Birds at Woolston Eyes

The Bird species recorded and summaries from our Annual Reports can be viewed below;

Click here to view the full Woolston Eyes Conservation Group 2014 Annual Report

A systematic list (following the BOU taxonomy) of the bird species reported at Woolston Eyes can be seen by clicking the link below;

…Woolston Eyes Recorded Bird List - Revision January 2015

A list of the species recorded at Woolston Eyes in the BOU order and photographs follows; Click on an image to enlarge it. The status of the bird and the penultimate published annual report data accompanies each species.

 
001 Mute Swan
001  Mute Swan
David Waterhouse

Cygnus olor

Status: Breeding bird, resident and found throughout the year.

2014 Records - Numbers overall were well above average, with the main feature of the year the unusually large gathering on No.3 bed in April and May. The breeding season was disappointing, with only two pairs successfully fledging young.

Twenty-seven on 18th January WeBS was the highest count in the first winter months, with up to 15 regularly reported across the Reserve. A major surprise was the influx of birds in the spring, with a peak count of 36 on No.3 bed on 19th April. Up to 20 were recorded on this bed in subsequent weeks, with 35 (23 adults and 12 immatures) still present on 8th May, and 33 on 1st June.

The first indication of breeding was a pair at a nest on the Loop of No.4 bed on 24th April. This nest was subsequently abandoned and a new nest built nearby. On 2nd June the pair on No.3 bed appeared with five newly hatched cygnets, four of which survived for many weeks. This pair eventually fledged two young. On 12th June a bird was sitting on a nest at Latchford Locks (a regular breeding site) and a pair with only one young was seen nearby on 4th July. This pair was seen with the now growing young in early August, with a second pair displaying nearby. A pair may well have attempted to breed on the Mersey north of No.2 bed, but no details are known. Finally, a pair with a large cygnet seen at Bollin Point on 13th July could well have bred elsewhere. It is not thought that any young were produced from the nests on the Loop of No.4 bed.

Numbers remained high post-breeding, with 40 on 3rd August, 22 on 3rd September and 25 on 23rd October.

A number of birds wearing Darvic rings were reported, and the male of the successful pair on No.3, with the ring number CAF9, had originally been ringed at Acre Dell Pools, Somerford, Congleton, on 2nd August 2010. There had been three previous sightings of it, one in late 2010 and two in late 2011, at sites along the Mersey valley.

Monthly maxima were:

Jan 27, Feb 11, Mar 7, Apr 36, May 35, Jun 32, Jul 26, Aug 40, Sep 22, Oct 25, Nov 12, Dec 13.

Photograph from No3 Bed 25/05/2013

 
002 Bewick's Swan

Cygnus columnbianus bewickii

Status: Rare vagrant visitor.

2014 Records - no sightings submitted. The last report of Bewick Swan on the Reserve was

No Woolston image avaialable

 
003 Whooper Swan
003  Whooper Swan
Mark Battersby

Cygnus cygnus

Status: Infrequent winter visitor but occurs annually.

2014 Records - The only record received was of one on No.3 bed on 4th February. It was harried by the resident Mute Swans and soon left.

Photographed from John Morgan hide No.3 Bed 26/01/2013

 
004 Pink Footed Goose
004  Pink Footed Goose
David Spencer

Anser brachyrhynchus

Status: More often observed in large skeens flying over the Reserve but also an irregular visitor in winter months.

2014 Records - The year began with 300 flying east over No.1 bed on 2nd January. There were six further reports in January, the most significant being 120 overflying on the 10th, 190 on the 13th and 153 on the 18th. The only other sightings were of 40 flying west on 4th February, and nine to the east on 15th February. Numbers reported were much higher in the final months of the year, beginning with 895, recorded flying east during a five-hour Migration Watch on 11th October. Peak numbers were in November, starting with 505 on another Migration Watch on the 1st but this, however, was dwarfed by the 1450 which flew east on the morning of the 5th. Smaller numbers continued to overfly in subsequent weeks, including 140 in two skeins on the 13th. However, 700 passed over No.1 bed on the 23rd, with 55 over No.4 bed on the same date. The final sightings were of 21 over Butchersfield on December 18th and 50 flying south over No.1 bed on 21st December.

Image from the No.3 bed scrapes 4th May 2016

 
005 White-fronted Goose

Anser albifrons

Status:Scarce irregular visitor.

2014 Records - no sightings submitted. The last record of White-Fronted Goose on the reserve was

No Woolston image available

 
006 Grey Lag Goose
006  Grey Lag Goose
Dave Bowman

Anser anser

Status: Breeding species and seen in each month of the year with numbers increasing.

2014 Records - There was a further increase in numbers, with records in every month of the year, and the breeding population continues to rise.

The first two months saw a maximum of eight on 13th February. Similar numbers were present in March, and by then several had paired. The first brood of two small young was reported on 24th April and on 3rd May three broods were on No.3 bed (two of two and one of six young). On this date one of the young was taken by one of the ever-present Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Two days later a total of 26 was counted. A further two broods were found on the Ship Canal on 15th July, making a total of five broods overall.

Peak numbers were present in the autumn with 31 on 25th August, 41 on 3rd September and 52 on 15th October, when 59 were reported flying east over No.1 bed. In the final two months Greylags were scarce, with three the maximum in December.

Photographed on No3 Bed 23-02-2013

 
007 Canada Goose
007  Canada Goose
Alan Debenham

Branta canadensis

Status: Breeds on the reserve and present all year with highest numbers present from autumn to year end.

2014 Records - Reported throughout the year in similar numbers to 2013. Breeding pairs, however, were at a record level.

The year began with peak counts of 56 on 18th January and 49 on 6th February. Bollin Point on the Ship Canal is an area favoured by this goose, with a flock of 154 there on 19th April.

The first brood was seen on No.3 bed on 8th May, followed by a second there two days later. In all, six broods were seen on No.3 bed. A further three broods were reported on the Ship Canal, with a Reserve-wide count of 39 adults and 17 young on 1st July. Many of the young subsequently fledged.

As always, the largest numbers occur in the autumn, no doubt attracted to spilt grain on nearby farmland. On 8th August 150 flew north-west over No.1 bed, and a flock of 100 was at Bollin Point on the last two days of the month. One hundred and sixty-six were present on 7th September, 240 on 20th September, 261 on 11th October and 250 on the 15th. At the end of October 98 were still on No.3 bed. After this numbers decreased rapidly, with 44 on 30th December the highest count in the final two months.

Monthly maxima:

Jan 53 Feb 49, Mar 47, Apr 154, May 29, Jun 36, Jul 56, Aug 150 Sep 240, Oct 261, Nov 39, Dec 44

Photograph from No3 Bed 06/05/2012

 
008 Barnacle Goose

Branta leucopsis

Status: Rare visitor.

2014 Records - no sightings reported during the year. The last records on the reserve was of one seen in front of the John Morgan Hide on 30th April 2013 and another single sighting in 2012.

No Woolston image available

 
009 Brent Goose

Branta bernicla

Status: Rare vagrant visitor.

2014 Records - no sightings submitted. The last record of Brent Goose on the reserve was

No Woolston image avaialable

 
010 Ruddy Shelduck

Tadorna ferruginea

Status: Rare visitor to the Reserve

2014 records - no sightings submitted. The last record on the reserve was

No Woolston image available

 
011 Shelduck
011  Shelduck
Andy Weir

Tadorna tadorna

Status: Breeds on or nearby the Reserve as broods are noted but nest sites have never been reported. More common in the first half of the year.

2014 Records - Recorded in every month except September, with peak numbers, as usual, in the first six months of the year. Many pairs bred, all but one on No.3 bed.

Counts into double-figures occurred on many days in January, with a maximum of 29 on the 19th. Twenty-one were reported on two February dates and 24 were noted on 15th March. On 24th May broods of three and 11 young appeared on No.3 bed, while the following day a pair with 17 small young was seen. On 5th June a chick from this brood was taken by a Magpie, and a week later a new brood of three young was found on the Loop of No.4 bed. In all a total of 11 adults and 18 young was on Beds 3 and 4 on 12th June, with a new brood of seven young appearing on No.3 bed on 14th June. By then the brood of 17 had been reduced to 11, all but one of which probably fledged. The six broods this year (five on No.3 and one on the Loop) is a record for Woolston.

Most Shelduck had left by early August, with the last juvenile reported on the 22nd. None were seen in September and there were only small numbers recorded in the final three months, ten being the highest count at the end of the year.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan hide 01/03/2014

 
012 Mandarin Duck
012  Mandarin Duck
Brian Burnett

Aix galericulata

Status: Uncommon visitor to the Reserve.

2014 Records - For the second year in succession Mandarin Duck visited the Eyes, with two males and a female at Bollin Point on 11th October. A drake was reported at Woolston Weir on 30th October, with two at the east end of the Reserve on 6th December.

Photograph from No3 Bed off footbridge 10/11/2013

 
013 Wigeon
013  Wigeon
David Spencer

Anas penelope

Status: A predominately winter visitor with small numbers present most commonly in Jan-Feb-Mar.

2014 Records - Although 83 records were submitted sightings followed a familiar pattern, with most Wigeon reported in the autumn and second winter period.

The year began with the highest counts being of eight on No.3 bed on 3rd January and seven on 22nd February. A pair remained for two days in late April, but the only other record in the first six months was of one on No.3 bed on 27th June.

There were near-daily reports from September, with counts of 17 on 20th September and 13 on 11th October being notable. Eight were present on No.1 bed on 25th September, with 11 on No.3 bed on 30th November and 15 on 6th December the maximum year-end counts received.

No Woolston image available

 
014 Gadwall
014  Gadwall
Andy Weir

Anas strepera

Status: Numbers are seen throughout the year but are noted to build from June to November.

2014 Records - One of the highlights of 2014 was the record-breaking numbers of this duck in the early autumn, while, in contrast, the breeding season was a disappointment.

In the first four months Gadwall were present in below-average numbers – 66 on 15th March being the highest count received. In the breeding season five broods were seen on No.3 bed between 31st May and 29th June (ten broods in 2013 and 13 in 2012).

The summer influx, which is a feature of the Woolston year, began with 110 on 24th May. On 17th June 200 were present, with arrivals continuing in July, with 257 on the 1st increasing to 329 on the 21st. These numbers, however, were dwarfed by the amazing numbers found on No.3 bed in the second half of August and the first week of September. On the evening of 21st August 536 were present, a record for the Eyes and Cheshire. On 28th August, however, 843 were on No.3 bed, increasing to 875 on 1st September. Even this was considered to be a minimum figure as Gadwall were known to be present in channels not visible from any of the hides. These two counts are of international importance, well exceeding the qualifying level of 600.

Interestingly, these huge numbers were counted in the late evening by two observers (D.Hackett and B.Martin), with much smaller numbers noted earlier in the day. However, despite regular observations, no Gadwall were seen flighting in at any time, so were they roosting in the reed beds during the day and moving out to feed at dusk?

Counts of national importance were made well into September, with, for example, 516 on the 7th and 340 on the 19th. After this there was a steady decline with only double-figure numbers present in October. A small increase in November saw 106 on the 8th and 145 on the 22nd.

Monthly maxima; Jan 42, Feb 42, Mar 66, Apr 48, May 110, Jun 200, Jul 329 Aug 843, Sep 875, Oct 72, Nov 145, Dec 83

Photograph of a male and female pair from No3 Bed 08/06/2013

 
015 Teal
015  Teal
Andy Weir

Anas crecca

Status: Very abundent in the winter periods but less so in the summer months.

2014 Records - The high numbers present in late 2013 were still recorded in January, with 1000 noted on the 8th (600 of which were flushed by a passing helicopter). The peak count of 1100 was on 18th January, with 800 on the 26th and 650 on the 31st. The February maximum was of 450, and 130 were flushed by a Marsh Harrier on 31st March.

It is many years since Teal was proved breeding at Woolston, and a few pairs were present in May and June. On 11th July two adults were seen on No.2 bed, with a single downy young, while on 26th July two adults were reported with a juvenile bird on No.3 bed. It was September before any build-up occurred, with 220 present across the Eyes on the 7th, 530 on 8th November and an end of year maximum of 800 on Beds 2 and 3 on 17th December.

The ringing team on No.3 bed trapped and ringed 45 Teal during the year, nearly double the total number ringed since 1980; it is likely that information will be received on the movements of some of these birds.

Monthly maxima:

Jan 1100, Feb 450, Mar 130, Apr 60, May 5, Jun 6, Jul 5, Aug 30, Sep 220, Oct 450, Nov 530, Dec 800

Photograph from No3 Bed 08/06/2013

 
016 Green-winged Teal

Anas crecca carolinensis

Status: Rare winter visitor.

2014 records - no sightings submitted. The last record of Green-winged Teal on the reserve was

No Woolston image available

 
017 Mallard
017  Mallard
Andy Weir

Anas platyrhynchos

Status: Very common throughout the Reserve all year round.

2014 Records - An improvement in both wintering numbers and breeding pairs compared with 2013.

The highest early-year count was of 100 on the 18th January WeBS count, with the following four months recording maxima of approximately 50.

The first two broods were seen at Woolston Weir on 19th April and in all a total of 34 broods was reported: ten on No.3 bed, two on No.2, five at Latchford Locks, seven on the Mersey and Weir Pool, five on the Ship Canal, three on the No.1 bed pools and two on the Loop of No.4 bed. Many growing young were reported during the summer, no doubt helped by the warm weather in June and July.

Numbers steadily increased during the final four months, with over 200 present from late November to the end of the year. The ringing team on No.3 bed trapped 28 new Mallard, all but one in the period 15th March to 26th April. Many of these were subsequently retrapped. Up to this year only 63 Mallard had been ringed since the start of ringing at Woolston in 1980.

Monthly maxima: Jan 100, Feb 52, Mar 47, Apr 51, May 56, Jun 74, Jul 121, Aug 77, Sep 98, Oct 141, Nov 226, Dec 232

Photograph of male and female pair from No3 Bed 01/03/2014

 
018 Pintail
018  Pintail
Brian Burnett

Anas acuta

Status: Winter visitor, not as common as it once was but occurs irregularly annually in small numbers.

2014 Records - With only 17 records submitted the status of this duck as an uncommon visitor to the Eyes was confirmed.

The only sighting in the first six months was on 7th January when a male and female were on No.3 bed. The next record was of a female on 27th July, while a female on 1st September remained for nearly three weeks. Ten on 26th October was the highest count of the year, with a drake on No.3 bed on 30th November the last seen.

Photograph of male and female from No3 Bed February 2011

 
019 Garganey
019  Garganey
Brian Burnett

Anas querquedula

Status: Rare passage visitor to Woolston.

2014 Records - The only records of this scarce summer visitor were of a drake on No.3 bed on 10th May and a female, also on No.3 bed, on 6th and 7th September.

Photograph from No3 Bed 04/04/2011

 
020 Shoveler
020  Shoveler
Dave Bowman

Anas clypeata

Status: Found in numbers in the winter periods but less so in the summer months although small numbers can be seen.

2014 Records - Numbers were high on spring passage but about average during the rest of the year, with the autumn build-up, which used to be a feature of the Woolston year, again below one hundred.

The year began with a peak count of 56 on 4th January, mostly on No.3 bed, and 36, again on No.3, was the February maximum. An arrival in March saw 50-65 present on many dates and a peak of 109 on the 31st. Eighty on 1st April and 63 the following day were soon followed by a major fall in numbers as birds moved on.

Small numbers summered, for example three drakes and two females on 8th June and a pair on two other dates in June. There was, however, no evidence of breeding.

Autumn passage was relatively low, with 70 recorded on 2nd September and 75 on 8th September. There were then few reports until 44 were seen on No.3 bed on 11th October, 50 on the 19th and 49 on the 30th. During November over 30 were present on several dates.

Monthly maxima:

Jan 52, Feb 36, Mar 109, Apr 80, May 3, Jun 5, Jul 3 Aug 18, Sep 75, Oct 50, Nov 43, Dec 30.

Photograph from No3 Bed 21-02-2014

 
021 Pochard
021  Pochard
Alan Debenham

Aythya ferina

Status: Good numbers in the early part of the year which reduce during the breeding season but recorded in all months.

2014 Records - Numbers continue to fall, not just at Woolston but across north-west Europe. For the first year since recording began at Woolston in 1978 a three-figure count was not made.

Low numbers were on the Eyes in the first few weeks of January, and 31 on the 23rd and 48 on the 26th were the maxima for that month. Traditionally, Pochard peak at Woolston in February and this was the case in 2014, but the largest counts were of only 54 on the 13th and 18th. Thirty-two were on No.3 bed on 2nd April and 30 on 2nd May.

It was a good breeding season, with a total of ten broods reported, eight on No.3 bed and two on No.1 bed (6 or 7 in 2013, 14 in 2012). Many young appear to have fledged in the warm and largely dry July.

Following the breeding season Pochard were absent for long periods. The only double figure count was of 11 on 5th November, with none reported after 19th November.

Monthly maxima;

Jan 48, Feb 54, Mar 26, Apr 32, May 30, Jun 15, Jul 7, Aug 3, Sep 1, Oct 2, Nov 11, Dec Nil.

Photograph from No3 Bed 04/04/2014

 
022 Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris)
022  Ring-necked Duck
Alan Patterson

Aythya collaris

Status: Rare winter vagrant.

2014 records - no sightings submitted. The last record on the reserve was on 21st April 2011.

Photographed No3 Bed 21st April 2011

 
023 Ferruginus Duck

Aythya nyroca

Status: Rare vagrant to Woolston.

2014 Records - no records submitted. The last record of this species at Woolston was

No Woolston image available

 
024 Tufted Duck
024  Tufted Duck
Chris Monks

Aythya fuligula

Status: Abundant in the winter periods less numerous in the breeding season but present all year.

