Wednesday, 4 September 2019

September 2019

The month began with fine weather suitable for early autumn bird migration. Waders on the Heronry Lakes included lapwings, common and green sandpipers while wildfowl numbers started to climb as the first wigeon dropped in from Iceland to be accompanied by shoveler, teal and a lot of gadwall.

Common darter

On the invertebrate front dragonflies were abundant, including southern, migrant and brown hawkers, ruddy and common darters and willow emerald damsels. Several wasp spiders were found and the late summer butterflies continued to show, including painted ladies, red admirals, speckled woods, small and large whites. Common blue, brown argus and holly blue could be found on most days at the end of August and into September.


September 1st: Kingfisher, green sandpiper and chiff-chaff on the Heronry Lakes.

September 2nd: Green sandpiper x 2, kingfisher at Bill's Bench, little egret x 2, gadwall 40+, wigeon x 5. (25 species on the Heronry Lakes.) Green woodpecker and lesser stag beetle on the river trail.

Speckled wood.

Lesser stag beetle.
September 5th: Blue-tit, great tit, robin, wren and dunnock in the garden. Little egret, common sandpiper. wigeon x 10, gadwall x 50.

September 7th: Kingfisher at the beach on Rudd Pit (Kathy Hall)

September 8th: Common gull x 2,

September 10th: Rat on bird table, blue tit, great tit, collared dove, robin plus young robins.

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

August 2019

This month will hopefully see an increase in waders on the reserve. Green sandpipers have already been a feature from mid July onwards. The last of the swifts will be on their way south and other early migrants might include a few passerines.

The last swifts of the year.
It's not only birds that migrate, insects so too. Look for migrant hawker dragonflies, hummingbird hawk-moths and perhaps clouded yellow butterflies.

Great dodder at the river view.
If you have never seen one, leaf emerald damselflies could be a good "tick" as these are relatively scarce and a newcomer to the Pits.

We have not had a lot of records for wasp spider this year, but they are still around if you look carefully. I have had two reports from the meadow.

Wasp spider from underneath.

Wasp spider upper side.

1st August: Green sandpiper and little egret on Heronry South, Chiffchaffs, blackcaps, common whitethroat x 2, reed warbler x 4, kingfisher, yellowhammer, b-h gull x 63, g-c grebe x 21, linnet x 5, buzzard.
Great dodder at river viewpoint.
Common buzzard.
August 1st: Here is an excellent sighting from John McDonough  It's aRed-tipped Clearwing (Synanthedon formicaeformis) photographed on the Meadow Trail.
Red tipped clearwing moth.

This species imitates a small wasp and uses various willows as food plants, of which there are many around the area.

5th August: 25 species on Heronry South including 7 lapwings. (TG)

6th August: Blue tit x 2, great tit x 3, collared dove x 2.
Green-veined white.

7th August: Very quiet on the lakes, b-h gulls, grey heron, cormorant, moorhen. Emperor, ruddy darter, common darter, brown hawker and migrant hawker dragonflies. green-veined white and gatekeeper butterflies. (JAS)

Ruddy darter.
8th August: Young blue tits, coal tit?, great tit x 2, greenfinch, magpie, rook, pied wagtail, wood pigeon, wren. All the Visitor Centre.

11th August: Great spotted woodpecker at the Hayden Hide. Greenfinch x 2, blue tit x3.

Blue tit.
12th August: Grey squirrel x 2, blue tit x 3, great it x 3, wren.

15th August: Third Thursday Walk:
B-h gull, blue tit, crow, chaffinch, cormorant, dunnock, gadwall, goldfinch, g-c grebe, great tit, green sandpiper, grey heron, little egret x 5, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, robin, stock dove, wood pigeon, wren, Canada goose (22spp.) David Wilson.
Small white butterfly in garden.
Good selection of dragonflies including common and ruddy darters, brown hawker etc.

16th August: Little Egret x 2, new baby moorhens, large flock of mixed hirundines, all on Heronry Lakes. (JAS)

August 18th: Otter in the Heronry Lakes 4-5 pm.

August 20th: Flock of long-tailed tits in VC garden, wasp spider in meadow, c25 gadwall on Heronry lake, willow emerald damselfly.
Willow emerald, Cloudy Pit.

22nd August: Flock of long-tailed tits at the Hayden Hide, Buzzard over, green woodpeckers at river view, green sandpiper at Kingfisher Hide.

23rd August: Lots of sightings of willow emeralds this week. Also two otters on Heronry Lakes, wasp spider in the meadow and a skulking young birds in the bushes including blackcap, garden warbler, lesser whitethroat, whitethroat, reed warbler and long-tailed tits. Tawny owls and coal tit calling in Gordon Road. (Mark Brandon). Herons "sunbathing" and panting at the same time.

Grey heron, Heronry South Lake.

