Work Party Dates:
June 13th – 6 pm
July 10th -6 pm
August 8th – 6 pm
September 11th – 6 pm
9th May 2018 – Photographs added and update added after the photographs.
7th May 2018 – Photographs added.
3rd May 2018 – Further records added.
2nd May 2018 – Amendments to record made.
20th May 2018
A male Cuckoo flew in from the Berkswell side of the A452 and sang in the crop field oaks at 9 am. A Tawny Owl showed well along the concrete road perched out on a dead Alder stem at about 9.45 am. There was at least one Sedge Warbler and two Reed Warblers singing by the top gate but, as yet, there are no Whitethroats at all along the whole length of the Old Road and it is now getting quite late in the season for further ones to arrive. There are two pairs on the railway embankment, one by the south-west pond and there was an un-singing bird on the bend in the concrete road, but that is it so far.
In the afternoon, a Red Kite went west.
19th May 2018
Sunny and warm.
The Whooper Swan appeared to have roosted on Car Park Pool overnight and flew south at 8.30 am towards Bradnocks Marsh before returning later in the morning. There was a new brood of four Lapwing chicks in front of Railway Hide and there was still one in front of Car Park Hide. The Garden Warbler was in good son around the back gate copse, though quite mobile, and it did not take long before butterflies were much in evidence with at least seven Green-veined Whites, 14 Orange-tips, a Peacock and a number of Speckled Woods. Four-spotted Chasers showed on the bank between Oak Hide and the causeway and also by River Hide and there were further individuals at the Dragonfly Pond where the first Black-tailed Skimmer of the year was also seen. Damselflies at the Dragonfly Pond included five Large-reds, six Red-eyed, one Blue-tail and 35 Azures.
Other bird counts today included eight Mute Swans, 76 Greylags and three broods, 11 Canadas, the drake Wigeon, 33 Gadwall, eight Mallard and a brood of nine on Car Park Pool, 102 Tufteds, four Little Grebes, one Great Crested Grebe, two Cormorants, two Herons, one Little Egret, nine Moorhen, 14 Coot, six Oystercatchers and still two chicks on Railway Pool, 18 Lapwings, one Redshank, 750 Black-headed Gulls and 116 chicks, 16 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 29 Common Terns, the first-summer Mediterranean Gull and also the very vocal Cetti’s Warbler.
18 May 2018
Mostly sunny, increasing cloud, light northerly wind, frost at dawn.
A good day commenced with an Osprey which flew east over the car park at 9.15. This may well have been the bird seen at Earlswood yesterday.
At just before 2 pm a Red Kite went west over the north end of Siden Hill Wood and was probably a bird seen a little earlier around Stonebridge Island. Lastly, a Hobby was hawking insects high over the pools and interacting with one of a number of Buzzards that were enjoying the warm weather.
The Whooper Swan was again on Car Park Pool and there were two male Cuckoos around Siden Hill Wood and the railway line.
A nice array of song around the car park at lunchtime included Willow Warbler in the Old Road hedges, Reed Warbler and Reed Bunting in the pond by the car park and a Goldfinch right by the record box.
17th May 2018
Mostly sunny, light north easterly wind.
The Whooper Swan continues to come and go but was present for much of the day and there were again a good number of prowling Lesser Black-backs with at least 25 on site in the afternoon. At least three Common Whitethroats were performing around Railway Hide and, in the evening, a Kingfisher showed well from River Hide.
16th May 2018
Sunny intervals with some overcast conditions.
The Whooper Swan was joined by two female Goosanders this morning and there was also a first-winter Mediterranean Gull on site. There are 108 Black-headed Gull chicks with one subsequently taken by an adult Lesser Black-back but the two Oystercatcher chicks remain un-predated. There was also singles of Little Ringed Plover and Little Egret on site.
15th May 2018
Sunny, light, cool northerly wind.
The Whooper Swan was on Car Park Pool this morning and occasionally venturing onto the flood plain to feed. A Hobby was hunting insects over Siden Hill Wood before drifting south and the Garden Warbler was again in song south of Oak Hide.
A Beautiful Demoiselle and an Azure Damselfly was seen by the Dragonfly Pond and there was also a Small Tortoiseshell there.
In the afternoon, a female Goosander appeared on Car Park Pool.
The evening’s Work Party was attended by seven people in lovely weather. The sides of the paths to the hides were mown, emergent Willows and Alders were cleared from the ditch between the causeway and Oak Hide and around the Reedbed, gates and doors were oiled and other bits of maintenance were undertaken. Thank you to all those who attended.
14th May 2018
Sunny, light north-westerly wind.
A new Garden Warbler was in song by the car park gates this morning with the Willow Warbler continuing to hold forth just south of the gates.
The Whooper Swan was present on and off throughout the day on Car Park Pool and one of the pairs of Oystercatcher on Railway Pool have now hatched out two chicks.
