Monday, 30 December 2013

Northern Pits: immature SHAG on Pumphouse Pit, viewable from public footpath at NW end of pit. Also 1w female Scaup, 2 redhead Smew, 3 Pintail (2 drakes), drake Red-crested Pochard and Kingfisher.

A1 North Pit: adult and 1w female Scaup still. 5+ Corn Buntings, 40-50 Yellowhammers & c.40 Linnets around neighbouring stubble fields.

Heronry North Pit: redhead Smew and 2 drake Goosanders.

















Shag, Paxton Pits.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Northern Pits: juvenile GREAT NORTHERN DIVER (viewable from public footpath at SW end of Diddington Pit); 4 redhead Smew, 40+ Ruff and c.10 Black-tailed Godwits flew over during morning; Green Sandpiper, 2 Little Egrets, pair Pintail, drake Red-crested Pochard.

















Juvenile Great Northern Diver, Paxton Pits. 

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Happy Christmas (and a few sightings for Christmas Day)

A1 North Pit: 2 adult Bewick's Swans late morning, then flew off ENE. Drake Red-crested Pochard still, plus single Corn Bunting with Bunting flock.

Northern Pits: 5 redhead Smew, drake Red-crested Pochard, 5 Pintail, 5 Buzzards, Sparrowhawk, Green Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, 2-3 Chiffchaffs.

Monday, 23 December 2013

A1 North Pit: adult and 1st winter female Scaup still, plus drake Red-crested Pochard still. Also 1+ Corn Bunting(s).

Heron Trail: male Brambling with c.50 Chaffinches in hedgerow along haul road, just north of Southoe Brook.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

A1 North Pit: adult female and 1w female Scaup, drake Red-crested Pochard, 2 Buzzards & 2 Corn Buntings with Reed Buntings and Yellowhammers around nearby stubble fields.

Heron Trail: 6 Redpolls over (1 landed by Visitors' Centre).

Northern Pits: 5 redhead Smew, 2 drake Pintail, drake Ruddy Duck, 2 Shelduck.



















Adult female Scaup, A1 North Pit.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

A1 North Pit: adult female Scaup, 2 drake Red-crested Pochards, Chiffchaff, c.15 Corn Buntings.

Heron Trail: c.30 Lesser Redpolls around Fisherman's car park briefly in morning; Chiffchaff along Haul Road.

Northern Pits: 5 redhead Smew, drake Ruddy Duck, adult and juvenile Egyptian Goose, Green Sandpiper, 2 adult Peregrines, Chiffchaff.

Washout Pit: Redshank calling.



















One of two adult Peregrines at Paxton Pits this afternoon.

Friday, 6 December 2013

5 redhead Smew, female Red-crested Pochard, 2 Egyptian Geese still, 3 Little Egret, Green Sandpiper and a Barn Owl all at north end of pit complex this afternoon.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Weekend round-up

The 1st Smew (a redhead) of the winter was present on both Saturday and Sunday, whilst the male and female Ruddy Duck were also still present. A male Red-crested Pochard was on A1 North Pit briefly on Sunday morning (before being flushed by water skiers), with 2 Marsh Harriers also being noted. The adult and juvenile Egyptian Goose still remain and a female Shelduck was around all weekend. Other bits of note include a Woodcock flushed from a ditch east of the A1 Pits and 15+ Corn Buntings were among good numbers of Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings which are again making use of the stubble/weedy fields east of A1 North Pit. Finally, 6 Siskins feeding briefly in Alders at Boughton Lodge Farm on Saturday morning (with the odd single noted passing overhead too) and at least 3 separate Chiffchaffs were noted.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Short-eared Owl seen several times today, also Barn Owl, Peregrine, male and female Ruddy Duck, Green Sandpiper, Redshank and 4 Dunlin.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Drake Ruddy Duck at north end of complex, also Little Egret, adult and juvenile Egyptian Goose still, 6 Dunlin & a single Snipe. 2 Cetti's Warblers singing around Meadow Trail in morning, plus 4 Lesser Redpolls in trees at the start of the Heron Trail and groups of Siskin over during the morning totalling 23 birds.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Drake Goosander on Island Pit late afternoon. 20+ Goldeneye around southern end of complex, plus small group of Redpoll over (heard only). Kingfisher along the river at Washout Pit.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Single male with 2 female Mandarins in front of the Kingfisher hide briefly in morning. Also today a metal ringed adult Yellow-legged Gull, 5-6 probable Grey Partridges seen briefly in flight, Curlew, Redshank, 2 Snipe, Mistle Thrush, Grey Wagtail & a group of 25 Meadow Pipits. Weasel seen near A1 South Pit.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Adult (probably female) Caspian Gull late afternoon, plus male and female Pintail, 2 female Goldeneye, 2 Little Egrets, 5 Redshank, Dunlin, 2 Green Sandpipers, 2 Kingfishers, c.20 Skylarks, 12+ Meadow Pipits, c.15 Fieldfare and a single Siskin over. Still a good number of Common Darters and 2 Peacock butterflies enjoying the late autumn sunshine.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Today's highlights:

