Woolston Eyes Monthly Sightings

2013-05-26

This update covers the period 6th – 26th May 2013.

Dave Riley was on No.1 bed on 7th, catching 34 birds with 16 new, including his first Wrens of the year, the three Garden Warblers were not only the first of the year also, but could be a record spring catch. Green Woodpecker was his only significant sighting.

The No.3 bed team were ringing on the 11th May when the weather was very unfavourable so effort was directed at some trapping. The management work has generated a lot of “muddy edge” and the comparative lack of rain has left it exposed by low water levels and it has produced the best passage of waders for many years with small numbers of Ringed Plovers, Little Ringed Plovers, Redshanks a Greenshank and an Avocet amongst others. The effort was rewarded with an adult Lapwing, the first adult caught at Woolston since two on No1 bed in the 1990s, and Woolston’s first ever Ringed Plover. A check of the Owl boxes produced no nesting but a roosting Barn Owl, the first ever handled at Woolston. This bird, a second cal. Year male, was ringed as a chick by Andrew Duncalf at Lach Dennis, near Northwich, on 6th June 2012. On May 15th Jason had an evening flicking session catching 2 Swifts. On 19th May 64 birds were caught (47 new and 17 retraps) and included a British control Sedge Warbler. On 25th the caught 82 birds (33 new and 49 retraps) including a second French ringed Sedge Warbler and a British control Reed Warbler. In addition we retrapped the first French ringed Sedge Warbler, they caught first “birds of the year”, four 1J Long-tailed Tits. A mist netted Jay had a crop and beak absolutely crammed with green defoliating caterpillars, this bodes well for their nest boxes where they ringed 57 chicks. The three broods of Great Tits averaged 8 but the 5 broods of Blue Tits only averaged 6.2.

Sightings during the final weekend were limited to a “fly-through” Arctic Tern yesterday evening and 3 Lapwings, 3 Buzzards and a Kingfisher today while a permit holder had 3 Lesser Whitethroats in song along Weir Lane.

On 25th David Bowman, Dave Steel, Les Jones, Al Warford and Simon Warford enjoyed a glorious morning which started with a Lesser Whitethroat in Weir Lane along with Garden Warbler and Kingfisher as we they were walking into No.3 bed. From the various hides, a Little Ringed Plover, 2 Redshanks, 11 Black-necked Grebes and a Hobby were the main sightings, with the latter catching prey (probably a Swift) over the north bank before flying east. Another Kingfisher and a Brimstone butterfly were notable as they walked off the bed to do a Warbler Survey on No.1 bed.

John Blundell’s and Tony Davis’ nest finding efforts were rewarded with two new breeding species for Woolston, Tree Sparrow and Nuthatch, both found on No.1 bed.

Submitted by: Dave Riley

 

2013-05-05

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

 

2013-05-31

No3 bed.First brood of Black necked grebe-at least one young in front of Tower hide.Probably same brood seen yesterday.One drake Red crested Pochard also from Tower hide.First Black headed Gull chicks(3) on raft east pool.Mute Swan brood of 5 yng growing well.At least 10 other BNGs present.

Submitted by: Brian Martin

 

Roy Peacock

2013-05-30

Lapwing from Raised Viewing Platform.

Submitted by: Roy Peacock

 

Roy Peacock

2013-05-30

Chiffchaff from R.Mersey bank near Car Park.

Submitted by: Roy Peacock

 

Roy Peacock

2013-05-30

Magpie from John Morgan Hide.

Submitted by: Roy Peacock

 

Roy Peacock

2013-05-30

Black-necked Grebe from John Morgan Hide.

Submitted by: Roy Peacock

 

Steven Ellis

2013-05-29

Little Ringed Plover from John Morgan hide

Submitted by: Steven Ellis

 

Steven Ellis

2013-05-29

Good views of Red Crested Pochard from Screen hide no. 2

Submitted by: Steven Ellis

 

David Waterhouse

2013-05-26

Small White Butterfly - Meadow of no3 Bed

Submitted by: David Waterhouse

 

David Waterhouse

2013-05-25

Speckled Wood Butterfly - On Approach to no3 bed

Submitted by: David Waterhouse

 

David Waterhouse

2013-05-25

Swans and Cygnets - No3 Bed from Tower Hide

Submitted by: David Waterhouse

 

Andy Weir

2013-05-26

Ribwort Plantain - Plantago lanceolata No3 Bed thanks to Elizabeth Maddock for help with ID.

Submitted by: Andy Weir

 

David Waterhouse

2013-05-26

Shot of the Artic Tern with Moorhen and Black Headed Gull

 

Roy Peacock

2013-05-26

Cropped image of Great Crested Grebe taken from the footbridge.

Submitted by: Roy Peacock

 

Roy Peacock

2013-05-21

Kingfisher (female) taken from near the car park Tuesday.

Submitted by: Roy Peacock

 

2013-05-26

Swans and Cygnets No3 Bed.

