Thursday, 30 December 2010

Thursday 30th December

For the second day in a row it was misty, foggy, miserable and dank. However, I decided it was time to have a search of the reservoir. The main reservoir is still largely ice covered with the water level having dropped a couple of feet which has resulting in the ice collapsing at the edges. Bird wise there was little to report with a single Goosander, 8 Shoveler, 5 Teal, 12 Wigeon, 7 Pochard and 2 Gadwall. I think a good wind from any direction should break up the ice quickly.

I had a couple of roving tit flocks with around 40 Long-tailed tits, Treecreeper and a couple of Nuthatch.

From a personal point of view I have seen two species of bird in my garden this week that have not been recorded at Shustoke this year. The first was a Brambling that has spent a few days at my feeders the second, yesterday, was a Little Owl sat out in my Damson Tree 15 yards from the kitchen window. This was particularly annoying considering the amount of time I have spent looking at Shustoke for this particular species.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Boxing Day and the Day after

Yesterday I took a 8 mile walk of the area, Shustoke to Coleshill Quarry and back round via Ladywalk then Shustoke Reservoir. The highlights were a couple of Curlew over the Hams Hall outflow. And a couple of Woodcock one on Watery Lane and the other in the field across from the reservoir.

Shustoke held a small flock of Redpoll and the Siskin still, whilst today Steve Lane reported a Goosander and a Green Sandpiper.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas

A very Merry Christmas to anyone who reads the blog – and to everyone else that doesn’t!

Took a walk in sub-zero temperatures around the reservoir today, the pool is all but completely ice-covered. There were few birds around with 40 Siskin, Nuthatch and couple of Great Spots were about the sum total.

In all honest there are more birds around my feeders with Brambling, Tree Sparrow and a fly over Raven this morning. I am now off to have my Xmas lunch, so again everyone have a very merry xmas.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Friday 24th December

Went over early today with just a small area of water still ice free, there were few duck with 20 Shoveler, 10 Pochard, 4 Gadwall, 10 Wigeon and c.80 Mallard. Yesterdays Skylark could not be located but there was a small group of Redpoll in the plantation near to the house in the south-east corner.

At Coton late afternoon I saw a Bittern, 2 Smew and a Curlew.

The garden produced my first Brambling of the winter as well as around six Tree Sparrows.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Thursday 23rd December

Having broke up for Xmas at lunchtime I returned home via Kingbury to see the 8 Bewick Swans that have been there for a couple of days. Whilst there a flock of c.100 Skylark dropped in to feed.

That fired me up and I headed for Shustoke for the afternoon. It was certainly a little warmer than of late but the reservoir is completely ice covered bar a small area by the sailing club. That held a couple of Goosander, 20 Shoveler, 5 Pochard, 6 Tufted, 6 Gt Crested Grebe and a good scattering of larger gulls.

Passerines were scarce but I had a flock of 60 of so Skylark in the fields down from the Gryphon and another ten in the fields by the paddocks, this was a first for me this year at the reservoir.

There was a Nuthatch near the fishing club but little else.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Sunday 19th December

I fancied a trip over to the Reservoir so Captain Daylate and I had a walk around. The lake was pretty much frozen over, with just two small areas of open water. The temperature on arrival at 2pm was -3°C and it felt like it – it was however a beautiful day.

At first glance there were a lot of big gulls on the ice with 5 Gt Black-backed and around 80 Herring, 100 LBB Gulls, 40 Common and 200+ Black-headed.

The undoubted highlight was a Woodcock (131) which was the first good bird I have had with the good Captain this year, its only taken 51 weeks!

There were around 30 Fieldfare, 20 Redwing, 40 Siskin and Kingfisher.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Saturday 11th December

I took a walk over this morning with the only new birds being a pair of adult Gt Black-backed Gulls. The wildfowl numbers were as follows:

104 Shoveler, 86 Pochard, 50 Wigeon, 164 Mallard, 46 Tufted Duck, 5 Goosander, 460 Coot, 12 Gt Crested Grebe, 4 Little Grebe.

The area was generally quiet although there was a reasonable amount of activity near the paddocks with 20 Chaffinch, 6 Greenfinch, 1 Bullfinch a mixed flock of tits and 20 Redwing, 6 Fieldfare.

Coleshilll Quarry

Late afternoon saw a couple of Goosander on the river 24 Teal no waders at all but there were a couple of Song Thrush, 1 Bullfinch and a Sparrowhawk.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Tuesday 7th December

What a sight, Shustoke with everything covered in a Hoar Frost, it was simple breathtaking, as was the cold air. Someone with a poetic bent could certainly have waxed lyrical about this “feast for the eyes.”

Bird wise there were less wildfowl than of late, but there was still a Redshank and a Green Sandpiper. Coot number continue to grow with in excess of 500 (I did count them but they were that closely packed it was difficult to be accurate). Grebe number are now well down on the highs of the summer and autumn.

Passerine were practically non-existant today with a Grey Wagtail and a couple of Meadow Pipits the only birds of note.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Sunday 5th December

Managed to get over early (going to watch the Baggies), there was just one car on the car park but the place was packed by the time I left. The Wigeon were put up by a Ned who let his Staffordshire Bull Terrier go tearing into the flock scattering them, this was after the dog had nearly upended a couple of joggers (I will refrain from putting down what I actually think, suffice to say, he looked thick as well).

Unfortunately, this is the problem when the small pool is frozen over as the main pool is very popular no matter what the weather. The south bank is too overgrown for Wigeon to graze so they are left to dodge the human footfall, especially at weekends.

Bird wise, there were more passerines with Nuthatch, Treecreeper and Siskin seen. Wildfowl numbers have dropped again, unfortunately one of the ice free patches in right up against the bank and the birds are easily disturbed.

There was still one lingering Redshank but all the other waders appear to have moved on, but it was a good week last week, lets see what this week holds.

Oh and we won 3-1 and that is probably the biggest surprise of the week.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Saturday 4 December

9am foggy, cold, dank, but with the run of birds recently I had to get out even though I had a late night last night with friends from Australia.

The reservoir was mainly frozen, and the first clear patch held 50 Wigeon and 2 Redshank, yesterdays 2 Dunlin were still present. At the east end there appeared to be a slight reduction in wildfowl numbers but there were still in excess of 120 Shoveler and over 450 Coot. There was no sign of any Gadwall, Goldeneye or yesterdays drake Pintail.

I checked out the path along the railway line but passerine wise it was very quiet apart from Redwing, a few Fieldfare and a small party of Siskin.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Friday 3rd December

The Winter festivities continue. I had just arrived at Shustoke with my wife in the early afternoon when I received a text to say there were two Knot at Shustoke. Not that Joy was fussed in the slightest that she hadn’t seen the bird from Wednesday, but was looking forward (in a female way) to seeing them.

As we got to the north-west corner I picked up two waders on the shoreline, but they didn’t appear big enough to be Knot and on closer inspection turned out to be Dunlin. I am not for an instant dismissing the Knot they could well have been there and flown off. Bobby D had 6 Curlew that I didn’t see and I had a Redshank that he didn’t. Suffice to say that with these weather conditions birds are coming and going all the time.

Wildfowl numbers are still high though most of the lake is now ice-covered. The Wigeon have increased to over 80 birds now and I noted 7 Gadwall and the male Goldeneye. There was a Kingfisher on the river but still few passerines.

In the garden Tree Sparrows have reached five birds, which was last years peak.

Yesterday, male Pintail (130) (per Steve Haynes)

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Thursday 2nd December

Sod Work! I took the morning off but there were none of yesterdays fireworks, but it was still good, there were about the same number of wildfowl as yesterday (probably more Pochard, less Goosander) but there was a male Goldeneye. The best bird was a Dunlin that flew through heading east but it did not appear to land and I lost it in the south-east corner. There were plenty of Redwings and about 12 Fieldfare. A Green Woodpecker was picked up along the river but it was still quiet for passerines.

