Wednesday, 2 October 2019

October 2019

Heronry South lake.

2nd October: It rained a lot on the previous days so not much doing and not many visitors, that is, until today!
Distant shot of wigeon, gadwall, black-tailed
godwit and green sandpiper.

Heronry South lake was the place to be with rafts of wigeon mixed with gadwall and shoveler ducks. Around the edges the stars were seven (Yes SEVEN!) green sandpipers, a black tailed godwit, lapwings, little grebes x 3, herons and a little egret. A Cetti's warbler was heard at the moorings.

6th October: Peter Cariuk photographed a mink at the river viewpoint.
Mink at the River Viewpoint. (Peter Cariuk)

9th October: 6 swallows and two house martins followed the river south. A bullfinch took a bath in a puddle and a coal tit was visiting the bird table at the visitor centre. On the mammal front we had rats at both bird tables and, sadly a dying fox cub near the arable fields.

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

September 2019

The month began with fine weather suitable for early autumn bird migration. Waders on the Heronry Lakes included lapwings, common and green sandpipers while wildfowl numbers started to climb as the first wigeon dropped in from Iceland to be accompanied by shoveler, teal and a lot of gadwall.

Common darter

On the invertebrate front dragonflies were abundant, including southern, migrant and brown hawkers, ruddy and common darters and willow emerald damsels. Several wasp spiders were found and the late summer butterflies continued to show, including painted ladies, red admirals, speckled woods, small and large whites. Common blue, brown argus and holly blue could be found on most days at the end of August and into September.

Gadwall

September 1st: Kingfisher, green sandpiper and chiff-chaff on the Heronry Lakes.

September 2nd: Green sandpiper x 2, kingfisher at Bill's Bench, little egret x 2, gadwall 40+, wigeon x 5. (25 species on the Heronry Lakes.) Green woodpecker and lesser stag beetle on the river trail.

Speckled wood.

Lesser stag beetle.
September 5th: Blue-tit, great tit, robin, wren and dunnock in the garden. Little egret, common sandpiper. wigeon x 10, gadwall x 50.

September 7th: Kingfisher at the beach on Rudd Pit (Kathy Hall)

September 8th: Common gull x 2,

September 10th: Rat on bird table, blue tit, great tit, collared dove, robin plus young robins.

September 12th: Crow, jackdaw, magpie, yellowhammer, robin, dunnock, g-s woodpecker, blue tit, great tit, l-t tit, buzzard, cormorant, grey heron, little egret, mallard, gadwall, wigeon, stock dove, wood pigeon, moorhen, coot, greylag, Canada goose, mute swan, lapwing.

September 13th: 08:45 - 12:30 Mute swan x 14, g-c grebe x 6, moorhen x 12, gadwall x 156, mallard x 45, shoveller x 10, wigeon x 35, teal x 16, litte egret x 2, tufted duck x 16, common gull, b-h gull x 131, lapwing x 2, green sandpiper x 2, cormorant x x 13, reed warbler, yellow wagtail, buzzard x 2, red kite, black cap, blue tits, greenfinches, robins, dunnocks, great tits, goldfinch x 7, wood pigeon, collared dove, chiffchaff x 4, blackbird, crow, wren, heron, jackdaw, magpie, greylags and Canada geese, sparrowhawk, great spotted cuckoo!!! (woodpecker?), wren, green woodpecker, l-t tit, jay.
44 spp seen by Terry Brown.

September 14th: Great tit x 2, blue tit. robin x 2, pigeon, heron, dunnock.

September 16th: Near Hayden Hide. Black cap pair, willow/chiff, blue tit, great tit, l-t tit.
Green sandpiper x 5 from the Kingfisher hide.

September 18th: Kingfisher on Weedy Pit. Several reports of grass snakes.

September 19th: Third Thursday Walk with 22 walkers and 47 species!
Blackbird, blackcap, b-h gull, blue tit, buzzard, crow, chiffchaff, common sandpiper, cormorant, dunnock, gadwall, garden warbler, g-c grebe, g-s woodpecker, heron, greylag, jackdaw, kingfisher, lapwing, little grebe, l-t tit, magpie, mute swan, mallard, meadow pipit, goldfinch, goldcrest, moorhen, reed bunting, robin, stock dove, collared dove, rock dove/ racing pigeon, yellowhammer, swallow, teal,  jay, shoveller, wigeon, willow warbler, wood pigeon, wren, Canada goose, mistle thrush.

