Latest Sighting - 2019-08-18

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Birds at Woolston Eyes


David Waterhouse

001 Mute Swan

Cygnus olor

Status: BoCC4 moved from green to amber-listed. Breeding bird, resident and found throughout the year.

2017 Records - An improved showing this year with some large counts, notably in the autumn, and five pairs were present in the breeding season, three of which hatched young.

In the early months average numbers were noted, with 28 on 1st February the highest count in the first winter period. On 26th April a Reserve-wide survey found a total of 42, with 19 of these on the Ship Canal near Bollin Point.

Breeding activity culminated in late May with a brood of six very small young appearing on No.3 bed on the 29th, followed by a second brood of four small cygnets the next day on the same bed. On 31st May a pair was found on the Loop of No.4 bed where they remained for a time, but with no evidence of breeding. On 3rd June a pair was present at a nest on the Weir Basin and they hatched two young on or about 6th July. A week later, however, they were down to one young and this cygnet, too, disappeared soon after. Meanwhile, the two pairs on No.3 bed thrived, each losing only a single chick as the summer progressed. A fifth pair summered on the Oxbow around No.3 bed but showed little interest in breeding. One was wearing a green Darvic ring, CHX6, and had been ringed as a male cygnet on 26th November 2013 at Bewdley, Worcestershire, on the River Severn.

On 30th August four pairs were found with large young, one on No.3 bed with four cygnets and another on the Mersey nearby with three young, possibly the second brood from No.3 bed. A further two broods, of two and one young respectively, were at the eastern end of the Eyes on the Ship Canal and the Mersey. There is no evidence that those pairs bred on the Eyes.

Well above average numbers were present in the early autumn, with peak counts of 50 on 30th August an a Reserve record of 57 on 9th September. Fewer were seen after this, but 20 – 30 were recorded on many dates and a good year ended with 31 on the 9th and 27th December.

Monthly maxima:

Jan 18, Feb 28, Mar 18, Apr 42, May 18, June 18, Jul 30, Aug 50, Sep 57, Oct 25, Nov 23, Dec 31

Photograph of a family party from No3 Bed 25/05/2013

002 Bewick's Swan

Cygnus columnbianus bewickii

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed. Rare vagrant visitor to Woolston.

2017 Records - no sightings submitted. The last report of Bewick Swan on the Reserve was 16/12/1995.

No Woolston image avaialable


Mark Battersby

003 Whooper Swan

Cygnus cygnus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, an infrequent winter visitor to Woolston but occurs annually.

2017 Records - There were no reports submitted in 2017. The last records were three reports in 2016 with four on 19th October, six on 21st October and two which flew east on the morning of 9th November.

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


David Spencer

004 Pink Footed Goose

Anser brachyrhynchus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed species more often observed in large skeens flying over the Reserve but also an irregular visitor in winter months.

2017 Records - Record numbers passed over the Eyes in early November, but the year began with 80 flying east on 16th January and 100 to the north-west on the 20th. There were three further sightings, with a peak of 175 in three skeins on 4th February.

There were then no reports until 22nd September, a fairly early date, when 200 passed over No.1 bed. Three skeins were reported on 4th October, with a maximum of 137. Many passed over during the following two weeks, with 610 flying to the east on 18th October in two large skeins. That number, however, was completely dwarfed by the huge movement on the morning of 2nd November, when one observer saw 15 skeins fly east just to the north of No.3 bed, with a total of 4,700 birds involved. Two days later 1,513 flew east over Butchersfield during a Migration Watch, after which only four further reports were submitted, with a maximum of 150 on 18th November.

Photographed from the No.3 bed scrapes in front of John Morgan Hide 4th May 2016

005 White-fronted Goose

Anser albifrons

Status: BoCC4 moved straight from green to red-listed, a rare winter visitor to Woolston.

2017 Records - no sightings submitted. The last record of White-Fronted Goose on the reserve was 27/11/1993.

No Woolston image available


Dave Bowman

006 Grey Lag Goose

Anser anser

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a breeding species on the Reserve and seen in each month of the year with numbers increasing although ours are undoubtedly of feral origin. The wild, migratory population, which occurs in the north of the UK, is currently amber-listed.

2017 Records - The status of this goose at Woolston has changed little in recent years, with most seen in spring and summer when a few pairs breed but rarely fledge young.

In the first two months only single-figure counts were made until late February, when 18 were on No.1 bed on the 19th and 21 across the Reserve on the 21st. As usual Greylags were relatively scarce in March, but on 14th April one was paired with a Canada Goose near Butchersfield at the east end of the Reserve, and what may well have been the same pair was observed on the Loop of No.4 bed in late May. The first brood appeared on No.3 bed (three young) on 18th April, with another two broods, both of two young, on 28th April. On 30th April four broods were present on No.3 bed, with broods five and six reported on the first two days of May. A seventh brood, of seven young, was present near the south screen at the same time, and unlike 2016, the broods and young were present over the next few weeks but sadly by 23rd May, although ten adults were on No.3 bed no young could be found and had clearly all been lost, as has occurred so often at Woolston.

Adults continued to be reported, although mainly as overflying flocks: for example 40 on 9th August and 56 on 3rd September. On 7th October 58 were present on No.3 bed and 100 flew west over No.1 bed on 9th October. From mid-October only single-figure sightings were made, but on 30th December a count of 32 included 30 flying west.

Photographed on No3 Bed 23-02-2013


Alan Debenham

007 Canada Goose

Branta canadensis

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

2017 Records - Overall, numbers fell again this year from the peak counts of 2015, but in the breeding season a minimum of 12 pairs bred, a slight increase on last year and the same as 2015.

During the first three months birds were reported almost daily, with peak counts of 32 on 4th January, 44 on 13th February and 42 on 1st March. On 3rd March one was paired with a Greylag on the Loop of No.4 bed and this pair was reported on other dates in the spring. The first brood appeared on No.3 bed on 26th April, with another adult on a nest there on the same day. Over the next two weeks new broods appeared almost daily on No.3 bed, with eight found on 8th May with a total of 34 young. Broods nine and ten were noted on 12th May and the eleventh on the Oxbow surrounding No.3 bed two days later. A visit to No.1 bed on 17th May found two pairs on a new pool, one with seven growing young. Throughout the summer adults with young formed a crèche on the paths in the centre of No.3 bed and resented the presence of birdwatchers! The number of goslings peaked at 52 on 17th May. Seven of the goslings were caught and ringed between 24th June and 1st August; only one other Canada Goose had been ringed at Woolston, in 2007.

During the remainder of the year birds were present in good numbers, with peak counts of 80 on 17th June, 97 on 5th July and 90 on 18th September, the last flying in at dusk.

Photograph from No3 Bed 06/05/2012


David Bowman

008 Barnacle Goose

Branta leucopsis

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a rare visitor to the Reserve.

2017 Records - The only record was of a single bird on No.3 bed on 21st January.

Photographed from No3 bed 21/01/2017

009 Brent Goose

Branta bernicla

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a rare vagrant visitor to the Eyes.

2017 Records - no sightings submitted. The last record of Brent Goose on the reserve was 14/02/1993.

No Woolston image avaialable


David Spencer

010 Egyptian Goose

Alopochen aegyptiaca

Status: A rare visitor to Woolston Eyes

2017 Records - One was reported flying east over No.3 bed on 23rd September. This is the third year since 2014 that this species has appeared at Woolston.

Photographed from No3 Bed 06/04/2014

011 Ruddy Shelduck

Tadorna ferruginea

Status: Rare visitor to the Reserve

2017 records - no sightings submitted. The last record on the reserve was 24/03/1995.

No Woolston image available


Andy Weir

012 Shelduck

Tadorna tadorna

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed. Breeds on or nearby the Reserve as broods are noted but nest sites have never been reported. Common until autumn when numbers fall sharply.

2017 Records - Many more were present this year compared to 2016, but only one pair bred (c.f. four pairs in 2016).

The year began with numerous sightings of 18 or more, with a peak of 36 on 25th January. Most reports were from No.3 bed where numbers increased to the year’s maximum of 40 on 11th February WeBS Count. There was a small decrease after this, but 21 were present on 12th March and 26 on 8th April.

On 19th March a pair was investigating a sandhill bank on the Oxbow while on 4th April up to 12 were present at rabbit warrens on No.2 bed, with display noted. Six were seen there again on 1st May. On 7th June a pair with five very small young was seen on No.3 bed. On 9th June the brood was attacked by a Lesser Black-backed Gull which took one of the chicks and after this date there were no further sightings of either adults or young. This has become a familiar pattern at Woolston, where young Shelduck rarely fledge. The parents often leave the young unattended or even swim close to Lesser Black-backed Gulls with no apparent concern for the danger this poses.

There were no further reports of Shelduck until October when two were on No.3 bed on the 18th, increasing to a year’s end peak of 22 on the 30th. There were then daily reports until the end of the year with a November maximum of 18 on the 18th and a December peak of 20 on the 27th .

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


Brian Burnett

013 Mandarin Duck

Aix galericulata

Status: Irregular visitor to the Reserve.

2017 Records - No records were reported this year. The last sightings were of a single drake on No3 bed on 17th May 2016 and successive sightings in 2014 and 2013.

Photographed from No3 Bed off footbridge 10/11/2013


David Spencer

014 Wigeon

Anas penelope

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, Wigeon are predominately autumn/winter visitors to Woolston with small numbers present most commonly from Sep to Mar.

2017 Records - Although a scarce winter visitor to the Eyes there were more records than usual, with only three summer months when none were reported.

In late January 11 on No.3 bed would normally have been regarded as a high count, but on 8th February a total of 47 on beds 3 and 4 was the third highest count ever at Woolston. Seventeen were still present the next day, but between then and 2nd April there were only six reports, all of six birds or less.

The next record was of a single on 17th August and from then until the last sighting in December nine on 16th October was the maximum seen.

Photographed from No. bed 24/11/2014


Andy Weir

015 Gadwall

Anas strepera

Status: A BoCC4 amber-listed species, Woolston numbers are seen throughout the year but are noted to build from June to November.

2017 Records - This year there was a return to the large mid-summer numbers, although breeding was less successful than in 2016.

The first four months saw peak counts less than last year, with 44 on 8th February, 59 on 1st March and the same number on the 8th and 28th April. The first brood, (of two young), was seen on No.3 bed on 11th May, but Gadwall were scarcer than usual on No.3 bed during May, with most birds present on the Loop of No.4 bed: for example four pairs on 25th May and 34 on 31st May. A survey in late May using the RSPB methodology for assessing wildfowl breeding numbers estimated 15 pairs on No.3 and 5 pairs on the Loop of No.4 bed. Subsequently, however, no broods were reported on No.4 bed and many fewer than usual on No.3 bed. A second brood was seen there on 2nd June while on 27th June a female was flushed off a nest with nine eggs inside the east bank of the bed A further four broods followed, including one of ten small young on 8th July. On 17th July four broods were noted on No.3 bed. In all it is considered that eight pairs were confirmed breeding, fewer than the 10 – 13 broods seen in 2016. The late dates on which many of the broods appeared suggests that nests were lost in the very wet weather in June, when water levels rose significantly on No.3 bed.

By mid-June the summer build-up of adults was apparent, with 85 on the 10th increasing to 207 on the 21st and 316 on the 27th. Typically it was in the evening that peak numbers were recorded, with 578 on No.3 on 17th July, the year’s maximum a count of just below the qualifying level for international importance. Gadwall flocks continued to impress into September, with 500 on beds 3 and 4 on 26th August and 359 on No.3 bed alone on 4th September. By late September most had moved on and in the final months 43 on 14th December was the highest count received.

Monthly maxima:

Jan 18, Feb 46, Mar 59, Apr 59, May 47, Jun 316, Jul 578. Aug 500, Sep 359, Oct 37, Nov 21, Dec 43.

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


Andy Weir

016 Teal

Anas crecca

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed this small duck is very abundent at Woolston in the winter periods but less so in the summer months.

2017 Records - The high numbers present in December 2016 remained into the first two months of this year, with a peak count of 1,700 on 28th January when birds were flushed out of cover by a passing Buzzard. This is the highest count at Woolston since January 2005! In addition, many Teal were forced out of cover when a period of very cold weather froze over the shallow areas in which they like to feed. On 4th February 1,500 were still present on No.3 bed. The usual steady decline then took place as Teal left for their breeding grounds in Eastern Europe and beyond, with the last significant count being 192 on the 12th March WeBS.

There was no proof of breeding this year, although there were reports of a small number of males and females throughout May and June.

Numbers began to increase from late August and by 21st September 150 were present on No.3 bed, but it was late October before more were noted, with 300 on No.3 bed on the 25th. The remainder of the year saw numbers below average, with 760 on the 9th December WeBS the highest count at the end of the year.

The ringing team on No.3 bed made a total of 256 captures of Teal in the duck trap, of which 148 were new, a record number for Woolston. The total of 108 handlings of previously ringed birds is of national importance, bearing in mind that in 2016 the B.T.O. reported a total of 181 retrapped Teal for the whole country. Sixteen birds were retrapped from 2016, ten from 2015 and five from 2014.

Monthly maxima:

Jan 1700, Feb 1500, Mar 300, Apr 37, May 4, Jun 5, Jul 6, Aug 25, Sep 150, Oct 300, Nov 460, Dec 760.

Photograph from No3 Bed 08/06/2013


Hazel Rothwell

017 Green-winged Teal

Anas crecca carolinensis

Status: Rare winter visitor.

2017 records - no sightings were submitted this year. The last records were from 29th November 2016 when one was seen among hundreds of Common Teal sitting on the ice that covered a large part of No.3 bed. It was then seen by many observers until 16th December. This was only the third record of this American sub-species at Woolston the other previous sightings being on 5th February 1984 and 11th April 1987.

Photograph from No.3 Bed on 29/11/2016


Douglas Buchanan

018 Mallard

Anas platyrhynchos

Status: Despite its familiarity, Mallard is a BoCC4 amber-listed species but is common throughout the Reserve all year round.

2017 Records - Numbers reported during the year were near average, and this duck had a good breeding season.

During January 92 on the 25th was the highest first winter count and numbers remained near this level into February. The first brood, of nine young, was seen on the Loop of No.4 bed on 18th April, with others appearing across the Reserve in the following three months. One observer reported a total of 40 young on 10th May. In all, 32 broods were recorded, their distribution being as follows: seven on No.3 bed, eight on the Ship Canal, eight on the Loop of No. 4 bed, five on the Mersey, two on No.2 bed and two on the Sandpit Pond by No. 4 bed. (c.f. 25 broods in 2016, 29 in 2015 and 34 in 2014).

In the final four months Mallard were more numerous than earlier in the year, with maxima of 126 on 29th November, 128 on 6th December and 129 on the 14th and 27th December.

The ringing team on No.3 bed caught just one new Mallard during the year. Two birds were retrapped on 30th December, one first ringed as a second-year male on 18th February 2015 and the other, a female was first ringed on 22nd November 2014. This bird had been retrapped a total of six times.

Monthly maxima:

Jan 92, Feb 88, Mar 47, Apr 54, May 47, Jun 53, Jul 85, Aug 74, Sep 115, Oct 88, Nov 126, Dec 129.

Photograph of male and female pair from No3 Bed 16/09/2014


Brian Burnett

019 Pintail

Anas acuta

Status: A BoCC4 amber-listed duck predominately an autumn/winter visitor, not as common as it once was but occurs irregularly annually in small numbers.

2017 Records - There were just 13 records submitted during the year, all bar one in October. The first was a female on No.3 bed on 15th August., but there were no further reports until 1st October when four females were on No.3 bed, increasing to six by the 4th. The following day four remained, with just one reported until the last sighting on 25th October.

Photograph of male and female from No3 Bed February 2011


David Bowman

020 Garganey

Anas querquedula

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed species a scare passage and summer visitor to Woolston but generally recorded annually.

2017 Records - This is a scarce summer visitor and a drake was seen intermittently on No.3 bed from 26th – 31st May. A female was then reported on the same bed on 29th July, and the only other sighting was of a juvenile male on the Loop of No.4 bed on 14th October.

Photograph from No3 Bed 22/05/2015


Dave Bowman

021 Shoveler

Anas clypeata

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed species found on the Reserve in numbers in the winter periods but less so in the summer months although small numbers can be seen.

2017 Records - Reported in every month in good numbers, and although pairs were present during the breeding season on beds 3 and 4 no broods were seen. The year began with up to 47 on No. 3 bed in January, and a maximum of 85 on 11th February WeBS count. By March most were paired up and a flock of 60 on the north-west pool of No.3 bed consisted of 27 pairs and six drakes. On 18th April six pairs were flushed from cover on No.3 bed by a Marsh Harrier, with others known to be present on the Loop of No.4 bed wetland. Birds continued to be seen throughout May and June, but with no evidence of breeding.

As always, Shovelers increased in numbers during the autumn passage period, with peaks in September of 43 on the 4th, 56 on the 21st , and 44 on 7th October. The WeBS count on 18th November found 52 on the Eyes, while 33 were reported on 9th December.

Jan 47, Feb 85, Mar 60, Apr 40, May 6, Jun 7, Jul 6, Aug 10, Sep 56, Oct 44, Nov 52, Dec 33.

Photograph of a male from No3 Bed 21-02-2014


Alan Debenham

022 Pochard

Aythya ferina

Status: A BoCC4 movement from amber to red-listed species. Woolston holds good numbers in the early part of the year which reduce during the breeding season but recorded in all months.

2017 Records - Wintering numbers remain low and fell back this year, with no repeat of the three-figure count of March 2016. In contrast, it was an excellent breeding season with more broods produced than for many years.

With birds reported in every month except October the year began with only single-figure counts, before steadily increasing in January to 20 on the 20th and 33 on the 31st. The year’s maximum of 49 occurred on 21st February with 44 still present on 12th March and 42 on the 8th April WeBS.