27th August: Brown, southern and migrant hawkers, common and ruddy darters. Willow emeralds on the meadow trail and a wasp spider. Water rail at the beach on Cloudy Pit. Water shrew and wood-mouse at the beach. (JAS.)

Mating willow emeralds.
28th August: Little egret x2, green sandpiper x 2, gadwall x 40, wigeon x 5, grey heron x 5, lapwing x 5 all on Heronry South. (TG)

29th August: Mute swan x 36, g-c grebe x 13, cormorant x 18, gadwall x 88, teal x 5, mallard x 27, wigeon x 3, tufted duck x 17. moorhen  x 13, kingfisher, green sandpiper x 2, little egret x 4, heron, blue tit, collared dove, magpie, goldfinch, wren, robin, greenfinch, b-h gull x 94, dunnock, reed bunting, great tit, green woodpecker, jackdaw, l-t tit, stock dove, crow, g-s woodpecker, chiff-chaff x 4, treecreeper. (Terry Brown).

30th August: Green sandpiper x 2, common sandpiper x 2, lapwing, teal, shoveler, widgeon, gadwall, kingfisher. (Heronry Lakes) JAS. Small white, red admiral, painted lady. Collared dove x 11.

31st August: Great white egret on Heronry South. (Stephen May).

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

July 2019

Please email me your sightings or write them in the log-book at the Visitor Centre.

July marks the end of the breeding season for birds but that doesn't mean there is nothing to see. Insect life is abuzz over the lakes and in the meadows and some of our most colourful flowers do not appear until late summer.

Comma butterfly.
If it's birds you are after, then be on the look out for migrants that do not breed here but are already heading south, think of ospreys, waders and warblers.

Watch out for horse-flies this month as they can give you a pretty nasty bite.

A white pyramidal orchid at the Sailing Lake.
July 3rd: Brown hawker dragonfly on the garden pond and emperors on the wing with common darters. Meadow brown, common blue, large and small skippers and ringlet butterflies in the long grass, speckled woods in the trees chasing off the red admirals and tattered and worn painted lady butterflies and the first gatekeepers of the year.

Grass snake in Rudd Pit. Many young birds including tits, blackcaps, garden warblers, lesser whitethroat and chiffchaff, all gleaning insects from the leaves.

Bee orchids

July 5th: White throat x 3, chiffchaff, willow warbler, garden warbler x 2, black-cap, stock dove, grey heron, b-h gull, herring gull, common tern x 30, mallard, tufted duck, wood pigeon, oyster catcher.

July 6th: Red-eyed, azure, common blue and blue tailed damsels, Norfolk hawker, 4 spotted chaser and broad bodied chaser.

Common tern, willow warbler (fam), grey squirrels and brown rats.

Re-eyed damselfly.

Pyramidal orchids.
July 7th: Grass snake in the Hayling lake. Whitethroat x 4, chiffchaff, willow warbler, garden warbler x 2, black cap, stock dove, heron, b-h gull, herring gull, common terns x 30+, mallard, tufted duck, wood pigeon, oyster catcher. Kingfisher at the Kingfisher Hide.

July 9th: Black cap, mistle thrush, song thrush, reed bunting, buzzard and red kite.

July 10th: Hay cut in the meadow and bailed. Common darter dragonfly, gatekeeper, small skipper and small white butterflies.

July 12th: On a guided tour in the evening we failed to find any wasp spiders but had good views of many insects and did a bit of botanising. The highlight for me was finding a willow emerald damselfly at the beach. (I tried again on the 13th but without luck)
The starlings are back! A walk on the meadow trail at dusk should provide decent views and the chance of a sparrow hawk or two.

July 13th: Another guided walk produced a good flower list and some obliging insects, including this giant belted hoverfly. It is a hornet mimic that preys on common wasps.
Belted hoverfly.
July 14th: Pyramidal orchid and blackcap on the River Trail.

July 15th: At the Hayden Hide, little egret, lapwing, kingfisher, tufted duck, heron. OTTERS x4!!

July 18th: Third Thursday Walk: 
Blackcap, b-h gull, blue tit, buzzard, crow, chaffinch, common tern, great spotted woodpecker, cormorant, dunnock, gadwall, goldcrest, g-c grebe, great tit, green woodpecker, greenfinch, gret heron, greylag goose, house martin, lapwing, little egret, l-t tit, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, robin, collared dove, tree creeper, sand martin, wood-pigeon, wren. (D Wilson)

July 20th: Baby blue-tit, Jay.

July 21st: Black squirrel, blue tits, brown rat.

July 23rd: Water Rail and barn owls . (Jacqueline Hill).
Barn owl at dusk.

Barn owl in the meadow.

