Wednesday, 27 December 2017

December 12th to 26th.

There are regular reports of great white egret from the quarry.

Great tit. Always reliable at the bird tables. 
15th: Chiffchaff x 2 (Hayling), water-rail (Cloudy), siskins x 2 (VC) (Neal)

18th: Grey squirrels, robin (HH) Goosander, goldeneye x 5, (Washout) (PC)
         Black squirrel, redwing and fieldfares on the river trail. ( Mags B)

20th: Wood pigeon, robin, goldfinch, blue tit, long-tailed tit,
          pied wagtail. (Chloe and Sharon)

21st: Squirrel x 5, blue tit and robin. (Lucy Thomson)

Third Thursday Walk: Blackbird, BH gull, blue tit, carrion crow, collared dove,
chaffinch, common gull, coot, cormorant, gs woodpecker, great tit, green sandpiper,
grey heron, greylag, jackdaw, kingfisher, lt tit, magpie, mallard, moorhen,
mute swan,redwing, robin, rook, shoveller, starling, stock dove, teal, tufted duck, widgeon, wood pigeon, goldeneye, goosander. (35 spp)

24th: G.s Woodpecker, mute swan, grey heron, moorhen, tufted duck. (Eileen)

Monday, 25 December 2017

Christmas 2017

Top Christmas Birding to you all. 

No starlings?
Grey, mild weather has been good for birds like kingfishers that stayed here but we need some harsh conditions to make the birds (and birders) gather together in havens like Paxton Pits.

We are on the look out for that classic winter duck the smew, but they are simply not here. A few goosanders pop in and out and there is a good range of dabblers to see; all in fine colour now as they enter their courtship phase.

Speaking of courtship, the cormorants are in their breeding dress (look for the white patch near the tail) and nest building is under way.

Collared dove. Always at the bird-table. 
It's always worth a look at the bird tables. Recent sightings have included redpolls and I expect to see a marsh tit every time I go to the Hayden Hide, but no luck yet. The bird tables attract a host of common birds.

Grey squirrel, always at the bird-table too. 
At dusk I like to take a turn round the Meadow Trail, hoping to hear a Cetti's warbler and see an evening gathering of starlings. There is a small murmuration that gathers over the meadow, but numbers are in the low hundreds. Still enough to attract a sparrow hawk every evening.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 14 December 2017

December 1st to 11th 2017

Wintering chiff chaff
1st:  Red crested pochard fm, grey wagtail (2), kestrel, goldeneyes, kingfisher (2+)
        Fox sunning: All at Heronry North. (LES) (A+AB)
        GS Woodpecker at Hayden Hide.

3rd:  Gadwall, goldeneye, bullfinch, greenfinch, chaffinch, goldfinch, 2 Firecrests?, 
        goldcrest, redwing,  Gt crested grebe, little grebe, shoveller,
        Egyptian geese. (J+B W)
4th:  Long-tailed tits, snipe. Goldeneye (5)(Kingfisher Hide)
        Ringed (red) Mute swan. c100 stock-doves in roost at 3pm (TG)

6th: Buzzard, kingfisher, kestrel, teal at Bill's Bench.
       Chiff-chaff, bullfinch, goldcrest (2), sparrow hawk on Meadow Trail. (JAS)

7th: 10 Egyptian geese on Heronry South (ES)
        Bluetits, redwings, chaffinches (MES Lenwood)

8th: Goldeneyes (5) Red-crested pochard (fm), jay (3)

9th: Green sandpiper on Heronry North shore,  2 foxes sunbathing. (JAS)

11th Male redpoll on feeder at the Visitor Centre.
       Small starling roost in the meadow/Cloudy Pit attracting a sparrowhawk at dusk.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

November 26th to December 1st 2017

The view from Bill's Bench.
Look out for kingfishers, grey wagtails, wildfowl and the fox.

