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This page brings you the latest bird and wildlife sightings from Chew Valley Lake (and occasionally elsewhere). Every effort is made to keep the information on this page accurate, but it's quite possible that the odd stringy record slips in every now and then.
A family party of five Bewick's Swans were in Stratford Bay, along with four Dunlin, two Black-tailed Godwits and at least two Water Pipits (up to eleven of the latter were seen flying to roost tonight).  Eight Green Sandpipers and one Mediterranean Gull were the only other birds of note.
A Little Egret over Sutton Wick was the highlight of the day; otherwise four Golden Plover and six Green Sandpipers were the most noteworthy birds.
Ten Golden Plover was the highest count of the autumn of this species (the largest numbers are at Blagdon). Ten Water Pipits were in Stratford Bay.

A very late Common Darter was seen behind Stratford hide.
Another dreary, wet day with few birds of note. At least two Water Pipits and a Black-tailed Godwit were in Stratford Bay.

At least seven Winter Moths were around the lights on Woodford Lodge this morning.
Stratford Bay
Copyright Rich Andrews
     Stratford Bay  23rd November 2003.  Despite recent rainfall, the water level at Chew is now down to 45% full.
At least ten Water Pipits were found around the lake today, eight of which were showing well with Meadow Pipits on the shore in front of Stratford hide. Other birds included three Black-tailed Godwits, two Yellow-legged Gulls, a Redpoll and a Peregrine.
The Bittern was seen again at 15:00 in flight over Herriott's Pool; other birds included a Peregrine, two Dunlin and four Green Sandpipers.  The Water Pipit roost in the main reeds held between 12 and 25 birds this evening.
A few more interesting birds amongst the (still pretty good) numbers of commoner species toady - the female Scaup was off Sutton Wick; a Little Egret was on Herriott's Pool, and an apparent drake Pochard x Ferruginous Duck was in front of Stratford hide.  At least 32 Pintail and five Green Sandpipers were present; however, the most noteworthy count was of at least 17 Water Pipits flying to roost late this afternoon over the main reedbed (from Herriott's Bridge) - the actual total may have been well in excess of this number. The confiding Kingfisher was again showing at close range in the channel at Herriott's Bridge this afternoon. No sign of the Bittern again, though.
Mainly passerine interest today, with seven Chiffchaffs (five on the Bittern Trail), two Redpolls, six Siskins (Bittern Trail), two Stonechats (Moreton) and three Water Pipits (Stratford Bay). A Peregrine was also seen.
An early redhead Smew was with Goldeneye just off the East Shore this afternoon. Other birds included (in Stratford Bay) five Dunlin, a juvenile Peregrine, a Siskin (Hillside Farm), and a Kingfisher on the overspill to the north of Herriott's Bridge this afternoon.
Still a few autumn migrants hanging on at the lake - a Black-tailed Godwit and six Green Sandpipers in Heron's Green Bay, and a female Scaup, four Dunlin, a Ruff and a drake Tufted Duck x Pochard were in Stratford Bay.

LONG ASHTON: The six Woodlarks were still present early this afternoon at least; these are the first twitchable ones to occur in Avon.
A quiet week still, the only birds reported were two Water Pipits in front of Stratford hide this afternoon.

LONG ASHTON: A remarkable local record was of five or six Woodlarks near Ashton Hill Plantation, just north of the public footpath at ST 527 703 today.
The Bittern showed well on Herriott's Pool at 10:30 this morning, otherwise little effort at Chew today, due mainly to distractions down the road.....

BLAGDON:  The juvenile American Golden Plover was still present this morning at Top End; it reportedly flew off early afternoon.

BARROW TANKS:  As if one American wader wasn't enough, the discovery of a Spotted Sandpiper on No.1 tank this afternoon was the cause of great celebration amongst the 'Avon' crowd - only the second record for the area following the brief bird at Chew in 1982.  Thanks to Paul Bowerman for the photo.
Spotted Sandpiper  Actitis macularia
Copyright Paul Bowerman
  Spotted Sandpiper  2nd November 2003
With the lake now down to 50% full, there's little to report in the way of interesting birds - although after a typically unproductive October hopefully November can turn up a late autumn surprise or two.  Meanwhile, the eight Bewick's Swans remained in Stratford Bay, and the first Water Pipit of the autumn was also seen there.  A Redpoll was heard in Villice, and up to seven Snipe were found, whilst a noticeable increase in Lapwing saw c.160 in Stratford Bay. No Golden Plover, though.....

BLAGDON:  A juvenile American Golden Plover was found this morning with a 'new in' flock of Lapwings and Golden Plover at Bell's Bush.  It's only the second Avon record, following one at Chew in October 1994.