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)

Friday 24th March 2017

Goosander, kingfisher and drumming woodpeckers at the River Viewpoint. (JWS)
6 Scaup (3 m + 3 fm) from Kingfisher Hide. Chiff-chaffs singing. (RSB)
Chiff-chaff (PK Smith)

Thursday 23rd March 2017

Goldeneye pair. (PK Smith)
Tortoiseshell, brimstone, white-tailed, red-tailed and buff tailed bumble bees, honey bees and many solitary bees. (GFF)

Scaup, chiff-chaff, goldeneyes.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

19th March 2017

7 + Sandmartins on the Meadow Trail. (A Harrold)
8 Pochard, buzzard, 8 goldeneyes, Cetti's warbler, water rail, 5 teal, 8 yellowhammer, jay, 7 scaup, 7 bullfinch, 3 kingfisher, 12 chiff-chaff, 53 widgeon 158 tufted duck. (Anon)

Buzzard by Phil PK Smith.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

18th March 2017

Jay and male siskin near Rory's Wood/ Parish Boundary Wood. (Phil PK Smith)
Siskin by Phil Smith

Jay by Phil Smith

Friday, 17 March 2017

16th March 2017

Spring migrants are arriving! First chiff chaff reported by Phil Smith. Have you seen a sand martin yet?
Chiff chaff (Phil PK Smith)
The Third Thursday Walk produced a good list that included five scaup on the Heronry Lakes (8 earlier).   Some female tufted ducks have a scaup-like face and some female pochards can be very pale too, but when you get a group like this there's no argument.
Scaup at Grafham Water (Ian Dawson, Cambridge Bird Club)





Wednesday, 15 March 2017

15th March 2017

The Great Grey shrike was seen again, this time near the beach on the Ouse Valley Way. It's definitely worth a walk to see it.