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This page gives you the latest bird and wildlife news from Chew Valley Lake (and sometimes elsewhere if there's something good about). Records are taken from various sources and should be regarded as unconfirmed.

When you visit Chew, please remember that you'll need a permit to enter the lake enclosure or use the hides. You can get one from Woodford Lodge, the Tea Rooms, or by post. See my access page for full details. Seen anything good? Please contact me.

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  AUGUST 2010

TUESDAY 31st
A Spotted Redshank was at Moreton this morning.

SATURDAY 28th
Still some decent variety, if not any real numbers; the level has risen a few inches in the recent rain, and with Blagdon much lower, most of the waders will be heading there. At least eight Little Egrets, two Hobbies, one Kingfisher, six Common Sandpipers, an Osprey, one Pintail, four Wigeon, four Common Terns, one Curlew Sandpiper, two Ruff, two Green Sandpipers, two Greenshank, three Dunlin, two Ringed Plover, three Black-tailed Godwits, one Mediterranean Gull and a few Swifts.

FRIDAY 27th
Four Little Gulls this morning were new-in; a little more variety seems to be coming through now with one Yellow Wagtail, 11 Common Terns, five Little Egrets, four Turnstone, one Whimbrel, one Curlew, one Greenshank, two Spotted Redshank, 12 Ringed Plover, one Dunlin, one Black-tailed Godwit, four Green Sandpipers, five Snipe, six Common Sandpipers, the Ferruginous Duck (Stratford Bay), c.12 Swifts, one Hobby, a Marsh Harrier (at 14:30) and two Barn Owls.

WEDNESDAY 24th
Twelve Black-tailed Godwits, one Greenshank, seven Green Sandpipers, two Ringed Plovers, two Garganey and six Little Egrets were seen today.

MONDAY 23rd
One Spotted Redshank and 20 Black-tailed Godwits were seen from Herriott's Bridge early this morning.

SUNDAY 22nd
A few new arrivals again today; 62 Common Terns were most noteworthy (23 on the lake were briefly joined by another group), with a Wood Sandpiper heard at Herriott's End. Otherwise, more of the same from yesterday - three Spotted Redshank, 16 Green Sandpipers, 21 Black-tailed Godwits, one Ringed Plover, three Garganey, the Ferruginous Duck, one Greenshank, two Spotted Flycatchers, six Whimbrel, five Snipe, one Yellow-legged Gull, two Hobbies, one Peregrine, one Barn Owl and at least five Little Egrets.

With autumn passage now well underway, once again we're struggling to find Calidris or Charadrius waders in any decent numbers this year.


Juvenile/first-winter Yellow-legged Gull at Herriott's. (John Martin)

SATURDAY 21st
A little bit more like autumn today, with some new arrivals in the dreary weather: three Garganey, three Spotted Redshank, two Greenshank, 14 Black-tailed Godwits, four Whimbrel, one Curlew, two Green Sandpipers, one Turnstone, one Peregrine, one Kingfisherand a drake (presumed) Ferruginous Duck x Pochard.

Although the water level at Chew is dropping, at Blagdon it's now just less than half-full, with a count of 44 Greenshank being made today, amongst other waders present. More details at Blagdon Lake Birds

FRIDAY 20th
A juvenile Osprey south over Heron's Green at 10:40 was the highlight today; other birds seen were 14 Black-tailed Godwits still, seven Ringed Plover and three Green Sandpipers.

THURSDAY 19th
There are now 14 Black-tailed Godwits, with a few more waders around the lake including nine Ringed Plovers, two Oystercatchers, four Snipe, two Greenshank (there were 33 at Blagdon on Monday), three Green Sandpipers, eight Little Egrets and one Common Tern.

WEDNESDAY 18th
One juvenile Peregrine, five Black-tailed Godwits, six Green Sandpipers and one Kingfisher were seen from Herriott's early this morning, with two Mediterranean Gulls and the male Ferruginous Duck (Heron's Green Bay) seen in the evening.

