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)