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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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WATER LEVEL

91%

on 26.07.2007

July 2007

TUESDAY 31st
A belated report of two Marsh Harriers which were seen along Moreton Bank today.

SUNDAY 29th
A couple of Common Terns were still present today; this evening at the main dam were two Common Sandpipers and a Yellow-legged Gull. The deluge we had last week has raised the water levels again - the lake is now just about a foot off top level.

SATURDAY 28th
Still not much happening on the bird front - four Common Terns and a couple of Kingfishers were the best of the bunch this morning.

A 40w moth trap overnight managed 37 species - not altogether impressive for July. Silky Wainscots seem to be notable by their absence so far this year. Full list here. Other non-feathered news: a Brown Hawker at Stratford this morning was a Chew rarity, and a what would appear to be a somewhat unsurprising first for Chew was Himalayan Balsam - growing quite commonly in a recently-cleared area at Heron's Green Bay. A Hornet was seen at Herriott's, and a couple of tattered Purple Hairstreaks were still on the wing in the usual place at the old Parkland car-park.

Copyright Rich Andrews
Southern Wainscot

Copyright Rich Andrews
Twin-spotted Wainscot, ex-larva

WEDNESDAY 25th
An Oystercatcher, two Common Sandpipers, a Redshank and two Common Terns were seen today, along with 1000+ Swifts and 30 Sand Martins.

TUESDAY 24th
A fine sunny day - no doubt from tomorrow we'll get another fortnight of continuous pissing rain. A few good birds today: three Arctic Terns, one Black-tailed Godwit (Heron's Green Pool) and a drake Wigeon (Heron's Green Bay).

A search for last year's helleborines almost drew a blank, until the discovery of just three withered stems that had been completely savaged by slugs. Even the plants are crap at Chew this year.

SATURDAY 21st
There were still six Black Terns and four Common Terns present this evening.

BARROW TANKS:
The drake Ring-necked Duck has returned to No.3, present since last week.

FRIDAY 20th
Last nights weather forecast looked as though it might produce some Black Terns in addition to yet more rain, and it did! Up to 28 of them this afternoon, this evening joined by five Common Terns and an Arctic Tern off Woodford Bank. Five Great Black-backed Gulls and one Yellow-legged Gull were also seen from there.

SATURDAY 14th
The drake Ferruginous Duck was seen in flight off Sutton Wick this morning; it landed off Moreton Bank. The three drake Greater Scaups were also still present in Stratford Bay.

SUNDAY 8th
No sign of the scoters this morning.

A Bristol and District Moth Group meeting at the lake left three traps overnight in the Nature Reserve (two MVs and an actinic) - the cold, clear night after what seems like 40 days and 40 nights of wind and rain combined to produce a frankly woeful number of moths this morning. The seven moths present in the 40w actinic were less than I caught in the same trap one night last February! Three Double-lobed were the highlight of this morning's catch. Full list here.

SATURDAY 7th
A respite in the awful weather brought about a flurry of good birds today - continuing the seaside theme, a decent-sized flock of 23 Common Scoters spent all day floating around the middle of the lake, and three drake Greater Scaup were in Stratford Bay. The drake Ferruginous Duck was on the causeway at Heron's Green Bay this morning; other birds today were the female Goldeneye still, an Oystercatcher and two Redshanks.

FRIDAY 6th
The wind and rain continues - an Arctic Tern briefly this morning was followed by another good seabird at Chew - a Gannet was watched for a few minutes over the lake at midday, but then promptly moved off.

WEDNESDAY 4th
A brief Fulmar in the strong winds early this afternoon was a surprise. This species is still a big Chew rarity, but this is now the third in the last two years. Strong, prolonged winds in spring/early summer seems to be the best time to catch up with one of these. It also helps if you're standing next to Derek Angel. Five Redshank, a Curlew, two Goldeneye and 80 Sand Martins were also present.

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