July 24th: Willow emerald, brown hawker. migrant hawker, emperor etc. Gatekeeper and small white butterflies. A stoat cross the path between Kingfisher hide and River view. At least 7 common tern chicks on Diddington Pit. (Neal Parkin)

July 25th: Baby blue tits, great tit x 2, young blackbird, Vole at the Hayden Hide. Sparrow-hawk took a blue tit from the feeder.

July 27th: Little egret x 2 at the Hayden Hide.

July 28th; OTTER x 4 on Heronry South, two came out onto the island.
Green sandpipers. Sparrow hawk.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

June 2019

June 1st: Lesser whitethroat on the mound, g-s woodpecker at the Hayden Hide (AP)

Breeding Bird Survey:  June 2nd 

Neal Parkin Reports:
The highlights from this weekend surveys were:
Cuckoo – a male & female were seen flying together at both south and north end of the Pits.
Barn owl – few reports of barn owls this year but one was seen during the survey
Mistle thrush – an uncommon bird at Paxton so good to see some records
Kingfisher – pair seen on the river
Turtle dove – a bird heard purring in the Sanctuary by the ringers at 6:00
Jay – an uncommon bird caught by the ringers on Sunday
Red-crested pochard – these birds are usually absent over the summer months!
Avocet – pair at north end
Otter – caused the lesser black-backed gulls to become very agitated
Nightingales – 2 may be 3 birds singing. And better still another bird seen carrying food.

Ringing Report from Derek Gruar: June 2nd.

The fourth Paxton CES ringing session of the season was on an overcast and humid morning. Statistically the 4th CES session of the season is the quietest of the year. Since 2007 there have only been two catches of over 30 new birds. Our total of 24 new birds was about par for this visit and was dominated by recently fledged Blue Tits. Warblers were at a premium with singles of Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Reed Warbler, we expect to see fledged warblers appear over the next few sessions. Other notable species included the 3rd ever jay ringed on a CES ringing session and the first Bullfinch and Song Thrushes of the year.
Spotted orchid

June 2nd: Cuckoo, little egret, mallard, gadwall, tufted duck, mute swan, swallow, sand martin, jackdaw, coot, dunnock, cormorant, collared dove, wood pigeon, crow, magpie, moorhen, b-h gull, common tern, goldcrest, blackcap, wren, chaffinch, jay, g-c-grebe, l-b-b-gull, l-t tit, willow warbler, Canada Goose, reed bunting, yellowhammer, linnet, red kite, rat, blue tit.

Four spotted chaser
June 3rd: Common tern, tree creeper, green woodpecker, great tit, blue tit, blackbird, cormorant, gadwall, mallard, tufted duck, b-h gull, g-c grebe, heron, crow, rook, jackdaw, magpie, kingfisher, white throat and cuckoo. 
Dragonflies etc: Norfolk hawker, hairy hawker, 4-spot chaser, variable damsel, common blue damsel, azure damsel, blue-tailed damsel, red-eyed damsel, banded demoiselle and cinnabar moth.
Cinnabar moth
June 4th: 54 spp seen by Terry Brown, including:
House martin x 25, blackcap x 17, reed warbler x 8, treecreeper x 2, common tern x 74 oystercatcher x 2, red-crested pochard fm, cuckoo x 2, reed bunting x 7, g-c grebe x 12, tufted duck x 35, gadwall x 12, garden warbler, chiffchaff, willow warbler, whitethroat, yellowhammer, sedge warbler, Cetti's warbler.
Hairy hawker
June 5th: Bullfinch (Robin West)

June 9th: R-c pochard by Kingfisher Hde. Cettis warbler x 3-4.2 bee orchids near quarry,

June 11th: Fox, cuckoo, yellowhammer, blackcap, Cetti's warbler.

June 14th: Blue tit, great tit, woodpigeon, stock dove, blackbird, moorhen,  mallard, gadwall, mute swan, crow, magpie, jackdaw, cormorant, swallow, house martin, dunnock, common tern, b-h gull, robin, tufted duck, grey heron, blackcap, chiffchaff, wren. (BM)

Broad bodies chaser, four spotted and black tailed skimmers, grass snake swimming.

Linnet, reed bunting, willow warbler, green woodpecker, song-thrush, Cetti's warbler, cuckoo, greenfinch, chiffchaff, blackcap, gardeb warbler. G-c grebe with young on Cloudy Pit, g-s woodpecker and hobby. 

June 16th: Little egret x 2, Grey heron x 2, grey squirrel, swans, mallards cormorants and terns.

June 20th: Just to mention that today I saw the following dragonflies on the Meadow Walk:

Blue-tailed Damselfly
Black-tailed Skimmer
Common Darter
Common Blue Damselfly
Azure Damselfly
Variable Damselfly
Norfolk Hawker
Also probably a China Mark moth: which type I cannot tell from the poor pictures.
There are more details on IRecord. 