The first brood was reported on No.3 bed on 14th May, after which females with young appeared regularly during May and June on beds 3 and 4. In total 19 broods were seen, 13 on No.3 and six on the Loop of No.4 bed. This is the highest number of broods at Woolston since the 22 broods in 2005. Pochard is a scarce breeding species in the United Kingdom, monitored by the Rare Breeding Birds Panel. In their latest report (2015) the national population was considered to be in the range of 350-700 pairs, making the Woolston population extremely important and almost certainly in the top ten breeding sites in the country for this duck.

From July very few Pochard were at the Eyes, with maxima of seven in November and December.

Monthly maxima:

Jan 33, Feb 49, Mar 44, Apr 42, May 31, Jun 15, Jul 2, Aug 3, Sep 3, Oct -, Nov 7, Dec 7

Photograph of a male from No3 Bed 04/04/2014


Alan Patterson

023 Ring-necked Duck

(Aythya collaris)

Aythya collaris

Status: Rare winter vagrant.

2017 records - no sightings submitted. The last record on the reserve was on 21st April 2011.

Male photographed on No3 Bed 21st April 2011

024 Ferruginus Duck

Aythya nyroca

Status: Rare vagrant to Woolston.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last record of this species at Woolston was 15/12/2000.

No Woolston image available


Chris Monks

025 Tufted Duck

Aythya fuligula

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, is abundant at Woolston in the winter periods less, numerous in the breeding season but present all year.

2017 Records - Another good year for one of Woolston’s most numerous duck species, with a high winter count at the end of the year and many broods reported.

Numbers at the beginning of the year were similar to last year, with 303 on 11th January, 364 on 16th February and 301 on 23rd March. Many remained into April, with 283 still on No.3 bed on the 8th and 184 on the Reserve as a whole on the 26th.

The first brood was seen on 16th June and as usual others then appeared throughout the rest of June and July with the last newly-hatched brood seen on 3rd August on No.3 bed, where most pairs had bred. On 24th June a minimum of nine broods was present including some large ones of 10, 12, 13 and 14 young. In total 28 broods were reported, the largest number since the 29 broods in 2012. Twenty of these were on No.3 bed, four on the Loop of No.4 bed, three on the Mersey and one on the Ship Canal. It was also a successful year in terms of young fledged, with many well grown birds seen into early September.

It is interesting that the wildfowl breeding survey, carried out across the Eyes in April and May using the RSPB methodology assessed the breeding population of Tufted Duck on beds 3 and 4 as 28 pairs, exactly the same as the number of broods counted later in the summer!

As usual, it was November before significant gatherings of Tufted Duck occurred, with 355 on the 21st. The onset of cold weather in early December saw a major influx, with 615 present on the 9th, 350 of which were on the Ship Canal at Bollin Point.

A juvenile was caught on No.3 bed in a mist net set for Green Sandpipers, only the third Tufted Duck to be ringed at Woolston.

Monthly maxima:

Jan 303, Feb 364, Mar 301, Apr 283, May 107, Jun 58, Jul 42, Aug 26, Sep 84, Oct 115, Nov 355, Dec 615.

Male & Female photographed from No3 bed

026 Scaup

Aythya marila

Status: BoCC4 red-listed is a rare winter visitor.

2017 Records - no records were submitted this year. The last record of Scaup on the Reserve are 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.

No image available


Douglas Buchanan

027 Long-tailed Duck

Clangula hyemalis

Status: BoCC4 movement straight from green to red-listed species is a rare winter vagrant to the Reserve.

2017 Records - no records were 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 of female from No3 Bed 25/02/2013

028 Common Scoter

Melanitta nigra

Status: BoCC4 red-listed species is a rare winter visitor to the Reserve.

2017 Records - A rare visitor to the Eyes, one was on the Ship Canal near Bollin Point on 2nd December. This is the first record since November 1996, and only the fifth year that Common Scoter has been recorded at Woolston, the others being 1985, 1986 and 1990.

No Woolston image available


Andy Weir

029 Goldeneye

Bucephala clangula

Status: A BoCC4 amber-listed species but a regular winter visitor especially favours Woolston Weir pool and the Ship Canal.

2017 Records - Reported in relatively low numbers in both winter periods. At the beginning of the year there were only eight records submitted, with a maximum of four on 14th January. There were no further sightings until November, when many more reports were received, the peak count being nine on 18th November.

Male & two female photograph from Woolston Weir Pool 26/01/2013

030 Smew

Mergellus albellus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, Smew are rare winter vagrants to Woolston.

2017 Records - no records were submitted. The last sighting on the reserve was 20/02/2003.

No Woolston image available

031 Red-breasted Merganser

Mergus sator

Status: BoCC4 green-listed and an infrequent wintor visitor to Woolston with the adjacent Ship Canal and Weir basin preferred locations.

2017 Records no records were submitted. The last reserve record was 11/10/2003.

No Woolston image available


David Bowman

032 Goosander

Mergus merganser

Status: BoCC4 green-listed but an irregular winter visitor on the Reserve, more likely to be found on the canal or adjacent River Mersey.

2017 Records - Increasingly being reported at Woolston in both winter periods, and the appearance of a brood on the Ship Canal on 3rd June was a major surprise.

On 3rd and 4th January several observers found two drakes and a female on the Ship Canal near the Reserve car park, and a lone female was on the Canal on 15th January. Five days later a drake was on No.3 bed and the last early-year record was of two Goosanders flying past Rixton Bridge near Bollin Point on 21st January.

An unexpected sighting on 3rd June was a female with 14 recently fledged young on the Canal near Bollin Point. Where they had bred is not known.

There was a series of sightings in November and December beginning with a drake and three females, again on the Ship Canal on 18th and 24th November, and four reports of up to two on, or flying along, the Canal during December.

Photograph of the first confirmed breeding of this species on the Reserve No1 Bed 03/06/2017


Andy Weir

033 Ruddy Duck

Oxyura jamaicensis

Status: Becoming rare as a result of the International culling program but individuals have still been reported over recent years.

2017 Records - Despite the on-going cull of this duck, which began in 2006, a few birds were present on No.3 bed during the spring and summer. It is possible that breeding could have been attempted, but no young were seen.

A drake, which was first seen on 31st March, remained on its own until 10th May. On 11th May three drakes were present, two adults and an immature male; they were reported regularly into early June when they were joined by a female, probably on the 4th. All four kept together for a few days, but by 11th June one of the drakes was not seen again, and the female and one of the other drakes had paired up. In late June the pair settled on the south side of No.3 bed and became rather elusive. It is possible that breeding was attempted, but no young were ever seen. A drake was seen on 15th July, after which there were no reports until a probable female and immature male were seen together on No.3 bed on 31st July. This turned out to be that last sighting of the year.

Photograph of two males from No3 Bed Tower hide 08/06/2013

034 Quail

Coturnix coturnix

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed and a rare Woolston visitor but has been noted by call on fly over migration and is recorded on passage in surrounding arable farmland.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last report was on 16/09/1986.

No Woolston image available

035 Red-legged Partridge

Alectoris rufa

Status: Historically rare and still scarce as there are only 9 records for the Reserve to date despite breeding populations on adjacent arable farmland to the north east.

2017 Records - There was just one record this year, a single on No.1 bed on 30th October which flew under the Viaduct towards No.2 bed. Sightings of this species have now become annual and this is the fourth year in succession that one or more has been recorded. Somewhat surprisingly, in the past two years it has been reported more often than the indigenous Grey Partridge

No Woolston image available

036 Grey Partridge

Perdi perdix

Status: BoCC4 red-listed species and an 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 where breeding populations exist on adjacent arable farmland, perhaps a consequence of the increasing scrub and tree cover there.

2017 Records - After a blank year in 2016 a single record was evidence that this traditional farmland species maintains a tenuous foothold at and around Woolston. This year’s sighting was of two on fields immediately to the south of Butchersfield Tip on 19th February.

No Woolston image available


Andy Weir

037 Pheasant

Phasianus colchicus

Status: common sighting on and around the Reserve.

2017 Records - Unfortunately there was no evidence of an upturn in the fortunes of this formerly common species and numbers remained at a fairly low but apparently stable level. The year began with eight on Butchersfield Tip on 11th January but the highest counts were in March during Common Bird Surveys covering the whole Reserve. Nine were on the northern half of No.4 bed on 23rd and 30th March and it appears that about fifteen were present across the whole Reserve. The only evidence of breeding came from No.3 bed where an adult was seen with two fairly small young on 1st September. Two juveniles, presumably the same birds, were found in the centre of that bed on 17th September. The Migration Watch on 4th November produced a total of 13 but there were no other significant counts.

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

038 Red-throated Diver

Gavia stellata

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a rare passage and winter visitor probably best sought on the adjacent Ship Canal and Weir basin.

2017 Records - no reports submitted. The last sighting was of one flying west along the Ship Canal on the unusual date of 16th May 2014.

No Woolston image available

039 Fulmar

Fulmarus glacialis

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, rare storm blown vagrant.

2017 Records - no sightings were submitted. The last record of Fulmar was ???

No Woolston image available

040 Storm Petrel

Hydrobates pelagicus

Status:BoCC4 amber-listed, a rare storm blown vagrant.

2017 Records - no sightings were submitted. The last reported sighting of this species was on 14/09/1980.

No Woolston image available

041 Leach's Storm Petrel

Oceanodroma leucorhoa

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a very rare storm blown vagrant.

2017 Records - no sightings submitted. The last record at Woolston dates back to 30/09/1978.

No Woolston image available


Douglas Buchanan

042 Cormorant

Phalacrocorax carbo

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a common bird on the Reserve and surronding habitat and large numbers overflying.

2017 Records - Reported in every month, with many sightings of over-flying birds but, as always, present at at least three diurnal roosts on the Reserve. During the first six months 27 on 11th February was the highest count on the Eyes, while on 5th September 11 roosted in a favourite tree on the Oxbow near Woolston Weir. Up to 20 were present on many dates.

Photograph of a mature male from No3 Bed

043 Shag

Phalacrocorax aristotelis

Status: BoCC4 moved from amber to red-listed, a rare vagrant visitor for the Reserve.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last report of Shag on the reserve was on 28/09/2001.

No Woolston image available

044 Bittern

Botaurus stellaris

Status: BoCC4 moved from red to amber-listed as a result of concerted conservation efforts nationally is a scarce winter visitor.

2017 Records - Although no records were submitted this year the potential for Woolston remains with 5 records in 2016 split between No1 and No3 beds in February, August and December and a single sighting in 2015 in May on No.3 bed.

No Woolston image available

045 Night Heron

Nycticorax nycticorax

Status: rare vagrant.

2017 Records - no records submitted, the last recorded sighting of Night Heron was on 26/05/1987.

No Woolston image available


David Mercer

046 Little Egret

Egretta garzetta

Status: BoCC4 moved from amber to green-listed, an irregular spring-summer-autumn visitor which is reported a number of times annually.

2017 Records - Just 14 records were received this year (c.f. 21 in 2016). All were in the period May to late October, and apart from six on 12th July, two on 21st July and four on 25th August, all the other sightings were of single birds.

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


Andy Weir

047 Great White Egret

Ardea alba

Status: Scarce visitor

2017 Records - As in 2016 there was just one record this year, one on No.3 bed on 24th September.

Photograph from No.3 bed 16/08/2015


David Shallcross

048 Grey Heron

Ardea cinerea

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a resident non breeding bird on the Reserve but found throughout the year.

2017 Records - Recorded in every month, the Grey Heron is a regular visitor to the Eyes and in the breeding season birds from the nearby Parr’s Wood heronry move to and from the Reserve. The highest count in the first half of the year was six on 8th March and the same number on 21st June. The only double-figure count was of 11 on the 7th October WeBS.

Photographed from John Morgan hide No.3 Bed 2012

049 Spoonbill

Platalea leucorodia

Status:BoCC4 amber-listed species and a rare vagrant to Woolston.

2017 Records - no sightings submitted, the last record of Spoonbill was on 27/05/2010.

No Woolston image available


Roy Peacock

050 Little Grebe

Tachybaptus ruficollis

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a resident and breeding bird found throughout the year on the Reserve though scarce over the winter period.

2017 Records - Woolston is a stronghold of this grebe in Cheshire and 2017 was a good breeding season. In most years Nos.1 and 3 beds hold most of the breeding population, but several pairs also raised young on the Loop of No.4 bed this year.

In the first two months Little Grebes were more numerous than usual, with nine on 8th January and seven on 1st February. Trilling was first heard on the No.1 bed pools on 10th February and on No.3 bed on the 21st. Further birds began to arrive, with ten on 12th March increasing to 15 on the 21st and the year’s maximum of 26 on the whole Reserve on 2nd April.

Breeding was noted in May when one observer found five pairs on No.3 bed on the 18th, while on the same date there was a report of seven pairs on No.3 bed with one small young. On 2nd June two newly fledged young were seen on No.1 bed, where early breeding is often reported, while two days later attention switched to the Loop of No.4 bed where there were nine adults, including one feeding a well grown chick. On 7th June three broods were present on No.1 bed, two of one young, and the third of two half-grown young. On the same date a pair with two small chicks was on No.3 bed and on 16th June two pairs were seen on No. 3 bed, each with one small young. Also on No.3 bed, on 1st July, two pairs were seen, one feeding two half-grown young, the other with two small chicks. Three days later three well-grown young were found on No 3 bed, and also an adult with three young. More reports followed from No.1 bed, including an adult with four young on 24th July, clearly a new brood, which was reported into August and early September. The final sighting of young was on the Loop of No.4 bed on 20th August, where two adults were feeding two large young.

Overall, it was considered that a minimum of`11 pairs definitely bred and possibly a twelfth – 6 or 7 pairs on No.3 bed, two on the Loop of No.4 bed, and three on No.1 bed (c.f. ten pairs in 2016).

In the final months the maximum counts received were of eight on 17th October and 1st November and ten on the 18th November WeBS.

Photograph from No3 Bed 24/06/2013


Andy Weir

051 Great Crested Grebe

Podiceps cristatus

Status - BoCC4 green-listed, breeds on the Reserve and resident throughout the year.

2017 Records - Recorded throughout the year Great Crested Grebes were scarce in the first six weeks, with only one or two reported. Even so, a pair was seen with nest material on No.3 bed on 1st February. As always, numbers increased from late February into March, with 11 found across the Eyes on 21st February, 12 on 12th March and a peak of 13 on 10th May.

On 19th March three pairs were present on No.3 bed, with one pair displaying; one was on a nest on the Loop of No.4 bed on 2nd April and five pairs were found on No.3 bed on 28th April. The first broods (two) appeared on No.3 bed on 26th May and another of three small young on 31st May. The following day a total of seven pairs was located, those on No.3 bed plus a pair with young at Woolston Weir, and a sitting bird on the Mersey between Nos. 3 and 4 beds. A new brood appeared on No.3 bed on 2nd June and the pair on the Loop of No.4 bed was feeding two small young on 21st June. The final new brood was on No.3 bed on 5th July. In all, it is considered that 11 broods hatched at Woolston this year, with several large young reported in late July, the last on the Loop of No. 4 bed on 9th August.

In the remainder of the year birds were present in good numbers, with maxima of 11 on 6th December and 12 on the WeBS count three days later.

Photographed from the Rotary Hide No.3 Bed July 2012


Steven Ellis

052 Black-necked Grebe

Podiceps nigricollis

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed. 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.

2017 Records - The breeding population of this rare grebe was similar to that of recent years and fledging success was good. As many visitors come to Woolston to see Black-necked Grebes in summer plumage it is not surprising that 123 records were entered on the Woolston database this year.

Three on 13th March were the first, two in summer plumage and the other still largely in winter plumage. Over the next week more arrived, with eight present on No.3 bed on the 18th. During the final week of March seven were reported on many dates, with nine on the 30th and 31st, including one still partially in winter plumage. On 2nd April ten were noted – four pairs plus two single birds – and numbers remained at this level until 13th April when a co-ordinated count found 13 adults. The first confirmation of breeding was on 8th May when one of two pairs by the north-east hide was feeding one very small chick. A further two broods appeared on 10th May and a fourth on the 24th. On 18th May one observer found a total of 17 Black-necked Grebes on No.3 bed, 12 adults and five young, including three broods of two, two and one young. An apparent arrival of adults occurred on 2nd June when four pairs without young were calling and displaying as newly-arrived birds often do. Throughout late May and June adults and young could be seen daily across No.3 bed, and it is considered that a minimum of nine broods was produced, similar to 2016.

Fully independent young were noted from as early as 31st May and with others seen during June and July it is believed, after careful monitoring, that a minimum of eight young, (although possibly more), fledged.

The last adult was on No.3 bed on 27th July and the last juvenile on 22nd August.

Pair photographed on No.3 Bed May 2013

053 Slavonian Grebe

Podiceps auritus

Status: BoCC4 moved from amber to red-listed, a rare passage and winter vagrant for the Reserve.

2017 Records - no sightings submitted. The last Slavonian Grebe sighting was on 04/05/2001 and previous to that in February 1986.

No Woolston image available

054 Red-necked Grebe

Podiceps grisegena

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, a rare vagrant for the Reserve.

2017 Records - no sightings submitted. The last sighting of Red-necked Grebe was on 05/03/2011.

No Woolston image available


David Spencer

055 Red Kite

Milvus milvus

Species: BoCC4 green-listed, a rare passage visitor for the Reserve generally as a flyover sighting.

2017 Records - For the fourth year in succession there was a sighting, when one flew north-east over No.1 bed on 24th March. Nevertheless, this still remains a rarity for Woolston.

Photograph from No.3 Bed of the flyover Red Kite on 25/04/2016

056 Honey Buzzard

Pernis apivorus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed species but a very rare vagrant for Woolston.

2017 Records - no sightings reported. This species was last recorded on the Reserve on 30/05/2003.

No Woolston image available


Douglas Buchanan

057 Marsh Harrier

Circus aeruginosus

Status: A BoCC4 amber-listed species is recorded annually often staying for long periods in the winter and early spring.

