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A grey bird on a grey day
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Chew Valley Lake is a semi-natural reservoir ten miles south of Bristol, and is the largest lake in south-west England. This website contains news and information on its birds and wildlife, access, maps, photos, WeBS counts and the definitive Chew bird list.
NOVEMBER at Chew November is a good month for local patch birding, and around here we seem to get more rare birds this month than we do in October, the traditional rarity month. There ought to be plenty of birds around the shores if the water level stays low, but the lake will fill up quickly if we get any prolonged rain.
You might see these: Great Northern Diver - A few have turned up during November gales in recent years. Bittern - One or two birds usually overwinter, with one already arriving in October. Herriott's Pool in the late afternoon is best - look in the reeds to the left. Red-breasted Merganser - Look out for the male bird, if he returns this winter. Woodcock - November is the best time to stumble across one of these - a difficult bird to see at Chew. Try the woods on the Bittern Trail or behind the hides at Villice or Wick Green Point. Mediterranean Gull - These should become regular in the roost as the Common Gull numbers build up. Herriott's late afternoon is the best bet. Water Pipit - Check the lake shore around Stratford hide or Moreton - have been rare the last few years. Stonechat - Another bird which has become inexplicably rare the last few winters. Try the Grebe trail, Heron's Green, Moreton Bank. Redwing & Fieldfare - There should still be daytime migrants flying overhead, or look for birds on the ground around the Parkland. Get a good look in case there's something unusual with them. Siskin - The alder wood at Stratford is a good place to look for them.