Norfolk Hawker

Variable damselfly 
You have a wonderful place! Thank you for a great break from work!

Kind regards Alan Holmes

Buzzard x 2, oystercatcher, little egret, common tern x 38, sand martin x 7, yellowhammer x 4, reed bunting x 6. Also garden warbler, blackcap, whitethroat, reed warbler, chiffchaff, willow warbler, skylark, g-s woodpecker, green woodpecker, bullfinch, kestrel, linnet goldfinch, song thrush, G-c grebe x 11, tufted duck x 20, gadwall x 10. (Terry Brown)

Third Thursday Walk:
Blackbird, blackcap,b-h gull, blue tit, crow, chiffchaff, common tern, coot, cormorant, dunnock, gadwall, garden warbler, g-c grebe, great tit, green woodpecker, greenfinch, grey heron, greylag, house martin, jackdaw, kingfisher, l-blb gull, little egret, l-t tit, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, oystercatcher, pheasant, reed warbler, robin, collared dove, song thrush, starling, stock dove, tufted duck, willow warbler, wood pigeon, wren, Canada goose, Cetti's warbler (43spp + muntjac.)
David Wilson

June 22nd:  Full list will be Birdtracked.
Cuckoo, heard only, Kingfisher, Turtle Dove, 2 flew across the Sailing Lake at 16:45 approx.
Does anyone know what the Bees and Wasps are that are nesting on the banks of Hayling Lake?
Martin Bell, Merthyr Tydfil. 

Norfolk hawker on Garden Pond, brown hawker, emperor dragonflies. Red-eyed, common blue and azure damsels.

Paxton Pits Nature Reserve: Constant Effort Site (CES) Ringing NewsletterVisit Five: 22nd June 2019

The fifth Paxton CES ringing session of the season was on an a very pleasant summers morning. We were interested to see what effect (if any) the recent heavy rains may have had on nesting success. Our catch of 32 birds and 4 recaptures matched the average numbers seen on corresponding visits since 2007. After a successful year in 2018 the low numbers of Blackcaps caught to date this year is a little surprising. We were pleased to catch a newly fledged Whitethroat (a scarce bird around the Sanctuary area at Paxton) as well as young Garden Warblers, Wrens and Chiffchaffs. Five juvenile Treecreepers all caught in the same area throughout the morning was a record catch for this species on a single ringing session. Other notable species included the 18th Green Woodpecker ringed on a CES ringing session and the second Bullfinch and Song Thrushes of the year.
Ringers for this session were: Derek Gruar, Maureen Reeves, Andy Stanbury, Sara Miller and Saskia Wischnewski. Davy Reeves provided great help clearing vegetation from net rides.

The table below gives details of the number of birds ringed and recaptured

June 25th: Wren at Kingfisher Hide, cuckoo calling, red admiral (NS)

June 27th: 9:15-13:15 49 spp. (Anon)
Gc grebe, mallard, gadwall, tufted duck,mute swan, Canada goose, greylag, buzzard, kestrel, hobby, moorhen, coot, b-h gull, common tern, green woodpecker, oystercatcher, lapwing, woodpigeon, stock dove, sand martin, garden warbler, sedge warbler, reed warbler, chiffchaff, willow warbler, Cetti's warbler, blackcap, great tit, blue tit, l-t tit, robin, wren, dunnock, blackbird, song thrush, goldfinch, greenfinch, chaffinch, reed bunting, yellowhammer, jackdaw, crow, magpie, starling, linnet, lesser whitethroat, whitethroat, cormorant.

Painted lady, red admiral, large tortoise shell??? , comma, meadow brown. 

B-t skimmer, scarce chaser, banded demoiselle, red-eyed damsel, blue-tailed damsel, common blue and azure damsels.

June 28th: Fox cubs seen playing near the dragonfly pond. Painted lady, comma, small skipper, red admiral, meadow brown, ringlet. Kingfisher, cuckoo, buzzard etc. (JAS)

Paxton Pits Nature Reserve: Constant Effort Site (CES) Ringing Newsletter
Visit Six: 30th June 2019

The sixth Paxton CES ringing session of the season was on sunny morning the day after the hottest the day of the year. Bird activity was low first thing in the morning but picked up as the morning progressed. The catch was dominated by resident species, with the paucity of juvenile warblers again noticeable. After ringing a female Green Woodpecker on visit five, an adult male was ringed on this session. The first fledged Bullfinch of the year was another notable capture.
Ringers for this session were: Maureen Reeves, Andy Stanbury, Viv Ward, Chris Ward and Ken Griffin. 

Recapture information
The two captures were birds ringed earlier in 2019.

Mid-season Review
The sixth session marks the mid-point of the CES ringing season and I was interested in comparing 2019 to other seasons. The table below gives the number of birds ringed and recaptured at the same point in all seasons from 2007.

