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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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on 09.11.2006
October 2006
A new bird today was a first-winter Little Gull, joining the Black Tern which is still present. The female Greater Scaup is still in Heron's Green Bay, and an apparent juvenile Tufted Duck x Ferruginous Duck was seen.
Both Ferruginous Ducks were present today - the adult female in Stratford Bay and the first-winter male from Herriott's Bridge, although the latter, as usual, was erratic in its appearances. Other ducks around the lake included the Red-breasted Merganser and a Goosander at Twycross, the Black Tern still, five Snipe and the Greater Scaup in Heron's Green Bay. Single Water Pipit, Lesser Redpoll and Mediterranean Gull were also seen. A very late Reed Warbler was also present in the main reedbed.

There were still Red Admirals and Migrant Hawkers on the wing in the sun today.
The first-winter drake Ferruginous Duck was reported from Herriott's Bridge again late this afternoon. Other birds around the lake included the juvenile Black Tern still, and three Mediterranean Gulls in the roost.
A late Swallow was seen on the Grebe Trail today, and another Rock Pipit was on the main dam. A first-winter drake Greater Scaup was at Herriott's End, and the first Redwings of the year at Chew were seen today.
The long-staying adult female Ferruginous Duck was at Stratford hide this afternoon, before flying off towards Moreton. The juvenile Black Tern remained, along with 13 Goldeneye and a 'redhead' Goosander.
No sign again of the first-winter drake Ferruginous Duck (last seen on Saturday afternoon), but the two Common Scoters and the Black Tern remained. New in was a first-winter Greater Scaup in Heron's Green Bay. Two Green Sandpipers were at the main dam.
Although evidently hiding this morning, the Ferruginous Duck reappeared in the channel at Herriott's Bridge this afternoon. The two female-type Common Scoters remained, and a juvenile Black Tern was also present.

BLAGDON: No sign of the Bean Geese today.
Ferruginous Duck
Copyright Rich Andrews

1st-winter drake Ferruginous Duck, Herriott's Bridge
The first-winter drake Ferruginous Duck was still present today, in the same place (thanks to Simon Mackie for the photo). A late Swallow was over the main lake near Denny.

The 13 Tundra Bean Geese have reappeared, today at Bell's Bush. Be careful how you approach, as they can be easily flushed at this locality. As indeed they were, at 4pm.
Ferruginous Duck
Copyright Simon Mackie

1st-winter drake Ferruginous Duck, Herriott's Bridge
An unexpected discovery this afternoon came in the form of our third Ferruginous Duck of the autumn - a first-winter drake at close range in the channel north of Herriott's Bridge. An adult Mediterranean Gull was the only other bird of note.

A flock of 13 Tundra Bean Geese at Top End at lunchtime was an all-to brief event - they flew off soon after their discovery. Also at BL were 120 Golden Plover,one Little Stint and four Black-necked Grebes.
There are now two immature Common Scoters (off the main dam), but the best bird was a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker near CVRS. Other birds included single Mediterranean Gull and Yellow-legged Gull, two Green Sandpipers, two Goosanders and the eclipse drake Red-breasted Merganser - unusually, the latter was showing at close range just off the overspill shortly before dusk. Common Gulls are now arriving in force as the gull roost begins to build up in the afternoon.

Of note, Hornets were easy to see (in fact impossible to miss) along the tracks behind Villice hide today.
Still nothing too unusual to report - best bird today was a Rock Pipit that dropped in on the breakwater at Nunnery Point this afternoon - a typical late autumn record. Other birds seen today were nine Goldeneye, and single Green Sandpiper, Kingfisher, Goosander and Yellow-legged Gull.

The colour-ringed Lapwing seen at Heron's Green Pool a fortnight ago had been ringed as a chick on the Ouse Washes, Cambridgeshire in July 2001 as part of an RSPB project. Another ringed bird, this time a Mute Swan, seen at Chew on 12th August had been ringed as a cygnet at Harry Stoke in September 2000. Two months later it had been contaminated with oil at Bradley Stoke, and was taken into care and later released by the RSPCA.

A few moths were trapped overnight - some typical late autumn species, including Grey Shoulder-knot, Satellite and the first Epirritas of the year. Click here for the full list.
A female Common Scoter was another new bird today.
An eclipse drake Red-breasted Merganser and at least 30 Wigeon were in Stratford Bay.

Five Clouded Yellows were seen around the lake today.
There were no birds at Chew today.

The juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper was still present this afternoon, midway between Bell's Bush and Wood Bay, viewable from the passing place on the road. There were also 35 Golden Plover at the site.

A top find this morning was a juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs just downstream from Brean Cross Sluice - only the second Avon record. More details at Paul Bowyer's site here.
A Dark-bellied Brent Goose was a notable, albeit brief visitor today, no doubt as a result of the crappy weather we've been having lately.
Just when it was beginning to look as though the most exciting news of the weekend was the new bit of tarmac on Stratford Lane, two Common Terns were seen.

A juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper was found at the lodge this afternoon, along with a Little Stint and a Ringed Plover.
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