26th: 10 Shoveller, 140 tufted duck, 140 gadwall, 95 wigeon, 4 teal, green sandpiper,
         10 goldeneye, water rail, kestrel, 4 pochard, 2 skylark, goldcrest, grey wagtail. 
         (Terry Brown)

          Green sandpiper, (SW corner of Island Pit) 2 kingfisher (Heronry lakes)
          4 drake goldeneyes (Heronry N.) 8 Egyptian geese (Heronry South)
          (A&G Williams)

Male bullfinch

27th:  Peregrine falcon, low over Heronry North (TG)

28th:  3 gadwall, 5 mallard at Bill's Bench. (L. Neverad)

1st:    Grey wagtail, bullfinch, fox, fieldfares, 4 goldeneye, green sandpiper on
          Heronry Lakes. (JS)

Sunday, 26 November 2017

November 18th to 25th 2017

November 20th: 14 Egyptian geese at the Hayden Hide. (JCC)

November 22nd: 2 Golden eye at far end of lake from Kingfisher Hide. (JCC)

November 23rd:  11:45 Peregrine passed by Kingfisher hide, heading north. Popped up 2 teal,
                             but missed. Carried on north. (CB)
                             2:10 Red Kite, flew past V.C heading south. (A.Coles)

A couple of weeks ago: Reed warbler at least 100 greylags, tufted ducks (Kingfisher Hide),
                             great crested grebe, grey herons, 5 shovelers, widgeons,
                             cormorants, 6 squirrels (Haydn hide), chaffinches and rabbits. (TR)

Goosander duck

November 25th:  2 kingfishers, 4 goldeneye, 2 goosanders, teal, widgeon, Egyptian geese,
                            mallards, gadwall, redwings, fieldfares, stock doves, reed buntings,
                            robins, blackbirds, song thrush, sparrow hawk, buzzard, kestrel. (JAS).

Goosander drake.

Friday, 17 November 2017

November 13th to 17th 2017

November 13th: Hayling Lake: 3 widgeon, 1 tufted duck. (LN)

November 14th: Goldcrest, tree creeper, lapwing, little egret, Heronry Lakes (AB)

November 16th: Heronry North: Siskins, 2 jays, grey wagtail, blackcap,
                           green sandpiper. (Neal)
                           Pair of goldeneyes (Colin B)

Third Thursday Walk: blackbird, b.h. gull, blue tit, great tit, crow,
                           chaffinch, common gull, coot, cormorant, gadwall, g.c. grebe, heron,
                           greylag, herring gull, jackdaw, kingfisher, little egret, long tailed tit,
                           magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, shoveler, stock dove, teal,
                           tufted duck, wigeon, wood pigeon, wren, Egyptian goose, Canada goose,
                           goldeneye = 32 spp. (D Wilson)
                           Jackdaw roost making a lot of noise, probably 5000 birds. (TG)

November 17th: Grey and pied wagtails on roof of weigh station at Lafarge plant.
                           2 lapwings (A. Harrold) Red admiral, common darter,
                           bumble bee. (Edwin Allured)

Red Admiral

November 1st to 12th 2017

November 1st:   Heronry South (Bill's Bench) snipe, shoveller, teal, widgeon,
                           mixed tit flock with treecreeper, bank vole. (J Knight)

November 2nd:  Flock of redwings over car-park.

November 6th:  Pochard, geese, shovellers and many more omn Heronry Lakes.

November 9th:  Green sandpiper, jay, green woodpecker, grey wagtail, common gull,
                          c 0 stock doves, c60 cormorants,  (TG)

November 12th: Blue tits and great tits on feeders. (SH)
                           170 bh gulls, 12 shoveller, 28 common gull, 59 mute swan, 210 gadwall,
                           190 widgeon, 116 tufted duck, 333 greylags, 8-0 woodpigeon, 6 pochard,
                            8 linnet, yellowhammer, grey wagtail, 200 jackdaws, water rail,
                            2 goldeneye, 6 teal, lapwing, little grebe. (Terry Brown)


Thursday, 2 November 2017

October 28th to November 1st 2017

October 30th:     Muntjac on path to Kingfisher hide. Egyptian geese. (MR & AN)
                           Reed buntings in arable field. (JH)

