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Work Party Dates:

5th October 2019 – 2 pm

9th November 2019 – 2 pm

7th December 2019 – 2 pm


September 16th – Records updated

September 17th & 18th – Records added

18th September 2019

Mostly sunny, very light north-westerly

Water Rails were seen both in front of Oak Hide and in the north causeway channels. Warm weather yielded at least two Commas and 20 Speckled Woods today.

17th September 2019

Mostly sunny, very light north-westerly in anticyclonic conditions

The adult Whooper Swan and the adult Greater Black-backed Gull were on Car Park Pool today along with 11 Lesser Black-backs. A Hobby hunted over Car Park Pool for at least 15 minutes this morning and there was an impressive total of eight Little Egrets on site. Four Swallows went south.

16th September 2019

Overcast and drizzly.

A rather damp ringing session in the back gate copse yielded a slightly disappointing 37 birds; 23 Blackcaps, one Whitethroat, two Robins, one Wren, four Blue Tits, one Great Tit and one Bullfinch. All were juveniles bar an adult Blue Tit.

Other birds today were as follows. A Water Rail was actually seen inside the North Causeway Hide before slipping away under the boarding. Both Nuthatch and Jay were feeding at the Oak Hide feeders whilst on Railway Pool there were three Snipe, a Water Rail in the marsh and two Little Egrets.

The adult Whooper Swan was back on Car Park Pool and birds around the car park feeder included a now daily Chiffchaff frequenting the willows, together with, amongst other things, four Goldfinch, two Reed Buntings, a Greenfinch, two Chaffinches, four Moorhens and a pair of Pheasants.

15th September 2019

Sunny and warm with cloud building later in the day and light overnight rain.

The best birds today were a Spotted Flycatcher, perched near the dead tree at the far of Car Park Pool and in the afternoon there was a Hobby on a number of occasions. The adult Whooper Swan and the adult Great Black-backed Gull were again on Car Park Pool along with 16 Wigeon and 40 Shoveler. A Green Sandpiper was feeding on the river by Patrick Bridge whilst a Mistle Thrush flew south over Siden Hill Wood.

A Kingfisher was again using the fencing at the far end of Car Park Pool as a perch and there were three Snipe in the channel below Oak Hide. Three Water Rail included two in the causeway channels and one at Oak Hide and there was a Cetti’s Warbler there as well. Four Little Egrets were counted across the pool islands.

14th September 2019

A cold a misty start with temperatures down to 6°; increasingly warm and sunny thereafter.

The bushes were lively this morning with for example: five Blackcaps, a Whitethroat and a Chiffchaff on the railway embankment, a further five Blackcaps, two Chiffchaffs and a Great Spotted Woodpecker on the streamline between the Oak Hide and the south west pond; at least five Blackcaps, two Chiffchaffs, a Bullfinch and Cetti’s Warbler along the causeway with a possible Pied Flycatcher calling along the central streamline. Unfortunately the latter bird could not be located.

Overhead, by 9:40 ten Meadow Pipits, four House Martins, four Swallows, two Pied, one Grey and one Yellow Wagtail all went over and there was a Raven calling at 10:45.

On Car Park Pool there was a drake Pochard, Whooper Swan, Green Sandpiper, one Snipe, adult Greater Black-backed Gull and a Kingfisher all first thing, with an adult Water Rail showing well in the channel below Oak Hide.

Graham’s other counts as the morning progressed were as follows: 19 Mute Swans, 179 Greylags, 21 Canadas, eight Wigeon, 66 Gadwall, 30 Mallard, 40 Teal, 18 Shoveler, 29 Tufted, 17 Cormorants, five Little Egrets, five Herons, six adult and one juvenile Little Grebe, 21 Moorhen, 103 Coot, 92 Lapwing, 109 Black-headed Gulls, ten Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a Hobby south over the Aeromodellers and further 27 House Martins and six Swallows.

Much later in the day there were two Hobbies hawking over Railway Pool.

13th September 2019

Cool and misty at dawn, warm and sunny thereafter, light north-westerly wind.

The bushes were busy with birds this morning and another good ringing session in the back gate copse yielded 53 birds, 41 of which were Blackcaps. The other birds caught were two Dunnocks, two Chiffchaffs, one Whitethroat, two Blackbirds, two Bullfinches, one Reed Warbler, one Goldcrest and a female Cetti’s Warbler. All the birds were juveniles.