September 20th: A special bird ringing session was held. Report to follow.





September 22nd: Kingfisher x 3 hobby on Heronry Lakes, Otter at the moorings.

September 23rd: Kingfisher at Washout Pit. Greenshank, lapwings, pied wagtails, red kite, buzzard, cormorant, coots, kestrel and g-c grebe at Diddington. JAS.

September 26th: Otter filmed on Rudd Pit.


FUNGI
The result of this month's fungus foray was a bit sparse. (too dry?). The following fungi were found including  the Deadly Dapperling near the moorings. This is the second most poisonous fungus in the UK and looks remarkably like the edible shaggy parasol mushroom.
The dreaded Deadly Dapperling.
A first for the Reserve.

Taxon Group: fungus (Recoirded by Richard Shotbolt.
    Agrocybe rivulosa (Wrinkled Fieldcap)
    Erysiphe alphitoides (Oak Mildew)
    Erysiphe heraclei (Umbellifer Mildew)
    Ganoderma australe (Southern Bracket)
    Lepiota brunneoincarnata (Deadly Dapperling)
    Polyporus leptocephalus [as Polyporus varius f. nummularius] (Blackfoot Polypore)
    Stereum hirsutum (Hairy Curtain Crust)
    Trametes versicolor (Turkeytail)
  Taxon Group: myxomycete
    Fuligo septica var. septica (Flowers Of Tan)

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

August 2019

This month will hopefully see an increase in waders on the reserve. Green sandpipers have already been a feature from mid July onwards. The last of the swifts will be on their way south and other early migrants might include a few passerines.

The last swifts of the year.
It's not only birds that migrate, insects so too. Look for migrant hawker dragonflies, hummingbird hawk-moths and perhaps clouded yellow butterflies.

Great dodder at the river view.
If you have never seen one, leaf emerald damselflies could be a good "tick" as these are relatively scarce and a newcomer to the Pits.

We have not had a lot of records for wasp spider this year, but they are still around if you look carefully. I have had two reports from the meadow.

Wasp spider from underneath.

Wasp spider upper side.

1st August: Green sandpiper and little egret on Heronry South, Chiffchaffs, blackcaps, common whitethroat x 2, reed warbler x 4, kingfisher, yellowhammer, b-h gull x 63, g-c grebe x 21, linnet x 5, buzzard.
Great dodder at river viewpoint.
Common buzzard.
August 1st: Here is an excellent sighting from John McDonough  It's aRed-tipped Clearwing (Synanthedon formicaeformis) photographed on the Meadow Trail.
Red tipped clearwing moth.

This species imitates a small wasp and uses various willows as food plants, of which there are many around the area.


5th August: 25 species on Heronry South including 7 lapwings. (TG)

6th August: Blue tit x 2, great tit x 3, collared dove x 2.
Green-veined white.

7th August: Very quiet on the lakes, b-h gulls, grey heron, cormorant, moorhen. Emperor, ruddy darter, common darter, brown hawker and migrant hawker dragonflies. green-veined white and gatekeeper butterflies. (JAS)

Ruddy darter.
8th August: Young blue tits, coal tit?, great tit x 2, greenfinch, magpie, rook, pied wagtail, wood pigeon, wren. All the Visitor Centre.

11th August: Great spotted woodpecker at the Hayden Hide. Greenfinch x 2, blue tit x3.

Blue tit.
12th August: Grey squirrel x 2, blue tit x 3, great it x 3, wren.

15th August: Third Thursday Walk:
B-h gull, blue tit, crow, chaffinch, cormorant, dunnock, gadwall, goldfinch, g-c grebe, great tit, green sandpiper, grey heron, little egret x 5, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, robin, stock dove, wood pigeon, wren, Canada goose (22spp.) David Wilson.
Small white butterfly in garden.
Good selection of dragonflies including common and ruddy darters, brown hawker etc.

Goldfinch.
16th August: Little Egret x 2, new baby moorhens, large flock of mixed hirundines, all on Heronry Lakes. (JAS)

August 18th: Otter in the Heronry Lakes 4-5 pm.

August 20th: Flock of long-tailed tits in VC garden, wasp spider in meadow, c25 gadwall on Heronry lake, willow emerald damselfly.
Willow emerald, Cloudy Pit.

22nd August: Flock of long-tailed tits at the Hayden Hide, Buzzard over, green woodpeckers at river view, green sandpiper at Kingfisher Hide.