Adult and juvenile Egyptian Goose still, 250+ Golden Plover over, Green Sandpiper, Snipe, Red Kite, adult male Sparrowhawk around Great Meadow, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls, 2 Grey Wagtails, Rock Pipit, Brambling, plus 2 Siskins and 2 Redpolls over. Also 2 Otters briefly from Kingfisher hide at 09:20.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Cetti's Warbler singing from the reedbed at Washout Pit, plus 10 Golden Plover south over Island Pit; also 2 Yellow-legged Gulls, Little Egret and Snipe. Small Copper and Common Darter noted around Island Pit.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Adult Mediterranean Gull, plus the adult Caspian Gull both around again today. Otherwise fairly quiet, with Little Egret, 9 Golden Plover, c.600 Lapwing, Green Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, Chiffchaff, Grey Wagtail and 3 flyover Siskins being the only other noteable birds. Butterflies and Dragonflies just hanging on with singles each of Peacock and Common Darter noted when the sun came out.
















Mediterranean Gull (with Black-headed Gull), Paxton Pits.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

c.200 Teal, Little Egret, 3 Yellow-legged Gulls, Ruff, 2 Sparrowhawks, 3 Buzzards & 2 Redpolls (flew south). Still a handful of Common Darters.

Monday, 21 October 2013

An eared Owl sp. seen briefly in flight this morning before disappearing behind a hedge at Island Pit and not seen subsequently. Also 2w Caspian Gull (different to yesterday's bird), female Goldeneye, Ruff & Greenshank still, 4 Golden Plover, 6 Snipe, Little Egret, Barn Owl, 56 Meadow Pipits, Grey Wagtail and several Redwing.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Highlights today were 2 Caspian Gulls (an adult-type and a 2nd winter), 4+ Yellow-legged Gulls, female-type Marsh Harrier flying south along the river mid morning, single Rock Pipit, Ruff still, Greenshank, Ringed Plover (flew south), 7 Siskins and a single Redpoll over, plus a Mistle Thrush and 5 Fieldfare. Small groups of Redwing and the odd Skylark noted passing over throughout the day. Several Common Darters and 2 Peacock Butterflies still on the wing.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Adult Mediterranean Gull amongst several hundred pre-roosting Black-headed Gulls this evening. Also Rock Pipit, Ruff, 3 Snipe and a male and female Pintail.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

2 Green Sandpipers flew over the conservation area between the two hides along the Heron Trail early this morning. Also 2 male Blackcaps along hedgerow by the arable fields. Chiffchaff half-heartidly singing near to education centre.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

1-2 Rock Pipits this morning, plus Garganey still, Peregrine, Red Kite, Water Rail (heard calling), single Black-tailed Godwit, Green Sand and Dunlin and 3+ Yellow-legged Gulls. Still small numbers of Swallows passing through southwards and a few Blackcaps & Chiffchaffs still around. Grass Snake seen on the Heron Trail.

Insects included Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters in good numbers, plus Comma, Small Copper and Peacock Butterflies enjoying the warm sunshine. Several Vapourer Moths noted also.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Highlights today were 2 juvenile Little Stints fairly early on this morning, plus Garganey, 3 Rock Pipits and a 2cy Caspian Gull. Single Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Greenshank, Redshank, 2 Green Sandpipers, the first Goldeneye of the winter, 4 Pintail, Egyptian Goose, Yellow Wagtail and a small group of southbound Swallows made up the supporting cast.

Still plenty of Common Darters and smaller numbers of Migrant Hawkers on the wing, plus 2 Common Blue Damselflies. Several Comma's and a Common Blue butterfly also.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Highlight today was a single RAVEN mid morning seen over the north end of the pit complex sparring with a Common Buzzard and then a Sparrowhawk, before it was slowly lost from view distantly to the north-west. Also this morning were 4 Ruff briefly, 4 Dunlin, Turnstone through, 4 Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Greenshank, Red Kite, Peregrine and Hobby. 6 Buzzards were circling together over the visitors' centre around midday.

(Meanwhile, nearby Grafham Water today claimed a mega seabird in the form of a SOOTY SHEARWATER, which showed well all afternoon off the dam.)