2017 Records - This species is usually seen during spring and autumn but this year all sightings were between February and May, apart from a single August record. The first report was of a female/immature on No.3 bed on 4th February with a female again there later that month. March saw two females on the 6th and one on the 8th, again on No.3 bed. On 12th April there were reports, again of a female, from No.3 bed and Butchersfield Tip, which may have related to the same individual. There were six sightings in April including a second summer male on No.3 bed on the 18th. The remaining records were of “female” types on Nos.1 and 3 beds. The final report was of a female, again on No.3 bed, on 22nd August.

Distant photograph from John Morgan hide No3 Bed


David Humphries

058 Hen Harrier

Circus cyaneus

Status: BoCC4 red-listed species a rare, irregular winter visitor to the Reserve.

2017 Records - there were no reports of this red-listed species, after consecutive October records over three days in 2015 and six days in 2016. The 2016 ‘Ringtail’ with a radio transmitter which was fitted in the Isle of Man.

Photo from No.3 bed 23/11/2015

059 Montagu's Harrier

Circus pygargus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed and a very rare passage vagrant for Woolston.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last report of Montagu’s Harrier was on 13/06/1993.

No Woolston image available

060 Goshawk

Accipiter gentilis

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, an infrequent visitor to Woolston but one or two reports are submitted per annum.

2017 Records - The only report was of one on the Migration Watch on 2nd December. This is about average for a species that remains a rare visitor to Woolston.

No Woolston iamage available


Glen Ellis

061 Sparrowhawk

Accipiter nisus

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, reported throughout the year and regularly breeding on the Reserve.

2017 Records - As usual most of the records of this common resident were from No.3 bed. There were reports throughout the year but there was only one sighting in February, and very few in June, July and August. In the first three months of the year only one or two were reported but on 15th April three were seen on No.3 bed, including a pair displaying over the north bank. Display was again observed in the same area on 26th April, with two pairs involved and a fifth bird was on No.4 bed the same day. The first sign of breeding was on 6th May when one was seen at a nest on the north bank of No.3 bed. On 11th May four were on the northern half of No.4 bed. As stated above, records in June and July were infrequent but breeding was proved on No.4 bed. On 12th June five young hatched from that nest but by the 16th only three remained. A clear path was found leading to the nest and it is feared that human interference was the reason for the disappearance of two chicks. A pair was reported on No.1 bed on 4th August and on 19th August a female and two juveniles were seen in a dead Birch opposite the John Morgan Hide. It seems likely that two pairs bred on the Reserve. After the breeding season four were seen at the eastern end of the Reserve during the Migration Watch on 4th September and on 14th October, three were on No.3 bed, with a fourth on No.4 bed. Thereafter no more than two were seen to year end.

It was a record year for the ringing teams with five caught on No.1 bed and seven (all juvenile males) on No.3 bed. Three first year males were ringed on a single day (16th August) on No.1 bed, another first for Woolston.

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


David Mercer

062 Buzzard

Buteo buteo

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a resident breeding species seen throughout the year and very regularly reported with double figure counts during autumn.

2017 Records - There were about 80 records of this now common species, slightly down on 2016 but not necessarily indicative of a reduction in actual numbers. Records were submitted throughout the year and from all areas of the Reserve. The year began with four on No.3 bed on 2nd January and six on the same bed on the 25th. Mid-March saw evidence of a northerly movement with sightings of about 20 over No.1 bed on the 10th and 15th flying north in groups of up to six. On 18th March six were over No.3 bed and a pair was displaying over the west bank of that bed the following day. A second pair was observed displaying over No.4 bed on 23rd March and a Reserve total of six was recorded that day. Further evidence of breeding was noted on 27th March when a pair was observed mating in a tree on the north bank of No.3 bed. The next day one flew eastwards over the north bank of No.3 bed carrying nest material. On 4th April five were over No.3 bed and on the 8th a total of eleven was reported between No.1 bed and Bollin Point.

Breeding was successful with three nests found, one on each of Nos. 2 and 3 beds, but the outcome is unknown. The third nest was just off No.4 bed and held at least two chicks. On 3rd June a second year male was found in a mist net on the edge of Phragmites Reeds on No.3 bed. This is the first free-flying bird to be ringed on that bed and only the fourth of this species at Woolston. Two juveniles had previously been ringed in a nest on No.3 bed.

On 2nd September there was an unprecedented movement involving 34 birds over No.3 bed. Small groups of between two and ten arrived from the north-west and drifted off to the south-east between 11.55 a.m. and 12.45p.m.and another four followed at 1.15p.m. A group of observers on Winter Hill about 20 miles to the north reported similar numbers earlier that morning. This was by far the highest count of the year although the Migration Watches on 4th September and 4th November produced impressive counts of 18 and ten respectively. A successful year ended with five over No.3 bed on 30th December.

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

063 Rough-legged Buzzard

Buteo lagopus

Status: rare vagrant.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last Rough-legged Buzzard sighting was on 18/03/2005.

No Woolston image available


David Bowman

064 Osprey

Pandion haliaetus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed species and a rare passage vagrant, with only ten records on the Reserve.

2017 Records - Just two records were received, both from No.3 bed. On 29th March one flew east mobbed by Black-headed Gulls and two days later what may have been the same bird was reported flying north.

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


David Spencer

065 Kestrel

Falco tinnunculus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed after Buzzard, the second most common raptor sighted throughout the year.

2017 Records It appears that there were more records this year with a total of 60 sightings reported. Certainly in the first three months of the year there was an increase in the number of sightings with 14 compared with just eight reports in 2016. One was on No.3 bed on two dates in January and there were five February records, all of singles. A pair was on the same bed on 21st March and by 1st April one was near the usual nest site on the Viaduct. Later that month a pair was displaying over No.3 bed and on the 22nd two on No.1 bed included a female on the Viaduct. A pair was nearby on 23rd May and although no young were reported it seems that breeding was at least attempted. Two were on No.3 bed on 26th April and a third was on No.4 bed.

There were no records between 17th June and 15th July but from that date there were fairly regular sightings of one or two on No.3 bed. The autumn Migration Watches produced sightings of two or three and the only December record was of three soaring together over No.3 bed. Although there were more reports submitted this year it does not appear that there has been a significant revival in the fortunes of this once common raptor.

The ringing team on No.3 bed caught an adult male and female on 3rd and 17th June respectively, the first on that bed since 2012.

Photograph from No3 Bed Footbridge 29/08/2015

066 Red-footed Falcon

Falco vespertinus

Status: rare passage vagrant.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last Red-footed Falcon was reported on 21/05/1989.

No Woolston image available

067 Merlin

Falco columbarius

Status: BoCC4 moved from amber to red-listed, an infrequent winter visitor to Woolston.

2017 Records - This remains an infrequent winter visitor with just one record this year. On 28th March a male flew rapidly over the John Morgan Hide and headed off to the north-west.

No Woolston image available

068 Hobby

Falco subbuteo

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a regular visitor to the Reserve in the summer months.

2017 Records - This summer migrant was seen frequently between April and October and 53 records were submitted. Singles were reported from Nos.1 and 3 beds and Butchersfield Tip during April, the first being on the 11th of that month. Two were on No.3 bed on 7th May and there were regular reports, mostly from No.3 bed, during the summer months. On 24th July one was hunting Swifts over No.3 bed and two were together in the same area five days later. One was seen to catch a Brown Hawker in front of the John Morgan Hide on 22nd August and on the same date one was at the Swallow roost on No.1 bed. On a number of dates, between 22nd and 29th August, one was in a dead Birch tree opposite the John Morgan Hide and two were present there on 5th September. Two were over No.3 bed on 9th September and on 6th October one was perched on the hde in the north-east corner of that bed. The final record of a successful season was on 11th October.

No Woolston image available


Dave Bowman

069 Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a breeding species on the Reserve regularly seen with irregular visitors outside of the breeding season.

2017 Records - This is probably the most charismatic British falcon and it has bred on the Thelwall Viaduct for the past ten years. There were three January reports of singles including one on the Viaduct on the 21st. None was seen during February but in March there were three records of singles. On 1st April one entered the nest on the Viaduct and two were at the nest site on the 8th. They were then seen fairly regularly during April and May. The male was seen to catch a Pigeon over No.3 bed on 25th May before heading off to the nest site. The first sighting of young was on 26th May when at least two small chicks were seen in the nest. On 3rd June both adults and three young were observed and by the 13th at least two of the young had fledged. Unfortunately, an almost fully grown young was subsequently picked up under the Viaduct by a passer-by. It was then taken into care for rehabilitation but unhappily, failed to recover. Away from the nest site an adult and two juveniles were seen soaring over the south bank of No.3 bed on 15th August. Other records of note were of one harassing a pair of Buzzards over No.1 bed on 30th August and of a pair hunting waders, on No.3 bed, on 9th September and eventually catching a Black-headed Gull. October saw regular reports of one on both Nos.1 and 3 beds and on the Migration Watch of 4th November three were seen. On 9th November a juvenile was observed being chased by two Ravens. Two were at the nest site on 11th November and there were two December sightings of two on the Viaduct.

Photograph from No1 Bed under the Thelwall Viaduct


Andy Weir

070 Water Rail

Rallus aquaticus

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, best seen from the hides on No3 Bed where this secretive bird is frequently sighted on the edges of exposed mud banks but it occurs across the Reserve throughout the year.

2017 Records - This species remains fairly common and the population appears to be stable. The majority of this year’s sightings were as usual from Nos.1 and 3 beds with January records of two on No.3 bed on the 2nd and four on No.1 bed on the 30th. February produced two interesting sightings on No.4 bed; one from the Sandpit Pond on the 16th and one on the Loop on the 21st. On 10th March a count of six on No.1 was felt to be a conservative estimate and there were five in the same area on the 13th. The WeBS count on 8th April produced a total of six. The systematic breeding surveys during April located 13 territories, distributed as follows: five on No.1 bed, five on No.3 bed and three on No.4 bed. The first evidence of successful breeding came on 9th June when an adult and two young were seen at the Tower Hide on No.3 bed, while four young were noted there on the 13th. On 5th July an adult was heard calling at the Sandpit Pond and back on No.3 bed a small juvenile in front of the Tower Hide was probably one of the brood previously reported in that area. There were further reports from the Tower Hide on 17th and 25th July and 12th August when an adult and one young were present. On 1st September two juveniles were found on the north bank of No.3 bed and a further one at the John Morgan Hide. As young had also been reported from the Tower Hide and the South Screen it appears that at least four broods were present on No.3 bed alone. On 14th September there was a further report of one at the Sandpit Pond. Four were on No.1 bed on 6th and 21st November and the only two December records were also from that bed. An interesting development this year has been the increase in records from the Sandpit Pond and Loop areas of No.4 bed. None was ringed this year but this is because no specific attempts were made to capture them.

Photograph from No3 Bed Rotary hide 21/04/2013

071 Spotted Crake

Porzana porzana

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a rare passage visitor to the Reserve.

2017 Records - One was reported from No.3 bed on 15th July and full field notes have been submitted. This is the first record since 07/05/2005.

No Woolston imabe available

072 Little Crake

Porzana parva

Status: rare visitor to the Reserve.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last sighting of Little Crake was ???

No Woolston image available

073 Corncrake

Crex crex

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, a bird of the past for Woolston but night passage calls have been attributed on spring migration.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last record of Corncrake was on 18/09/2001.

No Woolston image available


Andy Weir

074 Moorhen

Gallinula chloropus

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, very common throughout the Reserve throughout the year.

2017 Records - The first report was on 2nd January when about 40 flew across No.3 bed to roost in the reeds at dusk. The WeBS count on 14th January found a Reserve total of 60 which proved to be the highest of the year, although there were a number of almost equally high counts. Totals of 46 in February, 28 in March and 30 in April were significantly higher than in 2016 and this translated into an excellent breeding season. Although adults were less visible at this time a total of 28 broods was recorded, the first being on 22nd April. The majority (16) were on No.3 bed with the remainder distributed as follows: three on the Sandpit Pond, two on No.4 bed including one on the Loop, four on the river, two on the flooded fields to the north of No.2 bed, and one on No.1 bed. This compares favourably with the past two years when 19 (2016) and 20 (2015) broods were found. In 2014, there was a total of 28 broods, the highest since the early 1980’s so this year’s breeding performance was particularly encouraging.

Post breeding, high numbers were again reported, for example 49 and 57 on the September and November WeBS counts. A Reserve total of 59 on 26th November included no less than 35 on No.3 bed where between 20 and 30 were regularly present at the John Morgan Hide feeding station. By the year end about 30 were still present. In summary, this was an above average year and this is confirmed by the ringing records. A total of 21 was ringed on No.3 bed, the highest since 2008, and all were captured in the duck trap. No less than 19 of these were caught between 18th November and 10th December, including 14 on 18th November alone.

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


Douglas Buchanan

075 Coot

Fulica atra

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, very common on all the water areas across the Reserve throughout the year.

2017 Records - In common with the previous species this proved to be an excellent year, beginning with a total of twelve on 4th January. On 27th January when most of the waters were frozen, 33 were present in a small area of open water on No.3 bed. Up to 30 were reported regularly during February and March and 54 were found on the WeBS count of 8th April.

The first sign of breeding was on 6th March when one was seen nest building on the river near the footbridge. The first brood appeared on 28th April and this was the start of an excellent season. A total of 49 broods was recorded and this may well be a conservative estimate as allowances were made to avoid the risk of double counting where the two adults divide the brood between them. The distribution was as follows: 32 on No.3 bed, 11 on the Loop of No.4 bed, three on the Sandpit Pond, two on No.1 bed and one on the river near the footbridge. The number of broods found on the Loop is particularly encouraging as birds responded to the recent improvements in habitat.

Whilst good numbers were clearly present during the breeding season a build up occurred from early July onwards with evening visits to No.3 bed on 24th and 31st July resulting in totals of 136 and 167 respectively. The highest count of the year was on 6th August when 210 were present. Post-breeding flocks of Coot often associate with Gadwall and good numbers of the latter species were present at this time. September saw about a hundred on No.3 bed reducing to 62 towards the month end. Numbers declined thereafter with 32 on the December WeBS count and only twelve by the end of the year. A single bird was captured in the duck trap and ringed on No.3 bed on 26th November.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan hide


David Bowman

076 Avocet

Recurvirostra avosetta

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed and a rare visitor to Woolston with only five records to date.

2017 Records - It was somewhat disappointing that no reports of this elegant wader were submitted this year as its range continues to expand and after the 2015 and 2016 sightings. The species still remains a rare visitor with previous records in April 2013, June 1984 and the first in May 1978.

Photograph from No.3 Bed 17/05/2015


Douglas Buchanan

077 Oystercatcher

Haematopus ostralegus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed and historically a bird of spring passage and early summer but now a breeding species and frequent flyover, especially at the eastern end of the Reserve adjacent to arable land.

2017 Records - This was a typical year with 44 records submitted between March and July. The first sighting was of two mating on Vikki’s island on No.3 bed on 11th March. Birds were seen regularly in the same area with mating noted on 4th and 12th April and up to three were reported. The maximum count was of four on 15th April and three were seen on No.1 bed on the 19th. An interesting record was of one in fields to the south of Butchersfield Tip, suitable breeding habitat, on 13th May. There were, however, no further reports from this area. Sightings of up to three continued from No.3 bed until 19th June. There were a number of July records including one flying east over No.1 bed on the 5th and three on No.3 bed on the same date. The last of the year were two and one on No.3 bed. on 20th and 24th July.

Photograph from No.3 Bed

078 Grey Plover

Pluvialis squatarola

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a rare passage visitor to the Reserve.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last sighting was 13th September 2016 when an American visitor identified the bird through its call before it was briefly seen flying around No3 bed before heading off west. The previous record was in 2005 and only the fourth since 1990.

No Woolston image available

079 Golden Plover

Pluvialis apricaria

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, irregular winter and passage record, usually of flyover birds and often reported associated with the Lapwing flocks on the flooded fields to the south of Butchersfield.

2017 Records - After a blank year in 2016 there were just two records. On 3rd October two flew onto No.3 bed calling and appeared to drop in near the south pool. Four days later six were reported by the Migration Watchers at the eastern end of the Reserve.

No Woolston image available


Roy Peacock

080 Lapwing

Vanellus vanellus

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, a breeding species, regular visitor and large flyover flock records.

2017 Records - This species had a reasonably successful year although maximum numbers were a little lower than in 2016. January began with 20 on fields to the north of Butchersfield Tip and 45 on the No.3 bed scrape on the 13th. About 250 flew west on 17th January and on the 21st 145 were on fields to the south of Butchersfield Tip, increasing to 250 by 19th February.

With the start of the breeding season up to eight were recorded on No.3 bed, three on the Loop of No.4 bed and four on fields to the south of Butchersfield Tip. Display was noted on No.3 bed from the end of March and on 4th May a female was on a nest with one egg in front of the John Morgan Hide. A pair was also seen displaying inside the north bank of No.3 bed but it is not known whether breeding took place in this location. On 10th May three pairs were on No.3 bed and four birds on the Loop. A pair was also on territory to the south of Butchersfield Tip. The only confirmed breeding, however, took place on Vikki’s island on No.3 bed. Two young were seen on 30th May and the following day three tiny young were present. The female soon encouraged them to swim to the relative safety of an island to the left where there was more cover. It was fascinating to watch the family undertake this move, especially as the smallest chick was reluctant to take the plunge! On 1st June the three were still present but by the following day only one had survived, at least one having been taken by a fox. The surviving chick fledged and by 8th July was seen in flight.

The usual post-breeding build-up was in evidence from mid-June when 56 were on No.3 bed. Numbers increased steadily through July and August and the year maximum was 410 on No.3 bed on 4th October. About 200 were still present on 25th October but all subsequent significant records were of birds overflying. The Migration Watches recorded 412 on 4th September and 609 on 7th October. A flock of 600 flew west on 6th November and the last record was of a hundred over the north bank of No.1 bed on 20th December.

Photograph from No3 Bed 30/05/2013


Steven Ellis

081 Little Ringed Plover

Charadrius dubius

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, an irregular visitor and breeding species which bred in 2000, and annually from 2012.