23rd August: Lots of sightings of willow emeralds this week. Also two otters on Heronry Lakes, wasp spider in the meadow and a skulking young birds in the bushes including blackcap, garden warbler, lesser whitethroat, whitethroat, reed warbler and long-tailed tits. Tawny owls and coal tit calling in Gordon Road. (Mark Brandon). Herons "sunbathing" and panting at the same time.

Grey heron, Heronry South Lake.

27th August: Brown, southern and migrant hawkers, common and ruddy darters. Willow emeralds on the meadow trail and a wasp spider. Water rail at the beach on Cloudy Pit. Water shrew and wood-mouse at the beach. (JAS.)

Mating willow emeralds.
28th August: Little egret x2, green sandpiper x 2, gadwall x 40, wigeon x 5, grey heron x 5, lapwing x 5 all on Heronry South. (TG)

29th August: Mute swan x 36, g-c grebe x 13, cormorant x 18, gadwall x 88, teal x 5, mallard x 27, wigeon x 3, tufted duck x 17. moorhen  x 13, kingfisher, green sandpiper x 2, little egret x 4, heron, blue tit, collared dove, magpie, goldfinch, wren, robin, greenfinch, b-h gull x 94, dunnock, reed bunting, great tit, green woodpecker, jackdaw, l-t tit, stock dove, crow, g-s woodpecker, chiff-chaff x 4, treecreeper. (Terry Brown).

30th August: Green sandpiper x 2, common sandpiper x 2, lapwing, teal, shoveler, widgeon, gadwall, kingfisher. (Heronry Lakes) JAS. Small white, red admiral, painted lady. Collared dove x 11.

31st August: Great white egret on Heronry South. (Stephen May).

Paxton Pits Nature Reserve: Constant Effort Site (CES) Ringing Newsletter
Visit Twelve: 26th August 2019
Summary:
The twelfth and final CES ringing session of the monitoring season was conducted on a very warm and sunny morning on August Bank Holiday Morning. The session was dominated by Blackcaps with this species contributing almost 50% of the new birds ringed. After a good breeding season last year, the numbers of Blackcaps ringed in 2019 has not quite met our expectations. The poor weather in June probably affected early nesting success, but the warm end to the summer will have improved this for later broods. The other highlight of the session was the first Great Spotted Woodpecker ringed in 2019, we often see them around the sanctuary but in most cases, they are not flying low enough and avoid our nets, so they are always a welcome addition to our catches.
The CES season has finished, over the next few weeks I will collate all our data and produce a report on how 2019 compares to previous years. It appears that 2019 has been a pretty good breeding season for common resident species such as Robins and Blue Tits. Now we have completed the standardised monitoring the we now plan to visit the sanctuary and ring some remaining migrant birds in September and October, with Blackcaps again being one of the main targets.
Ringers for this session in my absence were: Maureen Reeves, Alan Garner, Andy Stanbury, Chantal MacLeod-Nolan and Viv Ward.



Totals
The table below gives details of the number of birds ringed and recaptured
Species
New
Recaptures
Total
Great Spotted Woodpecker
1
0
1
Wren
0
1
1
Robin
0
6
6
Lesser Whitethroat
1
0
1
Whitethroat
1
0
1
Blackcap
12
0
12
Chiffchaff
1
0
1
Blue Tit
1
1
1
Great Tit
1
2
1
Bullfinch
7
0
7
Total
25
10
35

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

July 2019

Please email me your sightings or write them in the log-book at the Visitor Centre.

July marks the end of the breeding season for birds but that doesn't mean there is nothing to see. Insect life is abuzz over the lakes and in the meadows and some of our most colourful flowers do not appear until late summer.

Comma butterfly.
If it's birds you are after, then be on the look out for migrants that do not breed here but are already heading south, think of ospreys, waders and warblers.

Watch out for horse-flies this month as they can give you a pretty nasty bite.

A white pyramidal orchid at the Sailing Lake.
July 3rd: Brown hawker dragonfly on the garden pond and emperors on the wing with common darters. Meadow brown, common blue, large and small skippers and ringlet butterflies in the long grass, speckled woods in the trees chasing off the red admirals and tattered and worn painted lady butterflies and the first gatekeepers of the year.

Grass snake in Rudd Pit. Many young birds including tits, blackcaps, garden warblers, lesser whitethroat and chiffchaff, all gleaning insects from the leaves.