Other birds today included at least three Stock Doves on the crop field, a showy Whitethroat from Railway Hide, four Reed Buntings, two Goldfinches, two Pheasants and a Greenfinch at the car park feeder whilst an adult and two cub Foxes showed in the field behind Oak Hide.
13th May 2018
Mostly sunny, light north-westerly wind.
The Whooper Swan appeared briefly this morning flying south at 8.45 and a pair of Shoveler were a new arrival on Railway Pool. There was also Little Egret, two Little Ringed Plovers, two Redshanks and the Garden Warbler continues to sing from the south-west pond.
A Red-eared Slider (Terrapin) was again seen on Car Park Pool for the first time this year.
A first-summer Mediterranean Gull flew south over Railway Pool, without landing, in the late morning, there were a pair of Goosanders on the river, three Rooks on the floodplain, three Swifts over Railway Pool and at least 15 Lesser Black-backs on Car Park Pool.
Between 5.30 and 7.15 a Cuckoo was calling and showing well around the car park.
12th May 2018
Sunny am., overcast pm., light north-westerly wind.
A Hobby showed briefly flying south along the railway line towards Bradnocks Marsh this morning and was most likely looking for Odonata to feed on.
Graham Rowling’s regular counts produced the following: four Mute Swans, 32 Greylags and three broods, all on Railway Pool (8:6:4), seven Canadas, a drake Wigeon, 24 Gadwall, nine Mallard and a brood of 11 on Railway Pool, 111 Tufted, five Great Crested Grebes, four Little Grebes, four Cormorants, three Herons, 11 Moorhen with a brood of four along the causeway, 21 Coot and just one young now on the Reedbed, 12 Lapwings, one Little Ringed Plover, nine Oystercatchers, 1175 Blackheads and 65 chicks, 11 Lesser Blackbacks, three Herring Gulls, 34 Common Terns, two Swifts, nine circling Buzzards together, a Cetti’s Warbler along the causeway, a Garden Warbler by the south-west pond; and Odonata included the following at the Dragonfly Pond, Large Red Damselfly, two Azure Damsels, five Blue-tailed Damsels and a Four-spotted Chaser.
Butterflies included at least four Green-veined Whites and four Orange-tips.
11th May 2018
Mostly overcast, light south-easterly wind.
Ten Swifts went through. It is good to start seeing a few of these arriving after the species has been late and relatively thin on the ground. There were singles of Common Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover, two Redshank and the Garden Warbler was again signing in the back gate copse.
10th May 2018
Sunny, light west, north-westerly wind.
Two male Wheatears were on the flood plain muck heap this morning, just north of Car Park Pool and best viewed through the first gate on the left having passed the end of the pool itself.
There was a few more Swifts about today with at least 20 counted and a Garden Warbler remains in the back gate copse. A Raven flew over and, in addition to Little Ringed Plover, there were again 15 Lesser Black-backs around Car Park Pool hovering in anticipation of eggs and young.
9 May 2018
Sunny and warm with some cloud.
A ringing session in the back gate area yielded 11 birds including Garden and Willow Warbler, Whitethroat and a pair of Blackcaps with the latter being colour ringed as part of an attempt to learn more about the movement of our breeders and those caught later, on migration.
Garden Warbler – Photograph by Ben Dolan
Whitethroat – Photograph by Ben Dolan
Other birds today included quite an assortment with five Swift over, a Little Egret, a female Goosander, singles of Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper, two Ravens and a Cuckoo. The Moorhens on the Car Park Pool islands predated a Common Tern nest and took two eggs, unfortunately.
In the evening, at least 50 Sand Martins fed over the pools, 36 Common Terns were feeding over the pools and appeared to roost and there were two Little Ringed Plovers. More regular birds included the drake Wigeon, Shelduck, two Redshank, six Oystercatcher, a brood of ten Greylags and a brood of eight Mallards.
8th May 2018
Sunny, warm, clouding over pm.
Aside from the regular birds, a pair of Goosanders came into Railway Pool in the afternoon and there is a relatively late Common Sandpiper too – both of these would have been valued on the Saturday bird count.
7th May 2018
Sunny and hot.
The best bird today was a bright, bold male Wheatear on the flood plain, likely a “Greenland” type. A pair of Cuckoos was also present, with Reed Warblers the most likely nest hosts.
More Odonata were not surprisingly visible today, including Azure, Blue-tailed and Large Red Damselflies plus Four Spotted Chaser.
Young Greylags and Coot were also seen today along with lots of butterflies including Holly Blues again. The Twayblade Orchids are beginning to show either side of the path through the back gate copse. The Lesser Black-backed Gull counts reached 78 and there were also 10 Herring Gulls.
Photographs by Dave Shakespeare – 7th May 2018
Greylags over the car park
Chiffchaff – in the tree line down the old concrete road
Nuthatch – back gate copse
6th May 2018
Sunny and hot.