I now believe that we have a record number of species for the Reservoir in a single year, I will tot it up this afternoon and post the new total.

Roll on tomorrow!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Wednesday 1st December

Took the afternoon of work and thought – might be good for wildfowl at Shustoke so I wrapped up warm and headed out. On arrival the snow flurries continued and after a 200 yards a Snipe flew over, that was the first I have seen for a while. Continuing round there were 17 Goosander, but most of the wildfowl were down the east end. As I carried on round I met a neighbour that I had never spoken to and we ended up talking for about 1/2 hour. I was just about to carry on when I picked up three waders flying in from the south I instantly thought Golden Plover, (brilliant never seen one here) I apologised for my rudeness and picked my bins up to see that it was actually three Grey Plover, the black auxilieries standing out (thats arm pits to most of us) they never gave any indication of landing and carried on north.

I was quite excited at this point, my neighbour confused. Anyway we left each other and I hadn’t gone 30 yards before what looked like a Meadow Pipit landed on the edge, but I had given up on that as I picked up the shape of a wader on the shoreline, this was a medium sized bulky bird which I immediately recognised as a Knot, again another new species for me for the Reservoir. I was really bubbling now, I watched the bird for 10 minutes then carried on. Then I saw the Knot flying over the Reservoir before turning and landing in the north-east corne. At this point a couple of walkers with dogs flushed the Wigeon that were feeding in the corner and I saw the Knot no more. It more than likely has relocated elsewhere on the Reservoir (find out tomorrow). I also saw yesterdays Green Sandpiper and 6 Lapwing brought todays wader total to five.

Wildfowl numbers were as follows.
17 Goosander, 152 Shoveler, 5 Gadwall, c.20 Teal, 70 Pochard, c.80 Mallard and 120 Tufted Duck.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Tuesday 30th November

Managed a couple of hours this afternoon and the cold snap produced the goods with another year tick for me in the form of a Green Sandpiper. There were some notable counts today with 97 Shoveler, c.60 Pochard, 53 Wigeon, 14 Goosander and 12 Teal. The only passerines of note were Meadow Pipit and Fieldfare.

I also have roosting Tawny Owl which I have seen on a couple of occasions but they are near impossible to see during the day in the dense conifers.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Sunday 28th November

I managed to fit in a couple of visits on Sunday – early and late as I had been dragged (kicking and screaming) shopping! Early on there was much the same as yesterday although there was no sign of the Smew or the Goldeneye, however, the flock of Wigeon has reach 40. Wildfowl generally had increased with c.40 Teal, c.30 Shoveler, c.80 Pochard, plus late on there were 25 Goosander which use the Reservoir as a roost site. There were a couple of small flocks of Lapwing heading south, but on a couple of newly ploughed field to the north of the site there were around 150+ Lapwing with good numbers of mixed corvids.

I took the dog for a walk over to Coleshill Quarry late afternoon and only saw about six species, the site is completely frozen over (more than likely the source of Shustokes, Teal and Shoveler). But out of the six species one was new for me and I think the site and came in the form of a Woodcock, this is a species that I have been searching for regularly recently at Shustoke and just goes to show what birding is like that I jammed upon one by accident!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Saturday 27th November

It was a cold and frosty morning, with a sprinkling of lying snow, so I thought there might be a bit of cold weather movement. On arrival things looked promising, the reservoir was ice free and from the car park there were 13 Goosander and a Goldeneye. I walked around clockwise into a biting wind, the launch from the sailing club went out (braver man than me) putting up the wildfowl there were c'50 Pochard and 4 Shoveler amongst the commoner birds, at this point the Goosander and Goldeneye departed. I carried on around and in the east corner there were 10 Teal, this was proving to be a good day. It was then that a small duck flew in fast and landed, straight away I realised it was a redhead Smew, at this point the sun came out so I had to hurry round the the east end to view up the reservoir and the bird was halfway towards the sailing club feeding happily.

The small pool held a dozen Wigeon and most of the duck from the main reservoir relocated here as in the meantime sailing had begun. I saw Kingfisher, 40 Redwing a few Bullfinch and a dozen or so Siskin.

I had a quick check on the way back but could not see the Smew but it could easily have been feeding near to the edge and I could easily have missed it. The only other sighting of note were 12 Common Gull.

2010 now equals the best ever year for Shustoke Reservoir.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Wednesday 24th November

Left work at 4pm with the hope of walking the dog around the reservoir before dark. In the event it was pretty dark when Joy the Mutt and I arrived. There were the usual duck species but it was too dark to count, but the highlight was undoubtedly the 15 Goosander (5 males) that were on the main pool. The gull roost held a 1000 of so gulls with a good number of Herring amongst the many LBB’s but it was too dark to scan the raft. That was about it. Hopefully get over on Saturday at some stage.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Sunday 21st November

Took a walk around the perimeter today, far to many people for my normal walk around the reservoir. It was a bit better than yesterday, it was certainly marginally brighter. Most of the duck had relocated to the small pool and there were c.90 Pochard, 12 Shoveler, 5 Wigeon. There was a two foot long dead Grass Snake on Bixhill Lane which is only the second I have seen, but at least the first one was alive.

The area around the small pool looks best at the moment for passerines but apart from a few Redwing it was rather quiet. I utilised the new path and followed the railway line along the north end and connected with the tit flock but apart from the common species it was poor. The field at the far end held a couple of Reed Bunting the first for a while.

I took the dog over to Coleshill Quarry later in the afternoon and there were c.80 Teal, 20 Wigeon and 2 Green Sandpiper. Unfortunately even at a distance of 300 odd yards as soon as the bird caught sight of me they were off. Really could do with a Public Hide or a screen in this area!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

What colour is the sky again!

On yet another grey bleak day, I took an early morning walk around the reservoir, passerines were noticeably by their absence, in fact it was the first time I had ever failed to see Blue Tit! I think they must all be at my bird feeders. However, duck numbers were ok with 24 Shoveler, 85 Pochard, c.100 Tufted, c. 140 Mallard and 4 Wigeon. I failed to see the Red-breasted Merganser but it may still be there as the sailing club launch moved the birds around a bit.

There were a few Redwings around and I tried hard for Woodcock as we need one species to equal the best ever year for the Reservoir. There are still six weeks left for either the aforementioned Woodcock or even Lesser Spotted Woodpecker to put in an appearance. I live in hope!

On a personal note I have recorded 108 species this year and am missing some really dollies, the identity of which I am not prepared to divulge. So I will be looking hard for those as well.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

I’ve got the Shustoke Blues

It was to say the least, a shock to the system. The Negev Desert it isn’t! It was a cold dank morning so I thought I had better go for a stroll. I was delighted to see the Red-breasted Merganser was still on the Reservoir I had received a text from TP in Israel about the bird, as did Steve Cawthray and Bobby D and at £1.50 a time he may well live to regret that. (By the way Tom - that’s why you didn’t receive a text by way of thanks!)

There was a good variety of duck species today but the wintering flock of Wigeon seem slow to return with just a single bird on the small pool. I think that the Reservoir is far to popular now as this species feeds on the grassy banks and there unfortunately is just to much disturbance now.

It was a rather disappointing morning with around 30 Redwing, 5 Siskin and not a fat lot else.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The blur that was early November

Hi all, as you can probably gather I have been away. I have been birding Israel with a few of the Tame Valley’s regulars. We were based in the Eilat and Dead Sea area with a number of really good birds – the rarest of which arguably was a Yellowhammer!

Although the hotel in Eilat resembled a Bail Hostel, the main disappointment was that Eilat seems to have changed out of all recognition and is extremely expensive now. £6 a pint was enough to ensure that I didn’t wake up with a sore head very often.

