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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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  JUNE 2011

WEDNESDAY 29th
The pair of Lapwings in front of Stratford hide have hatched four chicks - the first breeding at Chew since 2002. Other news today of an adult Mediteranean Gull, one Yellow-legged Gull, one Little Egret, the male Red-crested Pochard x Tufted Duck, a Hobby, and the Wood Sandpiper again on Stratford Islands.

TUESDAY 28th
The Wood Sandpiper was still present today, on Stratford Islands this afternoon. Otherwise a small selection of (mostly) early-returning migrants: three Common Sandpipers, five Black-tailed Godwits, an Oystercatcher, 45 Lapwings, two Little Ringed Plovers (adult and juvenile), four Little Egrets, one Common Tern, 13 Great Black-backed Gulls, one Yellow-legged Gull, one Goldeneye and seven Stock Doves.

The annual Canada Goose round-up took place this evening; a total of 186 birds were caught, 42 of which were retraps.

MONDAY 27th
Normally we would have had our first juvenile Black-headed Gulls through by now, but they were beaten to it by a juvenile Mediterranean Gull at BK hide this morning. Our first Green Sandpiper and Wood Sandpiper of the autumn were also there, as was a Greenshank.

A reminder that the Avon Wildlife Trust will be holding a Bioblitz on the Grebe and Bittern Trails this coming Saturday. Full details here.

SUNDAY 26th
Eight male Common Scoters were the highlight today - a typical midsummer record. Five Common Terns, a Little Egret (Denny), a Redshank (North Shore), a Hobby (Woodford) and a Black-tailed Godwit (Herriott's Pool) were also reported.

Three new moths for Chew were recorded last night - Hedya salicella, Zeiraphera ratzeburgiana and Cydia funebrana, putting the moth list on 588. Full list for this morning here. The first Black-tailed Skimmers of the year are now on the wing.

SATURDAY 25th
The male Ferruginous Duck showed well on the shore in front of Stratford hide this afternoon. Also seen were two Little Egrets, two Black-tailed Godwits , two Common Terns, and the Egyptian Goose. There was no sign of the Blue-winged Teal at Hollow Brook this afternoon, although it was possibly seen on the east side of Denny. The odd-song Chiffchaff is still singing at the bottom of Stratford Lane.

FRIDAY 24th
The female Blue-winged Teal was again at Hollow Brook/Denny this morning, and the male Ferruginous Duck was still in Villice Bay. The Egyptian Goose was seen at Denny, and other birds today as follows: one Redshank three Black-tailed Godwits, a female Goldeneye, four Little Egrets, the first-summer Hobby still, 25 Lapwings, 225 Great Crested Grebes, three Common Terns, one Greenshank, one Greylag, 400 Canada Geese, 2000 Swifts, three Sand Martins and two hybrids - the male Red-crested Pochard x Tufted Duck and a female Pochard x Red-crested Pochard.

THURSDAY 23rd
A male Ferruginous Duck was found in Villice Bay today; also seen were five Little Egrets, one Garganey (a female at Stratford), two Redshank and the Egyptian Goose. No sign of the Blue-winged Teal at Hollow Brook.

WEDNESDAY 22nd
The female Blue-winged Teal was again at Hollow Brook, and the male Red-crested Pochard x Tufted Duck was still at Herriott's Pool today. Four Common Terns were over the main lake.

TUESDAY 21st
The female Blue-winged Teal (evidently paired with a male Garganey) was back at Hollow Brook today. Other birds seen around the lake as follows: two Greylags (flew off north), one Egyptian Goose (NW tip of Denny), three male Garganey, one Redshank, one Common Tern, two Sand Martins, 19 Lapwings, one Yellow-legged Gull, two Little Egrets, a Common Sandpiper and the Red-crested Pochard x Tufted Duck.

MONDAY 20th
Please be careful when looking for the teal at Hollow Brook. Don't attempt to get closer views by entering the reedbed through the gate in the car park. Last night it was flushed by birders doing just that and has not been reported since.