Bee orchids

July 5th: White throat x 3, chiffchaff, willow warbler, garden warbler x 2, black-cap, stock dove, grey heron, b-h gull, herring gull, common tern x 30, mallard, tufted duck, wood pigeon, oyster catcher.


July 6th: Red-eyed, azure, common blue and blue tailed damsels, Norfolk hawker, 4 spotted chaser and broad bodied chaser.

Common tern, willow warbler (fam), grey squirrels and brown rats.




Re-eyed damselfly.

Pyramidal orchids.
July 7th: Grass snake in the Hayling lake. Whitethroat x 4, chiffchaff, willow warbler, garden warbler x 2, black cap, stock dove, heron, b-h gull, herring gull, common terns x 30+, mallard, tufted duck, wood pigeon, oyster catcher. Kingfisher at the Kingfisher Hide.

July 9th: Black cap, mistle thrush, song thrush, reed bunting, buzzard and red kite.

July 10th: Hay cut in the meadow and bailed. Common darter dragonfly, gatekeeper, small skipper and small white butterflies.

July 12th: On a guided tour in the evening we failed to find any wasp spiders but had good views of many insects and did a bit of botanising. The highlight for me was finding a willow emerald damselfly at the beach. (I tried again on the 13th but without luck)
The starlings are back! A walk on the meadow trail at dusk should provide decent views and the chance of a sparrow hawk or two.

July 13th: Another guided walk produced a good flower list and some obliging insects, including this giant belted hoverfly. It is a hornet mimic that preys on common wasps.
Belted hoverfly.
July 14th: Pyramidal orchid and blackcap on the River Trail.

July 15th: At the Hayden Hide, little egret, lapwing, kingfisher, tufted duck, heron. OTTERS x4!!

July 18th: Third Thursday Walk: 
Blackcap, b-h gull, blue tit, buzzard, crow, chaffinch, common tern, great spotted woodpecker, cormorant, dunnock, gadwall, goldcrest, g-c grebe, great tit, green woodpecker, greenfinch, gret heron, greylag goose, house martin, lapwing, little egret, l-t tit, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, robin, collared dove, tree creeper, sand martin, wood-pigeon, wren. (D Wilson)

July 20th: Baby blue-tit, Jay.

July 21st: Black squirrel, blue tits, brown rat.

July 23rd: Water Rail and barn owls . (Jacqueline Hill).
Barn owl at dusk.

Barn owl in the meadow.

July 24th: Willow emerald, brown hawker. migrant hawker, emperor etc. Gatekeeper and small white butterflies. A stoat cross the path between Kingfisher hide and River view. At least 7 common tern chicks on Diddington Pit. (Neal Parkin)

July 25th: Baby blue tits, great tit x 2, young blackbird, Vole at the Hayden Hide. Sparrow-hawk took a blue tit from the feeder.

July 27th: Little egret x 2 at the Hayden Hide.

July 28th; OTTER x 4 on Heronry South, two came out onto the island.
Green sandpipers. Sparrow hawk.




Tuesday, 4 June 2019

June 2019

June 1st: Lesser whitethroat on the mound, g-s woodpecker at the Hayden Hide (AP)

Breeding Bird Survey:  June 2nd 

Neal Parkin Reports:
The highlights from this weekend surveys were:
Cuckoo – a male & female were seen flying together at both south and north end of the Pits.
Barn owl – few reports of barn owls this year but one was seen during the survey
Mistle thrush – an uncommon bird at Paxton so good to see some records
Kingfisher – pair seen on the river
Turtle dove – a bird heard purring in the Sanctuary by the ringers at 6:00
Jay – an uncommon bird caught by the ringers on Sunday
Red-crested pochard – these birds are usually absent over the summer months!
Avocet – pair at north end
Otter – caused the lesser black-backed gulls to become very agitated
Nightingales – 2 may be 3 birds singing. And better still another bird seen carrying food.



Ringing Report from Derek Gruar: June 2nd.