2014 Records - A good year for this duck with, as usual, many records submitted. It was also a good breeding season.

At the start of the year high numbers were present with 480 found on the 18th January WeBS, but peak numbers occurred in February with 785 on the 13th and 665 on the 16th. Other significant counts in the spring were 323 on 15th March, 169 on 24th April, and 161 still remaining on 2nd May.

The first brood was reported on No.3 bed on 19th June and was followed by at least another 15, the last being seen on 30th July. Unusually, all breeding records were from No.3 bed, with none seen on the Mersey or Ship Canal as in previous years. Several broods of large young were present in late July and August, suggesting a successful breeding season.

Later in the year numbers were below average, with 196 on 28th November and 379 on 6th December being the highest counts made. A drake Tufted Duck was caught in the Duck Trap on 12th August, and is the first of this species to be ringed at Woolston since ringing began in 1980.

Monthly maxima: Jan 480, Feb 785, Mar 323, Apr 169, May 161, Jun 94, Jul 54, Aug 24, Sep 45, Oct 81, Nov 196, Dec 379

Photographed from No3 bed

 
025 Scaup

Aythya marila

Status: Rare winter visitor.

2014 Records - no records were submitted this year, the three records from 2012, all of single birds, at Woolston Weir Pool on 29th October and on No3 Bed on 13th November and 23rd December were the last sightings reported.

No winter image available

 
026 Long-tailed Duck
026  Long-tailed Duck
Douglas Buchanan

Clangula hyemalis

Status: A rare winter vagrant to the Reserve.

2014 Records - no records received this year. The last records on the reserve go back to 2013 when a female was found on No.3 Bed on 25th February, the first since February 1988. Prior to that there had been sightings of females in 1979 and 1981. On 1st March the bird relocated to the river to the north of No.1 Bed where it remained for two weeks before returning briefly to No.3 Bed on 18th March. It was not seen again there but on 30th March it re-appeared on the river at Bollin Point. There were three further sightings in this area on 17th and 22nd April and finally on 1st May.

Photograph from No3 Bed 25/02/2013

 
027 Common Scoter

Melanitta nigra

Status: Rare winter visitor.

2014Records - no records submitted. The last record for the reserve was

No Woolston image available

 
028 Goldeneye
028  Goldeneye
Andy Weir

Bucephala clangula

Status: A regular winter visitor especially favours Woolston Weir pool and the Ship Canal.

2014 Records - Numbers were below average, with five on 6th January the highest count received. All records were from the Woolston Weir Pool, where between one and three were seen on many dates, the last on 2nd April.

The first returning Goldeneye was at Woolston Weir on 4th November, with three drakes there the following day. Between four and six were present throughout November, with the year maximum of seven on 27th December.

Photograph from Woolston Weir Pool 26/01/2013

 
029 Smew

Mergellus albellus

Status: Rare winter vagrant to Woolston.

2014 Records - no records submitted. The last sighting on the reserve was

No Woolston image available

 
030 Red-breasted Merganser

Mergus sator

Status: Infrequent wintor visitor

2014 Records no records submitted. The last reserve record was

Photograph No Woolston image available

 
031 Goosander

Mergus merganser

Status: Irregular winter visitor on the Reserve, more likely to be found on the canal or adjacent River Mersey.

2014 Records - Only two records were submitted, one at Bollin Point on 22nd February and two flying south over No.1 bed on 23rd November.

No Woolston image available

 
032 Ruddy Duck
032  Ruddy Duck
Andy Weir

Oxyura jamaicensis

Status: Becoming rare as a result of the culling program over recent years.

2014 Records - During the year 97 records were submitted of this now much sought after duck.

Although there were two records of a female there was no evidence that breeding was even attempted.

A drake was present on No.3 bed on 26th January. Up to two drakes were present during the spring and summer, with three drakes reported on 10th May, 13th July and 2nd August. Single females were seen on 24th February and 7th May. The last report of a Ruddy Duck was on 24th August.

During the summer one of the drakes became attached to an adult Great Crested Grebe, as later did a second drake, following the grebe wherever it went. On 30th July one of the drakes was seen displaying to the grebe!

Photograph from No3 Bed Tower hide 08/06/2013

 
033 Quail

Coturnix coturnix

Status: A rare visitor but has been noted by call on fly over migration and is recorded on passage in surrounding arable farmland.

2014 Records - no records submitted. The last report was on

No Woolston image available

 
034 Red-legged Partridge

Alectoris rufa

Status: Historically rare and still scarce as there are only 8 records for the Reserve to date.

2014 Records - A single record of one on the Canal track on No.2 bed at dawn on 4th April was the first since 2012 and only the eighth ever for Woolston.

No Woolston image available

 
035 Grey Partridge

Perdi perdix

Status: Irregular visitor to the Reserve with only 2 records in 2012 but atypically 40 in 2011. A declining species particularly on the eastern side of the reserve perhaps a consequence of the increasing scrub and tree cover there.

2014 Records - The decline of this once common species continues and there were only two sightings on the Reserve itself. Two were at Bollin Point on 4th January and one was found on No.3 bed on 15th March. There were two records from adjacent sites with one at Rixton Paddocks on 24th May and five seen to the north on the September Migration Watch.

No Woolston image available

 
036 Pheasant
036  Pheasant
Andy Weir

Phasianus colchicus

Status: common sighting on and around the Reserve.

2014 Records - present in small numbers throughout the year, the highest counts are usually in spring and this proved to be the case again this year. On 19th April 12 were on the northern half of No.4 bed and there were Reserve-wide totals of 12 on two other dates in April and May. About 20 were present in early May. An interesting report was of a completely black individual on No.1 bed on 24th October. The Migration Watches produced totals of 24 and 21 for October and November respectively but most of these were not on the Reserve itself. No evidence of breeding was submitted.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan hide 06/07/2013

 
037 Red-throated Diver

Gavia stellata

Status: Rare passage and winter visitor.

2014 Records - A surprising record was of one flying west along the Ship Canal on the unusual date of 16th May.

No Woolston image available

 
038 Fulmar

Fulmarus glacialis

Status: Rare storm blown vagrant.

2014 Records - no sightings submitted. The last record of Fulmar was

No Woolston image available

 
039 Storm Petrel

Hydrobates pelagicus

Status: Rare storm blown vagrant.

2014 Records - no sightings submitted. The record from remains the last reported sighting of this species.

No Woolston image available

 
040 Leach's Storm Petrel

Oceanodroma leucorhoa

Status: very rare storm blown vagrant.

2014 Records - no sightings submitted. The last record at Woolston dates back to

No Woolston image available

 
041 Cormorant
041  Cormorant
Douglas Buchanan

Phalacrocorax carbo

Status: common bird on the Reserve and surronding habitat and large numbers overflying.

2014 Records - A fairly uneventful year, with birds seen in every month. Early in the year 29 on 2nd January was a high count, exceeded only by 32 across the Reserve on 31st May. During the summer Bollin Point was a favoured area for Cormorants, with up to eight there in June and July.

Twenty-four on 30th October, 21 on 5th November and 27 on 6th December WeBS were other significant records. On 19th November 12 were perched in a tree near Woolston Weir.

Photograph of a mature male from No3 Bed

 
042 Shag

Phalacrocorax aristotelis

Status: rare vagrant visitor.

2014 Records - no records submitted. The last report of Shag on the reserve was

No Woolston image available

 
043 Bittern

Botaurus stellaris

Status: Scarce winter visitor.

2014 Records - no reports were received this year. The last sighting of Bittern was back in 2012 and 2011.

No Woolston image available

 
044 Night Heron

Nycticorax nycticorax

Status: rare vagrant.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
045 Little Egret
045  Little Egret
Chris Monks

Egretta garzetta

Status: an irregular spring-summer-autumn visitor which is reported a number of times annually.

2014 Records - With five sightings received, all from No.3 bed, it was an average year for this elegant egret, which is steadily increasing its population nationally. The first was on 2nd April, when one, which may have been present all morning, was seen flying off from the north-east corner of the bed. Two then flew over on 12th April. None was then seen until a flurry of records in August, all of singles. The first 15 was noted flying across the bed on the morning of 9th August, with another perched in a tree there on the 14th and, finally, one was present from dawn on the 25th.

Photographed from the John Morgan hide No.3 Bed 22 July 2012 19:30

 
046 Grey Heron
046 Grey Heron
David Shallcross

Ardea cinerea

Status: resident non breeding bird found throughout the year.

2014 Records - Noted throughout the year in small numbers. In the first six months, five on 18th January and eight on 19th April were the largest gatherings. Later in the year nine, on No.3 bed on 2nd October, took advantage of low water levels to feed on small fish. Seven on 28th October was the only other notable count. On 27th April a Heron took a Mallard chick at Latchford Locks.

Photographed from John Morgan hide No.3 Bed 2012

 
047 Spoonbill

Platalea leucorodia

Status: rare vagrant.

2014 Records - no sightings submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
048 Little Grebe
048  Little Grebe
Roy Peacock

Tachybaptus ruficollis

Status: resident and breeding, found throughout the year.

2014 Records - an improved showing this year after poor numbers in 2013. The year began with eight found across the Eyes on 18th January and nine at Bollin Point, on the Ship Canal, on 1st February. Trilling was first heard on one of the No.1 bed pools on 27th February. There is always a spring influx and 13 were recorded on 15th March. Twelve adults were found on No.3 bed alone on 2nd April, and 15th with 12 also reported on 15th April.

The pools on No.1 bed are favoured by this grebe and a brood of four small young appeared on the west pool on 24th April, followed by a new brood of one young on the east pool on 4th May. Another three broods were reported on No.1 bed and it is likely that a number of young fledged from there.

The first brood on No.3 bed was found on 18th May, with subsequently another four, including a new brood of three young on 21st June. On 6th July four broods, each of one growing young were seen there along with ten adults. In all, it is probable that at least ten broods were present on the Eyes this year, with three full-grown young still being fed on No.1 bed in late August/early September.

Later in the year seven were present on the redundant arm of the Mersey between No.2 and No.3 beds rom late September to early December.

Photograph from No3 Bed 24/06/2013

 
049 Great Crested Grebe
049  Great Crested Grebe
Andy Weir

Podiceps cristatus

Status: breeds on the reserve and resident throughout the year.

2014 Records - As with Little Grebe the fortunes of this grebe improved considerably this year; most importantly in the number of young that fledged after several years of failure.

Six were present on 18th January, with others returning to breeding sites during February, e.g. 12 on the 16th and 17 on the 18th when a pair was displaying at Woolston Weir. The first report of nest building was on No.3 bed on 2nd April and the pair at Woolston Weir was seen on 14th May rebuilding a nest that had been washed out earlier. During May at least five pairs were present on No.3 bed with the first brood appearing on the 20th . On 16th June four broods, each of one young, were on No.3 bed and it is thought that a fifth pair also bred. Elsewhere, the pair at the Weir (as in 2013) eventually hatched two young, one of which is thought to have fledged. Another pair also bred on the Mersey between beds 3 and 4 and an adult with a large chick was present on the river north of No.2 bed in late July. A ninth brood of two large young was on the Ship Canal in mid-September, but could have bred away from the Eyes.

In the final months birds became scarce, with a maximum of six on 30th December.

Photographed from the Rotary Hide No.3 Bed July 2012

 
050 Red-necked Grebe

Podiceps grisegena

Status: rare vagrant.

2014 Records - no sightings submitted

No Woolston image available

 
051 Slavonian Grebe

Podiceps auritus

Status: rare passage and winter vagrant.

2014 Records - no sightings submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
052 Black-necked Grebe
052  Black-necked Grebe
Steven Ellis

Podiceps nigricollis

Status: Black-necked Grebes are widespread but scarce summer visitors to the UK. Woolston Eyes is a nationally important breeding site for this species. best seen from March to August.

2014 Records - Another excellent year for this rare grebe which continues to thrive at Woolston.

Two, still moulting out of winter plumage, were on No.3 bed on 8th March, a comparatively early date. Two days later they were joined by two in full summer plumage. Numbers remained at this level until 26th March when eight were present, steadily increasing throughout April to 13 on the 8th , 18 on the 17th when a pair was seen displaying, and a peak count of 31 on the 22nd, the highest count since 2008.

In May, birds began to move to nest sites, with two sitting birds seen in a small patch of Typha on the 10th; a changeover at a nest was witnessed on the 13th. On 19th May the first brood appeared (one young), with a second brood of two on 1st June. On 16th June three sitting birds were on nests in the patch of Typha with five broods on the water of No.3 bed. Broods continued to appear, with twelve noted on 6th July and a total of 17 adults and 13 young. Fifteen adults and 16 young were present on 29th July, with 13 full grown, independent young on 26th July. By this date some of the early young had already fledged and left, as had many of the adults. It is believed that a minimum of 11 pairs bred and at least 15 young fledged.

Two adults on 14th August were the last seen. Two juveniles remained, with the last sighting on 1st September.

Photographed on No.3 Bed May 2013

 
053 Honey Buzzard

Pernis apivorus

Status: Very rare vagrant.

2014 Records - no sightings reported. This species was last reported on

No Woolston image available

 
054 Red Kite

Milvus milvus

Species: Rare passage visitor.

2014 Records - Two records of this rare visitor were received. A permit holder reported one flying over No.3 bed on 8th April, and on 13th May, David Bowman observed one “drifting at low level along the south bank of No.3 bed before heading north. It had no wing tags or other obvious markers.” These are the first records since 2010.

No Woolston image available

 
055 Marsh Harrier
055  Marsh Harrier
Douglas Buchanan

Circus aeruginosus

Status: recorded annually often staying for long periods in the winter months.

2014 Records - this species enjoyed a good year and over 50 records were submitted. From January to May there were regular sightings of one or two from No.3 bed. Almost all related to a female or immature bird which was joined by a second from 31st March to 4th April. There were two reports of a male; the first, an immature, on 23rd February and the second on 21st April when David Spencer saw two flying north, one at least being a male. None were seen from 24th May until 10th August. Two females were over No.1 bed on 3rd September and there was a further sighting from this area on the 15th . All other records were from No.3 bed including a very dark individual, possibly an immature male, on 30th September. This was the last sighting of the year, unlike 2013 when reports continued to the end of the year.

Distant photograph from John Morgan hide No3 Bed

 
056 Hen Harrier

Circus cyaneus

Status: rare winter visitor.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
057 Montagu's Harrier

Circus pygargus

Status: very rare passage vagrant.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
058 Goshawk

Accipiter gentilis

Status: infrequent visitor.

2014 Records - no records submitted. The last record of this uncommon visitor was of a male on No.1 Bed on 12th April 2013.

No Woolston iamage available

 
059 Sparrowhawk
059  Sparrowhawk
Glen Ellis

Accipiter nisus

Status:reported throughout the year and regularly breeding.

2014 Records - the 75 records received were a slight improvement on the previous year and there were regular sightings throughout the year. Three were reported on No.3 bed on 1st February followed by five on the 21st . Up to five were attracted to the Starling roost on No.3 bed in late February and early March. A pair was observed displaying over the north bank of the same bed on 31st March and a report of one carrying food towards the east bank was suggestive of breeding. At least one and possibly two nests were found on No.4 bed but although an egg was found in one of the nests, it was later predated. On No.1 bed a nest was built but there was no information as to whether breeding was successful there. On 3rd July one was reported carrying food towards the east bank of No.3 bed and on the same date another was seen flying on to No.4 bed with prey. A male was also seen with prey on 9th August.

Many records were received from No.3 bed where the feeders regularly attracted birds in search of finches and other potential prey. On 21st October two were seen duelling with 13 Magpies over the north bank of No.3 bed “during high winds and torrential rain”. Possibly the same duo was observed unsuccessfully hunting roosting Lapwing and Teal on 3rd November and at the end of that month one was watched bathing in a small pool near the Tower Hide for about 15 minutes. The Migration Watches produced counts of six and four at the eastern end of the Reserve in September and November.

Ringing was very successful with four captured on No.1 bed (the highest total since 1995) and three on No.3 bed (the best since 2008). Those ringed on No.1 bed comprised one adult and two juvenile males and an adult female. The birds ringed on No.3 bed were all males.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan hide 10/12/2012

 
060 Buzzard
060  Buzzard
David Mercer

Buteo buteo

Status: resident breeding species seen throughout the year and very regularly reported with double figure counts during autumn.

2014 Records - This species is now well established at Woolston and it is almost guaranteed that at least one will be seen during a visit at any time of year. Up to six were reported during January and February, and on 31st March one of a pair was seen carrying prey into trees on the east bank of No.3 bed. There was a further sighting of one with prey in the same area on 21st May. The maximum count for the first half of the year was seven on a number of occasions, mostly from No.3 bed. A nest was found on this bed and two young were ringed there on 12th June. This was the first ever confirmed breeding on this bed and the two pulli were the first to be ringed at Woolston. Pairs also produced young on No.2 bed and on No.1 bed where at least two chicks were seen in a nest. A further pair bred just to the west of the Reserve but the outcome is unknown.

Adults took advantage of the supply of Black-headed Gull chicks and one was taken from a nest on 21st June and again on 1st July. Later that month an adult and one young were regularly heard calling over the east bank of No.3 bed.

Up to six were present during the autumn on both Nos.1 and 3 beds and the Migration Watchers reported counts of 17 on 11th October and nine on 1st November from their vantage point at the east end of the Reserve.

Photograph of a bird soaring over John Morgan Hide on No.3 Bed 7th May 2016

 
061 Rough-legged Buzzard

Buteo lagopus

Status: rare vagrant.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
062 Osprey
062  Osprey
David Bowman

Pandion haliaetus

Status: rare passage vagrant, with only nine records on the reserve.

2014 Records - no records submitted. The last report of Osprey was of one seen flying north over No.3 Bed on 27th March. 2013, the previous sighting being in 2009.

