Friday, 7 December 2018

December 2018

1st-2nd 42 species seen by Trevor Gunton:
      Mallard, teal, gadwall, shoveller 70+, tufted duck, pochard x 8, goldeneye x 4,
      goosander, moorhen, mute swan, Canada goose, greylag goose, grey heron,
      great white egret, little egret, great crested grebe, sparrowhawk, red kite, great tit,
      blue tit, siskin, tree creeper, g-s woodpecker, carrion crow, jackdaw, magpie,
      wood pigeon, stockdove, collared dove, lapwing, snipe, green sandpiper x 6,
      starling, pied wagtail, grey wagtail, chaffinch, dunnock, starling, blackbird,
      redwing, fieldfare, kingfisher.

2nd  Great white egret and goosander on the Heronry Lakes. (AT)

4th  Green sandpiper x 5, gadwall x 50, teal x 72, shoveller x 43, mallard x 34,
       pintail x 5, goldeneye x 3, pochard x16, wigeon x 27, tufted duck x 143,
       female scaup, redwing x 25, moorhen x 26, common gull x 12, grey wagtail,
       lapwing x 2, b.h gull x 120, snipe, little grebe x 3. (Terry Brown)

6th  Green sandpiper x 3 squabbling, grey wagtail x 2, drake pintail
       on Heronry North. (JK)
       40 fieldfares over the visitor centre. (Colin Burgh)

7th  Redwing x 16, shoveller x 22, gadwall x 6, wigeon x 20, tufted duck x 16,
       lapwing x 4, green sandpiper x 3 all from the Hayden Hide. (JC and MB)

9th  Great white egret plus little egret on the heronry lakes. (Daisy Nevard)
       Gadwall, goldeneye and Cetti's warbler on Heronry North. (PC)

13th Raven mobbing a buzzard.

14th Bullfinch, green sandpiper, green woodpecker, g.s. woodpecker,
        goldeneye, redwing and black squirrel on the river trail. (JAS)
        Green sandpiper x 2, goldeneye x 3, red kite. (Roger Buxton)

15th Red kite (KG W)
Green woodpecker.

16th Red kite, goldcrest (PC) Green sandpiper x 4 teal, grey heron. (HS)

20th Third Thursday Walk (David Wilson):
Blackbird, bh gull, blue tit, bullfinch, crow, chaffinch, common gull, coot,
cormorant, dunnock, gadwall, goldfinch, great tit, green sandpiper, heron,
herring gull, jackdaw, kestrel, lapwing, lt tit, magpie, mallard, moorhen,
mute swan, pied wagtail, red kite, robin, rook, treecreeper, shoveller, starling,
teal, tufted duck, wigeon, wood pigeon, wren, Canada goose, goldeneye, pintail,
grey wagtail. (41 spp.)

20th Gadwall x 36, tufted duck x 163, teal x 68, shoveller x 39, pintail x 3,
        pochard x 25, wigeon x 63, green sandpiper x 5, water rail, lapwing x 166,
        bullfinch x 4, goldcrest x 2, moorhen x 27, goldeneye x 12, b-h gull x 76,
        common gull x 40. (Terry Brown)

21st BADGER crossing the river trail near back of Env Ed Centre at 11:30 am.
        (Colin B)

22nd Brown rat at Hayden Hide feeding station. (AC)
         Great white egret and two pintail  (HS and TG)

27th Robin, great tit, cormorant, grey squirrel x 2 (Phoebe, Imogen and Sophie)

29th Pintail, sparrowhawk, shoveller, tufted duck, gadwall, teal, robin,
        mute swan and great tit at the Hayden Hide. (Chloe, Jake and Sharon)

30th Mute swan x 10, shoveler x 5, gadwall x 5, mallard x 16, teal x 13,
        tufted duck x 23, pheasant x 2, woodpigeon x 6, moorhen x 14,
        green sandpiper x 5, b-h gull x 82, cormorant x 7, heron, red kite,
        magpie x 2, crow x 14, blue tit x 8, robin x 3, blackbird, dunnock,
        grey wagtail, pied wagtail, chaffinch x 2, wren, l-t tit, goldcrest. (R. Mackey)
        Goldeneye, g-c grebe on Island Pit, wigeon on Sailing Lake.

Happy New Year to all of you. This is Paxton Pits' 30th Birthday!

Saturday, 3 November 2018

November 2018

3rd  Almost all of the egrets disappeared this week. Perhaps they are at
       Grafham Water? (Actually I looked and they are not!)
       A great spotted woodpecker was seen near the river viewpoint
       along with a red kite, and redwings.