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Single Curlew Sandpiper through NE late afternoon today. Otherwise fairly quiet, with 6 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Hobby, Marsh Harrier & singing Cetti's Warbler all of note. Plenty of Butterfly activity around the complex, including 1+ Clouded Yellow.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

2 RAVENS seen again today over north end of complex at c.16:00. Also PECTORAL SANDPIPER still, 2 Turnstones (flew north), 8+ Dunlin, Golden Plover over, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Juv/1st winter and probable adult Caspian Gull, Wheatear and several hundred hirundines around again, occasionally attracting the attention of two Hobbies.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Waders

PECTORAL SANDPIPER still present today, although distant and very elusive. Also present were 4 Ruff, single Turnstone, 2 Dunlin, Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpipers, c.10 Snipe and c.450 Lapwing. The adult Caspian Gull was seen again this afternoon, plus a juvenile Red Kite and c.100 Swallows this evening.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Pumphouse Pit: juvenile PEC SAND again this morning, although very elusive most of the time (despite the pictures below suggesting otherwise!). Also 3cy Caspian Gull, 4 Ruff, Dunlin, 6 Greenshank, c.30 Yellow Wagtails & a Whinchat.

[Instructions for viewing as per yesterday. Please avoid entering the private quarry areas.]


























Above Pectoral Sandpiper & below Whinchat, Pumphouse Pit.






Sunday, 8 September 2013

Pumphouse Pit: juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER along bund, although often elusive. The bund is viewable from the public right of way viewpoint at the NW end of Pumphouse Pit, grid ref: TL206663. Also juvenile Caspian Gull, 2-3 Ruff, Dunlin, Green Sandpiper, Curlew (flew west) and Egyptian Goose family, plus a single late Swift with 200+ hirundines. Grey Wagtail and 3 Meadow Pipits flew over in morning.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Island Pit: 3 Little Egrets, Green Sandpiper, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, Garden Warbler, Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler.

Heronry North: Marsh Harrier over.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Little Paxton village: Grey Wagtail flew over NW end of village in evening.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Boughton Lodge Farm: Wheatear along farm track on west side of Farm early afternoon, plus two Barnacle Geese flew north; Red Underwing moth on edge of wood at north end of farm.

Island Pit: Little Egret and Green Sandpiper on mud in SW corner of pit.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Heronry North: 2 RAVENS over NW end of pit at c.10:05, before heading off strongly NW calling.

Boughton Lodge Farm: Spotted Flycatcher with Tit and Warbler flock nr kissing gate at south end of cowfields.

Island Pit: Red Kite over in afternoon, also Green Sandpiper.


















Spotted Flycatcher at Boughton Lodge Farm.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Diddington Pit: juvenile RED-BACKED SHRIKE on far west side of pit along hedgerow just SE of Diddington village and viewable from the public footpath. Also juvenile Whinchat, Lesser Whitethroat and several Common Whitethroats in the same hedgerow.

Boughton Lodge Farm: female-type Mandarin flew south along brook mid morning and a Small Heath butterfly was around the southern end of the cowfields.























Red-backed Shrike, Diddington Pit.

Friday, 23 August 2013

LATEST SIGHTINGS:

Heron Trail:
(birds)
cormorant
swallow
house martin
sand martin
willow warbler
garden warbler
song thrush
green woodpecker
buzzard
whitethroat
turtle dove
heron
pochard
tufted duck
mallard
great crested grebe
common tern
black headed gull
greylag goose
canada goose
(butterflies)
small copper
meadow brown
clouded yellow
small white
brimstone
(dragonflies & damsel flies)
emperor
brown hawker
common damselfly
azure
red-eyed
(reptiles & amphibians)
great crested newt (VC pond)
smooth newt
common toad
common frog
common lizard

Meadow Trail:
(birds)
great crested grebe
whitethroat
sparrowhawk
reed bunting
house sparrow
wren
dunnock
shovelor
tufted duck
greater spotted woodpecker
green woodpecker
kingfisher

Stirtloe Lane Footpath or Ouse Valley Way, looking over the Northern lakes:
23/8/13 - (Records from JW & MD)
(ask for directions/maps in Visitor Centre)
egyptian goose - pair + 4 young
barnacle geese 2
common sandpiper
green sandpiper
curlew
little egret
marsh harrier (2 F imm)
red kite
buzzard
sparrowhawk
hobby
caspian gull
yellow wagtail
snipe

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Little Paxton village: 15+ Yellow Wagtails flew south in evening, also Green Sandpiper over.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Island Pit: Green Sandpiper feeding on mud in SW corner, Nightingale calling continuously and showing briefly at southern shore of pit, plus Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Reed Warbler Chiffchaff and Willow Warblers with a few roaming Tit flocks. Also Painted Lady and Brown Argos at southern end of Pit.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Island Pit: 2 Whimbrel flew south just before dusk this evening, also Greenshank flew south mid evening and a single Hobby hawking insects.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Meadow Trail: Hobby north over Cloudy Pit and an escaped white Budgerigar flew north over the meadow mid afternoon (and later seen over the northern pits)! Also Clouded Border moth near Rudd Pit.

Weedy Pit: Turtle Dove flew over.

