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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.
JANUARY at Chew With the lake now beginning to refill, interest from the hides will be largely restricted to waterfowl and gulls. Because of it's huge size and the fact that it's realtively 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.
You might see these: Bittern - One or two birds have wintered in recent years. Herriott's Bridge in the late afternoon is best. Greater Scaup - Occasional birds most winters; there might be a bird or two in the aythya flock - know your hybrids! Red-breasted Merganser - Look out for the drake bird as he spends his umpteenth winter at the lake. There's a female as well. Smew - Still chance we might get a bird or two. The 'toe' of Heron's Green Bay and Villice are the traditional spots. Peregrine - The Starling/Pied Wagtail roosts at Herriott's might turn up a bird or two. Water Rail - If we get any freezing weather then look out for them on the reed fringes at Herriott's Bridge. Mediterranean Gull - These should be regular in the roost and at Herriott's Bridge in the late afternoon. Chiffchaff - There could be one or two anywhere in the sallows around the lake perimeter. Siberian Chiffchaff - Often heard calling before you see them. Uncommon, but not unexpected. Any pale, greyish Chiffchaff should be worth getting some close looks at. Siskin - The alder wood at Stratford is a good place to look for them.