2017 Records - This attractive small wader was seen from the end of March until the beginning of August and breeding again took place. The first was noted on 27th March when one flew south-east over No.1 bed. The stony northern half of No.1 bed is always a favoured area and seven and eleven were found there on 1st and 8th April. Two were on flooded fields to the north of No.2 bed on 4th and 10th May and one was observed in display flight, on No.3 bed, on 25th May. During June and July up to four were regularly on No.1 bed and a pair was on territory on No.3 bed on 23rd June. Two adults and a juvenile were on the fields to the north of No.2 bed on 13th July and two weeks later a juvenile was reported on the scrape in front of the John Morgan Hide. An adult and a juvenile were in the same location on 8th August and the juvenile was seen regularly up to 18th August, which proved to be the last sighting of the year. It seems that a minimum of two pairs bred but given the presence of two pairs on the northern half of No.1 bed it is reasonable to assume that up to four pairs bred on the Reserve. This is similar to 2016 and it seems that the breeding population has stabilised at around three to four pairs.

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


Douglas Buchanan

082 Ringed Plover

Chraradrius hiaticula

Status: BoCC4 red-listed occurs on the Reserve in small numbers infrequently.

2017 Records - There were no records submitted this year. A reduction from the four in 2016 and three in 2015.

Photograph from


David Spencer

083 Whimbrel

Numenius phaeopus

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, an occasional passage visitor to the Reserve.

2017 Records - Similar to recent years, there were two records of this species, both on spring passage. Three flew east along the north bank of No.3 bed on 4th May and two days later eight also flew east over the same bed.

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

084 Curlew

Numenius arquata

Status: BoCC4 change from amber to red-listed. Most records relate to fly over birds with small numbers sighted on the Reserve in spring and autumn.

2017 Records - Another infrequent visitor, with just three records. One flew west over No.3 bed on 8th March, with another heading south-west on 5th August. The final report was of a single which circled No.3 bed on 20th October before leaving to the west. There were no records of any actually landing on the Reserve this year.

No Woolston image available


Andy Weir

085 Black-tailed Godwit

Limosa limosa

Status: BoCC4 red-listed but a frequent passage visitor in small numbers.

2017 Records - Excellent numbers were present in the autumn, although slightly down on the past two years. The first was reported on 20th April when four were on No.3 bed. The next record was of a bird still in winter plumage on 24th May, again on No.3 bed where the vast majority of sightings took place. One or two were noted regularly until 21st June when four appeared. During August there was a gradual increase and by the 26th the flock totalled 23. An interesting report was of a large flock on the flooded fields to the north of No.2 bed which comprised 34 on 11th September and 48 the following day. Added to the 37 on No.3 bed this gave a Reserve count of 85, the highest of the year. Numbers remained high during October; 61 on the 4th declining to between 30 and 40 at the beginning of November. On 8th November seven were on No.3 bed and six on the Loop of No.4 bed, the only record from that part of the Reserve. The final report was of one on No.3 bed on 4th December. This species was once a rare visitor but in spite of its red-listed status, has now become a regular feature of the Woolston year.

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

086 Bar-tailed Godwit

Limosa lapponica

Status: rare passage visitor.

2017 Records - no sightings submitted. Last reported on 06/05/2011.

No Woolston image available


David Spencer

087 Turnstone

Arenaria interpres

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed rare vagrant to the Eyes.

2017 Records - no records submitted. Last recorded in 2016 in May and again in July, a summer plumaged bird. The record prior to these were back in 1991.

Photograph from No.3 Bed on 10/05/2016

088 Knot

Calidris canutus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a rare winter vagrant.

2017 Records - no records submitted. Last sighted on 28/03/1987.

No Woolston image available


David Spencer

089 Ruff

Philomachus pugnax

Status: BoCC4 red-listed an irregular passage visitor, however, it has been recorded annually since 2012 after an absence from 2005.

2017 records - Ruff remains an infrequent passage migrant. The first was on the flooded fields north of No.2 bed in the flock of Black-tailed Godwits on 11th and 12th September. It flew onto No.3 bed with them on 12th September but was not seen again. A juvenile female was on No.3 bed on 6th October and what could have been the same bird was spotted in a flock of Lapwing on the Migration Watch the following day. Three further sightings, again possibly of the same individual, occurred on No.3 bed on 10th, 11th and 14th October and these were the last of the year.

Photograph from No.3 Bed on 21/09/2015

090 Curlew Sandpiper

Calidris ferruginea

Status: BoCC4 moved from green to amber-listed, a rare passage visitor to Woolston.

2017 Records - no records submitted. Last reported on 11/09/1993.

No Woolston image available

091 Temminck's Stint

(Aythya collaris)

Calidris temminckii

Status: rare passage visitor.

2017 Records - no records submitted. Last sighting was on 22/08/1989.

No Woolston image available


David Spencer

092 Sanderling

Calidris alba

Status: BoCC4 moved from green to amber-listed, a rare winter and passage vagrant.

2017 Records - no reports were submitted this year. The last record was a bird in adult summer plumage found on the scrape in front of the John Morgan hide on 18th May 2015. This was the first record since 1998.

Photograph from No.3 Bed 18/05/2015


Andy Weir

093 Dunlin

Calidris alpina

Status: BoCC4 change from red to amber-listed an annual visitor to the Reserve in small numbers.

2017 Records - Only six records were received, less than in recent years. All sightings were on No.3 bed, the first being on 4th April when two were present. The only other spring report was of one which circled the bed a few times on 20th April but did not land. The remaining four records were in August, one being seen on the 5th, 7th, 16th and 17th.

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

094 Little Stint

Calidris minuta

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a rare passage visitor to the Reserve.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last recorded was on 03/09/1993.

No Woolston image available

095 White-rumped Sandpiper

Calidris fuscicollis

Status: rare vagrant to Woolston.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last sighting was on 31/07/1984.

No Woolston image e

096 Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Tryngites subruficollis

Status: rare vagrant to Woolston.

2017 Records - no records submitted. Last reported on 04/08/1984.

No Woolston image available

097 Pectoral Sandpiper

Calidris melanotos

Status: rare autumn and winter visitor.

2017 Records - no records submitted. Last recorded on 10/09/1994.

No Woolston image available

098 Wilson's Phalarope

Phalaropus tricolor

Status: very rare vagrant to the Eyes.

2017 Records - no records submitted. Last recorded on 19/10/1991.

No Woolston image available

099 Red-necked Phalarope

Phalaropus lobatus

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, very rare vagrant to the Reserve.

2017 Records - no records submitted. Last record was the pair that visited on 10th June 2016 for a day. There have been only two previous records of this species on the Reserve.

No Woolston image available


Andy Weir

100 Common Sandpiper

Tringa hypoleucos

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a regular summer and passage visitor.

2017 Records - The first of only ten records was on 24th April when three were found in front of the John Morgan Hide. One was at Latchford Locks on 4th May and another on No.3 bed on the 30th. None was then seen until 4th July when one was on No.3 bed. By far the highest count was on 14th July when no less than seven were on the John Morgan Hide scrape. No more than one was seen subsequently and the last of a disappointing year was on 2nd August. Unsurprisingly, none was ringed this year.

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


Andy Weir

101 Green Sandpiper

Tringa ochropus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a regular summer and passage visitor to the Reserve with the Loop of No4 Bed the historical hot-spot for this species.

2017 Records - The first report was of an over-wintering bird flushed from the River Mersey at Rixton on 21st January. As in 2016 there were no spring records and sightings were confined to autumn passage which was first noted on 29th July. All autumn records were from No.3 bed and up to four were reported in August and early September. Thereafter only singles were present with reports on 11th and 21st September and, the last of the year, on 21st October.

Just four were caught and colour-ringed by the No.3 bed team; two were captured on each of 10th and 22nd August.

Photograph from No3 bed 19th Septemeber 2015

102 Spotted Redshank

Tringa erythropus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a rare visitor on autumn passage. Only three sightings have been reported, the latest on 27th August 2014, then 2010 and then 1992.

2017 Records - No sightings submitted.

No Woolston image available


Brian Burnett

103 Greenshank

Tringa nebularia

Status: BoCC4 moved from green to amber-listed, an infrequent visitor but recorded annually generally in autumn passage.

2017 Records - The two sightings were of one on No.3 bed on 10th June and 23rd July. This species is never common at Woolston but as with many other waders, numbers were lower than in recent years.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan hide 11/05/2013


David Spencer

104 Wood Sandpiper

Tringa glareola

Status: - BoCC4 amber-listed, an irregular summer and passage visitor, the previous report was of two birds in both the spring and autumn passage was in 2013.

2017 Records - Although only one record was submitted this is the third consecutive year in which this rare species has been found, with one on No.3 bed on 24th July.

Photograph from No.3 Bed 22/04/2015


Andy Weir

105 Redshank

Tringa totanus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a regular visitor in small numbers to the Reserve.

2017 Records - This was an average year. Two on No.3 bed on 16th March were the first and singles were found on the same bed on two other March dates. The final spring record was of one, again on No.3 bed, on 10th May. A single was on the scrape on 6th July and on 4th August one circled No.3 bed but did not land. The last record from this bed was of one on 7th October and the only other sighting was of one on the Migration Watch of 2nd December, a very late date for a species that is normally only noted on spring and autumn passage.

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

106 Jack Snipe

Lymnocryptes minimus

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, regular small number of sightings reported in the winter periods.

2017 Records - After a blank year in 2016 it was encouraging to receive three records of this often elusive species. One was in front of the Frank Linley Hide on 12th April and the other two sightings were towards the end of the year. On 27th October one flew onto No.1 bed from the west, circled the east pool and flew low over the observers’ heads before leaving to the east. The final record was of one on No.3 bed on 2nd December.

No Woolstom image available

107 Woodcock

Scolopax rusticola

Status: BoCC4 change from amber to red-listed, regularly recorded in the winter periods.

2017 Record - A total of 26 records represents an apparent upturn in the fortunes of this enigmatic wader. These were divided fairly evenly between the first and second winter periods and sightings came from both No.1 and No.3 beds. On 14th January one was seen on each bed, and the following day three were found inside the west bank of No.3 bed. A total of five was reported on 16th January; one near the Palisade Gates at the entrance to No.2 bed, one on the Canal track on the same bed and three on the main track on No.1 bed. On 25th January five were in the same locations and a further individual was seen on Butchersfield Tip, this being the highest count of the year. Ones and twos were reported on a number of dates until 19th April. Between 9th October and the year end there were twelve sightings of one or two from both No.1 and 3 beds with a maximum of two on each.

No Woolston image available


Andy Weir

108 Snipe

Gallinago gallinago

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a common visitor over the year outside the breeding season.

2017 Records - In comparison with recent years numbers were low. On January 17th 14 were on No.3 bed and four were found on No.1 bed on the 21st, giving a Reserve total of 18. Even fewer were present in February with a maximum of four on No.1 bed and one on fields to the south of Butchersfield Tip. Up to ten were reported in March and five were on No.3 bed on 12th April. The last spring record was of one on 7th May. As birds are not usually present during the breeding season, one on No.3 bed on 8th and 9th June was unusual. Typically, no more were seen until 24th July and there followed regular sightings, albeit of small numbers, until year end. The few counts in double figures included ten on No.3 bed on 22nd August, a Reserve wide total of 16 in September, 12 overflying No.1 bed on 13th and 15 on No.3 bed on 18th October. It was surprising, therefore, when two flocks of 35 and 20 dropped into the No.3 bed reeds at dusk on 5th December. This was by far the highest count of a disappointing year.

The ringing team captured a single bird on No.3 bed on 15th April. This was caught in a net set across a gap in the Phragmites Reeds. This species has become more difficult to capture due to improvements in the habitat which have provided many more roosting places in areas not regularly covered by the team.

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

109 Artic Skua

Stercorarius parasiticus

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, a rare vagrant to Woolston.

2015 Records - no sightings reported. The last record was on 11/10/1992.

No Woolston image available

110 Great Skua

Catharacta skua

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a rare vagrant to the Reserve.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last sighting of this species was ???

No Woolston image available


David Spencer

111 Little Tern

Sterna albifrons

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a rare visitor to the Eyes.

2017 Records - There was one sighting of this rare visitor. On 16th May one was brought down by heavy rain and landed on Vikki’s island in front of the John Morgan Hide. It remained for about 30 minutes and left in a north westerly direction as soon as the rain cleared. It was seen to have a yellow Darvic Ring but unfortunately it was not possible to read it. This is the first record since 2015 and only the second since 2001.

Photograph from No3 bed 16/05/2017

112 Whiskered Tern

Chlidonias hybridus

Status: exceptionally rare vagrant to the Reserve.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last sighting of this tern was on 19/05/2005.

No Woolston image available


Alan Patterson

113 Black Tern

Childonias niger

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, irregular visitor during passage last recorded in 2012.

2017 Records - A sighting of this infrequent passage migrant at Woolston is always an exciting event. Two were on No.3 bed on 1st May where they were seen by several fortunate observers. They remained until the 2nd but left later in the day. On 6th May three appeared at 7.25a.m., hawked the bed for ten minutes, and flew off to the east. The previous recent records of Black Tern on the reserve were May 2016 and April 2012.

Photograph from No3 Bed 30/04/2012

114 White-winged Black Tern

Chlidonias leucopterus

Status: very rare passage vagrant.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last report of this tern on the Reserve was on 13/07/1986.

No Woolston image available

115 Sandwich Tern

Sterna sandvicensis

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, an infrequent vagrant to Woolston.

2017 Records - no records received. The last sighting of this tern on the Reserve was on 16/08/2008.

No Woolston image available


Hazel Rothwell

116 Common Tern

Sterna hirundo

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, an infrequent visitor to the Reserve on passage.

2017 Records - There were 24 records of this species, very similar to 2016, all except one from No.3 bed. Two were seen on 24th April and were still present two days later. The next sighting was on 8th May and on the 12th, one was seen flying north over No.1 bed carrying a small fish, suggestive of breeding nearby. Two were observed flying in a north-westerly direction on 17th May and the next day two landed briefly on Vikki’s island before heading off to the west. There were further reports of singles in late May and early June and on 9th June one was seen perched on a twig in front of the John Morgan Hide. Four were present the following day and during July there were no less than eight records of two or three. The only other record was of one on the late date of 7th October.

Photograph from No3 bed 18/05/2017


Andy Weir

117 Artic Tern

Sterna paradisaea

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, an infrequent passage visitor to the Reserve.

2017 Records - Although there was only a single sighting, it was of a dramatic nature. On 1st May, the same day as two Black Terns were present, a tight flock flew east over the north bank of No.3 bed and over No.1 bed. It was not possible to positively confirm either the identity or exact number but from an analysis of photographs taken it was established that the birds were of this species and totalled 47. This is by far the highest number ever recorded at Woolston, the previous maximum being eleven in 2009.. The previous records of this species were 2016 and 2014.

Photograph No3 Bed John Morgan hide 26/05/2013


David Spencer

118 Kittiwake

Rissa tridactyla

Status: BoCC4 moved from amber to red-listed, a scace visitor to the Reserve.

2017 Records - For the second consecutive year this normally coastal species was recorded. On 10th May two were found on No.3 bed and on the 29th one flew in, apparently from the north, landed briefly in front of the John Morgan Hide before disappearing behind an island of reeds. It could not be relocated. Prior to 2016 there had been no records since 2001.

Photograph from No.3 Bed 26/04/2016


Douglas Buchanan

119 Black-headed Gull

Larus ridibundus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a very common visitor and large breeding population.

2017 Records - The first significant report was of a Reserve-wide total of 92 on 25th January. By 3rd February the first were returning to the breeding colony on No.3 bed. Twenty were counted, rising to 52 the next day. Numbers soon increased and by 21st February 550 were present and a year maximum of 950 was recorded on 8th March. Totals remained at about 700 as breeding got underway. An unusual record was of a leucistic bird with all-white wingtips on 26th April. The first young was seen on 6th May and a survey on 22nd May produced a total of 41 occupied nests on the rafts and a further 27 visible from the John Morgan Hide alone. Breeding was the best for many years and 125 juveniles were counted on 27th June. This is the highest number of young since 2000 when 250 juveniles were recorded, although counts of young have not always been carried out on an annual basis. Not all this year’s young fledged of course and predation by Lesser Black-backed Gulls was a continuing hazard. On 5th July a hundred juveniles were seen from the John Morgan Hide alone but by mid-July most birds had left. By 25th July just four adults and four small young remained and the last young were noted on 15th August. The only other high totals were an October report of 80 on the water on No.3 bed and a successful year ended with a Reserve-wide count of 600 on 27th December. None of these were overflying and the total included 220 on the Canal, 200 on fields to the east of the Loop of No.4 bed and 150 on the river to the north of No.4 bed.

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


John Adshead

120 Little Gull

Larus minutus

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, generally a spring passage visitor with most sightings on the Reserve in April-May.

2017 Records - There was just one sighting of this attractive spring migrant. An adult was found on No.3 bed on 30th April but did not remain. The previous year reports were again in spring in 2016 at least eight birds between 2nd and 26th April and 2014 with two on 31st March, two on 7th May and singles on 14th and 20th May.

Photograph from No3 Bed 13/06/2013

121 Laughing Gull

Larus atriclla

Status: a mega rare vagrant.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last reported sighting was on 30/11/1985.

No Woolston image available

122 Franklin's Gull

Larus pipixcan

Status: very rare vagrant.

2017 Records - no reports submitted. The last record was ???

No Woolston image available


David Bowman

123 Mediterranean Gull

Larus melanocephalus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a regular passage visitor recorded annually and has attempted to breed.