Female redd bunting in Peter's Field. (JH)

October 31st:     4 Egyptian geese, brambling. (Rosalind)
                           Merlin near Env. Ed centre. 2 grey wagtails, common sandpiper,
                           wigeon flying in. 3 foxes under heronry. Hayden Hide. (C. Burgh)
                           Field mouse near visitor centre. (L. Nevard)

November 1st:   Snipe, shoveller, teal, wigeon, bank vole, mixed tits
                           plus goldcrest and treecreeper at Bill's Bench. (J. Knight)

Friday, 27 October 2017

October 25th to 27th 2017

25th: Sparrow hawk caught a blue tit at the bird table.
         (James Knight)

Grey heron
26th: Squirrel, blue tit (3), great tit (2), l.t tit, marsh tit, sparrow,
          robin (Chloe and James)
         Blue tit, mute swans, grey squirrel, robin,
         wood pigeon, mallard and coot (Emily and Laura Athersmith)

27th: Kingfisher (3), grey wagtail, widgeon, shoveller etc at
         Bill's Bench. (DM)
         Water rail and kingfisher at Washout Pit, marsh harrier
         at Island Pit,
         Buzzards, red kite, sparrow hawk, fieldfare, redwing,
         stock dove, moorhen, coot, teal, gadwall, lapwings,
         mixed tit flocks, reed buntings, dunnocks,
         green woodpecker, g.s.woodpecker. (JS)

Two buzzards

Saturday, 21 October 2017

19th October 2017

Third Thursday Walk: The Heronry Lakes

Mute swan, greylag, Canada goose, wigeon, gadwall, teal, mallard, shoveller, tufted duck, great crested grebe, cormorant, little egret,  grey heron, pheasant, moorhen, coot, lapwing, buzzard, b.h.gull, woodpigeon, collared dove, kingfisher, dunnock, robin, blackbird, redwing, goldcrest, l-t tit, great tit, blue tit, magpie, jackdaw, crow, house sparrow, chaffinch, goldfinch, bullfinch, linnet.
(David Wilson)

Also, after the walk, reed buntings in Peter's Field, stock doves, sparrow hawk and a red admiral butterfly.  (Jim Stevenson)

Some of  the Third Thursday Walkers.

Monday, 16 October 2017

October 7th to 15th 2017

Golden Plovers
October 7th:    Sparrow hawk on bird table at the Visitor Centre.
October 9th:    Chiff chaff near Rudd Pit, 3 goldcrests at River Viewpoint,
                        Buzzard over Cobham hide. (AH) Great Egret.
                        Red admiral and muntjac buck at Kingfisher Hide (JS)
October 12th:  Redwings near Hayden Hide.
October 13th:  Flock of c. 15 Golden Plovers over Heronry North. (JS)
                        Kingfisher and grey wagtail at Bills Bench
October 15th:  Great white egret, 2 little egrets, chiff chaff, Cetti's warbler, redpoll,
                        52 mute swans, 160 b.h. gulls, 120 gadwall, 12 teal, 8 shoveller,
                        89 wigeon, yellowhammer, 8 linnets, 2 little grebes.

Notes:             Great White Egrets. It seems we have two on the site,
                       one with a dark bill and one with a yellow bill.
                       A drake Scaup was in the quarry this week. Look out for more of them please.

Monday, 2 October 2017

23rd September to October 2nd 2017

23rd September: Hobby over Visitor Centre.

27th September: 3 Buzzards, hornet, carder bees, ivy bees, speckled wood,
                            common darter, grass snake at Cobham Hide.
                            Juv Marsh Harrier, 10 mistle thrushes, Cetti's warbler,
                            3 kingfishers, common sandpiper. (Quarry)

30th September: Buzzard, little egret, great egret, greylags and Canada geese,
                            mallard, gadwall, wigeon,  shoveller, teal. (Hayden Hide)
                           Water rail, moorhen, coot. (Kingfsher Hide)
                            Stock doves, kingfisher, bh gulls, green woodpecker, wren, goldcrest,
                            blue tits, great tit, l-t tits, black bird.  (Ian Langdon) Robin

31st September: Water rail heard, peregrine.

