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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 20.05.08

May 2008

A Fulmar was again seen on the Roman Shallows this afternoon. Given that there were several across the Midlands last week, perhaps this is just as likely to be a new bird rather than the one seen on Monday and Tuseday. A Dunlin and a Redshank were also seen today.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Fulmar was still present today.

Another day of shocking weather, with the expected masses of Swifts over the lake - and amongst them this afternoon - a Fulmar! Only the ninth Chew record, but the fourth since 2006; nasty weather in late spring/early summer seems to be the cause. Of note, the first for Staffordshire since 1993 was found at Blithfield yesterday. A Common Tern was also on the lake this evening.

More cold easterlies, another plethora of Swifts around the lake today. A Hobby was amongst them at Stratford this evening, and a Redshank was on Stratford Islands. A Barn Owl was watched hunting at Heron's Green pool this evening.

The Sanderling was still on the dam wall at Heron's Green Bay this morning, whilst on the lake were three Common Terns, a Common Sandpiper at the main dam, three Hobbies, and pair of Bar-headed Geese, described as being 'very wary' near Denny Island (these easterlies have produced the goods at last). On Herriott's Pool, the two Pintails were still present, and a Cormorant there today had been ringed as a nestling at Abberton (Essex) last year.

A couple of Dingy Shells were on the wing in the alders behind Stratford hide this evening, and the splendid Cydia aurana was seen on the Bittern Trail. Two new plants for the lake were found by the new pond at Woodford Bank - Common Fumitory and Field Pansy.

Sanderling - Heron's Green Bay.

A dreary, cold day. A Sanderling at Heron's Green Bay this evening was the highlight; other birds seen were two Common Sandpipers (main dam), six Common Terns, two Arctic Terns (East Shore/Denny) and a Barn Owl (Herriott's Bridge).

Evidently a small wader movement today - a Ringed Plover and a Sanderling were at Heron's Green Bay this evening. Nearby, there was a bizarre record of a Turnstone seen in a farmyard at Sutton Hill this morning; it flew off in the direction of Chew.

Sadly the Great Reed Warbler appears to have moved on. Still at least two drake Garganey today, with one or two birds being seen at Herriott's Pool, Hollow Brook and Heron's Green Pool. The two Pintail remain on Herriott's, and a Hobby was seen at Moreton.

Just when it looked as though the most exciting thing to happen at Chew this spring was the recovery of a really old Black-headed Gull, things finally looked up this afternoon when Chew's second ever Great Reed Warbler was found at Herriott's Bridge. Although it was heard singing quite often (looking north by the blue Bristol Water sign) it was almost impossible to see - in fact apart from a few rubbish glimpses in flight it was only seen on two or three occasions this evening, and even then only for a few seconds.

The two drake Garganey and the two Pintail were still on Herriott's Pool, and the row of northward-facing birders picked up an Osprey in flight over the lake this afternoon.

Two drake Garganey were on Herriott's Pool this morning, with the two Pintails also still present.

Drake Garganey - Herriott's Pool.

A rather more healthy count of 27 Common Terns was made this evening; the two first-winter Little Gulls and a Hobby were also with them feeding over the lake. In contrast to recent weeks there were virtually no hirundines or Swifts in the gloom this evening. Other birds included the Little Egret in trees at Twycross this evening, a drake Garganey and the late Pintail pair on Herriott's Pool and a Kingfisher seen several times between Stratford and Herriott's Bridge (even on the railings above the overspill on two occasions). A couple of Canada Goose broods have also now appeared.

Up to ten Black Terns were seen on the lake today, also the two first-summer Little Gulls, the Little Egret on Heron's Green Pool, the Cuckoo still behind Moreton and the late Pintail pair still on Herriott's Pool. Juvenile Grey Herons have been in evidence around the lake in the last week; today there were 26 birds seen in flight over the heronry on Denny. A Greenshank was also reported today.

Seagull news: The Danish-ringed Black-headed Gull found dead at Nunnery Point on 29th March had been ringed as a nestling at Alborg (Jylland) on 28th June 1984 - it was 23 years old.

Three Black Terns were new-in today; also present were six Common Terns, two Little Gulls and a Little Egret.

Two drake Garganey were present in the Moreton/Stratford area today; also on the lake were two Common Terns and two Little Gulls.

This evening there were six Common Terns, three Black Terns and a first-winter Little Gull on the lake. The fields behind Moreton hide look as though they ought to be good for something at the moment, but this evening the best they could manage was a Whimbrel amongst the Lesser Black-backs. A Cuckoo was singing nearby, and a Common Sandpiper was in Heron's Green Bay. The lingering Pintail pair were still on Herriott's Pool.

An unseasonal surprise this afternoon was a juvenile (2nd cal-yr) Iceland Gull on Herriott's Pool; a more expected migrant was a Wood Warbler on the Bittern Trail.

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