Image is a quick snap-shot of a fly-over bird from the John Morgan Hide 4th May 2016

 
063 Kestrel
063  Kestrel
Andy Weir

Falco tinnunculus

Status: after Buzzard, the second most common raptor sighted throughout the year.

2014 Records - In view of the decline which has occurred in recent years it was encouraging to have an increased number of reports this year. In the early months up to two were seen and an absence of reports in March was followed by April sightings of singles from Nos.1, 2 and 3 beds. A pair was at a traditional site on the Thelwall Viaduct on 31st May and four young were in the nest on 6th June of which at least two fledged. The female was seen feeding one of the young on 21st June. Birds remained on the Viaduct until early August and one was seen carrying food on 26th July. There was no evidence of breeding elsewhere on the Reserve.

During autumn the highest count was of six on the Migration Watch of 1st September; some of these would not be on the Reserve itself, however. One or two remained until the year end with reports from No.3 bed and the eastern end of the Reserve.

One was ringed on No.1 bed on 29th September, the first on that bed since 2011 and only the ninth ever.

Photograph from No3 Bed Footbridge 01/12/2013

 
064 Red-footed Falcon

Falco vespertinus

Status: rare passage vagrant.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
065 Merlin

Falco columbarius

Status: infrequent winter visitor.

2014 Records - no records submitted. 2013 provided three records, one on No.3 Bed on 18th April, another on No.3 Bed on 10th October and one near the Viaduct on 4th December.

No Woolston image available

 
066 Hobby

Falco subbuteo

Status: regular visitor in the summer months, reports of double figure sightings annually.

2014 Records - An above-average year with 20 records submitted. These included nine May sightings of one or two from Nos.1 and 3 beds, including two hunting dragonflies over the east bank of No.3 bed on the 17th. There were further reports of one or two from July to September, mostly from No.3 bed where one was observed hunting Swifts on 14th July

No Woolston image available

 
067 Peregrine Falcon
067  Peregrine Falcon
Dave Bowman

Falco peregrinus

Status: breeding species and irregular visitor.

2014 Records - Up to two were present in all months and for the seventh successive year a pair bred on the Thelwall Viaduct. On 18th February they were seen calling, displaying and passing food near to the nest site. On 17th May the male was carrying prey to the nest and on the evening of 28th June an adult and a well-grown young were seen perched on the Viaduct. Earlier that day the male had been observed passing food to the female at the nest site. On 5th July an adult took a Feral Pigeon under the Viaduct. There were a number of reports away from the nest site but these probably related to the nesting pair. One took what was believed to be a Snipe on No.3 bed on 1st October. The maximum count of the year was of three over Butchersfield Tip on 18th November

Photograph from No1 Bed under the Thelwall Viaduct

 
068 Water Rail
068  Water Rail
Andy Weir

Rallus aquaticus

Status: best seen from the hides on No3 Bed where this secretive bird is frequently sighted but it occurs on all the Beds throughout the year.

2014 Records - Present in small numbers throughout the year although, given its secretive nature, sight records inevitably underestimate the actual prevalence of this species. Nearly all reports were from Nos.1 and 3 beds, the only exceptions being of one calling on No.2 bed on 30th July and one at the fish refuge to the north of that bed on 30th December. During the first half of the year maximum counts were of four on No.3 bed and three on No.1 bed.

Breeding was disappointing; two fully grown young were in front of the John Morgan Hide on 31st July and there was a record of two young calling from different areas of No.1 bed on 20th August. On the Loop of No.4 bed a nest with six small chicks was found. As there were no other reports of young it seems that only four pairs bred.

Six adults were on No.1 bed on 8th July and five were counted there on 11th November. The highest autumn total for No.3 bed was of four on 29th November. The ringing team captured two juveniles in front of the Rotary Hide on 31st August.

Photograph from No3 Bed Rotary hide 21/04/2013

 
069 Spotted Crake

Porzana porzana

Status: rare passage visitor to the Reserve.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston imabe available

 
070 Little Crake

Porzana parva

Status: rare visitor to the Reserve.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
071 Corncrake

Crex crex

Status: a bird of the past for Woolston but night passage calls have been attributed.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
072 Moorhen
072  Moorhen
Andy Weir

Gallinula chloropus

Status: very common throughout the Reserve.

2014 Records - the decline in recent years was reversed somewhat, with good numbers present and the most broods ever recorded. The first total of note was of 19 on the WeBS count on 18th January but there were few double-figure counts until the start of the breeding season . The first young appeared on 18th May and in total 28 broods were recorded. This compares favourably with the previous two years when 13 broods (2013) and 20 (2012) were reported. It is interesting to recall that in the early 1980’s an estimated 40 -50 breeding pairs were present and this year’s figures are the highest since that time. It was hoped that recent changes to the habitat on No.3 bed would benefit this species and this may prove to be the case. No less than 17 broods were on this bed with three on No.1 bed, two on No.2 bed and a further two on fields to the north. Of the remainder, two were on the river, one at Latchford Locks and one on No.4 bed.

Post-breeding, 18 were found on the WeBS count of 7th September and 24 on the 11th October. The highest total of the year was of 46 on 30th October of which 19 were on the favoured No.3 bed, where birds were attracted to the feeders at the John Morgan Hide. Over 30 remained through November and a successful year ended with 21 on No.3 bed on 29th December.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan hide 06/07/2013

 
073 Coot
073  Coot
Douglas Buchanan

Fulica atra

Status: very common on all the water areas.

2014 Records - The year began with small numbers reported during January and February and a maximum count of 23 on 18th February. The WeBS count on 19th April produced 29 and this was the highest total before the start of a very successful breeding season. The first young were reported on 2nd May and even allowing for the possibility of double counting it seems likely that over 50 broods were produced. Of these, an estimated 35 were on No.3 bed with five on No.1 bed, four on No.2 bed and five on No.4 bed. Two others were on the river and one in flooded fields to the north of No.2 bed. The total of 52 broods is the highest ever recorded at Woolston.

In the 1980’s it was estimated that there were between 80 and 100 pairs on No.3 bed alone but following the drainage of the bed in 1991 both Coot and Moorhen became very scarce breeders. In the 1992 Annual Report it was feared that “the future of this once very common breeding species (Coot) at Woolston seems bleak”.

Good numbers were present post-breeding with 99 present on 15th July, the vast majority on No.3 bed. During August even more were recorded and No.3 bed held 152 on the 2nd, 202 on the 20th and a total of 309 on 1st September was the highest since 1990. This coincided with a record number of Gadwall, a species known to associate with Coot to maximise feeding opportunities. From mid-September there was a rapid decrease in numbers and by October only 12 were found across the Reserve. Significant counts for the rest of the year included 37 on 5th November, of which 18 were at Bollin Point, and 25 on a small pool of open water on No.3 bed on 29th December when all the rest of the bed was frozen.

One was captured in the duck trap on No.3 bed and ringed on 15th March

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan hide

 
074 Avocet

Recurvirostra avosetta

Status: a rare visitor to Woolston with only three records

2014 Records - no records submitted. The last report of Avocet was from 24th April 2013. This was only the third record for Woolston, two were flushed from the Sandpit Pond area in May 1978 and one was on No.2 Bed in June 1984.

No Woolston image available

 
075 Oystercatcher
075  Oystercatcher
Douglas Buchanan

Haematopus ostralegus

Status: historically a bird of spring passage and early summer.

2014 Records - In a fairly typical year the first was reported on 23rd February and the majority of sightings occurred between March and May. Four were present on 8th March and again on 17th May. Apart from two records from No.1 bed, all were from No.3 bed. There were two June sightings, one in July and the last of the year was on 10th September when one flew over No.3 bed.

Photograph from No.3 Bed

 
076 Grey Plover

Pluvialis squatarola

Status: rare passage visitor.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
077 Golden Plover

Pluvialis apricaria

Status: irregular winter and passage record, usually of flyover birds and associated with the Lapwing flocks on the flooded fields to the south of Butchersfield.

2014 Records - There were just two records of this infrequent winter visitor. A group of 16 was found in a flock of a hundred Lapwing on flooded fields to the south of Butchersfield Tip on 11th February and the only other report was on 6th November when 15 flew south over No.3 bed.

No Woolston image available

 
078 Ringed Plover
078  Ringed Plover
Douglas Buchanan

Chraradrius hiaticula

Status: occurs in small numbers infrequently.

2014 Records - this is an infrequent visitor to Woolston and there were just two records; one was on the Loop of No.4 bed on 17th April and another was in front of the Frank Linley hide on 21st May.

Photograph from

 
079 Little Ringed Plover
079  Little Ringed Plover
Steven Ellis

Charadrius dubius

Status: irregular visitor and breeding species but has bred in 2000, and annually from 2012.

2014 Records - The first sighting of the year was a pair calling, in suitable breeding habitat on No.1 bed, on 30th March and again on 12th April. Three were seen briefly in front of the John Morgan Hide on 16th April, where they were harassed by Lapwings. An unusual record was of eight on the flooded fields to the south of Butchersfield Tip on 17th April and two days later five were seen on the northern half of No.1 bed. On No.3 bed there were regular reports of up to three during May, June and July.

Breeding took place on No.1 bed where two pairs were showing distraction behaviour on 24th May. On 14th June three pairs were in this area, one with a single small young and the other pairs suggesting by their alarm calls and general behaviour that they had young nearby. A fully grown juvenile was in front of the John Morgan Hide on 28th June and on the same day a pair with one young was observed in flight on the north side of No.1 bed. Two adults and two juveniles were on the scrape in front of the John Morgan Hide on 8th July and three juveniles were in the same location five days later. In total it seems that three to five pairs bred successfully.

The final report of a successful year was of a pair with one young on No.3 bed on 8th August.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan hide 29/05/2013

 
080 Lapwing
080  Lapwing
Roy Peacock

Vanellus vanellus

Status: breeding species, regular visitor and large flyover flock records.

2014 Records - during January and February a flock of up to a hundred was on fields to the south of Butchersfield Tip and there were several sightings of over-flying birds, notably 160 over No.1 bed on 9th February and 600 over No.3 bed on the 15th . Display was observed over Nos. 3 and 4 beds during March with up to three pairs seen. In early April one appeared to be on a nest on No.4 bed and three pairs were holding territory on the northern half of No.1 bed. Three nests were found in this area, all containing four eggs, and at least two of these nests were successful. On 19th April six adults and four chicks were found there and young were found on No.3 bed during May and June. On 25th July a group of 38 on the Loop of No.4 bed included a juvenile which was not fully grown. It seems likely that five or six pairs bred which is an improvement on the previous year.

As usual there was a build-up in August when a maximum of 144 was on the Loop of No.4 bed. The highest count of the year was on 6th and 7th September when 195 were on No.3 bed and 150 on the Loop, a total of 345. On 19th September about 260 were roosting on No.3 bed and on 20th October 150 were flushed by a Peregrine Falcon in the same area. The Migration Watches produced counts of 394, 131 and 222 for October, November and December respectively.

One was ringed on 11th October in front of the Frank Linley Hide.

Photograph from No3 Bed 30/05/2013

 
081 Whimbrel
081  Whimbrel
David Spencer

Numenius phaeopus

Status: rare passage visitor to the Reserve.

2014 Records - The only sighting of this occasional visitor was of one which landed in front of the John Morgan Hide on 16th April and remained for about twenty minutes. This was the second record of this rare visitor, after the two flyover birds in July 2013 since 2009.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan Hide 16/04/2014

 
082 Curlew

Numenius arquata

Status: most records relate to fly over birds with small numbers sighted on the Reserve in spring and autumn.

2014 Records - There were eight records, similar to the previous year; all in spring and from No.3 bed. The first was seen on 21st February and two flocks of eight and seven flew south on 8th March. Three were flushed on 14th March and the final report was of one on 12th April.

No Woolston image available

 
083 Black-tailed Godwit
083  Black-tailed Godwit
Andy Weir

Limosa limosa

Status: frequent passage visitor in small numbers.

2014 Records - Over a hundred records were received in what was probably the most successful year ever at Woolston. The first was seen on 15th March and reports continued until 17th April, when an excellent count of 36 was made on No.3 bed. None was then recorded until 24th June when three were on the favoured No.3 bed, with 12 also present there on 8th July Odd ones were noted on the Loop of No.4 bed but the main interest was focussed on No.3 bed. On 13th September 14 were present and this built to an amazing count of 82 on the 16th . Perhaps surprisingly this is not a record for the Reserve as in 2001 there was a report of a hundred roosting on the north bank of No.3 bed. Up to 19 were noted during October and 14 were still present on 5th November. Small numbers were seen from time to time until the final record of the year on 21st December when two were in front of the John Morgan Hide. This is the latest ever sighting of this species.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan hide 05/10/2013.

 
084 Bar-tailed Godwit

Limosa lapponica

Status: rare passage visitor.

2014 Records - no sightings submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
085 Turnstone

Arenaria interpres

Status: rare vagrant to the Eyes.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
086 Knot

Calidris canutus

Status: rare winter vagrant.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
087 Ruff

Philomachus pugnax

Status: irregular passage visitor, however, it has been recorded in 2012 and 2013 after an absence from 2005.

2014 records - Just two records of this occasional visitor were received, typically on passage. Both sightings were of a single bird on No.3 bed, the first on 8th April and the other on 17th September.

No Woolston image available

 
088 Curlew Sandpiper

Calidris ferruginea

Status: rare passage visitor to Woolston.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
089 Temminck's Stint

Calidris temminckii

Status: rare passage visitor.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
090 Sanderling

Calidris alba

Status: rare winter vagrant.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
091 Dunlin
091  Dunlin
Andy Weir

Calidris alpina

Status: annual visitor to the Reserve in small numbers.

2014 Records - There were fewer reports than on 2013; six spring records between 12th April and 11th May with a maximum of seven on No.3 bed, one on No.4 bed on 17th April, and a further count of five on No.3 bed on 7th May. The only autumn sighting was of one, again on No.3 bed, on 4th September.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan hide 07/05/2013

 
092 Little Stint

Calidris minuta

Status: rare passage visitor.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
093 White-rumped Sandpiper

Calidris fuscicollis

Status: rare vagrant to Woolston.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image e

 
094 Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Tryngites subruficollis

Status: rare vagrant to Woolston.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
095 Pectoral Sandpiper

Calidris melanotos

Status: rare autumn and winter visitor.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
096 Wilson's Phalarope

Phalaropus tricolor

Status: very rare vagrant to the Eyes.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
097 Red-necked Phalarope

Phalaropus lobatus

Status: very rare vagrant to the Reserve.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
098 Common Sandpiper
098  Common Sandpiper
Andy Weir

Tringa hypoleucos

Status: regular summer and passage visitor.

2014 Records - Another species seen mainly on passage, there were just five records. The three spring reports were all singles, on 26th April and 2nd May on No.3 bed and one at Latchford Locks on 11th May. The two autumn sightings were on 8th and 29th August, both of singles on No.3 bed. This represents a below average year for this attractive wader.

Photograph from John Morgan Hide No3 Bed 21/07/2013

 
099 Green Sandpiper

Tringa ochropus

Status: a regular summer and passage visitor to the Reserve with the Loop of No4 Bed the historical hot-spot for this species.

2014 Records - there were 67 records submitted including reports of an overwintering individual on No.3 bed on 7th January and 9th February. None were then seen until 18th July when two were on No.3 bed and regular reports were received over the next two months. Most of these were from No.3 bed but with occasional sightings on No.1 bed and the Loop of No.4 bed during August. Numbers peaked in early September when four were on No.3 bed on the 2nd and five on the 7th . Reports continued until 11th October and there was a late record of one on the Canal on 13th December.

Three were ringed on No.3 bed on 16th, 23rd and 27th August. When the water level dropped in the summer months it was possible to place a net in the duck trapping area which resulted in these waders being trapped. As only three had ever been ringed previously, this year’s captures were even more unusual.

No Woolston image available

 
100 Spotted Redshank

Tringa erythropus

Status: rare visitor on passage.

2014 Records - This rare visitor was seen on No.3 bed on 27th August, the first sighting since 2010. Nearly all previous records have occurred during autumn passage in August and September and this was only the third since 1992.

No Woolston image available

 
101 Greenshank
101  Greenshank
Douglas Buchanan

Tringa nebularia

Status: infrequent visitor but recorded annually.

2014 Records - After an exceptional year in 2013 this was a more typical showing for this elegant large wader. The seven records were all from No.3 bed, the first, on 13th May, being the only spring sighting. Autumn passage produced a series of records from 14th August to 7th September, all of a single except for the 6th and 7th September when two were present.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan hide 13/05/2013

 
102 Wood Sandpiper

Tringa glareola

Status: irregular summer and passage visitor.

2014 Records - no records submitted. The last report of this sandpiper was of two birds in both the spring and autumn passage in 2013.

No Woolston image available

 
103 Redshank
103  Redshank
Andy Weir

Tringa totanus

Status: a regular visitor in small numbers to the Reserve.

2014 Records - numbers were less than in the previous year with 22 reports received. The first was on 17th March and sightings continued until 14th June with a maximum of two. Whilst most were seen on No.3 bed there were also three records from the Loop of No.4 bed. Sightings resumed on 21st August and there was a series of records of one until the final report of the year which was of three on No.3 bed on 16th November. There was no suggestion of breeding this year.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan hide 21/04/2013.

 
104 Jack Snipe

Lymnocryptes minimus

Status: regular small number of sightings reported in the winter periods.

2014 Records - Two records were received, both from No.3 bed. One was seen on 7th March and a second on the 31st, the latter flushed by a Grey Heron before landing close to the John Morgan Hide.

No Woolstom image available

 
105 Woodcock

Scolopax rusticola

Status: regularly recorded in the winter periods.