MONDAY 16th
Five Black-tailed Godwits, five Green Sandpipers, three Snipe and five Little Egrets were seen from Herriott's Bridge this evening.

SUNDAY 15th
The juvenile Cuckoo was still at Stratford today; thanks to Gary Thoburn for supplying the picture, which I wish I'd taken. Also seen were seven Little Egrets, three Greenshank, seven Green Sandpipers, one Garganey (BK hide), ten Great Black-backed Gulls, one Common Tern, two Ringed Plovers, two Yellow Wagtails and 10 Swifts.


The juvenile Cuckoo at Stratford. (Gary Thoburn)

SATURDAY 14th
A day of showers, with a few terns dropping in as a result. Three Common Terns and an Arctic Tern this morning, and 17 Common Terns this evening. Also present were six Green Sandpipers and a Greenshank (Stratford Bay), and six Ringed Plover (Moreton). A juvenile Cuckoo was seen in flight at CVRS this morning; it has been reported in the Stratford area in the last few days.

A world record-equalling three Red Underwings were on the fishermen's hut at Stratford hide car park this evening.

I'm pleased to report that the reeds have now been cut in front of Moreton and Stratford hides.


One of three Red Underwings at Stratford; there's a bigger one on my photo blog.

FRIDAY 13th
At Herriott's End this morning were seven Green Sandpipers, one Redshank and one Black-tailed Godwit.

WEDNESDAY 11th
Three Oystercatchers, a Green Sandpiper and a Garganey were in Heron's Green Bay, with two Little Egrets at Stratford. Another family of Spotted Flycatchers (one adult and two juveniles) was seen along Moreton Lane.

TUESDAY 10th
Herriott's Bridge this morning produced two Oystercatchers, one Ruff, six Black-tailed Godwits, one Green Sandpiper, four Common Sandpipers and four Little Egrets.

Thanks to James Rushforth from the Brandon Marsh Ringing Group for providing details of the colour-ringed Common Tern seen last month. It was a second-summer bird, ringed as a chick at Brandon Marsh (Warwickshire) in 2008.

SUNDAY 8th
Birds seen around the lake today included: single Ferruginous Duck, Nuthatch, Ruff, Oystercatcher, Black-tailed Godwit, Little Ringed Plover, 12 Dunlin, ten Green Sandpipers, nine Common Sandpipers and three Common Terns. There were two reports of a Bittern seen in flight at Villice Bay today, and two Spotted Flycatchers were seen near the Hollow Brook car park.

SATURDAY 7th
The male Ferruginous Duck was in Villice Bay today, along with two Common Sandpipers and one Snipe. Single Common Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover were in Heron's Green Bay.

FRIDAY 6th
A Little Ringed Plover was at Heron's Green Bay this morning, and a Wheatear was in Stratford Bay.

THURSDAY 5th
A few more waders are now starting to appear; three Little Ringed Plovers, two Ringed Plover, one Dunlin and eight Common Sandpipers, along with two Wigeon, 80 Teal, eight Little Egrets and five Yellow-legged Gulls.

The first Red Underwing of the autumn was found on the gatepost at Stratford car park; the fisherman's hut there is usually a good spot to look for them.

MONDAY 2nd
Slowly but surely... hopefully with the water level a touch lower than it was this time last year we might have a decent passage again this autumn. Two Garganey were again at BK hide, with the following reports from around the lake - three Black-tailed Godwits, three Green Sandpipers, two Common Sandpipers, five Yellow-legged Gulls and at least four Little Egrets.

SUNDAY 1st
Five Common Sandpipers and a Little Ringed Plover were in Villice Bay; two Little Egrets were at Stratford hide this afternoon, and the first two Wigeon of the autumn were in Stratford Bay.

There continue to be unusually large numbers of Common Blues in the Nunnery/Villice area; hundreds were on the wing today, with at least three Brown Argus amongst them. The first teneral Migrant Hawkers and Ruddy Darters are on the wing now, as well.

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