2nd October:      2 hobbies over Rudd Pit, plus another over Cloudy Pit,
                           2 swallows, 2 jays, song thrush, buzzard, shoveller, wigeon, gadwall,
                           mallard, teal, gc grebes, little egret, great egret, wren, small copper,
                           red admiral, common hawker ovipositing in the Hayling Pit, common darters, fox,
                           terrapin (Riverbank). Badger latrine at the beach.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Friday 22nd September 2017

Hobby over the Cobham Hide

Today was an absolute treat. Autumn colours starting to show, water levels just right and still some insects on the wing. Work on the Kingfisher Hide bridge completed. It is now open for use. 

Cobham Hide: Otter sighting at lunchtime. Hobby overhead (it flew behind a tree hence the poor photo.)

Heronry South: Great white egret, little egret x 2, little grebe x 4, great crested grebes, moorhens, coots, shovellers, widgeon, pochard, gadwall, mallard, tufted duck, greylag, Canada geese, mute swans,  b.h.gulls, grey herons, cormorants, stock doves.

Hayden Hide: Ivy bee colony in gravel, common darter, migrant hawker and brown hawker, speckled wood, small white, red admiral. Brown rat and grey squirrel. Wood pigeon and collared dove, great tit and blue tit, robin, dunnock, blackbird, long-tailed tit.  Buzzard x 2.

Brown rat at the Hayden Hide.
Car park: Adult male peregrine at 19:30, hunting edge of Weedy pit. Great views, but no camera handy.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

9th to 20th September

Water levels on the heronry lakes have remained low, but not as low as in previous weeks. All the same, there are still exposed islands and shallows that suit egrets and dabbling ducks while the deeper parts are easy to access for the grebes and diving ducks such as pochards that are arriving right now.

11th September: 2x little egret, 70x gadwall, 3x little grebe, 2x teal, 15x widgeon. Heronry South.(Trevor Gunton)

13th: Hobby, great white egret, kingfisher, swallows, sand martins and house martins, speckled wood, red admiral, common darter. Heronry Lakes (JAS) Plus kingfisher x 2 widgeon x 8 common gull x 2. (DR)

14th: Pochard x 8 (ES)

15th: Red crested pochard (fm), kingfisher x 2, Little grebe x 2+, buzzard, sparrowhawk, kestrel. (Jo Thomas)

Mink crossed the haul road by the visitor centre. (CETT)
At Cobham Hide: Kingfisher, robin, long-tailed tit, pied wagtail. (Jeff Davison).

16th: Two newts, a frog and 3 toads. (AM and L Nevard)

20th: Passage of swallows (c 50) over the visitor centre at dusk.

Friday, 8 September 2017

August 31st to September 8th 2017

August 31st:      Marsh harrier and osprey over. (Russell Leavett)

September 2nd: 3 buzzards on River Trail (ES)

September 3rd: Black necked grebe at PHP (MD)

September 4th: Blue tit 7, robin, wood pigeon, house sparrow. (Lucy Thomson)
                         3 + Little Egrets, buzzard, Shield bugs, common carder bee. (GFS)
                         2 little grebes on Heronry South (JAS)

September 5th; Water rail on shore of Heronry North. (JAS) Common darters, emperor
                          and migrant hawkers on the wing. Report of Death's Head
                          Hawk Moth (unconfirmed).
                          Jays on Haul Road and car park, 2 barnacle geese on Heronry South. (GF)
                          4 widgeon (TG)

Friday, 25 August 2017

20th to 25th August 2017


Wasp spider
(By Dawn Earl)
20th: Blue tit, woodpigeon, robin, goldfinch, greenfinch, great tit, mute swan, song thrush, house sparrow. (Lucy Thomson)

22nd: Brown rat dark bush cricket, Conopid fly, hover fly (Volucolla inznis) plus two unidentified Ichneumon flies. Little egret.