       Have you noticed the lack of rabbits? They have all but disappeared locally
       due to Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD-2). This new disease affects hares too.
       This is all bad news if you are a rabbit or a hare, but also if you are a fox, kite,
       buzzard or other predator.

       Rabbits have played a major role in habitat management here, for better or worse.
       If they disappear I think the consequences will be mixed but the effect on
       vegetation will be profound, unless they bounce back, which I believe they will.

3rd  GS Woodpecker near river.

4th  Another GS Woodpecker and a shrew at the Hayden Hide. Snipe x 2, green
Wren at the Kingfisher Hide.
       sandpiper x 4, great white egret and little egret at the kingfisher Hide.

9th  Bullfinches, common sandpiper, common gull, redwings on the Heron Trail.

14th The first goosanders of the season, in the form of four young birds on the
        Heronry Lakes.

15th Third Thursday Walk:
         Blackbird, b.h gull, blue tit, bullfinch, crow, chaffinch, cormorant, dunnock,
         gadwall, goldfinch, great tit, green sandpiper, green woodpecker, heron,
         house sparrow, jackdaw, lapwing, lesser b.b. gull, little grebe, magpie, mallard,
         moorhen, mute swan, pheasant, robin, feral pigeon, rook, collared dove, shoveler,
         teal, tufted duck, widgeon, wood pigeon, wren, Canada goose, goldeneye,
         goosander (4), grey wagtail x2. (38 spp.) Report by David Wilson.

Thursday's list from Margaret Bailey.

16th Woodcock, redwing and fieldfare in the Great Meadow. (DM McCarthy)

17th Green sandpiper, grey wagtail on Heronry South ( AT)

18th G W Egret and muntjac at the Kingfisher Hide (MH)

21st On Wednesday we had a brilliant talk about Bees from Brian Eversham. I learned an awful lot. While the audience of fifty plus was assembling, I looked out the window to see a kingfisher perched on the edge of Weedy Pit. Migrant blackbirds and redwings were feeding on berries in the car park and I was tempted to sneak out for a better look. While I wasn't looking the following happened:
"Just after arriving this afternoon I spotted the GWE landing at the back of Weedy Pit. This seemed to drive out a Bittern which led to a “Face Off” for a minute or two. I took several pictures and have attached one for you."

Derek Hale (A birder from the IOW)
Thanks Derek. Nice one!
Photo by Derek Hale
22nd Gadwall x 96, mallard x 55, Teal x 40, shoveller x 23, pochard x 5, goldeneye x 8,
         tufted duck x 142, green sandpiper x 2, snipe, buzzard, tree-creeper,
         common gull x 13, mute swan x 42, bullfinch x 4. (Terry Brown)

24th Pochard, tufted duck, gadwall, mute swan, shoveller, GW Egret. (Katharine Hall)
        Peregrine at river viewpoint, low and fast. (Jim Stevenson)
        Blue tits, dunnock, chaffinch, robin, magpie, blackbird, redwing,
        moorhen and squirrel at the VC. (Kati Page.)

25th Female Scaup from Kingfisher Hide, redwings, continental blackbirds and mixed
        finches on arable. Redhead Smew in the quarry, plus 180 Golden Plover over.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

October Sightings 2018

In the first week of October great white egrets dominate the news with at least seven on site most of the time. The dry weather remains and  there is no sign of a good north-easter that might blow us some birds. You might have noticed that the number of jays is building up rapidly across the country as they flood in from Europe in search of acorns.

The Heron Trail near the Hayden Hide.

Great white egret numbers appear to fluctuate but in reality 3 to five stay around every day and the maximum was seven.

October: Not too late for a grass snake.
1st:  Chiffchaff on Heron Trail, small copper on Meadow Trail. (PS)

2nd:  Red kite, sparrow hawk, great white egret x 5, g.s.woodpecker,
         yellowhammer, g.c.grebe. (SD)

3rd:  Hayden Hide: Great white egret x 3, little egret x x 6, heron x 6
        lapwing x 20 (AT)

4th:  Heronry Lakes: Green sandpiper, great white egret, kingfisher. (CM)

5th  Looking out of the ranger's office window I noticed thousands
       of ladybirds in the wildlife garden and swarming over the building.
       On my walk to empty the dog bin I noticed that they were all over the
       reserve and then I was told by the BBC that this is a national (and natural)
       They were all harlequin ladybirds; a recent arrival from Asia.
       The swarm was still continuing on the 11th.

