Woolston Eyes Monthly Sightings


Brian Burnett

2013-04-29

Willow Warbler picture taken from the footbridge. As I remember there was several birds fly-catching in the sunshine.

Brian Burnett

Submitted by: Brian Burnett

 

2013-04-28

Dave Riley had three ringing sessions on No1 bed during the week, one early morning on the Monday and two from mid-morning on the Saturday and Sunday. The first one produced 23 birds of which nine were new including his first Dunnock, Song Thrush and Whitethroat of the year, what will probably be the last new Brambling of the year was also caught while another Brambling had put on almost 5 grms since being ringed 72 hours previously (almost a quarter of it’s weight on the day it was originally caught!). 19 birds were caught on the Friday with the seven new including four Chaffinches, the above Brambling was caught again and had increased it’s weight to 30.2 grms. On the Sunday, 16 birds were caught, including a female Blackcap. Other interesting retraps include a Blue Tit originally ringed on 26-06-2009, a Great Tit ringed on 23-08-2008 and a Chiffchaff on 24-07-2009, while another two Willow Warblers ringed in 2012 were also caught. Sightings on the bed include: 1 Kingfisher, 30 Sand Martins, 20 Swallows, 2 Reed Warblers, 2 Sedge Warblers, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Whitethroat (all 22nd), a Mallard brood of 6, 1 Snipe, 15 Buzzards (probably migrating birds, as they came in from the south and continued over the bed, disappearing to the north), 1 Hobby, 1 Cuckoo (the first Dave has heard on the bed for 4 or 5 years), 50 each of Sand Martin and Swallow, 20 House Martins and 1 Lesser Redpoll (all 27th), 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Green Woodpecker, 100+ Swallows and 50+ House Martins (all 28th).

The No.3 bed ringing team were out on the Saturday morning, catching 44 birds with 17 new including their fist Grasshopper Warbler of the year along with 3 Jays. Sightings by the team included 2 Buzzards, 2 Grasshopper Warblers and 2 Redshanks.

Dave Hackett had a reserve wide count of 53 Willow Warblers, 51 Chiffchaffs, 7 Blackcaps and 6 Reed Warblers on Monday, and the Long-tailed Duck was still on the river.

The Black-necked Grebe count reached 20 birds during the week also seen were single Avocet, Common Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover as well as 4 Dunlin.

David Bowman and Al Warford were on Beds 2 and 3 on the Saturday morning and had the following sightings: 45 Teal on No.2 bed, 28 Shelduck on both beds, 16 Common Buzzards soaring, including 10 visible from The Morgan Hide, possibly part of the same movement as reported on No1 bed, 70 Tufted Duck on the Weir Pool, 70 Swallows, 35 House Martins and 45 Sand Martins, mainly over No.3 bed and a House Sparrow (Woolston scarcity!) near the No.3 bed Car park as they were leaving.

Submitted by: Dave Riley

 

2013-04-21

Dave Riley was on No.1 bed on the Friday catching 27 birds, with 14 new including his first Willow Warbler of the year and another two Bramblings were to the record total for the year. Amongst the retraps were three Willow Warblers all originally ringed as adult males in 2012, a Greenfinch ringed as an adult female on 22nd March 2012 and a Reed Bunting originally ringed as an adult male on 24th April 2010. Sightings on the bed included 7 Teal, 1 Snipe, 2 Water Rails, 59 Sand Martins, 1 House Martin, 13 Swallows, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Whitethroat (palisade gates), 4 Chiffchaffs, 14 Willow Warblers and 11 Linnets.

A significant hirundine roost has formed on No.3 bed so Kieran Foster, Jason Atkinson and Mike Miles assembled on the Friday evening to set some nets and try for some hirundines. They failed on the hirundines but caught 4 birds including their first 2013 Sedge Warbler (new) and first Reed Warbler (originally ringed as a 4F on 3rd July 2010 and not encountered since.) On the Saturday morning, they were joined by Margaret Rawlins and assembled at 05.30 to find that a sharp air frost had frozen many of the 21 nets set last evening. All were teased open gently by about 06.30 and the odd white patch did not stop some birds being caught. Their optimism was rewarded at 7am with the capture of a very striking 5 male Redstart, the first on the bed since the early nineties. They ended the weekend with 71 birds ( 47 new and 24 retraps).

