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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 23.09.08

September 2008

Quiet again today - just the one Little Egret, three Goldeneye, one Dunlin, two Stonechats and two Common Gulls.

Two Little Egrets remaind on Heron's Green Pool today. Little else to report, other than a couple of Redpolls over Herriott's this morning.

Less than three miles from Chew, a Yellow-browed Warbler was ringed in a garden at Cameley yesterday. Surely there ought to be a Radde's around somewhere?

A Whinchat and a Green Sandpiper were at Heron's Green Pool today.

A juvenile Yellow Wagtail was at Woodford Lodge this evening; nearby a Stonechat was at Woodford Hill, and a Common Sandpiper and two Green Sandpipers were at the main dam.

Back to autumn with a cold north-easterly today, and a couple of new birds - a Red-breasted Merganser and a male Common Scoter were seen amongst the grebe flock.

A five-wader day at the lake - one Dunlin, six Common Sandpipers, three Green Sandpipers, three Snipe and 83 Lapwing were located on various bits of concrete around the periphery. Two Little Egrets, five Wigeon, 30 Pintail, a Peregrine and a Stonechat were also recorded.

Another day of splendid weather - why couldn't it have been like this in July? New birds were predictably thin on the ground, but a nice surprise at the ringing hut this morning was an adult male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker; a good bird to see at Chew - normally you need bins, but this one flew into a mist net and became only the ninth Lesser Spot to be ringed at CVRS (one less than their Aquatic Warbler total!)

A Wheatear was seen flying high W over Herriott's End this morning, with a Skylark later in the opposite direction - a typical late autumn overhead migrant at Chew. A Common Sandpiper was heard at Nunnery Point, and a Snipe was on Heron's Green Pool.

There have been one or two reports of Mink in the Stratford area of late, with another animal today, found dead on the cycle path near Herriott's Bridge.

Continuing the scarce woodpecker theme, here's one which is harder to see locally than Wryneck at the moment - Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.

An Osprey (not inconceivably the mealy-looking bird from Wednesday) was seen over Herriott's End mid-morning, and then again for some time late this afternoon as it bowled about over the northern half of the lake. A Greater Scaup was seen from Stratford hide this morning.

A juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper was found this morning (only the third site record) - it was on No.2, at first near the new hut/hide on the far side, then on the NW edge nearest the A38. Typically it was rather secretive, and often tricky to find amongst the rocks on the margins.

An adult Osprey was seen over East Shore at 12:45 this morning - it was later seen in flight carrying a fish. There were two Goldeneye amongst the 1000-plus Tufted Duck on the lake this morning, with a Garganey and 26 Pintail on Herriott's Pool. A few Siskins and Meadow Pipits are now on the wing over the lake, and a couple of Reed Warblers were in front of Stratford hide this afternoon. An adult Little Gull and two Common Terns were also present today.

A Red Kite was seen over Winford this afternoon.

A Dunlin was on the main dam this morning.

The rising water level seems to have put paid to the last glimmer of a decent autumn migration this year, although a few good birds are still to be found dotted about the lake. Today, highlights were Little Gull, White Wagtail (dam), Little Egret (Heron's Green Bay), Garganey and Hobby (both Stratford).

Not at Chew (the chance would be a fine thing), this Wryneck at Clevedon Bay yesterday is one a few which have turned up locally. Click on the picture for some more.

Three juvenile Little Egrets at Heron's Green were new-in, as were six Wigeon. Other birds seen today were two White Wagtails, two Hobbies, the juvenile Little Gull, a Common Tern and two Wheatear. Compare this month's entries with September 2005 to see what a difference a bit of mud makes!

A juvenile Osprey was at Herriott's early this afternoon, and on the main lake, the juvenile Little Gull was still present, along with five Black Terns.

Three Common Scoters were still on the lake today, but another good arrival of terns generated most of the interest - six Black Terns were present in the morning, then five Arctic Terns arrived at midday, followed by a further 38 Arctics during a heavy squall. A Sanderling on the main dam was a good record; it remains to be seen whether we will have our second consecutive Ruff-less autumn!

The nasty weather produced some impressive numbers of hirundines today, with estimates of at least 4 or 5000 House Martins, 2000 Swallows and 500 Sand Martins.

Four Common Scoters were still present today, as were three juvenile Arctic Terns, joined by the first juvenile Little Gull of the autumn. A small group of Ringed Plover were heard calling in flight, a Nuthatch was heard at Moreton, and there were still good numbers of hirundines feeding over the lake - at least 500 Swallows and 250 House Martins. Single Barn Owls were seen this evening at Heron's Green Pool, and (unusually) over the reed-edge in front of Stratford hide.

A Red Underwing was on the fisherman's hut at Stratford this evening - several have been seen at this traditional spot this autumn.

No sign of the phalarope this afternoon, but a flock of 16 Common Scoters in its place was a welcome sight. At least four Arctic Terns and nine Common Terns remained. A Common Sandpiper was at Heron's Green Bay, a Garganey was at Stratford (with two Hobbies over the car park) and four Pintail and a Kingfisher were on Herriott's Pool. Two Barn Owls were seen over the fields behind Stratford hide this evening.

With a number of Grey Phalaropes being seen around the country at the moment, it was a pleasant relief when one bobbed into view off Woodford Bank this afternoon, although as is nearly always the case at Chew, it was only ever seen at long range. A mixed flock of up to 32 Common Terns and Arctic Terns was also present this afternoon.

A juvenile Marsh Harrier was seen at Moreton again today.

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