Harlequin ladybird.

6th:   Visitor Centre: Black squirrel, grey squirrel, wood pigeon, great tit, blue tit,
         dunnock, robin, blackbird, collared dove, goldfinch, chaffinch, magpie, crow.

7th:   Snipe x 2, great white egret x 7, green sandpiper x 2 (+),  (PC and RCU)

8th:   Green sandpiper x 2, common snipe x 2, Great white egret x 4, little egret x 7,
         grey heron x 7, dunnock, chaffinch, great tit, blue tit, green woodpecker,
         gadwall, tufted duck, shoveller, widgeon, teal, mallard, lapwing, greylag,
         mute swan, canada goose. (BF)

Long-tailed tit.

9th:   Spotted flycatcher reported from Bill's Bench.

11th: Heronry Lakes: Great white egret x 5, little egret x 15, snipe, green sandpiper x 6,
         bullfinches, a small flock of redwings, buzzard, red kite, sparrow hawk,
         kingfisher x 3, wren. Willow emerald at Bill's Bench (Post 2), common darter,
         migrant hawker, red admiral, green veined white, speckled wood.

        Kingfisher seen fleeing from heron, green sandpiper x 4, common snipe,
buzzard x2, green woodpecker, white wagtail, great white egret, jay,
        kingfisher flew into Cobham hide briefly! Teal, shoveller, pintail! Partridge, lapwing
   ….41 spp seen..(JC+JG)
Large red underwing moth. Hayden Hide.

12th Female ruff (reeve) Hayden hide. (CB)

16th Red kite x 2, gadwallx50, widgeon x 42, teal x 80, shoveller x 34,
        tufted duck x 55, great white egret x 3, green sandpiper x 6, little egret x 8,
        grey wagtail, yellowhammer x 2, cormorant x 110, greylag goose x 140,
        snipe, jay, little grebe, common gull x 9, bh gull x 90, treecreeper x 2,
        water rail, lapwing x 15, linnet x 6, Cetti's warbler, kingfisher,
        skylark x 6.(Terry Brown)
Third Thursday Walk: (Margaret Bailey
 18th Black-headed Gull x 10,  Blue Tit x 5, Canada Goose x 4, Chaffinch x 2, 
         Cormorant x 14, Gadwall x 4, Great Crested Grebe, Great White Egret x 6,
         Green Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail x 2,  Jackdaw, Lesser Black-backed Gull, 
         Long-tailed Tit x 3, Mallard x 10, Mute Swan x 7, Robin x 2, Shoveler x 8, 
         Starling x 15, Tufted Duck x 7+, Woodpigeon x 8. Blackbird, Buzzard x 2,
         Carrion Crow, Collared Dove x 2, Dunnock x 5, Goldfinch, Great Tit x 3, 
         Green Sandpiper x 6,  Grey Heron x 6, Greylag Goose x 25, Lapwing, 
         Little Egret x 7, Magpie, Moorhen x 5, Pied/White Wagtail, Rook x 2, Snipe, 
         Teal x 5+, Wigeon x 2, Wren.
         Total number of species 40. Why not come along next time?

22nd Sparrow, great tit at the VC (Leo)

23rd Seen in Heronry Lake: Great White Egret 6, Little Egret 8, Heron 10+,
        Lapwing 1, Common Snipe 2, Green Sandpiper at least 3 (very mobile),
        Gadwall 40+, Shoveler, Teal, Widgeon,  Goldeneye 2 male,
        Green Woodpecker 1, Bullfinch 1, Buzzard 1 etc. Common Darter 1
        (Andrew Lee)
        Widgeon x 38, gadwall x 37, bh gull x 400, tufted duck x 90,
        little egret x 7, shoveler x 26, teal x 46, great white egret x 4,
        green sandpiper x 6, common gull x 9, goldeneye x 2, pintail x 3, goldcrest x 2,
        siskin, Cetti's  warbler, yellowhammer, buzzard field fare. (Terry Brown)

24th Grey heron, widgeon, robin, blue tit, grey squirrel, mute swan, magpie,
        great white egret at the Kingfisher Hide (L Brooks, TWC and MWC)

25th Great white egret x 2, grey wagtail, green sandpiper x 7, pintail x 4,
        red-crested pochard (fm), buzzard x 2. (Heronry Pits M Dawes.)