Other highlights were 19 new warblers of 5 species, 3 more new Bramblings, their first 2 Jays of the year and a new Willow Tit. It was also a morning for retrapping “old friends”, the oldest was a Willow Tit ringed as a 3 on 24th August 2007, although this bird is 5yrs 7 mnths and 2 days old on the BTO basis it is a long way off the oldest recorded Willow Tit at 10 yrs 4 mnths and 18 days. They also had a Chaffinch from 2008 (not seen since), a Blue Tit which was a pullus in one of their boxes in 2008, two Great Tits and a Bullfinch from 2009 a Jay and a Reed Bunting from 2010.

Sightings over the weekend included - Friday Curlew, Green Sandpiper 2 Tawny Owls and about 300 Sand Martins coming into the roost. Saturday, Redshank, 1 reeling Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Siskins, 3 Mediterranean Gulls.

Other sightings included up to 15 Black-necked Grebes, 4 Little Ringed Plovers, 1 Redshank, 3 Whitethroats, 1 Dunlin, 9 Black-necked Grebes, 4 Blackcaps, 20 Chiffchaffs, 1 Kingfisher, 13 Willow Warblers, 53 Sand Martins, 40 House Martins, 35 Swallows, 6 Buzzards and 1 Kestrel.

Submitted by: Dave Riley

 

2013-04-14

There was no ringing on No.1bed during the week.

On no.3 bed, ringing took place on Wednesday and this morning. On Wednesday Kieran Foster and Mike Miles caught 36 birds ( 21 new and 15 retraps) and on the Saturday, together with Jason Atkinson and Mike Baron they caught a further 43 ( 25 new and 18 retraps)including the first Willow Warbler of the year. This is their latest “first Willow Warbler” since 2007 when it was 21st April before we caught one. To make the point that winter is still with us They also caught a Redwing and a total of 13 Bramblings. Of these, 11 were new birds bringing our combined score to a tantalising 90 new Bramblings in 2013, they also caught their first new Dunnock of the year and, moving up in size, their first Woodpigeon and first Stock Dove, just the 10th in the database. Sightings on the bed included a Curlew, 2 Oystercatchers, 6 Fieldfares and about 20 Bramblings.

Other sightings included a Goshawk over No.1 bed on the Friday On the Saturday, David Bowman, Dave Steel, Al Warford and Brian Baird toured beds 1 ns 3 with the following observations:

“With the change in wind direction, an overnight arrival of migrants was augmented by a further steady northward trickle. Chief among these were 1 Hobby (speeding north over No.1 bed), 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 3 Blackcaps, 8 Willow Warblers, 21 Chiffchaffs, 26 Swallows and 12 Sand Martins. Additional sightings of interest were: 1 Kingfisher at the Weir Pool plus 1 Curlew, 2 Oystercatchers, 12 Fieldfares, 20 Bramblings, 2 Black-necked Grebes and 1 Willow Tit, all in No.3 bed. A less rewarding sighting was of a large Mink sitting on-top of a nest-box, on No.1 bed, which usually holds breeding Stock Doves, with a cloud of feathers on the ground below. It sat tight and allowed an approach to within a few feet before disappearing. Signs of approaching summer were the four Small Tortoiseshell butterflies, 3 on No.3 bed and 1 on No.1 bed.”

Submitted by: Dave Riley

 

2013-04-07

Dave Riley was ringing on No.1 bed on Friday and Saturday catching 18 birds in total, with eight new including; 5 Brambling (plus another visitor from No.3), 1 Chaffinch, I Blue Tit and a Great tit, amongst the retraps was a Blue Tit originally ringed on 26th June 2009 and a Great Tit, ringed on 11th July 2009. Sightings on the bed included 1 Jack Snipe, 1 Snipe, 1 Water Rail, 8 Meadow Pipits, 2 Redwings, 3 Chiffchaffs and 4 Siskins (all 6th).

Ringing took place on No.3 bed also on the Friday and Saturday. Over the two days they caught 41 birds with 16 new including 2 Bramblings, 1 Redwing, 2 Lesser Redpolls and a Chiffchaff. sightings included a flyover Curlew, 20 Redwings, 10 Fieldfares, 20 Bramblings, 1 Siskin, 6 Lesser Redpolls, 1 Water Rail and 2 Chiffchaffs in song.