The fourth Paxton CES ringing session of the season was on an overcast and humid morning. Statistically the 4th CES session of the season is the quietest of the year. Since 2007 there have only been two catches of over 30 new birds. Our total of 24 new birds was about par for this visit and was dominated by recently fledged Blue Tits. Warblers were at a premium with singles of Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Reed Warbler, we expect to see fledged warblers appear over the next few sessions. Other notable species included the 3rd ever jay ringed on a CES ringing session and the first Bullfinch and Song Thrushes of the year.
Spotted orchid

June 2nd: Cuckoo, little egret, mallard, gadwall, tufted duck, mute swan, swallow, sand martin, jackdaw, coot, dunnock, cormorant, collared dove, wood pigeon, crow, magpie, moorhen, b-h gull, common tern, goldcrest, blackcap, wren, chaffinch, jay, g-c-grebe, l-b-b-gull, l-t tit, willow warbler, Canada Goose, reed bunting, yellowhammer, linnet, red kite, rat, blue tit.

Four spotted chaser
June 3rd: Common tern, tree creeper, green woodpecker, great tit, blue tit, blackbird, cormorant, gadwall, mallard, tufted duck, b-h gull, g-c grebe, heron, crow, rook, jackdaw, magpie, kingfisher, white throat and cuckoo. 
Dragonflies etc: Norfolk hawker, hairy hawker, 4-spot chaser, variable damsel, common blue damsel, azure damsel, blue-tailed damsel, red-eyed damsel, banded demoiselle and cinnabar moth.
Cinnabar moth
June 4th: 54 spp seen by Terry Brown, including:
House martin x 25, blackcap x 17, reed warbler x 8, treecreeper x 2, common tern x 74 oystercatcher x 2, red-crested pochard fm, cuckoo x 2, reed bunting x 7, g-c grebe x 12, tufted duck x 35, gadwall x 12, garden warbler, chiffchaff, willow warbler, whitethroat, yellowhammer, sedge warbler, Cetti's warbler.
Hairy hawker
June 5th: Bullfinch (Robin West)

June 9th: R-c pochard by Kingfisher Hde. Cettis warbler x 3-4.2 bee orchids near quarry,

June 11th: Fox, cuckoo, yellowhammer, blackcap, Cetti's warbler.

June 14th: Blue tit, great tit, woodpigeon, stock dove, blackbird, moorhen,  mallard, gadwall, mute swan, crow, magpie, jackdaw, cormorant, swallow, house martin, dunnock, common tern, b-h gull, robin, tufted duck, grey heron, blackcap, chiffchaff, wren. (BM)

Broad bodies chaser, four spotted and black tailed skimmers, grass snake swimming.

Linnet, reed bunting, willow warbler, green woodpecker, song-thrush, Cetti's warbler, cuckoo, greenfinch, chiffchaff, blackcap, gardeb warbler. G-c grebe with young on Cloudy Pit, g-s woodpecker and hobby. 

June 16th: Little egret x 2, Grey heron x 2, grey squirrel, swans, mallards cormorants and terns.

June 20th: Just to mention that today I saw the following dragonflies on the Meadow Walk:

Blue-tailed Damselfly
Black-tailed Skimmer
Common Darter
Common Blue Damselfly
Azure Damselfly
Variable Damselfly
Norfolk Hawker
Also probably a China Mark moth: which type I cannot tell from the poor pictures.
There are more details on IRecord. 


Norfolk Hawker

Variable damselfly 
You have a wonderful place! Thank you for a great break from work!

Kind regards Alan Holmes

Buzzard x 2, oystercatcher, little egret, common tern x 38, sand martin x 7, yellowhammer x 4, reed bunting x 6. Also garden warbler, blackcap, whitethroat, reed warbler, chiffchaff, willow warbler, skylark, g-s woodpecker, green woodpecker, bullfinch, kestrel, linnet goldfinch, song thrush, G-c grebe x 11, tufted duck x 20, gadwall x 10. (Terry Brown)

Third Thursday Walk:
Blackbird, blackcap,b-h gull, blue tit, crow, chiffchaff, common tern, coot, cormorant, dunnock, gadwall, garden warbler, g-c grebe, great tit, green woodpecker, greenfinch, grey heron, greylag, house martin, jackdaw, kingfisher, l-blb gull, little egret, l-t tit, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, oystercatcher, pheasant, reed warbler, robin, collared dove, song thrush, starling, stock dove, tufted duck, willow warbler, wood pigeon, wren, Canada goose, Cetti's warbler (43spp + muntjac.)
David Wilson

June 22nd:  Full list will be Birdtracked.
Cuckoo, heard only, Kingfisher, Turtle Dove, 2 flew across the Sailing Lake at 16:45 approx.
Does anyone know what the Bees and Wasps are that are nesting on the banks of Hayling Lake?
Martin Bell, Merthyr Tydfil. 

