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.
Doing shopping? Please consider supporting this website by using the Amazon link below. Many thanks!
Five adult Mediterranean Gulls were seen in the roost tonight.
At least three adult Mediterranean Gulls were seen in the roost tonight; also six Little Egrets (Denny roost), female Greater Scaup, male Red-breasted Merganser, Water Pipit (Heron's Green), Barn Owl, 22 Goosander, six Snipe, Jack Snipe and a Stonechat.
Eight Little Egrets were roosting on Denny this evening; this is the first year that we've had such a regular winter roost, and it's nice to see there's a decent-sized little group as well. With the Grey Heron breeding season kicking off, you'd have to think that an established heronry on an undisturbed island in the middle of a lake would look like a good potential breeding site for a small group of Little Egrets. That said, even without the egrets, you'd have to question why Bristol Water have decided this week to go over to Denny and start cutting trees around the heronry. Surely this work, if at all necessary, could have been better timed?
Elsewhere around the lake, a Jack Snipe , 120 Lapwings, one Greater Scaup, male Red-breasted Merganser and one Green Sandpiper were also seen. The level at Heron's Green has now been further lowered to reveal a brown lifeless swathe of mud and dead vegetation.
A distant Mediterranean Gull in the roost was the highlight of the day.
A Nuthatch at the Bittern Trail was the highlight today (a Chew scarcity). Other news was of a female Greater Scaup, two Green Sandpipers, five Little Egrets roosting on Denny, an adult Mediterranean Gull, a Chiffchaff in song, eight Redpolls and an Egyptian Goose.
The usual suspects seen around the lake today - two Red-breasted Mergansers (adult male and juvenile), two Green Sandpipers, 11 Goosanders, two Little Egrets, two Greater Scaups, a Barn Owl at No.2 picnic site, and single Bittern, Greylag Goose and Egyptian Goose.
An honourable mention for the Pied-billed Grebe on the Somerset Levels. Nearly fifty years ago the first for the Western Palearctic was found at Blagdon; it was then seen there and at Chew over the next four years. What chances that this one will hang around for a bit?
Two Cetti's Warblers and four or five Chiffchaffs were heard singing around the lake today.
The Bittern was seen again at Moreton today. Also reported today were two Greylag Geese, two Greater Scaup, seven Little Egrets, 88 Cormorants, two Chiffchaffs, 150 Lapwings and 100 Redwings.
An adult Mediterranean Gull and the first-winter male Greater Scaup were seen off Nunnery Point late this afternoon.
Two Barn Owls again today; at Heron's Green and over the reedbeds to the right of Stratford hide. The rest as follows... The first-winter female Greater Scaup, 130 Goldeneye, the adult male Red-breasted Merganser, 12 Goosander, 22 Wigeon, two Green Sandpipers, one or two Jack Snipe, nine Snipe, three Cetti's Warblers, one Kingfisher and six Little Egrets at roost.
THURSDAY 7th Barn Owls continue to be difficult to miss; one was seen over farmland opposite picnic site No.2 today. Five Little Egrets roosted on Denny, two Green Sandpipers were at the main dam, and a female Greater Scaup was at Moreton.
At least two Mediterranean Gulls (an adult and second-winter) were seen tonight, and a different Red-breasted Merganser, this time an adult male, was off Nunnery Point with a female Goosander at dusk. Four Greater Scaup (three females and a male), five Little Egrets and 16 Goosander were also seen, as were at least 72 Goldeneye in Stratford Bay at dusk.
There were a number of sightings of Barn Owls this afternoon in the Villice/Parkland/Heron's Green Bay/Moreton area, including three together at Nunnery Point. Another was seen over the main reedbed from Herriott's Bridge.
A Smew was seen at Moreton/Stratford Bay today, and the Bittern was again seen at Moreton, in reeds to the left of the hide. At Nunnery Point this evening, a female/first-winter Red-breasted Merganser, an adult Mediterranean Gull and a Barn Owl were seen; the owl was also seen earlier in the afternoon hunting by the road at Villice Bay.