grey, overcast, showery, cold easterly
The Lesser Whitethroat continued to sing for much of the morning near the entrance gate cottages whilst on or over the Pools. There were the lingering pair of Wigeon, Shelduck, two Little Egrets, ten Oystercatchers, four Redshanks (including the colour ringed bird), three Common Sandpipers, a Little Ringed Plover, at least 30 Swallows, 25 Sand Martins and four House Martins. Four Yellowhammers visited the Car Park feeder along with three Greenfinches.
Other birds of note included two Ravens high over Siden Hill Wood, a Kingfisher which flew past Railway Hide and a female Goosander.
16th April 2017
Sunny am but with a cool westerly, overcast and showers pm
In the morning there were a pair of Wigeon roosting in front of Oak Hide and a female Goosander roosting in front of Car Park Hide whilst a male Goosander flew down stream. On the islands there were four Little Egrets, two Common Sandpipers, two Little Ringed Plovers and a Ringed Plover together with at least six Redshank. The first of the Lapwing broods east of the A452 have now hatched with at least 20 birds still sitting.
A pair of Mediterranean Gulls were seen in flight over the sheep field but not on the Pools and a late Common Gull was on Railway Pool at 5.15pm.
15th April 2017
Sunny intervals, cool west, north westerly
Just after first light there were four roosting Little Egrets on the Pools, two Reed Warblers in and around the reed bed, at least four Sedge Warblers between Oak and River Hides, six Swallows and 20 Sand Martins feeding over the Pools and four singing Blackcaps and five singing Willow Warblers.
A Lesser Whitethroat sang by the underpass and other counts today comprised; four Mute Swans, 43 Greylags, 12 Canadas, one Greylag-Canada hybrid, one Shelduck, 19 Gadwall, eight Mallard, 11 Teal, 11 Shoveler, 61 Tufted, six Cormorants, two Herons, six Great-Crested Grebes, at least four Little Grebes, 12 Moorhen, 31 Coot, one Ringed Plover, six Oystercatchers, 46 Lapwings and a further 33 east of the A452, one Common Sandpiper, four Redshanks, six Common Terns, 1350 Black-headed Gulls, two Lesser Black-back Gulls, and four Common Snipe.
At Patrick Bridge there were at least ten Swallows and three House Martins feeding there.
14th April 2017
Overcast and showery
A brief ringing session this morning yielded two Reed Buntings, a pair of Blackcaps, a Song Thrush, one Common Snipe, a Reed Warbler and two Greenfinch, all from the causeway and Reedbed areas.
There was a Lesser Whitethroat in song again near the entrance gates preferring the hedge on the A452 side. Ten Buzzards were together over Siden Hill Wood and on the Pools there was a lingering pair of Wigeon. Six Little Egrets roosted in the afternoon and a pair of Yellowhammers visited the Car Park feeder.
13th April 2017
Sunny intervals, cool north westerly
A pair of Black-tailed Godwits spent some of the day on the islands on Car Park Pool, although they disappeared for part of the time and may have gone to the flood plain to feed. In addition, there was a single Ringed Plover, four Little Ringed Plovers, a male Wigeon, three Little Egrets, at least 70 Sand Martins, two Common Snipe, three Common Terns and a Lesser Whitethroat in song by the cottages.
The year’s first Yellow Wagtail put in a brief appearance in front of Car Park Hide in the afternoon but was not present in the evening.
12th April 2017
Sunny intervals, cool north-westerly wind.
There were just singles of Common Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover on the islands in front of Car Park Hide this morning, but there appeared to be at least two and possibly three Great Crested Grebes now sitting. There was a Stock Dove singing in the oaks to the left hand side of Car Park Hide, with Chiffchaffs in song by the car park and by the cottages and, at the latter location, there was at least one singing Blackcap and a pair of Bullfinches.
In the evening, a male Peregrine flew over Railway Pool, putting up all the Gulls. There were a pair of Treecreepers along the Concrete Road whilst on or over the Pools there were three Little Ringed Plovers, a pair of Shelduck, six Goosander and 90 Sand Martins. A Raven flew over.
