Latest News

Covid-19 (Coronavirus) – Updated 24th March 2020

As going to the Reserve is exercise and as the Reserve is spacious, after much deliberation we have decided to leave the Reserve open to members only, but we will monitor the position daily.  In order to do this, members are asked to please co-operate by:

  1. Remembering social distancing – 2m minimum between people.
  2. No more than two people, per hide at any one time, subject to (1) above.
  3. Please carry cleanser with you for hide doors, flaps and locks and wipe down regularly.

Can members users please ensure they follow HM Government guidance in respect of hand sanitisation and social distancing, and ensure they avoid the Reserve  if they or any family members (or anyone else you may be in contact with) are showing any symptoms associated with Covid-19.

Lost Property

Items that have been found at Marsh Lane today (15th July) have been handed into the Estate Office and if you have lost anything, it is worth contacting Kay Gleeson (01676 522020) to see if your items have been found.   Other items found over the years are three pairs of glasses, a cap and a child’s boot !  If you wish to claim any items, do please be in touch.

Work Party Dates

Subject to the Government lifting the lock-down restrictions, the proposed Work Party dates are:

11th August – 6 p.m.

15th September – 6 p.m.

10th October – 2 p.m.

14th November – 2 p.m.

12th December – 2 p.m.

Link to bird ringing group –


4th to 7th August 2020 – Records added

3rd August 2020 – Records updated

7th August 2020

Sunny warm, southerly.

Birds took a little while to give themselves up on the railway embankment, but at about 08:30 a little bit of activity on the tops of the thorns turned out to be a group at least three Blackcaps, a Garden Warbler and a Chiffchaff fly catching. The embankment total for Blackcaps was at least six and other birds included Song Thrush and Goldfinch, there with two to three Reed Warblers in the Guelder-rose Bushes immediately behind the hide.

In the back gate compounds there were at least two Chiffchaffs and by Oak Hide a Whitethroat and a Song Thrush.  The Willows around the crop oaks held two Chiffchaffs and a Treecreeper and other birds this morning comprised Bullfinches over the car park and the back gate, Linnet by the South-west Pond, at least three Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Sparrowhawk with prey, an adult and a juvenile Buzzard, six House Martins over Siden Hill Wood and Common Tern north.

6th August 2020

Occasional sunny intervals, mostly cloudy, south-westerly with occasional showers.

The best record today was the first Clouded Yellow Butterfly of the year by Car Park Hide in the afternoon.

The Peregrine was back in its favoured perch in the dead Larch in Siden, best viewed from Car Park Pool, whilst around the pools there were three Little Egrets, adult and juvenile Water Rail (causeway), 23 adult Mute Swans and eight cygnets and 19 Tufted broods with at least 50 ducklings.

Forty Swallows flew south in family groups in the afternoon and there were three Swifts and six Sand Martins in the evening.

A morning ringing session in the back gate compound yielded 28 birds as follows: six Reed Warblers (five juveniles one adult), 13 juvenile Blackcaps, a juvenile Garden Warbler, a juvenile Chiffchaff, two juvenile Whitethroats, an adult Sedge Warbler, adult Willow Warbler, one juvenile Wren and two juvenile Blackbirds.

Bullfinch from early ringing session on 1 August 2020 – Photograph by Nick Barlow

Juvenile Cetti’s Warbler caught like the Bullfinch in back gate compounds on 1 August 2020 – Photograph by Nick Barlow

Garden Warbler ringed in the back gate compounds 6 August 2020 – Photograph by Ben Dolan

5th August 2020

Sunny periods, breezy from the south south-west.

Early on there were four Little Egrets on Car Park Pool, a juvenile Water Rail showed again from the north causeway screen and a Sparrowhawk was active over the pools.

On the flood plain there were at least 60 Canadas, 25 Greylags, 90 Jackdaws, two Rooks, 20 Crows, two Magpies, with at least three pairs of Swallows active at Patrick Farm.

Eight Swallows flew south late morning and two Sand Martins and a House Martin came into Car Park Pool about 13:00 before they also flew south.  There was a Green Sandpiper on Railway Pool in the late afternoon and a Peregrine in Siden Hill Wood.  In the late evening 30 Swifts flew in to feed over the central stream and the pools before disappearing at dusk.

