Work Party Dates:
3rd July 2019 – 6 pm – (changed from 2nd July)
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
6th June – Photograph added
4th, 5th and 6th June – Records updated
12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th Updated
17th June 2019
17th June – Mostly overcast, south westerly wind.
The first broods of Tufted and Gadwall were present on Car Park Pool this morning; the former with three and the latter with five young. There were also three drake Pochards.
The heavy rain has resulted in lots of regrowth on both of the islands which is making the visibility of birds difficult.
16th June 2019
Sunny intervals and heavy showers, south westerly wind.
The best bird by far today was an Osprey which flew south at 10:50 just east of the Lorry Park.
A supporting cast came in the shape of three Green Sandpipers which were seen flying into Railway Pool but could not relocated later. The Whooper Swan was still associating with the flock of Mute Swans (ten on this occasion) and there were still two Little Ringed Plovers on Railway Pool.
Two Mistle Thrushes flew over Siden Hill Wood, there were two Bullfinches by the car park gates and 30 Lapwings on the flood plain which included one fledged juvenile. Lastly there was a Grey Wagtail back on the much heap.
15th June 2019
Dry and sunny start, periodic rain showers thereafter, south westerly wind.
Today’s counts were as follows: the adult Whooper Swan, nine Mute Swans, ten Graylags, female Wigeon, 16 Mallard, 51 Gadwall, 116 Tufteds, eight Cormorants, two Great Crested Grebes, seven Little Grebes, ten Moorhens, 14 Coots and three broods of two on Car Park and one on the Reed Bed, 23 Lapwing, 4 Oystercatchers, and two chicks (one on Car Park Pool, one on Railway Pool), 800 adult Black Headed Gulls and 124 chicks, two second summer Mediterranean Gulls, 18 Lesser Black Backed Gulls, 4 adult Common Terns and four chicks, Cetti’s Warbler singing along the Old Road and one Heron.
The heavy rain has floated the tern raft down towards River Hide.
14th June 2019
It was not surprising to find, this morning, that the river has apparently over-flowed onto Railway Pool and the islands are slowly disappearing under the increasing water level. The gravel bar has also disappeared as has the Tern raft!
13th June 2019
Heavy rain for much of the day, north-westerly wind, remaining cool.
With the river having flooded extensively around Patrick Bridge over the last few days, it was not surprising that the water level was up on Railway Pool. So far, the worse of the flooding has been avoided but with the quantity of rainfall, it seems only a matter of time before the islands on Railway Pool begin to disappear under the deluge.
Railway Pool – Photograph by Nick Barlow – 13th June 2019
A Garden Warbler showed well, calling, on the edge of the back gate copse by the compounds and another bird with Whitethroats was present in the field behind Oak Hide.
Willow Warblers were in song both in the back gate and on the railway embankment and there were young juveniles of Dunnock and Robin also in the back gate copse. A Stock Dove was singing from the south-west pond and both Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler were feeding vigorously around and about Oak Hide.
Three Swifts and six House Martins were feeding over the central streamline with a few Sand Martins over Car Park Pool.
12th June 2019
Wet all day.
12th June – There was a Redshank briefly this morning and the pair of now over summering Wigeon were still present. Six adult Little Ringed Plovers and six adult Oystercatchers were counted and there was an unfledged chick on Car Park Pool with second one there now flying. There was also still one Lapwing chick present. The older chicks may conceivably have made it to the shoreline as an adult was getting very excited over the presence of a fox.
11th June 2019
Periods of heavy rain, cool, north, north-easterly wind.
An early returning Green Sandpiper on the short line in front of Oak Hide was perhaps the main surprise of the day with returning birds not normally appearing until the end of the month. The adult Whooper Swan was on Car Park Pool whilst around the back gate area there was at least three juvenile Goldcrests being fed by adults. A Willow Warbler was singing in the back gate copse and overhead, in the inclement weather, 12 Swifts were feeding low over the trees. There was a single House Martin and 20 Sand Martins feeding over Car Park Pool and still plenty of song.
The second summer Mediterranean Gull put in one of its sporadic appearances and there was again a Cuckoo along the stream line.
10th June 2019
Increasingly heavy rain from mid morning, north-easterly wind and cool.
The adult Whooper Swan was again present on Car Park Pool this morning and there were four Little Ringed Plovers on Railway Pool, but no sign of any sitting birds, possibly as a consequence of the weather. Before the weather deteriorated, a Painted Lady was seen along the path to Railway Hide. It is likely that this follows the increasing numbers that have been coming in off the sea, particularly on the east coast.
9th June 2019
Sunny intervals, south-westerly wind.
The Whooper Swan reappeared on Car Park Pool this morning where it joined two Wigeon. There was also a Redshank on site plus four Little Ringed Plovers, a Nuthatch along the Old Road and a Cuckoo seen in various places. A Bee Orchid is in flower along the concrete road.
8th June 2019
Mostly wet, south-westerly wind.
Today’s counts comprise five Mute Swans, 44 Greylags and 22 goslings, two Canadas and two goslings, the pair of Wigeon, 11 Mallard and a brood of half grown youngsters (three) on Car Park Pool, 57 Gadwalls, a drake Pochard which was new in, 81 Tufted Ducks, eight Cormorants, five Little Grebes and still the young one on Railway Pool, one Great Crested Grebe, eight Moorhen with a brood of four on Railway Pool, 42 Coots and a brood of two on Car Park Pool, 18 Lapwing with four young on Railway Pool, four Little Ringed Plovers, six Oystercatchers still with two chicks, 575 adult Black–headed Gulls and 207 chicks, five Lesser Black-backed Gulls, one Herring Gull, one second-summer Mediterranean Gull, eight Common Terns and 17 chicks, 35 Sand Martins and three House Martins.
