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)
                 Hobby
                 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)

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.

Monday, 13 March 2017

11th March 2017

South Heronry Lake: 3 Goldeneye (1f 2m), Marsh tit, 4 Scaup (1f 3m)
Moorings: Goosander (m)

Farmland (SE): Red Kite (Eduardo Lopez Salas)
Marsh tit (Phil PK Smith)
 

Friday, 10 March 2017

10th March 2017

Great grey shrike  at the moorings today, photographed by Phil (PK) Smith. It flew over the river towards Great Paxton. This is not a first sighting for Paxton Pits, but extremely unusual. There are at least two others in the county.
Great grey shrike. (Phil PK Smith)

Sunday, 5 March 2017

28th February 2017

Heronry South: Post 17, possible ring-billed gull. These American birds are hard to tell from common gulls but not impossible. Keep looking! (C Bailey)
Ring billed gull, New Hampshire (Jim Stevenson)

26th February 2017

Heronry Lakes: 12 shovellers in a "feeding wheel." 36 cormorant nests occupied. It looks like some have been wrecked by storm Doris. (Trevor Gunton)

Shovellers by Phil (PK) Smith.


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

21st February 2017

Woodcock flew out of scrub on Heronry South. 2 Marsh Tits at the Hayden Hide (one ringed).
At least 30 occupied cormorant nests and at least four herons nesting. Song Thrushes singing. (Trevor and Veronica Gunton)
Cormorants have been nesting since Christmas.

19th February 2017

Archive photo by Stuart Elsom
Bittern at Washout Pit plus Cetti's warbler, 2 water rails and 5 goosanders. (G.R)

82 Gadwall, 76 Widgeon, 46 Pochard, 105 B.h.gulls, 2 Oystercatchers, 50 Linnets, 2 Kingfishers, 32 Goldeneyes, 4 Goosanders, 205 Tufted Ducks, 3 Buzzards, 6 Shovellers, 2 Teal, Jay, Redwing, Wren and Songthrush. (RD and MS)

Friday, 17 February 2017

17th February

Rudd Pit: over 50 coots today, which is unusual. (Trevor Gunton)
Heronry Lakes: Excellent views of nesting cormorants and herons at the moment.
Coot. Note the bare white skin and the red eyes. 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

15th February 2017

A pair of Goosanders by Phil (PK) Smith.
The Heronry Lakes and Heron Trail produced 3 Egyptian Geese, wigeon, tufted ducks, shovellers, pochards, a red kite, buzzard and a goldcrest plus 22 regular species. Goosanders showed well on the river and the Heronry Lakes, including a vivid pink drake. (T. Simmonds).

We have not had many otter sightings lately but you may find a few spraints if you look carefully. This one was at the River Viewpoint on a fallen tree that bridges Southoe Brook.
Otter spraint made of fish bones and scales (Jim Stevenson).

February 14th 2017

Trevor Gunton saw our regular marsh tit at the feeders by the Hayden Hide and heard several song thrushes singing.
On the islands in the Sailing Lake there were 2 oystercatchers and four lapwings.
Marsh tit by Phil (PK) Smith

February 13th 2017

A brown hare was reported at the weekend but no location given. We don't see them very often.
Pochard drake (they are nearly all drakes) by Jim Stevenson,
Birds: tree-creeper, goosander, bullfinches, buzzard, kestrel, red kite, grey wagtail, all from the Heron Trail. Pochards and goldeneyes have returned as water level is up.
Linnet by Phil (PK) Smith.
On the arable fields near the quarry, just after you cross Southoe Brook, there is a huge flock of linnets. Trevor Gunton estimates 250+. Its worth looking for other finches and buntings there.

Friday, 3 February 2017

February 2nd and 4th 2017

2/2/17 BITTERN flew over car park. (R Donson.)
4/2/17 Buzzard over meadow plus shovelers and coots on the Hayling Pit.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

January 19th to 30th 2017

19/1/17 Third Thursday Walk 41 spp. including green sandpipers and goosanders.
24/1/17 Goldcrest by allotments (D Payne).
24/1/17 Weasel under boardwalk. (D Payne)
24/1/17 Grey Wagtail on Heronry South (Alan Coles)
25/1/17 Goldcrest, treecreeper, marsh tit, bullfinch near Hayden Hide (NA Whitehouse)
27/1/17 Male lesser spotted woodpecker (no details) (JD Clements)
29/1/17 Weasel crossing road by the Visitor Centre.(JMD)
30/1/17  Big Lake Birdwatch saw 40 spp including goldeneyes marsh tit and 2 green sandpipers.
Green sandpiper (taken at Grafham Water by Phil Smith.)

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Saturday 21st January 2017

For the latest bird news this weekend, keep checking the Cambridge Bird Club site. On Wednesday a Waxwing was seen in Little Paxton and 3 Short-eared Owls were in the quarry. Ian Dawson posted this amazing photo and some more on their photo page.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Catch up.

Happy New Year!
This page hasn't been updated since October as the editor has moved on to other things.
We are extremely grateful for all the years that Jamie has put in, both in the field and at the computer. For the time being Senior Ranger Jim Stevenson will try to update the page regularly from the logbook in the Visitor Centre. Please send any interesting sightings of birds and other wildlife to jim2stevenson@gmail.com

Bittern photographed by Mike Anderson Brown on December 29th at Washout Pit.