2017 Records - This year’s records were fairly typical with over 50 sightings between late March and mid-July. Nearly all were from No.3 bed, starting with two adults on 25th March. On 29th March a pair, a third adult and a second summer bird, were noted. The only records away from No.3 bed were two on No.4 bed on 11th April and four over Butchersfield Tip the following day. Regular reports throughout April and May included a year maximum of six adults on 22nd April. On 30th May a second summer bird was found with a green Darvic ring. It was established that it had been ringed as a pullus in Northern France in June 2015 and subsequently re-trapped in France, Spain, Portugal and Holland before its arrival here! It was seen again on 7th and 8th June and on the latter date was one of three present, including one with an injured leg. Two different second summer birds appeared on 9th June, making a total of at least seven for the week. On 16th June a second summer individual appeared to be displaying to a Black-headed Gull on Vikki’s island. Records continued to the end of June and there were two July records, both of singles, on the 6th and 17th.

Photograph from No3 bed 25/03/2017


Dave Bowman

124 Common Gull

larus canus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a common passage and winter visitor in small numbers.

2017 Records - Never seen in large numbers, this was a poor year for a species that is usually found only outside the breeding season. Most of the records received were from either Latchford Locks or No.3 bed. In the first few months of the year the highest total was of three on the January WeBS count. The year maximum was a disappointing seven on No.3 bed on 27th March. A first summer bird was seen on No.3 bed on three dates during April and the last spring sighting was on 30th April. The first returning bird was found on No.3 bed on 14th July but there were no more records until 7th October. Only one or two were reported until the year end.

Photograph from Ship Canal 03/09/2013

125 Ring-billed Gull

larus delawarensis

Status: rare vagrant to Woolston.

2017 Records - no reports submitted. The last record was on 01/02/2005.

No Woolston image available


Alan Debenham

126 Lesser Black-backed Gull

Larus fuscus graellsi

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a common flyover sighting with lower numbers of birds visiting.

2017 Records - Very few were seen during the first three months of the year and reports were confined to Latchford Locks and No.3 bed. No more than four were recorded in January and February, with five on No.3 bed on 8th March. As in 2016, April and May saw large numbers on the Loop of No.4 bed, with 25 on 18th April and 32 on 10th May. As wildfowl chicks began to hatch, birds were attracted to No.3 bed where they were seen to take a variety of hatchlings, including Canada Geese, Black-headed Gull, Tufted Duck and Coot. At least nine were counted up to the end of May. On 11th July 36 were roosting on the No.3 bed lagoon, including three juveniles one of which was trying unsuccessfully to catch Sand Martins in flight. A large influx of newly-fledged young was noted on 24th July when 72 were on No.3 bed. This increased to 140 (mostly juveniles) on 29th July. They appeared to be resting on the water and no predation was noted. This post-breeding assembly is a new phenomenon which has not been seen previously at Woolston. Numbers reduced in early August and 80 on the 6th and 60 on the 16th were the last of the big counts. No more than ten were seen subsequently although the Migration Watches recorded some big totals of over-flying birds, notably 272 on 4th September and 60 on 7th October.

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


David Bowman

127 Herring Gull

Larus argentatus

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, uncommon on the Reserve with small number of records per annum, higher counts are usual on the migration watches and other flyover sightings.

2017 Records - This species is not usually recorded in large numbers and this year was no exception, although there were some high totals of over-flying birds. Thirty flew east on 17th January and 34 flew west three days later. One or two were at Latchford Locks in January and February and three were on the water on No.3 bed on 24th March. Four were in the same location on 6th May, and six were roosting at the Weir on 11th July. Only single figures were noted to year end, apart from two high counts of over-flying birds. About 80 flew west in small flocks on 24th November and about a hundred were observed flying west, again in small groups, on 6th December. Interestingly, the highest count of 2016 was of 117 flying east on 22nd December.

Photograph of an immature from No3 bed 17/04/2017

128 Iceland Gull

Larus glaucoides

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a rare vagrant to the Eyes.

2017 Records no sightings reported. The last sighting was on 20/02/1993.

No Woolston image available

129 Glaucous Gull

Larus hyperboreus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, rare winter vagrant to the Reserve.

2017 Records - no sightings reported. The last reported sighting was on 09/02/2008.

No Woolston image available


David Spencer

130 Great Black-backed Gull

Larus marinus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed uncommon but increasingly regular visitor and noted flying over.

2017 records - The increase in records since 2014 was maintained and the 22 records submitted was similar to the two previous years. There were two January reports of over-flying birds but no sightings in February or March. Singles were noted on No.3 bed on three dates in April and two dates in May. A June record, again of one on No.3 bed, was followed by a sighting of one on the Weir basin on 6th July. On 1st August a family party of two adults and one juvenile arrived on No.3 bed with the juvenile constantly begging for food from one of the adults. August saw three records from No.3 bed and one from Latchford Locks on the 30th. One or two were reported in October and November and the last of another successful year, was of one on the Migration Watch of 2nd December.

Photograph from No3 Bed 07/04/2014

131 Feral Pigeon

Columba livia

Status: common sighting on the Reserve fringes and noted flyovers.

2017 Records - Only five records were submitted this year. Three were from the Migration Watches on Butchersfield Tip, with a maximum count of 57 on 4th September. The largest count was at Latchford Locks where 220 were seen on 9th September. The only other sighting was of six flying west over No.3 bed on 21st January.

No Woolston image available


Douglas Buchanan

132 Stock Dove

Columba oenas

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a breeding species resident on all four beds and regularly reported.

2017 Records - Stock Doves are easily overlooked but despite this over thirty sightings were submitted this year. The species is most common on farm fields surrounding the eastern end of the Reserve; the peak count was of 49 on 4th November. On the Reserve itself records were received and breeding probably occurred on all four beds. On No.1 bed six were in suitable breeding habitat on 1st April and two were present in similar habitat on No.2 bed on 4th April. On No.3 bed there were regular sightings in the spring and summer months and birds could be frequently seen under the feeders by the John Morgan Hide. On 24th May two were heard singing from the centre of the bed and near the John Morgan Hide. A notable sighting on No.3 bed was of 12 in the winter feed area on 26th May. The only record from No.4 bed was of one on 11th May.

On No.1 bed, four were ringed during the year, an average total. Two of these were pulli, ringed on 28th April, one of which was retrapped at the feeding station on 24th July. The other two were adults, both ringed on 10th March. On No.3 bed a record total of 11 was ringed. Nine were ringed in June and were all adults, as has been the pattern over the last few years. One, caught in September, was more unexpected. One was also caught which was ringed on the bed in 2010.

Photograph from


Douglas Buchanan

133 Wood Pigeon

Columba palumbus

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, abundant bird around the Reserve.

2017 Records - Typically, the maximum counts of Woodpigeon occurred in the autumn and winter periods. 492 and 2055 were recorded on 7th October and 2nd December respectively from Butchersfield Tip. On 20th December 1200 flew north over No.1 bed in flocks of up to 150. The largest count from No.3 bed was 260 seen leaving a roost at dawn on 14th October.

In spring, birds were observed in suitable breeding habitat on all four beds; two were on No.1 bed on 22nd April, 18 on No.2 bed on 4th April, nine on No.3 bed on 26th April and 35 on No.4 bed on 26th April.

On No.1 bed, the first since 2015 was ringed on 15th September and was an adult. On No.3 bed it was an average year with six new birds ringed, all of which were adults. Three were ringed in June and as with Stock Dove, the feeding stations clearly provide the adult birds easy feeding while they are raising young. The last bird of the year was ringed on 28th December.

Photograph from No.3 Bed

134 Collard Dove

Streptopelia decaocto

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, 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.

2017 Records - There were more records than usual for this relatively uncommon visitor to the Reserve. Twenty-nine observations were made, compared to 16 in 2016. Most sightings were from No.4 bed and Latchford Locks, where they were seen throughout the year, with a maximum count of six on 8th November. On 12th April and 25th May a bird was singing near the entry barrier. At the eastern end of the Reserve, 10 were seen in the farmland surrounding Butchersfield Tip on 4th November and seven were at the farm beyond Rixton Paddocks on 2nd December.

No Woolston image available.

135 Turtle Dove

Streptopelia turtur

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, with the decline of the UK population, Turtle Dove, would now be a mega rare visitor to the Eyes.

2017 Records - unsurpriseingly no records were submitted. The last reported sighting of Turtle Dove was on 04/05/2001.

No Woolston image available

136 Ring-necked Parakeet

Psittacula krameri

Status: a rare vagrant to the Reserve.

2017 Records - no sightings submitted. The last report was ???

No Woolston image available


David Riley

137 Cuckoo

Cuculus canarus

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, a summer visitor in low numbers.

2017 Records - The slight increase in sightings in 2016, of this once common breeding species, was maintained in 2017 with a total of five sightings. The first was of a single bird calling from the South Meadow of No.3 bed on 8th May. The next was on No.1 bed at its eastern end, on 10th May where two were also seen on 19th May, including a hepatic female. One was in the northern half on 11th May and the final sightings of the year were both of singles, on No.3 bed on the 22nd and 26th May.

Photograph from a bird caught and ringed on No.1 Bed

138 Barn Owl

Tyto alba

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, infrequently disturbed on the Reserve from roosts.

2017 Records - There were only four records this year. The first was on No.1 bed on 21st January. This was followed by two reports from No.3 bed, of one at first light on 13th February and one hunting the meadows near the John Morgan Hide at dusk on 22nd May. Although there were relatively few sightings, for the third year in succession this species was ringed when one was found roosting in one of the specially provided nest boxes on No.1 bed on 24th March.

In 2016 there was a failed attempt at breeding on No.3 bed. Disappointingly, there was no evidence of breeding this year, so despite the regular use of the nest boxes for roosting, Barn Owls have yet to breed successfully on the Reserve.

No Woolston image available

139 Little Owl

Athene noctua

Status: a rare visitor to the Eyes.

2017 Records - no reports submitted. The last sighting was on 15/04/2001.

No Woolston image available

140 Tawny Owl

Strix aluco

Status: BoCC4 moved from green to amber-listed, under-reported due to its nocturnal activity nonetheless reported in small numbers annually.

2017 Records - Tawny Owls are widespread across the Reserve and are regularly heard calling at dawn and dusk. The largest population appears to be on No.1 bed where birds were heard throughout the year, with a maximum of three calling. On No.2 bed there were two records, of one on 11th August and two on 25th August. On No.3 bed singles were heard calling at dawn on 10th May and 30th December. Although there were no records this year from No.4 bed this is thought to be due to the lack of observer coverage at the appropriate time of day rather than the absence of birds.

No Woolston image available


Douglas Buchanan

141 Long-eared Owl

Asio otus

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, very secretive, this species is occasionally found roosting on the Reserve. Previously recorded in 2009 and 2012 with a pair successfully breeding at a site just south of the Reserve in 2010.

2017Records - There were no records submitted. The last recent reports of sightings were in 2016, 2015 and 2012.

Photograph from No3 Bed winter 2003.

142 Short-eared Owl

Asio flammeus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, another rare winter visitor to the Eyes.

2017 Records - there were no records submitted this year. The last recent reports were of two birds on No1 bed one in January and one in September in 2016 and a single bird seen from Butchersfield in October during a Migration Watch which was the fourth record this century with the first in 2011.

No Woolston image available

143 Nightjar

Caprimulgus europaeus

Status: BoCC4 moved from red to amber-listed, a rare vagrant to the Eyes.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last reported sighting was on 24/06/1995.

No Woolston image available

144 Swift

Apus apus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a common summer visitor to the Eyes, feeding and passing through.

2017 Records - The first sightings were of two on No.1 bed on 26th April and one on No.3 bed on 27th April. There were no other sightings until 5th May when 12 flew east over No.1 bed. This was the start of a large arrival as the next day 130 were feeding over No.3 bed. Other significant counts in the spring were 80 on 8th May, 48 on 15th May and 200 on 29th May, all on No.3 bed.

In the late summer there were some spectacular gatherings and movements. On 15th July a steady stream of approximately 480 birds passed southwest over the east bank of No.3 bed. On the same bed on 22nd July, 200 moved through in small groups flying west. On 25th July 200 were feeding over No.1 bed. The highlight was on 27th July when on No.4 bed an estimated flock of 2000 covered the whole bed, feeding over willows and Giant Hogweed. Similar numbers were seen on 29th July, passing west over No.3 bed during the morning, presumably again gathering to feed over No.4 bed. In August numbers reduced but birds remained throughout the month with maximum counts of 250 on No.1 bed on 2nd August and 75 on No.3 bed on 19th August. The final sighting of the year was of nine seen from Butchersfield Tip on 4th September.

In the Warrington area, the 2017 breeding season initially appeared to be poor, with little activity around colonies in Grappenhall and Westy but this was weather related. As the summer progressed and the weather improved Swifts in Grappenhall became much more active and there were screaming flocks over the colonies in the area. It would appear that despite the poorish summer weather Swifts did reasonably well in south Warrington. However, it is known that other areas did not do as well. In Chester, for example, where the local RSPB group has been censusing breeding numbers for the past couple of years, numbers continued to fall, largely from loss of breeding sites.

The national position is that Swifts have declined by 63% since 1995 and continue to decline by 4% per annum. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature criteria, Swifts are currently regarded as “endangered” and are very close to being “critically endangered” in the UK. Nest box schemes, in other areas, have been successful in establishing new breeding sites and therefore, in early spring, Swift boxes and a call attraction system were installed for the first time on the sides of the John Morgan hide. Although no breeding occurred, birds were observed swirling around the boxes attracted by the call system. Hopefully in future years breeding may be attempted, although experience from other nest box schemes suggest it may take several years before they are used.

No Woolston image available

145 Bee-eater

Merops apiaster

Status: rare vagrant to the Reserve.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last sighting was on 01/06/1995.

No Woolston image available


Roy Peacock

146 Kingfisher

Alcedo atthis

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a resident and breeding species present all year and regularly recorded.

2017 Records - There were records of Kingfisher in all months of the year except January. The first was on No.3 bed on 4th February and on 21st of the same month a single was seen on No.1 bed. From late March onward sightings became regular. A popular spot to see them is the footbridge leading over to No.3 bed. In the summer they could be seen almost daily from here with a maximum count of three on 27th July. In late summer they were also regularly perching in front of the John Morgan Hide. Breeding is thought to have occurred along the Ship Canal; on 1st April one was perched under a nest hole on the north bank near the Viaduct. On No.4 bed two were seen on the Loop on 4th June and 26th August.

The final sighting of the year was on No.3 bed where two were seen under the footbridge on 6th December.

On No.1 bed the ringers had the best year since 2008 with ten ringed. The first, an adult, was caught on 10th March, with the first juvenile caught on 22nd May. The remainder were also birds of the year. One was caught on 3rd November that had previously been ringed on 5th September 2016. No.3 bed ringers had a record year with seven new birds ringed; three (all juveniles) in each of July and August and another juvenile in September. The net set for the Green Sandpipers has been a regular place for Kingfisher over the last few years. This year birds were caught in all the net rides in this part of the bed including the double height net in the shelter belt.

Photograph from No3 Bed John Morgan hide 21/05/2013

147 Green Woodpecker

Picus viridis

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a 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.

2017 Records - Green Woodpecker is an uncommon visitor to the Reserve and there were only ten records this year. Typically, most were from the eastern end of the Reserve where they are thought to breed in the Lymm and Rixton Areas. All sightings were of single birds. The first was on 14th January but all other sightings were between June and September. There was a single sighting on No.3 bed on 26th May when one was seen in the centre of the bed. Birds were also heard calling from south of the Ship Canal near the car park on 8th and 17th April. There were no reports from Nos.2 or 4 beds.

No Woolston image available


Alan Debenham

148 Great Spotted Woodpecker

Dendrocopos major

Status: Bocc4 green-listed, common resident and breeding species on the Reserve found throughout the year.

2017 Records - The Reserve’s commonest woodpecker, which can be regularly seen at the feeders by the John Morgan hide. Records were received from all four beds, with all but one sighting involved one or two and the maximum of three seen on No.3 bed on 14th January. Although a common bird, there is little evidence submitted regarding breeding. Two were present in suitable breeding habitat on No.1 bed on 1st April. Additionally, two were in similar habitat on No.4 bed on 11th May. The only record of a juvenile (other than those caught by the ringers) was from No.2 bed on 19th July.

For the ringers on No.1 bed, it was a poor year for this species with just four ringed, all birds of the year, with the first on 24th July. One other was retrapped that had been ringed on 26th May 2012 and only retrapped once since then. However, the ringers on No.3 bed had a record year with 19 new birds ringed. Fifteen of these were juveniles ringed between 23rd June and 18th November. The average is 9.9 new birds ringed. There is just one blank year (2015) and three birds were retrapped from 2016.

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

149 Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Denrocopos minor

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, an irregular visitor recorded evry few years. Recorded in 2016, 2015 and 2011.

2017 Records - The male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker which was seen and heard in spring 2015 and 2016 was also regularly noted this spring. A female was also seen and the pair was observed making a nest hole although it was subsequently abandoned and it is thought they were disturbed by a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers. The last spring sighting was on 17th April. The only other record for the year was on 30th September when one was heard calling on No.3 bed.

No Woolston image available

150 Golden Oriole

Oriolus oriolus

Status: Bocc4 red-listed, a very rare passage vagrant to the Eyes.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last reported sighting was on 18/04/2003.

No Woolston image available

151 Great Grey Shrike

Lanius excubitor

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

2017 Records - no reports submitted. The last reported sighting was on 27/03/2004.

No Woolston image available


Roy Peacock

152 Magpie

Pica pica

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a very common resident bird on and around the Reserve throughout the year.

2017 Records - A common resident breeder observed on all four beds. In the breeding season there were records from suitable breeding habitat with: one on No.1 bed on 22nd April, seven on No.2 bed on 23rd May including a pair at a possible nest, eight on No. 3 bed on 25th March including a pair at a nest on the north bank and five on No.4 bed on 26th April. Outside of the breeding season there were some significant gatherings, most notable was 44 in the centre of No.4 bed on 29th November.

The only ones ringed were two on No.3 bed, which is below the average of 3 since 2004. The first was a juvenile ringed in July and the second an adult in September.

Photograph from No3 Bed 30-05-2013


Andy Weir

153 Jay

Garrulus glandarius

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a common resident and breeding species on all four Beds throughout the year.