23rd: Wasp spider, migrant hawker, meadow brown, common blue, brown argus, speckled wood, small white, kingfisher, little egret, bullfinch, greenfinch, chaffinch, goldfinch. (JAS)
Yellowhapmmer (2) reed warbler, painted lady and speckled wood.

24th: Wheatear (Lafarge Yard) hobby, kingfisher, lesser whitethroat, buzzard.
Small heath, brown argus and common blue, plus yellow-wort (Redlands field)

25th: Comma, brown argus, speckled wood, red admiral, peacock, green-veined white, brimstone, small tortoiseshell, wasp spider, common and ruddy darters, migrant hawker, brown hawker, emperor.


11th to 18th August 2017

11th: Brimstone, peacock, sm. tortoiseshell, speckled wood, holly blue, small white, migrant hawker, brown hawker, emperor, common darter, red admiral, small copper.
Hobby, kingfisher, c 70 sand martins, house martins, swallows and swift. Little egeret,  (JAS)
Brown Argus
Buzzard 2 hobbies, green woodpecker, GS woodpecker, gatekeeper and ruddy darter. (SA)

13th: Eleven (11) little egrets from Bill's bench.

15th: Water rail calling, brown argus, ringlet, gatekeeper and meadow brown, southern hawker and common darter.

17th: Widgeon, sparrow hawk (Hayden Hide), (R Marchant) 5 Egyptian geese.

18th:  Third Thursday Walk: Mute swan, greylag, Canada goose, widgeon, gadwall, mallard, gt. crested grebe, cormorant, little egret, grey heron, buzzard, moorhen, coot, black headed gull, stock dove, woodpigeon, collared dove, green woodpecker, dunnock, robin, chiff chaff, l.t tit, blue tit, great tit, common crow,
Large white, small white, meadow brown, speckled wood, wasp spider, froglet, grey squirrel, Rat with snake at the Hayden Hide.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

1st to 7th August 2017

August 1st: Brown argus, (AH)
                   3 Kingfishers, hobby (Jane Goode)

August 2nd: Grass snake and goldfinch at Hayden Hide. (Abi and Emily Blaxill)
                     "Funnel spider" by the hide. (Noel Wright)
                     Great crested grebe from hide. (CB)

August 5th:  Otters (mum and two cubs) Heronry South. (J.L.)
August 6th:  Clouded yellow butterfly near dragonfly pond. (D.M.)
August 7th:  Great white egret. (P.C.) Musk Beetle.

Grass snake moulting.


July 22nd to 31st 2017

Wasp spider (from beneath).

Saturday July 22nd: 2 Fox cubs opposite sailing lake (Joyce Stones)
                                  Great White Egret, hobby, little egret, buzzard. Lots of dragonflies. (GFF)

July 23rd: Kingfisher, little egret, 10 house martins, willow warbler, chiff-chaff,
                 sedge warbler (Terry Brown)

July 25th: Great tits, song thrush, grey wagtail, blackbird, blue tit. (Ben)
                 Wasp spiders, grass snake, baby toads and frogs, buzzard,
                  great white egret and hobby. (GFF)

July 30th: Adult grass snake Cloudy Pit. Baby frogs.

July 31st: Great tit and wren.

Little egret.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Monday 17th July 2017

Great White Egret on Heronry South, also little egrets and a young family of tufted ducks, incubating grebes, buzzard, sparrowhawk. Kingfisher at the Kingfisher Hide and the River Viewpoint.
Many butterflies and dragonflies today but it looks like Fatso the puss-moth caterpillar had gone to make a chrysalis. Song thrush on River Trail.

Friday, 14 July 2017

10th to the 14th July

11th July: 2 adult otters at the Cobham Hide: (KP & PS)
                 Juv great crested grebe Hayling Lake (Viv & Chris)
                 Fox (Far side of Heronry Lake)
                 Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Common Blue, Ringlet, Meadow Brown,
                 Gatekeeper and Large White Butterflies.