4th August 2020

Overcast, occasional sunny intervals.

A Common Tern flew north this morning and at least one juvenile Water Rail showed from the north causeway screen.  Ten adult and four juvenile Little Grebes were present on the pools along with ten Herons and four Little Egrets.  Both Raven and Sparrowhawk flew over.

3rd August 2020

Sunny, cool north-westerly.

Birds on the pools this morning comprised two Little Egrets, a Green Sandpiper, 21 adult Mute Swans and eight cygnets.

The railway embankment was active as is usual in the early morning with at least two Blackcaps, Song Thrush, Coal Tit and Reed Warbler.  In a tit flock in the back gate copse there was Treecreeper, Blackcap and Goldcrest and further Blackcaps by Oak Hide and on the causeway.  Plenty of Reed Warblers were also present on the causeway.

A sub-adult Peregrine was perched in the top of the dead Larch up in Siden Hill Wood, opposite Car Park Hide, and lastly a few Sand Martins were on the move with three south at 08:30.

Blackberries are ripening quickly, Blackcaps in particular are gorging on these.  The Rowan Berries are quickly being dispatched by the Thrushes.

During the morning a Kingfisher flew across Car Park Pool, the first for some days.  A juvenile Hobby showed on at least two occasions and there was a single adult and two juvenile Cetti’s Warblers visible from the Reedbed screen with a juvenile Water Rail in the channel on the opposite side.

Lastly, Red Bartsia is in flower along the path sides at the moment.

2nd August 2020

Sunny, breezy from the west.

The Green Sandpiper showed well on the Car Park Pool islands during the morning and presumably the same bird was also seen down at Patrick Farm.  Other counts included 13 Teal, 20 adult Mute Swans, four Little Egrets, eight Herons, a male Cetti’s Warbler in sub-song in the north causeway bay, three Ravens and a Sparrowhawk over with other passerines comprising Willow Warbler, Coal Tit and Bullfinch.

1st August 2020

A sunny start, clouding over by 08:30 with occasional subsequent sunny intervals, westerly.

Early on dawn start yielded four Little Egrets, a single Green Sandpiper, one possibly two Common Sandpipers, three Oystercatchers and small passage of hirundines through by 09:00 (three Swallows, two Sand Martins and a single Swift).  A seeming hatch of insects behind Railway Hide saw quite a few Warblers fly catching from there, including at least two Common Whitethroats, one Lesser Whitethroat and some BlackcapsSedge Warbler and Blackcap and a juvenile Green Woodpecker were seen by Oak Hide and a successful ringing session in the back gate yielded 31 birds, all juveniles bar an adult male Bullfinch.  The count comprised: 17 Blackcaps, three Chiffchaffs, two Garden Warblers, two Blackbirds and singles of Cetti’s Warbler, Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Goldcrest and Dunnock.

Later in the day Graham’s wildfowl counts yielded 25 Mute Swans (17 adults and eight cygnets), 260 Greylags, two Farmyard Geese and two Canada Greylag Crosses, 60 Canadas, 65 Gadwall and two broods with ten ducklings, 45 Mallard and a brood of three on Railway Pool, two Shoveler, seven Teal, 25 Tufted and 19 broods with 39 ducklings, eight Little Grebes being seven adults and a juvenile, three Herons, three Cormorants, 17 Moorhen, 125 Coot, a Little Ringed Plover, 135 Lapwing, a Snipe (the first of the autumn), just four Black-headed Gulls, four Lesser Black-backed Gulls and two Herring Gulls.  A Muntjac Deer was also seen near Railway Hide.

Despite the slightly cloudy conditions it was warm enough for there to be plenty of butterflies about and Graham’s counts comprised: 18 Gatekeepers, 38 Green-veined Whites, three Speckled Woods, a Red Admiral, three Peacocks, five Meadow Browns, two Small Whites and three Common Blues.

Dragonflies were as follows: two Emperors, one Brown Hawker, one Migrant Hawker, eight Common Darters, a male Ruddy Darter, two male Banded Demoiselles, 60 Small Red-eyed Damselflies, 50 Blue-Tailed, 25 Common Blue and three Emeralds.

A juvenile Water Rail showed in front of the north causeway screen several times during the day but particularly in the evening and there was a steady trickle of Swifts throughout the day but no numbers unfortunately.