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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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The Glossy Ibis was seen briefly in flight over the usual field at 09:30 but did not reappear for the rest of the day. The other good birds all remained - Bearded Tit (heard from Moreton Lane), Black-throated Diver (Woodford Bank), Long-tailed Duck (dam, then off Moreton when flushed by a hot air balloon) and the two Pink-footed Geese (Heron's Green Pool).

Other birds seen today included two Dunlin, six Egyptian Geese one Yellow-legged Gull, two Ravens, 11 Goosander, two Little Egrets, one Common Sandpiper and a Kingfisher.

The Long-tailed Duck at the dam today.

The Glossy Ibis was seen again by the cattle through in Moreton Bank field.

The Glossy Ibis today. (Ken Hall)

A Glossy Ibis reappeared today; it was seen in flight at Moreton Point but settled later in Moreton Bank field. Just about on a par in lake rarity terms, a Snow Bunting was seen on the shore at No.1 picnic site this morning; unfortunately it flew off.

The Black-throated Diver (Woodford), two Pink-footed Geese (Heron's Green Pool) and Bearded Tits (heard calling again at Moreton) were all still present.

Some more late autumn movement today with a female Marsh Harrier, then two Glossy Ibises; they flew in over the lake and were seen to drop to the NE behind Denny, but subsequent searches proved fruitless. Probably the two seen recently at Slimbridge. The Black-throated Diver, two Pink-footed Geese and female Greater Scaup were still present.

The two Pink-footed Geese. (Andy Davis)

The Black-throated Diver was still present at Woodford Bank today, also seen were four Bearded Tits, two Pink-footed Geese and the female Greater Scaup again.

A Nuthatch ringed at CVRS was their first of the year; it's still a scarce bird at Chew. The Black-throated Diver (Woodford), two Pink-footed Geese (Heron's Green Pool) and Long-tailed Duck (dam) were all still present today.

The Nuthatch being processed. (Chris Craig)

The juvenile Black-throated Diver (Woodford), two Pink-footed Geese (Heron's Green Pool) and Long-tailed Duck (dam) were all still present today. Amongst the other birds seen were a pair of Common Scoter, 11 Goosander, six Egyptian Geese, two Chiffchaffs, eight Snipe, two Kingfishers.

There was no sign of the male Lesser Scaup - it's presumed that this is the bird that has spent previous winters either here or at Cardiff Bay, where it was present today.

...and one in the sun (Gary Thoburn)

A pair of Pink-footed Geese was a nice find at Heron's Green Pool today. A rare bird at Chew.

An adult Gannet during a rain shower at midday was a surprise. The Black-throated Diver (Woodford) and Long-tailed Duck (main dam) remained.

The juvenile Black-throated Diver remained, as did the Long-tailed Duck, Lesser Scaup and two Bewick's Swans. A Black-necked Grebe in the Moreton/Stratford area and two Water Pipits (over Heron's Green Bay/Pool) were also seen today.

The juvenile Black-throated Diver was still entertaining the crowds at Woodford Bank today. A Bittern at Herriott's Pool this afternoon (16:22) showed well - hopefully we can expect more of this bird through the winter. Other birds seen today included the male Lesser Scaup (Villice Bay), the juvenile Long-tailed Duck, five Goosanders, one Red-breasted Merganser and three Green Sandpipers.

A flat calm, grey November day - and some good late autumn local patch birding today. A juvenile Black-throated Diver was located at the sailing club, where it showed at close range between there and Woodford Lodge. Normally divers at Chew are as far from the shore as it's possible to get - very rarely do they give 'Cheddar Res' views here. Let's hope it's OK.

Other birds today as follows: adult male Lesser Scaup (Villice Bay), adult male Ferruginous Duck, adult male Red-breasted Merganser, Common Sandpiper and Mediterranean Gull (Heron's Green Bay), two Bewick's Swans (Denny/North Shore), the juvenile Long-tailed Duck (no.1 picnic site), one Water Pipit (over Woodford Bank), a female-type Greater Scaup and at least two Bearded Tits (Moreton).

Other birds included three Kingfishers, four Green Sandpipers, two Ravens, a Redshank and a Stonechat.

Note that as usual, the male Red-breasted Merganser (currently in transitional plumage) is often associating with a female Goosander. There has been a female Merganser seen this month, often not associating with the male, so make sure that your pair of Mergansers isn't actually one of each! Also make sure that your male Merganser isn't a transitional male Goosander either - they can look similarly patchy and grey at the moment.

Two Nuthatches were heard calling from the bottom of Stratford Lane today.

More local quality today in the shape of four Bearded Tits at Moreton this morning - a bird that is really difficult to catch up with at Chew. Twelve Bewick's Swans were at the mouth of Hollow Brook at midday, and the juvenile Long-tailed Duck was still off the main dam.

A very late Ruddy Darter was still on the wing today.

One of the male Bearded Tits at Moreton today. (Chris Craig)

A decent flock of 14 female/first-winter Common Scoters today was unexpected, with other new arrivals in the shape of a Curlew and a male Red-crested Pochard. The male Lesser Scaup was in Villice Bay again.

A juvenile Long-tailed Duck was a decent arrival today (one also turned up at Cheddar yesterday), but two Stonechats were almost as noteworthy given their scarcity in recent winters. Also seen today were two Red-breasted Mergansers, including the returning male moulting out of eclipse, one first-winter Mediterranean Gull, two Goosanders, four Bewick's Swans (three Stratford, one Villice), six Green Sandpipers, one late Common Sandpiper and the male Lesser Scaup in Villice Bay.

The Lesser Scaup was still in Villice Bay today.

An adult male Lesser Scaup was found in Villice Bay today. Presumably one of last autumn's birds returning.

Three Bewick's Swans and six Green Sandpipers were in Heron's Green Bay today.

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