Norfolk hawker on Garden Pond, brown hawker, emperor dragonflies. Red-eyed, common blue and azure damsels.


Paxton Pits Nature Reserve: Constant Effort Site (CES) Ringing NewsletterVisit Five: 22nd June 2019

Summary:
The fifth Paxton CES ringing session of the season was on an a very pleasant summers morning. We were interested to see what effect (if any) the recent heavy rains may have had on nesting success. Our catch of 32 birds and 4 recaptures matched the average numbers seen on corresponding visits since 2007. After a successful year in 2018 the low numbers of Blackcaps caught to date this year is a little surprising. We were pleased to catch a newly fledged Whitethroat (a scarce bird around the Sanctuary area at Paxton) as well as young Garden Warblers, Wrens and Chiffchaffs. Five juvenile Treecreepers all caught in the same area throughout the morning was a record catch for this species on a single ringing session. Other notable species included the 18th Green Woodpecker ringed on a CES ringing session and the second Bullfinch and Song Thrushes of the year.
Ringers for this session were: Derek Gruar, Maureen Reeves, Andy Stanbury, Sara Miller and Saskia Wischnewski. Davy Reeves provided great help clearing vegetation from net rides.

Totals
The table below gives details of the number of birds ringed and recaptured

June 25th: Wren at Kingfisher Hide, cuckoo calling, red admiral (NS)

June 27th: 9:15-13:15 49 spp. (Anon)
Gc grebe, mallard, gadwall, tufted duck,mute swan, Canada goose, greylag, buzzard, kestrel, hobby, moorhen, coot, b-h gull, common tern, green woodpecker, oystercatcher, lapwing, woodpigeon, stock dove, sand martin, garden warbler, sedge warbler, reed warbler, chiffchaff, willow warbler, Cetti's warbler, blackcap, great tit, blue tit, l-t tit, robin, wren, dunnock, blackbird, song thrush, goldfinch, greenfinch, chaffinch, reed bunting, yellowhammer, jackdaw, crow, magpie, starling, linnet, lesser whitethroat, whitethroat, cormorant.

Painted lady, red admiral, large tortoise shell??? , comma, meadow brown. 

B-t skimmer, scarce chaser, banded demoiselle, red-eyed damsel, blue-tailed damsel, common blue and azure damsels.

June 28th: Fox cubs seen playing near the dragonfly pond. Painted lady, comma, small skipper, red admiral, meadow brown, ringlet. Kingfisher, cuckoo, buzzard etc. (JAS)

Paxton Pits Nature Reserve: Constant Effort Site (CES) Ringing Newsletter
Visit Six: 30th June 2019

Summary:
The sixth Paxton CES ringing session of the season was on sunny morning the day after the hottest the day of the year. Bird activity was low first thing in the morning but picked up as the morning progressed. The catch was dominated by resident species, with the paucity of juvenile warblers again noticeable. After ringing a female Green Woodpecker on visit five, an adult male was ringed on this session. The first fledged Bullfinch of the year was another notable capture.
Ringers for this session were: Maureen Reeves, Andy Stanbury, Viv Ward, Chris Ward and Ken Griffin. 

Recapture information
The two captures were birds ringed earlier in 2019.

Mid-season Review
The sixth session marks the mid-point of the CES ringing season and I was interested in comparing 2019 to other seasons. The table below gives the number of birds ringed and recaptured at the same point in all seasons from 2007.

This season is slightly below the average total of 174 new birds for the mid-point over the past 13 years. It is noticeable that there is a decrease in the number of recaptures. There are a number of potential reasons for this, one may be a result of high mortality of adult birds during recent cold winters and the “beast from the East” storm.

The following table looks at the mid-point totals for nine warbler species we find at Paxton. At the CES mid-point we are 30% down on average since 2007. This may well be due to the poor survival of first broods during the prolonged wet spell in June. As many species are multi-brooded, numbers may well improve during the second half of the season.




