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This page gives you the latest bird and wildlife news from Chew Valley Lake (and sometimes elsewhere if there's anything 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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  NOVEMBER 2012

WEDNESDAY 28th
The male Ring-necked Duck was on the north side of Heron's Green Bay again this afternoon.


The new Bernard King hide under construction (Chris Stone)

SUNDAY 25th
More weather for ducks; the male Ring-necked Duck and one Greater Scaup (Heron's Green Bay), three Common Scoter (North Shore).


A 180 panorama looking north from Herriott's Bridge. Notice how high the water is in the main reedbed and in relaton the the parapets on the dam wall.

FRIDAY 23rd
A fine day after another night of flooding. A decent selction of wildfowl, but nothing new to report: The male Ring-necked Duck (Heron's Green Bay/Nunnery Point) still was the highlight; other ducks were four Goosander, the male Red-breasted Merganser, three female/first-winter Common Scoter (main dam), and nine first-winter Greater Scaup (Stratford/Villice Bays).


A couple of shots of the high water level around the lake- the overspill at Herriott's, where remarkably the level on the main lake is backing up to almost level with Herriott's Pool (left), and the Bittern Trail path leading to Bernard King hide (right, Chris Stone)


A 180 panorama of Heron's Green Pool this morning. The water level here is probably now higher than it has ever been before, covering a surface area at least twice the size of Herriott's Pool. The railings at the pumping station are now fully submerged, and the two rafts have broken from their moorings and floated to the other end of the pool. You can just about make out the tips of the bullrush heads above the water line!

WEDNESDAY 21st


Back after a few days in South America - to be greeted by views of huge flooding across southern England from the plane. I thought this shot on my phone of the River Avon at Keynsham might be of interest - you can see the flooding around Somerdale (top left) which itself isn't an unusual event, but floods are rarely this high. Look at how high the River Chew is (bottom left); that part of the valley which runs below the Wellsway is pretty steep; normally the Chew would barely be visible from a plane as it's a very wooded stretch of the river. You can see the partially submerged trees indicating the normal extent of the river.

TUESDAY 20th
A Bittern was seen at Moreton today, and a Mink was flushed from the vegetation around the hut at Stratford car park.

MONDAY 19th
Seven Greater Scaup were counted today, and the male Ring-necked Duck was still on the north side of Herons Green Bay but elusive.

SATURDAY 17th
A wing-tagged 2nd-winter male Marsh Harrier was seen this morning; the tags indicate that it was hatched in Norfolk in 2011. It spent the summer at Newport Wetlands.

FRIDAY 16th
The male Ring-necked Duck was seen in Heron's Green Bay (heading towards Villice Bay), also one Greater Scaup, 10 Siskins and a Redpoll at Stratford.

WEDNESDAY 14th
A very late Whinchat at Villice Bay today was the latest ever recorded in 'Avon' by two days. Three Common Scoters, five Greater Scaup and the male Ring-necked Duck were also still present.

FRIDAY 9th
The usual today - the male Lesser Scaup and Ring-necked Duck, eight Greater Scaup, two female/immature Common Scoters (new birds), plus the following - Egyptian Goose, Green Sandpiper, c.25 Siskins and a small number of Redpolls.


The long-staying Lesser Scaup today. (Chris Stone).

SUNDAY 4th
At least nine Greater Scaup were seen today, scattered between Villice Bay, Heron's Green Bay and Stratford Bay, and the male Ring-necked Duck was again present but difficult to see on the north side of Heron's Green Bay.

SATURDAY 3rd
The first Bittern of the winter was seen in the Stratford/Herriott's area today, and a Water Pipit was a surprise capture at CVRS.


Today's Water Pipit in the hand - a very rare capture at Chew. (Mike Bailey)

FRIDAY 2nd
The male Lesser Scaup was still in Villice bay, and the male Ring-necked Duck was still in Heron's Green Bay, elusive again in the emergent vegetation on the north side, not the west side as reported. Eight Greater Scaup were in front of Moreton hide; also seen were 11 Wigeon, 12 Pintail and another late Swallow.

THURSDAY 1st
The male Ring-necked Duck has reappeared in the Heron's Green Bay/Moreton area, but was very elusive today. Six Greater Scaup were in the same area, as were two Goosander and the adult male Red-breasted Merganser. The Black-necked Grebe was still at Stratford Bay. Other birds seen today were the male Lesser Scaup (Villice Bay), ten Snipe, and one each of Little Egret, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Redshank and Rock Pipit.

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