2017 Records - Like the last species, Jay is a common breeding resident although, perhaps because of their shyer behaviour, not as frequently observed. Breeding is thought to occur on all four beds. During the Common Birds Surveys, one was observed on No.1 bed, three on No.2 bed, three on No.3 bed and one on No.4 bed. Peak counts occurred during the autumn with 11 noted on No.3 bed on 9th September and nine from Butchersfield Tip during a Migration Watch on 7th October.

For the ringers it was a poor year on both beds. On No.1 bed it was the worst year since 2013 with only two newly ringed, both birds of the year and caught near the year end. Four were retrapped from previous years: two from 2016, one from 2015 and one originally ringed on 9th December 2005 as a first year and only retrapped once since, on 6th November 2010. Just six were ringed on No.3 bed, compared with an average of 11 since 2004. Four of these were juveniles, ringed between 29th July and 30th September.

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

154 Nutcracker

Nucifraga caryocatactes

Status: an extremely rare vagrant to the Reserve.

2017 Records - not surprisingly, no reports were submitted. The last reported sighting was on 08/10/1983.

No Woolston image available

155 Jackdaw

Corvus monedula

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, not a common bird on the Reserve, except the eastern end were parties forage, but observed as fly-over records on all four Beds.

2017 Records - Jackdaws do not breed on the Reserve and the majority of records are of over-flying flocks. Single figure counts were made regularly during the year of birds over-flying No.3 bed with a peak count of 19 on 2nd September. There were occasional sightings of one or two at the feeders by the John Morgan hide. Not surprisingly, given the proximity of local farmland, the highest counts were seen at the eastern end of the Reserve. 125 were recorded during a Migration Watch from Butchersfield Tip on 4th September, 64 overflew No.1 bed on 20th September and on the same bed 26 were seen on 27th December.

No Woolston image available

156 Rook

Corvus frugilegus

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, 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.

2017 records - There were only nine sightings of Rook reported, although four of these were from No.3 bed where it is relatively scarce. All records were of over-flying birds. On No.3 bed one was seen on 21st March, 10 on the 1st and 2nd May and three on 10th June. The only other records were from Bollin Point and No.1 bed in April and May, all of single over-flying birds.

No Woolston image available


Chris Monks

157 Carrion Crow

Corvus corone

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a common bird on the Reserve which breeds in small numbers on all the four Beds.

2017 Records - A common breeding resident which is thought to breed on all four beds. On No.1 bed a pair with one fully grown young was at a nest under the Viaduct and three were in suitable breeding habitat on 4th April on No.2 bed. On No.3 bed one was seen carrying nest material to a nest on the north bank on 8th March and another was carrying food to a nest on the west bank on 10th May. On No.4 bed six were recorded during a Common Bird Survey on 26th April.

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

158 Hooded Crow

Corvus cornix

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a rare vagrant to Woolston.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last sighting was on ??

No Woolston image available

159 Raven

Corvus corax

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, almost all records relate to the regular fly-over sightings.

2017 Records - Once a scarcity on the Reserve, Ravens are becoming increasingly common and this year the number of records was exceptional. There were 33 sightings in total compared to eight in 2016. They were seen in all months bar January, February and May, although there was no evidence of breeding and there are no known local breeding sites. The first sighting of the year was on 10th March when one flew north over No.1 bed. There were no other sightings from the eastern end of the Reserve until 4th September when five were seen from a Migration Watch from Butchersfield Tip. Other sightings from this area were of one flying east over No.1 bed on 18th September and three from Butchersfield Tip on 4th November.

The first sighting on No.3 bed was on 21st May when two flew west, tumbling in the air, and a third flew east. There were then sightings in all months except May. Most sightings were of one or two birds and the maximum count was three. All sightings were of over-flying birds except for a bird seen and heard calling from the trees alongside the Ship Canal on the south bank on 24th September.

No Woolston image available


Keith Gallie

160 Goldcrest

Regulus regulus

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, largely a passage visitor but breeds locally and occasionally over winters on the Reserve. Peak counts occur in the autumn.

2017 Records - There were relatively few records submitted for Goldcrest this year (18 in total) but given the large numbers caught by the ringing teams this must be due to under-recording rather than a fall in numbers. There were no records from mid-May to early September, reflecting the status of this species as primarily an autumn and winter visitor. Favoured wintering areas were along the south bank of No.3 bed and along the west bank of No.2 bed where between two and four could regularly be seen. The maximum counts occurred in the second winter period with a total of nine on No.3 bed on 7th October and a Reserve wide count of 16 on 11th November.

The ringers on No.1 bed had another excellent year for this species with 407 ringed, a further seven were caught from previous years, six from 2016 and one from 31st October 2014. There was also one caught that had been ringed elsewhere in Britain. Three were ringed in the late first winter/early spring period with two in January and one in March and there was a small summer movement of presumably locally bred juveniles from 19th June. The peak months were September (83 new) October (226 new) and November (76 new).

On No.3 bed a record total of 110 new birds was well above the average of 40 per year. The last of the first winter period was ringed on 11th February. A record 13 recently fledged juvenile birds were ringed from the 3rd June to the end of August. This was partly due to the use of lures being used for the first time during this period. These will be used in future years to see if this is a regular occurrence.

Photgraph from No3 bed 03/01/2017

161 Firecrest

Regulus ignicapilla

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, an irregular passage vagrant (recorded in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016) to the Eyes with most sightings reported in autumn.

2017 Records - Two were caught on No.1 bed, the first time that more than one has been ringed in a single year and only the fifth and sixth there since 1995. The first on 25th September is the earliest to arrive on the bed while the second was caught on the more typical date of 13th November and it was also retrapped the following day.

No Woolston image available


Douglas Buchanan

162 Blue Tit

Parus caeruleus

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, abudent resident and breeding species throughout the whole Reserve.

2017 Records - A common resident species breeding on all four beds. The Common Bird Surveys recorded six on No.1 bed, five on No.2 bed, 10 on No.3 bed and four on No.4 bed.

On No.1 bed a record 258 were ringed during the year which included 43 nest box pulli, with 11 of these retrapped after fledging. A further 96 were caught that had been ringed in previous years, the oldest of these from 10th June 2011. The earliest fledged juvenile was caught on 21st June. Away from the nest boxes only six adults were caught in breeding condition three males and three females.

On No.3 bed it was also a record year with 271 ringed, compared with an average of 161. Sixty-nine pulli were ringed in the nest boxes on the bed. The first fledged young to be ringed was on 3rd June, a typical date. More were still being newly ringed in December, the last on the 28th. Twenty-seven were retrapped from 2016, 13 from 2015, 9 from 2014, 8 from 2013, two from 2012, one from 2011 and one from 2010. Not many of the ringed pulli are retrapped and they are thought to disperse soon after fledging. The large number of young that are ringed in August-October are thought to be ones moving into the area to replace those which have left.

Photograph from No3 Bed

163 Great Tit

Parus major

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, another abundent resident on all four Beds throughout the year.

2017 Records - Like the last species, Great Tit is a common and widespread resident. The Common Bird Surveys recorded four on No.1 bed, nine on No.2 bed, eight on No.3 bed and six on No.4 bed.

For the ringers on No.1 bed it was a record year with 194 ringed, including 40 pulli, of which 14 were retrapped after fledging. A further 66 were caught during the year which had been ringed previously on the bed, with the oldest from 3rd September 2010. Away from the nest boxes, 18 were caught in breeding condition, 10 females and 8 males while the first fledged juvenile was ringed on 26th June.

It was also a record year for the ringers on No.3 bed with a total of 226 ringed compared with an average of 172. A total of 94 pulli was ringed in the boxes. The nest box in the copse between the North and South Meadows produced the most interesting record; two young were ringed on a typical date and when the boxes were checked to complete the nest record cards on the 1st July a new brood of three was found. This is thought to be the first record of Great Tit double brooding on the Reserve and was, perhaps, due to the parents having a relatively easy time rearing just two young in their first brood allowing them to try again. During the year 716 handlings were achieved, with sixteen retrapped from 2016, 11 from 2015, six from 2014, two from 2013, four from 2012 and two from 2010.

No Woolston image available

164 Coal Tit

Parus ater

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, regularly seen but not a common bird on the Reserve. Favours the eastern end of the Reserve and Butchersfield with the conifer cover.

2017 Records - Coal Tits breed in local areas surrounding the Reserve and are a regular but relatively scarce visitor. Most records occur post-breeding in the autumn and winter periods. The maximum count was of three on Butchersfield Tip on 4th September and again on 4th November. On No.3 bed all records were of singles, including one visiting the John Morgan hide feeders on 20th November. One was also regularly seen in the copse by the gates to No.2 bed in November and December.

On No.1 bed the ringers had the second-best year on record with 16 ringed and a further three retrapped, all from 2016. Four juveniles were caught between 3rd and 21st June before late summer passage started from 18th September, with the last ringed on 1st November.

On No.3 bed it was an exceptional year with 13 ringed. The average since 2004 is just 2.4 new birds per year and there have been four blank years, including 2016. All those ringed were juveniles, between 3rd June and 8th November. The best month was October with six ringed.

No Woolston image available


Andy Weir

165 Willow Tit

Parus montanus

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, a regular reported species from a small but stable population across the whole Reserve.

2017 Records - Willow Tits are an important breeding species for the Reserve given their decline nationally. Of all the species monitored by the British Trust for Ornithology’s Breeding Bird Surveys, the Willow Tit has showed the greatest decline. Their numbers reduced by 77% between 1994 and 2007. In view of their vulnerable status, the estimated breeding population on the Reserve of 30 pairs is considered of national importance. A report on the surveys of the breeding population can be found in the 2017 Annual Report. Fifteen nests were found and the population estimates are: seven to nine pairs on No.1 bed, four to five pairs on No.2 bed, six pairs on No.3 bed and 10 pairs on No.4 bed. The population seems to be stable with a minimum of 30 pairs for the Reserve. Willow Tits also appear to be using green corridors to expand into other areas, such as sites west of the Reserve, along the New Cut area and on to the Twiggeries Reserve. They could also be expanding to the south of the Ship Canal.

The ringers on No.1 bed caught a similar total to the previous year with 14 ringed and a further ten caught that had been ringed in previous years, the oldest from 14th August 2009. There were ten juveniles ringed during the year, with the first being caught on 16th June and two females were caught with brood patches.

On No.3 bed 23 were ringed, all juveniles, the highest total since 2010 when 33 were ringed. The average since 2004 is 17. The first was ringed on the fairly typical date of 3rd June. Four were retrapped from 2016 and two from 2015.

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


David Bowman

166 Marsh Tit

Parus palustris

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, a rare visitor to the Reserve reported in January 2016, 2015 and 1993.

2017 Records - no reports were submitted this year. The previous

No Woolston image available

167 Bearded Tit

Panurus biarmicus

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, occasional passage visitor to Woolston.

2017 Records - no reports submitted. The last report was on 18/10/2007.

No Woolston image available

168 Skylark

Alauda arvensis

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, 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.

2017 Records - Typically for this species, most sightings came from the eastern end of the Reserve, where they breed on surrounding farmland. In the spring and summer small numbers could be heard singing over fields south of the Ship Canal. Skylarks used to breed on Nos.1 and 4 beds but the last breeding was thought to be in 2003. The record on 4th May of one singing over No.1 bed, possibly on territory, is therefore notable.

The high counts, as is usual, were observed in the autumn and winter periods. Forty flew east in a single flock over No.1 bed on 10th March and 20 flew over the same bed on 4th October. Sightings on other beds are less frequent but single birds were regularly observed in October overflying No.2 and 3 beds.

No Woolston image available

169 Sand Martin

Riparia riparia

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, common passage and summer feeding species on the Reserve with nesting colonies close by.

2017 Records - Favourable southerly winds on 13th March saw the arrival of the first Sand Martins, with six over No.3 bed, together with the first Black-necked Grebes of the year. Weather conditions changed after this and there were no further sightings until 21st March when 20 flew north. They continued to arrive in small numbers until 28th March, when there was a large arrival, with 265 feeding over No.3 bed in the afternoon. In April large numbers passed through with 170 arriving in small groups on the morning of the 1st, 670 passing north over a five-hour period on the 11th, most stopping briefly to feed before moving on and 425 feeding over the bed on the 12th. In the summer period good numbers were still present, with 60 on 5th June, 70 on 25th June and 50 on 13th July, all on No.3 bed. A breeding colony was found on the bank of the Ship Canal by No.1 bed and there were at least seven adults there on 3rd June. In August the return south began and numbers fell; the maximum count was 30 on 1st August. The last sighting was of 20 on No.3 bed on the evening of 11th September.

For the ringers on No.1 bed, following the previous year’s record total, 2017 proved to be another successful year with 35 ringed, the second highest total for the bed. A further one was caught that had been ringed elsewhere in Britain. Unusually, there were three spring captures starting on 17th April, all from nets set along the track. A fourth was also caught in the same net on 26th June and these were all probably from a colony on the Canal, coming over to feed on the bed. The remainder were with the Swallow roost that built up in the reed bed from 10th July, with the final one of the year on 27th August. Unlike the previous year when only three adults were caught, eleven were ringed at the roost this year.

On No.3 bed this species is not ringed in large numbers but this year’s total of 24 was slightly above the average, since 2004, of 19. A single adult male was caught on the 20th May in a mist net set for other species. The rest were caught at roost between 31st July and 1st September.

No Woolston image avilable


David Bowman

170 Swallow

Hirundo rustica

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

2017 Records - The first Swallow was a single with Sand Martins on 31st March. In April most counts were in single figures and maximum counts were 17 on the 1st, 21 on the 12th and 50 on the 24th. There was no proof of breeding but birds were regularly seen near the Pumphouse on the Ship Canal where they have bred previously. In August they roosted on No.1 bed, as usual, but the maximum count was just 350 on the 15th and 22nd, well below last year’s maximum of 1500. In September large movements were observed, with 200 on the 1st, 800 on the 15th and 600 on the 22nd, all flying south. There was one sighting in October of a single bird on No.3 bed on the 9th.

On No.1 bed the ringers had another excellent year with 456 ringed the second highest total for the bed. A further three were retrapped from the previous year and two were caught that had been ringed elsewhere in Britain. The first of the year was on 10th July and last on 5th September when the roost broke up. There were 55 adults caught, of which 15 were females with brood patches and two were males in breeding condition.

The ringers on No.3 bed had a better year than the last two but a total of just 112 newly ringed was still disappointing. The average since 2004 is 198 new birds. The first were ringed on 31st July and the last on 1st September. Like last year, the hirundine roost didn’t really establish itself on the bed.

No Woolston image available

171 House Martin

Delichon urbica

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a common summer visitor which feeds on the Reserve and is reported in the Swallow roosts outside the breeding period.

2017 Records - The last of the hirundine species to arrive, the first sighting was of seven on No.3 bed on 11th April. In April there was regular sightings with maximum counts of 22 on the 15th and 40 on the 26th. As has been reported in previous annual reports the local breeding populations have reduced significantly in recent years, reflecting the national decline. Most counts in the summer months were in single figures with a few counts of 20 birds and a maximum of 60 on 5th June and 27th July. In August there was no significant increase and the peak count dropped to 40, seen on No.3 bed on the 19th. The highest count of the year and the final sightings, were of 250 flying south over No.1 bed on 15th September.

No Woolston image available

172 Cetti's Warbler

Cettia cetti

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, recently established breeding species, males now present throughout the year on all four beds.

2017 Records - The explosive burst of the Cetti’s Warbler is now a familiar call at Woolston Eyes with regular records from No.1, No.2 and No.3 beds throughout the year. The majority of records, from every month of the year, were of single males in song with two males reported on frequent dates on No.1 and No.3 beds and on 23rd May on No.2 bed. Three were in song on No.3 bed on 12th March and 11th October and four were in song there on 19th March, the highest individual count of the year.

A total of 16 was ringed across the Reserve, 10 on No.3 Bed and six on No.1 bed, with seven also retrapped from previous years, giving a total of 23 individuals processed. Both No.1 and No.3 beds provided evidence of breeding, with four recently fledged juveniles on No.3 bed and a single juvenile with some of the flight feathers still in ‘pin’ on 3rd July, on No.1 bed, as well as three adults in breeding condition, two males and a female.

No Woolston image available


Dave Bowman

173 Long-tailed Tit

Aegithalos caudatus

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a common resident breeding species across the whole Reserve.

2017 Records - Typically for this species, records relating to the winter period at the start of the year and the autumn period at the end of the year concern sightings of foraging flocks. In the first winter period the highest count was of 17 on No.1 bed on 16th January with a single autumn flock of 20 on No.2 bed on 11th November. Reported numbers dropped during the breeding season to single figures but a count of 13 from the northern half of No.4 bed on 11th May is noteworthy.

A combined total of 173 Long-tailed Tits were ringed on the Reserve with 97 on No.3 bed, just one less than the 2009 record and 76 on No.1 bed, the same total as in 2016. A further 51 birds were retrapped from previous years ringing illustrating the residential status of the species. The oldest of the retraps was from 2010 which compares with 43 of the remaining 50 birds ringed in the preceding three years 2014-2016.

The first juvenile was caught on No.3 bed on the relatively early date of 20th May and a more usual date of 16th June on No.1 bed. Over one third of the birds ringed on No.3 bed were juveniles and 11 adults in breeding condition were processed on No.1 bed, six females and five males.

Photograph from Woolston 01/02/2014

174 Yellow-browed Warbler

Phylloscopus inornatus

Status: rare summer migrant to Woolston.

2017 Records - The influx experienced in 2016 was not repeated in 2017, just a single record of the species was reported of a calling bird in the early morning of 3rd October by the Tower Hide on No.3 bed. Previous years records were 2007 and 1998.

No Woolston image available

175 Wood Warbler

Phylloscopus sibilatrix

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, a rare passage vagrant to Woolston.

2017 Records - no record submitted. The last report was on 08/05/2001.

No Woolston image available


Roy Peacock

176 Chiffchaff

Phylloscopus collybita

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a very common summer visitor and breeding species found throughout the Reserve.

