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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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  JULY 2013

WEDNESDAY 31st
A third-summer Caspian Gull was seen in the pre-roost gathering at Herriott's Pool this evening, and a Yellow Wagtail was in Heron's Green Bay.

SUNDAY 28th
Selected highlights today were at least five (possibly seven) Little Egrets, seven Green Sandpipers, five Common Sandpipers, two Dunlin, one Redshank, five Black-tailed Godwits and 45 Lapwing. There are still five Egyptian Goose goslings.

FRIDAY 26th
A ringing session this evening trapped 391 Swallows - thought to be the biggest single catch of any species ever made at CVRS. Ten Sand Martins were also caught.

THURSDAY 25th
A few waders today, most of which were on Herriott's Pool - two Little Ringed Plovers, four Redshank, seven Black-tailed Godwits, one Dunlin, five Green Sandpipers, two Common Sandpipers and three Snipe. A Pintail was also seen.

TUESDAY 23rd
A day in the field today produced the following highlights: five Little Egrets, three Wigeon, one Garganey (Villice and Herriott's Pool), one Greater Scaup, (our) two juvenile Goldeneye, 50-plus Lapwings, one Little Ringed Plover, three Redshank, one Dunlin, 11 Green Sandpipers, six Common Sandpipers, three Snipe, five Kingfisher sightings around the lake during the day, one Hobby and one Peregrine.

MONDAY 22nd
Nine Common Terns were at Herriott's Pool this evening. Four Green Sandpipers and the Garganey were also seen.

SUNDAY 21st
A juvenile Spotted Flycatcher was a decent find at Hollow Brook; other birds seen today were the Garganey still, a female Greater Scaup, an Oystercatcher, two Snipe, five Green Sandpipers and five Wigeon.

THURSDAY 18th
The first Garganey of the autumn was found this evening.

WEDNESDAY 17th
A Sanderling was in Heron's Green Bay, and a Mediterranean Gull was at Herriott's Pool today. Other birds on the move were four Dunlin, seven Green Sandpipers and 26 Lapwings.

TUESDAY 16th
At least seven Little Egrets were seen around the lake today, including a family group of five. The two Goldeneye chicks are now almost fully grown, and Tufted Duck numbers have risen to c.500. A juvenile Water Rail was also seen today.

Waders were represented by 26 Lapwing, three Black-tailed Godwits, four Dunlin, seven Green Sandpipers, and two Common Sandpipers.

The hot weather has dropped the lake to 79% full. Compare this with 100% this time last year, and 61% in early July 2011.

SUNDAY 14th
Five Black-tailed Godwits, 13 Lapwing, two Redshank, one Dunlin, five Common Sandpipers and five Green Sandpipers were seen today. Some of the waders were on Herriott's Pool where the water level has dropped to expose a muddy bank in the normal 'gull spot'.

SATURDAY 13th
Six Red-crested Pochard were on Stratford Islands this morning.

THURSDAY 11th
Three Green Sandpipers and two Common Sandpipers were seen today. Two Brown Hares were at Heron's Green Pool (field).

WEDNESDAY 10th
A Nuthatch was heard at Picnic Site No.1, a Little Egret was again on Herriott's Pool and five Sand Martins were seen at Hollow Brook.

Milky Way over Chew Valley Lake

I thought I'd take advantage of one of these rare cloudless and moonless nights to take a nightscape. This is looking south from Nunnery Point. You can even see the Milky Way. Let's see if I can link this directly from my Flickr account...

TUESDAY 9th
Still the waders trickle through - one Redshank, one juvenile Little Ringed Plover, three Common Sandpipers and four Green Sandpipers today. Also around the lake were one female Greater Scaup, two Yellow-legged Gulls, four Ravens and c.70 Sand Martins.

MONDAY 8th
An adult Mediterranean Gull was on Herriott's Pool this evening, also seen were four Common Gulls and 80 Sand Martins. A Hobby and a Little Egret were at Heron's Green Bay.

SUNDAY 7th
Ten Common Sandpipers was a good count for so early in the autumn; four Green Sandpipers, 22 Black-tailed Godwits, 25 Lapwing and a Greenshank were also recorded today. Other birds today were 34 Teal, two Little Egrets, two Common Gulls, two Yellow-legged Gulls, one Kingfisher and one Hobby.

The Great Black-backed Gull pair appear to be taking up territory on the grassy island at Stratford hide after their failed breeding attempt on Herriott's Pool.

FRIDAY 5th
Three Common Terns were new arrivals today, with 19 Teal, seven Common Sandpipers and 20 Sand Martins also present. A new brood of six Shelduck has appeared over the last few days, and a new brood of two Pochard was at Herriott's Pool. The Goldeneye and Egyptian Goose families are still present.


The Chew Egyptian Goose (Chris Stone) and Goldeneye families (Keith Vinicombe).

WEDNESDAY 3rd
The pick of today's birds: one Little Egret, two male Wigeon, three Goldeneye (the female and two young), two Common Sandpipers, and one each of Curlew, Common Tern, Peregrine and Hobby.

MONDAY 1st
Still a steady trickle of migrants heading through. Today's arrivals included two Black-tailed Godwits, one Common Sandpiper, six Lapwing a Sandwich Tern and a possible Caspian Gull at Herriott's this evening.

The two Goldeneye chicks are still present, as were a Wigeon and a Greater Scaup.

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