2014 Record - The 19 reports of this rather secretive species made for an above-average year. There were 13 sightings between 4th January and 8th March, all singles from Nos. 1 and 3 beds except for three at Bollin Point on 1st February. The first record from the second winter period was in September and there were five in November and December with a maximum of two on No.1 bed on 28th December. Given its generally elusive character it was surprising to find one feeding in the open in front of the Frank Linley hide on 5th November.

Now Woolston image available

 
106 Snipe
106  Snipe
Andy Weir

Gallinago gallinago

Status: common visitor over the year outside the breeding season.

2014 Records - up to forty were present during January, nearly all on No.3 bed. March saw birds roosting in front of the Frank Linley Hide where a maximum of 18 was recorded. On 11th March 25 were on the Loop of No.4 bed. The last double-figure spring count was of 17 on No.4 bed on 1st April and only small numbers remained until 2nd May.

As usual none were present during the breeding season and the first to return was on 28th June. Odd ones were noted on both No.3 bed and the Loop of No.4 bed during July and August before a build-up occurred during September. Ten on the 12th increased to 20 the following day, 31 on the 19th and 35 on the 29th, all on No.3 bed. The highest count of the year was of 51 on that bed on 17th October. Up to 30 remained into November and there were just single-figure counts until the year end. Although this year’s maximum total was lower than in 2013 when 77 were recorded, it seems that the habitat changes to No.3 bed are attracting increased numbers of this species. A juvenile was ringed on No.3 bed on 5th October.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan hide 15/09/2013.

 
107 Artic Skua

Stercorarius parasiticus

Status: rare vagrant.

2014 Records - no sightings reported.

No Woolston image available

 
108 Great Skua

Catharacta skua

Status: rare vagrant to the reserve.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
109 Little Tern

Sterna albifrons

Status: rare visitor to the Eyes.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
110 Whiskered Tern

Chlidonias hybridus

Status: exceptionally rare vagrant to the Reserve.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
111 Black Tern
111  Black Tern
Alan Patterson

Childonias niger

Status: irregular visitor during passage last recorded in 2012.

2014 Records - no records submitted this year. The last record of Black Tern on the reserve was April 2012.

Photograph from No3 Bed 30/04/2012

 
112 White-winged Black Tern

Chlidonias leucopterus

Status: very rare passage vagrant.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
113 Sandwich Tern

Sterna sandvicensis

Status: an infrequent vagrant to Woolston.

2014 Records - no records received.

No Woolston image available

 
114 Common Tern

Sterna hirundo

Status: infrequent visitor on passage.

2014 Records - One, on No.3 bed on the afternoon 8th July, was the only sighting of this locally breeding tern.

No Woolston image available

 
115 Artic Tern
115  Artic Tern
Andy Weir

Sterna paradisaea

Status: infrequent passage visitor to the Reserve.

2014 Records - On 22nd April three flew west over No.3 bed at 6.30a.m.and two hours later four were brought down by heavy rain. The only other record was of one on 9th May, again on No.3 bed.

Photograph No3 Bed John Morgan hide 26/05/2013

 
116 Kittiwake

Rissa tridactyla

Status: rare visitor to the Reserve.

2014 Records - no sightings reported.

No Woolston image available

 
117 Black-headed Gull
117  Black-headed Gull
Douglas Buchanan

Larus ridibundus

Status: very common visitor and a large breeding population.

2014 Records - Most early records were from the eastern end of the Reserve where up to 400 were to be found on flooded fields to the south of Butchersfield Tip. The first to return to the breeding colony on No.3 bed appeared on 8th February when 130 were noted, whilst a further 300 were still present to the south of No.1 bed. By mid-month a total of 660 included 230 on the Loop of No.4 bed. Numbers increased to 1250 by 27th February of which 850 were at the colony with 1150 present there on 30th March. Of the 650 present on 9th April 110 were first-summer individuals, which may be indicative of new birds being attracted to the colony. Adults were on nests by early May and on the 15th a chick was taken by a Lesser Black-backed Gull. The rafts were well used and breeding seems to have been more successful than in 2013 with 54 fledged young counted in front of the John Morgan Hide on 5th July. Significant predation by Lesser Black-backed Gulls remains a problem however.

By mid-July most had left the colony which was virtually deserted by the month end. Significant counts thereafter included 433 and 346 on the October and November Migration Watches. There were reports of about 35 plunge-diving on No.3 bed in November and December, presumably hunting for small fish. The year ended with a count of 300, of which 150 were at Latchford Locks.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan hide 24/05/2009

 
118 Little Gull
118  Little Gull
John Adshead

Larus minutus

Status: a spring passage visitor with most sightings on the Reserve in April-May.

2014 Records - Essentially a spring visitor the first report was of two on No.3 bed on 31st March. Two were again present on 7th May and singles were noted, again on No.3 bed, on 14th and 20th May. No other records were submitted in what was a fairly typical year for this species.

Photograph from No3 Bed 13/06/2013

 
119 Laughing Gull

Larus atriclla

Status: a mega rare vagrant.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
120 Franklin's Gull

Larus pipixcan

Status: very rare vagrant.

2014 Records - no reports submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
121 Mediterranean Gull
121  Mediterranean Gull
Douglas Buchanan

Larus melanocephalus

Status: regular passage visitor recorded annually and has attempted to breed.

2014 Records - Another regular migrant seen on spring passage, there were nine records between 12th April and 22nd June. All sightings were from No.3 bed, including two on 12th and 13th April, one on the 29th and two on the 30th. An immature was found on 9th May and a single on 22nd June concluded an average year.

Photograph from No3 May Bed spring 2003

 
122 Common Gull
122  Common Gull
Dave Bowman

larus canus

Status: common passage and winter visitor in small numbers.

2014 Records - This species occurs in small numbers outside the breeding season, and is often found at Latchford Locks. Of a total of 14 on the WeBS count of 18th January, 13 were at this location and a count of 15 there on 12th January was the highest total of the year. Reports from No.3 bed peaked at six on 4th April and the last spring record was on 25th May. The first evidence of a return was on 28th June but none were then seen until 30th July. There were regular sightings to the end of the year with a maximum count of eight on 27th December.

Photograph from Ship Canal 03/09/2013

 
123 Ring-billed Gull

larus delawarensis

Status: rare vagrant to Woolston.

2014 Records - no reports submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
124 Lesser Black-backed Gull
124  Lesser Black-backed Gull
Alan Debenham

Larus fuscus graellsi

Status: common flyover sighting with lower numbers of birds visiting.

2014 Records - only low numbers were present at the beginning of the year and no more than two were recorded during January and February. The WeBS count on 10th March found 18 and on the 24th no less than 44 were on the water on No.3 Bed. These did not remain however and four days later only five were present. During April there were counts of up to 11 and on the 19th five were on the nesting platforms on No.3 Bed. Two were regularly reported during the summer months and birds were seen to take Black-headed Gull and Coot chicks.

On 18th August 20 were on the nesting rafts but generally numbers were in single figures. The Migration watches produced counts of 63 on 7th September and 7th December but elsewhere only one or two were reported.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan hide 11/03/2014.

 
125 Herring Gull

Larus argentatus

Status: uncommon on the Reserve with small number of records per annum, higher counts are usual on the migration watches and other flyover sightings.

2014 Records - Reports from Latchford Locks included singles in January and February. Four were on the water on No.3 bed on 13th February whilst a large movement was observed at the end of March and the beginning of April. On 29th March 90 passed through, stopping for a time on No.3 bed before moving on. The next day 50 were seen flying east and on 2nd April 90 flew east between 8 and 9a.m. The only other records were in single figures except for the 200 counted on a Migration Watch on 18th December.

No Woolston image available

 
126 Iceland Gull

Larus glaucoides

Status: rare vagrant to the Eyes.

2014 Records no sightings reported.

No Woolston image available

 
127 Glaucous Gull

Larus hyperboreus

Status: rare winter vagrant to the Reserve.

2014 Records - no sightings reported.

No Woolston image available

 
128 Great Black-backed Gull
128  Great Black-backed Gull
David Spencer

Larus marinus

Status: uncommon visitor but small numbers reported each year. More often noted are birds flying over.

2014 records - This is a rare visitor to Woolston so a total of 14 records was well above average. There were two January reports of one or two overflying and on 28th March a second summer individual was found on one of the rafts on No.3 bed. Regular sightings of two continued until 14th April with a peak count of eight on the 7th . These comprised four adults and four second-year birds. Two were at the Weir Basin on 2nd May and the following day an immature was seen perched on a buoy on the Canal. The only other record was of two over No.1 bed on 23rd Great Black November.

Photograph from No3 Bed 07/04/2014

 
129 Feral Pigeon

Columba livia

Status: common sighting on the Reserve fringes.

2014 Records - Only six records were submitted for this common species. A flock of 120 was observed on 15th October at Latchford Locks and the total count for the Reserve on the same day was 140. Although resident on the Viaduct, only a single sighting of 50 on 23rd October was submitted. All other sightings were from the Migration Watches, mostly of birds on the surrounding farmlands; the maximum recorded was 200 on 18th December.

No Woolston image available

 
130 Stock Dove
130  Stock Dove
Douglas Buchanan

Columba oenas

Status: a breeding species resident on all four beds and regularly reported.

2014 Records - Stock Doves are most commonly encountered at the eastern end of the Reserve. Thirty five were in fields adjacent to Rixton Paddocks on 1st February and the maximum count of the year was 66 on 18th December during a Migration Watch from Butchersfield Tip. In other areas the maximum counts were five on No.1 bed on 22nd March, three on No.2 bed on 6th September and an exceptional count of 25 flying over No.3 bed on 9th August. A bird also frequented the feeders by the John Morgan hide in the late summer period. No records were received from No. 4 bed.

The only suggestion of breeding was of a bird observed in suitable habitat on No.1 bed on 24th May in an area where birds have previously bred.

On No.3 bed five new birds were ringed this year, the same as in 2013. This species was first ringed on the bed in 2010 when seven were ringed. There was a blank year in 2011, but, in total, 19 birds have been ringed on the bed.

Photograph from

 
131 Wood Pigeon
131  Wood Pigeon
Douglas Buchanan

Columba palumbus

Status: abundant bird around the Reserve.

2014 Records - During the first winter period large flocks were observed flying over No.1 bed and Butchersfield Tip with 400 flying south on 2nd January and 500 on 13th February. The Breeding Bird Survey recorded birds on all four beds with 10 on No.1 bed on 24th May, 28 on No.2 bed on 12th April, five on No.3 bed on 10th April and 22 on No.4 bed on 16th April. Large movements were observed, as is usual, in the autumn and winter periods; 200 were observed leaving a roost on No.2 bed at dawn on the 4th October and 1000 were observed in fields to the north of Butchersfield Tip on 15th October. The peak counts were observed during Migration Watches with 1677 on 11th October, 4393 on 1st November and 1989 on the 18th December.

A total of seven was ringed during the year, all on No.3 bed. The 11 year average for this species is a little over five per year.

Photograph from No.3 Bed

 
132 Collard Dove

Streptopelia decaocto

Status: uncommon on the Reserve with fly-over sightings more numerous but common on the fringes along the canal track and Weir Pool in association with the adjacent urbanisation.

2014 Records - Although common in surrounding housing estates and farmland, Collared Doves are relatively infrequent visitors to the Reserve and most records are of single birds or pairs overflying the beds. The only records for No.1 and 2 beds were of single birds on the 2nd January and 6th September respectively. Three records were submitted for No.3 bed with a maximum count of four on 8th May. No. 4 bed had the most sightings with a total of six records and a peak count of three on 3rd September and 30th October. Just outside the Reserve area, ten were at Latchford Locks on 23rd November and during Migration Watches 15 were in the fields north of Butchersfield Tip on 1st November and 43 in the same area on 18th December.

No Woolston image available.

 
133 Turtle Dove

Streptopelia turtur

Status: with the decline of the UK population, Turtle Dove, would now be a mega rare visitor to the Eyes.

2014 Records - unsurpriseingly no records were submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
134 Ring-necked Parakeet

Psittacula krameri

Status: a rare vagrant to the Reserve.

2014 Records - no sightings submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
135 Cuckoo

Cuculus canarus

Status: a summer visitor in low numbers.

2014 Records - Last year’s report noted the sad decline of the Cuckoo with only three reports in 2013. This year proved worse still with none seen or heard on the Reserve. The only report was from Butchersfield Tip where a bird was heard calling distantly in fields south of the Ship Canal on 2nd May.

No Woolston image available

 
136 Barn Owl

Tyto alba

Status: infrequently disturbed on the Reserve from roosts.

2014 Records - The only sightings were during the first winter period on No.3 bed, where one was observed on several dates between 31st January and 23rd February. It was seen both at dawn in the centre of the bed and in the evenings hunting the Starling roost.

No Woolston image available

 
137 Little Owl

Athene noctua

Status: a rare visitor to the Eyes.

2014 Records - no reports submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
138 Tawny Owl

Strix aluco

Status: under-reported due to its nocturnal activity nonetheless reported in small numbers annually.

2014 Records - on No.3 bed an early season check of the nest boxes produced two retrapped birds. One of these was first ringed in January 2012; the other was first ringed in February 2011. A new male was ringed on the 26th April when the nest boxes were checked for breeding. Unfortunately no breeding was proven. Single birds were also seen perched on the John Morgan hide feeders at dusk on 14th July and at the Starling roost on 13th December.

There were several sightings on No.1 bed from July to December with four calling from various parts of the bed on 11th September.

No Woolston image available

 
139 Long-eared Owl
139  Long-eared Owl
Douglas Buchanan

Asio otus

Status: nocturnal and very secretive, this species is occasionally found roosting on the Reserve. Last recorded in 2009 and 2012 with a pair successfully breeding at a site just south of the Reserve in 2010.

2014 Records - no records of this species were received.

Photograph from No3 Bed winter 2003.

 
140 Short-eared Owl

Asio flammeus

Status: another rare visitor to the Eyes.

2014 Records - no sightings repoted.

No Woolston image available

 
141 Nightjar

Caprimulgus europaeus

Status: a rare vagrant to the Eyes.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
142 Swift

Apus apus

Status: a common summer visitor to the Eyes, feeding and passing through.

2014 Records - The first record of the year was of two over the north bank of No.3 bed on 2nd May, a week later than has been typical in recent years. For the remainder of May counts included 40 on the 5th, 68 on the 10th and 88 on the 22nd , all on No.3 bed. The maximum count was 200 seen feeding over the north bank of No.3 bed on the morning of 30th May. The only record from No.1 bed during the year was 30 on 16th May. In the summer months 20 to 60 birds were regularly seen over No.3 bed and the peak count was 160 on 14th July. Last year’s large post-breeding flocks of up to 800 birds were not repeated; the maximum was 200 seen feeding over No.1 bed on 3rd August. It is believed that the breeding season on surrounding estates was quite good so the lack of large gatherings on the Reserve may be due to the warm June and July weather, which meant they could feed relatively close to the nest sites. By mid-August most birds had departed, the last significant counts were 15 on 25th August and 16 on 27th August, both over No.3 bed. The final sighting was of a one on 1st September, seen from Butchersfield Tip.

No Woolston image available

 
143 Bee-eater

Merops apiaster

Status: rare vagrant to the Reserve.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
144 Kingfisher
144  Kingfisher
Gill Dutton

Alcedo atthis

Status: a resident and breeding species present all year and regularly recorded.

2014 Records - The first record of the year was of a single bird on 26th February on No.3 bed. One or two were then regularly seen throughout the spring and summer months, mostly on No.3 bed and along the Ship Canal. The maximum count was four on No.3 bed on 7th September and the last sighting was of one on 27th December on the same bed.

One pair is thought to have nested in the banks of the Ship Canal; a bird with food was seen flying to the nest hole on 19th June. On No.3 bed a juvenile was ringed on the 15th August in a net placed over the channel near the duck trap. No other evidence of breeding was reported.

Early in August, a perch placed in front of the John Morgan hide was an immediate success. By the next day a Kingfisher was regularly using the branch and provided excellent photographic for the remainder of the month. It was regularly seen to catch fish as well as seeing off competition from a second bird. It also had to cope with the attention of the local Sparrowhawk which, fortunately, did not succeed in its hunting attempts.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan hide 27/10/2013

 
145 Green Woodpecker

Picus viridis

Status: resident species in and around the vicinity of the Reserve and regularly reported. Favours the more open aspects of No1 Bed and its ant colonies.

2014 Records - It was a typical year for this species with all records originating from the eastern end of the Reserve, where they occasionally visit from the Lymm and Rixton areas. Nine records were received from No.1 bed and Bollin Point, all of single birds. The first sighting was on 29th January and the last on 16th November.

No Woolston image available

 
146 Great Spotted Woodpecker
146  Great Spotted Woodpecker
Alan Debenham

Dendrocopos major

Status: common resident and breeding species on the Reserve found throughout the year.

2014 Records - this is the commonest woodpecker on the Reserve and was observed in all months. Most reports were from the John Morgan hide feeders and involved one or two birds with a maximum count of three on several dates. On other beds, three were seen on No.2 bed on 12th April and 6th September and two were seen on several dates during the year on No.1 bed and Butchersfield Tip. There were no reports from No. 4 bed.

There was no definite evidence of breeding, although birds were observed drumming in April on No.1 bed and in the copse near the car park. On No.3 bed birds were heard calling in April and May and at least one juvenile frequented the feeders from mid-June to early August.

On No.3 bed 15 new birds were ringed during the year. This is a record total for the bed. The eleven year average is 9.9 new birds. On No.1 bed it was an average year with six birds, the first on the late date of 27th August. Just one new adult was caught during the year, a male on 6th December. Two others were caught from previous years, both from 2013.

Photograph from No3. Bed John Morgan hide 11/03/2014

 
147 Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Denrocopos minor

Status: irregular visitor recorded most years. Last recorded in 2011.

