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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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May 2004 Jun 2004 Jul 2004 Aug 2004 Sep 2004 Oct 2004 Nov 2004 Dec 2004 Jan 2005 Feb 2005 Mar 2005 Apr 2005
June 2005
The sport of terrapin-watching at Chew has eveidently grown in popularity. At least four, and possibly up to six Red-eared Terrapins were watched basking in the channel just north of Herriott's Bridge this morning - probably a record number.
Three rather smart summer-plumage adult Black-tailed Godwits were on the bund in the main reedbed this evening (viewed from Stratford hide), and six Common Terns were on the main lake.

Butterflies on the wing today included Ringlet, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Red Admiral and the first Painted Lady of the year.
Birds(s) of the day were seven Common Scoters (six drakes and a female) off East Shore/Spring Bay this afternoon. The only other sightings of note were two female Goldeneye and two second-summer Yellow-legged Gulls on Herriott's Pool.

Moulting flocks of wildfowl are now beginning to increase in size - there are good numbers of Coot, Great Crested Grebe, Gadwall and Canada Goose now on the lake, with smaller numbers of Teal beginning to appear. Green Sandpiper should be coming through any time now, as well.
The first juvenile Black-headed Gull of the year was on Herriott's Pool today.
With temperatures reaching 31c this afternoon, very little activity was reported on the bird front today.

On the dragonfly front however, the first Black-tailed Skimmers of the year were on the wing at Nunnery Point this morning. Two of the four new pools on the point have now become established, and look good for dragonflies later in the year. A Beautiful Demoiselle was also on the wing at Herriott's. After a failed attempt yesterday, two Red-belted Clearwings were attracted to a pheremone lure early this afternoon, but a search nearby for Six-belted Clearwing, however, drew a blank. A Glow-worm and a Dark Sword-grass were seen on Nunnery Point this evening.

There continue to be a number of reports of Red-eared Terrapins on emergent branches just north of Herriott's Pool. These are native to the southern United States, and were 'introduced' to the lake many years ago. They are often seen basking on stones or branches at the southern end of the lake when the water levels drop in the late summer/autumn.
Copyright Rich Andrews
immature male Black-tailed Skimmer Nunnery Point
Copyright Rich Andrews
Red-belted Clearwing Stoke Villice
The flock of Tufted Ducks at East Shore this morning held a drake Tufted Duck x Pochard and two female Goldeneye. A second-summer Yellow-legged Gull was at Twycross, and a Common Tern was on the main lake.

In ideal conditions, an actinic moth trap produced a creditable 79 moths of 37 species overnight, best of which were single Small China-mark and Ringed China-mark, and two each of Obscure Wainscot, Silky Wainscot and Pinion-streaked Snout. Ironically, the only moth new to Chew was Pammeme aurana, found in the daylight feeding on hogweed flowers. A Broad-bodied Chaser was on the wing this afternoon.

I've updated the CVL moth list with this year's new species, which now stands at 473. Although this may sound a large number, it is significantly smaller than the average Bristol garden list!
MIDDLEZOY: In Somerset, the two White Storks were both still showing at close range off Pathe Road this evening
Copyright Rich Andrews
White Stork - Middlezoy, Somerset
Click image for larger picture
Moth trapping overnight produced two Obscure Wainscots, one Maiden's Blush and the first Pinion-streaked Snout for Chew.
UPHILL: A Woodchat Shrike was found today between Uphill Pill and the River Axe - the first 'Avon' record since one in 1989, and only the third ever. This bird has very little white on the forehead and does not appear to have any white at the bases of the primaries - this should make it the fourth record of the Balearic race badius for the UK. Click on the thumbnails for larger pictures:
What was presumably the female Red-crested Pochard x Pochard was in Spring Bay at dusk.
A flock of 31 Black-tailed Godwits were on Herriott's Pool this afternoon, and a Little Egret was on the east side of Denny Island at 15:00.
Another Marsh Harrier was seen at the back of Herriott's Pool this afternoon, and a pair of Barnacle Geese have raised three young on the pool.
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