While I have been away there has been a Red-breasted Merganser on the reservoir which Dave Hutton has kindly provided a photograph of (thanks Dave). There was also a Little Gull in the roost one night. I should be able to get back into the swing of things soon and will reverse the lack of posts.

Red-breasted Merganser – Dave Hutton

Sunday, 31 October 2010

31st October 2010

Didn’t get time to go over Shustoke today but I did take the dog over to Coleshill Quarry. Yesterdays Jack Snipe was still there with 5 Common Snipe and a Green Sandpiper, not a bad haul for a half hour walk. There were also 50 Fieldfare and 30 Redwing feeding on the bushes adjacent to the railway line.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Saturday 30th October

After a busy week at work and decorating at home, I managed to get over this morning and it really was very quiet. There were still around 50 Pochard but no other winter wildfowl. The highlight was a single Common Gull. There were very few passerines around and the reservoir was very busy.

I had to walk the dog this evening so I gave Coleshill Quarry a kick and had a Jack Snipe in the same area as I had a few weeks ago, there was also a couple of Common Snipe.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Friday 29th October

Finally managed to get over on a blustery autumn afternoon, it was late and it was more for a stop of fresh air than serious birding. Not surprisingly passerines were thin on the ground although a group of 60-80 Fieldfare flew into the Paddocks area. There was a lack of duck species on the reservoir but a count of Pochard resulted in over c.120 being recorded and there were probable more!

Hopefully I will get over tomorrow and have a good look around but the weather isn’t looking too promising. But with large numbers of Waxwings in the country it won’t be to long before they arrive in the Midlands. As that bloke you used to do the ITV Crime programme back in the 80’s would say, “Keep them Peeled”.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Sunday 24th October

Took a walk around this afternoon, it was a gorgeous day so I took the dog with me and stayed on the perimeter. Looking down on the reservoir nothing much had changed bird wise apart from a Goldeneye and two Common Gull. I didn’t connect with any flock of birds at all, then the heavens opened, as I had walked to the reservoir the dog looked like a drowned rat by the time I got home.

I might struggle to get over much this week as we are short handed at work with holidays and the wife is in Tenerife for 10 days. But I can’t complain as I am of to Israel with Captain Daylate six days after that. If I do get over I will have enough time for the Gull roost and that will be about it.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Friday 22nd October

Didn’t get over until late today combined my duty of walking the dog with a spot of birding. Unfortunately it was getting quite dark by the time I’d walked around to the gull roost. There were c500 Lesser Black Backed Gull, c.1500 Black-headed, c.30 Herring Gull, c.6 Common Gull. In the last few weeks whenever I have been over late there is a Buzzard that likes to drift over the reservoir causing panic.

He/she appears to have no interest in catching a gull, I like to think it just wants to keep them on there toes, or maybe it wants one of those toys that you used to get that you’d shake and a snow storm would appear (what where they called?). Anyway that’s what the gulls look like when they all take off!

There are still c.50 Pochard and 21 Shoveler.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Thursday 21st October

Walked around this morning seeing very little, got a little irate with irresponsible dog owners so decided to cross the river and give the path behind the railway a grilling, unfortunately the cover was too thick (another couple of weeks me thinks). All in all everything is settling down with winter visitors becoming more evident every day.

120 Fieldfare, 40 Redwing, 20 Meadow Pipit, Green Woodpecker, 5 Shoveler, c.50 Pochard.

I had an interesting happening at my bird feeders this morning. There was a Dunnock standing under the feeders, and it didn’t look to well. I thought nothing of it until a Robin flew in and dispatched the Dunnock with a couple of sharp blows, then proceeded to drag it off into the undergrowth.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Wednesday 20th October

In bright sunshine there was no sign of the Scaup today but there were 23 Shoveler most of which didn’t land there were still c.50 Pochard. I counted 90 Cormorant on the Reservoir and around 30-40 on the jetty. There was no sign anywhere of any summer migrants but winter birds are starting to show up. I had c.80 Fieldfare, 20 Redwing and the same number of Siskin. The Raven again flew over the reservoir and there were a dozen plus Meadow Pipit.

Tuesday 19th October

The female Scaup was still there this morning with a group of a dozen Tufties. A Raven few overhead and there were 50 or so Pochard. A Barn Owl (125) was seen in field by the Reservoir early last week. There was a small group of Meadow Pipit near to the paddocks.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Sunday 17th October

I have been too busy trying to get the garden ready for the winter to make any trips over at the weekend. But there was a female Scaup (124) that tempted me but I really wanted to finish the garden. However, Dave Hutton kindly sent me a couple of photographs of the bird. I just hope it is there on Tuesday which will be my first opportunity to catch up with it.

Scaup (female) – Dave Hutton

Friday, 15 October 2010

Friday 15th October

Yesterday I swapped the delights of Shustoke Reservoir for the Devon Coast with Captain Daylate looking for a Solitary Sandpiper, and Allah be Praised we saw the bird, after umpteen unsuccessful trips we finally scored – please see below.

Solitary Sandpiper, Seaton, Devon

Please excuse the indulgence, anyway this morning it was rather quiet around Shustoke although there were 3 Swallow, 5 Goldeneye (immature/females), 50+ Pochard, 2 Shoveler but still no Wigeon.

A single Raven flew overhead noisily and there were Nuthatch, Kingfisher and Redwing around the small pool. Autumn is well and truly with us.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Tuesday 12th October

Thought I would take a walk around the reservoir in the morning. First up, off the car park was a group of 18 Shoveler. I thought that would be the day’s highlight. Fortunately, within 100 yards a Rock Pipit (123) flew up being harried by Pied Wagtails, it called flew 100 yards further away and tried to settle it was still there late morning but never seemed overly settled.

The rest of the walk the highlights were a Willow Tit and Nuthatch around the small pool. The Black Tern seems to have left and again there were no warblers or hirundines. There has been a big influx of thrushes today with 50+ Blackbird and 25+ Redwing.

Rock Pipit – Bob Duckhouse

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Sunday 10th October

Hard at the gardening today, but managed to walk around as dusk fell, Black Tern still there and the gull roost held about six Common Gull, but apart from that very quiet.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Saturday 9th October

After a week away I had a walk around the reservoir today. It was obvious that the weather has changed, as had the make-up of the birdlife. For the first time in months there were no hirundines to be seen I also drew a blank on summer passerines. There had been a Black Tern in midweek and that bird was still present as was a single Common Tern. Winter thrushes were represented by about a dozen Redwing, whilst at home I had a small group of Fieldfare fly over. I actually had a year tick for the Reservoir today with a group of six Meadow Pipit in the western meadow. The field on the other side of the river still looks good but contained absolutely nothing. I still have high hopes for later in the year.

I paid a brief visit here this afternoon and was rewarded with two Jack Snipe which is certainly a first for me at this site and to the best of my knowledge is the first record. The only other bird of note was a single Common Snipe.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Friday 1st October

New that today there was a drake Common Scoter at the west end of the Reservoir at 11.30 per Rare Bird  Alert.

I went around late afternoon and got a good soaking, didn’t see the Scoter but it may well have been present (my bins were redundant after about 100 yards). I did see the female Goosander fly in and there was a group of 40 Swallow and 10 House Martin looking like they had had enough in the driving rain, so by the time I get back in a weeks time I don’t expect to see them again.

Thursday 30th September

I had another search for Little Owl in the fields running to the north of the railway line, again I drew a blank. The main reservoir didn’t produce much either although there was a 1st winter Common Gull on the gantry. Still good numbers of LBB Gulls although the Herring Gull numbers seem to have dropped off.

Pochard numbered 20 and there were still 20 odd Swallows around. The weather forecast for Friday may produce something and I will have a good walk round on Friday evening before giving my knees a pounding hillwalking in Scotland for a week.