Between 7.45 and 8.45 am, one Yellow Wagtail and at least six House Martins went over. In addition to the Blackcaps in the back gate copse there were five more feeding together in the Alder by Oak Hide with a Nuthatch and Treecreeper amongst a mixed Tit flock along the adjacent ditch line. At least five Goldcrests, a Chiffchaff, two Coal Tits, a male Yellowhammer and a male Bullfinch were together on the central stream crossing and two more Goldcrests were feeding around the back gate copse.

Other birds today included a Common Whitethroat and at least three Blackcaps around the mobile phone mast, whilst on the pools around lunchtime the adult Greater Black-backed Gull was present as was the Whooper Swan and there were six Little Egrets and two juvenile Little Ringed Plovers on Railway Pool. Five Chiffchaffs, two Goldcrests, two Nuthatch and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were present along the Old Road.

Cetti’s Warbler – Photograph by Nick Barlow Whitethroat – Photograph by Nick Barlow

12th September 2019

Mostly cloudy but with a sunny end to do the day, west, south-westerly wind.

The adult Whooper Swan remains and a Water Rail showed well from Oak Hide. Two Ravens flew over Siden Hill Wood, as did Hobby and there were 18 Stock Doves feeding to the right of Car Park Hide.

11th September 2019

Mostly cloudy, brisk westerly wind.

There were three Snipe and three Little Egrets on Car Park Pool with the Whooper Swan and one of the Cormorants roosting on the Car Park Pool islands was ringed and details are awaited.

Wigeon numbers had increased to 20 today and there were also 40 Shoveler with Snipe and Little Egret numbers increasing to five each respectively. Two Ravens flew over and a Hobby was hunting in front of Siden Hill Wood in the late morning when there were at least 200 hirundines feeding high over Car Park Pool, apparently evenly split between Swallows and House Martins. A single Sand Martin went south in the evening and there were six Little Grebes with a half grown chick being fed in the north causeway bay.

10th September 2019

Misty start, sunny intervals thereafter, cool north-easterly wind.

Yesterday’s six Wigeon were still present on Car Park Pool and a juvenile Water Rail showed well in front of Oak Hide. Ten Swallows, six House Martins and 20 House Martins were feeding over the pools first thing and there was Blackcap and Chiffchaff between Oak Hide and the south-west pond.

The Whooper Swan that was not originally visible early morning reappeared later on when there were four Little Egrets and a Common Whitethroat along the Old Road towards the Dragonfly Pond. Two Snipe appeared later from Oak Hide and there was a Treecreeper on the tree by Oak Hide itself.

9th September 2019

Rain showers on and off south, south-easterly wind.

The wandering adult Whooper Swan appeared this morning, having been up at Packington again in the interim period. Six Wigeon flew in during the morning and there was a Little Ringed Plover and two drake Pochard, also on Car Park Pool. A Water Rail again showed in the Marsh and on Railway Pool there was a Little Egret, an immature Herring Gull and ten Swallows and four House Martins feeding overhead. Presumably the returning adult Greater Black-backed Gull (from the last two winters) was on Car Park Pool later in the day.

8th September 2019

Sunny and warm.

There were no bird records today. Russell Tonks helpfully put another flower record in the book, that of Nodding-Bur Marigold, in the pond between Oak Hide and Railway Hide (south-west pond).

7th September 2019

Mostly sunny but with a cool north north-easterly.

The All Day Bird Watch yielded 73 species with less usual birds including: a Ring-necked Parakeet, heard flying over Siden Hill Wood, a good passage of hirundines, eight Meadow Pipits and Yellow Wagtails south and some showy Lesser Whitethroats and Whitethroats by the mast. A flock of over 100 Linnets was good to record, west of the railway car park, the full list was as follows: Mute Swan (15), Greylag (307), Canadas (19 plus one Farmyard and a Greylag Canada Cross), Wigeon (a pair), Mallard (14), Gadwall (46), Teal (23), Shoveler (26), Tufted (33), Pheasant, Little Grebe (including a half grown youngster in the north causeway bay) and ten other birds, one Great Crested Grebe, Little Egrets (6), Heron (6), Cormorants (12), Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, Water Rail (marsh), Moorhen (28), Coot (98), Lapwing (102), Snipe (1), Green Sandpiper (one on the river), Black-headed Gull (116), Lesser Black-backed Gulls (4), Herring Gull (1), Great Black-backed Gull (1), Stock Stove (35 west of Siden), Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Feral Pigeon, Ring-necked Parakeet, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Sand Martin (at least eight south), a Swallow (20 at the farm and ten south prior to 9 a.m.), House Martin (50 south by 9 a.m.), Meadow Pipit (8 south by 9 a.m.), Yellow Wagtail (one over Patrick’s Farm at 10 a.m.), Pied Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Tree Creeper, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Goldfinch (flock of 15 on the floodplain), Linnet, Bullfinch, Reed Bunting.