2014 Records - one was heard calling from south of the Canal by the car park on 12th July. A late record from 2013 was of a bird heard calling in the copse by the car park on 7th October and then south of the No.2 bed copse and Canal on 8th October. Hopefully, this indicates local breeding for a species which has declined dramatically in the UK since the 1980s.

No Woolston image available

 
148 Golden Oriole

Oriolus oriolus

Status: a very rare passage vagrant to the Eyes.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
149 Great Grey Shrike

Lanius excubitor

Status: a rare passage visitor to the Reserve. The last recorded sighting was on No1 Bed in

2014 Records - no reports submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
150 Magpie
150  Magpie
Roy Peacock

Pica pica

Status: a very common resident bird on and around the Reserve throughout the year.

2014 Records - A common resident and observed on all beds with the maximum counts occurring on No.4 bed. Thirty nine were counted on No.4 bed on 18th January, including 20 in fields to the east of the Loop, 30 on 16th February and 18 on 10th December. There were fewer reports from No.3 bed with a maximum of 18 on 21st October. The only report for No.2 bed was of two on the 12th April. On No.1 bed 18 were observed flying south on the 2nd September and 32 were counted during the Migration Watch on 11th October.

On No.3 bed an above average total of five was ringed during the year. The eleven year average is 3.8 per year. On No.1 bed a bird ringed on 4th May was the first caught on the bed since 2010.

Photograph from No3 Bed 30-05-2013

 
151 Jay
151  Jay
Andy Weir

Garrulus glandarius

Status: a common resident and breeding species on all four Beds throughout the year.

2014 Records - A common resident that was observed in small numbers on all beds throughout the year. The maximum count for each bed in the first half of the year was seven on No.1 bed on the 15th April, two on No.2 bed on 12th April, three on No.3 bed on 26th April and three on No.4 bed on 21st May. In the autumn there was a notable influx. On the 13th September, 42 were counted between No.3 bed and Bollin Point. This is a record count for the Reserve; the previous maximum was 25 in September 2013.

Birds were present on all beds during the breeding season and five nests were found on No.4 bed and one on No.2 bed. The outcome of these nests is not known although the record numbers observed in September point to a successful breeding season but continental migrants could also be a factor.

On No.1 bed three new birds ringed was an average return for this species, with the first on 8th July. Just one adult was ringed, on 13th December. One was caught that had been ringed previously as an adult on 21st October 2012. On No.3 bed 13 new birds were ringed during the year. The eleven year average is 12.7 new birds. The first juvenile was ringed on the 9th July. This is ten days earlier than in 2013.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan Hide 13/01/2013

 
152 Nutcracker

Nucifraga caryocatactes

Status: an extremely rare vagrant to the Reserve.

2014 Records - not surprisingly, no reports were submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
153 Jackdaw

Corvus monedula

Status: not a common bird on the Reserve, except the eastern end were parties forage, but observed as fly-over records on all four Beds.

2014 Records - Jackdaws are most commonly observed flying over the eastern end of the Reserve as they move between their roosting areas south of the Ship Canal and their feeding areas on the mosses at Rixton. In the first winter period only small flocks were seen with a maximum count of 20 on 13th February. In the second winter period peak counts observed were 140 on 6th September, 196 on 1st November and 413 on 18th December. As was noted in last year’s Report, sightings from No.3 bed have increased and this trend has continued; flocks were observed flying west at dusk on several dates including 375 on 13th December and 350 on 29th December. Unusually, in the last two weeks of September a small group of up to seven was regularly observed on No.3 bed, feeding amongst the roosting Lapwing flock.

No Woolston image available

 
154 Rook

Corvus frugilegus

Status: not a common bird on the Reserve with most sightings of birds flying over. As with the Carrion Crow, movement to and from the feeding grounds on the mosses to the north of the eastern end of the Reserve is the best place to locate them.

2014 records - Rooks are relatively uncommon on the Reserve and there were only seven records this year all of which involved birds overflying the eastern end of the Reserve. Maximum counts were 40 seen from Rixton Paddocks on 24th May and 16 on the 1st November during a Migration Watch from Butchersfield Tip.

No Woolston image available

 
155 Carrion Crow
155  Carrion Crow
Chris Monks

Corvus corone

Status: a common bird on the Reserve which breeds in small numbers on all the four Beds.

2014 Records - Small numbers breed on the Eyes and as with the two previous corvid species large flocks can be observed in farmland surrounding the eastern end of the Reserve. The maximum counts were 12 at Bollin Point on 4th January, 51 from Butchersfield Tip on 11th October and 30 from No.4 bed on 17th December. During the Breeding Bird Survey four were seen on No.1 bed on 24th May, one on No.3 bed on 20th May and four on No.4 bed on 2nd April. It appears to have been overlooked on No.2 bed as there were no records submitted from this bed. A pair of adults with three juvenile birds was regularly seen in front of the John Morgan hide during early August.

Photograph from No3 Bed overlooking the Sybil Hogg Hide 21/04/2014

 
156 Hooded Crow

Corvus cornix

Status: a rare vgrant to Woolston.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
157 Raven

Corvus corax

Status: almost all records relate to the regular fly-over sightings.

2014 Records - what was previously a scarce passage bird has become a regular but uncommon visitor in the past few years. There were 13 sightings spread throughout the year, all involving overflying birds. The first was of two flying east over No.1 bed on 5th January. Two were also seen flying east over No.3 and No.1 beds on 1st March. Single birds were then seen from Butchersfield Tip on 2nd May, No.1 bed on 16th May and No.4 bed on 29th August. Four were seen during a Migration Watch from Butchersfield Tip on 1st September. Further sightings of single birds occurred in October and November before the last one of the year when four were seen over No.1 bed on 4th December

No Woolston image available

 
158 Goldcrest

Regulus regulus

Status: largely a passage visitor but breeds locally and occasionally over winters on the Reserve. Peak counts occur in the autumn.

2014 Records - This species is mainly an autumn migrant with small numbers over wintering. The first record was of three at Bollin Point on 4th January. For the remainder of the first winter period one or two were regularly found on No.1 and No.3 beds and the maximum count was three, seen moving along the south bank of No.3 bed on 15th March. Singing males were heard at Bollin Point on 24th May, along Weir Lane on 23rd July and the north bank of No.1 bed on 26th July. Although this raises the possibility of breeding, there were no “locally fledged” (those still in completely juvenile plumage) birds ringed.

Typically, the maximum counts were observed during the autumn and early winter periods. Nine were counted between No.3 bed and Rixton Paddocks on 13th September, six were at Bollin Point on 20th September and the maximum count of the year was 18 between No.3 bed and Bollin Point on 8th November.

On No.1 bed, in contrast to the 25 ringed in 2013, 92 were ringed, the third highest since 1995. The first of the year was caught on 8th August with peak passage in October with 40 new birds, closely followed by September with 35 new; the last of the year was caught on 4th December. One bird was retrapped, having been originally caught on 10th November 2013; another was caught having been originally ringed elsewhere in Britain. On No.3 bed, 39 new birds were ringed during the year. This is above the eleven year average of 30.6 birds. The first autumn migrant was ringed on the 14th September.

No Woolston image available

 
159 Firecrest

Regulus ignicapilla

Status: an irregular passage vagrant (recorded in 2010, 2012 and 2014) to the Eyes with most sightings reported in autumn.

2014 Records - One was heard calling and seen briefly in the company of three Goldcrests and a Chiffchaff by the outh-east pool of No.1 bed on 4th January. What was presumably the same bird was heard calling on the 10th January at the eastern end of the same bed.

No Woolston image available

 
160 Blue Tit
160  Blue Tit
Douglas Buchanan

Parus caeruleus

Status: abudent resident and breeding species throughout the whole Reserve.

2014 Records - Blue Tits are a common resident which breeds on all four beds. Counts in April during the Breeding Bird Survey were 12 on No.2 bed, 11 on No.3 bed and six on No.4 bed. No records were received for No.1 bed. Other notable counts included eight at the John Morgan hide feeders on 22nd August, nine on No.3 bed on 26th October and six at Butchersfield Tip on 18th December.

Ringing evidence suggests a successful breeding season. On No.3 bed an eleven year record total of 215 new birds were ringed during the year. The average is 152 new birds. A total of 63 pulli was ringed in the nest boxes this year. This is a very high total for No.3 bed and exceeds the total of 48 ringed in the boxes in 2013. The first fledged juvenile was caught on 8th June. This is much earlier than in 2013 and is a return to a more typical date. Retraps include 35 from 2013, five from 2012, five from 2011, two from 2010, one from 2009 and one from 2008. The latter was ringed as a pullus on the 17th May and has been retrapped 11 times subsequently.

On No.1 bed, 167 new birds were ringed, the best year since 2010 and the fourth best year on record for this species. A further 69 were caught that had been ringed in previous years, with the oldest ringed on 14th August 2009. Surprisingly, only one bird was caught in breeding condition, a male on 16th May, which was the only adult caught between 13th March and 15th August. The first juvenile was ringed on 20th June.

Photograph from No3 Bed

 
161 Great Tit

Parus major

Status: another abundent resident on all four Beds throughout the year.

2014 Records - as for the previous species this is a common, yet under recorded, resident breeder. Most observations were made during the Breeding Bird Survey. Maximum counts were, nine on No.2 bed on 12th April including seven in song, 11 in song on No.3 bed on 31st March and 12 on No.4 bed. No records were received for No.1 bed. A fascinating record from No.2 bed was the successful nesting by a pair which nested in the stem of an old Giant Hogweed.

As with Blue Tit, ringing results indicate a successful breeding season. On No.3 bed, an above average total of 190 new birds were ringed. The eleven year average is 171 new birds. A total of 85 was ringed in the nest boxes as pulli. This is 13 birds higher than 2012. The first fledged young were trapped on 31st May. This is about three weeks earlier than in 2013 and is the fourth earliest date. Retraps from previous years include: 23 from 2013, five from 2012, four from 2011, four from 2010 and one from 2009. The latter bird was ringed as a fledged juvenile on the 12th September and has been handled 12 times since.

No.1 bed had the best year since 2010 and the sixth best year since 1995 with 97 new birds ringed. A further 38 were caught that had been ringed in previous years; the oldest on 26th June 2009. Only one bird was caught in breeding condition, a female with a brood patch on 29th April. This was the only adult bird caught between 4th April and 18th September. The first juvenile was ringed on 18th June.

No Woolston image available

 
162 Coal Tit

Parus ater

Status: regularly seen but not a common bird on the Reserve. Favours the eastern end of the Reserve and Butchersfield with the conifer cover.

2014 Records - Coal Tits are a relatively scarce visitor and are most frequently seen along Weir Lane and in the Butchersfield Tip area. Breeding is suspected but not proven. There were only ten reports this year. The first was singing in Weir Lane on 31st May. Single birds were also heard singing here on 5th and 12th June. Two were in the copse by the car park on 23rd July. In the autumn and early winter period there were regular sightings at Bollin Point and Butchersfield Tip with two on 31st August, 1st September and 1st November.

On No.1 bed six were ringed in the fourth best year for the species on the bed. The first was caught on 25th June, probably from a local breeding population. Four of the remaining five were caught in September, with the final one on 17th October; all were birds of the year. On No.3 bed, after a blank year in 2013, two were ringed. This is a scarce bird on No.3 bed with an eleven year average of 1.8 new birds. The first was a recently fledged juvenile on the 14th June. The second was also a juvenile ringed on the 27th September. These are typical dates.

No Woolston image available

 
163 Willow Tit
163  Willow Tit
Andy Weir

Parus montanus

Status: a regular reported species from a small but stable population across the whole Reserve.

2014 Records - The BTO Breeding Bird Survey shows a national decline in this species of 79% between 1995 and 2010. It is pleasing, therefore, that the Reserve remains a stronghold for the species. Birds were reported through the year on all four beds. As usual most records were from No.3 bed where they were regularly observed on the John Morgan hide feeders.

A detailed study by Allan Rustell on breeding Willow Tits in 2014 can be found in the annual report. The growth of Giant Hogweed makes surveying difficult but Allan has estimated at least six pairs to be present on No.1 bed and six or seven pairs on No.4 bed. Due to the hogweed no estimate was made for pairs on No.2 bed, although breeding is thought to take place; two birds were heard calling on the bed on both 11th July and 6th September. For the second successive year no active nests were found on No.3 bed.

Overall, the survey shows a stable population with the estimated number of breeding pairs the same as in 2013. This conclusion is also supported by ringing data. On No.1 bed, it was an average year, with 16 new birds caught and a further nine that had been ringed in previous years. The oldest of these being ringed on 14th August 2009, and another that was caught had been ringed at Birchwood. The first new bird to be ringed during the year, and the first juvenile, was caught on 20th June and no adults were caught from 26th March until 4th December, although six adults were caught during the year. On No.3 bed, it was a slightly above average year with 19 new birds ringed. The eleven year average is 17 new birds. Thirteen of the birds were juveniles. Fifteen juveniles were ringed in 2013. The first fledged date (8th June) was the same as in 2013 and a typical date. Retraps from previous years include two from 2013 and one from 2012.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan Hide 13/01/2013

 
164 Marsh Tit

Parus palustris

Status: a rare visitor to the Reserve.

2014 Records - no reports submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
165 Bearded Tit

Panurus biarmicus

Status: occasional passage visitor to Woolston.

2014 Records - no reports submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
166 Skylark

Alauda arvensis

Status: less common than it was with the maturing scrub on the beds. It is however a common flyover species during migration periods and a breeding species on the surronding agricultural land to the north-east and east of the Reserve.

2014 Records - Most reports of Skylark are from the eastern areas of the Reserve where they breed and winter on surrounding farmland. In the spring two could be heard from No.1 bed singing in fields south of the Ship Canal. Another two could also be heard in the farmland adjacent to Rixton Paddocks. The first autumn passage was noted on 2nd September when 17 flew over No.1 bed. Thirteen were counted from Bollin Point on 20th September and 30 flew south over No.1 bed on 29th September. Passage continued in October with 48 on the 15th, 40 on the 17th, 35 on the 24th and 50 on the 30th, all over No.1 bed. Unusually, significant numbers were also counted over No.3 bed in the autumn with six on the 17th October, 25 on 23rd October, 13 on 28th October and 23 on 6th November.

As usual, the maximum counts were observed from Butchersfield Tip during the Migration Watches with 174 on 11th October, 88 on 1st November and 104 on 18th December.

No Woolston image available

 
167 Sand Martin

Riparia riparia

Status: common passage and summer feeding species on the Reserve with nesting colonies close by.

2014 Records - The first sighting was of three on No.3 bed on 14th March, a relatively early arrival date and almost three weeks earlier than last year. Small numbers were then observed over No.3 bed in the remainder of March with a peak count of 20 on the 20th. In April and May the highest counts were 200 at dusk on 11thApril, 175 on 12th April and 40 on 11th May, all on No.3 bed. In the early summer period only 36 small numbers were present with a maximum of eight on 14th July on No.3 bed. In August numbers on No.3 bed increased with counts of 25 on 9th August, 10 on 25th August and 15 on 27th August

There were no reports from previously occupied breeding colonies and the species appears to be scarcer away from No.3 bed. There were only two reports from No.1 bed with 11 flying west on 4th April and one on 3rd September. The only record from No.4 bed was five on 28th June. No records were received from No.2 bed. The last sighting was of two flying west over No.3 bed on 18th September.

On No.1 bed eight were caught between 23rd July and 11th September, an average number for recent years. Three were adults including two females with brood patches. On No.3 bed, 27 new birds were caught, a big increase on the six ringed in 2013. The eleven year average is 22.3 new birds. The first was ringed on 28th July with the last being ringed on 5th September. Only three were adults. One bird was caught wearing a ring from elsewhere.

No Woolston image avilable

 
168 Swallow

Hirundo rustica

Status: abundant summer visitor to the Reserve which holds large roosting flocks in the autumn passage.

2014 Records - The first arrived on the 29th March when two were seen on No.3 bed. There was a short gap to 2nd April before the next sighting when 12 were seen on No.3 bed. The next day the first was observed on No.1 bed, with one seen flying west. Birds were then regularly reported, mostly from No.3 bed throughout April with 70 on the 17th. On 3rd May 80 were seen at dusk on No.3 bed, possibly roosting there.

No information on breeding was received this year but birds were seen regularly around the Ship Canal jetty by No.2 bed, a traditional breeding sight and by jetties south of No.4 bed.

The largest roosts for over ten years formed in August. A pre-roost gathering of 550 over No.1 eastern reed bed was first noted on 7th July and 750 roosted there on 26th August. Five hundred roosted on No.3 bed on 27th July and on 15th August the roost had grown to 2000. Two thousand were still present there on the 25th August. Roosts in recent years have rarely exceeded 1000 and the last roost to exceed this year’s total was on 1st August 2003 when 4000 roosted on No.3 bed.

On No.3 bed, 571 new birds were ringed. All were caught at the roost. This is the second highest total in eleven years, only 2007 with 665 being higher. The 11 year average is 229.5 new birds. The first birds were ringed on the 25th July and the last on 6th September. Three were caught wearing rings from elsewhere. On No.1 bed the 82 ringed between 7th July and 27th August was slightly down on the previous year, but was the second best year since 2008. As expected, the majority were birds of the year but six adults were caught including one male and four females in breeding condition.

In autumn, counts of note were 73 passing south over Bollin Point on 13th September, 100 over No.1 bed on 17th September and 23 at Bollin Point on 27th September; all these sightings were of birds flying south. The last record of the year was three seen from Butchersfield Tip on 11th October.

No Woolston image available

 
169 House Martin

Delichon urbica

Status: a common summer visitor which feeds on the Reserve and is reported in the Swallow roosts outside the breeding period.

