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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.
FEBRUARY at Chew Because of it's huge size and the fact that it's relatively under-watched, birds can easily go undetected at Chew in the winter, so keep an eye on places such as Hollow Brook, the dam and Denny as well as the bays on the west side. If we get any severe or prolonged bad weather such as gales or freezing temperatures, keep an eye out for new arrivals of duck, divers or grebes.
The gull roost is a spectacular sight, on a good night stretching for up to 2km, involving anything up to 50,000 birds. Best viewed from Woodford Lodge or Nunnery Point, but you might prefer to spend the last hours of the day at Herriott's Bridge to watch the gulls dropping onto the pool before they move over onto the main lake.
You might see these: Bittern - Herriott's Bridge in the late afternoon is best, but views are often fleeting. Red-breasted Merganser - Look out for the drake bird as he spends his umpteenth winter at the lake. Always hanging about with a female Goosander. Water Rail - Plenty are in the reedbeds; if we get more freezing weather then look out for them around Herriott's Bridge. Mediterranean Gull - These should be regular in the roost and at Herriott's Bridge in the late afternoon - numbers are at a peak in late Feb/March. Ring-billed Gull - Recorded most years in late winter/early spring in the roost. Common Gull - The roost should hold well into five-figures. Chiffchaff - Could be anywhere in the sallows around the lake perimeter; very few records this winter.