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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 logbook for the preceeding months.

May 2003 Jun 2003 Jul 2003 Aug 2003 Sep 2003 Oct 2003 Nov 2003 Dec 2003 Jan 2004 Feb 2004
March 2004
The first Little Ringed Plover of the year was on the main dam today. There were also four Brambling at Villice Bay and a single Swallow was reported in Heron's Green Bay.
There were four Common Scoters present today - three males and a female, along with the female Greater Scaup still (Villice Bay), at least one Raven and a Sand Martin.
A pair of Common Scoters remained from yesterday; other wildfowl included a female Greater Scaup, 98 Goldeneye and the Eurasian White-fronted Goose. The gull roost was significantly smaller than yesterday - there was no sign of the Kumlien's Gull this evening. Other birds from Nunnery included 24 Sand Martins and a pair of Ravens.
Three Common Scoters (two adult drakes and a female) spent the day off Nunnery Point, where there were also six Wigeon. 50 Meadow Pipits (Moreton) and c.40 Sand Martins were the passerine highlights; the gull roost again held the adult Kumlien's Gull and two (adult and first-winter) Mediterranean Gulls, whilst up to four Great Black-backed Gulls were on Herriott's Pool.
A single adult Mediterranean Gull was all that was seen in the roost this evening.
A further selection of common migrants at the lake today - this morning c.120 Sand Martins and the first Swallow of the year were in Heron's Green Bay (but had left NW by 09:30). Twelve Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap were present along Moreton Lane, and a female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was seen near Stratford hide. Two adult Little Gulls were on the main lake.
50 Fieldfares, two Redwings and ten Chiffchaffs were found around the lake this morning, whilst a quick early evening check of the gull roost produced the adult Kumlien's Gull off Nunnery Point.
Rather more spring-like today, with a sprinkling of migrants to report: three adult Little Gulls, two Willow Warblers, a singing Blackcap, and bird of the day - an adult male Hen Harrier - a real Chew rarity!
Two Mediterranean Gulls (adult and second-summer) were on Herriott's Pool this afternoon, along with a hybrid Herring x Lesser Black-backed Gull.
The annual spring build-up of Goldeneye is well underway - 111 were counted from Nunnery Point this evening, along with a drake Common Scoter. The gull roost was noticeably diminished from the weekend, although it still contained an adult Mediterranean Gull and a second-summer Yellow-legged Gull. Sand Martin numbers have increased rapidly - there were at least 100 present off Moreton hide this evening.
A drake Red-crested Pochard was an unexpected find in Heron's Green Bay this morning; it flew off to the southern end of the lake. There were also 20 Sand Martins and at least four singing Chiffchaffs.
Better conditions for the gull roost tonight - at least one adult Ring-billed Gull and two adult Mediterranean Gulls were present off Nunnery Point.
A fairly dismal day was enlivened by the appearance of the adult Kumlien's Gull on Herriott's Pool at 3pm this afternoon. It follows a similar pattern of occurrence to last year - seen a few times in the main roost in February, then on Herriott's Pool in March; presumably the same bird returning.
The first Sand Martins of the year arrived this afternoon - two were seen briefly over Nunnery Point and Moreton. Otherwise, little change - the European White-fronted Goose was still on the Parkland, the Mandarin and Egyptian Goose were still at Picnic Site No.1, a Green Sandpiper was on Herriott's Pool, and an adult Mediterranean Gull flew past Nunnery Point into Heron's Green Bay this afternoon. In contrast to yesterday however, the gull roost was rubbish.

Also, a reminder that the fishing season at Chew begins on Thursday 18th.
Two first-winter Little Gulls were new in today - presumably as a result of the strong winds that have produced large numbers of Kittiwakes in the Severn Estuary today. Continuing the gull theme, a notable event was the presence of two adult Ring-billed Gulls in the roost tonight, along with a single adult Mediterranean Gull.

The European White-fronted Goose was still with the Canada Goose flock, along with up to 13 Barnacle Geese. Other birds included single flyover Brambling and Lesser Redpoll, plus four Ravens, a Chiffchaff, a Peregrine, a Green Sandpiper and a fly-through Dunlin this evening. Still no Sand Martins though!
European White-fronted Goose
Copyright Rich Andrews
   European White-fronted Goose  13th March 2004
An unusual record today was of a Woodcock flushed from the alder wood behind Stratford hide; this species is very tricky to find at Chew. Two Chiffchaffs were also in the same area.
One Mediterranean Gull was seen in the roost tonight.
Little change from Saturday - the gull roost still held two Mediterranean Gulls (with a different Med at Herriott's in the morning), whilst yesterdays geese and the female Stonechat remained on the Parkland.

A Brown Hare in the Villice Bay/Parkland area was a real Chew rarity this afternoon.

ROYAL PORTBURY DOCK: A Dusky Warbler was found late yesterday evening, and was still present this morning - the first Avon record, following hot on the heels of the first one for 'proper' Somerset in Taunton earlier this year. Directions are as follows:

From the Gordano Services roundabout (junc 19 of M5) take Royal Portbury Dock Road and then park carefully on the left after a couple of hundred yards, opposite the first warehouse. Follow the footpath sign down to a cinder track and walk alongside a drainage ditch for about 300 yards. The bird seems to favour the far side of the drainage ditch, particularly the small hedge around the last warehouse. It was also seen in the tiny reedbed at the far end of the track where the ditch does a sharp right turn.
The goose collection on the Parkland still includes single European White-fronted, Greylag, Bar-headed and Barnacle Geese; a female Stonechat is also by the car park at the point. The gull roost produced two (adult and first-winter) Mediterranean Gulls and a fly-through Dunlin.
The adult Kumlien's Gull was again in the roost this evening, along with at least three Mediterranean Gulls.
There were c.30 Golden Plover in the old maize field behind Moreton hide today.
No sign of the Kumlien's Gull in the roost this evening, although there was a single Little Egret roosting on Denny.

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