26th Mute swan, gadwall, mallard, crow, cormorant, bh gull, shoveler,
        magpie, coot, teal, common sandpiper, moorhen, pheasant, lapwing,
        great white egret x 4, green sandpiper x 3, widgeon x 2, great tit,
        blue tit, robin, pied wagtail, chaffinch, dunnock, wood pigeon,
        snipe pintail x 2, kestrel x 2 (Heronry, R Mackey)

27th Great white egret, green sandpiper, lapwing (Heronry Lakes)
        Blue tit, great tits (coal tit?), house sparrow, dunnock, robin
        at the bird-table. (CM.)

28th Bullfinch, reed bunting at the moorings. (PC) 

30th Sparrowhawk, red kite, cormorant, little egret x 3 at the VC. (JAS)

31st Tufted duck x 90, widgeon x 39, gadwall x 29, shoveller x 23, teal x 43, green sandpiper x 6, snipe, buzzard, red kite, jay x 2, goldcrest, kingfisher, redwing x 4, bullfinch.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

September Sightings

Kingfisher by Stephanie James
1st  Kingfisher with juv fishing at river viewpoint. Also a grass snake swimming there.
       buzzard (Sophie and Craig)

4th  Garden warbler near feeders (Betty Cooke)

5th  Great white egret x 4 on Heronry Lakes plus green sandpiper x 6, teal, shoveller,
       gadwall, fresh moorhen chicks, common darter, ruddy darter, migrant hawker.
       Hornets nest on meadow trail, cornflowers in arable fields and great dodder in
       flower at river viewpoint. (JAS and Betty Cooke)
Great dodder. 

6th  House martins x 25, mute swan x 42, gt crested grebe x 10, whitethroat x2,
       lapwing x 17, common sandpiper, shoveller x 6, teal x 8, little egret x 3,
       moorhen x 18, chiffchaff x 6, gadwall x80,  grey wagtail, greylag geese x 160,
       Canada goose x 88, wigeon x 4, sand martin x 2, b.h.gull x 150, green sandpiper,
       great white egret x 3, tufted duck x 72, kingfisher, Cetti's warbler, pochard x 6,
       yellowhammer x 2, jay, blackcap x2. (Terry Brown)

Willow emerald damselfly by Ian Dawson.

9th   Several sightings of willow emerald damselfly (Ian Dawson, Mo, Allan, PW et al)
        near the beach on Cloudy Pit.
Small copper on fleabane.

10th A number of late summer butterflies about as well as a very active hornets'
        nest on the Meadow Trail. Small copper and brown argus in the arable fields,
        speckled woods along the paths.
        In the arable fields there are cornflowers, millet, and barley on show.
        Gypsywort and water mint by the ponds and wild hops along the river.
        Perhaps a hundred sand martins oner Heronry North daily this week with
        house martins and a few swallows. (JAS)

Wild hops by the river.
13th Mute swan 52, goldfinch 90, chiffchaff x 4, cormorant x72, mallard x 40,
        gadwall x90, teal x 18, b.h gull x 154, greylag goose x 206, Canada goose x 45
        (+ 2 hybrids on Sailing Lake) shoveller x18, linnet x 50, yellowhammer x 6,
        buzzard x 4, sparrow hawk, little egret x 7,  tufted duck x 25, wigeon x 7,
        blackcap x 2, green sandpiper x 6, Pochard x 3, g.c grebe x 10 (Terry Brown)


16th  Great white egret x 4, little egret x 18, green sandpiper x 8,
         willow emerald x 3 on Rudd Pit, 27 Wigeon (Mark Ward)

Old man's beard.
18th  Kingfisher x 2, green sandpiper x 4 Heronry Lakes (PC)

20th  Third Thursday Walk:
          Blackbird, b.h.gull, blue tit, crow, chaffinch, cormorant, dunnock gadwall,
          garden warbler, goldfinch, g.c.grebe, g.s. woodpecker, great tit, green sandpiper,
          heron, greylag goose, kingfisher, lapwing, little egret, little grebe, l.t. tit, magpie,
          mallard, moorhen, swan, robin, shoveller, snipe, stock dove, teal, widgeon,
          willow warbler, wood pigeon, wren, Canada goose, great white egret,
          collared dove. (37 spp.) (DW)

25th Two clouded yellow butterflies in the quarry. (Jamie Wells)
Clouded yellow through a telescope.


Wednesday, 15 August 2018

August sightings

7th  Mute swan, wood pigeon, tufted duck, grey squirrel, buzzard. River trail. (Alyson)

8th  Buzzards calling on River Walk. (PC and Leila B.)