Heronry South: 8 Pochards.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Heronry South: pair of Turtle Doves in courtship on wires near education centre, plus Kingfisher near the new wildlife pond. Little Egret flew south.

Boughton Lodge Farm: Hobby, 2 broods of Tufted Ducks, 3+ Oystercatchers.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Water soldier & dragons...

It is a brilliant time of year to view Odonata species at Paxton Pits:

Dragonflies:
Norfolk Hawker
brown hawker
emperor
black-tailed skimmer
hairy dragonfly

Damselflies:
red eye
azure
common blue
blue tail
banded damoiselle

Bird Sightings: (highlights)
goshawk (pair flying over Rudd lake)
nightingale (2 late singing males)

Meadow Trail:
Meadow is still very good for orchids and there are bee orchards at the back of Le Farge.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Meadow Trail: Cuckoo singing on east side of Cloudy Pit; Cetti's Warbler singing on Hayling Pit, plus at least 1 Norfolk Hawker patrolling Soldier Weed on Hayling also.

Island Pit: 3 Hobbies hawking insects over northern end of pit, plus singing Cetti's Warbler.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Hayling Pit: Norfolk Hawker showing around Soldier Weed again today. See an excellent photo by Matthew Rodgers, here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aves-and-more/9119214710/in/set-72157625164915244/

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Meadow Trail: Cetti's Warbler singing along east side of Hayling Pit. Lots of Common Spotted Orchids along the meadow (with a particular abundance around the area just before the steps that lead to Hayling Pit & allotments).

Sailing Lake: Hobby over.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Hayling Pit: 4 Norfolk Hawker dragonflies viewable this morning from fishing peg at NW end of pit.

Rudd Pit: singing Cetti's Warbler, plus Cuckoo singing around Meadow Trail.

Heron Trail: 2 Nightingales singing still this evening, plus 1-2 Cuckoo's singing also.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Heron Trail: juvenile Coal Tit (reasonably scarce on the reserve) trapped and ringed in the sanctuary area this morning. Still 3 Nightingales singing around the trail.

Island Pit: Cetti's Warbler singing still on west side of pit, plus Cuckoo singing along river adjacent to Island Pit. 2 Hobbies in a brief grapple at height over the pit this afternoon, before one bird flew off north with the other heading off in the opposite direction.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Fledge fledge fledge

The trails and paths are generally good; however the Meadow Trail, near the allotments still has a deep muddy puddle).

reed bunting, great tit, blue tit, chiffchaff are some of the fledglings you can see...

***Norfolk Hawker is on site***

nightingales are calling along Heron Trail with sightings almost daily. 

garden warbler, blackcap, whitethroats, lesser whitethroats, willow warblers, chiffchaff, reed warbler and sedge warbler, cetti's warbler, grasshopper warbler and spotted flycatcher are on site.

hobbies are hunting on Heronry Lake and the meadows.

turtle doves have bred on the Ouse Valley Way

1 male red crested pochard on sailing lake

treecreeper have bred in Rory's Wood and on Riverside

Pair of Goldcrests with recently fledged young around Wray House Garden today.

kingfisher are still feeding young viewed from Public Footpath to Diddington; also you will get great views of the sand martin colony
common tern are often seen carrying food in flight across the reserve

cuckoos are still very flighty on the hunt for caterpillars 


red kite are a regular site now soaring over the reserve


 
Thousands of dragonfly and damselflies are now out and can be seen all across the reserve. Click on the link below to view what species you can see.http://www.paxton-pits.org.uk/dragonflight.htm


It is always worth walking the public footpaths around the reserve (maps can be obtained from the Visitor Centre). From Stirtloe Lane (off Ouse Valley Way) you can watch the latter stages of tern and wader passage and you never know what you might see.


A little tern was spotted recently...




Heavy Works Vehicles are using the Haul Road to and from the Gravel Pit so please stick to the paths and take care.


Please call us with any sightings on tel: 01480 406 795 or pop into the centre and write them into our sightings book. All sightings are useful for monitoring the site.

What is life like for the Ranger of Paxton Pits? Jim Stevenson keeps you up to date on his own blog, the inside-track on life in charge of cows, sheep, birds and volunteers.

Join The Friends and you will be helping to make Paxton Pits Nature Reserve a better place for wildlife and people, for now and the future.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Boughton Lodge Farm/Island Pit: Spotted Flycatcher commuting between the small wooded area south of the farm and the SW end of Island Pit mid morning. 3 Banded Demoiselles along east side of Island Pit.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Visitors' Centre: 3 Hobbies together above the car park early afternoon.

Heron Trail: drake Red-crested Pochard, Kingfisher, juvenile Mistle Thrush & 3 singing Nightingales.

Meadow Trail: Lots of young birds around the trail, including a Long-tailed Tit family, recently fledged Robins and Dunnocks, plus Great Spotted Woodpeckers still busy feeding noisy young at their nest by the river (south of Cloudy Pit). Kingfisher at Rudd Pit & Cuckoo singing near the Great Meadow.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Damselflies on the run...