Submitted by: Andy Weir

 

Andy Weir

2013-05-26

Cowslip No3 Bed

Submitted by: Andy Weir

 

Andy Weir

2013-05-26

Peacock butterfly in poor condition No3 bed.

Submitted by: Andy Weir

 

Andy Weir

2013-05-26

Buzzard flying over No3 Bed

Submitted by: Andy Weir

 

Andy Weir

2013-05-26

Arctic Tern from John Morgan Hide this morning.

Submitted by: Andy Weir

 

Andy Weir

2013-05-26

Arctic Tern from John Morgan Hide this morning.

Submitted by: Andy Weir

 

Roy Peacock

2013-05-26

Great Crested Grebe

Submitted by: Roy Peacock

 

Roy Peacock

2013-05-26

Correction to my caption further below, should of course read Reed Bunting (just another “senior moment”) and also checking your paying attention. Took advantage of the fine weather today and spent some time on the footbridge observing the Great Crested Grebes that patrol this stretch of water, with the advantage of an elevated position, good light conditions and water clarity, I could clearly see just how far back the Grebes legs and very large “paddle feet” appear to be in relationship to its body.

Cheers Roy

Submitted by: Roy Peacock

 

Roy Peacock

2013-05-25

Reed Bunting.

Submitted by: Roy Peacock

 

Roy Peacock

2013-05-25

Wren,

Submitted by: Roy Peacock

 

Roy Peacock

2013-05-25

I had a very pleasant walk around the various beds today with the camera and was lucky to manage a few good shots. I made a good start with a Kingfisher and Wren on the canal adjacent to the car park followed by a Reed Warbler from the raised platform on No.3 bed. Plenty of the usual Warblers etc and several BN Grebes but unfortunately not within my range to photograph.

Cheers, Roy

Submitted by: Roy Peacock

 

David Bowman

2013-05-25

A glorious morning started with a Lesser Whitethroat in Weir Lane and Garden Warbler and Kingfisher as we were walking into No.3 bed. From the various hides, a Little Ringed Plover, 2 Redshanks, 11 Black-necked Grebes and a Hobby were the main sightings, with the latter catching prey (probably a Swift) over the north bank before flying east. The ringing team were having a good morning, catching plenty of warblers, including two French-ringed Sedge Warblers. Mike Miles had also seen a fly-through Arctic Tern last night. Another Kingfisher and a Brimstone butterrfy were notable as we walked off the bed to do a Warbler Survey on No.1 bed. On this bed, the Peregrines had at least two well-grown young at the usual nest-site.

Photo is of Wild Garlic on No.3 bed

Cheers David (along with Dave Steel, Les Jones, Al Warford and Simon Warford)

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2013-05-24

An early start on No.3 bed at 5.30 am produced: 1 Hobby (soaring over the bed and then flying onto the east bank), 13 Black-necked Grebes, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Redshank, 1 Oystercatcher, 2 Common Snipe, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 Collared Dove plus loads of Reed Warblers, Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and a few Sedge Warblers.

Photo of Cowslip from this morning.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2013-05-22

No3 bed today held 15 Black necked Grebes including 8 on the pool by the Rotary hide.The pair of Mute Swans still have their 5 young and at least 3 broods of Canada Geese were present.The first brood of Gadwall was reported.In the cool blustery wind up to 50 Swifts were feeding low over the east side of the bed with ca. 30 House Martins. Brian Martin

Submitted by: Brian Martin

 

2013-05-21

Went onto No.3 bed for a couple of hours this afternoon. Eleven Black-necked Grebes, 1 Oystercatcher, 55 Swifts, 20 Sand Martins, 25 Swallows, 20 House Martins, 11 Reed Warblers, 3 Sedge Warblers, 7 Reed Buntings, 2 Willow Tits, 1 Bullfinch, 1 Collared Dove (uncommon on No.3 bed !), 1 Pied Wagtail, 4 Lapwings, c.400 Black-headed Gulls, 1 Kestrel and 1 Buzzard were the main sightings.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

Roy Peacock

2013-05-16

Sedge Warbler in front of Tower Hide.

Submitted by: Roy Peacock

 

Roy Peacock

2013-05-16

Black-necked Grebe in front of Raised viewing platform.

Submitted by: Roy Peacock

 

Roy Peacock

2013-05-16

I took advantage of the improved weather and had a brief stroll around No3 bed, plenty of activity from warblers in front of the Rotary Hide,also,a couple of Black-necked Grebes feeding in front of the Raised viewing platform. Lots of Blackcaps and Chiffchaff’s about around the canal footpath track.

Cheers, Roy

Submitted by: Roy Peacock

 

Douglas Buchanan

2013-05-15

Sedge Warbler very active close to the hide.

Submitted by: Douglas Buchanan

 

Dougls Buchanan

2013-05-15

Visited this afternoon just as the rain was finishing. Followed by sunny intervals. Many hirundines over the water. Level up to 59cm. Good views of Reed Bunting and Sedge Warbler from the tower hide. Main hide stair has been repaired.