I will update the blog on my return, if anything of interest turns up please inform Tame Valley Birders via their blog – conversely check that blog for anything interesting in the area.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Wednesday 29th September

I was stuck at work until late so I took the opportunity to walk the dog over the western meadow and check out the field on the other side of the river as this used to hold Little Owl. Needless to say I didn’t see Little Owl, in fact apart from tit flocks there wasn’t much. 

However, earlier in the day there were 8 Little Gull (Ad, 2nd Winter, 6 1st Winter, plus Wheatear and 65 Swallow. per S Cawthray, S Haynes et al.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Tuesday 28th September

Got over late, with the intent of finding Little Owl in an area where the were quite common a few years ago, this area lies south of the small pool in the hedgerow that runs to the main road. Although not quite dark I had a good look and drew a blank. I checked out the paddocks again and no Little Owl, this was the last territory occupied and a banker for this species up until a year ago.

I cannot help but feel that the increase in Buzzard numbers has had an adverse effect on Little Owl numbers, as they have a habit of sitting out in the open and therefore would be easy prey for a species that likes sitting targets! Having said that the last sighting I had was in the obvious tree looking towards the railway at the west end and that bird was being harassed by a Kestrel! I assumed at the time that that was competition for a nest site as it was early spring.

Anyway, nature will have its way, and there is not a lot I, or anyone else can do about it. If Buzzards are the cause of the Little Owls decline, they are a natural part of our birdscape whereas Little Owl are an introduced species.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Monday 27th September

It was dank and bleak but I walked around anyway with virtually no wind I wasn’t expecting to come across anything – and I wasn’t disappointed. The winter wildfowl have been turning up in recent weeks in dribs and drabs and tonight was no different. There were 2 Shoveler and 10 Pochard which was about all to show for the visit.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Sunday 26th September

Decided to avoid the crowds and went over early this morning, it didn’t look promising at first but at the east end I picked up a female type Common Scoter (122). It was feeding and associating loosely with a small group of Little Grebe. At 9.30 the activity at the Sailing Club started and the speed boat that goes out first fortunately concentrated on the west end of the reservoir, as did the eventual race. I left at 11.30am and the bird was still present. I also had a group of 60+ mixed hirundines, Willow Warbler and four Chiffchaff.

I paid another visit at dusk and the Scoter was still present as darkness fell.

Note: Shustoke Reservoir has now recorded the same number of species as it did in 2009 and we still have 3 full months left! The most species ever recorded in a single year is 128 in 2008 plus White Wagtail, which I count as a sub-species in brackets, (I know that Pied Wag is the sub-species … but what can I do). I also don’t count Feral Pigeon.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Saturday 25th September

None of last nights Black Terns were present this morning, something I could have predicted as I had taken my camera! There was a mixed group of Sand Martin, House Martin and Swallow than numbered 50+. Marsh Tit was in with the main tit flock and there were single Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler. There were 130+ Great Crested Grebe present on the main pool.

Willow Warbler, Shustoke.
Not a great photo but had to include something.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Friday 24th September

Have been a little busier this week, subsequently that and the shorter daylight hours have combined to reduce my birding time at the Reservoir. However I managed to get over for the last hour of daylight tonight and was rewarded with 3 Black Terns. There were good numbers of gulls again in the roost but with just binoculars this evening they went unchecked.

Autumn is very evident at the moment, and after last nights Goosander, tonight brought 3 Pochard, 2 Gadwall, and a “Scottish Play” Duck. I checked the paddock using the last shafts of sunlight but still no Little Owl, there are a pair on the other side of Shustoke but this species is still absent from the year list. There used to be at least three pairs in the vicinity but all the territories appear vacant at the moment. Still I will check the other territories out at dusk and see if I can conjure one up from somewhere.

Common Tern, Kingfisher reported per Matthew Griffiths

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Thursday 23rd September

It is quiet at the moment I had a walk around in the afternoon but there really wasn’t a lot around around the small pool there was a Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and a couple of Nuthatch.

I checked out the gull roost tonight and there was a good number of gull but it contained nothing unusual. And it would appear that the Little Gull has departed at last, wether is was present yesterday I could not say. There was however a female Goosander on the main Reservoir tonight along with a male Pochard.

Garden Update
2 Tree Sparrow

Wednesday 22nd September

Didn’t get a chance to go over today but on a personal note I put my feeders up at the weekend and had my first Tree Sparrow today.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Tuesday 21st September

Took my walk about 9am this morning just as the mist was starting to clear and the day develop in to a fine clear day with little or no wind. There had been a clear out overnight and after a week the Little Gull has departed.

There were no hirundines to be seen and summer migrant were restricted to 1 Willow Warbler and 2 Blackcap. The only new bird today were a pair of Shoveler on the main pool.

Went over to do the Gull roost tonight and lo and behold the Little Gull was still there! So that is nine days now.

Monday, 20 September 2010

On the Eighth Day

The Little Gull is still here for its eighth day and still looks settled (giving an occasional glance upwards). There were only single numbers of hirundines mostly over Shustoke village none over the Reservoir itself. The Marsh Tit was still in the same area but it was generally quiet.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Sunday 19th September

The Little Gull has now clocked up seven days, which is good going considering it has nearly been eaten once to my knowledge. However, generally the Reservoir was quiet with the highlight three Teal. Around Warbler Corner the Marsh Tit was seen again, it is quite vocal and relatively easy to connect with at the moment. Didn’t however see the Willow Tit today. There has been a marked decrease in recent weeks of birds on the main reservoir with most of the summer migrant having disappeared now. There was a couple of Chiffchaff, plus a lot of hirundines feeding over Shustoke village.

Spotted Flycatcher reported near Cottage per Julie Mitchell

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Saturday 18th September

Up bright and early with the sun starting to rise most of the gulls had gone by 6.45 but Sparky the Little Gull was still there for his 6th day. Three Shelduck dropped in 2 adults, 1 juvenile but the main pool was remarkably quiet.

Around the small pools there were Marsh and Willow Tit and a single Nuthatch was seen. Might have a look and see what the gulls roost has to offer tonight.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Battle to the Death

I had to make my way to Coventry for lunchtime so I dropped in to scan the res from the car park on the way. The Little Gull was still in the same general area feeding away as it has done for five days now. Then like a streak a immature male Peregrine singled out “Sparky” who bobbed and weaved, but the Peregrine was getting closer with every swoop. It brought back memories of the Leach’s at Coton the other day trying to avoid the attention of Black-head Gulls. Eventually “Sparky” had had enough and started to try and gain height the Peregrine doing the same, for me there was only going to be one winner. I lost them to view as they drifted south-east but I left convinced that “Sparky” was a gonner!

I returned late afternoon and had a walk around I scanned from the car park to start with, 150 mixed hirundines, mainly House Martin. There were loads of Buzzard up with six high above Ladywalk, four over Hoggrils End, and another couple over the small pool. Walking round there was a Greylag in with the Canada’s, a couple of Grey Wagtail, then to my genuine amazement there was “Sparky” he had survived his encounter with natures instrument of death! The Peregrine had no doubt learnt that speed is one thing but not when you are going in the wrong direction!

By the small pool there was a single Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 4 Kingfisher, 1 Green Woodpecker and a single Raven. This evening the gull roost was impressive and on the shore by the sailing club was a single Common Sandpiper.

I shall be going over early tomorrow with “Daylate” so no doubt “Sparky” will have moved on!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Thursday 16th September

Combined walking the dog with a bit of birding this time taking the track on the other side of the river follow alongside the railway track, I saw Hobby and 2 Raven but not a lot else. The Willow Tit was in the vicinity of Warbler Corner as was a Kingfisher.

