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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 24.06.08

July 2008

Both the drake Ferruginous Duck and the putative American Herring Gull were still present today; a Black Tern was also reported.

An actinic moth trap left overnight caught a respectable 47 species, most noteworthy of which was a splendid Chocolate-tip (although to be fair, it wasn't actually in the trap rather than being sat on it!) The peculiar pink Broad-leaved Helleborines at Whalley Bank are in full flower at the moment, after being clobbered by slugs last year.

Chocolate-tip (left) and what I presume to be Broad-leaved Helleborine var. purpurea (right).

The putative American Herring Gull was seen on Herriott's Pool this morning, and on the lake, the drake Ferruginous Duck was still on Stratford Islands.

A Little Tern at the north end of the lake around the main dam was a nice find today. Also seen today were three Green Sandpipers, three Little Ringed Plovers, a Common Sandpiper and a Little Egret. A Garganey was on Heron's Green Pool, and two juvenile Goldeneye were still present at Herriott's.

The wildfowl count today turned up little in the way of surprises - the drake Ferruginous Duck, a juvenile Goldeneye remained and a Garganey was in Villice Bay. Coot numbers are up to over 2000 now. Also present were two Common Sandpipers (Dam and Twycross), a Green Sandpiper (Herons Green), a Dunlin (Stratford) and a Redshank (Dam).

The drake Ferruginous Duck was on Stratford Islands early this morning. The Oystercatcher is still present, this morning being seen at Heron's Green Bay, the dam and Stratford Bay. Two Common Sandpipers (Herriott's Bridge) and a Green Sandpiper (Heron's Green Bay) were also seen, but wader of the day was a juvenile Little Ringed Plover at the dam - the first at Chew for nearly a year! A Barn Owl was hunting over Heron's Green Pool this morning.

A drake Ferruginous Duck was seen at long range off Stratford hide this evening (off Sutton Wick). There were also three Common Sandpipers on the main dam and a female Goldeneye in Stratford Bay. The putative American Herring Gull was still at Herriott's Pool; four Yellow-legged Gulls and four Hobbies were also seen.

A taste of autumn passage today, with an Oystercatcher, a Green Sandpiper and two each of Dunlin and Sanderling on the dam this morning. The water level is now beginning to creep down again after the recent deluge.

Three Mediterranean Gulls were seen this evening.

Three or four Common Terns and an Oystercatcher were new in today; a pair of Linnets at Woodford Lodge was unseasonal.

The rains over the last week have pushed the water level up by a good six or seven inches - if we get another July like we did last year then that'll be the third autumn migration in a row buggered.

An adult Arctic Tern was seen this evening; the putative American Herring Gull was reported at Herriott's again today.

A pair of Spotted Flycatchers has been seen by the path through the alder wood behind Stratford hide in recent days.

Another foul day. The wind and rain over the weekend has flattened great swathes of the reedbeds - can't have done the nesting Reed Warblers any favours. Getting into Stratford hide at the moment is a particularly damp and unpleasant experience. Anyone got a machete?

Two Common Sandpipers (Nunnery Point and Stratford Islands) were the highlights on what was a wet and dreary day (last July all over again).

Three Common Sandpipers and five Lapwings were on Stratford Islands this evening; numbers of Black-headed Gulls are on the increase as well - autumn passage well underway!

A first-summer Arctic Tern was present again today, and the putative American Herring Gull remained.

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