The Cuckoo was again vocal around the Reserve and a Dunlin was a new arrival. A Garden Warbler was recorded, but with no location given and a brood of ten Mallard ducklings was also seen.
Other wildlife included a Large Red Damselfly by the back gate and amongst plenty of butterflies that were recorded was a Holly Blue in the same location.
5th May 2018
Today was the all day bird count. It was a beautiful day with a wonderful sunrise and hints of mist over the pools and the flood plain but, sadly, not a hint of migration all day. Coming through the gates at 4.15 am the first audible bird was the singing Cetti’s Warbler, closely followed by a Cuckoo which was about for much of the day. The adult Whooper Swan was again on site early morning and by 9 am the list stood at 70 species with Siden Hill Wood yielding the usual Nuthatch, Treecreeper and Coal Tit. Mistle Thrushes proved particularly elusive and one was eventually picked up singing to the west of the site.
There were no Sand Martins over the pools at all and House Martins were only seen over Hampton in Arden.
By the late afternoon late edition to the list included a Yellow Wagtail over Patrick Farm which dropped into the fields north of the farm and, assuming that it was not a local breeder, was indeed the only passage bird all day. Raven, Shelduck and Water Rail and Red Kite and helpfully a Peregrine took the final total to 82 (four less than last year).
Thank you to all those that attended and the final list was : Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Shelduck, Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Red-legged Partridge, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Heron, Little Egret, Red Kite, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, Peregrine, Water Rail, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Common Tern, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Feral Pigeon, Cuckoo, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Sand Martin, Swallow, House Martin, Yellow Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Bullfinch, Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting.
In the warm temperatures of over 20 degrees there were plenty of Butterflies about with estimated counts of at least 20 Orange Tips, six Brimstones, ten Green-veined Whites, three Peacocks, two Speckled Woods, two Holly Blues, one Small Tortoiseshell and a Comma. Also the first Four-spotted Chaser was on the wing at the Dragonfly Pool.
Graham Rowling kindly provided the usual Saturday counts and these were as follows: three Mute Swans, 29 Greylags plus a family of goslings, eight Canadas, 30 Gadwall, a drake Wigeon, ten Mallard, 147 Tufted (a significant increase on last week), ten Moorhen, 19 Coot, three Great Crested Grebes, three Little Grebes, 11 Lapwings, three Oystercatchers, one Ringed Plover, one Little Ringed Plover, two Redshanks, 27 Common Terns, 1050 Black-headed Gulls and two chicks, nine Lesser Black-backed Gulls, two Herring Gulls and a Cetti’s Warbler.
Photographs by Nick Barlow
4.50 am – North causeway bay
5.30 am – flood plain looking towards Patrick Farm
5.30 am – Hedgerows on the flood plain by the Pumping Station
4th May 2018
Mostly cloudy, improving temperatures, light south-westerly wind.
A Cuckoo was heard on and off throughout the morning and tended to frequent the streamline but was fairly mobile. There was also a Common Sandpiper, at least 27 Common Terns, the lingering Wigeon and two Shelduck.
3rd May 2018
Sunny, after overnight frost, south-westerly wind.
Early news from this morning saw the arrival of a female Wheatear in the crop field and its early morning arrival time supported the contention about Wheatear arrivals in the post of the 20th April.
A Grasshopper Warbler reeled briefly in the Reedbed just after 9 am and a ringing session there and on the causeway caught the bird and also yielded four Reed Buntings, including one re-trap, four Sedge Warblers including one bird previously controlled in Paris, three Reed Warblers including a British control, one Linnet and a Blackcap. As the day unfolded, the first Lapwing chick of the year was seen in front of Oak Hide and the first Odonata in the shape of a Large Red Damselfly was visible around the Dragonfly Pool. The better weather saw that butterflies started to show well with at least nine Orange-tips, six Green-veined Whites, a Speckled Wood and a Peacock.
Later in the day a first summer Peregrine flew around the flood plain and occasionally perched and there were 25 Common Terns on site with up to 30 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
Grasshopper Warbler – photograph by Max Silverman
2nd May 2018
Heavy overnight rain until 11 am. Sunny intervals and showers, north-westerly wind turning to a south-westerly wind.
There were three Little Ringed Plovers and a Little Egret on site in the morning and a presumed Ringed Plover on Railway Pool, against the sun, in the evening. Although it appeared to have orange legs, a wing bar was not very obvious and it seemed small in size. It could not be found later. Hirundines were on the move north in the evening with maximum counts at any one time of about 25 Sand Martins and ten Swallows. There were 28 Common Terns in the evening.
1st May 2018
Mostly cloudy in the morning, light rain becoming heavier in the evening.
A reasonable selection of birds today included Red Kites south at 11.30, four Common Sandpipers, one Ringed Plover, a Peregrine, one Little Ringed Plover and 41 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Lesser Whitethroat remains in song along the Old Road.