9th  Otter (4+) including three kits. Little egret x 6 and snipe x 4! Heronry South.
       (Martin Davies)

Great white egret by Peter Cariuk.
10th Big flocks of house and sand martins over heronry lakes. Egrets, migrant hawker,
        stock dove. (JAS)
        Great white egret over Visitor centre (TG)

12th Possible otter at Cobham hide. (PC) Great white egret. (D Payne, A Hyde)
        Kingfisher Hide.

12th Green woodpecker x 2, gt crested grebe x 14, tufted duck x 105, pochard x 2,
        lapwing x 40, common tern x 10, house martin x 70, swallow x 20, sand martin x 20,
        kingfisher x 2, chiffchaff x 4, blackcap x 2, whitethroat, reed warbler, little egret x 2,
        yellowhammer x 4.

13th Moorhen family (Rudd Pit) 2 adults + juv and 3 chicks (Heronry South). Jay
        and wren by the river. (CB)

14th At least three wasp spiders in the meadow next to the visitor centre. (Debbie McKenzie)

16th Third Thursday Walk:
         Blackbird, bh gull, blue tit, crow, chaffinch common tern, coot, cormorant, dunnock,
         gadwall, goldfinch, gc grebe, green sandpiper, green woodpecker, heron, house-
         sparrow, kingfisher, lbb gull, little egret, great white egret, magpie, mallard,
         moorhen, mute swan, robin, stock dove, swallow, tufted suck, wood pigeon, jay,

17th Two great white egrets and kingfisher from Kingfisher Hide. Roving mixed flock at
        Cobham Hide with warblers. Terns absent. A few martins and swallows.
        Migrant and brown hawker dragonflies and ruddy darters.

Ruddy darter.

20th Brown argus, common blue and small heath on the arable.
21st Kingfisher on river trail, robin and blue tit.. (Millie, Mimi and Nana)

24th Three otters again from Kingfisher Hide, green sandpiper. kingfsher,
         great egret x2, lapwing x 21, pochard x 2, (Gerry)
25th Gadwall x 80, goldfinch x 100, little egret x 4, lapwing x 7, whitethroat x 5,
         linnet x 25, jay x 2, tufted duck x 88, green sandpiper x 2, pochard x 5,
         house martin x 100, teal x 6, sand martin x 20, blackcap x 5, great white
         egret x 3, chiffchaff x 3. (Terry Brown)
29th Blue tit x 3, great tit x 2 goldfinch (Mill and Sarah) green sandpiper x 3,
        great egret x 3, kingfisher and gs woodpecker.
31st Kingfisher and cormorant at Bill's Bench.
       Small red-eyed damselfly reported at Rudd Pit.

Friday, 27 July 2018

July Sightings

July 1st and 4th Grass snakes at garden pond and near Peter's Field. (GJH)

Clouded yellow.
3rd  GS Woodpecker at the Hayden Hide. Vole on the Meadow Trail. (HRA)

13th Yellowhammer + brimstone, comma, gatekeeper, peacock (ADB and CFB)
         Purple hairstreak reported.

15th Common Tern x 15, treecreeper, little egret x 3, blackcap x4, stockdove x4,
        chiffchaff x 2, kingfisher x 2, swallow x 4, willow warbler, reed warbler x 5,
        bullfinch x 2, Cetti's warbler, yellowhammer and whitethroat (Terry Brown)
        Turtle Dove singing near Sailing Lake on Haul Road. (David Bale)
        Also a sighting by Ian Dawson around the same date, near the quarry.

       2  Mute swans 'doing a circular dance for 10 mins before flying off.' (B Ormstan)
       Terns feeding young and mute swan with six cygnets (Heronry Lakes)

19th Great Spotted Woodpecker at Hayden Hide.

Wasp spider.

27th This week has been tremendous for dragonflies and a few interesting butterfly
         sightings.  A brown argus was at the Environmental Education Centre on lavender
         and other butterflies seen there have included small white, peacock and clouded yellow.

        A wall butterfly was reported from the Environmental Education Centre but this
        sighting needs confirmation, please keep your eyes open and get a photo if you can.
        Wall butterflies are very unusual around here and clouded yellows are long
        distance migrants.

        I took a walk to check on our cows and found a big, fat female wasp spider in the Lafarge                    Meadow.

Brown argus.


