Woolston Eyes Monthly Sightings

2015-02-01

Ringing Update week 26th January - 1st February 2015. There was no ringing on No1 bed during the week, but Kieran Foster and Jason Atkinson ran the duck trap on No3 bed on the Saturday morning catching 5 Teal, 1 Moorhen and the first Coot of the year.

Two Brambling flew over No1 bed on Sunday while maintenance work was being carried out to the net rides

Click here to view ringing species list at 01/02/2015…

Submitted by: Dave Riley

 

2015-02-08

Ringing Update Week 2nd - 8th February 2015. Ringing took place on three days during the week on No1 bed, with John Blundell, Mike Baron and Dave Riley all present on the Friday when 124 birds were caught in the six nets opened. Of the 50 ringed, highlights included 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 11 Chaffinches and Woolston’s first Barn Owl to be ringed.

Sightings during the session included 3 Ravens, 3 Snipe, 1 Tawny Owl, 2 Fieldfare, 15 Lapwings, 5 Goldcrests and 3 Water Rails. Mike was there again on the Saturday when 21 birds were caught including 3 new. Dave and John were there on the Sunday when they caught 17 birds with three new, sightings during the session included 500+ Starlings, all flying south in small flocks during the morning, 4 Water Rails and 1 Woodcock.

The No3 bed team were out on the Saturday morning when they caught 7 new birds including 2 Redwings, sightings during the session included 2 Lesser Redpolls and a Tawny Owl.

Submitted by: Dave Riley

 

2015-02-22

Ringing Update weeks 09th - 22nd February. There was no ringing on No1 bed during the period.

On No3 bed ringing took place on three occasions. On 14th Kieran Foster was joined by Phil Guest to run the duck trap and they took a small catch of 5 Teals (4 new and 1 retrap), they returned on 18th with more success catching 17 Teals (14 new and 3 retraps) together with 3 Mallards (2 new and 1 retrap) along with a new Coot. On the 21st, Kieran Foster was joined by Mike Miles and Margaret Rawlins, they caught 32 Teals (16 new and 16 retraps), together with a retrap Mallard and a retrap Coot. This was their largest catch of wildfowl to date.

In the case of the Teal, the number of retraps is notable and it seems clear that these ducks do not become trap shy. During the morning they also ran 6 nets, making 42 captures (8 new and 34 retraps) with no surprises and no particularly notable retraps, although they did catch 15 different Bullfinches.

Sightings included 3 Woodcock and a trilling Little Grebe on No1 bed and a flock of 100 Chaffinches on No3.

Submitted by: Dave Riley

 

2015-02-28

A great morning at The Woolston Eyes Nature Reserve today. We started with c.200,000 Starlings pouring out of the roost at dawn, with a couple of Sparrowhawks encouraging them on their way. Then, from the Morgan Hide, the Marsh Harrier was active throughout the morning, with c.670 Black-headed Gulls, now back at the breeding colony, adding a raucous soundtrack.

Other sightings included: 2 Ruddy Ducks, 1 Peregrine, 1 Woodcock, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Water Rail, 3 Snipe, 5 Buzzards, 1 Willow Tit, 2 Little Grebes, 5 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Wigeon, 300 Teal and 41 Lapwings.

Your text to link here…Click here to view the video clips of the Starlings & Marsh Harrier

Cheers David (with Dave Steel, David Spencer, Al Warford, Brian Baird, Helen Allan, Les Jones and George Dunbar)

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2015-02-27

Spent the morning with contractor Steve Fletcher, on the Loop of No.4 bed, signing off his work on restoring the reed bed. He’s done a fantastic job and already plenty of birds and wildlife were present. These included: 1 Weasel, 3 Lesser Redpolls, 12 Shovelers, 1 Great BLack-backed Gull, 7 Shelducks, 4 Tufted Ducks, 1 Water Rail, 16 Teal, 2 Gadwalls, 4 Lapwings, 9 Pied Wagtails, 1 Skylark, 3 Reed Buntings and a Buzzard. When the summer has dried the ground more we’ll be putting in an access path to the new hide and opening it for permit holders.

Photo of the new hide

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2015-02-25

This years spectacular Starling roost murmurations has been captured by Dave Almond who uploaded this video to share with us.