2017 Records - Over-wintering Chiffchaffs are now a common occurrence and a number of such records were received. A single on 14th January from No.2 bed was followed by another from No.1 bed on the 19th while three, possibly four, were reported from Butchersfield on 26th of the month.

The first singing was recorded on 11th March when three males were located on No.3 bed. Numbers rapidly increased to a Woolston record count of 134, across the Reserve during a two day survey on 30th March and 1st April. Other notable counts were of 77 on 6th April and the highest autumn count of 26 during the Migration Watch of 4th September from Butchersfield Tip. Thereafter only singles were reported until the last field record of two, on 18th November on No.3 bed.

A total of 699 Chiffchaff were ringed, a record of 321 on No.3 (the average since 2004 was 166) and 378 on No.1 bed. In addition, a further 28 were retrapped from previous years, the oldest, from No.1 bed in 2012. The first juvenile was ringed on 24th May on No.1 bed, two weeks earlier than in 2016. Thirty- five were caught in breeding condition on No.1 bed, 23 females and 12 males. The last captures were of seven, caught between 5th November and 23rd December, which were presumably going to over winter due to the late dates.

Photograph from No3 Bed 30/05/2013


Brian Burnett

177 Willow Warbler

Phylloscopus trochilus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, another very common summer warbler found and breeding throughout the Reserve.

2017 Records - This small leaf warbler arrives back from its Sub-Saharan wintering grounds later than the very similar Chiffchaff. The first record at Woolston was two weeks later than Chiffchaff, on 25th March on No.3 bed and by 6th April the species was present across the whole Reserve. Willow Warbler numbers are considerably lower than those for Chiffchaff and subsequent surveys were of single digit counts until mid-April when the high counts of 21 and 20 were reported on 18th and 22nd respectively.

Singing, an important separator for the two species generally stops after breeding and is probably responsible for the reduced number of records in the summer and autumn period. In consequence only single-figure counts were reported until the last field record of one on the Migration Watch on Butchersfield Tip on 4th September.

A total of 203 Willow Warblers was ringed, 161 on No.1 bed, the highest number since 2010 and 42 on No.3 bed, a slightly higher than average number. A further 13 were retrapped from previous years, with the oldest from 24th May 2012 on No.1 bed. The first juvenile was ringed on No.3 bed on 17th June, the second earliest record for the bed. No.1 bed produced 38 birds in breeding condition, 22 females and 16 males and there were five captures in September with the last on 25th September.

Photograph from No3 Bed footbridge 2013


Andy Weir

178 Blackcap

Sylvia atricapilla

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a common summer visitor breeding on all four beds.

2017 Records - The presence of this summer migrant was first noted on the Reserve on the south bank of No.3 bed on 21st March, when a male was in song. By mid-April a total of 27 males was singing across the Reserve. Breeding Bird Surveys conducted in May reported 68 singing males, with: 27 on No.3 bed, 24 on No.4 bed, 12 on No.2 bed and 5 on No.1 bed. The last field record was of a male on 31st October on No.4 bed.

It was a very good year for the ringing teams with 696 Blackcaps ringed. On No.3 bed, a record total of 411 was ringed, over 25% higher than the annual average of 321 and 285 were also ringed on No.1 bed, the second best total since 1995. In addition, nine were retrapped from previous years, the oldest being from 2013. The first juveniles were ringed in June, the earliest on No.3 bed on the 9th just one day later than the earliest date on record. The last of the summer residents/ autumn migrants were caught on 16th October but the No.3 bed team caught two late females, one on 5th November and one on 16th December, which perhaps were attempting to over winter.

Photographed from Sybil Hogg Hide No.3 Bed


David Spencer

179 Garden Warbler

Sylvia borin

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, an annual summer visitor, not common but regularly reported on all four Beds.

2017 Records - This secretive migrant is an annual passage and breeding species for Woolston. It is never recorded in large numbers, perhaps the separation of its song from that of the closely similar Blackcap is a factor. Nevertheless, it was recorded across the Reserve, predominately single males in song on territory.

The first record was of a singing male on No.3 bed on 15th April. This was followed by single males principally on the west bank, east bank and Rotary Hide on No.3 bed, on No.2 bed adjacent to the footpath and the Weir, on No.1 bed along the access track and a single record on No.4 bed.

Greater evidence of Garden Warbler presence is usually provided by the ringing data. The species is predominately captured in summer from July onwards with a total of 49 ringed, 25 on No.3 bed, the highest total since 2012 and 24 on No.1 bed. The first was, unusually, in spring, on 10th May on No.1 bed and the last, a more typical date, on 10th September on No.3 bed. Just seven of the 49 captured were adults, five on No.1 bed including a female originally ringed in 2014 and two on No.3 bed, making 86% of captures juveniles. Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca

Only one field report of this smart summer migrant was submitted this year of a single on No.3 bed on 6th May.

There were six ringing captures on Nos1 and 3 beds during the year. Just a single male, hatched in 2016, was caught on the north meadow of No.3 bed on 6th May. Interestingly the same bird was recaptured on 24th August in the south meadow before its migration south. No.1 bed fared better with five ringed, the highest total since 2009, when nine were captured. All five were juveniles, ringed between 12th July and 30th August.

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


Brian Burnett

180 Lesser Whitethroat

Sylvia curruca

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, an uncommon but annual summer visitor to the Reserve.

2017 Records - Only one field report of this smart summer migrant was submitted this year of a single on No.3 bed on 6th May.

There were six ringing captures on Nos1 and 3 beds during the year. Just a single male, hatched in 2016, was caught on the north meadow of No.3 bed on 6th May. Interestingly the same bird was recaptured on 24th August in the south meadow before its migration south. No.1 bed fared better with five ringed, the highest total since 2009, when nine were captured. All five were juveniles, ringed between 12th July and 30th August.

Photograph from Woolston Weir 05/05/013


Andy Weir

181 Whitethroat

Sylvia communis

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a common summer visitor breeding across the Reserve.

2017 Records - This common breeding summer migrant can be found throughout the Reserve and the first of the year, a singing male, was reported from the west bank of No.2 bed on 6th April. A Breeding Bird Survey on 26th April found 16 males in song on No.4 bed, with numbers increasing in May with counts of 14 on No. 3 bed on the 2nd, 23 on No.4 bed on 11th and seven on No.2 bed on 23rd. Just two singing males were reported from No.1 bed on the later date of 3rd June. The highest count was of 28 from No.4 bed on 1st June. The latest field record was of two on 2nd September on No.3 bed.

The ringers had a mixed year with 89 ringed: an average number of 63 on No.3 bed but a low 26 birds on No.1 bed. Not many Whitethroat are retrapped from previous years, so it was pleasing to have five recaptures this year. The oldest were singles from 2014, one each from Nos1 and 3 beds. The first juveniles were ringed in June with the first on No.3 bed from the particularly early date of the 17th. The last were ringed in September with the final one on No.3 bed on 10th September, a week earlier than in 2016.

Photographed from the Centre Hide No.3 Bed


Simon Smith

182 Grasshopper Warbler

Locustella naevia

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, a breeding summer visitor in low numbers best looked for early in the morning when the ‘reeling’ song is evident.

2017 Records - Grasshopper Warblers remain well-hidden, in dense undergrowth, which make sightings uncommon but the ‘reeling’ song is both distinctive and audible, which helps in the location of this scarce, summer migrant. Small numbers visit and breed annually and in 2017, at least two males held territories on both No.3 and No.1 beds, with another on No.4 bed. There were no records from No.2 bed this year.

The first singing male was on No.3 bed on 3rd April. This was followed by a number of reports, of singles, until mid-April when, on the 21st , two males were recorded on No.3 bed with another two on No.1 bed. These were reported again on the 26th and 28th during Breeding Bird Surveys of the respective beds, along with a single male singing on No.4 bed on the 26th. It is probable that all subsequent records relate to these individuals. The last field report was of a ‘reeling’ male by the Enviroloo in the centre of No.3 bed on 8th July.

Six birds were ringed, three each on No.1 and No.3 beds, with two adults and a juvenile on each bed. Additionally, a male originally ringed in 2016 was retrapped on No.3 bed. Both juveniles ringed on 5th and 20th July were, due to their development and early date, probably locally bred. The last capture was on the late date of 6th September, on No.3 bed.

Photograph from Woolston 05/05/2012


Roy Peacock

183 Sedge Warbler

Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a common breeding summer migrant which has declined along national lines over recent years.

2017 Records - This is a common breeding summer migrant which occurs across the Reserve. The first arriving bird was a male singing on 15th April, recorded from the John Morgan Hide on No.3 bed. Subsequent sightings and reports were frequently of single birds but five were recorded on No.1 bed on 1st May, four on No.3 bed on 20th May and five on No.4 bed on 1st June. The last field report was of a single male in song on No.3 bed on 17th July, again from the John Morgan Hide.

A combined total of 173 Sedge Warblers was ringed. The record number of 124 on No.3 was almost twice the average of the last twelve years and numbers on the bed have been steadily increasing over the last decade. In contrast, the numbers on No.1 bed have decreased over the past six years, but appear to be returning to the pre 2010 level of 40-60, with 49 ringed compared with 43 in 2016.

Just two were retrapped from previous years, both on No.3 bed, originally from 2016 and 2015. A French ringed bird was also captured on No.3 bed, on two occasions: firstly on 29th April and then again on 28th May, suggesting breeding on the Reserve. The first juveniles ringed were in July with the earliest on the 10th on No.1 bed and the last of the year was ringed on 6th September and was one of five September captures.

Photograph from No3 Bed 25/06/2013


Robert Harris

184 Blyth's Reed Warbler

Acrocephalus dumetorum

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

2017 Records - no sightings reported. The last and only report of this species was on 26/08/2000 when one was caught and ringed by the ringing team on No.1 Bed.

Photograph from No1 bed, 26th August 2000. A video of the bird was also taken along with the biometrics recorded to support ID and evidence for county records.

185 Marsh Warbler

Actocephalus palustris

Status: a rare summer migrant to Woolston.

2017 Records - no reports submitted. The last record of Marsh Warbler was ???

No Woolston image available


Andy Weir

186 Reed Warbler

Acrocephalus scirpaceus

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a common summer breeding species present in numbers on all four Beds.

2017 Records - This is a very common summer migrant which breeds on all four beds. The first returning bird was noted on 8th April, with two in song on No.3 bed, one by the Tower Hide and one on the east bank. By May, the Breeding Bird Surveys recorded the highest counts of: 16 on No.3 bed on the 6th, six on No.4 bed on the 11th and two on No.2 bed on the 23rd. The survey on No.1 bed on 3rd June recorded 15 singing males, an increase from the nine singing males reported on 22nd April.

It was an above average year for the ringing teams with 629 processed, of which 578 were newly ringed, with 329 of these on No.3 bed and 249 on No.1 bed. With such high numbers recaptures from previous years are expected and 21 were retrapped on No.3 bed and 27 on No.1 bed, with the oldest from 16th July 2010. Three which had been ringed at other sites were also caught on No.1 bed, two in Britain and one in France. The first juveniles were ringed in June the earliest on the 26th on No.1 bed. The last capture was on 30th September, on both No.1 and No.3 beds, a typical date. A total of 22 females and 29 males were captured on No.1 bed in breeding condition.

Photograph from No3 Bed Platform Hide 06/07/2013


David Spencer

187 Waxwing

Bombycilla garrulus

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

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last report of Waxwing was on 07/03/2013.

Photograph from north side River Mersey hedgerow 10th December 2018

188 Nuthatch

Sitta europaea

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, an uncommon visitor to the Eyes although local sites hold breeding populations close to the Reserve.

2017 Records - Nuthatches are infrequent but annual visitors, with most records coming from the eastern end of the Reserve. It was pleasing to have a few sightings from No.3 bed, mainly from the south bank and from the adjacent Copse area on No.2 bed. It is likely that the multiple records, from June through to September, relate to the same bird moving around those areas.

The first record of the year, however, was in the more familiar location at the eastern end of the Reserve, at Bollin Point on 21st January. Two were recorded on the Migration Watch on 4th September from Butchersfield Tip and singles were observed on 7th October and 2nd December from the same location.

Three were ringed but, unusually, two were from No.3 bed. These were the first for the bed, a juvenile female on 24th June followed by a male on 29th August, which was subsequently seen and heard regularly by the ringing area. The No.1 bed team caught their 10th bird since ringing started on the eastern end of the Reserve, where the majority of the previous nine have been caught.

No Woolston image available

189 Treecreeper

Certhia familiaris

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, an uncommon species on the Reserve, present but its secretive nature probably results in its under reporting.

2017 Records - There were five records of Treecreeper on the Reserve, four from No.3 bed and one from No.2 bed. The first was observed in the copse by the south-west corner of No.2 bed on 10th April. The remaining reports were in the autumn, from the south bank of No.3 bed and the copse area of No.2 bed. They involved one associating with a roving flock of tits and crests, on the 6th October, 28th November and the 1st and 5th December. It is possible, location and duration of sightings, that the autumn reports relate to the same individual.

The ringing teams had a record year, with a combined total of 26 ringed. The 14 from No.3 bed was the highest total ever from that bed, whilst the 12 ringed on No.1 bed equalled the record from 2015. Of the 26 ringed 23 were juveniles. The first of these were ringed in June, the 11th on No.3 bed and the 16th on No.1 bed. Just one was retrapped from previous years. None of the three adults were in breeding condition when captured.

No Woolston image available


Roy Peacock

190 Wren

Troglodytes troglodytes

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a very common breeding resident found throughout the year.

2017 Records - Wrens are common residents and occur across the Reserve throughout the year. The maximum counts for each of the beds occurred during Breeding Bird Surveys during April and May, totalling 123 singing males, divided as follows: 21 on No.1 bed on 22nd April, 34 on No.3 bed on 2nd May, 46 on the northern sector of No.4 bed on 11th May and 22 on No.2 bed on 23rd May.

There were 191 ringed, 115 on No.3 bed, the second highest ever total, just short of the 118 from 2014 and 76 on No.1 bed, the same total as in 2016. In addition, 26 were retrapped from previous years. The original ringing year of the retraps was: 20 from 2016, three from 2015, 2 from 2014 and one from 2013, providing an indication of the longevity of our second smallest resident species. The first juveniles were ringed in June, on the 11th on No.3 bed and the 21st on No.1 bed.

Photograph from No.3 Bed 25/05/2013


Andy Weir

191 Starling

Sturnus vulgaris

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, 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.

2017 Records - Starling records usually relate to roosts which develop in the reed beds, fly-overs or sightings from the urban areas adjacent to the Reserve. A small roost started on No.1 bed, in the eastern reed bed in December 2016 and by 16th January had reached an estimated 8,000. The roost developed further to a maximum of 20,000 by the 23rd but broke up rapidly in the last week of January, reducing to 2,000 by 1st February and completely dispersing by 3rd February. In contrast, on 2nd January on No.3 bed, a flock of c.500 was seen flying east from the bed at dusk, after being harassed by Sparrowhawks. Then a roost of c.5000 birds formed on 14th January but was not repeated on subsequent nights. Thereafter, just small numbers continued to roost on No.3 bed, with c.50 on the 18th, 21st and 25th January, the last winter record. A feeding flock of c.100 was reported on 19th February from Butchersfield Tip, presumably utilising the adjacent farmland. Thereafter only single digit numbers were reported until a flock of c.200 was watched murmurating over No.3 bed on the evening of 30th May. A small roost of c.240 was seen leaving the reed bed on No.3 bed at dawn on 21st June and in July, c.50 were seen leaving a roost on No.1 on 5th and a similar number came into roost on No.3 bed on the 13th. A record of six Starlings on the John Morgan Hide feeders, on the 5th August, was unusual.

Autumn records started with 80 leaving a roost on No.3 bed on 2nd November. This was followed by the Migration Watch total of 8,316 passing over Butchersfield Tip on 4th November and 70 coming into roost on No.3 bed on the 16th. Sixty then flew north over No.1 bed, to feed on the adjacent agricultural fields, on 4th December and 200 were finally reported at Bollin Point on 27th December.

Starlings are seldom ringed at Woolston and 2017 was another blank year.

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


David Bowman

192 Ring Ouzel

Turdus torquata

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, a rare passage visitor to the Reserve.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last reported sightings were 12th April 2016 by the Sandpit Pond No4 bed, the Canal Track on No2 bed 18th April 2003 and prior to that in 1998.

No Woolston image available

193 Blackbird

Turdus merula

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, an abundant breeding species across the whole Reserve.

2017 Records - Another very common resident, found across the whole Reserve. Records started with a Reserve-wide count of six on No.3 bed, four on No.2 bed, eight on No.1 bed and nine at Bollin Point on 14th January. High counts from the Breeding Birds Surveys were of: 21 on No.2 bed on 4th April, 16 on No.3 bed on 6th May, incorporating four in song and 17 present, four on No.1 bed on 3rd June and 26 on No.4 bed on 1st June. A combined count of 85 for Nos 3,2 and 1 beds, plus Bollin Point, on 11th November was the highest day count of the year, while the Migration Watch of 2nd December produced a count of 39 and was the last significant record of the year.

A total of 108 Blackbirds was ringed, 47 on No.3 bed and 61 on No.1 bed. Nine were retrapped from previous years, the oldest being originally ringed in 2012, on No.3 bed. The first juvenile was ringed on the early date of 20th May on No.3 bed, while it was 5th July before a juvenile was ringed on No.1 bed. Eighteen birds in breeding condition, 10 females and eight males, were caught on No.1 bed.

No Woolston image available

194 Fieldfare

Turdus pilaris

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, found in the mid-autumn - winter months on the Reserve edges feeding on the Hawthorn and other berry bearing shrubs and common fly-over birds.