82 Bramblings have now been ringed on the reserve this year, beating the previous record of 76 in 2011.

Submitted by: Dave Riley

 

Andy Weir

2013-04-27

Pair of Black-necked Grebes taken from the Rotary Hide

Submitted by: Andy Weir

 

Andy Weir

2013-04-27

Bullfinch taken from the John Morgan Hide

Submitted by: Andy Weir

 

Andy Weir

2013-04-27

Magpie taken from John Morgan Hide

Submitted by: Andy Weir

 

2013-04-27

An aftrnoon visit to No.1 Bed with Tony Davis - during a brief hail shower at 14:00hrs a Hobby flew low over the west pool and east across the bed without stopping. This was on the tailend of the passage of a sizable drift of hirundines, mainly Swallows with Sand Martins and a couple of House Martins heading in the same direction.

Othr sitings of interest were; 5 Peacock and 2 Orange Tip butterflies along with the first Dragonfly of the year. Two pair of Pochard on the west pool and four pair of Tufted Duck on the east pool. Five singing Reed and 2 Sedge Warblers.

Submitted by: John Blundell

 

David Bowman

2013-04-27

Al Warford and I covered Nos.2 and 3 beds on a sunny morning with a cool north-easterly wind. Highlights from No.3 bed were: 2 Swifts, 21 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Redshanks, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Sedge Warblers, 7 Reed Warblers and 1 Water Rail.

A CBC on No.2 bed produced the following in song: Willow Warbler 7, Chiffchaff 9, Blackcap 12, Reed Warbler 2, Whitethroat 8, Blackbird 3, Wren 8, Robin 1, Song Thrush 1, Greenfinch 3, Great Tit 4, Blue Tit 2, Dunnock 6 andChaffinch 2.

Other sightings of interest were: 45 Teal on No.2 bed, 28 Shelduck on both beds, 16 Common Buzzards soaring (10 visible from The Morgan Hide), 1 Peregrine on No.1 bed, 70 Tufted Duck on the Weir Pool, 70 Swallows, 35 House Martins and 45 Sand Martins, mainly over No.3 bed and a House Sparrow (Woolston scarcity!) near the No.3 bed Car park as I was leaving.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2013-04-26

More Black-necked Grebes have arrived. This evening I counted a minimum of 20 - probably 22. Also on No.3 bed were a Common Sandpiper in front of the John Morgan Hide and about 350 Swallows.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

David Bowman

2013-04-25

It continues to be a good Spring for waders, with 4 Dunlins in front of the Linley Hide and 1 Common Sandpiper in front of the Rotary Hide at 4.30 pm today (see photos!). At least 12 Black-necked Grebes were still present and a hundred or so hirundines were hawking low over the lagoon.

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2013-04-25

It continues to be a good Spring for waders, with 4 Dunlins in front of the Linley Hide and 1 Common Sandpiper in front of the Rotary Hide at 4.30 pm today (see photos!). At least 12 Black-necked Grebes were still present and a hundred or so hirundines were hawking low over the lagoon.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2013-04-24

No sign of this morning’s Avocet at 4.00 pm, though 2 Wheatears, 1 Little Ringed Plover and 14 Black-necked Grebes were in No.3 bed.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2013-04-24

An Avocet was reported this morning from No.3 bed. Apparently it was visible from the Tower Hide.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2013-04-23

6 BN Grebes in front of Rotary Hide together with 6 Pochard. 2 BN Grebes, 1 Redshank in front of Sybil Hogg Hide. Found a 8mb Scandisk Memory Card in a Camo Card holder on the floor in the main Morgan hide today. I’ve pinned it next to the notice board.

Submitted by: Chris Monks

 

2013-04-23

A period of warm sunny weather around lunchtime produced the first Orange Tips of the year, together with a Green-veined White. A minimum of 13 Black-necked Grebes were on No.3 bed.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

Dave Hackett

2013-04-22

Reserve wide warbler totals included 53 Willow Warbler, 51 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap and 6 Reed Warbler. The Long-tailed Duck is still on the river and there were 9 Black-necked Grebes on No.3 bed.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

Andy Weir

2013-04-21

Water Rail photographed from the Rotary Hide

Submitted by: Andy Weir

 

2013-04-22

On No.3 bed this morning: 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Garden Warbler, 4 Reed Warblers, 1 Whitethroat, 5 Black-necked Grebes, 6 Snipe, 2 Redshanks, 1 Kingfisher plus a few of all three species of hirundine and Blackcaps and loads of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs. On No.2 bed 1 Goldcrest and on No.1 bed (per Dave Riley) 1 Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Bramblings.