This season is slightly below the average total of 174 new birds for the mid-point over the past 13 years. It is noticeable that there is a decrease in the number of recaptures. There are a number of potential reasons for this, one may be a result of high mortality of adult birds during recent cold winters and the “beast from the East” storm.

The following table looks at the mid-point totals for nine warbler species we find at Paxton. At the CES mid-point we are 30% down on average since 2007. This may well be due to the poor survival of first broods during the prolonged wet spell in June. As many species are multi-brooded, numbers may well improve during the second half of the season.

Friday, 26 April 2019

May 2019

We have a new logbook in the Visitor Centre where you can enter all your sightings, not just birds. 
Your records are very important to monitor all the creatures that live on the Reserve or pass through it. Records of common species are just as important as those for rarities. You can also send in records by email to me HERE

Mallard family.
May 1st  Hobby regulary viewed over the visitor centre during the day, probably charing emerging damselflies. Young male Muntjac barking in the garden plus a pair of adults in the meadow. Possibly a fall of migrating garden warblers as they were everywhere today. Cuckoos heard and seen. House martins. Mallard broods.(JAS)
Reed bunting singing.
A walk along the Anglian Water road from Stirtloe (N of the quarry) revealed a host of warblers including dozens of garden warblers plus black caps, chiffchaffs, willow warblers, sedge warblers, reed warblers, whitethroats, lesser whitethroats, Cetti's warbler, yellowhammer, bullfinch, linnet and reed bunting. Cuckoo x 3.
Male yellowhammer.
A report of a grasshopper warbler there earlier too. I heard three nightingales but an evening visit confirmed at least five. (JAS)

Muntjac male.

Orange tip butterfly in the garden.
Orange tip, brimstone, holly blue and red admiral butterflies seen.

3rd: Reuben Braddock's first visit produced:
50 Greylag Goose
1 Canada Goose
4 Mute Swan
3 Gadwall
2 Eurasian Wigeon
1 American Wigeon -- Drake, on lake to north of North Heronry lake. Had walked around to see/hear Nightingales, and another birder was there already watching it. Seen through scope from north end of this lake, with bird at southern end near small islands. Light blaze on forehead clearly seen, rufous sides and white patch on side near tail.
10 Mallard
16 Tufted Duck
4 Red-legged Partridge
4 Common Pheasant -- Only one seen
1 Little Grebe -- On pond next to Diddington Brook
10 Great Crested Grebe
6 Stock Dove
70 Common Woodpigeon
4 Collared Dove -- Around visitor centre
5 Common Cuckoo -- Three from Heron trail including two song duelling! Two singing near Pumphouse Pit
2 Common Swift
4 Common Moorhen
5 Eurasian Coot
15 Black-headed Gull
2 Herring Gull
4 Lesser Black-backed Gull
30 Common Tern -- Quite a few on rafts. Rough estimate of numbers, probably more. All over the reserve and along the river
30 Great Cormorant -- Nesting site
4 Grey Heron
3 Common Buzzard
3 Great Spotted Woodpecker
5 Eurasian Green Woodpecker -- Several calling, heard throughout walk
1 Common Kestrel - near Diddington Brook
1 Eurasian Hobby -- NE corner of Pumphouse Pit
4 Common Magpie (Eurasian)
30 Eurasian Jackdaw
3 Rook
4 Carrion Crow
12 Sand Martin
2 Barn Swallow
8 Eurasian Blue Tit
8 Great Tit
10 Long-tailed Tit
9 Eurasian Wren
5 Willow Warbler -- Only at northern end of lakes, didn’t hear any from Heron trail
14 Common Chiffchaff -- Probably most numerous warbler
6 Sedge Warbler
4 Eurasian Reed Warbler
12 Eurasian Blackcap
10 Garden Warbler -- Singing throughout reserve. Conservative estimate
2 Lesser Whitethroat -- One in hedge adjacent to Island Pit. One in hedge on farmland near Diddington
9 Common Whitethroat
6 European Robin
4 Common Nightingale -- All quite close to each other adjacent to Anglian Water road. One seen as it perched briefly on top of bush singing before diving back down again.
2 Song Thrush
10 Eurasian Blackbird
4 Common Starling
6 Dunnock
2 Pied Wagtail
5 Common Chaffinch
3 European Greenfinch
3 European Goldfinch
2 Common Reed Bunting
5th: 100 house martins, 50 swallows. 10 sand martins over Heronry North. Redshank at Sailing Lake, Shelduck x 2 at S. end of Island Pit.
Our Breeding Bird Survey produced the first swift and a couple of new nightingales and three turtle doves.

6th:   Swift x 2 (Steve May).