At last some warm and sunny conditions have engulfed Paxton Pits Nature Reserve.

The trails and paths remain wet with some wet muddy areas (but are drying out); walking boots or wellies are recommended for long walks (especially around the moorings on Heron Trail; the paths around Sailing Lake; and Meadow Trail is wet and muddy).

Nightingale and a variety of warblers are in full voice.

The best place of the day to hear Nightingale is around Kingfisher Hide Triangle...

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DAY (so far): spotted flycatcher around Kingfisher Hide...

...and hobbies are hunting with vengeance over the Heronry Lakes with great views of hobby catching damselfly on the wing from the hides

...turtle doves are calling along the Ouse Valley Way

...adult greater spotted woodpecker are feeding noisy chicks on the Meadow Trail near Riverside


...there has been a mass emergence of caddis fly and damsel fly sp.


...female redpoll on Ouse Valley Walk? Out of sync with the seasons...

...red crested pochard on sailing lake

...red kite and common buzzard soaring over the reserve  

It is always worth walking the public footpaths around the reserve (maps can be obtained from the Visitor Centre). From Stirtloe Lane (off Ouse Valley Way) you can watch the latter stages of tern and wader passage and you never know what you might see...

Heavy Works Vehicles are using the Haul Road to and from the Gravel Pit so please stick to the paths and take care.

Please call us with any sightings on tel: 01480 406 795 or pop into the centre and write them into our sightings book.


What is life like for the Ranger of Paxton Pits? Jim Stevenson keeps you up to date on his own blog, the inside-track on life in charge of cows, sheep, birds and volunteers.
http://www.paxton-pits.org.uk/ranger.htm

Join The Friends and you will be helping to make Paxton Pits Nature Reserve a better place for wildlife and people, for now and the future.
http://www.paxton-pits.org.uk/friendsjoin.htm

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Kite patrol...

It is another cool, overcast day at Paxton Pits Nature Reserve.

The trails are wet with some wet muddy areas; therefore walking boots or wellies for long walks will be required. (especially around the mooring on Heron Trail and paths around Sailing Lake).


This cold spell has meant a slow start to the morning... however an otter was seen from Kingfisher Hide at 10.00am.

Nightingales and garden warblers only started singing late morning and this was similar for willow warbler, blackcap and chiffchaff. There are 2 chiffchaff nests on the Heron Trail, Haul Road and adults can be seen carrying insects. From the triangle before Kingfisher Hide path you can see the goldcrest nest.

Conditions and sightings are very much like yesterday...

HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY (so far): 2 red kites over the Great Meadow. 

We are still waiting for Martin and Jamie to find us something rare however sightings of these two top twitchers is some what of a rarity at the moment... must be the cold conditions...

It is always worth walking the public footpaths around the reserve (maps can be obtained from the Visitor Centre). From Stirtloe Lane (off Ouse Valley Way) you can watch the latter stages of tern and wader passage.

Heavy Works Vehicles are using the Haul Road to and from the Gravel Pit so please stick to the paths and take care.

Please call us with any sightings on tel: 01480 406 795 or pop into the centre and write them into our sightings book.

What is life like for the Ranger of Paxton Pits? Jim Stevenson keeps you up to date on his own blog, the inside-track on life in charge of cows, sheep, birds and volunteers.
http://www.paxton-pits.org.uk/ranger.htm


Join The Friends and you will be helping to make Paxton Pits Nature Reserve a better place for wildlife and people, for now and the future.
http://www.paxton-pits.org.uk/friendsjoin.htm

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Paxton Air Show... don't be put off by RAIN!!!

It remains cool, overcast with occasional showers at Paxton Pits Nature Reserve.

The trails are wet with some wet muddy areas; therefore walking boots or wellies for long walks will be required.

Despite the weather there is always something special to watch...

Common terns, black headed gulls, swifts and martins are performing some mesmerising aerial manoeuvres fly catching and this spectacle can be viewed from the Hayden and Kingfisher Hides.

Nightingales, garden warblers, whitethroats and lesser whitethroats continue to reverberate along the trails.

Kingfishers are very active and viewable with patience... 

Look at the young cormorants, which are developing quickly... 

Cuckoos are quite flighty at the moment and can be seen in flight almost daily...