Click on the link below to view Dave’s video;

Your text to link here…Video 1 Murmurations

Your text to link here…Video 2 Descending to roost

Submitted by: Dave Almond

 

2015-02-25

In spite of a wet start the day was mainly dry and relatively mild. Lots of birds were in song and Reserve-wide counts of singing males included 27 Song Thrush, 45 Robin and 11 Dunnock. The female Marsh Harrier on No.3 bed showed briefly and put up about 120 Lapwing and the Black-headed Gulls which totalled about 200. 14 Great-crested Grebe and 4 Little Grebe were also present across the Reserve.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

2015-02-24

Went down to No.3 bed early, intending to watch the Starlings leave the roost. Miscalculated, as at 6.45 am, just as we were driving down the track, a huge stream of Starlings was already moving south over the Ship Canal. Other sightings included:1 Peregrine, 71 Lapwings on the Morgan Hide scrape,260 Black-headed Gulls back at the colony, 1 Sparrowhawk trying to snatch one of the later-rising Starlings from the reedbed, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 70 Pochard and 160 Tufted Ducks. Cheers David (with Melanie Beckford)

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2015-02-16

The Starling roost continues to grow, with between 350,000 and 400,000 tonight - a spectacular sight and one not to be missed.. The Marsh Harrier was an added bonus, along with 5 Sparrowhawks, 1 Kestrel and 3 Buzzards. Click on the link below to a bit of video of the Harrier in action.

Click here to view a video of Marsh Harrier in Action

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2015-02-15

A lovely, almost spring-like morning on No.3 bed. To add to the enjoyment a female Marsh Harrier put in an appearance, showing well over the reedbed and harrassed at times by a Crow.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

2015-02-15

Late entry for WeBS count on 07/02/2015

Little Grebe 4, Great crested Grebe 8, Cormorant 35,Grey Heron 2,Mute Swan 12, Canada Goose 11, Shelduck 4, Gadwall 26, Teal 455, Mallard 100, Shoveler 31, Pochard 14, Tufted Duck 879,Goldeneye !, Goosander 2 Black-headed Gull 115, Common Gull 7, Lesser Black-backed Gull 2

Submitted by: Brian Martin

 

2015-02-14

We started today on No.3 bed, where 240,000 Starlings made an impressive sight leaving the roost shortly after dawn. We then wandered as far as Bollin Point, at the eastern end of the Reserve. Other sightings of note included: 1 Peregrine, 220 Tufted Ducks, 27 Pochard, 8 Shelducks, 3 Sparrowhawks, 8 Buzzards, 1 Kestrel, 1 Willow Tit, 25 Skylarks, 8 Linnets, 1 Water Rail and 10 Reed Buntings.

Cheers David (with Al Warford, Sue Haddock, Paul Hazlehurst, Brian Baird, Helen Allan, Diane Shepherd and George Dunbar)

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

Dave Hackett

2015-02-11

Snowdrops on No.3 bed

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

2015-02-11

The highlight of our walk today was a Green Sandpiper on the flooded fields to the north of No.2 bed. Also along the river a Little Grebe was trilling at the Fish Refuge. A total of 10 Song Thrushes included 8 singing males; singing Chaffinch and Dunnock were also signs of spring. 15 Greylag Geese were on fields to the south of Butchersfield Tip and 3 Snipe were flushed on No.1 bed. The contractors are still working on the Loop of No.4 bed where a Water Rail was heard calling. The fungus found in the wood to the north of No.1 bed was identified as Scarlet Elf-cup by Margaret Rawlings; unfortunately it was no longer visible! Photo; Snowdrops on No.3 bed. Dave Hackett and Les Lones

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

2015-02-10

No.3 bed

Starling roost continues to increase. Huge numbers present tonight. Certainly well over 200,000 and likely to be many more. Birds roosted in two places .One group in reeds opposite Linley Hide and the majority in phrag.near the south-east sluice. Other significant sighting was of 63 Pochard in front of Linley Hide with a further 3 at the Weir.