13th July: Turtle Dove on tree by Education Centre.

14th July: Great White Egret, 4 Little Egrets, heronry North (Ann Thomas)
                 Butterflies as on the 11th plus Essex Skipper and small copper.
                 Buzzard hovering over hay cut in meadow, plus stock doves, crows, magpie.
                 River Trail: Bullfinches and whitethroat family. Song thrush,
                 chiff chaff and black-cap singing. Green woodpecker and kingfisher.
                 Hobby at Sailing Lake
Painted Lady by Grainne Farrington

Monday, 10 July 2017

July 2nd to 9th 2017

There are not many sightings in our sightings book this week, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to see.

Please put all your sightings in the book. We are looking towards collecting sightings by e-mail too. Watch out for details soon.

July is a bad month for bird watching unless you can pick up some wader passage. The bushes and meadows are full of secretive young birds and there is very little by way of birdsong.

Reed buntings, yellowhammers and turtle doves are almost the only birds still singing. (Yes, we still have turtle doves!) We seem to have two pairs of barn owls breeding in the main reserve, which is brilliant. Go to Dodder Fen or the Great Meadow at dusk. But it['s not just about birds. This is a great time for butterflies and dragonflies.
Barn owl by Mike Anderson-Brown.

Sunday July 2nd: Barn owl.

Monday July 3rd: Marbled white butterflies near car park

Wednesday July 5th: River Walk; 12 species of dragonfly and damselfly.
                             Many gatekeeper butterflies. Clouded yellow in car park.
                             Essex skipper in garden.
                             Puss moth caterpillar in garden and six barred clearwing found in car-park
                             while photographing six spot burnets.

Friday July 7th: Turtle dove singing in the dead trees opposite the Hayden Hide. (JAS)
                           Kingfishers on the river and at the Heronry Pits. Black-caps singing
                           Great crested grebes nesting on 2 new nests on Heronry South. Little Egret x 3
                           Essex skipper in garden, also possible (but unlikely) small blue in Education garden.
                           Puss moth caterpillar in Visitor Centre garden still there.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Return wader passage already underway

3rd July: Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper and a Curlew around the northern pits on Monday evening, as well as 3 Redshank and a Little Ringed Plover. Also Grasshopper Warbler singing and a Yellow-legged Gull.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

24th to 26th June 2017

June 24th  Pyramidal and bee orchids at several locations.
June 26th  Hummingbird hawkmoth on viper's bugloss near Hayden Hide.
                 Kingfisher at Kingfisher Hide. (Anastacia)
June 26th  Marbled white butterflies and Essex skipper on path from car park, parallel to Haul Road
                 Young common whitethroats at same location.
Common whitethroat (juv.)

Monday, 26 June 2017

June 13th to 19th 2017

June 13th  Mistle Thrush (car park) 2x bullfinch, goldcrest. (DP)

June 15th Cobham Hide, Norfolk hawker, hairy and emperor dragonflies.
                 Plus Scarce chaser on the Haul Road. (SH & RH)
                 Third Thursday Walk, 40 spp, including goldcrest and caol tiot on the Meadow Trail.

June 17th Kingfisher, OTTER. (S&R Wall.)

June 19th No sign of great dodder yet.

Hummer, by Anastacia.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Tuesday 20th June 2017

Meadow Trail: family of Cetti's Warblers (at least 3 fledglings) at Hayling Pit.

Heronry South: 4 Little Egrets; female Tufted Duck with 6 ducklings.
Little egret, Heronry South Pit.

Monday, 12 June 2017

June 6th to June 12th 2017.

June 6th:    Black squirrel at Kingfisher Hide, 2 Muntjac deer, reed warbler near
                   Kingfisher Hide.

June 11th:  Banded demoiselle, European Hornet (queen).