Heron Trail:
4 (singing) Nightingales, 3 garden warblers, 2 goldcrest, 1 cuckoo, swift, house and sand martin and swallows over Heronry North & South , lesser whitethroat (in brambles at start of trail), whitethroats (at least 5 along trail this morning), common tern, black headed gull, great crested grebes, kingfisher

Meadow Trail:
Cetti's warbler singing, (dozens of) swift, 1 (singing nightingale), lesser whitethroats (in meadow scrub), whitethroats (in meadow), blackcap, garden warbler, kingfisher (pair by riverside)

Sailing Lake:
Common tern, oystercatcher (2 juvs), black headed gulls, greylag goose (with 3 goslings), 4 lesser black back gull

Ouse Valley Way: (first 0.5km N off reserve)
Turtle doves, sedge warblers, reed warblers, whitethroats, lesser whitethroats, blackcap, kingfisher, bullfinch, reed bunting

It is always worth walking the public footpaths around the reserve (maps can be obtained from the Visitor Centre). From Stirtloe Lane (off Ouse Valley Way) you can watch the latter stages of tern and wader passage.

Please call us with any sightings on tel: 01480 406 795 or pop into the centre and write them into our sightings book.

What is life like for the Ranger of Paxton Pits? Jim Stevenson keeps you up to date on his own blog, the inside-track on life in charge of cows, sheep, birds and volunteers.
http://www.paxton-pits.org.uk/ranger.htm


Join The Friends and you will be helping to make Paxton Pits Nature Reserve a better place for wildlife and people, for now and the future.
http://www.paxton-pits.org.uk/friendsjoin.htm

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Aerial acrobats

It has been cool, overcast again, with occasional showers at Paxton Pits Nature Reserve.

The trails remain dry with some wet muddy areas.

Hobbies are hunting over the Heronary Lakes performing some spectacular aerial acrobatics...

Heron Trail:
6 (singing nightingales), 6 garden warblers, 2 goldcrest, 3 red crested pochard, 1 cuckoo, 2 hobby, house  martin and swallows over Heronary North & South (sand martins numbers are low today), lesser whitethroat (in brambles at start of trail), whitethroats (at least 8 along trail this morning)

Meadow Trail:
2 bullfinch, 1 cetti's singing, (dozens of) swift, 1 (singing nightingale), lesser whitethroat (in meadow scrub), whitethroat (in meadow), blackcap, garden warbler, kingfisher (pair by riverside), 2 common buzzard, swifts hunting over meadows

Sailing Lake:
20 (sitting) common tern, 4 oystercatcher (pair with 2 juvs), greylag goose (with 3 goslings), 4 lesser black back gull

Ouse Valley Way: (first 0.5km N off reserve)
2 turtle doves, 3 sedge warblers, 1 reed warbler, 11 whitethroat, 3 lesser whitehroat, 2 blackcap, kingfisher1, 1 bullfinch (calling), 5 reed bunting

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS:
1 red kite flying over A1 N (good views on Diddington Public footpath)

OUSE VALLEY WAY NORTH (STIRTLOE FOOTPATH)
1 turnstone, 1 dunlin, 1 whimbrel, 1 little ringed plover, 1 ringed plover 

It is well worth walking the public footpaths around the reserve (maps can be obtained from the Visitor Centre). From Stirtloe Lane (off Ouse Valley Way) you can watch the latter stages of tern and wader passage.

Please call us with any sightings on tel: 01480 406 795 or pop into the centre and write them into our sightings book.






















This summer plumage Turnstone showed very well at times today.

 

Monday, 20 May 2013

Warble warbletastic!!!!

It is a dull, muggy overcast day at Paxton Pits Nature Reserve.

The trails are mainly dry with some wet muddy areas.

Nightingales and especially garden warbler are very vocal this morning along Heron Trail.

Heron Trail:
5 (singing nightingales), 6 garden warblers, 2 goldcrest, red crested pochard (male on Heronary North), 2 cuckoo, 2 hobby, house and sand martins and swallows over Heronary North & South, marsh harrier (male) over Washout Pit, lesser whitethroat (in brambles at start of trail), whitethroats (at least 8 along trail this morning)

Meadow Trail:
4 bullfinch (2 pairs), 1 cetti's singing, (dozens of) swift, 1 (singing nightingale), lesser whitethroat (in meadow scrub), whitethroat (in meadow), blackcap, garden warbler, kingfisher (pair by riverside)

Sailing Lake:
20 (sitting) common tern, 4 oystercatcher (pair with 2 juvs), greylag goose (with 3 goslings), 4 lesser black back gull

Ouse Valley Way: (first 0.5km N off reserve)
2 turtle doves, 3 sedge warblers, 1 reed warbler, 11 whitethroat, 3 lesser whitehroat, 2 blackcap, kingfisher1, 1 bullfinch (calling), 5 reed bunting

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS:
1 red kite flying over A1 N (good views on Diddington footpath); plenty of butterfly species inc. orange tip, speckled wood, holly blue, small tortoise shell, large white, small white, brimstone, peacock, comma; hornet moth on meadow trail, bee fly (throughout reserve); banded demoiselle and common blue damsel flies; wood mouse in hawthorns opp. Hayden Hide; grass snake (near sailing lake), treecreepers in Rory's Wood

WADER PASSAGE:
It is well worth walking the public footpaths around the reserve (maps can be obtained from the Visitor Centre). From Stirtloe Lane (off Ouse Valley Way) you can sit and watch the latter stages of tern and wader passage.