11th April 2017
Sunny, cool north-westerly wind.
The first Reed Warbler of the year was in slightly hesitant song on the west side of the Reedbed at 8 am today, whilst just west of the central stream a showy Sedge Warbler was in song flight. There were three further Sedge Warblers in the vegetation in front of River Hide, on Railway Pool, and on Car Park Pool there were a pair of Little Ringed Plovers and a Ringed Plover. 70 Sand Martins were feeding over the north end of Car Park Pool in the floodplain and Linnets were in song on the causeway and in the gorse by the back gate.
As the morning unfolded, an early Lesser Whitethroat was seen on the railway embankment, Common Tern numbers reached nine, there were three Little Egrets and an increase in Little Ringed Plovers to three.
In the afternoon, a Grey Partridge showed well feeding along the bank by Car Park Hide whilst, in the Marsh, there were two Common Snipe and a Jack Snipe.
10th April 2017
Sunny, but cooler, on a brisk north-westerly wind.
A Common Sandpiper was feeding on the west shore of Car Park Pool at 7.30 am and there were at least four Oystercatchers and two Redshanks there at the same time.
As the morning progressed, a second Common Sandpiper joined the earlier bird along with two Ringed Plovers and three Little Ringed Plovers. Five Little Egrets flew down stream towards Patrick Bridge at 9.15 am, with six having dropped into Car Park Pool at around 8.30 am.
A Black-headed Gull with a black and yellow colour ring, seen during the morning, is understood to be part of a Polish ringing scheme.
A Water Rail was seen from the north causeway screen mid-morning and an early Lapwing brood of three chicks was seen east of the A452. There were at least 130 Sand Martins over Car Park Pool and the flood plain in the early evening, with an estimated 200 a little earlier.
9th April 2017
Sunny, warm, light westerly wind.
The best birds by far were a pair of Sandwich Terns which arrived on Railway Pool at approximately 10 a.m. and then flew off to the north half an hour later and may well have been the birds that went north-east through Belvide and Carsington Water.
Other birds of note included Ringed Plover, Mediterranean Gull, Peregrine, at least three Herring Gulls and, again, many butterflies including a Red Admiral along the Old Road.
In the afternoon and early evening, Common Tern numbers had risen to eight, there was Little Egret, at least 40 Sand Martins and a female Goosander.
8th April 2017
Sunny, warm, light westerly wind.
The weather was almost too good for anything particularly unusual, although a male Wheatear, east of the A452, was a welcome addition to the year list. Unfortunately it disappeared after 11 a.m. Sedge Warbler was in song on the railway and there were at least three singing Willow Warblers one with a BTO ring on it.
The sunny and warm weather was particularly good for butterflies with Orange Tips everywhere and two Commas, two male Brimstones, at least one Speckled Wood and two Small Tortoiseshells, also seen.
The other counts were as follows: five Mute Swans, one Black Swan, 45 Greylags, one Greylag / Canada, eight Canadas, three Shelducks, seven Wigeon, 25 Gadwall, eight Mallard, ten Teal, 15 Shoveler, 64 Tufted, a female Goosander, 13 Cormorants, one Little Egret, two Herons, five Little Grebes, six Great Crested Grebes, ten Moorhen, 35 Coot, eight Oystercatcher, 44 Lapwing and a further 26 east of the A452, five Redshanks, five Common Terns, 475 Black-headed Gulls, two Mediterranean Gulls, five Lesser Black-backed Gulls, one Herring Gull, six Snipe, a second Sedge Warbler in the Reedbed, Cetti’s Warbler, at least ten Chiffchaffs and five Blackcaps.
A pair of Green Woodpeckers were seen, though with no location and Greenfinches and Yellowhammers continue to visit the car park feeder.
7th April 2017
Mostly sunny, light north-westerly wind.
Noticeably more of interest with the highlight being an elusive male Redstart at the north end of Car Park Pool along the hedgerow there, and subsequently in the thorns just north of the pool along the river bank.
