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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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In Association with Birding Top 500 Counter

  MAY 2010

The male Ferruginous Duck was reported at Herriott's Pool again today.

A rummage around Nunnery Point in the cool and cloudy weather this evening produced two male Red-eyed Damselflies and four Four-spotted Chasers.

Of particular note this evening at Nunnery Point was an unusually large number of Common Blues roosting in the long grass. 247, to be precise. None of them were particularly fresh, so presumably they would have emerged during the fine weather last weekend.

Six Common Terns were seen between the showers this afternoon.

A rare bit of Odonata excitement happened today with confirmation that Red-eyed Damselfly is again breeding at Chew. Sixteen were found on the first pool at Nunnery Point today, following a report of a teneral male in Heron's Green Bay last week. They were formerly seen regularly at Hollow Brook, but these are the first to be seen at Chew for some years. We ought to be having our first Small Red-eyed Damselflies any year soon, as well.

One Black Tern, two Common Terns, a Hobby and a Kingfisher were seen from Stratford hide this evening.

Two Cuckoos were heard and seen between Moreton and Stratford early this morning.

One Black Tern, two Common Terns, a Hobby and a Kingfisher were seen from Stratford hide this evening.

A Dunlin was on the causeway at Heron's Green Bay today.

A Ringed Plover flew north over Herriott's Bridge and was later on the main dam, two Hobbies were feeding over the lake and a Cuckoo was again heard (and seen) behind Moreton hide.

A Cuckoo was heard calling this morning - only the second this year.

Still cold and windy; two or three Hobbies were feeding on flies low over the lake this evening.

The male Ferruginous Duck was on Herriott's Pool this afternoon (displaying with the Tufted Ducks), and a Hobby was hawking flies over the lake amongst the Swifts.

The female Long-tailed Duck was at Stratford hide again, and c.3500 Swifts were feeding over the lake.

Two Hobbies and an Arctic Tern were feeding over the lake this afternoon.

The female Long-tailed Duck was still present and showing well in Heron's Green Bay this morning. A Tawny Owl and a Common Sandpiper were seen at Nunnery Point, and a 12 singing Garden Warblers were counted on the west side of the lake between the main dam and Herriott's Bridge.

Another day of cold northerlies. A Hobby was hawking flies low over the lake amongst c.1000 Swifts this afternoon.

A Tawny Pipit was a good find at the sewage works late this evening.

With poor views, this partial albino Common Swift looked as though it had a white rump, then with a better look you could see it's only the outer undertail-coverts which are white.

A cold day with a strong northerly wind. Such conditions at this time of year normally bring in numbers of Swifts, and there was an estimated 5000 there this morning, along with 1200 Swallows and 100 House Martins. Nine Arctic Terns and one Common Tern were in the sailing area, and a Hobby, the Ferruginous Duck and Long-tailed Duck were seen at Stratford. Also around the lake today were four Common Sandpipers, two Dunlin and a second-summer Yellow-legged Gull. Sedge Warblers were very much in evidence all around the lake, with a sample count of 23 birds from the main dam down the east shore to Sutton Wick.

A second-summer Yellow-legged Gull at Herriott's this afternoon (Keith Vinicombe).

Two Common Terns and the female Long-tailed Duck (Stratford) were still present today.

Sand Martins at Barrow
Those of you who visit Barrow Tanks will probably know that a man-made Sand Martin wall was constructed a few years ago in the reserve on the north side of No.2 tank. There have already been a few pairs breeding there, and birds have again been seen visiting the burrows this year. In order to monitor the colony, Colin Hunt from Bristol Water would like any records of birds using the wall this year.

If you see any birds using the wall this summer, please make a note of which burrow they are using and send me the details on an email - I will pass on any records to Colin. Thanks!

A rare view of a Chew Long-tailed Duck that isn't half a mile away, or underwater (or both).

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