Butterflies on No3.bed were 4 Peacocks and 5 Small Tortoiseshells.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

Andy Weir

2013-04-21

Black-necked Grebe taken from the Rotary Hide

Submitted by: Andy Weir

 

Andy Weir

2013-04-21

Redshank taken from the Rotary Hide

Submitted by: Andy Weir

 

Andy Weir

2013-04-21

Great crested grebe taken from the footbridge.

Submitted by: Andy Weir

 

2013-04-21

Early morning dawn chorus of warblers on No.1 Bed with Blackcap, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Reed Warbler. Also a Common Sandpiper on the flooded eastern side of the west pool.

Submitted by: John

 

2013-04-21

Apologies for the late record of 4 little Ringled Plover, Wheatear, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Peregrine and 7 Buzzards on No.1 Bed Tuesday evening 16/04/2013.

Submitted by: John

 

2013-04-20

A lovely spring morning. Covered the butterfly transect on Nos.2 and 3 beds for the first time this year and found 2 Peacocks and 7 Small Tortoiseshells. Total counts for Nos.1 and 3 beds were in double figures for both species but no sign of Orange Tips yet. On No.1 bed was a Little Ringed Plover and about 20 Sand Martins at last year’s breeding colony. Only 5 Black-necked Grebes were visible on No.3 bed but a Reed Warbler was in song opposite the Rotary Hide.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

David Bowman

2013-04-19

This morning, on Nos.2 and 3 beds, totals included: 3 Whitethroats, 1 Dunlin, 9 Black-necked Grebes (plus 3 at Houghton Green Pool on my way home), 4 Blackcaps, 20 Chiffchaffs, 1 Kingfisher, 13 Willow Warblers, 53 Sand Martins, 40 House Martins, 35 Swallows, 6 Buzzards and 1 Kestrel.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

Douglas Buchanan

2013-04-18

Visited today. Very windy but at least 10 Black-necked Grebes with 8 in front of Rotary Hide. Saw two Med Gulls and another visitor reported two pairs.

Submitted by: Douglas Buchanan

 

2013-04-18

A mixture of squally showers and sunshine late this afternoon, on No.3 bed, brought in singles of Arctic Tern, Dunlin and White Wagtail. A pair of adult Mediterranean Gulls was in the early stages of display, while 15 Black-necked Grebes were present. Scores of Sand Martins, House Martins and Swallows were feeding actively over the bed.

Cheers David (along with Alan Patterson et al)

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2013-04-17

Another fine but blustery day after some early morning rain. The Long-tailed Duck was still on the river to the north of Butchersfield Tip and warbler numbers continue to increase. Reserve-wide counts of singing males were 49 Chiffchaffs, 14 Willow Warblers and 1 Blackcap. On No.3 bed Brian Martin and I found 12 Black-necked Grebes but after I had left Brian found a further three and also 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls!

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

2013-04-16

Kieran Foster reported two adult Mediterranean Gulls flying out of No.3 bed this evening.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2013-04-16

No sign of the Pied Flycatcher however there was a nice Arctic Tern showing very well over lunchtime and in to the afternoon. There were 8 Black Necked Grebes which is better news. Several Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff calling on No 3 bed but very few Hirundines about.

Submitted by: Alanp

 

2013-04-15

An evening visit to No.3 bed at 7.00 pm, to see what was moving through on these south-westerlies, proved productive. The male Pied Flycatcher was still on the footbridge and 11 White Wagtails dropped in, with three in front of the Morgan Hide and 8 moving to the north-east corner, where I could see them “fly-catching” till the light was gone. Hirundines were present in abundance with an estimated 380 Sand Martins, 160 Swallows and 20 House Martins feeding actively over the bed. The latter eventually moved on but the rest went to roost in the reed-bed. Three Snipe and 1 Jack Snipe were in front of the Linley Hide and a single Pipistrelle bat was over the south bank at dusk.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2013-04-15

