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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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March 2006
Another typically dull March day. Four Sand Martins were the only birds of note seen during the day, and the evening gull roost produced just two Mediterranean Gulls (adult and second-summer).
The diminishing gull roost produced five Mediterranean Gulls this evening (two adults, two second-summers and a first-winter). A Sand Martin was also seen briefly. Goldeneye are now beginning to increase, but the windy weather recently has made them just about impossible to count properly as they begin to roost in the early evenings.
At least seven Sand Martins and a Swallow were watched feeding over Herriott's Pool today.
A Swallow was seen feeding over the maize field at Moreton this afternoon.
Hooray! The first summer migrant of the year finally arrived today, and unusually, it wasn't a Sand Martin. It was a male Wheatear, found on the Parkland this afternoon. This area should be worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks for pipits and wagtails as the migration gets under way. The only other new birds were 16 Pintail in the centre of the lake. The gull roost produced a second-summer Mediterranean Gull and an adult Ring-billed Gull - of note this bird appeared to have a missing/broken central tail-feather.
Both Ring-necked Ducks were still on Herriott's Pool this afternoon; little else was seen during the day other than a Water Pipit in flight past Stratford hide. The gull roost this evening produced a 'new' adult Kumlien's Gull - this bird appeared to have very weak grey markings on the primaries (and was almost considered a nominate glaucoides at first), unlike the darker, more typically-marked bird seen here previously. Also present were two apparently leucistic Herring Gulls - and adult summer and a third-summer. Both birds appeared to be fairly normal, except that they both had the black in the primaries replaced by brown. Strangely, both were together in the roost.
The pair of Ring-necked Ducks on Herriott's Pool was the highlight today; the only other sighting of note was a pair of Greater Scaups at Stratford. Nothing of note was seen in the gull roost this evening.
An adult Ring-billed Gull was seen in the main roost this evening.
First day of the fishing season, and as a result of the flocks of fishing boats, a good number of Tufted Ducks had moved on to Herriott's Pool; amongst them were both a male and a female Ring-necked Duck. An adult Ring-billed Gull was again in the roost off Nunnery Point.
A Barn Owl was seen at the back of Herriott's Pool at 17:15.
Early this morning, the female Ring-necked Duck was still in Stratford Bay. Other birds included one Green Sandpiper (Villice Bay), three Water Pipits (at close range in front of Stratford hide) and 38 Ruddy Ducks. The gull roost tonight produced at least three adult summer Mediterranean Gulls (including a displaying pair) and at least one adult Ring-billed Gull. There may have been a second Ring-bill present - unfortunately it was asleep for virtually all of the time it was under observation, and on the occasion it did wake up for a second or two, the views were too brief and too distant to be absolutely sure.

An actinic moth-trap left overnight caught two Dotted Borders, a March Moth and half an inch of snow!
Apologies for the lack of updates in recent weeks - a combination of birders being away and bugger all being seen. Hopefully we should be getting the first Sand Martins through in the next week or so, but in the meantime, birds for today were:

Six Mediterranean Gulls (five adults and a first-winter) in the roost this afternoon, and a Curlew and a Peregrine in the Moreton/Heron's Green area. The female Ring-necked Duck and a female Greater Scaup were reported in Stratford Bay.
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