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This page brings you the latest bird and wildlife sightings from Chew Valley Lake (and occasionally elsewhere)
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.
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Oct 2003 Nov 2003 Dec 2003 Jan 2004 Feb 2004Mar 2004 Apr 2004 May 2004 Jun 2004 Jul 2004 Aug 2004 Sep 2004
October 2004
At least two Little Gulls remained, and at least one Water Pipit was seen flying to roost in the main reedbed from Herriott's Bridge this afternoon. Although there's little rarity value at the moment, there are still good numbers of birds all around the lake; the most noticeable concentration of late has been a flock of 600+ Aythyas in Spring Bay. 19 Goldeneye were also there this afternoon. Two Ravens flew north over Sutton Wick this afternooon.
Still two Little Gulls in Stratford Bay, but no sign of the Black Tern. A first-winter Common Sandpiper was in Villice Bay, and one or two Water Pipits were with Meadow Pipits in front of Stratford hide. The Bittern was again seen in flight from Herriott's Bridge late this afternoon.
A welcome sighting today of a Bittern in flight over Herriott's Pool late this afternoon.
The adult Black Tern was still present today but only two Little Gulls (adult and first-winter). Also single Redshank and Dunlin in front of Stratford hide, plus the pair of Stonechats still along Moreton Bank.
Still three Little Gulls present, plus a late adult Black Tern today. The two Stonechats were again on Moreton Bank, and a Water Pipit (or two) was at Moreton and Stratford hides. Four Black-tailed Godwits and three Dunlin were the wader highlights.
The five Little Gulls were still present today, as was the pair of Stonechats on Moreton Bank. 16 Skylarks flying west over there were also noteworthy. A Common Sandpiper was in Villice Bay.
There are now five Little Gulls (two adults and three first-winters), along with two adult Yellow-legged Gulls and the second-winter Caspian Gull still. A Water Pipit was still at Stratford hide, with two Common Sandpipers and a Herring Gull x Lesser Black-backed Gull on Herriott's Pool.
The two Little Gulls were still in Stratford Bay, and one of the juvenile Scaup were at East Shore, along with three Yellow-legged Gulls. There were a total of 33 Pintail between Twycross and Herriott's Pool this afternoon, and a Redshank at Herriott's End. A Raven was flushed from the alder copse behind Stratford hide this afternoon.
One Black-tailed Godwit remained in Stratford Bay, along with the two first-winter Little Gulls. The Egyptian Goose was still at No.1 Picnic Site.
Nine Black-tailed Godwits were new in today, as was a single Redshank. Birds remaining were the two Little Gulls, a Water Pipit and the drake Tufted Duck x Pochard.
Three first-winter Little Gulls were still in Stratford Bay; also here were single Dunlin, Little Stint and Kingfisher. Two Goosanders and a Green Sandpiper were in Villice Bay, whilst there were 25 Pintail at Herriott's Pool and Herriott's End. The first Water Pipit of the autumn was in front of Stratford hide this afternoon - this is one of the best places to see this species locally, from now until the water levels rise at the end of the year. They can also be seen overhead from Herriott's Bridge as they fly to roost in the main reedbed late in the afternoon.
Still two first-winter Little Gulls in the Roman Shallows/Stratford Bay area today. There were at least 20 Snipe in Stratford Bay (most along the main reedbed), where there was also a juvenile Little Stint. The adult Little Egret was showing well in the north-west corner of Heron's Green Bay this afternoon. It or another was also at BK hide this evening, along with the second-winter Caspian Gull, three Yellow-legged Gulls and two Great Black-backed Gulls. A Kingfisher was watched feeding from the dead willow in front of Moreton hide this afternoon.
Little Egret  Egretta garzetta
copyright Rich Andrews
Little Egret  Heron's Green Bay
Three first-winter Little Gulls were still present this morning, and a Little Egret and two Goosanders were in Villice Bay.
There are now four Little Gulls (an adult and three first-winters), along with the two juvenile Scaup and the pair of Stonechats still. The second-winter Caspian Gull was still at Twycross, as were three Yellow-legged Gulls and three Great Black-backed Gulls.
The two first-winter Little Gulls were still present today, and were joined by an adult this evening. Two first-winter Common Terns were also new arrivals. There are now two juvenile Scaup in Stratford Bay, and a female/juvenile Goldeneye was still present. Other birds included the second-winter Caspian Gull seen in flight in Stratford Bay, a first-winter Mediterranean Gull, and two Stonechats just north of Stratford hide. Small parties of Swallows were also still moving through.

There was an unconfirmed report of the Otter at Herriott's today.
Two Little Gulls remained from yesterday, and a late White Wagtail was at Bernard King hide. Other birds included the two Stonechats on Moreton Bank, a juvenile Peregrine, an adult Mediterranean Gull and a total of 16 Pintail.
Bird of the day (or possibly week) was a Rock Pipit at Herriott's this morning. The easterly winds have evidently brought in a few late migrants as well - a juvenile Knot in Heron's Green Bay, two Black Terns and four first-winter Little Gulls. Four Goosander and one Goldeneye were the first of the autumn.

However, the most notable event of the autumn so far occurred at about 16:00 this afternoon, and it didn't even involve a bird! The first Otter to be seen at Chew for many years swam along the front of the main reeds, caught a fish and dragged it out onto the bank before disappearing into the reedbed. There have been odd reports of spraints found on the River Chew both upstream and downstream of the lake in recent years, but this has been the first sighting of one at the lake itself.
Little to report - twelve Redwings at Stratford car park this evening were part of a large influx locally; otherwise 13 Pintail and a Yellow-legged Gull were on Herriott's Pool this evening.
A juvenile Scaup from Stratford hide was a new bird today, and nearby, there is still a pair of Stonechats on Moreton Bank. The Caspian Gull was still at Twycross (from BK hide), along with a second-winter Yellow-legged Gull.
Six Ringed Plovers and a Greenshank were the highlights, along with six Yellow-legged Gulls this evening.
The Little Gull was still present this afternoon, along with two juvenile Black Terns. There were 13 Pintail on Herriott's Pool, and three Stonechats on Moreton Bank. Two Ravens were also seen over there.
A drake Red-breasted Merganser was seen in flight this afternoon, and a first-winter Little Gull was also new in. Other birds included the second-winter Caspian Gull at Bernard King hide.
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