7th:   Nightingale x 5 on Concrete Road at Stirtloe plus single black tern. (JAS)

8th:  Nightingale singing behind Lafarge plant. (Adrian Hyde)

10th: 2 hobbies over VC most of afternoon. Sparrow hawk, lots of swifts. RC pochard and oystercatchers on sailing lake. (JAS) Treecreeper (Wayne Garden).
Buzzard x 4, hobby x 2, (D Harlow)
Hobby and brown argus butterfly plus cuckoo by moorings plus treecreeper.

11th: (From Butterfly transect) Hobby, lots of swifts, swallows, whitethroats, blackcap, garden warbler, willow warbler, chiffchaff, reed warbler, cuckoo, reed bunting (fam) common terns. Muntjac, squirrel, rat, raven and nightingale at Offord D'arcy,  Cuckoo, blackcap.

12th: Family of tree creepers (river view), l-r plover (Bill's Bench), l-t tits, orange tipped butterfly, pheasant, magpie, collared dove, brimstone butterfly.

13th: Turtle dove (R Pope) R-c pochard pair at Hayden Hide, mute swans with 6 cygnets.

14th:  Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Reed Bunting, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Blue tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Robin, Dunnock, Blackbird, Common Tern, Black Headed Gull, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Red Crested Pochard, Coot, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Pheasant, Cuckoo calling, Green woodpecker, Buzzard, Heron, Wood Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Cormorant.
Small Copper, Orange Tip, Brimstone, Banded Demoiselle, Common Blue Damselfly (Andrew Lee)

Crane over VC, g-s woodpecker, heron x 7. (Matt Hall)

Banded Demoiselle by Andrew Lee.
15th: Garden warbler, cuckoo, whitethroat, Canada geese with goslings, lapwing, red kite,
buzzard. (JAS) Gt crested grebe, mute swan, robin, collared dove on Meadow Trail.

16th: Meadow Trail: Cuckoo x 2, blackcap x 5, red kite x 2, coot x 5, b-h gull x 11, garden warbler x 2, grey heron x 2, moorhen x 4, carrion crow x 3, fox (MH)

Third Thursday Walk: Blackcap, b-h gull, blue tit, bullfinch, buxxard, crow, common tern, coot, moorhen, cormorant, dunnock, gadwall, g-c grebe, g-s woodpecker, green woodpecker, heron, mute swan, oystercatcher, peregrine, robin, tree-creeper, stock dove, swift, tufted duck, wood pigeon, Canada goose, cuckoo, r-c pochard, muntjac. (D Wilson)

Heron Trail: Hobby, garden warbler x 3, blackcap x 4, robin x 2, wren x 3, green woodpecker, g-s woodpecker, cuckoo.

17th: Heron Trail: Blackcap, garden warbler, lesser whitethroat, chiffchaff, yellowhammer, willow warbler, whitethroat, song thrush. Goldcrests with young at Wray House.

21st: Greenfinch, cuckoo, dunnock, l-t tit, buzzard, goldcrest.
Evening walk: Sparrow hawk, swifts, house martins, kingfisher, gs and green woodpeckers. Unidentified distant wader on Heronry South, possibly L-r p. (JAS)
Damsels: Common blue, azure, blue tailed, variable, red eyed and banded demoiselle.
Dragons: 4 spotted chaser, scarce chaser and first Norfolk Hawker. 
22nd: Norfolk hawker in flight. Speckled wood, brimstone, buzzard. Little Egret (on Heronry South, TG)
Hairy dragonfly, cinnabar moth, orange tip butterfly.
Tern rafts; c 40 common terns . Herring gulls causing disturbance (TG)

23rd: Norfolk hawkers, scarce chasers, four spotted chasers.

24th: Four spotted chaser, scarce chaser, black tailed skimmer, hairy dragonfly; variable, common blue and red-eyed damsels. Brimstone, peacock. brown argus, orange-tip, speckled wood and small copper butterflies.
Little egret on Heronry South. Swifts (TG) Badgers at dusk near Stirtloe.

25th: Red crested pochard x 2 from Kingfisher Hide, cuckoo. Brimstone and small tortoiseshell.
House martins and swifts: (TG)
Great tits and squirrels at bird table, brown rat, blue tit, magpie.
Swifts over the village (Ann and Mike Thomas)
Hairy, black tailed skimmer, four spotted chaser, scarce chaser. Azure, blue tailed, red eyed damsels and banded demoiselle. (Meadow Trail)

26th: Cetti's warbler x 3, garden warblers, blackcaps, chiff-chaffs, whitethroats, lesser whitethroat, lesser black-backed gull. Flocks of martins following showers of rain across the site, small groups of swifts, buzzards, red kites. Dead mole on meadow trail. First spotted orchids in flower.

28th: Cuckoo spit on the meadow trail. This is from common froghoppers and is perfectly natural.