2014 Records - The first sighting was of one on No.3 bed on 7th April. Single birds continued to be seen until 17th April when seven were seen over the bed. Other notable gatherings were 32 on 22nd April, 36 on 23rd April, 20 on 2nd May, 30 on 7th May and 20 on 10th May, all on No.3 bed. Thereafter, numbers remained constant until August when post-breeding flocks formed. On 8th August 65 were over No.3 bed and by 20th August the count had increased to 100. During autumn migration, 100 were seen flying south over No.1 bed on 27th August, 72 were seen from Butchersfield Tip on 1st September and 95 were feeding over Bollin Point on 6th September. The last sightings were of 10 drifting south over No.3 bed on 25th September and five flying south over No.1 bed on 29th September.

No Woolston image available

 
170 Cetti's Warbler

Cettia cetti

Status: an irregular late summer-autumn visitor.

2014 Records - a rare visitor to the Reserve with 11 previous records and last recorded in 2011. All were initially found in the ringers’ nets and most have been caught in autumn, although one bird has summered. This year was extraordinary with eight new birds ringed on No.3 bed with the first on the early date of 14th September and the last on 1st November. There was a large movement of this species during the autumn with several trapped in North Lancashire and the second record for Scotland. Following the final ringing record, there were several sightings of what may have been the same bird near the Morgan hide until 6th December.

No Woolston image available

 
171 Long-tailed Tit
171  Long-tailed Tit
Dave Bowman

Aegithalos caudatus

Status: a common resident breeding species across the whole Reserve.

2014 Records - A common breeding resident found across the Reserve, often in small flocks. The first record of the year was of 11 seen on 4th January at Bollin Point and the highest count for the early part of the year was on 26th January, when 16 were seen along the Canal track. During the breeding season, three nests were found, one each on beds 1,2 and 3, and a family party with six juveniles was also seen on 8th June. During the autumn sightings became more regular with parties of 12 being seen on Butchersfield and Bollin Point and there were some high Reserve-wide counts of 26 on 30th October, 19 on 11th November and 16 on 10th December. The final field record was of 12 across the Reserve on 24th December.

The ringing team caught 134 new birds during the year, the best since 2010. On No.1 bed, 55 were ringed in what was considered an unusual year, with only 12 new birds being caught before the end of August. The following three months provided the remainder with the peak in October, when 20 were ringed. A further 12 were caught that had been ringed in previous years with the oldest from 21st April 2012. Four were caught in breeding condition, two males and two females while the first juvenile was ringed on the late date of 1st July. The ringers on No.3 bed had their best year since 2009 with 79 new, the 11 year average being 66, and the first juvenile was caught on 17th May, the earliest record for a fledgling by four days. A further 16 were caught that had been ringed in previous years, the oldest from 2010

Photograph from Woolston 01/02/2014

 
172 Yellow-browed Warbler

Phylloscopus inornatus

Status: rare summer migrant to Woolston.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
173 Wood Warbler

Phylloscopus sibilatrix

Status: a rare passage vagrant to Woolston.

2014 Records - no record submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
174 Chiffchaff
174  Chiffchaff
Roy Peacock

Phylloscopus collybita

Status: a very common summer visitor and breeding species found throughout the Reserve.

2014 Records - This is one of our commonest breeding warblers, which usually winters in small numbers most years. One was on No.1 bed at the beginning of the year, on 2nd and 4th January, though the singing male on No.3 bed on 9th March may have been the first spring migrant. There were two on the same bed the following day and numbers gradually increased with 14 counted on No.1 bed on the 22nd and 59 on the Reserve on the 26th. The peak count of 60 was on 8th April and a nest was found along the main track with six well grown young on 11th May. The peak autumn count of 27 was achieved on the Migration Watch on 1st September and the final bird of the year was recorded on No.3 bed on 20th November.

This species was caught in record numbers, with 550 ringed during the year across the Reserve. On No.1 bed a record 330 new birds were ringed, with the first appearing on 9th April when two returning adults were also caught. Of the 10 returning birds that were caught during the year, the oldest was ringed on 3rd September 2010 and not caught since. During the breeding season, nine were caught in breeding condition, three males and six females, while the first juvenile was caught on 11th June, two weeks earlier than in the previous year. September proved to be an exceptional passage period with 130 ringed, far higher than any other month. The final bird of the year was caught on 23rd November. The No.3 bed team also had a record year with 217 new birds ringed, their eleven year average being 154.3. The first was caught on 22nd March with the final two of the year on 29th November, one of which was of the Siberian subspecies, tristis, the second on the bed in two years. During the year a further 12 were caught that had been ringed in previous years, the oldest from 2012. In the breeding season 17 were caught in breeding condition, ten males and seven females while the first juvenile of the year was caught on 31st May.

Photograph from No3 Bed 30/05/2013

 
175 Willow Warbler
175  Willow Warbler
Brian Burnett

Phylloscopus trochilus

Status: another very common summer warbler found and breeding throughout the Reserve.

2014 Records - A common breeding summer visitor. The first of the year was found on No.3 bed on the early date of 29th March and was also seen two days later. This was followed on 2nd April with one on No.4 bed. Numbers increased slowly after this with three on No.1 bed on the 5th, five on No.3 bed on the 10th and 12 on No.2 on the 12th. During mid-April, counts indicate a population of 41 singing males with an additional three on nearby Rixton Paddocks. The last field record of the year was on No.4 bed on 31st August.

Generally, the ringing team had a poor year with 154 new birds caught. Although this was one more than in 2013, it was the second lowest since 2004. On No.1 bed, 126 were ringed, a further 10 were caught which had been ringed in previous years, with the oldest from 21st April 2012. The first of the year was caught on 9th April with the last on 4th September, one of six caught during that month. Twelve were caught in breeding condition, five males and seven females and the first juvenile was ringed 21st June, two weeks earlier than in 2013. The team on No.3 bed also had a poor year with just 28 ringed, compared with an eleven year average of 39. The first of the year was caught on 26th April with the final one on 14th September and the first of only nine juveniles was on 21st June.

Photograph from No3 Bed footbridge 2013

 
176 Blackcap
176  Blackcap
Andy Weir

Sylvia atricapilla

Status: a common summer visitor breeding on all four beds.

2014 Records - This common, breeding summer visitor occasionally winters. The first of the year was found on No.4 bed on 31st March during the CBC survey, with another on No.3 the same day. There was a slow build up in numbers across the Reserve until 15 were counted on No.2 bed on 12th April. Other peak counts around this time included nine on No.1 bed, five on No.3 and 12 on No.4, giving a total of 41 singing males across the Reserve, with a further five in the Rixton Paddocks/Bollin Point area. One nest was found, on the south bank of No.3 bed, which contained five newly hatched young. During the late summer there were several single-figure counts across the Reserve with the exception of 10 on No.4 bed on 31st August. The final field sighting of the year was on 2nd October.

The ringing team had a record year with 860 new birds caught, far higher than the previous record of 695 in 2010. On No.1 bed a record 334 were ringed during the year with the first caught on 24th April. September was the peak month with 131 newly ringed, though only one was caught which had been ringed in a previous year, a male from 2013. Five were caught in breeding condition, three males and a female while the first juvenile was ringed on 11th June. The last bird of the year was caught on 16th November and was clearly a migrant as it had large reserves of fat and weighed 23.7 grams. The team on No.3 bed also had a record year with 526 ringed, with the first of the year on the typical date of 5th April and the first juvenile on 8 th June. Four were caught that had been ringed in previous years, the oldest from 2011 and the final bird of the year was ringed on 11th October.

Photographed from Sybil Hogg Hide No.3 Bed

 
177 Garden Warbler
177  Garden Warbler
David Spencer

Sylvia borin

Status: an annual summer visitor, not common but regularly reported on all four Beds.

2014 Records - An uncommon summer visitor, this rather skulking warbler breeds in small numbers. The first of the year was found singing in the centre of No.3 bed on 22nd April, the same date as in 2013. Following this, singles, mainly singing males, were on all four beds until 21st May. The last field sighting was on No.4 bed on 31st August.

The ringing team had an average year with 38 ringed, with No.1 bed having the best year since 2003 with 24 new birds. The first, caught on 15th May, were a male and female, both in breeding condition. Only one other was caught in breeding condition, a female. The first juveniles were caught on 24th July and the final bird of the year was on 7th September. On No.3 bed they caught a below average total of 14 and the only adult was a male on 25th May. The majority were ringed during July and August with the latest on 6th September.

Image from No.3 bed south bank 4th May 2016

 
178 Lesser Whitethroat
178  Lesser Whitethroat
Brian Burnett

Sylvia curruca

Status: an uncommon but annual summer visitor to the Reserve.

2014 Records - The first of the year was heard singing near the sluice on No.4 bed on 18th April and there were no more records until 5th May, when birds were noted on beds 2 and 3. Two were reported near the Weir on the 13th with another two on No.3 bed on the 16th. Further May records were of singles on the 17th and the 20th with two counted on No.4 bed on the 21st. The only other field record after this was of one on Butchersfield during the 1st September Migration Watch. The ringing teams caught just two birds, both on No.1 bed with the first on 31st July followed by another on 22nd August.

Photograph from Woolston Weir 05/05/013

 
179 Whitethroat
179  Whitethroat
Andy Weir

Sylvia communis

Status: a common summer visitor breeding across the Reserve.

2014 Records - A common breeding summer visitor. The first of the year was found on 18th April when three were on No.4 bed and one on No.3. Numbers built up gradually until 2nd May when 47 were counted on the Reserve with 21 on No.4 bed. Later counts around the Reserve reached 51 by the middle of May with the majority on the favoured No.4 bed, and another four in the Rixton Paddocks/Bollin Point area. Nest building was seen on No.1 bed on 16th May and a family party containing two or three juveniles was seen on No.2 bed on 12th June. Following this there were low single-figure counts around the Reserve until the final field sighting of the year on 20th September.

The ringing teams caught 133 new birds during the year with No.1 bed enjoying the best year since 2010 with 57 ringed. The first was on 29th April, with the first juveniles appearing on 5 th July. Four birds were caught in breeding condition, two males and two females. Four were then caught in September with last on 18th September. There were 76 ringed on No.3 bed, slightly higher than the eleven year average but the lowest since 2009. The first of the year was on the late date of 17th May and the first juvenile on 21st June. The final one of the year was on 6th September. Three were caught from previous years with the oldest from 2011.

Photographed from the Centre Hide No.3 Bed

 
180 Grasshopper Warbler
180  Grasshopper Warbler
Simon Smith

Locustella naevia

Status: a breeding summer visitor in low numbers best looked for early in the morning when the ‘reeling’ song is evident.

2014 Records - A species that is eagerly listened for in spring, the first record was on 12th April when two were heard on No.3 bed with another two on No.4 the same day. Following these, further reeling birds were reported mainly on beds 3 and 4, mostly singles, but with two on several dates during April and May. The only record away from the main sites was of a single on No.1 bed on 1st July, while the last field record of the year was on 18th July. Three were ringed during the year, all on No.3 bed, with the first on 18th April and the last on the very late date of 24th September, one of the latest records for Cheshire.

Photograph from Woolston 05/05/2012

 
181 Sedge Warbler
181  Sedge Warbler
Roy Peacock

Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

Status: a common breeding summer migrant which has declined along national lines over recent years.

2014 Records - A fairly common breeding summer visitor. The first of the year was found on No.4 bed on 17th April, a typical date, with two there the following day and four on the 19th. There were single-figure counts throughout spring on all four beds with a minimum of 12 singing males, including six on No.3 bed. This compares with 109 in 2005 and 256 in 1999, a significant reduction during the last 15 years. The final field sighting was on 30th August.

In comparison, the ringers had their best year for this species since 2003 with 185 birds ringed. On No.1 bed 71were ringed, although the first of the year was caught on the late date Sedge Warbler Andy Weir of 1st July, no birds were caught that had been ringed in previous years. Two, both females, were caught in breeding condition, with the first juveniles appearing on 8th July. The final one of the year was caught on the late date of 29th September. Three quarters of the birds were caught in the one reed bed net used on the bed. The total of 114 new caught on No.3 bed was the highest for eleven years, with the first on 3rd May and the last on 20th September. The first juvenile was caught on 12th July and it is interesting to note that only 13 were ringed before this date.

Photograph from No3 Bed 25/06/2013

 
182 Blyth's Reed Warbler

Acrocephalus dumetorum

Status: very rare summer vagrant to Woolston, last recorded in

2014 Records - no sightings reported.

No Woolston image available

 
183 Marsh Warbler

Actocephalus palustris

Status: a rare summer migrant to Woolston.

2014 Records - no reports submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
184 Reed Warbler
184  Reed Warbler
Andy Weir

Acrocephalus scirpaceus

Status: common summer breeding species present in numbers on all four Beds.

2014 Records - A common breeding summer visitor with most of the reed beds alive with their song in late spring. The first of the year was found on 15th April on No.3 bed and was followed by single-figure counts until 14 were singing in the north and east reed beds on No.3 on 10th May. During the spring, 36 males were heard singing across the Reserve with 14 on No.3 bed alone. The only confirmed record of breeding was of a recently fledged juvenile seen in front of the Morgan hide on 4th August. The final field record of the year was of two seen on No.3 bed on 29th September.

The ringers experienced another excellent year for this species with 521 new birds ringed, the best year since 2011. The 165 ringed on No.1 bed was the best since 2010, a further nine were caught that had been ringed in previous years, with the oldest from 25th July 2008. The first of the year was on 16th May and 24 were caught in breeding condition, 10 females and 14 males. The first juvenile was caught on 1st July. Twenty two were caught after 1st September with the last on 2nd October. On No.3 bed, 356 were ringed, the highest total for three years and well above the eleven year average of 292. The first of the year was on 3rd May, later than in most years, a further 17 were caught from previous years with the oldest from 2009. The first juvenile of the year was caught on 14th June, an early date and the final bird was on 27th September.

Photograph from No3 Bed Platform Hide 06/07/2013

 
185 Waxwing

Bombycilla garrulus

Status: a rare sighting for the Reserve. The last record was of three near Woolston Weir in March 2013.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
186 Nuthatch

Sitta europaea

Status: uncommon visitor to the Eyes although local sites hold breeding populations close to the Reserve.

2014 Records - An uncommon species on the Reserve, there were only seven records during the year. The first two sightings were both on No.3 bed on 17th June and 5th July, possibly relating to the same individual. All other sightings were from the east end of the Reserve with sightings of single birds from 1st September until 11th October, possibly involving two birds.

No Woolston image available

 
187 Treecreeper

Certhia familiaris

Status: an uncommon species on the Reserve, present but its secretive nature probably results in its under reporting.

2014 Records - An uncommon visitor, which probably breeds around the perimeter of the Reserve. There were only two field records during the year, both from No.3 bed, one on 29th January and one on 29th September. Most of the records came from the ringing teams with four ringed on No.1 bed between 22nd August and 2nd October, while five were ringed on No.3 bed, slightly fewer than usual.

No Woolston image available

 
188 Wren
188  Wren
Roy Peacock

Troglodytes troglodytes

Status: very common breeding resident found throughout the year.

2014 Records - a common, breeding resident. The majority of the field records came during the spring period when males were singing their explosive territorial songs. Maxima from the Breeding Bird Surveys were of: 10 on No.1 bed, 32 on No.2 bed, 29 on No.3 bed and 32 on No.4 bed.

The ringing teams caught 173 during the year, the highest total since 2009. The No.1 bed team reported their best year since 2010 with 55 ringed, four others were caught that had been ringed in previous years, the oldest from 15th October 2011. Six were caught in breeding condition, five males and one female and the first juvenile was ringed on 20th June. It was also a good year on No.3 bed with and the total of 118 newly ringed was the best for 11 years, with the average during that period of 96.5. The first juvenile was ringed on 4th June, the second earliest date in the last 11 years.

Photograph from No.3 Bed 25/05/2013

 
189 Starling
189  Starling
Andy Weir

Sturnus vulgaris

Status: apart from the fly-over birds from the surrounding urbanisation on the southern and western environs Starlings are not common birds on the Reserve. Flocks of varying numbers often roost in the reed beds outside the breeding season.

2014 Records - One of the most anticipated events of the winter is the murmuration of Starlings on No.3 bed. During 2014 numbers began to build up from 1st February, when 1,000 were counted coming out of roost, the peak count was on the 23rd when 200,000 were estimated at dusk. Numbers began to fall after this, although 120,000 were still present on 2nd March and 80,000 on the 17th with a final 5,000 on the 23rd.

The CBC-type survey on the Reserve produced just two, on 25th April, both on the southern sector of No.4 bed and 300 were counted going to roost on No.3 bed on 8th June.

During the autumn, 501 were seen on the Migration Watch of 11th October with 630 going to roost on No.3 bed on the 28th. A small roost was also noted on No.1 bed, when 70 were seen leaving on 30th October. The Migration Watch on 1st November counted 4,837 and 2,750 were noted leaving the roost on No.3 bed on the 29th, the numbers here building up to a peak of 100,000 by 29th December.

Photograph of the 2014 roost on No3 Bed 01/03/2014

 
190 Ring Ouzel

Turdus torquata

Status: a rare passage visitor to the Reserve.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
191 Blackbird

Turdus merula

Status:abundant breeding species across the whole Reserve.

2014 Records - A common breeding resident and winter visitor. The first significant count was of 26 on 25th January, spread between No.3 bed and Bollin Point. The Breeding Bird survey produced 38 present across the Reserve and as far as Bollin Point, between 2nd April and 24th May.

There were some high counts during the autumn, particularly from Bollin Point and Butchersfield with 44 counted there on 20th September, when there had also been a noticeable influx of Song Thrushes. The Migration Watches also had some high counts, with 31 on 11th October, 12 on 1st November and 13 on 18th December while there were 32 on No.4 bed on 22nd November.

The ringing teams caught 83 new Blackbirds during the year, with 29 on No.1 bed, the best year since 2010. A further three were caught from previous years with the oldest from 2010. Two were caught in breeding condition, both males, and the first juveniles appeared from 1st July. The remaining 54 were ringed on No.3 bed with the first juvenile caught on 14th June, one of 17 ringed in juvenile plumage and likely to be locally bred. Sixteen were caught during the year that had been ringed in previous years, the oldest from 2007.