June 12th:  4 otters seen and photographed on Heronry South Lake
                   Turtle Dove on wore by Dragonfly Pond.
                   Common whitethroat on OVW at farm.
                   Chiff-chaffs singing widely
                   Buzzard. Great Crested grebes building new nest across from the
                   Hayden Hide.(JAS)

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

May 31st to June 4th

Turtle dove by Grainne Farrington

May 31st        34 common terns on rafts (Martin Runchman)

June 1st          5 Otters seen playing  on the Hayling Pit ? (Ian Langdon)
                       Cuckoo, Turtle dove at the Hayling Lake, Water Rail calling on Cloudy Pit,
                       Young reed bunting (Steve May)

June 3rd         Norfolk Hawkers on the Hayling, Rudd and Cloudy Pits as well as
                       along the meadow trail. Hobby seen catching one. (JAS)

June 4th         Turtle dove and nightingales heard during Breeding Bird Survey.
                       Painted lady, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Cinnabar Moth, Speckled Wood,
                       Hairy dragonfly, Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone, Red Admiral,
                       Scarce Chaser, 4 Spotted Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Norfolk Hawker
                       and Variable Damselfly.
                       Weasel by the River.

Monday, 5 June 2017

May 16th to 28th

May 18th          53 species seen on the Third Thursday Walk. No nightingales heard.
May 20th          55 species including nightingale, hobby, cuckoo, kingfisher and Cetti's warbler.
                          (Marylebone BW Society.)
May 21st          Weasel (near Kingfisher hide.) Kingfisher at river viewpoint. (Sophie and Craig)
                          Two kingfishers at the Kingfisher Hide. (RSPB Oxford Members' Group.)
May 22nd         3 cuckoos chasing at river viewpoint (Anastacia A).
May 23rd          Great crested grebes displaying.
May  24th         Otter and hobby at Kinfisher Hide. (DW)
May 25th          Barn owl (poss 2) River viewpoint. (Trevor Gunton)
May 26th          Nightingale pair of cuckoos at Moorings, (R & B)
                         Norfolk Hawker Dragonfly, Nightingale (T and V Gunton)
May 28th          Norfolk Hawker (10), Four spotted chaser (8), Scarce chaser (3), Hairy dragonfly (3),
                          grass snake and small copper butterfly.  (IW)


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

May 7th to15th 2017

May 7th: Water Rail near Washout Pit, Nightingale also nearby. (Mike Hodgson)
Nightingale (Phil Smith).

May 11th: Hobby over visitor centre, 2 cuckoos. Barn owl at River Viewpoint.

May 14th:  Muntjac near visitor centre. (Clare Thorpe)
Bullfinch, jay and treecreeper near the Cobham Hide.
3 hobbies, 2 cuckoos. (P Taylor)
Mallard with ducklings (by Bills Bench, Heronry South)

May 15th: Nightingale singing well at the entrance to the sailing club. 2 cuckoos at river viewpoint.
Lesser whitethroat singing from mound by Angler's car park plus another on Heron Trail.  Lots of swallows, martins and swifts plus 30 common terns. (Trevor Gunton)

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Monday 1st to Friday 5th May 2017

Male ring ouzel (jim Stevenson)
Highlights: A pair of ring ouzels arrived on the Bank Holiday Monday and stayed all week! A pair of turtle doves were seen on the 4th, but not since. There was a mass arrival of swifts towards the end of the week, making it possible to easily get a "full set" comprising of swifts, swallows, house and sand martins. Cuckoos were showing brilliantly with up to three at a time feeding on caterpillars at the River Viewpoint. At least one hobby was seen each day, usually on Heronry North, low over the water at dusk. We could watch one catching small insects with its feet. A few scattered sightings of black terns and a little gull.

Sadly nightingale numbers remain very low and the ones that are here are largely silent, whereas garden warblers, whitethroats and lesser whitethroats are in full song despite the cold weather.

On Bank Holiday Monday our official bird counters, Martin Davis and Jamie Wells, totalled 91 species on the Reserve and the northern pits by lunchtime!

