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This page gives you the latest bird and wildlife sightings from Chew Valley Lake (and occasionally elsewhere). Records are taken from various sources and should be regarded as unconfirmed.

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on 05.08.08

August 2008

Another decent arrival of terns took place today (mid-morning), with 10 Black Terns, two juvenile Arctic Terns and 35+ Common Terns. A Marsh Harrier was seen again at Stratford this afternoon, and the Yellow-billed Pintail was at Twycross this morning. A Common Sandpiper was seen in flight across the lake this evening.

A 40w actinic trap produced 263 moths of 45 species last night, most noteworthy of which was a Pinion-streaked Snout.

Yellow-billed [=Brown] Pintail - a quality escape, and possibly a new one for the Chew list. Shame about the puddle-duck behind, otherwise I could have passed this off as taken on the Patagonian steppes.

A Little Egret was at Herriott's Pool late this evening.

The drake Ferruginous Duck was at Stratford hide this afternoon.

Not too far away, but a miss is as good as a mile....this moulting adult Red-necked Phalarope was found on Saturday at Weston-super-Mare sewage works. Many people would like to see one of these at Chew!

The Osprey was again present this morning, and a Bittern was seen in flight over Herriott's Bridge. The two adult Black-necked Grebes remained (at Stratford and Villice).

An Osprey was seen several times at the lake today, and a Marsh Harrier was also present at Stratford this evening. Two Common Sandpipers, one Green Sandpiper, seven Dunlin and two Common Terns were also reported today, along with a Mink at Stratford hide.

A second-summer/third-winter Caspian Gull was seen at Herriott's Pool this evening.

A modest arrival of terns today; a count of 27 Common Terns and one Black Tern was made from Stratford hide this afternoon; also present were the Black-necked Grebe, an adult Little Egret, a Kingfisher, and a Greenshank heard calling in flight this afternoon. One of the juvenile Goldeneye was in Stratford Bay this afternoon.

This picture is usual in two respects - it shows (in the background) a Chew Common Tern at a range of less than one nautical mile, and it also shows a Black-headed Gull with a rather peculiar injury. The unfortunate bird has lost the entire top part of its bill; the upper mandible is completely missing. I wonder how it manages to survive like that?

The Black-necked Grebe was still in front of Stratford hide this afternoon; eleven Common Terns and a Kingfisher were also seen from there. The Marsh Harrier was seen again this morning.

A Marsh Harrier at Moreton early this afternoon was the highlight, and a Black-necked Grebe in Stratford Bay was also new-in. An understandably poor selection of waders consisted of single Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, and two Green Sandpipers. A Hobby and a Barn Owl were also seen today.

Seem around the lake today were two Redshank, a Peregrine, 50 Sand Martins, eight Swifts, a Black Tern, a juvenile Goldeneye and a juvenile Common Gull.

A Little Egret was on Moreton Bank this afternoon, seen at long range from Herriott's Bridge, but the rest of the noteworthies were seen from Stratford Bay - two Kingfishers, two Garganey, two juvenile Mediterranean Gulls and nine Red Arrows.

An Oystercatcher was heard calling over Herriott's Bridge early this morning, later a Ringed Plover was seen in flight there, presumably looking for some mud. The two Garganey were still in Stratford Bay, and five adult Common Terns were off Nunnery Point. There was a late report of two Little Terns today.

A 40w actinic moth trap left overnight produced 187 moths of 40 species, highlights being another Chocolate-tip (must be having a good year), Acleris emargana, Yponomeuta plumbella and a high count of 59 Dingy Footmen. Some photos of the crinkly-winged emargana can be found here.

Two Garganey were in Stratford Bay this evening.

An eclipse drake Garganey was on Heron's Green Pool this morning; nearby, single Common Sandpiper and Green Sandpiper were on the causeway, and two Black-tailed Godwits were on Stratford Islands. At least one juvenile Goldeneye was on Herriott's Pool - now almost fully-grown.

Oncocera semirubella Chew Valley Ringing Station, 31st July. A local rarity: this brightly-coloured Pyralid moth should have been on a nice southern downland site somewhere. This species has only ever been recorded in 'Avon' at Compton Dando in 1953 - today even in real Somerset it barely hangs on. (Mike Bailey)

Two Oystercatcher were on the dam this afternoon.

A small influx of terns today - 14 Black Terns and at least five Common Terns were at the lake this afternoon. Also today were a Little Egret on Heron's Green Pool, a Green Sandpiper in Heron's Green Bay, and on Herriott's Pool, a Common Sandpiper and a Yellow-legged Gull.

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