On the main pool gull numbers hadn’t started to build up but the Little Gull still performing. There was also a male Pochard at the west end.

A Ringed Plover was reported mid August before the individual last Friday. (per Steve Haynes)

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Wednesday 15th September

Another good bird today with a Little Stint, I flushed it of the shoreline on the west end it was calling and was flying with incredibly quick wing beats in the wind, it didn’t settle and headed off to the west into the wind. That represents the second record of the year for this species. The Little Gull was still present this evening. By the small pool there were two Willow Tit in with the tit flock, strangely it has been mostly Marsh Tit that I have been seeing recently. There are still a few hirundines around and four Chiffchaff. There was also the return of the Common Sandpiper with a single bird present near the sailing club. (per Steve Haynes)

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Tuesday 14th September

An early walk around this morning in light rain with the wind from the south-west. The Little Gull (juvenile) was still there though surprisingly elusive, it was difficult to find when it was resting on the water. Apart from that there were around 40 mixed hirundines, a couple of chiffchaff and a flock of c.100 Lapwing.
This evening the Little Gull was still present and showing well (if distant), when Steve Cawthray turned up we were talking about Hobby when one flew in front of us affording good views. The Reservoir was a little choppy tonight so not a great night for checking the gull roost.

Coleshill Quarry
A brief visit late on 5 Snipe, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Curlew and 8 Meadow Pipit.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Monday 13th September

After giving the Reservoir a miss yesterday, I was twitching with Keith (Daylate) Wimbush and we missed our quarry for the second successive weekend! I did see the bird briefly in flight for about the same amount of time it takes my dog to decide to eat his food.

However, I digress today at the Reservoir we are hitting that time where the summer visitors move on but haven’t yet been replaced by the winter visitors. But I can’t complain it has been a very good period for the Reservoir. The last two weeks of August and first two of September in my humble opinion are always the best time of year here. No doubt there will still be a couple of surprises in store, but not today.

There were a couple of Grey Wagtail, 2 Jay, 30 Greenfinch, 120 mixed hirundines, 118 Cormorant but for the first time in ages no Common Sandpiper. I will try again tonight and see what that brings.

Well it brought a Little Gull 1st winter (Steve Haynes) second record this year. The gull roost is picking up with around 30 Herring Gull, 200+ LBB Gulls and a lot of Black Headed. Also a small group (c.12) Wigeon flew over heading south.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Saturday 11th September

The bird I have been expecting all week finally arrived this morning with a Black Tern (121) resting on the buoys in the centre of the reservoir this represents the first for the year and takes the year list to 121. There were still two Common Sandpiper on the edge but yesterdays Ringed Plover appears to have gone.

There was a large mixed tit flock of around 100 birds mostly Blue, Great, Long-tailed but it was hard to get on birds as they moved through thick vegetation but I picked up a few Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Coal Tit, Chaffinch and Bullfinch in with them.

Another good species today was a Raven by the railway line behind small pool. I saw the male Sparrowhawk again today.

After a text from TP about an Arctic Tern at Shustoke, I curtailed my visit to Coleshill Quarry (Greenshank still) dropped the dog at home, picked up my scope and returned to the Res, the juvenile Arctic Tern was found in flight with a juvenile Common Tern allowing for a comparison of both species in flight. The Black Tern was still present and all three species could be savoured at the same time! Common Sandpiper number had increased to three.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Friday 10th September

The rain never really materialised, but none the less I ventured forth, it didn’t look very promising at first glance, the Common Tern appear to have moved on, although there were around 60 hirundines hawking insects over the reservoir, but then there were about 60 over my house, and about double that number looking towards Coleshill.

Highlight was undoubtedly the Ringed Plover (120) a first for the year at the Reservoir, I had walked past it first time around. There was also a single Common Sandpiper. Passerines were thin on the ground due to the wind,  but I did have a Blackcap.

Steve Cawthray reported Tawny Owl (119) in the car park in the last week.

Late on there were single Greenshank and Snipe, strangely no Green Sandpiper!

Thursday 9th September

It was back to the usual fare at the Reservoir today. The excellent run that we have had has come to an end, hopefully temporarily. There were still a couple of Common Tern, and around 20 hirundines at the east end. Wader wise, 50 Lapwing and a single Common Sandpiper were seen. The Little Egrets appear to have abandoned us – but with so many in North Warwickshire to paraphrase Arnie “They’ll be back”!

Other birds seen included, Sparrowhawk, Kingfisher, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Bullfinch.

The weather forecast to today if for rain, heavy at times. I can’t wait to finish work!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Wednesday 8th September

Walked around the reservoir before work today, there was little about, generally bird numbers seem to have dropped off. Hirundines have certainly cleared out with just a handful of Swallows and a couple of House Martins present. The Little Egret was in the south-east corner, the Common Tern were still around and there was a single Common Sandpiper. A couple of drake Pochard were on the main pool. Looks like things are getting back to normal.

Grey Plover (nearby) and Greenshank reported Steve Haynes.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Tuesday 7th September

A bit quieter today, with a Little Egret, 7 Common Tern, 2 Common Sandpiper, 4 Blackcap.

Keith Wimbush reported an Osprey flying south-west.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Monday 6th September

Little Stint, Dave Hutton

Briefly this morning saw a Hobby rip across the Reservoir. Hopefully more later.

Little Egret, Dave Hutton
Another good bird for the Reservoir, this time Little Stint (118) which spent its time feeding near to the outflow tower towards the west end of the reservoir. By evening it had moved from here, where it had left or relocated elsewhere around the reservoir is hard to say but with heavy rain falling it wasn’t worth searching. The two Little Egrets are still around with one bird usually found on the edge by the car park. There was also a Common Sandpiper and upto seven Common Tern. This mornings Hobby was seen twice this evening as there are good numbers of Swallows and House Martins around.

Little Stint, Dave Hutton
Spotted Flycatcher and Yellow Wagtail were also reported today.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Sunday 5th September

The 1st winter Med Gull was in the roost tonight along with a Herring Gull, 2 Common Gull, 150 LBB Gull, 1,000 BH Gull. There are now two Little Egrets (Debbie) and they were still present tonight. Two Common Sandpiper were seen and there are now seven Common Tern. The Kingfisher has taken to using the main pool and has been seen on several occasions. A single Grey Wagtail was recorded the first for a while.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Friday 3rd September

A little quieter than of late, but the Little Egret is still hanging around and doesn’t appear phased by people and dogs, when I left this evening it was resting up on the south bank.

Still a few warblers around with Blackcap, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff seen. There were two Common Sandpiper, six Common Tern and a Grey Wagtail around the reservoir.

Med Gull in roost per Steve Cawthray

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Thursday 2nd September

Yesterdays Dunlin appear to have moved on but one of the Spotted Flycatchers was still in the vicinity of Warbler Corner. A Little Egret spent most of the morning feeding on the edge of the Reservoir and was seen on three occasions during the morning. Two Redshank flew off at about 8am and were not seen again. There was a single Teal which again flew off early morning. There were still double figures of Chiffchaff, several Blackcap (all female) and three Willow Warblers. Three Common Tern continue to linger and there was a steady passage of Swallows moving south.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Wednesday 1st September

Five Dunlin


Good night at the Res, five Dunlin were feeding along the west bank, seemingly oblivious to the disturbance that the numerous people and dogs caused them. Warbler Corner had three Spotted Flycatcher, Whitethroat and several Chiffchaff.

Spotted Flycatcher

P Forbes/K Wimbush


Tonight two Curlew, 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Snipe.

Tuesday 31st August

Not a lot tonight in a quick view from the car park. There were still a couple of Common Tern and the gull numbers are building up nicely.