No Woolston image available

 
192 Fieldfare

Turdus pilaris

Status: found in the mid-autumn - winter months on the Reserve edges feeding on the Hawthorn and other berry bearing shrubs and common winter fly-over birds.

2014 Records - A winter visitor and migrant, the first of the year was a single on No.1 bed on 2nd January. The eastern end of the Reserve produced all of the records during the first two months of the year with a maximum of 80 recorded at Bollin Point on 22nd February. The final record of the spring was on No.3 bed on 4th April.

The first of the returning birds were two seen flying west over No.1 bed on 24th October, these were followed by the year’s highest count, 635 seen on the Migration Watch on 1st November, other three figure counts were recorded throughout November with the peak, 588, on 8th November. Lower numbers were noted during December until the last of the year, 25 on the Migration Watch on the 18th.

No Woolston image available

 
193 Song Thrush

Turdus philomelos

Status: a resident breeding species which has declined in recent years but still frequently sighted.

2014 Records - A resident species with some migrants moving through the Reserve, mainly in autumn. During the early part of the year, the highest Reserve-wide count was of ten singing males with four of these on Butchersfield. The CBC fieldwork during spring counted 18 territorial males and an adult was also seen collecting food along the Ship Canal track on 18th July.

The autumn Migration Watches had two high counts with 22 on 20th September, when there was also a notable influx of Blackbirds, and 47 on 11th October.

The ringing team had another relatively poor year for this species, with 46 ringed. Only 10 were ringed on No.1 bed, their worst year since 2007. Two adults were caught in breeding condition and just four in juvenile plumage, three on the same day, 15th August. Nine of the 10 were caught at the eastern end of the bed. The 36 ringed on No.3 bed was considered slightly above average and the first juvenile was caught on 8th June, six weeks earlier than in 2013.

No Woolston image available

 
194 Redwing

Turdus iliacus

Status: a regularly sighted winter visitor favours Hawthorn thicket and other berry shrubs wherever they occur on the Reserve. Occasionl roosts are reported.

2014 Records - A winter visitor and migrant. The first for the year were seen on No.1 bed on 2nd January and three high counts were made during the first winter period with 120 over No.2 bed on 18th January, 120 on No.4 bed on the 31st and 150 over No.3 bed on 24th February. The final spring sighting was on 30th March when two were on No.3 bed.

The first of the autumn were again on No.3 bed on 14th October, this was followed by counts of 391 on No.1 bed and 400 on No.3, both on the following day. The highest count of the year was made on 17th when 803 were counted flying south-west over No.3 bed and 500 were seen on No.1 bed the same day in what must have been a very large scale movement. There were more high counts during early November with 513 counted on the Migration Watch of 1st November. The final sighting of an excellent year was of 25 seen over Butchersfield on 18th December.

A record 153 were ringed during the year with 62 caught on No.1 bed, an amazing total considering just 41 had been ringed during the years 1995-2013. Only one of these was ringed in the first winter period with the next on 15th October and the final bird of the year on 28th December. A record number was also caught on No.3 bed with 91 ringed there; as with No.1 bed, there was just one in the first winter period with the remainder between 18th October and 28th December.

No Woolston image available

 
195 Mistle Thrush

Turdus viscivorus

Status: a resident bird across the whole Reserve but irregularly reported.

2014 Records - A relatively scarce species at Woolston, which has occasionally bred. There were 20 records for the Reserve during the year with all bar one coming from the eastern end of the Reserve or No.3 bed. The highest count was of 16 seen on the Migration Watch on 11th October.

No Woolston image available

 
196 Spotted Flycatcher

Muscicapa striata

Status: an irregular summer and passage visitor to Woolston but recorded most years.

2014 Records - recorded most years on the Reserve in very low numbers, this year there were two field records, both from No.3 bed, one on 17th August and two on the 31st. One was ringed during the year, on No.1 bed, caught on 26th August. It was the first since 2009 and only the seventh to be caught on the Reserve.

No Woolston image available

 
197 Robin
197  Robin
Les Jones

Erithacus rubecula

Status: a common resident throughout the Reserve.

2014 Records - a common resident breeder and passage migrant, the highest counts during the early part of the year were of 56 on both 8th January and 18th February with good numbers of singing Robins on No.4 bed on both days (28 and 31 respectively). The CBC-type transects during the spring recorded 58 singing males on beds 2, 3 and 4. There were some excellent counts during the autumn, with a Reserve-wide count of 104 on 30th October, including 53 on No.4 bed alone.

Ringing produced 228 new birds for the year, the best since 2002. Ninety of these were caught on No.1 bed, which had its best year since 2006, the majority of these were in August and September when 51 were ringed. It was assumed that these were migrants moving through the site as just two of them were subsequently retrapped. The oldest retrap was from 15th May 2010 and another bird was originally ringed in the nest on 15th June 2010. Four were caught in breeding condition, three males and one female and the first juvenile was ringed on 21st May. No.3 bed also had an excellent year with 118 ringed, including 78 juveniles with the first fledged bird caught on 3rd May and the last on 20th September, which was probably from a second brood. Of the nine birds retrapped, the oldest was from 2011.

Photograph from Woolston

 
198 Nightingale

Luscinia megarhynchos

Status: very rare vagrant to Woolston.

2014 Records - no reports submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
199 Bluethroat

Luscinia svecica

Status: a rare vagrant to the Eyes.

2014 Records - no reports submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
200 Red-breasted Flycatcher

Ficedula parva

Status: a rare vagrant, the 2013 record was the first record of this species on the Reserve.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
201 Pied Flycatcher

Ficedula parva

Status: a rare ( last recorded in 2005, 2012 and 2013) passage visitor to the Reserve.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
202 Redstart

Phoenicurus phoenicurus

Status: infrequent visitor to the Reserve but has been suspected of breeding.

2014 Reports - recorded most years in low numbers, 2014 was no exception with just one sight record, a female on No.1 bed on 29th August. Two were ringed on the same bed with a first year male on 27th August and a first year female on 4th September.

No Woolston image available

 
203 Whinchat
203  Whinchat
David Spencer

Saxicola rubetra

Status: a rare passage visitor to the Reserve.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

Image from No.3 bed South Meadow on 3rd May 2016

 
204 Stonechat

Saxicola torquata

Status: a regular passage visitor in small numbers to the Eyes.

2014 Records - just a single record of this uncommon species, with one on No.3 bed on 10th October.

No Woolston image available

 
205 Wheatear
205  Wheatear
Dave Bowman

Oenanthe oenanthe

Status: a regular passage visitor in small numbers.

2014 Records - an uncommon passage migrant on the Reserve, one was on No.3 bed on 25th April and the only autumn record was of one on the Canal track on 26th September.

Photograph from No1 Bed 24/08/2013

 
206 Dunnock
206  Dunnock
Chris Monks

Prunella modularis

Status: abundant breeding resident seen over the whole Reserve throughout the year.

2014 Records - A common resident at the Eyes, recorded on all four beds. The highest count of the year was of 27 singing males across the Reserve on 18th February and 10 were then recorded on No.4 bed on 2nd April. Reasonable numbers were found in the Butchersfield section during the autumn Migration Watches with a maximum of 12 on 11th October.

The ringing team caught 114 during the year, the highest total since 2009, with 22 ringed on No.1 bed. Seven were caught in breeding condition, six males and one female with the first juvenile caught on 16th May. The oldest to be caught on the bed had been ringed on 16th February 2008. The 92 ringed on No.3 bed was the highest total since 2009 and the first juvenile ringed on 31st May, the third earliest date for fledged young on the bed. A further 49 juveniles were ringed on the bed, indicating probable local breeding.

No Woolston image available

 
207 House Sparrow

Passer domesticus

Status: very uncommon on the Reserve Beds but noted along the canal path leading into the Reserve and around the Weir Pool housing area.

2014 Records - Despite the existence of small breeding populations not far from the Reserve, there are usually just a handful of sightings most years. This year was typical, with just four records received. One was in the reedbed on No.2 bed on 17th May, while another on No.1 bed on 24th July may have been the first ever from that bed. Two were again present on No.1 bed on 15th September, with the last one noted on the farmland to the east of Rixton Paddocks on the 27th . Interestingly, a female which was caught and ringed on No.1 bed on 17th October was carrying some fat and may have been moving through the Reserve, which is unusual for such a sedentary species.

No Woolston iamgea available

 
208 Tree Sparrow

Passer montanus

Status: a rare visitor at all times, best viewed for on the northern edges of the eastern end of the Reserve where breeding populations occur in the surrounding agricultural land. Last recorded in 2013.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston iamge available

 
209 Yellow Wagtail
209  Yellow Wagtail
Brian Burnett

Motacilla flava

Status: breeds locally on the adjacent farmland which contributes to fly over records but irregulr visitor to the Eyes.

2014 Records - Although small numbers breed on the farmland to north and south, this attractive but declining wagtail remains a scarce visitor. There were just two sightings of singles this year, both from the scrape in front of the Morgan Hide on No.3 bed, on 17th and 19th April.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan Hide 19/04/2014

 
210 Grey Wagtail

Motacilla cineria

Status: a handful of records per annum on the Reserve and frequent as a fly over sighting. A favoured site is on Latchford Locks approaching the Reserve.

2014 Records - the Morgan Hide scrape, Latchford Locks, Thelwall Viaduct and Rixton Bridge are the favoured places for this elegant wagtail. One or two were seen on many dates though, unusually, none were noted between the end of March and early July. It may be this was down to observer oversight, as a pair usually breeds at Latchford Locks. Both ringing teams enjoyed a record year, with five ringed on both Nos.1 and 3 beds. On No.1 bed, just three Grey Wagtails have been ringed since 1995, with the last in 2000. This year five were caught, all birds of the year and over an eleven day period from 18th to 29th September. On No.3 bed, a total of five juveniles was ringed during the autumn. The overall total of ten ringed represents a record for Woolston and takes the total to 22 since 1980.

No Woolston image available

 
211 Pied Wagtail
211  Pied Wagtail
Dave Bowman

Motacilla alba yarelli

Status: present all year on all four Beds. Small roosts can occur outside of the breeding and in the autumn/winter periods.

2014 Records - Much the commonest wagtail at Woolston, with breeding occasionally proved and winter roosts forming, which sometimes last until spring. Careful searching can turn up the occasional White Wagtail (M. a. alba) during passage periods. The No.3 bed roost, which held 31 on 27th February, has certainly benefited from the re-wetting and restoration of the reedbeds. The following evening an impressive pre-roost gathering of 96 was on the Morgan Hide scrape. Eighty were still present on 27th March, with up to thirty on several dates through to 22nd April and finally, 20 on 3rd May. There were four records of White Wagtail, all from the Morgan Hide scrape in No.3 bed. Two were there on 11th April, with one still present the next day. There were then three autumn records, each of two, on 8th August, 20th October and 24th October. There was no evidence of breeding this year. The only significant counts from the second half of the year were of 27 on 11th October during the Migration Watch from Butchersfield Tip, 15 at the No.3 bed roost on 29th October and 65, again at the roost, on 29th December.

Photograph from No.3 Bed John Morgan hide 01/03/2013

 
212 Tree Pipit

Anthus trivialis

Status: an irregular bird of passage with peak passage in August - September. 2012 was a record year for the ringing team with 5 birds ringed.

2014 Records - a scarce migrant, usually in autumn, there were three records this year, all from No.1 bed in August. The first was trapped and ringed on the 8th and was the 19th to be ringed there. Two more singles flew over on the 20th and 27th of the month.

No Woolston image available

 
212 Richard's Pipit

Anthus richardi

Status: a rare vagrant to Woolston, a record submitted to the county records in 2013 is waiting acceptance.

2014 Records - no records submitted. The sighting by D. Riley of two flying over No.1 Bed calling on 15th October 2013 is the only record for the Reserve.

No Woolston image available

 
213 Meadow Pipit

Anthus pratensis

Status: uncommon on the Reserve but common fly over with large passage during migration. Peak period being September and early October.

2014 Records - Although there have been occasional breeding records, Meadow Pipits are predominantly a passage migrant and some over-winter. There were only single-figure counts from the first winter period and none from the breeding season. Autumn passage produced some good counts, with: 20 south over No.1 bed on 31st August, 50 also south over the same bed on 12th September, 60 feeding on arable fields near Rixton Paddocks on 27th September and 270 south over Butchersfield Tip during the Migration Watch on 11th October. The highest winter count was of 20- 30 on the fields to the south of Butchersfield Tip on 29th December. On No.1 bed, a record number of 109 was ringed this year with the first on 31st August and the last 21st September. Only four were adults, all caught towards the end of the period

No Woolston image available

 
214 Water Pipit

Anthus spinoletta

Status: a rare visitor to the Reserve.

2014 Records - no sightings submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
215 Chaffinch
215  Chaffinch
Dave Bowman

Fringilla coelebs

Status: common breeding resident on the Reserve on all four Beds.

2014 Records - This resident breeder forms sizeable flocks during the winter. The winter seed crop on No.3 bed is particularly attractive to these ground-feeding finches, with 100 there on 9th January and 70 still present on 15th February. By 3rd March numbers had reduced further, with no more than 30 noted. Small numbers breed on all four beds and 11 were in song across the Reserve on the early date of 18th February. The Breeding Bird Survey produced the following counts of singing males: none on No.1 bed, 10 on No.2 bed, five on No.3 bed and eight on No.4 bed. The No.1 bed result was anomalous, as the survey was undertaken slightly later in the season and in less than ideal weather. The total of 23 singing males from beds 2 to 3 was about average, though below last year’s total of 28. No confirmation of breeding was received this year, apart from the ringing data.

No.1 bed experienced its best year since 2010 with 77 ringed and a further 16 caught that had been ringed in previous years, the oldest from 25th February 2005. Nine were caught in breeding condition, five males and four females and the first juvenile was ringed on 20th June. On No.3 bed the total of 324 new Chaffinches ringed represents an eleven year record for the bed, the average being 169 new birds. This is despite the BTO reporting an adult decline of 23% and a breeding productivity decline of 8% on the five year average. The use of a new tape lure has played its part here. The first juvenile was ringed on 28th June which is quite a late date. Eighteen birds were re-trapped during the year. The overall total of 401 ringed was a new record, exceeding the 384 achieved in 2010 and reversing the recent decline.

The autumn/winter flock using the No.3 bed seed crop was exceptional, this year, building to at least 200 by 13th November. By the 27th of the month, this had built to 250, with another flock of 100 disturbed from the west side of No.4 bed, which then flew in the direction of No.3 bed. By month end, 220 were still present, declining to 120 by 14th December and 60 by year end.

Photograph of a male Chffinch from No3 Bed 26/01/2013

 
216 Brambling
216  Brambling
Glen Ellis

Fringilla montifringilla

Status: the Reserve attracts passage visitors and holds wintering birds, best seen around the feeding stations on No3 Bed outside the John Morgan Hide.

2014 Records - Bramblings are mainly winter visitors and can arrive from the continent in huge numbers, in some years, when the beech mast crop fails. Although they can arrive early in the autumn and stay until late spring, they usually peak at Woolston during March. After an exceptional year in 2013, when a record count of 49 was recorded, this year was more mundane with only single-figure counts received, all from No.3 bed. The first was of two on 2nd January, followed by singles on the 3rd and 28th of the month and two on the 31st. One on 2nd February and two on the 15th were followed by singles on 28th and 30th March. The first returning winter visitors were noted on 13th November, with two again on the 15th and finally a single on the 25th of the month. The low numbers passing through the Reserve were mirrored by the ringing teams, with none caught, compared with 96 in 2013.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan Hide 30/12/2012.

 
217 Greenfinch
217  Greenfinch
Dave Bowman

Carduelis chloris

Status: present all year round throughout the Reserve. Resident bird numbers are swollen by over wintering visitors. Concentrations can easily be seen on the No3 Bed feeding stations outside the John Morgan Hide.

2014 Records - This resident breeding finch forms sizeable winter flocks, which can best be seen at the Morgan Hide feeding station or around the No.3 bed winter feed crop. Around 100 were present on No.3 bed on many dates during the first winter period, with maxima of 130 on 3rd January and 125 on 15th February. Smaller numbers were also present around the No.1 bed feeders, with, typically, 30 on 25th January. Eighty, on 15th March on No.3 bed, was the last significant count before the start of the breeding season. Small numbers breed on all four beds and the maximum number of singing males was 14, distributed as follows: three on No.1 bed, three on No.2 bed, four on No.3 bed and four on No.4 bed. The highest autumn/winter counts were of 120 on 6th August, 130 on 20th August and 100 on 17th December.

A total of 758 was ringed, which is very similar to last year’s 749. Interestingly, with 512 of these from No.3 bed and 246 from No.1 bed, the distribution was almost the reverse of 2013 (when 301 came from No.3 bed and 448 from No.1 bed). While the No.3 bed total of 512 is the highest for the last 11 years, it is well below the 1199 ringed in 2002. There were large numbers on the bed in early autumn, but unfortunately trichomoniasis struck the flock and the numbers crashed. Interestingly, the BTO reported a decline of 36% in adult survival but an increase of 9% in breeding productivity. On No.1 bed, numbers ringed were a lot lower than 2013 but compare reasonably well with the years immediately preceding. Twenty six were caught on the bed in breeding condition, 13 males and 13 females.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan Hide 28/12/2013

 
218 Goldfinch

Carduelis carduelis

Status: a common bird over the whole Reserve throughout the year.