Friday, 26 April 2019

May 2019

We have a new logbook in the Visitor Centre where you can enter all your sightings, not just birds. 
Your records are very important to monitor all the creatures that live on the Reserve or pass through it. Records of common species are just as important as those for rarities. You can also send in records by email to me HERE



Mallard family.
May 1st  Hobby regulary viewed over the visitor centre during the day, probably charing emerging damselflies. Young male Muntjac barking in the garden plus a pair of adults in the meadow. Possibly a fall of migrating garden warblers as they were everywhere today. Cuckoos heard and seen. House martins. Mallard broods.(JAS)
Reed bunting singing.
A walk along the Anglian Water road from Stirtloe (N of the quarry) revealed a host of warblers including dozens of garden warblers plus black caps, chiffchaffs, willow warblers, sedge warblers, reed warblers, whitethroats, lesser whitethroats, Cetti's warbler, yellowhammer, bullfinch, linnet and reed bunting. Cuckoo x 3.
Male yellowhammer.
A report of a grasshopper warbler there earlier too. I heard three nightingales but an evening visit confirmed at least five. (JAS)


Muntjac male.

Orange tip butterfly in the garden.
Orange tip, brimstone, holly blue and red admiral butterflies seen.

3rd: Reuben Braddock's first visit produced:
50 Greylag Goose
1 Canada Goose
4 Mute Swan
3 Gadwall
2 Eurasian Wigeon
1 American Wigeon -- Drake, on lake to north of North Heronry lake. Had walked around to see/hear Nightingales, and another birder was there already watching it. Seen through scope from north end of this lake, with bird at southern end near small islands. Light blaze on forehead clearly seen, rufous sides and white patch on side near tail.
10 Mallard
16 Tufted Duck
4 Red-legged Partridge
4 Common Pheasant -- Only one seen
1 Little Grebe -- On pond next to Diddington Brook
10 Great Crested Grebe
6 Stock Dove
70 Common Woodpigeon
4 Collared Dove -- Around visitor centre
5 Common Cuckoo -- Three from Heron trail including two song duelling! Two singing near Pumphouse Pit
2 Common Swift
4 Common Moorhen
5 Eurasian Coot
15 Black-headed Gull
2 Herring Gull
4 Lesser Black-backed Gull
30 Common Tern -- Quite a few on rafts. Rough estimate of numbers, probably more. All over the reserve and along the river
30 Great Cormorant -- Nesting site
4 Grey Heron
3 Common Buzzard
3 Great Spotted Woodpecker
5 Eurasian Green Woodpecker -- Several calling, heard throughout walk
1 Common Kestrel - near Diddington Brook
1 Eurasian Hobby -- NE corner of Pumphouse Pit
4 Common Magpie (Eurasian)
30 Eurasian Jackdaw
3 Rook
4 Carrion Crow
12 Sand Martin
2 Barn Swallow
8 Eurasian Blue Tit
8 Great Tit
10 Long-tailed Tit
9 Eurasian Wren
5 Willow Warbler -- Only at northern end of lakes, didn’t hear any from Heron trail
14 Common Chiffchaff -- Probably most numerous warbler
6 Sedge Warbler
4 Eurasian Reed Warbler
12 Eurasian Blackcap
10 Garden Warbler -- Singing throughout reserve. Conservative estimate
2 Lesser Whitethroat -- One in hedge adjacent to Island Pit. One in hedge on farmland near Diddington
9 Common Whitethroat
6 European Robin
4 Common Nightingale -- All quite close to each other adjacent to Anglian Water road. One seen as it perched briefly on top of bush singing before diving back down again.
2 Song Thrush
10 Eurasian Blackbird
4 Common Starling
6 Dunnock
2 Pied Wagtail
5 Common Chaffinch
3 European Greenfinch
3 European Goldfinch
2 Common Reed Bunting
5th: 100 house martins, 50 swallows. 10 sand martins over Heronry North. Redshank at Sailing Lake, Shelduck x 2 at S. end of Island Pit.
Our Breeding Bird Survey produced the first swift and a couple of new nightingales and three turtle doves.

6th:   Swift x 2 (Steve May).

7th:   Nightingale x 5 on Concrete Road at Stirtloe plus single black tern. (JAS)

8th:  Nightingale singing behind Lafarge plant. (Adrian Hyde)

10th: 2 hobbies over VC most of afternoon. Sparrow hawk, lots of swifts. RC pochard and oystercatchers on sailing lake. (JAS) Treecreeper (Wayne Garden).
Buzzard x 4, hobby x 2, (D Harlow)
Hobby and brown argus butterfly plus cuckoo by moorings plus treecreeper.

11th: (From Butterfly transect) Hobby, lots of swifts, swallows, whitethroats, blackcap, garden warbler, willow warbler, chiffchaff, reed warbler, cuckoo, reed bunting (fam) common terns. Muntjac, squirrel, rat, raven and nightingale at Offord D'arcy,  Cuckoo, blackcap.