Some more plants identified today, this time by the side of Dragonfly Pool, included Marsh-bedstraw, Pink Water-speedwell, Tufted Forget-Me-Not, Water-plantain and Compact Rush.
7th June 2019
Mostly cloudy am, rain pm.
The pair of Garganey were on site again along with eight Little Ringed Plovers, a Redshank and a Common Snipe.
6 June 2019
Sunny intervals and light showers.
The pair of Garganey were again present in front of Railway Hide today where the Whitethroats were busy carrying food.
Common Whitethroat (female) collecting food in front of Railway Hide – Photograph by John Hunt
There was a Cuckoo around Railway Pool today and the Lesser Whitethroat was singing and showing behind Railway Hide. The Garden Warbler was again on the Old Road near the cottages where there was also a Coal Tit.
Insects included one Brown Argus, six Common Blues, a Small Copper, three Red Admirals, two Emperor Dragonflies, six Four-spotted Chasers, four Black-tailed Skimmers, one Banded Demoiselle and a few Red-eyed Damselflies. A Redshank was also seen.
5th June 2019
Occasional sunny intervals, cloudy, south-westerly wind.
The Garganey pair remained on site today but were often seen apart with, for example, the female appearing from the bay to the west of Railway Hide in mid-afternoon and feeding in front of that hide whereas the male was not visible at all. Earlier in the day a Snipe was seen on the shoreline in front of Railway Pool.
Male Garganey – Photograph by John Hunt – 5th June 2019
There was also a second-summer Mediterranean Gull on site.
An evening count yielded 148 Black-headed Gull chicks, 15 Common Tern chicks and still one young Dabchick on Railway Pool.
Care of Russell Tonks, Smooth Tare was in flower on the bank behind Car Park Pool and Cat’s Ear is there as well. There are four Sedge species in the shallow ditch near the picnic bench by the back gate, False Fox, Remote, Glaucous and Oval.
4th June 2019
Showers, southerly wind.
A pair of Garganey were new arrivals on Railway Pool this morning and continues the regularity of late spring records for this species. Whether these are relocating British birds or late migrants heading north is unknown.
The first Oystercatcher chick that was hatched on Railway Pool appears to have nearly fledged with a second one growing well. There were at least six Common Tern young on Railway Pool, there were also six adult Little Ringed Plovers there.
A Kingfisher flew over Railway Pool in the afternoon.
3rd June 2019
Cloudy, south westerly wind.
Over Patrick Farm this morning there were two Swifts, four Swallows, one House Martin and five Sand Martins whilst a male Yellowhammer again visited the car park feeder. Two Speckled Wood butterflies and two Peacocks were also seen around the car park.
An interesting note in the log mentions that it appears to be a good year for Common Sorrell, favoured by Small Coppers (there were 20 along he concrete road, 30 in front of River Hide and hundreds at the Aeromodellers).
2nd June 2019
Unsettled, mostly cloudy with periods of rain on a south-westerly wind.
A Red Kite was circling over the Aeromodellers at mid-day before flying off north and in the afternoon, a male Peregrine was in pursuit of about 40 Wood Pigeons over Siden Hill Wood.
There was still three Oystercatcher juveniles and two young Lapwings and at least four Little Ringed Plovers.
12 Stock Doves were feeding on the crop field and there was a bird perched on the pole box in the adjacent woodland.
15 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were counted in the afternoon and, in the unsettled conditions, at least 35 Sand Martins and three Swifts were present. There was also a Little Egret and Shelduck.
The Mallard drakes are beginning to move into eclipse but there is still plenty of bird song, particularly from Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs. The only singing Whitethroats today were on the railway embankment by Oak Hide and along the concrete road. Willow Warblers were in song or seen in the back gate copse and along the causeway.
The banks of the Reserve are now covered in Common Vetch and Hairy Tare. In the Orchid field a number of Orchid spikes are now coming into flower as is Ragged Robin.
1st June 2019
Warm, sunny intervals, light south-westerly wind.
Today’s counts were as follows: three Mute Swans, 33 Greylags, nine Canadas and two goslings, 52 Gadwall, seven Mallard, 135 Tufted Ducks, seven Cormorants, one Great Crested Grebe, six Little Grebe and two broods on Railway Pool, both of singles, eight Moorhens, 30 Coot and a brood of two on Car Park Pool, eight adult Oystercatchers and three juveniles, 22 Lapwings and two young on Railway Pool, eight Little Ringed Plover, two Redshank, 25 Common Terns and 12 chicks, 625 Black-headed Gulls and 112 chicks, ten Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a surprisingly late Snipe in the Marsh, two Herons including one freshly flying juvenile, two singing Cetti’s Warblers, a Whitethroat with food in front of Railway Hide and Jackdaws with food for young in the entrance gate cottages.
The weather was sufficiently good for a good range of both butterflies and odonata to be seen, as follows: four Common Blues, two Green-veined Whites, two Speckled Woods, two Small Coppers, two Peacocks, one Small Tortoiseshell, two male Orange-tips; one Emperor Dragonfly, a female Beautiful Demoiselle, 15 Four-spotted Chasers, ten Black-tailed Skimmers and Damselflies comprised Large-red, Azure Blue-tailed and Red-eyed.