Tonight there were 4 Green Sandpiper, 6 Snipe, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Green Woodpecker, Kingfisher  plus the evenings highlight which was a Whinchat.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Wednesday 25th August

Another early morning trip which kept up the good run the Reservoir has had recently. The wind had dropped and subsequently passerines were much easier to see and I encountered four good size flocks of mixed warblers, finches and tits. The main pool had a couple of Common Tern, 96 Cormorant and a “Macbeth Duck” which has relocated to the east end.

Warbler Corner provided me with todays highlight, not a warbler but a Little Egret that flew low overhead it had probably been on the river. In total today warbler numbers were approximately 30 Chiffchaff, 8 Willow Warbler,  6 Blackcap and a Lesser Whitethroat.

I also had two sighting of Sparrowhawk and two of Kingfisher.

In the evening with heavy rain falling I walked the dog around the reservoir adding Common Sandpiper and Wheatear.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Tuesday 24th August

Much quieter today, visited in the morning for a change, but none of yesterdays goodies were had hung around. There were 100+ Great Crested Grebe, 40+ Cormorant, 60 Lapwing. There were also good numbers of warblers around the reservoir, especially at Warbler Corner 20+ Chiffchaff, 6 Willow Warbler, 4 Whitethroat, 4 Blackcap, 4 Goldcrest and two Marsh Tit.

Coleshill Quarry tonight had a Hobby and 7 Green Sandpiper.

Dropped into Shustoke car park at dusk and added a juvenile Common Tern.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Monday 23rd August

With no sign of yesterdays Turnstone I carried on with my usual circuit and things were not going too well with a stiff westerly breeze blowing. There was nothing of note until I checked the small pool and found a male Pochard amongst the loafing Tufted Duck. I continued to Warbler Corner which was sheltered from the wind and was delighted to be met by three Spotted Flycatcher. There were still around six Chiffchaff and a couple of Willow Warbler in the area.

I continued back to the car park seeing very little, I had a final check for Turnstone or Common Sandpiper but drew a blank. I was then scanning the gulls when I heard the familiar and unmistakable call of Whimbrel, I looked up to see four birds overhead, that was great but as they headed in the direction of my house I was fumbling for my car keys, when fortunately/unfortunately they changed heading and flew off into the sunset, I lost them in the sun, but they were heading in the general vicinity of Ladywalk or was it Coleshill Gravel Pits – where are those car keys!!!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Sunday 22nd August

Turnstone by Des Ridge

After a day at the Bird Fair I thought a walk around the res would be a relaxing end to the day. On arrival there was still a “Macbeth Duck” off the car park, its partner however was not to be seen.

I had only walked around 200 yards when the star bird of the year appeared (for me at least). It came in the form of a near summer plumaged Ruddy Turnstone. It was on the shoreline, making its way over the rocks, it then ran 10 yards up the enbankment to dispatching a large beetle (they must have good eyesight). It became increasingly mobile as the evening wore on, but by the time I left it was feeding on the waters edge by the carpark.

Also tonight there were at least four Common Sandpiper and four Common Tern flew through.

Turnstone by Des Ridge

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Saturday 21st August

Had a walk around in showery weather. The weather conditions contributed to 200 to 300 mixed hirundines and a single Swift at the east end of the reservoir, with the overhead wires holding around 70 Sand Martin at one point.

Warbler corner had in excess of 20 Chiffchaff, 6 Willow Warbler, 8 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Marsh Tit, 1 Bullfinch, 2 Nuthatch, 4 Goldcrest.

The two “Scottish Play” duck were still off the carpark. I also counted in excess of 110 Great Crested Grebe.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Friday 20th August

A bit of life at the reservoir today with a female Wheatear on the south-east shore along with a Common Sandpiper. A large flock of 50+ Goldfinch were in the same area. Warbler corner was quiet with a couple of Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler. The highlight today – two “The Scottish Play” Duck (the duck that should not be named) which were off the car park tonight.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Thursday 19th August

With heavy rain falling I didn’t venture out of the car park. I scanned the gulls but the only bird of note was a Common Gull. There was also a single Common Sandpiper.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Wednesday 18th August

The two Common Sandpiper were present tonight along with 80+ Lapwing. A party of ten Bullfinch were still at Warbler Corner and there were around six Goldcrest in the Pines. With the surrounding fields being ploughed the Black-headed Gull numbers have increased dramatically so with luck we might pull in a Med Gull as we have in the past.

Last night a Green Sandpiper was seen per Steve Cawthrey.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Monday 16th August

Greenshank in the evening per Steve Haynes

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Saturday 14th August

A search this morning revealed little of interest there was a single Common Tern and a Shoveler on the main pool. Whilst in Warbler Corner there were Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and family party of Bullfinch and a couple of Nuthatch. The Kingfisher was seen in the usual place with a Green Woodpecker on the grassy area by the small pool.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Friday 13th August

A couple of trips over in the rain in recent days but not a lot to report but tonight there was a Hobby over the reservoir briefly.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Sunday 8th August

Paid a visit this evening after a week’s hillwalking in Scotland. With a weeks gap since my last visit, things hadn’t changed much. There were 60+ Lapwing loafing on the South shore and they were accompanied by two Common Sandpiper. With the water levels lower than they have been for a while, we may get lucky and have a few more waders this Autumn. 
Warbler corner had a bit of activity with Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap noted. Black-headed Gull numbers are building up with around 150 individuals noted.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Wednesday 18th July

Quiet today, but there was a fly over Raven and a single Tree Sparrow which was a first at the reservoir this year for me! This just goes to show how the status of this species has gone in the area. Living as I do on the edge of Shustoke it was not uncommon to have flocks of 50+ in the winter. Whilst I have had up to five pairs breeding in the nestboxes provided. This year the same nestboxes have had no success at all and last year a single pair were unsuccessful.
Other counts today were as follows: Common Tern 22, Lapwing 50, Great Crested Grebe 70+, Little Grebe 7 (there are a pair at the east end nesting), Linnet 2, Blackcap 3, Whitethroat 2.

Monday, 26 July 2010

The Weekend

Paid a couple of trips over the weekend, but the reservoir was very popular and the disturbance probably attributed to the lack of birds in what is a generally quiet time of year. However, Great Crested Grebe number well over 60 birds with at least three successful broods and a couple of pairs are still on eggs. There are at least six Little Grebe on the reservoir. Kingfisher appear to have bred as well with three birds seen. Lapwing numbers are on the rise with single figures until the weekend peak of around 25 individuals. There were also a couple of Common Sandpiper seen on Saturday evening.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Thursday 22nd July

Again quiet, which is to be expected at this time of year. However, the word seems to be spreading amongst the regions Common Tern with 31 present this evening. There was also a single Common Sandpiper.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Tuesday 20th July

A quieter night tonight with the Common Tern numbering 16. Warbler corner again produced with 3 Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and a juvenile Bullfinch. The Kingfisher was again seen carrying food.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Saturday 17th July

Not a bad day with 50 species recorded. Common Tern numbered 24 this morning. Other birds of note were Kingfisher and Sparrowhawk. Warbler corner produced good numbers of Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff plus a single Marsh Tit.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Wednesday 14th July

This morning there was an increase in the number of Common Tern to an impressive 21. An immature female Peregrine visited briefly before being seen off by the Common Tern. A family party of four Green Woodpecker were seen on arrival in the car park.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

13 July

A quick visit this evening in rain produced 19 Common Tern but not a lot else.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Cloudy Wednesday

Had a quick walk around the reservoir tonight after work turning up just eight Common Tern (two juveniles), and a single Common Sandpiper otherwise it was rather quiet.

Pete Forbes

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Future of the blog - Would you like to run it?

Due to a change of job, I will soon be moving away from the area. As a result I will be unable to visit the site on a regular basis and therefore unable to continue running the blog. If anyone would like the opportunity to take over from me and keep the blog going please send me an email.