6th September 2019

More cloud but with some sun, westerly.

Both Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler were with a mixed tit flock south of the mast, there were three Little Egrets on Car Park Pool, a Water Rail in the marsh and then in the afternoon, a small group of gulls that came in to bathe before flying off to the north-west included: three sizeable first-winter Yellow-legged Gulls. They were noticeably bigger than a second-summer Herring Gull and first-winter Lesser Black-backed Gulls with which they consorted. Five House Martins and two Swallows moved south at the same time, and both Red Admiral and Painted Lady were seen, the former on the ivy flowers in the central stream and the latter by the bench near the back gate.

5th September 2019

Sunny intervals, cloudy, less strong north-westerly.

Two juvenile Little Ringed Plovers joined seven Little Egrets on Car Park Pool and there was a single Snipe on Railway Pool. Two Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk were seen towards Siden Hill Wood and 21 Stock Doves were counted around the car park area.

4th September 2019

Some sun with intermittent cloud, brisk westerly.

The only record this morning was of juvenile Water Rail in the Oak Hide channel. The bird appeared to be injured and holding its left foot up.

3rd September 2019

Sunny day, increasingly cloudy as the day went on, leading to overnight rain.

A juvenile Water Rail showed well in front of Oak Hide this morning, stopping to sun itself in the channel. A Peregrine was seen around the railway embankment before flying off over Oak Hide and there were at least two Little Egrets present. A Hobby again put in an appearance and a single House Martin and four Swallows went south. Along the concrete road there was a Nuthatch and Painted Lady.

With thanks to Russel Tonks, Fat Hen, Fig-leaved, Many-seeded and Red Goosefoot were noted around the muck heap, together with Common and Spear-leaved Orache.

A disappointing turnout at the work party (just five), nevertheless led to further control of the weeds in front of Oak Hide, thanks to those who attended. There is so much that needs doing, particularly at this time of year, I would urge as many as possible please to come to the work parties, which are after all only monthly.

Finally, as a result of the work party a Snipe was flushed from the islands and a Grey Wagtail went over.

2nd September 2019

Mostly sunny, westerly wind.

A juvenile Water Rail was seen in the channels from north causeway screen and a Hobby was seen on at least two occasions during the morning.

An interesting selection of other birds included two Ravens, a Kingfisher on Car Park Pool, still two juvenile Little Grebes in the north causeway bay, two Pochard, five Little Egrets, a female Pheasant with five chicks near the crop field oaks, a Meadow Pipit over, a Nuthatch by the container in the car park, three Little Ringed Plovers on Railway Pool and both Blackcap and Whitethroat on the railway embankment.

1st September 2019

Sunny intervals, cool north-westerly wind.

One adults and three juvenile Little Ringed Plovers were present on the Car Park Pool islands along with a Green Sandpiper and two Little Egrets. A trickle of hirundines were moving south with at least two Swallows, six Sand Martins and 15 House Martins south prior to 10.30, along with a Grey Wagtail two further birds went south later in the morning. Also there were 17 Shoveler counted.

A Cetti’s Warbler produced rather sporadic uncompleted song around the causeway area.

Meantime, the railway embankment was as busy as ever with at least one Whitethroat, three Blackcaps, two Chiffchaffs and an adult and juvenile Green Woodpecker. Nuthatches could be heard calling around the orchid field and the south-west pond.

The ringers had three nets erected in the back gate compounds and of the 78 birds ringed, 70 were Blackcaps. The others were Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Reed Warbler, Robin, two Blue Tits, one Wren and one Goldcrest. All were juveniles except the Lesser Whitethroat.

Adult Lesser Whitethroat - 01.09.19 - Photograph by Nick Barlow

Adult Lesser Whitethroat 01.09.19 – Photographs by Nick Barlow