There were singles of Common Sandpiper and Ringed Plover, Willow Warbler, Peregrine Falcon and a Sedge Warbler plus two Red-legged Partridges and two Little Egrets.
Five Swallows went through, to the north, there were a pair of Yellowhammers by the car park feeder, five Bullfinches in the back gate copse and a further three near the top gate.
6th April 2017
Cloudy start, clearing in the afternoon, north-westerly wind.
Birds were generally similar to the previous day with the exception of two Willow Warblers which were present near Railway Hide and a pair of Red-legged Partridges on the crop field.
5th April 2017
Mostly cloudy, brisk north, westerly wind.
A Kestrel was on a kill in the crop field this morning, with the field appearing to be the northern end of a territory. The pair of Mediterranean Gulls were again on site briefly before disappearing.
In the evening there were two Common Terns, six Redshank, six Great Crested Grebes, six Little Grebes, at least 30 Sand Martins, one Common Gull, an astonishing 1750 Black-headed Gulls, and three female Goosanders. A Muntjac was also seen.
4th April 2017
Light overnight rain, leading into a cool, overcast day, westerly wind.
A male and four female Goosanders flew in at about 8 am and there were regular Sand Martins over the pools with at least 20 at any one time and a maximum of 50. Four Chiffchaffs were in song around the back gate area, two along the railway embankment and one at either end of the wood. A pair of Blackcaps were seen and heard on the central streamline and there were four Snipe feeding in the Marsh.
Additional birds included the regular Cetti’s Warbler around the causeway area, two Little Egrets, a Kestrel over the crop field and Reedbed and a Willow Warbler in the car park hedge at 6.30pm.
3rd April 2017
Mostly sunny and mild, light south-westerly wind.
There were two Common Terns today along with three female Goosanders and at least seven Chiffchaffs. A pair of Mediterranean Gulls again lingered, briefly, and more butterflies were on the wing today with a couple of Orange Tips and three Peacocks.
In the late afternoon, at least 50 Sand Martins were present over the pools. An adult Mediterranean Gull was bathing with the Blackheads in the late afternoon.
2nd April 2017
Warm and sunny.
Initially three Mediterranean Gulls (two adults and a first-summer) were present on Railway Pool in the morning and this increased to five with a second pair of adults arriving in the afternoon. There were four Goosanders on the River at Patrick Bridge, a Sedge Warbler remained singing in the Reedbed, there were still at least two Blackcaps in song and, in the morning, two Swallows joined eight Sand Martins over the pools.
Two Ravens flew over and, in the afternoon, a third Blackcap was in song by the entrance gate. The Common Tern was again on site, this time on Car Park Pool, and there were at least three Sparrowhawks seen, including a pair displaying over Siden Hill Wood.
1st April 2017
Drizzle initially, again clearing to be sunny and mild.
The first Swallow of the year joined 40 Sand Martins over Car Park Pool early morning and there were two Blackcaps singing at the back gate. A Little Ringed Plover appeared briefly on Railway Pool and there were a pair of Goosanders. As the day progressed the first Common Tern and Sedge Warbler of the year appeared, the latter the earliest ever.
A Raven flew over at 11.45 and as the day improved, a Small Tortoiseshell was seen along the Old Road.
Full counts of other birds were as follows: four Mute Swans, the Black Swan, 33 Greylags, two Canadas, one Shelduck, 28 Wigeon, 33 Gadwall, two Mallard, 15 Teal, 33 Shoveler, 31 Tufted, three Goosanders by mid-morning as a second female joined the pair, 12 Cormorants, one Heron, seven Little Grebes, four Great Crested Grebes, nine Moorhen, 39 Coot, ten Oystercatchers, 43 Lapwing, two Redshank, a pair of Mediterranean Gulls, 1025 Black-headed Gulls, three Lesser Black-backs, a Treecreeper along the concrete road, six Yellowhammers in the crop field and 45 Lapwing east of the A452. A Bullfinch was heard along the central stream and another by the car park and the Cetti’s Warbler was in good song along the causeway.