Submitted by: Douglas Buchanan

 

Dave Hackett

2013-05-14

A fairly quiet day at The Eyes today with 4 Ringed Plovers and a Redshank on No.3 bed. The Mute Swans still have five young and 2 pairs of Canada Geese have broods of 4 and 2 small young. Black-necked Grebes totalled 13, less than recently but no doubt because some are on nests. Photo; Garlic Mustard, a common food plant of the Orange Tip butterfly.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

Douglas Buchanan

2013-05-13

Greenshank today.

Submitted by: Douglas Buchanan

 

Douglas Buchanan

2013-05-13

Little Ringed Plover today 13th May.

Submitted by: Douglas Buchanan

 

Douglas Buchanan

2013-05-13

Mud, mud glorious mud. Not for cooling the blood but definitely for waders at the eyes. Today 13th may saw Greenshank, Little ringed Plover to add to the displaying Red shank and the 5 ringed plovers seen on Saturday. Another permit holder saw distant Dunlin. For me this has been the best spring for waders.

Submitted by: Douglas Buchanan

 

2013-05-11

An early morning visit before the rain set in provided 66 species including Greenshank, Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers on No.3 Bed and Barn Owl on No.1 Bed.

Submitted by: John Blundell

 

Brian Burnett

2013-05-11

Greenshank in front of Sybil Hogg Hide on Saturday Afternoon. Our extraordinary run of Waders continues.

Submitted by: Brian Burnett

 

Andy Weir

2013-05-07

Lapwing in front of the John Morgan Hide

Submitted by: Andy Weir

 

Andy Weir

2013-05-07

Two Redshank in front of the John Morgan Hide

Submitted by: Andy Weir

 

Andy Weir

2013-05-07

Three Dunlin in front of the John Morgan Hide

Submitted by: Andy Weir

 

Dave Hackett

2013-05-07

A glorious day and lots of interest. Reserve-wide counts of warblers included 47 Whitethroat, 44 Chiffchaff, 29 Willow Warbler, 15 Blackcap, a Garden Warbler on No.2 bed and a Lesser Whitethroat at the weir. There were also plenty of Reed Warblers and a few Sedge Warblers. On No.3 bed were 22 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Mute Swans with 5 young, 3 Dunlin, 2 Redshank, 2 Little Ringed Plover and an Oystercatcher. Butterfly totals were 39 Peacock, 14 Orange Tip, 13 Small Tortoiseshell, 5 Speckled Wood, 4 Green-veined White, 1 Large White and 20 unidentified whites. Photo; Bluebells on No.3 bed.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

Brian Burnett

2013-05-05

Lesser Whitethroat showing well at Weir pool near foot-bridge on Sunday.

Submitted by: Brian Burnett

 

Steven Ellis

2013-05-04

Distant shot of a couple of Black Necked Grebes

Submitted by: Steven Ellis

 

Steven Ellis

2013-05-04

Two of the four Dunlin that landed in front of John Morgan Hide

Submitted by: Steven Ellis

 

David Bowman

2013-05-04

An excellent morning,completing a CBC/Warbler Survey on No.3 bed and finding 7 species of wader in the process. Highlights from the day included: 1 Wood Sandpiper, 4 Dunlins, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 4 Redshanks, 3 Common Snipe,1 Peregrine, 1 Lesser Whitethroat(at Woolston Weir),1 Kingfisher, 1 Hobby (hunting bats at dawn) and 3 Ravens flying east (these latter two sightings from K.Foster,M.Baron and Margaret Rawlinson). Totals from the survey were (all singing males): Sedge Warbler 5, Reed Warbler 22, Chiffchaff 8, Willow Warbler 7, Whitethroat 16, Blackcap 21, Reed Bunting 10, Chaffinch 4, Dunnock 5, Wren 19, Great Tit 5, Song Thrush 5.

Photo of Redshank in front of the Morgan Hide this morning

Cheers David (along with Dave Steel, Les Jones and Brian Baird)

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2013-05-02

These Snakeshead Fritillaries were in flower on the North Meadow.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2013-05-02

This Wheatear was in front of the Rotary Hide yesterday, while 26 Black-necked Grebes gave is our highest count for several years.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

Dave Hackett

2013-05-01

Small Tortoiseshell

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

Dave Hackett

2013-05-01

A fine sunny day with good numbers of butterflies on the wing. Totals were 35 Peacock, 16 Small Tortoiseshell, 5 Orange Tip, 2 Small White and a Green-veined White. Yesterday there was a male Brimstone on the canal track and my first Speckled Wood of the year on No.3 bed. On No.3 bed Brian Martin and David Bowman found 26 Black-necked Grebes and a male Wheatear in front of the Rotary Hide. 2 Green Woodpeckers were on Butchersfield Tip and a Mallard with eleven young was on No.1 bed. Photo; Cowslips on Butcherfield Tip

Submitted by: Dave Hackett