Wednesday, 4 July 2018

July 1st 2018

1st   Grass snake between river and kingfisher hide. (AH)
        Kingfisher, blackcap x 11, stock dove x 4, hobby, chiffchaff x 6, godlcrest,
        sedge warbler,  reed bunting x 5, reed warbler x 4, yellowhammer, buzzards,
        willow warbler, Cetti's warbler, common tern x 64. (Terry Brown)

Grass snake

Thursday, 28 June 2018

June 21st to 24th 2018

June 21st:  Third Thursday Walk on Meadow Trail:
                  Blackbird, blackcap, b-h gull, blue tit, buzzard, crow, chiffchaff,
                  common tern, coot, cormorant, dunnock, gadwall, g-c grebe, garden warbler,
                  goldfinch, great tit, green woodpecker, greenfinch, heron, house sparrow,
                  jackdaw, lesser b-b gull, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, reed bunting,
                  reed warbler, robin, song thrush, stock dove, swallow, tufted duck, whitethroat,
                  willow warbler, wood pigeon, wren, hobby, collared dove, Cetti's warbler,
                  Norfolk hawker, southern hawker, four spotted chaser. (D. Wilson)
Scarce chaser, male.

June 22nd:  Heron on the meadow trail. (PP/IG)
                   Kingfisher, g-c grebe, mute swan, heron, common tern, cormorant, magpie,
                   swallow, tufted duck, wood pigeon, mallard, moorhen, grey squirrel, muntjac,
                   blackbird. (G McV)

June 24th:  Little ringed plover (Island Pit), blackcap x 12, chiffchaff x 5,
                   Cetti's warbler x 2, kingfisher x 2, garden warbler, willow warbler x 4,
                   common tern x 58, goldcrest x 2, reed bunting x 5, song thrush x 4,
                   sparrow hawk, reed warbler x 3, yellowhammer x 3, whitethroat x 2,
                   lesser whitethroat, sedge warbler. (Terry Brown.)

Grass snakes were seen by many visitors. This one was seen swimming across Heronry North lake.

In this period the variety of dragonflies and damselflies on the wing was spectacular, but no-one sent us their records. Norfolk and southern hawkers were on the wing, brown hawkers emerged, four spotted and scarce chasers were joined by black tailed skimmers and the first common darters. Emperors were the most dramatic fresh dragonflies followed by the first brown hawkers. Damsels included red-eyed, variable, common blue, blue tailed, small red and the spectacular, metallic banded demoiselles.

Female common blue.
Butterflies were also plentiful with commas, ringlets, meadow browns, speckled woods, green veined and large whites, and common blues sighted.  Large skippers were plentiful and the first small skippers were seen.

Plant-wise, the first great dodder was found at the river viewpoint and there was a spectacular show of bee and pyramidal orchids for those with the interest to seek them out.

Jocelyn Gale found a new record for the Reserve at the beach on Cloudy Pit in the form of hound's tongue. (It is still there but has gone to seed now.)

Anyone looking for spiders will not be disappointed, though no wasp spiders have been found yet.


Wednesday, 13 June 2018

June 1st to June 13th 2018

June: time for dragonflies!

3rd  Turtle dove heard in the car park.

4th  Cuckoo at river viewpoint yellow hammer at quarry, nightingale at moorings (M&P Smith)

6th  Scare chaser and four-spotted chaser, speckled wood. variable, red-eyed, blue-tailed
       damsels on the meadow trail, black tailed skimmer on the heron trail.
       Whitethroat (LC Smith from Kent)
       Nightingale at moorings (GR)

7th  Banded demoiselle ay moorings (JMcD)
       Norfolk hawker on the Hayling Pit and more emerging. Variable, blue-tailed, red-eyed,
       common blue damsels, 4 spotted chaser, black-tailed skimmers and emperor dragonfly.

10th Hobby (Carol Baker)


13th Orchids: Bee orchid, pyramidal and spotted orchids along roadside and Sailing Lake. (JS)
        Barn owl, kingfisher, cuckoo, blackcap, whitethroat, sedge warbler, g-c grebe,
        buzzard, chiffchaff. on the meadow trail. (AH)
        Speckled wood, meadow brown, common blue butterflies. Cinnabar and silver y moths
        plus catterpillars of the mullein moth. (JS)

Horseflies are pretty fierce on the Meadow Trail this month.