12th: Family of tree creepers (river view), l-r plover (Bill's Bench), l-t tits, orange tipped butterfly, pheasant, magpie, collared dove, brimstone butterfly.

13th: Turtle dove (R Pope) R-c pochard pair at Hayden Hide, mute swans with 6 cygnets.

14th:  Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Reed Bunting, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Blue tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Robin, Dunnock, Blackbird, Common Tern, Black Headed Gull, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Red Crested Pochard, Coot, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Pheasant, Cuckoo calling, Green woodpecker, Buzzard, Heron, Wood Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Cormorant.
Small Copper, Orange Tip, Brimstone, Banded Demoiselle, Common Blue Damselfly (Andrew Lee)

Crane over VC, g-s woodpecker, heron x 7. (Matt Hall)


Banded Demoiselle by Andrew Lee.
15th: Garden warbler, cuckoo, whitethroat, Canada geese with goslings, lapwing, red kite,
buzzard. (JAS) Gt crested grebe, mute swan, robin, collared dove on Meadow Trail.

16th: Meadow Trail: Cuckoo x 2, blackcap x 5, red kite x 2, coot x 5, b-h gull x 11, garden warbler x 2, grey heron x 2, moorhen x 4, carrion crow x 3, fox (MH)

Third Thursday Walk: Blackcap, b-h gull, blue tit, bullfinch, buxxard, crow, common tern, coot, moorhen, cormorant, dunnock, gadwall, g-c grebe, g-s woodpecker, green woodpecker, heron, mute swan, oystercatcher, peregrine, robin, tree-creeper, stock dove, swift, tufted duck, wood pigeon, Canada goose, cuckoo, r-c pochard, muntjac. (D Wilson)

Heron Trail: Hobby, garden warbler x 3, blackcap x 4, robin x 2, wren x 3, green woodpecker, g-s woodpecker, cuckoo.

17th: Heron Trail: Blackcap, garden warbler, lesser whitethroat, chiffchaff, yellowhammer, willow warbler, whitethroat, song thrush. Goldcrests with young at Wray House.

21st: Greenfinch, cuckoo, dunnock, l-t tit, buzzard, goldcrest.
Evening walk: Sparrow hawk, swifts, house martins, kingfisher, gs and green woodpeckers. Unidentified distant wader on Heronry South, possibly L-r p. (JAS)
Damsels: Common blue, azure, blue tailed, variable, red eyed and banded demoiselle.
Dragons: 4 spotted chaser, scarce chaser and first Norfolk Hawker. 
22nd: Norfolk hawker in flight. Speckled wood, brimstone, buzzard. Little Egret (on Heronry South, TG)
Hairy dragonfly, cinnabar moth, orange tip butterfly.
Tern rafts; c 40 common terns . Herring gulls causing disturbance (TG)

23rd: Norfolk hawkers, scarce chasers, four spotted chasers.

24th: Four spotted chaser, scarce chaser, black tailed skimmer, hairy dragonfly; variable, common blue and red-eyed damsels. Brimstone, peacock. brown argus, orange-tip, speckled wood and small copper butterflies.
Little egret on Heronry South. Swifts (TG) Badgers at dusk near Stirtloe.

25th: Red crested pochard x 2 from Kingfisher Hide, cuckoo. Brimstone and small tortoiseshell.
House martins and swifts: (TG)
Great tits and squirrels at bird table, brown rat, blue tit, magpie.
Swifts over the village (Ann and Mike Thomas)
Hairy, black tailed skimmer, four spotted chaser, scarce chaser. Azure, blue tailed, red eyed damsels and banded demoiselle. (Meadow Trail)

26th: Cetti's warbler x 3, garden warblers, blackcaps, chiff-chaffs, whitethroats, lesser whitethroat, lesser black-backed gull. Flocks of martins following showers of rain across the site, small groups of swifts, buzzards, red kites. Dead mole on meadow trail. First spotted orchids in flower.

28th: Cuckoo spit on the meadow trail. This is from common froghoppers and is perfectly natural.

29th: c 60 house martins over the Heronry Lakes, cuckoo x 2, blackcap, lbb gull, oystercatcher, cormorant x 30, herring gull, yellowhammer. (TG)

31st: Loads of dragonflies at edge of meadow. Norfolk hawker at garden pond!