Submitted by: Brian Martin

 

2015-02-05

Re David Hackett’s fungus My Cousin, who knows about such things has provided the following:

It’s the Scarlet Elf Cup. Current thinking is that there are two UK species, inseparable without a microscope. A lot of books only have one, Sarcoscypha coccinea. but the most common is Sarcoscypha austriaca. Some think they’re the same species.

Submitted by: John Hutchison

 

Alan Debenham

2015-02-01

Starlings gathering to roost Sunday 1st February - wonderful spectacle!

Submitted by: Alan Debenham

 

Alan Debenham

2015-02-01

Starlings roost 2 Sunday 1st February 2015.

Submitted by: Alan Debenham

 

Alan Debenham

2015-02-01

Starlings roost 3 Sunday 1st February.

Submitted by: Alan Debenham

 

David Bowman

2015-02-07

On Wildfowl Count day we started at dawn on No.3 bed, where a Sparrowhawk flushed more than 100,000 Starlings out of part of the roost. They then treated us to a dramatic murmuration before heading south. 380 Teal were on the only open pool in the centre of the largely frozen bed, along with Pochard, Shovelers, Shelduck, Gadwalls, Mallards, Moorhens and Coots. The walk to Bollin Point was productive, too, with a Badger ambling across the path with ten yards of us and two Goosanders flying west down the Canal. Other counts of interest included: 2 Tawny Owls and 2 Redpolls (per K. Foster), 736 Tufted Ducks, 1 Goldeneye, 2 Little Grebes, 4 Great Crested Grebes, 16 Bullfinches, 2 Snipe, 26 Pochard, 2 Goldcrests, 2 Song Thrushes and 2 Common Gulls.

Photo of a pair of Teal from No.3 bed this morning.

Cheers David (with Paul Hazlehurst, Brian Baird, Helen Allan, Diane Shepherd, George Dunbar and Dave Melia)

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2015-02-06

Another superb Starling murmuration tonight, with numbers building up to in excess of 200,000. Other sightings included: 378 Teal, 1 male Brambling, 1 Water Rail, 27 Coot, 9 Moorhens, 10 Bullfinches and 2 Willow Tits.

Photo of one of the flocks of Starlings arriving over the bed.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

Dave Hackett

2015-02-05

Another cold but dry day; ideal for a walk round the reserve! There was plenty of wildfowl, mostly on the canal and the river. Totals included 174 Mallard, 434 Tufted Duck,70 Gadwall and 78 Canada Geese. Although No.3 bed was mostly frozen over, a small area of water held 700 Teal and a few Coot. The reserve total for Teal was 780. Fields to the north of No.1 bed attracted a flock of 50 Lapwing and 100 Fieldfare. Other counts were 24 Long-tailed Tits and 21 Bullfinches including 8 on the No.3 bed feeders. A flock of 50 Redwing was on No.4 bed. In the wood to the north of No.1 bed I found some interesting fungi which I have never seen before! I would be grateful for any help with identification. See photo;

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

David Bowman

2015-02-03

Despite the sunshine, most of No.3 bed was frozen this morning, with 300 Teal and 30 Coot just managing to keep a small pool open. Thirty Goldfinches, 2 Goldcrests, 10 Bullfinches and 2 Willow Tits were also noteworthy.

Photo of a Grey Heron

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2015-02-01

A fabulous dawn till dusk session on No.3 bed yesterday, started with a river of Starlings pouring out of the roost and heading south. The resident Barn Owl was seen by Kieran Foster at dawn, with evidence of its predilection for plucking Starlings out of the roost scattered inside the Tower Hide. Teal numbers remained good, with at least 800 present, largely tucked in the reeds till flushed by a male Peregrine. 500 Pinkfooted Geese heading west, 25 Pochards, 6 Snipe, 2 Willow Tits, 34 Redwings, 1 Kingfisher, 12 Bullfinches and 18 Reed Buntings were other good sightings. The best was saved for last, though, with 160,000 Starlings coming in to roost at dusk and swirling overhead, while harrassed by up to four Sparrowhawks.

Photo of a drake Teal, ringed by Kieran Foster

Cheers David (with Dave Spencer, Alan Warford, Paul Hazlehurst, Brian Baird, Helen Allan, Diane Shepherd, Kelly Ainsworth, George Dunbar and Dave Melia)

Submitted by: David Bowman