May 22nd to 29th 2018

22nd  Cuckoo male at the beach. (SM) Cetti's warbler x 4 (Meadow Trail). Nightingales
          singing x 2 at moorings. (TG)

24th  Nightingale at moorings, many blackcaps and garden warblers, reed warblers at
         Washout. Willow warbler. chiff chaff, whitethroat. (RSB)
         Norfolk Hawker near allotments ovipositing. (Guy Taplin)

28th  Whitethroat x 4, lesser whitethroat x 2, cuckoo x 2, chigffchaff x11, blackcap x 12,
          reed warbler x 8, willow warbler x 2, garden warbler x 2, sedge warbkler x 1,
          reed bunting x 5, yellowhammer x 2, goldcrest, common tern x 29. (Terry Brown)
          Nightingale by education centre. (GB)

29th  Blue tit, robin, baby sparrow, blackbird, squirrel, great tit, in garden. (Lucy Thomson)
         House sparrow, woodpigeon. (Kathryn and Amie)

Norfolk Hawker by Peter Wood.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

May 17th to 21st 2018

17th: Red kite, cuckoo (River viewpoint) (CM)

Third Thursday Walk (17th):

Female banded demoiselle

Dust-bathing dunnock
Blackbird, black-cap, b-h gull, blue tit, bullfinch, buzzard, crow, chaffinch, chiffchaff, common tern, coot, cormorant, dunnock, gadwall, garden warlber, goldcrest, goldfinch, g-c grebe, g-s woodpecker, great tit, green woodpecker, greenfinch, heron, greylag, house martin, jackdaw, lesser white throat, l-t tit, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, ted kite, reed bunting, reed warbler, robin, rook, song thrush, starling, stock dove, swallow, swift, tufted duck, willow warbler, wood pigeon, wren, hobby, cuckoo, nightingale at moorings, sparrowhawk, kestrel. (51 spp)
Green-veined white.

Scarce chaser
Sarratt U3A (21st)

Meadow Trail: much the same bird list as on Thursday including excellent views of hobby and cuckoo on the Hayling Lake. Also two singing Cetti's warblers (meadow and the Hayling). This was a great day for dragonflies including Norfolk hawker, scarce chaser, four spotted chaser, hairy dragonfly, blue and blue tailed damsel and banded demoiselle. Butterflies included red admiral, green veined white, orange tip, holly blue and common blue. Another glimpse of a green hairstreak on willow by Rudd Pit. 
Four spotted chaser

Thursday, 17 May 2018

May 14th to 16th 2018

Swallow at the Visitor Centre.
May 14th:  Pair of swallows hanging around the visitor centre, possibly nesting
                   (definitely roosting) over roller shutter. Hobby x 3 (Heronry Lakes),
                   roughly six tern pairs per raft plus two pairs of b-h gulls. Green hairstreak 
                   butterfly at farmyard (possibly a first) with brimstone and large white.
                   Orange tips still plentiful, plus comma and holly blue. Cuckoo at river
                   viewpoint and nightingale at moorings. (JAS)

May 16th: Swallows still present at visitor centre plus large numbers of swifts and
                  martins over the lakes. Single hobby, cuckoo, and nightingale at town dump.
                  First mallard ducklings on Heronry North.

Heron going fishing.

Friday, 11 May 2018

May 5th to 11th 2018

Nightingales: Your best chance of seeing a nightingale are:
1.      The Sailing Lake at the West end.
2.      The Boundary Hedge just beyond the Dragonfly Pond.
3.      The Moorings at the river.
4.      We have eight to ten birds on the wider site as a whole.

May 5th            Turtle Dove at the Hayling Lake. (NP)

May 7th            Cuckoo x 2. Nightingales x 2, garden warblers x 10, whitethroat x 3,
                         Cetti’s warbler x 1, Reed warbler x 5, sedge warbler. (MSHA)
                         Grey squirrel, GS woodpecker, blue tit, jay,
                         hobby x 2 (Johan. Zack and Katie)
                         Red Kite and Norfolk Hawker Dragonfly (Meadow Trail)
                         Swift (Sue Pople)

May 8th           Red crested pochard (Sailing Lake ) (Tim Goose)
                        Nightingale opposite Hayden Hide. (Colin B)

May 9th           Swallows attempting to nest above door in Visitor Centre
                        Otter from Bill’s Bench. Nightingales at moorings, hobby over Heronry South.