2014 Records - This attractive finch breeds in small numbers, while mobile flocks roam the Reserve throughout the rest of the year. The highest counts from the first part of the year were of 18 at Bollin Point on 22nd February and 24 on No.4 bed on the 27th of the month. Unusually, none were noted in song during the breeding bird surveys, compared with 11 in 2013, though two were in full song on No.2 bed on the late date of 11th July. Sizeable post-breeding flocks were then noted from all areas bar No.2 bed, with maxima of 35 on No.4 bed on 4th September, 106 over Butchersfield Tip during the Migration Watch on 11th October, 70 on No.3 bed on 23rd October and 120 on No.1 bed on 16th November.

Sixteen were ringed during the year, compared with 11 in 2013. It was an average year on No.1 bed, with nine ringed. The first was an adult female with a brood patch on 21st July and the first juveniles were ringed on 15th September. On No.3 bed, an above average seven were newly ringed during the year. All were ringed on the north meadow by the winter seed crop and all but one was a juvenile.

No Woolston image available

 
219 Siskin

Carduelis spinus

Status: not a common bird on the Reserve but frequently reported. Takes advantage of the feeding stations but best area is the eastern end of the Reserve on Butchersfield with its higher concentration of Alders.

2014 Records - This agile, small finch is a passage migrant and winter visitor, usually in small numbers, and is most often seen feeding in the tops of Alders in No.3 bed or around Butchersfield Tip. Numbers were fairly typical this year and lower than in 2013. One or two were present on 19 dates, with just one higher count received. During January, five sightings were made, all from either No.1 bed or No.3 bed. On 22nd February, six were at Bollin Point, giving the year’s highest count. Singles were then noted on five dates through to 4 th April, again all were from Nos.1 and 3 beds. A similar pattern occurred during autumn/winter, with nine sightings of one or two and no flocks forming. The first returning individual was on No.3 bed on 28th October and the last two were on the same bed on 28th December. None were ringed for the second consecutive year, the first two blank years since 2007.

No Woolston image available

 
220 Linnet

Carduelis canabina

Status: although declining in numbers from past years Linnets are still regularly recorded and small numbers breed on the Reserve, best looked for in open weedy areas on Nos 1, 2 and 4 Beds and the seed crop area of No3 Bed.

2014 Records - Linnets are “open country” finches, which have declined markedly in England and Wales while enjoying a resurgence in Scotland. At Woolston numbers were also declining, though scrub clearance on Nos.1, 3 and 4 beds, allied to the provision of a winter seed crop on No.3 bed seems to be turning this around. Although they were present on all four beds during the early part of the year, the highest count was of just 20 on No.3 bed on 22nd January. The only indications of possible breeding came from males in song, with one on No.4 bed on 28th March, one on No.2 bed on 3rd April and two close to a known breeding colony at Bollin Point on 24th May. The first significant count from the second half of the year came when 114 were counted flying over Butchersfield Tip during the Migration Watch on 11th October. By mid-November a flock of 220 was feeding in the No.3 bed seed crop, with 120 still present by the 22nd of the month and just 40 towards month end. Surprisingly given the numbers present on No.3 bed, just two were ringed, one each from Nos.1 and 3 beds.

No Woolston image available

 
221 Twite

Carduelis Flavirostris

Status:: a rare passage and winter visitor.

2014 Records - no reports submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
222 Lesser Redpoll
222 Lesser Redpoll
Douglas Buchanan

Carduelis cabaret

Status: a regular recorded bird usually seen in feeding flocks outside the breeding season and occasionally on the feeding stations over the summer months.

2014 Records - Once a regular breeder in small numbers, they are now a passage migrant and winter visitor, which can form sizeable flocks. As with Siskins, they are most easily seen feeding in the tops of Alders, either in No.3 bed or around Butchersfield Tip. Small numbers were present from the start of the year, with the highest counts being of eight in No.3 bed on 25th January, nine in the same area on the 31st of the month and ten on No.1 bed on 9th April. The last spring sighting was of three on No.1 bed on 4th May. The first sign of autumn passage came when four were on No.1 bed on 2nd September. On 15th October 48 were present on No.1 bed, with 41 flying south on the 30th. A flock of 20 on No.1 bed on 23rd November had grown to 60 by 6th December. A smaller flock was regularly present on No.3 bed during the same period, with 30 on 30th November, reducing to 20 on 28th December and 15 by the 29th of the month.

The total of 76 ringed was an improvement on the previous two years (cf. 52 in 2013 and 63 in 2012), though still some way short of the 135 ringed in 2010. On No.3 bed 35 were ringed during the year. The eleven year average is 28 new birds. Thirty-three of these came in the first part of the year from 4th January – 26th April. The expected autumn passage did not occur and only two birds were ringed, on 29th November and 6th December. On No.1 bed, an average total of 41 was ringed, with another caught that had been originally ringed on 30th October 2013. The majority were caught towards the end of the year with the best day being 6th December with 15. None in breeding condition were caught and the first birds of the autumn were ringed on 29th September.

Photograph from No3 Bed

 
223 Common Redpoll

Carduelis flammea

Status: an uncommon mainly winter visitor and migrant.

2014 Records - A bird caught and photographed by Mike Baron on No.1 bed on 6th December showed characteristics of Common Redpoll.

No Woolston image available

 
224 Crossbill

Loxia curvirostra

Status: a scarce passage visitor to the Reserve.

2014 Records - Breeding in extensive pine woods throughout the UK, with some years seeing an irruption of continental birds, Crossbills are a scarce visitor. The only sighting this year was of one which flew north over No.4 bed on 27th January.

No Woolston image available

 
225 Bullfinch
225  Bullfinch
Andy Weir

Pyrrhula pyrrhula

Status: Woolston has a very healthy population of Bullfinch which is supplemented by wintering birds and can be seen throughout the year across all Beds. Regularly uses the feeding stations on No3 Bed.

2014 Records - This, our most colourful finch, is a regular breeder on all four beds and forms small post-breeding and wintering flocks. High counts from early in the year included ten at Bollin Point on 4th January, 11 on No.3 bed on 31st January and 24 on No.3 bed on 15th February. The only suggestion of breeding came when a male was in song on the north side of No.4 bed on 19th April, though this species is easy to overlook. Highest counts from the autumn/winter periods were of 15 on No.4 bed on 22nd November and a Reserve-wide count of 20 on 28th November.

During the year, an excellent total of 192 was ringed, compared with 147 in 2013. On No.3 bed, the total of 136 new birds was the highest for 11 years and a welcome increase, as the last three years had shown a decline. Unfortunately this species was affected by trichomoniasis (a bird showing signs being found dead). The first juvenile was ringed on 31st May. This is the earliest date in the last 11 years. A total of 72 was ringed as juveniles and therefore indicative of local breeding. No.1 bed experienced an average year, with 56 ringed and a further 11 caught from previous years. The oldest of these was from 20th April 2010, three were also caught that had been ringed in other parts of Britain. Sixteen were caught in breeding condition, 11 males and five females with the first juveniles ringed on 25th June.

Photograph of a male bird from No3 Bed John Morgan Hide 27/04/2013

 
226 Hawfinch

Coccothraustes coccothraustes

Status: scarce visitor, usually all Reserve sightings are of birds flying over outside of the breeding season. The last record was of two flying over Butchersfield Tip during a Migration Watch on 9th September 2012.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
227 Snow Bunting

Plectrophenax nivalis

Status: a rare winter vagrant to the Reserve.

2014 Records - no reports submitted.

No Woolton image available

 
228 Lapland Bunting

Calcarius lapponicus

Status: a very rare passage migrant to Woolston.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
229 Yellowhammer

Emberiza citrinella

Status: an uncommon species on the Reserve but regularly recorded as movements of neighbouring populations which breed on habitat to the north, south and east of the Reserve. Uses the feeding stations occasionally in autumn/winter periods.

2014 Records - It was a good year for this colourful bunting, which breeds on farmland close to the Reserve and is an occasional visitor. There were 14 sightings this year, though six of these came from a return to occasionally surveying the farmland immediately to the east of Rixton Paddocks. One flew over No.1 bed on 25th January, with six feeding near Rixton Paddocks on 1st February and two at Bollin Point on 22nd of the month. One was then in song from south of the Ship Canal, opposite No.1 bed, on 13th March, with another at Bollin Point on 19th April. Seven, along the lane to the east of Rixton Paddocks on 24th May, included two males in song, with four there at month end. There were seven further sightings from September to year end, with a maximum of six to the east of Rixton Paddocks on 27th September.

No Woolston image available

 
230 Ortolan Bunting

Emberiza hortulana

Status: rare passage migrant to the Reserve.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
231 Little Bunting

Emberiza pusilla

Status: rare winter visitor.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
232 Reed Bunting
232  Reed Bunting
Andy Weir

Emberiza schoeniclus

Status: a common bird across the whole Reserve throughout the year. Breeds on all four Beds.

2014 Records - Reed Buntings breed on all four beds and often form small winter roosts. In recent years numbers have declined, reflecting the national situation. The only double-figure count from the first winter period was of 12 at Bollin Point on 1st February. During the breeding season 21 males were in song, ten of these from No.1 bed, four from No.2 bed, three from No.3 bed and four from No.4 bed. This was significantly lower than the 35 the previous year. The continued loss of wet habitat on No.1 bed is certainly contributing to this reduction, with numbers having almost halved. A similar reduction on No.3 bed is less explicable and it may be beneficial to extend our Breeding Bird Survey on this bed into the now-accessible, re-wetted areas to see if territories have been relocated. Thirty, leaving the No.1 bed roost on 15th October, was the highest count from the second half of the year and low double-figure counts were then made, on No.3 bed, on two occasions in November.

Despite the apparent reduction in breeding numbers, the ringing total of 117 was a heartening increase on the 66 from 2013, though still some way below the totals from 2010 to 2012. On No.3 bed, 32 new birds were ringed. This is a slight increase on last year, but is down on the 11 year average of 50 new birds. The first juvenile was ringed on 12th July. A total of six was ringed as juveniles, possibly indicating local breeding. Despite the reduction in habitat, No.1 bed experienced a good year with 85 ringed and a further 15 caught from previous years. The oldest of these was from 13th April 2007. Twenty one were caught in breeding condition, 15 males and six females, with the first juveniles ringed on 5th July.

Photograph of a male bird from No3 Bed 06/07/2013

 
233 Corn Bunting

Miliaria calandra

Status: a rare visitor to the Eyes although the surronding agricultural land to the north and east has small breeding populations.

2014 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

 
E04 Egyptian GooseAlopochen aegyptiaca
E04 Egyptian Goose
David Spencer

Alopochen aegyptiaca

Status: a rare visitor to Woolston Eyes

2014 Records - A rare visitor to Woolston, the only record was of one seen by two observers on No.3 bed on 5th April.

Photograph from No3 Bed 06/04/2014

 
E7 Red crested Pochard
E7 Red crested Pochard
Brian Burnett

Netta rufina

Status: Scare vagrant

2014 Records - After a record of a drake in 2013 a pair was present on No.3 bed on 19th April.

Photograph from No3 bed 19th april 2014

 

Bird Species Recorded at Woolston Eyes Reserve

Species English Latin
1 Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata
2 Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
3 Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
4 Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena
5 Slavonian Grebe Podiceps auritus
6 Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
7 Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis
8 Storm Petrel Hydrobates pelagicus
9 Leach’s Petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa
10 Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
11 Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis
12 Little Egret Egretta garzetta
13 Bittern Botaurus stellaris
14 Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
15 Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
16 Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
17 Mute Swan Cygnus olor
18 Bewick’s Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii
19 Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus
20 Pink Footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus
21 White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons
22 Greylag Goose Anser anser
23 Canada Goose Branta canadensis
24 Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis
25 Brent Goose Branta bernicla
26 Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea
27 Shelduck Tadorna tadorna
28 Mandarin Aix galericulata
29 Wigeon Anas penelope
30 Gadwall Anas strepera
31 Teal Anas crecca
32 Green-winged Teal Anas crecca carolinensis
33 Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
34 Pintail Anas acuta
35 Garganey Anas querquedula
36 Shoveler Anas clypeata
37 Pochard Aythya ferina
38 Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
39 Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca
40 Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
41 Scaup Aythya marila
42 Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis
43 Common Scoter Melanitta nigra
44 Goldeneye Bucephala clangula
45 Smew Mergellus albellus
46 Red-breasted Merganser Mergus sator
47 Goosander Mergus merganser
48 Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
49 Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus
50 Red Kite Milvus milvus
51 Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
52 Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus
53 Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus
54 Goshawk Accipiter gentilis
55 Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
56 Buzzard Buteo buteo
57 Rough-legged Buzzard Buteo lagopus
58 Osprey Pandion haliaetus
59 Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
60 Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus
61 Merlin Falco columbarius
62 Hobby Falco subbuteo
63 Peregrine Falco peregrinus
64 Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa
65 Grey Partridge Perdix perdix
66 Quail Coturnix coturnix
67 Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
68 Water Rail Rallus aquaticus
69 Spotted Crake Porzana porzana
70 Little Crake Porzana parva
71 Corncrake Crex crex
72 Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
73 Coot Fulica atra
74 Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
75 Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta
76 Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
77 Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
78 Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria
79 Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
80 Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
81 Knot Calidris canutus
82 Sanderling Calidris alba
83 Little Stint Calidris minuta
84 Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii
85 White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis
86 Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos
87 Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
88 Dunlin Calidris alpina
89 Buff-breasted Sandpiper Tryngites subruficollis
90 Ruff Philomachus pugnax
91 Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus
92 Snipe Gallinago gallinago
93 Woodcock Scolopax rusticola
94 Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
95 Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
96 Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
97 Curlew Numenius arquata
98 Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
99 Redshank Tringa totanus
100 Greenshank Tringa nebularia
101 Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
102 Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
103 Common Sandpiper Tringa hypoleucos
104 Turnstone Arenaria interpres
105 Wilson’s Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor
106 Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus
107 Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus
108 Great Skua Catharacta skua
109 Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
110 Laughing Gull Larus atricilla
111 Franklin’s Gull Larus pipixcan
112 Little Gull Larus minutus
113 Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
114 Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
115 Common Gull Larus canus
116 Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus graellsi
117 Herring Gull Larus argentatus
118 Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides
119 Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
120 Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
121 Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla
122 Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
123 Common Tern Sterna hirundo
124 Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea
125 Little Tern Sterna albifrons
126 Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus
127 Black Tern Chlidonias niger
128 White-winged Black Tern Chlidonias leucopterus
129 Feral Pigeon Columba livia
130 Stock Dove Columba oenas
131 Woodpigeon Columba palumbus
132 Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
133 Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur
134 Ring-necked Parakeet Psittacula krameri
135 Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
136 Barn Owl Tyto alba
137 Little Owl Athene noctua
138 Tawny Owl Strix aluco
139 Long-eared Owl Asio otus
140 Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
141 Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus
142 Swift Apus apus
143 Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
144 Bee-eater Merops apiaster
145 Green Woodpecker Picus viridis
146 Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
147 Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor
148 Skylark Alauda arvensis
149 Sand Martin Riparia riparia
150 Swallow Hirundo rustica
151 House Martin Delichon urbica
152 Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
153 Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis
154 Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta
155 Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
156 Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
157 Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba yarrelli
158 White Wagtail Motacilla alba alba
159 Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus
160 Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
161 Dunnock Prunella modularis
162 Robin Erithacus rubecula
163 Bluethroat Luscinia svecica
164 Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos
165 Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
166 Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
167 Stonechat Saxicola torquata
168 Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
169 Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus
170 Blackbird Turdus merula
171 Fieldfare Turdus pilaris
172 Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
173 Redwing Turdus iliacus
174 Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus
175 Cetti’s Warbler Cettia cetti
176 Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia
177 Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
178 Marsh Warbler Acrocephalus palustris
179 Blyth’s Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum
180 Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus
181 Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
182 Whitethroat Sylvia communis
183 Garden Warbler Sylvia borin
184 Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
185 Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus
186 Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix
187 Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
188 Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
189 Goldcrest Regulus regulus
190 Firecrest Regulus ignicapillus
191 Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
192 Pied Flycatcher Ficedula parva
193 Bearded Tit Panurus biarmicus
194 Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
195 Marsh Tit Parus palustris
196 Willow Tit Parus montanus
197 Coal Tit Parus ater
198 Blue Tit Parus caeruleus
199 Great Tit Parus major
200 Nuthatch Sitta europaea
201 Treecreeper Certhia familiaris
202 Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus
203 Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor
204 Jay Garrulus glandarius
205 Magpie Pica pica
206 Nutcracker Nucifraga caryocatactes
207 Jackdaw Corvus monedula
208 Rook Corvus frugilegus
209 Carrion Crow Corvus corone corone
210 Hooded Crow Corvus corone cornix
211 Raven Corvus corax
212 Starling Sturnus vulgaris
213 House Sparrow Passer domesticus
214 Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
215 Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
216 Brambling Fringilla montifringilla
217 Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
218 Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
219 Siskin Carduelis spinus
220 Linnet Carduelis cannabina
221 Twite Carduelis flavirostris
222 Redpoll Carduelis flammea
223 Crossbill Loxia curvirostra
224 Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula
225 Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes
226 Lapland Bunting Calcarius lapponicus
227 Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis
228 Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
229 Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana
230 Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla
231 Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus
232 Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra
   
ESCAPES
1 Black Swan Cygnus alratus
2 Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus
3 Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus
4 Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiacus
5 White Cheeked Pintail Anas bahamensis
6 Muscovy Duck Cairina moschata
7 Red Crested Pochard Netta rufina
8 Parakeet sp
9 Sulphur Crested Cockatoo Cacatua galerita
10 Cockatiel Nymphicus hollandicus
11 Budgerigar Melopsittacus undulatus
12 Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber
13 Cinnamon Breasted Bunting Emberiza tahapisi
14 Lanner Falcon Falco biarmarcus
15 Zebra Finch Poephila guttata
 

Latest Sighting

2017-03-25

After a frosty start on No.3 bed the morning mellowed into brilliant spring sunshine. We started and finished by searching for migrants from the Morgan Hide but, in between, David Spencer and I completed our first Common Bird Survey (CBC) of the year for the bed. Birds of the day Read more...

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