29th: c 60 house martins over the Heronry Lakes, cuckoo x 2, blackcap, lbb gull, oystercatcher, cormorant x 30, herring gull, yellowhammer. (TG)

31st: Loads of dragonflies at edge of meadow. Norfolk hawker at garden pond!

Friday, 12 April 2019

April 2019

Hi everyone! 
April started slowly but a smattering of spring migrants passing through made for some interesting sightings. 
I have altered the format this month to allow me to paste in people's reports exactly as they wrote them. It also saves time as I don't have to fight against the template.
Please keep sending your sightings as this could be the most exciting month of the year.

4th:   Chiffchaff x 16, blackcap x 9, swallow x 1, goldeneye x 6, tufted duck x 195, pochard, shoveller x 3, gadwall x 7, black headed gull x 495, r-l partridge x2, buzzard, green sandpiper. (Terry Brown)

5th:   Yellowhammer on the meadow trail and the haul road, willow warbler x 3. Oystercatcher x 3, green sandpiper, goldeneye x 2. (A+K Harrold)
Mining bees using the mound. (MR)

7th:   Quite a large number of sand martins, house martins with a few swallows mixed in, over Hayling and the river, in the grey gloom this morning. (Mark Brandon)

8th:   One green woodpecker and what looked like two swallows(I was a long way off but I think they were too small for hobbies) perched on tall dead tree off to the right of the main path to the river, dunnock near centre. female bullfinch at riverside, jay at riverside, yellowhammer near field, two blackcaps (male) singing merrily in Rory's Wood. Song Thrush in full voice on main path to river,wren near the gravel workings and many great tits, blue tits, blackbirds and robins plus a couple of long tailed tits. (Francis Burnley)

9th:   Heron, blue tit, wren, sparrow, great tit, coot, mallard, Canada goose, swan, tufted duck and robin. (Chloe, Jake and Graham.)
Red crested pochards on Weedy Pit
10th: Long staying pair of red crested pochards on Weedy Pit. Teal on Rudd pit. (NH)
Mallard pair with 9 ducklings on the Hayling Pit. (VB)
Red crested pochards moved to sailing lake. Little gull x 2 and greed sandpiper x 3 on Heronry North. (Martin)
Collared dove, reed bunting blue tot, great tit and robin. (Phoebe)

Little gull on Heronry North.
Red crested pochard x 2, common tern x 2, little gull x 2, teal x 6, gadwall x11, pochard x 11, goldeneye x 5, tufted duck x 172, yellowhammer x 10, linnet x 15, sparrowhawk, buzzard, Cetti's warbler, green sandpiper x 2, blackcap x 17, chiffchaff x 11, willow warbler.
Brimstone, peacock, orange-tip, speckled wood butterflies. ((Terry Brown)

Red crested pochard pair on Weedy Pit, Little gull x 4 and common tern x 4 on Heronry N. Kingfisher, willow warbler x 3, scaup x 2, sparrowhawk at the VC, swallow x 3, widgeon x 5, pochard.  Little ringed plover x 3, dunlin x 3, ringed plover x 3, oystercatcher x 4, redshank x 10, green sandpiper x 5, lapwing x 2, snipe x 4, little egret. (Martin)

Singing willow warbler x 7+ on Meadow Trail (D Harlow)
Little gull and year-old black headed gull.
Peregrine (fm) over Heronry South  at 6 pm. Cetti's warbler at the Visitor Centre (JAS)

Peregrine over Heronry South.
14th:  Cetti's warbler on boardwalk in meadow. (CB) Red crested pochard on sailing lake and Island Pit, both drakes. Green sandpiper on Heronry North (A&G Williams) a kingfisher on the Hayling Pit (SE)  Flock of c20 swallows over village reported to TG.

16th:  Otter x 2 at south end of Island Pit (Steve May). Red crested pochard drake on Weedy Pit (GSM). Blue tit, magpie, gull, squirrel (Sienna and Cassia) Common tern, yellowhammer x 6, whitethroat, black cap x 4 (A Scott)
Common Terns 17th April. (P. Hagger)
17th: Crane flying south over river viewpoint. Red crested pochard drake on Weedy Pit (female appeared later so probably on nest). Tern rafts launched and immediately occupied. Buzzard, red kite, kestrel and sparrow hawk. Dunlin on island in Heronry South among nesting? b-h gulls. Green sandpiper x 2 on Diddington Pit. Green woodpeckers. Gulls and rooks following the tractor on Peter's Field. Butterflies- orange tip, comma, speckled wood, holly blue, brimstone, green-veined white, peacock.