May 10th.       
Lots of goslings, but not many ducklings yet.
                        Nightingale at moorings, cuckoo, garden warbler (10), Whitethroat,
                        Reed bunting, reed warbler x 2, blackcap x12, turtle dove, swift, hobby,
                        willow warbler x 3, common tern x 6, bullfinch (John Wyatt)

May 11th        17 terns on rafts and more in the air. Only one pair of bh gulls.
                        Swallows still present at Visitor Centre, house martins and swifts over.
                        Two pairs of oystercatcher on Sailing Lake. Goldfinches on niger seed.
                        Reed warbler singing on the mound by fisherman's car park.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

May 7th 2018

Canada goose brood.

Two nightingales heard: o
ne near Peter's Field at post 8,
the other just to left of the pond with the gate on (Dragonfly Pond)
Other species :
10 Garden Warblers
18 Blackcaps
12 Chiffchaffs 
4 Songthrushes
2 Treecreepers 
Sedge warbler

2 Green Woodpeckers 
1 Gt Spotted Woodpecker 
1  bullfinch
1 Jay
17 Common Terns
5 Tufted Duck
2 Male and 1 female Cuckoos 
2 Linnets
3 Whitethroats 
5 Reed Warblers

Long-tailed tit.
1 Sedge Warbler 
1 Cettis Warbler 
1 Goldcrest in song

Michael and Diane Hunt from Buckingham
(Photos by Jim Stevenson)

Sunday, 6 May 2018

May 1st to 6th 2018

1st   Hobby over car park, house martin x 3,bullfinch, blackcap, garden warbler,
        chiff-chaff, willow warbler, cuckoo. (GHL) 
        Swift x 2 at En Ed Centre, (DM)

3rd   Raven soaring over VC (Cliff Tack) (2 seen earlier.)
        Nightingale singing west end of sailing lake. Bullfinch x 2 (Dave H.)
        Nightingale singing at moorings. Lots of garden warblers + chiff chaff,
        willow warbler, black cap whitethroat on Ouse Valley Way at moorings.(A Day)
        Cuckoo (JD) Lesser whitethroat on river bank, stock dove x 4, whitethroat x 3
        treecreeper x 3, garden warbler x 5, willow warbler x 3, blackcap x 6.  (HSU)

4th  Yellowhammer near quarry yard on wires.  (VS)
       Cranes (x 3) flying over VC. (seen by many. JS) Lesser whitethroat
       singing on mound near VC. Nightingale heard from Ed Centre. (In old town dump)

6th  Breeding Bird Survey: Results not in yet but nightingale still singing in dump,
       lesser whitethroat still on mound. Green woodpeckers on Lafarge meadow.
       Many garden warblers and black caps, cuckoo heard from VC, 
       Cetti's warbler in the meadow, sedge and reed warblers around Cloudy Pit,
       linnet x 2 in old Lafarge plant. Two broods of Canada geese on Cloudy Pit.
       Butterflies include holly blue, brimstone and orange tip.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

April 22nd to 26th 2018

22nd: Cuckoo (SF) Otter x 4 at Kingfisher Hide (female + 3 kits at 6:55 am) (GR)
          Swallow x 4 over river, cuckoo x 2, kingfisher x 2 (ES)
          Blue tit in bat box. Orange tip, peacock, speckled wood, brimstone.

24th: Blackcap, garden warbler, chiffchaff, willow warbler, lesser whitethroat,
         cuckoos, common tern, yellow hammer.  (RSS)

25th: Swift x 2, Cetti's warbler, hobby, nightingale at moorings,
         common tern x 2, swallow, house martin x2.

26th: Diddington. Pair of mistle thrushes, blackbird, common terns, b-h gulls,
         l-b gulls, herring gulls, swallows and sand martins.
         Bullfinch x 2, linnet x 3, corn bunting (?) (JC)
         Yellowhammer near river, buzzard x 2, swallow and stock dove x 2 at
         Kingfisher Hide, blackcap x 4, chiffchaff x 2. (MB)
         Garden warbler x 4, nightingale singing at moorings. (D Payne)
         Great spotted woodpecker on feeders at the Hayden Hide.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

April 21st 2018

Common Buzzard.
21st.  Nightingale in full song by the moorings, 2 lesser whitethroats, 1 whitethroat,
          cuckoo calling near the river, egyptian goose and 2 little egrets over river trail,
          treecreeper by kingfisher hide, a few common blue butterflies along
          Ouse Valley Way towards Washout Pit. (Alan Horsley)
          Male hen harrier high over Little Paxton on 21st. (Ian Dawson)

Male hen harrier high over Little Paxton on 21st. (Ian Dawson)

22nd  Keep an eye out for black terns and little gulls today. Lots of sightings nearby.