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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.

Click on the thumbnails below to see the monthly logbooks for the previous year, or follow the link to the right for the complete index.
Click here for the logbook index
Jul 2003 Aug 2003 Sep 2003 Oct 2003 Nov 2003 Dec 2003 Jan 2004 Feb 2004Mar 2004 Apr 2004 May 2004 Jun 2004
July 2004
A Common Tern was in Heron's Green Bay this evening, and a Little Egret was reported in Stratford Bay.
No sign of the Black Terns today. Heron's Green Pool still held the Garganey, along with single Water Rail, Common Sandpiper and Green Sandpiper. There were seven Green Sandpipers in Villice Bay, four more Common Sandpipers were on the main dam, and a drake Wigeon was in Stratford Bay.
An early flock of 32 adult Black Terns was at the lake for most of the day.
The eclipse Garganey was still on Herriott's Pool this afternoon, whilst an adult Yellow-legged Gull was on Herriott's Pool. This (sub)species has been unusually frequent this summer.
Four Green Sandpipers (three in Villice Bay and one on Herriott's Pool), and a first-summer Yellow-legged Gull (Stratford Bay) were the highlights today.
The eclipse Garganey was still on Heron's Green Pool this morning (along the south side, on the edge of the juncus). Also today an Oystercatcher and a Green Sandpiper on Herriott's Pool, and two Common Terns on the main lake.
The first Garganey of the autumn was on Heron's Green Pool today (there had been at least one at Blagdon on 20th); otherwise just a single Common Tern and three Yellow-legged Gulls. This evening on Herriott's Pool, the second-summer and adult summer Mediterranean Gulls were present. There's now been at least four birds (one adult, two third cal-yrs and a second cal-yr), but no juveniles yet.
A little quieter today - the only record of note was a second-winter Mediterranean Gull on Herriott's Pool this evening.
One of last night's Common Scoters was still on the main lake, as were three Black Terns. Four summer-plumaged Black-necked Grebes off Moreton were an unusual sight - nearly all the autumn records at CVL are of birds in non-breeding plumage. Other birds included three Green Sandpipers (one in Villice Bay and two on Moreton Bank), an adult Yellow-legged Gull (Herriott's Pool) and single Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat (Moreton Lane); the latter two are not the easiest species to connect with at Chew.
Three drake Common Scoters this evening continued this species good run of form.
Still quiet, but nevertheless a little more movement happening again today - three Dunlin, an Oystercatcher and two Yellow-legged Gulls on Herriott's Pool, a Dunlin on the dam and 43 Lapwing on Heron's Green Pool.
A few more new birds today - three Common Terns, a Redshank (in front of Stratford hide), four Common Sandpipers and both first and second-summer Mediterranean Gulls on Herriott's Pool this evening.
A first-winter/summer Mediterranean Gull was in front of Stratford hide this evening, and the Black-tailed Godwit was still amongst the gulls on Herriott's Pool. Three Yellow-legged Gulls (two adults and a first-summer) were on the shore at Wick Green Point this evening, and a Little Egret was in Villice Bay.
Mediterranean Gull
Copyright Rich Andrews
First-summer Mediterranean Gull 17th July 2004
The pair of Common Scoters were still on the main lake, although a Black-tailed Godwit on Herriott's Pool was new in. Five Great Black-backed Gulls, one Common Gull and the drake Pochard x Tufted Duck were also on the pool.
Two (more?) Common Scoters dropped in during a rain shower today - the Common Tern remained, and a first-summer Yellow-legged Gull was still on Herriott's Pool. A Hobby was also seen (infrequent so far this year), and a Common Sandpiper was in Heron's Green Bay.

Most noteworthy event of the day, however, was the discovery of two Scarlet Tigers behind Villice hide - the first record for Chew.
A pair of Common Scoters and a Common Tern were on the main lake today, whilst Herriott's Pool held five Great Black-backed Gulls, a first-summer Yellow-legged Gull, three Oystercatchers and the drake Pochard x Tufted Duck.
Two Little Egrets flew north at 10:30 this morning, but appeared to continue over the lake; there was a similar story with two Black Terns and four Common Terns which appeared during a shower and promptly disappeared again. a first-summer Yellow-legged Gull was still at Herriott's Pool.
A few more birds to write about today - a flock of eight Common Scoters (six drakes and two females) this afternoon was a typical midsummer record of this species. Normally they hang around all day, but the group had reduced to four by 17:30. Two Black-necked Grebes in Stratford Bay and two Common Terns were also new in, with other birds including single Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper and Redshank, with up to three Yellow-legged Gulls remaining on Herriott's Pool.
Returning Black-headed Gulls are beginning to pass through in numbers now; at least 300 were present this evening, and amongst a flock on Heron's Green Pool was a second-summer Mediterranean Gull, replaced in the evening by an adult - we should start seeing the first few juveniles moving through any time soon. Two first-summer and one adult Yellow-legged Gulls were on Herriott's Pool, and a pair of Ravens flew over there. The Egyptian Goose is still wandering about amongst the cars at Woodford Lodge, and a Barn Owl was again seen at Heron's Green Pool this afternoon.

Purple Hairstreaks are now on the wing at the favoured Parkland site, best viewed from the spoil heap in the council car park just off the B3114.
A Barn Owl hunting over the B3114 at Heron's Green this evening (19:20) was the best bird, otherwise a repeat of the last two days - a Dunlin and a first-summer Yellow-legged Gull at Herriott's Pool, and two Common Sandpipers in Heron's Green Bay.
The trickle of returning migrants continues - two Common Sandpipers and a Ringed Plover were in Heron's Green Bay, whilst at Herriott's were one Greenshank, 19 Teal, one Common Gull and another Common Sandpiper.
The first Common Gulls of the autumn were on Herriott's Pool today (an adult and three first-summers), as were a first-summer Yellow-legged Gull, two Dunlin, a drake Wigeon and 16 Teal.
A little more to report today, again, mostly on Herriott's Pool - two Little Ringed Plovers, two Common Terns, four Great Black-backed Gulls, two first-summer Yellow-legged Gulls, and three Greenshank appeared there this evening. A Common Sandpiper was on the main dam.
Two Common Sandpipers were on Herriott's Pool today.
Three Black-tailed Godwits on Herriott's Pool.

More moth excitement today in the form of Fomoria septembrella - a micro-moth new to CVL which mines the leaves of Hypericum sp. (St John's wort).
Most of the birds seemed to be sheltering from the SW wind in Stratford Bay today - just over 100 Great Crested Grebes (including the first migrant juvenile), and most of the lakes Coots, Canada Geese and Mute Swans were gathered there this evening.

A first-summer gull at Herriott's Pool this evening, intermittently present since 30th June is considered by many observers to be a Caspian Gull. Photographs of the bird can be seen at Paul Burrows' Nature Photography.
Great Crested Grebes
Copyright Rich Andrews
Great Crested Grebes 3rd July 2004
Again, the noteworthy birds were on Herriott's Pool - six Redshanks and one Greenshank.
The Barn Owl was seen again this morning at 08:30 around the ringing station field. This evening at Herriott's Pool: two (adult and first-summer) Great Black-backed Gulls, one first-summer Yellow-legged Gull, a flyover Common Tern and the drake Pochard x Tufted Duck.
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