L Johnson

Friday, 11 June 2010

10th June

The Reed Warbler was still present but had moved location yet again. This time it was singing from a dense area of woodland along the river. 2 Common Tern were also present.
L Johnson...

Sunday, 6 June 2010

6th June

What was presumably yesterdays Reed Warbler had relocated 1km west, and was singing from an area of equally unsuitable habitat. A single Common Tern flew east mid morning. The only other notable occurance was a large number of Large red Damsels along the river at the eastern end of the site.
L Johnson...

Saturday, 5 June 2010

5th June

A rather unusual record for the site this morning came in the form of a Reed Warbler. The bird, only the third site record, was sub singing in a small section of woodland. 2 Gadwall were the only other birds of note. Damsels included Common Blue and Blue tailed.
L Johnson...

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

25th May

Appologies for the recent lack of reports, I have been away for several weeks.

On the 25th May, P Softley and S Cawthray had a Honey Buzzard come in low at 7.15 before gaining height and drifting off towards Ladywalk. This represents the first confirmed record for the site. S Cawthray also had a Red Kite over at 6.25 on the same day.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

4th May

Swifts numbered 300+ mid morning, but soon dispersed leaving 100 by 11am. 2 Lesser Whitethroat were now present along with 2 Garden Warbler. The site was otherwise quiet.
L Johnson...

Sunday, 2 May 2010

2nd May

A Peregrine flew high west over the main pool mid morning. The most unusual bird of the day was a abberant Common Swift present until 10:05 at least, the bird in question showed extensive white on the underparts extending from the throat down to the belly. In addittion to this 250+ Swift were over the main pool, with 40-50 House Martin, 30+ Swallow and 20+ Sand Martin.
L Johnson...

Saturday, 1 May 2010

1st May

A Sedge Warbler was singing in the hedgerow bordering the southern shoreline of the main pool this morning, this is a notable occurance for the site, following on from a single in the autumn last year. A male Cuckoo was present late morning and is the first to be recorded on site this year. Whitethroat numbers were up to 4, whislt a single Lesser Whitethroat was still present. After not being seen for several weeks, a Marsh Tit was at the eastern end of the site.
L Johnson...

Friday, 30 April 2010

30th April

A brief visit late afternoon produced 200+ Swift. Interestingly dispite the good numbers of Swift, only 20+ Swallows, and single House and Sand Martins were present.
L Johnson...

Thursday, 29 April 2010

28th April

A Sandwich Tern was present at 10:30 before flying off north (having been seen earlier at Kingsbury water park). This is the second year in a row that this species has been recorded on site, with last years bird also occuring on the 11th April. 7 Common Sandpiper and 80 Swift were also noted.
S Cawthray...

27th April

A single Little ringed plover was noted again, along with 5 Common Sandpiper.
P Forbes...

Monday, 26 April 2010

26th April

2 Common Tern were present in the centre of the main pool early afternoon. Otherwise the site was generally quiet.
L Johnson...

25th April

A Red Kite flew south over the reserve at 13:00. This species has now become an annual occurence on site, with sightings usually coming between Febuary and May. 6 Common Sandpiper were also noted around midday.
S Bradley...

6 Dunlin were present briefly in the evening.
P Softley...

24th April

A Yellow Wagtail flew over. 3 Common Sandpiper were also noted. A count 45 GC Grebe was notable.
N Barlow...

Friday, 23 April 2010

23rd April

A Common Sandpiper was by the car park late morning. The Lesser Whitethroat was also still present.
L Johnson...

Also noted this morning was a single Yellow Wagtail in the horse paddocks. As well as the first Common Tern and swifts (12) of the year.
P Forbes...

Thursday, 22 April 2010

22nd April

The Lesser Whitethroat was reported to be still present, in the same area as on Monday. (Birdguides)

There was a late report of an Osprey around the small pool at some stage last week. (Tame Valley Birding)

Monday, 19 April 2010

19th April

This morning was fairly productive dispite the inevitable lack of GW Egrets. A Lesser Whitethroat was the first to be recorded this year. A single Little ringed Plover flew low south over the western end of the main pool, followed a few minutes later by a Common Sandpiper.
L Johnson...

Sunday, 18 April 2010

18th April - GW Egret

A Great White Egret was seen to fly south over the south east end of the res at 18:35. This represent the first site record of this species.
K Wimbush...

Thursday, 15 April 2010

15th April

An Arctic Tern was present from around midday.
S Cawthray...

The Arctic Tern was still present at 6pm in the centre of the main pool. A single Common Gull flew over.
L Johnson, J Galletly...

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

14th April

2 Common Sandpiper were present along the southern shoreline of the main pool. Gadwall numbers were back up to 9. A single Oystercatcher was present at the western end of the main pool.
L Johnson...

Monday, 12 April 2010

12th April

A single Reed Bunting was present by the horse paddocks along southern edge of the site. Otherwise the site was very quiet.
L Johnson...

Late news:
Up to 5 Reed Buntings have been present on site since 9th April, this is a notable count for the site. Also single Common Sandpipers were noted on 9th and 11th April.
P Forbes...

Saturday, 10 April 2010

10th April

Numbers of Blackcap around the site have increased greatly in the last few days, however there was only a single Willow Warbler herd this morning. A Redwing along the railway line was notable for its late date. Three pairs of Gadwall are still present on the main pool. A Small Tortoiseshell butterfly was the first for the site this year.
L Johnson...

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

An adult Little Gull was on the main pool this morning and was still present until at least 2pm. A White Wagtail and 2 Oystercatcher were also present.
P Forbes, B Duckhouse...

There was no sign of the Little Gull early evening.
L Johnson...

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

April 6th

The female Wheatear was still present along the north shore of the main pool. Only the second Willow warbler for the site this year, was sub singing in the car park briefly mid afternoon.
L Johnson...

Monday, 5 April 2010

3rd April

The female Wheatear was still present along the northern shoreline of the main pool, keeping in close company with a male White Wagtail. 5+ Pied Wagtails were also scattered around the main pool. Blackcap numbers had increased to 3 singing males whilst Hirundine numbers had decreased, although a single House Martin was still present. A Little Ringed Plover flew north east over the main pool at around 10am, representing the first sighting of this species at the site for several years.
L Johnson...

During the afternoon two White Wagtail were present
T Perrins...

2nd April

A female Wheatear was a good record, present by the south west corner of the main pool. The second Yellow Wagtail this week was also noted along with a single White Wagtail and the two House Martins again.
G Rowling, D Hutton, C Cook...

1st April

A Red Kite was reported at 1.15pm (R Henderson).

Two House Martin were again present along with several hundred Sand Martin and Swallow. The first Willow Warbler of the year was also recorded.
D Hutton...

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

31st March

After a slow trickle of migrants over the last few weeks, this morning saw the site surprisingly full of migrants. The strong wind and rain had brought down several hundred hirundines including 2 House Martins. Swallows numbered around 100 whilst Sand Martins numbered over 300. A mixed group of Wagtails and pipits were mobile along the north shore of the main pool, with 1 male Yellow wagtail, 2 White Wagtail and 3 Meadow pipits among the 25+ Pied Wags. 2 Blackcaps were also new arrivals, whist Gadwall numbers had decreased to 5 birds.
L Johnson...

Monday, 29 March 2010

29th March

2 Swallows over the main pool were the first of the year at the site, and were present with around 30 Sand Martin. Gadwall numbers continue to climb, with 14 birds this morning. A pair of Goosander were also on the main pool, these are the first to be seen on site for several weeks.
L Johnson...

Sunday, 28 March 2010

27th March

Duck numbers were up during the morning, possibly as a result of being pushed off other pools in the area. Gadwall reached 13 (including 8 drakes), whilst 2 pairs of Teal were also present. A single Redpoll flew west along the river. 2 Sand Martin and a Kingfisher were also noted.
L Johnson...

