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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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January 2007
The Long-tailed Duck was again on view in Stratford Bay, the drake Red-breasted Merganser was in front of Moreton hide, the female Smew was still in Heron's Green Bay, and the drake Tufted Duck x Scaup was again in Villice Bay.
The Long-tailed Duck has finally resurfaced in Stratford Bay, having spent the last week underwater. Up to four first-winter Yellow-legged Gulls and a first-winter Mediterranean Gull were on Herriott's Pool this afternoon.
No sign of the Caspian Gull this afternoon; otherwise the only birds of note were all three sawbills in Heron's Green Bay (Goosander, female Smew and the drake Red-breasted Merganser).
The first-winter Caspian Gull put in a brief appearance again at Herriott's Pool this afternoon; it flew in from the south and stayed a couple of minutes before flying off over the road. The Brent Goose was still with the Canada Goose flock, either on Woodford Bank or by the main dam; eleven Barnacle Geese were also there. Other birds today included the drake Red-breasted Merganser still, a Chiffchaff behind Stratford Hide, at least one adult Mediterranean Gull in the roost, a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull and one of those smart male tenebrosus/melanistic Common Pheasants at Herriott's.
No access to the lake enclosure today, as another DEFRA Ruddy Duck cull was underway. 29 birds were reportedly shot.
The Dark-bellied Brent Goose was on the grassy slope just west of the main dam today.
A Dark-bellied Brent Goose was found with the Canada Geese at Woodford Bank this afternoon; a barely annual visitor to Chew, so a good bird to help the yearlist along. Otherwise, more of the same, with the female Smew still in Heron's Green Bay and the juvenile Long-tailed Duck in Stratford Bay still; in the calm waters of the lake this afternoon it was even visible from Herriott's Bridge, where the assembled hopefuls only had a Green Sandpiper and a roost of 150 Pied Wagtails to look at. The drake Tufted Duck x Scaup was still in Villice Bay - I managed to get some pictures of it this afternoon - click on the thumbnails below for bigger images.

The rain over the last few weeks has finally topped the lake up to full capacity for the first time in at least two years.
Dark-bellied Brent Goose
Copyright Simon Mackie
Tufted Duck x Greater Scaup
Tufted Duck x Greater Scaup
Tufted Duck x Greater Scaup
Tufted Duck x Greater Scaup
Tufted Duck x Greater Scaup
The Long-tailed Duck, Red-breasted Merganser and Tufted Duck x Scaup were all still present today, and both Smew were still in Heron's Green Bay, although evidently elusive amongst the emergent trees. A pair of Stonechats was on the south shore of Heron's Green Bay. The best bird was seen in the fading minutes of daylight - a first-winter Caspian Gull on Herriott's Pool, which then flew into the main roost and was relocated off Moreton hide. A Water Pipit was also heard calling there, and an adult Mediterranean Gull was in the roost off Nunnery Point.
The Long-tailed Duck was still around, but evidently rather elusive today, and the drake Red-breasted Merganser, Smew and Tufted Duck x Scaup were still present, whilst the two Stonechats were still along Moreton Bank.
Both the Long-tailed Duck (Stratford Bay) and drake Smew (Heron's Green Bay) were still present today.
A quiet day, with the weather as usual being rubbish for birding. The commonest duck at the moment seems to be Pochard; there are still a few hundred in the Stratford/Moreton area - that Canvasback x Pochard thing is still with them. The drake Red-breasted Merganser was again close-in off Nunnery Point this afternoon, and an adult Mediterranean Gull was in the roost off there this afternoon.
The Long-tailed Duck was in the usual area, though elusive as ever today, and the Tufted Duck x Scaup was again in Villice Bay. Six Pintail were in Stratford Bay, and the Kingfisher was a welcome distraction from the gull roost this afternoon on the pool in front of Nunnery Point hide. In the roost itself, two Mediterranean Gulls (an adult and a second-winter) were seen this afternoon, but bird(s) of the day were an unexpected flock of 16 or 17 Ruff which flew south past Nunnery Point late this afternoon; a very unusual winter record, and the highest count at the lake for some time.
The two Smew, the Long-tailed Duck and the drake Red-breasted Merganser were all still present today, as was the Tufted Duck x Scaup in Villice Bay.
Two Mediterranean Gulls (an adult and a second-winter) were the best birds in an optimistic stare at the gull roost this afternoon. The redhead Smew was still in Heron's Green Bay under the trees by the old road on the north side of the bay, and a Chiffchaff was by Nunnery Point hide.
The two Smew and the drake Red-breasted Merganser were still present, as was the ever-elusive Long-tailed Duck. A Green Sandpiper seems to have taken up temporary residence in the stubble fields around Moreton Cottage, and an apparent drake Tufted Duck x Greater Scaup was with the Aythya flock in Villice Bay today. This may well be the bird that has been visiting the lake for the last few winters.
The juvenile Long-tailed Duck remained for the year-listers, as ever, difficult to see as it spends most of it's time underwater. The best way to see it is to scan with a telescope from Stratford hide looking to an area between Woodford Bank and the Bernard King hide, and after a while you may catch it as it comes up for air! The two Smew were also still in Heron's Green Bay, and the apparent drake Canvasback x Pochard was still in front of Stratford hide.
Canvasback x Pochard
Copyright Rich Andrews
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