A very smart looking male Pied Flycatcher was sitting on the rail of the footbridge to No.3 bed this morning at 9.45 am. It moved into the trees to the right of the bridge and was looking settled when I went off to help sow the seed for this year’s winter feed crop. A quick glance from the Morgan Hide as I was leaving showed that House Martins, Sand Martins and Swallows were all passing through.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2013-04-13

Migration at last! With the change in wind direction, an overnight arrival of mgrants was augmented by a further steady northward trickle. Chief among these were 1 Hobby (speeding north over No.1 bed), 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 3 Blackcaps, 8 Willow Warblers, 21 Chiffchaffs, 26 Swallows and 12 Sand Martins. Additional sightings of interest were: 1 Kingfisher at the Weir Pool plus 1 Curlew, 2 Oystercatchers, 12 Fieldfares, 20 Bramblings, 2 Black-necked Grebes and 1 Willow Tit, all in No.3 bed. A less rewarding sighting was of a large Mink sitting on-top of a nest-box, on No.1 bed, which usually holds breeding Stock Doves, with a cloud of feathers on the ground below. It sat tight and allowed an approach to within a few feet before disappearing. Signs of approaching summer were the four Small Tortoiseshell butterflies, 3 on No.3 bed and 1 on No.1 bed. Altogether, an excellent morning.

Cheers David (along with Dave Steel, Brian Baird and Al Warford)

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

Dave Hackett

2013-04-09

A typically cold and windy day but plenty of interest with 3 Black-necked Grebes on No.3 bed and a Water Rail seen briefly in front of the John Morgan Hide. Also on No.3 bed were about 700 Black-headed Gulls, 168 Herring Gulls, 10 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a male Ruddy Duck. Reserve-wide counts included 12 Mute Swans (4 pairs thought to be nesting), 40 Mallard, 255 Tufted Duck, 33 Coot, 12 Moorhen, 64 Canada Geese, 9 Greylags, 21 Shelduck, 64 Gadwall, 14 Shoveler, 49 Pochard, 14 Great-crested Grebes and 4 Little Grebes. Chiffchaffs are still to arrive in numbers and only 8 singing males were heard. A Peregrine was seen near the viaduct where a pair are nesting as are Kestrels. More unusual wee the ten horses grazing on Westy Tip!!

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

2013-04-08

An adult Mediterranean Gull dropped into No.3 bed at 11.00 am this morning, where 4 Black-necked Grebes were also present. Other sightings included: 2 Snipe, 14 Bramblings, 4 Pintails, 4 Redwings, 1 Ruddy Duck, 1 Water Rail, 2 Kingfishers, 16 Shelducks, 10 Meadow Pipits and 4 Pied Wagtails.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2013-04-07

Two Black-necked Grebes were present this morning, initially at the Frank Linley and John Morgan Hides but later seen from the Rotary Hide. A Small Tortoiseshell was on the canal track at lunchtime and apparently two were on No.3 bed yesterday.Is spring finally arriving?

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

Dave Hackett

2013-04-04

A common bird survey this morning found 7 singing Chiffchaffs on the north bank of No.4 bed. No others were heard elsewhere on the reserve.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

2013-04-03

Two Sand Martins were struggling north over the No.3 bed footbridge at 10.30 am this morning, despite the icy east wind. From the Morgan Hide 2 Snipe, 2 Pintails, c.800 Black-headed Gulls, 38 Herring Gulls, 6 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 3 Common Gulls, 1 Peregrine and 1 Grey Wagtail were the highlights.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2013-04-02

Couldn’t find any Black-necked Grebes this morning. It may be that the Woolston bird is the one which has relocated to Houghton Green Pool to wait for more birds to arrive. Sightings included: 2 Pintail, 2 Snipe, 2 Peregrines, 5 Kestrels, 7 Buzzards, 1 Water Rail, 33 Bramblings, 14 Shelducks, 4 Goldeneyes, 7 Herring Gulls and 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2013-04-01

The Long-tailed Duck still present at Bollin Point today, with a Green Woodpecker nearby and 14 Black-tailed Godwits on the flooded fields to the south of the canal. In No.3 bed 24 Bramblings and 2 Snipe were by the Morgan Hide feeders, while a Badger allowed a close approach. (All based on information received from Mike Baron)

Submitted by: David Bowman