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

24th March

An Oystercatcher circled the main pool once during the late morning before flying off west. This represents the first record of the species on site this year. Also noted were 4 Sand Martin, 5 Chiffchaff, Grey Wagtail and a Kingfisher.
S Haynes, L Johnson...

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

23rd March

There had been some passage over the last few days, with a total of 4 Chiffchaff around the site this morning. 2 Sand Martin were present briefly, whilst a pair of Shovler were at the east end of the main pool. The most notable sighting this morning was a flock of around 90 Golden Plover. The flock flew high south east from the Ladywalk area, before turning and heading off south west. The same flock was then seen several minutes later, heading south west over Marsh lane NR. This represents the first record of Golden Plover at the site this year.
L Johnson...

Saturday, 20 March 2010

20th March

The site was quiet this morning, with no sign of any migrants. A Marsh Tit was by the fishing cottage briefly at around 9am. Two pairs of Gadwall, at the eastern end of the main pool, was the only other species of note.
L Johnson...

Friday, 19 March 2010

19th Mar 2010.

Sand Martin x 4 (A Dean).

Thursday, 18 March 2010

17th March

2 drake Shovler were present at the east end of the main pool mid morning. A pair of Gadwall were also present around the main pool. Also noted were Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher.
L Johnson...

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

3rd March

A group of at least 30 Redpoll were mobile around the eastern end of the site this morning, usually mixing with 40+ Goldfich and 5+ Siskin. A single Common Gull was on the main pool.
L Johnson...

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

2nd March

A quick walk around the site this morning produced very little of interest. 2 Goldcrest were the most notable species.
L Johnson...

Monday, 1 March 2010

1st March

Very little of note in the sunny weather this morning. A minimum of 5 Buzzards were making the most of the thermals. A single Common Gull and Grey Wagtail were noted. Otherwise there was a notable increase of GC Grebe, however Little Grebe remain at 2 individuals.
L Johnson...

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

23rd Feb

A single Redpoll flew west over the small pool early morning. Several Siskin were also around the small pool.
L Johnson...

Monday, 22 February 2010

22nd Feb

After an absence since the 1st Jan, the Marsh Tit finally re-appeared this morning. It was present in a small tit flock along the stream just north of the road bridge. 3 Teal flew west over the main pool at 10.15. A pair of Goosander were present early morning, but flew off towards Ladywalk at 10:05. A single Redpoll called from in amongst a small siskin flock which flew south along the streamline. 2 Common Gull were also noted.
L Johnson...

Friday, 19 February 2010

19th Feb

A curlew called briefly mid morning from the direction of the southern field. It was then heard 10 minutes later, calling several times, heading over the small pool in a north easterly direction. 4 Teal (2 drakes) were present on the small flooded pool at the eastern end, before flying off east. A single drake Goosander was present at the west end of the main pool until 9:45, when it flew off in the direction of Ladywalk. Good numbers of Siskin and Goldfinch were along the river and around the small pool. A notable movement of Redwing occured throughout the morning, involving several hundred birds. There was also several Mistle Thrush around the site this morning. Lapwing numbers were up to 24. 2 Herring Gulls were also noted.
L Johnson...

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

10th Feb

2 Goosander were present at the west end of the main pool late morning, however there was no sign of the female Goldeneye. The mixed flock of Siskin and Goldfinch were again along the river.
L Johnson...

Monday, 8 February 2010

8th Feb

There was no sign of the female Ruddy Duck this morning, however a female Goldeneye was present at the eastern end of the main pool. This is the first record of the species on site for over a month. 3 Goosander flew in late morning from the west and settled on the main pool. Several Siskin also were noted along the river.
L Johnson...

Friday, 5 February 2010

5th Feb

A brief look at the main pool this morning produced the female Ruddy Duck, still at the eastern end, and a single Common Gull.
L Johnson...

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

3rd Feb

The female Ruddy duck was still present at the eastern end of the main pool. A Teal called several times from along the river at the eastern end of the site, but proved to be difficult to locate. 3 Common Gull and a 3rd winter Herring Gull were also noted.
L Johnson...

Monday, 1 February 2010

1st Feb

A female Ruddy Duck was at the eastern end of the main pool. Otherwise Duck numbers were down greatly from the previous week. A single Common Gull was also noted but the site was generally very quiet.
L Johnson...

Friday, 29 January 2010

29th Jan

A kingfisher was present briefly along the stream between the two pools, this represents the first record of the species on site this year. A single Linnet flew over the western end heading north. Goosander were down to just one female on the main pool.
L Johnson...

27th Jan

A single Lesser Redpoll joined the mixed finch flock at the eastern end of the site. 3 Goosander were on the main pool whilst Pochard had increased to 64 spread over both pools.
L Johnson...

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

26th Jan

A pair of Goosander were present on the main pool. The mixed flock of Siskin and Goldfinch were mobile around the streamline, numbering around 60 birds.
L Johnson...

Friday, 22 January 2010

22nd Jan

10 Goosander (including 4 drakes) were present on the main pool this morning. 3 Mistle Thrush at the eastern end of the site was notable. The Siskin/Goldfinch flock appears to have decreased in size with 15+ Siskin and 20+ Goldfinch this morning.
L Johnson...

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

19th Jan

4 Goosander were present early morning. 3 Teal flew west over the main pool with a group of 20+ Wigeon.
L Johnson...

Later in the day a Willow tit was recorded along with Treecreeper and Nuthatch.
P Forbes...

Monday, 18 January 2010

18th Jan

A single female Goosander was present on the small section of unfrozen water on the main pool. A mixed flock of 30+ Siskin and 15+ Goldfinch were along the river. 3 Skylark flew south during the morning.
L Johnson...

17th Jan

22 Goosander roosted this evening.
G Rowling...

Friday, 15 January 2010

15th Jan

A Green Sandpiper was flushed from the sewage treament works late morning. Otherwise the site was again quiet.
L Johnson...

Thursday, 14 January 2010

13th Jan

3 Goldcrest were the first recorded at the site for some time, and is a reasonable count given the length of the current cold spell. 15 Common Gull were around the only remaining ice free section of the main pool. Otherwise the site was again quiet.
L Johnson...

Monday, 11 January 2010

11th Jan

Although temperatures have increased in the last couple of days, both pools remain almost entirely frozen over. As a result the site remains very quiet. 20+ Wigeon are still on the main pool with 5 Pochard, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Little grebe and a single GC grebe.
L Johnson...

Sunday, 10 January 2010

10th Jan

5 drake and a female Goosander were present this afternoon.
G Rowling...

Friday, 8 January 2010

8th Jan

Both pools were almost completly frozen over this afternoon, and as a result, the pools were quiet. A snipe flew south from the sewage works late afternoon. 3 Teal, including 1 drake, were along the river. Otherwise the only notable observation was the high numbers of Siskin along the river, although actual numbers were dificult to estimate.
L Johnson...

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

5th Jan

3 Snipe were present this morning, with 2 birds seen flying into the sewage treatment works and a third flushed from the river at the eastern end. The site was otherwise quiet, with only small areas of open water left unfrozen on both pools. Other species noted include Green Woodpecker, 21 RL Partridge and 10+ Lapwing.
L Johnson...

3rd Jan

2 GBB Gulls were present during the morning, with a single male Shovler and a Nuthatch also noted.
P Forbes...

Friday, 1 January 2010

1st Jan 2010

A good start to the year with 1 Goosander on the main pool. A female Goldeneye was on the small pool, along with 2 Teal. There were good numbers of larger Gulls on site with 20+ Herring and 15+ LBB gull. The Marsh tit was seen again along the stream between both pools. Other species noted included Grey Wagtail, Siskin, Common Gull. There was no sign of any Ruddy Duck today.
K Wimbush, L Johnson...