SUNDAY 19th
Still present were the three male Garganey and the female Blue-winged Teal at Hollow Brook this morning, as were the two Ruddy Shelduck hybrids at the main dam.

There was no sign of the Blue-winged Teal or any Garganey at Hollow Brook this evening, but a Garganey was seen at Stratford hide. What appeared to be a Red-crested Pochard x Tufted Duck hybrid was at Herriott's Pool, with other news of two Little Egrets, 26 Teal, two Water Rails and a Hobby.


The presumed male Tufted Duck x Red-crested Pochard (Keith Vinicombe)

SATURDAY 18th
Three male Garganey and the female Blue-winged Teal were still at Hollow Brook this afternoon, although often out of view and difficult to see through the trees.

FRIDAY 17th
Blue-winged Teal... still there.

THURSDAY 16th
The Egyptian Goose reappeared this morning on the NW side of Denny; nearby the female Blue-winged Teal and three Garganey were at Hollow Brook. Also around the lake were the two Ruddy Shelduck things, two Common Terns, 22 Teal, ten Lapwings, two Little Egrets, 2000+ Swifts and one each of Goldeneye, Greylag and Hobby (the first-summer seen on the weekend).

WEDNESDAY 15th
The female Blue-winged Teal was again at Hollow Brook, along with two Garganey. The two Ruddy Shelduck hybrids were back on Herriott's Pool after a trip to Blagdon this morning.

TUESDAY 14th
The female Blue-winged Teal was still on the mudbank at Hollow Brook today, and a Red-breasted Goose was reported at Herriott's this evening.


Female Blue-winged Teal with Common Teals (Don Smith)

MONDAY 13th
Let's start the autumn off as we mean to go on.... Female Blue-winged Teal at Hollow Brook this evening. It was with a male Garganey on a mudbank where the brook feeds into the main lake, not particularly close and only visible looking through trees from either the footbridge or the car park. There are five previous Chew records (two males, three females). It was first seen in flight yesterday in the pouring rain and wasn't relocated. A total of four Garganey (three males and a female) was seen around the lake today.

SUNDAY 12th
A summer plumage Knot at Moreton early this morning was an unseasonal visit of a bird in a plumage rarely seen at Chew. This afternoon a Curlew and a male Garganey were at Moreton, with another male Garganey at Stratford, and the two Ruddy Shelduck hybrids and a Kingfisher at Herriott's Pool.

SATURDAY 11th
Three male Garganey were seen in Stratford Bay this morning; two then moved to Herriott's Pool where there were also two Ruddy Shelduck hybrids present. At the moment, Canada Goose numbers aren't particularly high, although dabbling duck numbers are already beginning to increase, with good numbers of Gadwall on Herriott's Pool and a few pairs of Teal and Shoveler beginning to appear around the lake. A male Wigeon has also arrived, and a first-summer Hobby was seen at Herriott's Bridge this afternoon.

BLAGDON:
An adult summer Great White Egret at Top End today was a long-overdue first for the site. There have only been two records (one bird) at Chew.


Ruddy Shelduck-type hybrid. As well as having a darker head than a pure Ruddy Shelduck, this one has a greenish 'American Wigeon' line back from the eye. Both birds also have pale grey/flesh legs and feet, and extensive white in the greater primary coverts, as well as black feathering on the upperwing panel. (Keith Vinicombe)


First-summer Hobby at Herriott's Bridge this afternoon. An unusual look at one perched; normally they're up in the sky. (Keith Vinicombe)

MONDAY 6th
A Little Egret was at the main dam, and a Barn Owl was watched hunting at Heron's Green Pool mid-morning. A Ringed Plover was at Moreton briefly before flying off NE.

SUNDAY 5th
An early morning visit to the lake produced a pair of Garganey, eight Shoveler, ten Teal and singles of Little Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper, Hobby and Greylag.

An actinic moth trap run last night from 22:00 to 00:50 produced 50 or so species, with a couple still to be determined. Provisional list here.

FRIDAY 3rd
An Egyptian Goose reported at Heron's Green Bay was a good find this afternoon; there are only nine or ten Chew records.

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