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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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  OCTOBER 2012

A Black-necked Grebe at Stratford was new-in today. Nine Greater Scaup were seen; the site record is 12, although that's a old count and perhaps ten might be a more reliable figure. The male Lesser Scaup was still in Villice Bay, the male Red-breasted Merganser was at Moreton Point, 12 Pintail were on Herriott's Pool where two late Swallows were seen.

An influx of at least eight Greater Scaup today; two first-winter males, the rest female/juvenile types. Meanwhile a male Lesser Scaup is still in Villice Bay, and at least 35 Goldeneye were counted.

Some dragonflies are still about; a pair of Common Darters and a Migrant Hawker around Stratford hide.

Two Lesser Scaups again today (Villice and Stratford), plus two Greater Scaups (first-winter male and female) at the former site. Also seen today were an adult Little Gull, a Water Pipit in flight over Moreton Point, c.100 Redwings, 30 Siskins, one Goosander and the Red-breasted Merganser still.

A male Lesser Scaup was in Villice Bay again today, and a Swallow was seen at Stratford.

The Lesser Scaup type hybrid was at Herriott's Bridge/Stratford this morning; also seen there were two Slavonian Grebes, three Greater Scaup and one Kingfisher, with another Kingfisher and a Green Sandpiper at Heron's Green Pool. Four Pintail and a Little Egret were at Herriott's Pool.

Fly Agarics are 'up' at No. 1 Picnic Site now (under the birch trees at the entrance gate).

One Lesser Scaup (the other has evidently moved back to Cardiff), and a Lesser Scaup-type hybrid were still in Stratford Bay today. Also seen were a Swallow, three juvenile Greater Scaups, the male Red-breasted Merganser, one Green Sandpiper, one Rock Pipit and a few Siskins.

A Lesser Scaup was in Villice Bay today, and a female Ferruginous Duck was seen from Herriott's Bridge, along with three female/juvenile Greater Scaup.

One male Lesser Scaup was still showing from Herriott's Bridge this morning, but there was no sign of the other bird in Villice Bay. A late Swallow was seen, also the male Red-breasted Merganser, a Goosander and a presumed male Ferruginous Duck x Tufted Duck.

A male Lesser Scaup was at Stratford Bay this morning, and two female/juvenile Greater Scaups (Moreton and Stratford) were also seen.

The two male Lesser Scaups and a juvenile Greater Scaup were both with the aythya flock of Herriott's Bridge this afternoon, along with a Slavonian Grebe. The grebe and one of the Lesser Scaups later relocated to Villice Bay. A flock of at least 26 Snipe were seen over the west shore.

A male Ring-necked Duck was seen in front of Stratford hide this afternoon - a good find to go with the two Lesser Scaups this month. There are some pictures of it and today's Red-breasted Merganser at Gareth Jones' site. Two Greater Scaups were also present.

The male Lesser Scaup was seen again in front of Stratford hide, as was a juvenile Greater Scaup. What was probably a second male Lesser Scaup was seen in Villice Bay as well. Also seen were single Rock Pipit and Green Sandpiper on the main dam, and 17 Snipe at Heron's Green Pool. There are still a few small flocks of Siskins around the lake.

A male Lesser Scaup was in Stratford Bay today. Wigeon now number at least 70. Another Arctic Skua was seen today - a dark morph juvenile first seen at 10:00; it appeared to fly up and leave the lake at 10:24 in the direction of Blagdon. Also at least 20 Swallows and 30 House Martins.

An eclipse male Red-breasted Merganser off the main dam today - presumably the regular wintering bird back again.

A bit of seabird interest this morning with two Arctic Skuas from 11:00 to 12:15 when they seemed to drift off low towards West Harptree. Also an arrival of Wigeon - 53 were counted.

The first Goosander of the winter was in Heron's Green Bay today. Still three Goldeneye in Stratford Bay.

A late Whitethroat was trapped this morning; five Siskins flew over CVRS. In contrast to yesterday, very few hirundines today in the pleasant sunny weather.

Several hundred Swallows and House Martins were feeding over the lake in the rainy weather today; one Sand Martin was seem amongst them.

A reminder that Stratford Lane is closed from tomorrow for two weeks.

The male Lesser Scaup was still in Villice Bay today.

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