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This page brings you the latest bird and wildlife sightings from Chew Valley Lake (and occasionally elsewhere). Most updates will be on a weekly basis, although they will probably be more frequent at busy times. Records are taken from various sources and should be regarded as unconfirmed.
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Apr 2004 May 2004 Jun 2004 Jul 2004 Aug 2004 Sep 2004 Oct 2004 Nov 2004 Dec 2004 Jan 2005 Feb 2005 Mar 2005
April 2005
The first Black Terns of the spring were in today - three of them, together with three Arctic Terns.
The Common Tern has now been replaced by a single Arctic Tern, and a Whitethroat was singing by the puddle on Moreton Lane. A Little Egret was on Herriott's Pool and single Redshank and Dunlin were on the main dam. A minor mircale was the presence of two reeling Grasshopper Warblers this evening - this species is something of a rarity at Chew.
Bird of the day was a Wood Warbler singing just south of Moreton hide. The Black-necked Grebe was again still in Stratford Bay, and a Lesser Whitethroat was at Villice Bay. One Common Tern was also still present, and the drake Garganey was still off Moreton Point.
The Black-necked Grebe was still present along the edge of the main reedbed today. Other sightings included two Whimbrel, one Common Tern, a Cuckoo and good numbers of Swifts and Swallows.
No sign of the Ring-necked Duck today, but the drake Garganey was still present at Moreton Point (along with a Whimbrel), with ten Common Terns, a Common Sandpiper, a Hobby and a Black-necked Grebe in Stratford Bay, along the east shore.
The drake Garganey was with Teal on Moreton Point this afternoon. The Common Tern was also still present, and a drake Wigeon was still around. A welcome, though not entirely unexpected report was of a drake Ring-necked Duck on Herriott's Pool this evening.
The Garganey was still present, today in front of Stratford hide, where a female Marsh Harrier put in an appearance this evening. There was a single Common Tern, and three adult Little Gulls in the middle of the main lake, and a few Swifts were with the hirundine flock in the deteriorating weather this afternoon.
Garganey  Anas querquedula
Copyright Rich Andrews
Tired Garganey, Stratford Bay, 23rd April
A drake Garganey was on Herriott's Pool this afternoon.
The Pochard x Red-crested Pochard was in front of Stratford hide today. Birds remaining were one Common Tern, a first-year Little Gull, a Common Sandpiper, a White Wagtail and one female Goldeneye still.
The first terns of the year arrived at CVL today - two Common Terns and two Arctic Terns this evening, with at least three first-winter Little Gulls present. Three White Wagtails and four Swifts were also new today. The female Red-crested Pochard reported on the weekend is still present in Heron's Green bay, but believed to be the Pochard x Red-crested Pochard from 2004 (click the 'June' icon above for a photo).
At least 600 Swallows were present in the crappy weather this afternoon, with much smaller numbers of House Martins and Sand Martins. A Redshank was on the main dam.
Eight Common Sandpipers were still scattered at various places around the lake (as usual, the main dam being best), and at least two Little Gulls (adult and first-winter) in the centre of the lake. The first Swifts of the year were five over Herriott's Pool this evening, with a female Red-crested Pochard in Heron's Green Bay, and a Whimbrel over Nunnery Point this afternoon.
Eight Common Sandpipers and a Peregrine were the best birds reported today.
A few more warblers seem to be arriving now; Blackcap, Willow, Reed, Sedge and Garden Warbler were all present today, with a male Redstart at Villice/Parkland being the passerine highlight. A Curlew and a Common Sandpiper were on the main dam this morning.
The first Cuckoo of the year was at Moreton today, and a Little Ringed Plover was on the main dam.
An early-morning visit today produced a colour-ringed Osprey at Moreton hide. Other birds seen today included three Reed Warblers , two Blackcaps, two Willow Warblers, 90 Swallows, 50 Sand Martins and two first-winter Little Gulls.
c.400 Swallows and c.250 Sand Martins were the highlights this evening.
From Nunnery Point this evening, one adult winter Little Gull and two Greylags.
The first Reed Warblers of the year were two at Stratford today, and the first House Martin was also in. Also present were 200 Swallows, 1000 Sand Martins, a Water Pipit at Stratford, another Rock Pipit at Nunnery Point, and three Blackcaps.
Little to report today - a male Blackcap was singing on the Bittern Trail, and from Stratford hide, two Water Pipits, a Little Ringed Plover, a Swallow and 75-plus Sand Martins.

WAXWINGS: I've not been updating the site with Waxwing news since my trip to India, as most people who wanted to see them had probably done so by then. However, it may be worth noting that they are still around, and in good numbers - there is a flock again at Manor Road Community Forest, Keynsham (up to 135 today), and a group of up to 68 in Paulton along Farrington Road. They won't be around for much longer though!
Waxwing  Bombycilla garrulus
copyright Rich Andrews

Adult Waxwing  Manor Road Community Forest, Keynsham
A Water Pipit on the remaining island in front of Stratford hide was the best of the birds reported today.
A Redshank was on the main dam this morning, and a Little Ringed Plover was in Heron's Green Bay. A Black-tailed Godwit and the female Greater Scaup were in Stratford Bay. Two Swallows and a few Sand Martins were also seen - given a bit of rainy weather we ought to get our first House Martin through any time soon.
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