POSSIBLE: 1st record for county of Hymenoptera sp. sphecodes spinulosa (awaiting confirmation)

Please call us with any sightings on tel: 01480 406 795 or pop into the centre and write them into our sightings book.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Cloudy Pit: 4 Little Egrets flew over.

Great Meadow: pair of Grey Partridges, Hobby.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Boughton Lodge Farm: Little Ringed Plover around the excavated quarry area.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Great Meadow: Red Kite, 4+ Buzzards, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel.

Visitors' Centre: Cuckoo singing.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

A1 North Pit: male Whinchat on east side of pit around field with young willows (just west of main quarry workings). Female Marsh Harrier flew east in evening. Also Turtle Dove flew low east towards Heronry North, plus Garden Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat singing.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Visitors' Centre area: 2 Garden Warblers and 2 Lesser Whitethroats around the mound by Fishermans' carpark.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Island Pit: female Marsh Harrier flew north in evening. Also Cetti's Warbler still, Garden Warbler and c.12 Swifts.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

A1 North Pit: adult Mediterranean Gull flew over calling.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Island Pit: male Whinchat in NW corner of pit, plus Cetti's Warbler singing.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Heron Trail: male Pochard on Heronry South and female Goldeneye on Heronry North.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Great Meadow: female Marsh Harrier flew NNE at c.08:05. Also Sparrowhawk and Cuckoo singing.

Visitors' Centre: Kingfisher flew through car park, 'Black' Squirrel on feeders.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Great Meadow: male Cuckoo & Barn Owl this morning, plus 3 Sparrowhawks.

Monday, 22 April 2013


Washout Pit: Garden Warbler singing.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Island Pit: 2 summer-plumaged BLACK-NECKED GREBES. Also Arctic Tern, singing Reed Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat.







 














Black-necked Grebes, Island Pit.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Heronry South/Great Meadow: WOODLARK again in same area early morning, but not again afterwards. LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER again around basin area early morning, then headed off towards Haul Road. 3+ Goldeneye still. 2 singing Cuckoos. 12 Nightingales noted around reserve, including this colour-ringed individual (below):
























A1 North Pit: Lesser Whitethroat singing.

Visitors' Centre: Lesser Whitethroat singing near mound at Fisherman's car park. Also Grasshopper Warbler singing nearby.

Boughton Lodge Farm: Green Sandpiper and Kingfisher, Lesser Whitethroat.

Meadow Trail: Little Egret flew over heading towards Hayling Pit.

Friday, 19 April 2013


Heronry South: male LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER in dead tree, just beyond the Education Centre at c.10:30, then flew towards Haul Road.

Great Meadow/Heronry South: male WOODLARK showing well throughout day favouring mossy ground behind basin area (at north western end of Great Meadow), often nearby to track. Also Osprey flew north above river.




Woodlark, Paxton Pits.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Island Pit: 2 Swifts.

Hayling Pit: House Martin.

Ouse Valley Way: male and female REDSTART reported.

Washout Pit: Water Rail.

Little Paxton village: female REDSTART flew across road near Mass Consultants offices.

Monday, 15 April 2013

A1 North Pit: male RING OUZEL late morning along northernmost track on east side of pit.

Island Pit: male REDSTART at south east end of pit throughout day. Also Whitethroat.

Heronry Trail: 3 singing Nightingales (1 Wray House Garden, 1 Rory's Wood, 1 Fisherman's car park), Whitethroat.

Sailing Lake: Grasshopper Warbler briefly flitting through undergrowth in NW corner of lake, plus Water Rail. Nightingale singing on west side.

Visitors' Centre: 6 Lesser Redpolls still around feeders.


Male Redstart, Island Pit.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Meadow Trail: 4+ singing Chiffchaffs, singing Cetti's Warbler, 8 Lesser Redpolls.

Great Meadow: Yellow Wagtail flew north, singing Blackcap and c.12 Redwings.

Heronry Pits: 4 Goldeneye on Heronry North, 3 singing Chiffchaffs, plus singing Goldcrest.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Sailing Lake: Swallow flew NW in evening.

Little Paxton village: 11 WAXWINGS still around junction of Ramply Close and Park Drive today.

















One of the Waxwings from the small flock currently around Ramply Close, Little Paxton © Steve Murtagh.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Hayling Pit: Water Rail calling, plus Cetti's Warbler singing in evening.

Little Paxton village: 11 WAXWINGS in trees on the corner of Ramply Close/Park Side and seen feeding on Rosehips.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Meadow trail: c.25 Redwings flew low NE just prior to dusk.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Cloudy Pit: Water Rail showing well at north end of pit in evening.