From Cambridge Bird Club: Paxton Pits - 2 Garganey (Jamie Wells); Yellow-legged Gull (Mark Brandon); 3 Garganey, Red-crested Pochard, Blue-headed Wagtail with 7 Yellow Wagtail (Martin Davis)
Mallard on nest (P. Hagger)
18th: Third Thursday Walk: Blackbird, blackcap, b-h gull, blue tit, bullfinch, buzzard, crow, chiffchaff, common tern, coot, cormorant, gadwall, goldcrest, great crested grebe, great tiit, green woodpecker, heron, greylag, herring gull, house sparrow, l-t tit, magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, oystercatcher, pheasant, redshank, robin, rook, treecreeper, stock dove, teal, tufted duck, willow warbler, wood pigeon, wren, Canada goose, red-crested pochard. 39 spp. (David Wilson)

Cetti's warbler 19/4/2019 (J Hill)
Grass snake (Oliver Mallet)

Redshank x 3, common sandpiper x 2 (Sailing Lake) Adult little gull x 2 on Heronry North.
Chiffchaff x 17, blackcap x 21, willow warbler x 9, goldcrest, buzzard x 2, yellowhammer x 7, common tern x 24 and red crested pochard drake. (Terry Brown)
18th: From Cambridge Bird Club: Paxton Pits - RING OUZEL, 9 Little Gull, Garganey, Lesser Whitethroat, Raven over east (Jamie Wells)

19th: Whitethroat and willow warblers at the mound, garden warbler, blackcap x 6, willow warbler x 6, chiffchaff x 10, common tern and yellowhammer. (MA) Cuckoo heard at River Viewpoint. Poss hobby passing high over VC. Cetti's warbler in Meadow (T and V G)
From Cambridge Bird Club: Cuckoo, 3 Nightingale (John Raven); 3 Black Tern, pair of Red-crested Pochard (Martin Davis)

20th: Cuckoo, blackcap, yellowhammer, chiffchaff, black tern. Orange tip, peacock and speckled wood butterflies. (J P F) Osprey over Heronry lakes (TG)

21st: Cuckoo at river, garden warbler near Kingfisher Hide. (PC)
Black redstart fem. in the quarry. 12 black terns in the quarry.(GTH) Cuckoo also on meadow trail.

22nd: Adult little gull on Heronry South (Steve May) Robin, swift?? chaffinch, magpie, sparrow, chiffchaff, green woodpecker, great tit, blue tit, pheasant, mallard. (Jake, James Chloe and Sharon)
Black terns x 14+ in quarry plus nightingales and 3 cuckoos. (A and M Thomas) L-t tits at Cobham Hide, little gull at Kingfisher Hide. (A&J Hull +Christine, Harriet, Carole, George and Mark)

23rd: Little tern and arctic tern x 3 from Kingfisher Hide. (D Harlow)
Bar-tailed godwits x 21 also from Kingfisher Hide. (D Harlow and J Wells)
Sedge warbler singing.
24th: Ten warbler spp: Grasshopper, Cetti's, reed, sedge, whitethroat, lesser whitethroat, garden, blackcap, chiffchaff and willow! (Neal Parkin) Cuckoo x 2 near the visitor centre. 15 linnets on dandelions in the sheep field. GS Woodpecker at the gulley.
Orange tip butterfly on a Geranium.
Butterflies included holly blue, brimstone and orange tip.

Hedgehog found on the Reserve near the Hayling Pit, turned inside out by a badger. Oystercatcher, herring gull x 3, lapwing, buzzard and sparrow hawk. Rat on the bird table at the visitor centre, 3 muntjac in the sheep field. Large red damselfly at the moorings. (JAS)

Muntjac showing scent gland and tusks.
25th: 2nd year little gull over Heronry North.

26th: Chiffchaff, blackcap, willow warbler, whitethroat, lesser whitethroat, reed warbler, garden warbler. Cuckoo heard as well as oystercatchers calling. Brimstone, orange tip and speckled wood butterflies. (RS Buxton).

27th: Dozens of sand martins over Weedy Pit plus swallows and house martins over Heronry Lakes.

28th: Cuckoo and buzzard over the Visitor Centre (JAS)
Arctic Tern x 2. Little tern. RC Pochard.

3 Otters including two young on Island Pit. American Wigeon drake on PHP. (GR)

29th: Cuckoos, buzzard, yellow wagtail.
David Bale reported from the Anglian Water Road at Stirtloe: 7:45 am.
Blackbird, bullfinch, reed bunting, coot, cormorant, crow, stock dove, gadwall, goldfinch, greylag geese, blackcap, chiffchaff, Cetti's warbler, goldcrest, reed warbler, sedge warbler, willow warbler, whitethroat, lesser whitethroat x 7, cuckoo, b.h gull, heron, jackdaw, magpie, mallard, moorhen, robin, rook, starling, mute swan, common tern, at east 5 nightingales, skylark, mistle thrush, song thrush, blue tit, great tit, long tailed tit, great spotted woodpecker, green woodpecker, woodpigeon, wren and yellowhammer.