Hobby catching midges  (Jim Stevenson 2016)
May 1st: 2 cuckoos, garden warbler, lesser whitethroat, nightingale, robin, blue tit, great tit, wren, tufted duck, mallard, mute swan, Canada goose, greylag, cormorant, gadwall, swallow, magpie, dunnock, bullfinch, goldfinch, common tern, GS woodpecker, moorhen, coot, house sparrow. 2 ring ouzels.

Otter seen at the Cobham Hide (twice) (Anastacia A and Paul Davies)

May 2nd: 2 cuckoos flying over the meadow (Anastacia A).
2 Ring ouzels, 4 black terns, bar tailed godwit, black tailed godwit, 3 dunlin, common sandpiper, whimbrel, 6 oystercatchers and 2 little ringed plovers. (All seen in the quarry by N Parkin who has a permit.)
3 buzzards and a sparrow hawk.

May 3rd: 2 ring ouzels, cuckoo, nightingale red legged partridge (E. Cope)

Cuckoo (Gill Street).
May 4th: Garden warbler, willow warbler, chiffchaff, lesser whitethroat, 2 red kites, swift, hobby, great spotted woodpecker, nightingale, 2 ring ouzels. (CJ Strudwick, BF Fisher and Jim Stevenson)

May 5th: Common sandpiper at the kingfisher hide, osprey over the VC, red kite. Probable little gull.
Our nesting treecreepers near the River Viewpoint lost their chicks to a stoat. (PK Smith)

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Sunday 16th to Friday 21st April 2017

April 16th. Cuckoo, nightingale(2), cormorant young calling loudly.  (Aimee Truswell and A.C.)

April 17th.  Cuckoo, garden warbler. (A.C.)

April 18th.  Arctic, common and black terns. Green woodpecker (2) and willow warbler (2), wren, nightingale.

April 19th. Nightingale, cuckoo, kingfisher, swallow (6), buzzard, little gull. Damsel fly and common (holly?) blue butterfly. (GT)

Third Thursday Walk; 4s spp. including swift!

April 21st. 2 arctic terns with 40 + common terns. M. Wilkinson.
Muntjac in the Visitor Centre garden.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Wednesday 12th April 2017

Nightingale singing opposite the Hayden Hide. Confirmed by sight as well as sound.
A previous report at the moorings on the 10th is also possible (A&P Miles)

Thursday 6th and Friday 7th April 2017

6th: Grass snake swimming by the river bank. Terrapin on river. (JMU)
7th: Whitethroat, willow warbler, blackcap, chiffchaff, cettis warbler (2), blue tit, great tit, long-tailed tit, reed bunting, red kite (2), buzzard, sparrowhawk (2), wigeon, pochard, goldcrest.
Orange tip, small tortoiseshell, speckled wood, peacock. (Robert Pedlar and Rose and David Seabrook)
Speckled Wood Butterfly

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Wednesday 5th April 2017

No nightingales yet, but many blackcaps and chiff chaffs singing. A whitethroat was heard in Rory's Wood (Sarahjane Williams). Common tern on Heronry North, two egrets in the heronry and swallows feeding over the dragonfly pond at 5 pm. Willow warbler singing in fishermen's car park.
A good day for raptors including buzzard, red kite, kestrel and sparrowhawk.

Speckled wood and orange tip butterflies on the Meadow Trail, but only one of each so far.

Swallow (RSPB)

Monday, 3 April 2017

Monday 3rd April 2017

Heronry Lakes: swallow, common tern, four egrets in the heronry, marsh tit, blackcap, two pairs of buzzards displaying.
Terrapin and mallard on the river. April 1st. 

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Sunday 26th March, 2017

Blackcap singing at Washout Pit. 2 Avocets in private quarry (no access, sorry) (GR)
Great spotted woodpecker on feeder at Hayden Hide (D Stewart)

Blackcap (RSPB)

Saturday 25th March 2017

Chiff-chaff, marsh harrier, gadwall, heron, gt.crested grebe.
Muntjac, peacock butterfly and brimstone. (RSPB Group)
Great Crested Grebes (PK Smith)