Hayling Pit: Cetti's Warbler heard, also Chiffchaff singing.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Great Meadow: 2 Little Egrets flew north, 7 Redwing feeding in scrubby area behind basin, 2 Chiffchaffs singing.

Visitors' Centre: c.25 Redpolls around this morning.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Heron Trail: juvenile Whooper Swan over.

Meadow trail: Cetti's Warbler, Chiffchaff, plus Sand Martin over the Visitors' Centre.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Heronry South: male and female Smew; 4 Chiffchaffs.

Island Pit: redhead Smew and 3 Goosander, 1+ Chiffchaff.

Hayling Pit: Willow Warbler.

Boughton Lodge Farm: Green Sandpiper, small numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare.

Moorings: Green Sandpiper flew south; pair of Shelduck on flooded field on opposite side of river.

Sailing Lake: female Brambling.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Little Paxton village: 8 WAXWINGS in garden at Ramply Close.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

A1 North Pit: female Scaup still.

Boughton Lodge Farm Pit: Green Sandpiper

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

A1 North Pit: male and female Scaup still.
Heronry South: drake and 2 redhead Smew, plus Nuthatch reported on the Education Centre feeders.

Visitors' Centre: 12+ Lesser Redpolls still.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Great Meadow: 2 Grey Partridges.

Ouse Valley Way: 6 Snipe in field on opposite side of the river (at south end of reserve).

Little Paxton village: female Blackcap still in Gordon Road garden. Buzzard over and 4+ Fieldfare at west end of village.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

A1 South Pit: female Brambling again with c.30 Chaffinches in hedgerow by stubble fields. Also 200+ Linnets, plus good numbers of Yellowhammer, Reed Buntings and Skylarks.

A1 North Pit: male and female Scaup still.

Visitors' Centre: 14 Lesser Redpolls around feeding station. Also c.12 Redwings from VC.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Heronry South: drake and redhead Smew.

Sailing Lake: pair of Oystercatchers.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Haul Road: female Brambling with c.40 Chaffinches around fields west of the Haul Road by Southoe Brook. Also Snipe and 2 Oystercatchers over.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Visitors' Centre: 12+ Lesser Redpolls still visiting niger feeder this morning.

Sailing Lake: pair of Oystercatchers still.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Little Paxton village: female Blackcap visiting Gordon Road garden this morning.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

A1 North Pit: female Scaup still, plus Grey Wagtail over.

Island Pit: A single followed (shortly afterwards) by a further 13 DARK-BELLIED BRENT GEESE through NE mid morning. Also redhead Smew, 6 Goosander (inc. 2 drakes) and a Woodcock flushed from SW corner of pit.

Visitors' Centre: c.10 Lesser Redpolls still visiting niger feeder.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Meadow and Visitor Centre: Buzzard over, Lesser Redpoll on feeders.

Ouse Valley Way: Goosander flew along river.

Sailing Lake: Oystercatcher.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Sailing Lake: 3 DARK-BELLIED BRENT GEESE feeding on islands late afternoon, then flew SE towards meadow (and subsequently picked up flying over Broom GP's in Bedfordshire). Also 3 Oystercatchers and a pair of Lapwing.

Heron Trail: 2 Marsh Tits, 7 Redpolls.

River viewpoint: 3 drake Goosander briefly, then flew off.




















Dark-bellied Brent Geese at Sailing Lake.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Visitor Centre: 8+ Lesser Redpolls coming to niger feeder, plus 3 Siskins over.

Lesser Redpoll by the visitors' centre.

Friday, 1 March 2013

A1 North Pit: 1st winter male and the female Scaup still today.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Sailing Lake: pair of Oystercatchers this afternoon.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Little Paxton village: wild Swan sp. (probably Whooper Swan) heard calling over east end of village at 9pm!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

A1 North Pit: 1st winter male and female Scaup at north end of pit.

Heronry North Pit: 3 Goosander (1 drake).

Island Pit: male and female Smew briefly.


1st winter drake and female Scaup (with female Tufted Duck), A1 North Pit.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Sailing Lake: pair Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Siskin.

Visitor Centre: 2 Lesser Redpolls still visiting niger feeder, but no sign of Mealy Redpoll.






















Lesser Redpolls at niger seed feeder by the visitor centre.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Visitors' Centre: single MEALY and 2 Lesser Redpolls visiting niger seed feeder early afternoon.

Island Pit: drake Smew.

Sailing Lake: c.20 Siskins in Alder trees around lake.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Boughton Lodge Farm: 10 Siskins in wood at north end of farm. Also Buzzard over and 75 Fieldfare in Oak tree.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Heronry Pits: 5 Goosander (3 drakes) on Heronry North and a Pochard x Tufted Duck hybrid on Heronry South. Marsh Tit calling at Wray House Garden.



Drake Pochard x Tufted Duck hybrid on Heronry South Pit.