2017 Records - The majority of records for this autumn/winter visitor were from the eastern end of the Reserve, as this area is on a flightpath between rough pasture to the south and agricultural land to the north. The first report was of 15 flying over the eastern end of No.1 bed on 20th January, followed by single digit counts as the month progressed, until a significant flock of c.200 was over Butchersfield Tip on 1st February. A smaller flock of 50 was reported in the same location on 8th February and three were seen leaving a roost from the east reed bed on No.1 bed on 10th February. A second large flock of c.250 was again over Butchersfield on the 19th February, while three on 1st April were the last of the first winter period.

The first autumn arrival was when flew 15 over No.1 bed on 16th October. No.3 bed then saw 24 on the 2nd November, before the 11th saw the arrival of large flocks with c.220 feeding in Hawthorn around Rixton Paddocks and the lane beyond. A circuit of No.3 bed, Bollin Point and Rixton Paddocks produced a total of 430 on the 18th. The Migration Watch from Butchersfield Tip on the morning of 2nd December noted 440 but the highest count of the year was on 30th December, when c.500 birds were reported, again from Butchersfield Tip.

Fieldfare are not often caught in the ringers’ nets but a lone representative of the species obliged for the second successive year when one was ringed on No.1 bed on 1st December, only the seventh to be ringed since 2002.

No Woolston image available

195 Song Thrush

Turdus philomelos

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, a resident breeding species which has declined in recent years but still frequently sighted.

2017 Records - Song Thrush is a widespread resident, frequently encountered but more often located through its distinctive song. Seldom seen in large numbers records are usually of single figure counts. On 1st February a Reserve wide count of eight was made, increasing to 21 birds, including 19 singing males, on 21st February. Breeding Bird Surveys in spring recorded maximum numbers of singing males on the individual beds as follows: four on No.1 bed on 1st April, five on No.2 bed on 4th April, four on No.3 bed on 2nd May and 14 on No.4 bed on 1st June. The Migration Watch of 7th October recorded nine, the highest count of the three watches undertaken.

It was a poor year for the ringers, with a combined total of just 30 ringed, 20 on No.3 bed and 10 on No.1 bed. A further three were retrapped all of which were originally ringed in 2016. Only four locally bred juveniles were ringed, two on each bed, with the first of these on 16th June on No.1 bed. Four males and a single female were caught on No.1 bed in breeding condition.

No Woolston image available

196 Redwing

Turdus iliacus

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, a regularly sighted winter visitor favours Hawthorn thicket and other berry shrubs wherever they occur on the Reserve. Occasionl roosts are reported and fly-over flocks are common.

2017 Records - This second, common winter visiting thrush, often associates with Fieldfare and is widely reported flying over the Reserve or feeding in the Hawthorn scattered around the perimeter. The first report of the year was of 15 which came into roost, on 2nd January, on No.3 bed. A slightly larger group of 20 flew over No.1 bed on 21st January but only small numbers were reported until the end of March when a total of c.450 flew east over No.3 bed on 1st April. This movement was the last report of the first winter period.

The first autumn arrivals were reported in October, with 15 feeding on Hawthorn along the Canal track on No.1 bed on the 6th. The first large flock, of 150, was reported flying south over the eastern end of the same bed on the 16th followed by regular movements of 100 – 200 birds through the remainder of October. Two movements of c.240 were observed in early November, on No.3 bed, and during the Migration Watch on Butchersfield Tip on the 4th. A count of 330 on a circuit of the Reserve was recorded on the 11th. A movement of c.500, was noted over No.1 bed, during the morning of 17th and a Reserve wide count of 675 was reported on the 18th, the highest count of the autumn/winter period. Between the dates of these larger movements, reports of up to 100 were regularly submitted. In general, numbers were lower in December, with the exception of c.220 noted during the Migration Watch on the 2nd. The last significant sighting of the year was of 120, on the 20th, flying south over the east end of No.1 bed.

It was an exceptional year for the ringing teams with 376 ringed, 173 on No.3 bed and 203 on No.1 bed. In addition, the first ever retrapped birds between winters were made, with two on No.1 bed and one on No.3 bed. The original ringing dates of these birds were 8th October and 23rd November 2016 and 18th October 2014. An indication of the build-up of the numbers of Redwing from first arrival in October followed by their dispersal to wider feeding areas can be seen in the monthly ringing numbers, 106 in October, 211 in November and 59 in December. Analysis of the No.1 bed ringing records also identified that the majority of captures, in the early days to the end of October were adults. Thereafter, first years outnumbered adults through to the year end.

No Woolston image available

197 Mistle Thrush

Turdus viscivorus

Status: BoCC4 moved from amber to red-listed, a resident bird across the whole Reserve but irregularly reported.

2017 Records - Mistle Thrushes occur but are uncommon, hence the low number of nine records submitted. Reports are usually of singles or pairs, with the first being a single on 6th February, on No.3 bed. Two were then on Butchersfield Tip on 6th April. One was then in suitable breeding habitat, on No.1 bed, on 3rd June. Two were noted on the south bank of No.3 bed on 18th July and one was in the Copse between Nos 3 and 2 beds on 6th October. Four flew south over the eastern end of No.1 bed on 2nd August and the Migration Watch from the adjacent Butchersfield Tip, on 4th September, produced a count of four, with two also on the Watch of 7th October. Another two were at Bollin Point on 11th November which was the last sighting of the year.

No Woolston image available

198 Spotted Flycatcher

Muscicapa striata

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, an irregular summer and passage visitor to Woolston but recorded most years.

2017 Records - no records this year. The last report was in May 2016 and an autumn juvenile caught and ringed, both on No3 bed,

No Woolston image available


Les Jones

199 Robin

Erithacus rubecula

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, a common resident throughout the Reserve.

2017 Records - A very common resident across the Reserve with many reports received. Surveys of the whole Reserve on 4th January, 1st February and 1st March recorded 19, 82 and 75 respectively. Breeding Bird Surveys located 120 as follows: 41, including 40 singing males, on No.4 bed on 23rd March, 35 singing on No.3 bed on 25th March, 28 singing on No.2 bed on 4th April and 16 singing on No.1 bed on 3rd June. The highest day count of the year was of 97 on a walk round the whole Reserve on 25th October.

A total of 176 Robins was ringed, 106 on No.3 bed and 70 on No.1 bed. Additionally, 52 were retrapped from previous years, the oldest from 10th July 2011 on No.1 bed. The first juvenile was ringed on the early date of 8th May.

Photograph from Woolston


200 Nightingale

Luscinia megarhynchos

Status: BoCC4 moved from amber to red-listed, a very rare vagrant to Woolston.

2017 Records - no reports submitted. The last report of Nightingale was on 11/08/2000 when one was caught and ringed on No.4 Bed.

Photograph of the ringed Nightingale from No.4 Bed 11/08/2000

201 Bluethroat

Luscinia svecica

Status: a rare vagrant to the Eyes.

2017 Records - no reports submitted. The last record of Bluethroat was on 06/07/1996.

No Woolston image available

202 Red-breasted Flycatcher

Ficedula parva

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

2017 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available

203 Pied Flycatcher

Ficedula parva

Status: BoCC4 moved from amber to red-listed, a rare ( last recorded in 2005, 2012 and 2013) passage visitor to the Reserve.

2017 Records - no records submitted.

No Woolston image available


David Spencer

204 Redstart

Phoenicurus phoenicurus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, an infrequent visitor to the Reserve but has been suspected of breeding.

2017 Reports - This vibrant passage flycatcher, although uncommon, is usually noted annually. Just a single record was received this year, from No.4 bed on 26th August, when one was flushed from a bush along the central track

No Woolston image available

205 Stonechat

Saxicola torquata

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a regular passage visitor in small numbers to the Eyes.

2017 Records - Stonechats are uncommon but annual passage visitors to Woolston and four records were received of this attractive chat, three in spring and one in autumn. A male was located on No.1 bed on 21st February, closely followed by a female, by the Rotary Hide on No.3 bed, on the 28th. A second male arrived and spent some time in front of the John Morgan Hide, on No.3 bed, on 28th March. The only autumn sighting was on 23rd October and again entertained watchers in front of the John Morgan Hide on No.3 bed.

No Woolston image available


Dave Bowman

206 Wheatear

Oenanthe oenanthe

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a regular passage visitor to the Reserve in small numbers.

2017 Records - Wheatears are uncommon passage visitors, recorded annually in small numbers. Three were reported, all during spring passage: two on No.1 bed on 1st April which could have related to the same bird, a male, and one on No.3 bed which flew across the centre of the bed before briefly landing, on 19th April.

Photograph from No1 Bed 24/08/2013


David Spencer

207 Whinchat

Saxicola rubetra

Status: BoCC4 moved from amber to red-listed, a rare passage visitor to the Reserve.

2017 Records - no reports submitted this year. The previous years records were of a single bird on 3rd May 2016 and prior to that in 2010.

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


Chris Monks

208 Dunnock

Prunella modularis

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a common breeding resident seen over the whole Reserve throughout the year.

2017 Records - A common resident, usually unobtrusive, though there were many single-figure counts throughout the year. Twelve were noted during a walk around the whole Reserve on 1st March. As usual, the maximum counts were made during the annual Breeding Bird Surveys, with: 10 on No.3 bed, five of which were singing males, on 25th March, three singing males on No.1 bed on 1st April, 10 on No.2 bed on 4th April, including five singing males and seven on the northern transect of No.4 bed on 11th May. A walk of bed Nos 3, 2 and 1 and on to Bollin Point produced an autumn count of 15 on 11th November.

Out of a total 135 Dunnocks ringed, 110 were from No.3 bed, just 1 short of a record total, while No.1 bed had a more typical year, with 25 ringed. A combined total of 37 was retrapped from previous years with the oldest originally from 2011. The first juvenile (just fledged, from the stage of the feather development) was ringed on 6th May on No.3 bed, the earliest ever date by over three weeks.

No Woolston image available

209 House Sparrow

Passer domesticus

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, uncommon on the Reserve but noted along the canal path leading into the Reserve and around the Weir Pool housing area.

2017 Records - House Sparrows breed in the houses to the north and south of the Reserve and are most often seen near Woolston Weir or on the Canal Track by No.4 bed. On 15th April four were on the latter and included a male carrying food, while one was at the same site on 25th May. Two were then seen on the south bank of No.3 bed on 9th June, one of which was a male carrying either food or nest material. The year’s highest count, of 20, came from No.2 bed on 21st November and finally, a female was on the Morgan Hide feeders on 11th December.

No Woolston image available

210 Tree Sparrow

Passer montanus

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, 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.

2017 Records - Once a regular sight at Woolston, then absent for many years, Tree Sparrows are now a scarce visitor. There were two sightings this year, with two feeding in the No.3 bed seed crop on 4th February and unusually, seven on the Morgan Hide feeders on the morning of 26th August.

In addition, there was one ringing record, from No.1 bed, when one was caught on 1st September. A bird of the year, it was still in post juvenile moult. o records submitted. Recent previous years reports were in 2016 and 2013.

No Woolston iamge available


Brian Burnett

211 Yellow Wagtail

Motacilla flava

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, breeds locally on the adjacent farmland which contributes to fly over records but irregulr visitor to the Eyes.

2017 Records - Although small numbers breed on arable land to the north and south of the Reserve, this declining wagtail is a scarce passage visitor, with just two records this year. One headed south over No.1 bed on 11th August and another was noted, also passing southwards, during the Migration Watch from Butchersfield Tip on 4th September.

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

212 Grey Wagtail

Motacilla cineria

Status: BoCC4 moved from amber to red-listed, 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.

2017 Records - This attractive wagtail is present year-round in small numbers, occasionally breeds and there is increasing evidence, since the adoption of a particularly effective tape lure by the ringing teams, of a previously un-noted autumn passage. There was the possibility of breeding at three suitable sites across the Reserve, with activity noted at Latchford Locks, Thelwall Viaduct and Woolston Weir, though no proof of breeding was obtained. Visible passage was observed during the autumn, with 10 south over No.1 bed on 15th September, four over the same bed on 4th October, four over No.3 bed on the 7th and five over No.1 bed on the 18th.

The total of 28 ringed was typical of the numbers caught since the adoption of tape lures. On No.1 bed it was the second best year since 1995 with 18 newly ringed. The first was caught on 30th August and the last on 9th October, all were birds of the year and one was still in post juvenile moult. Ten were ringed on No.3 bed between 22nd August and 4th October, a record, narrowly beating last year’s nine. All were juveniles.

No Woolston image available


Dave Bowman

213 Pied Wagtail

Motacilla alba yarelli

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, present all year on all four Beds. Small roosts can occur outside of the breeding and in the autumn/winter periods.

2017 Records - This, our commonest wagtail, is present throughout the year, occasionally breeds and can form winter roosts in the reed-beds. No more than three were seen, on many dates, until eight were noted, feeding in the Horse Paddocks immediately to the north of No.2 bed, on two dates in mid-September. Seventeen then passed over Butchersfield Tip during the Migration Watch on 7th October, with 20 over No.1 bed on the 11th. From mid-October onwards came signs of a roost forming on No.3 bed, with, for example, a pre-roost gathering of 45 on the nesting rafts on the 19th and 25 flying directly into the roost on 2nd November. Numbers then began to rise rapidly, with 160 roosting on 16th November and a minimum of 240 on the evening of the 18th.

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

214 Richard's Pipit

Anthus richardi

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

2017 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 since another flyover bird over No.1 Bed on 04/10/2008.

No Woolston image available

215 Tree Pipit

Anthus trivialis

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, an irregular bird of passage with peak passage in August - September.

2017 Records - All records came from the No.1 bed ringing team with the four ringed regarded as a reasonable total, the first was on 21st August and the last three on 1st September.

No Woolston image available

216 Meadow Pipit

Anthus pratensis

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, uncommon on the Reserve but common fly over with large passage during migration. Peak period being September and early October.

2017 Records - Meadow Pipit is a declining upland breeder, which is mainly seen at the eastern end of the Reserve during passage periods and into the winter. One, on No.1 bed on 20th January, was the only record from the first winter period. Seven, heading north over No.1 bed on 13th March, was the first sign of spring passage. Small numbers were then noted in early September, including the unusual sight of one landing on the Morgan Hide scrape on No.3 bed on the 5th and another single over the same bed on the 7th. The first sizeable movement was of 66, flying south over No.1 bed, on 20th September, with 100 south over the same bed on the 22nd. Counts from October included 83 during the Migration Watch from Butchersfield Tip on the 7th and 100 over No.1 bed on the 15th. November saw 20 on No.1 bed on the 3rd, 61 during the Migration Watch on the 4th and 20 again on No.1 bed on the 15th. The last sighting of the year, unusually, was of two feeding in the weedy south-west corner of No.2 bed on 5th December.

The ringing teams caught 26, compared with 91 the previous year. For No.1 bed it was the poorest year since 2012 with just 25 ringed. Spring was not as productive as the previous year with only three caught, all on 24th March. The first late Summer/Autumn captures were made from 15th September and the poor passage had ended with a late one on 18th October. Just two adults were caught during this period compared with 29 the previous year. One, a juvenile, was ringed on No.3 bed on 28th September and they remain a scarce visitor to this bed.

No Woolston image available

217 Water Pipit

Anthus spinoletta

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a rare visitor to the Reserve.

2017 Records - no sightings submitted. The last report was on 01/02/2000.

No Woolston image available


Dave Bowman

218 Chaffinch

Fringilla coelebs

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a common breeding resident on the Reserve on all four Beds.

2017 Records - Chaffinches are common residents and breed on all four beds. Maxima from the early part of the year were of: 30 on No.3 bed on 21st January, 35 at Bollin Point on the same date, 25 again at Bollin Point on 6th February and 26 on No.3 bed on 21st March. The Breeding Bird Survey located a total of 25, distributed as follows: three, including one in song, on No.1 bed, seven in song on No.2 bed, two in song on No.3 bed, and 13, including five in song, on No.4 bed. Highest counts from the autumn and winter were of: 60 on No.3 bed on 2nd November, a similar number from Butchersfield Tip during the Migration Watch on 4th November, 80 at Bollin Point on 11th November, 120 across the whole Reserve on 9th December and 100 around the No.3 bed seed crop on the 30th of the month.

The 535 ringed indicated an exceptional year for this species, compared with the 276 from 2016 and
even exceeding the 401 from 2014. The No.1 bed total of 141 was the best since 2005 and the second best since 1995. On this bed a further 13 were re-trapped from previous years, the oldest from 9th April 2010. Just five were caught in breeding condition, all males, and the first juvenile was caught on 22nd May. A poor Spring was more than compensated for by an excellent autumn, with 87 caught in November/December. For No.3 bed it was a record year, with 394 ringed, compared with an average of 185 and a previous record of 259 in 2010. The first juvenile was ringed on 26th May, the earliest recorded date (four days earlier than the previous earliest record set in 2009). There were re-traps from five previous years, the oldest from 2009. This individual has been handled on the following dates 28/11/09 when it was first ringed, 23/11/13 and 18/11/17. These dates point to it being a regular winterer at Woolston. It has a wing length of 83.5mm and is therefore unlikely to be of Scandinavian origin, as Scandinavian birds have much longer wings, of 90 mm or more.

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


Glen Ellis

219 Brambling

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.

2017 Records - It was a disappointing year for this striking Scandinavian finch, with little sign of the expected spring passage and only small numbers present in autumn and winter. The only spring record was of a male, under the Morgan Hide feeders on No.3 bed, on 18th March. Return passage was first noted on 16th October, with two on No.3 bed and a similar number a couple of days later. From then through to the end of the year, a handful were present on many dates, all on No.3 bed. Maxima were: six on 11th November, eight on the 14th, six on 5th December, eight on the 13th and five on the penultimate day of the year. The 40 ringed was a moderate total, compared with the previous year’s 110. On No.1 bed, seven were ringed between 18th November and 15th December, four males and three females. On No.3 bed, 33 were ringed, which is slightly above the average of 25 since 2004. The first of these was caught on the 30th October and the last on 23rd December. The highlight of the year for this species occurred on 15th November when one wearing a Norwegian ring was caught on the north meadow. This is the first foreign Brambling to be caught on the bed.

Photograph of males approaching breeding plumage and duller females from No3 Bed John Morgan Hide 30/12/2012.


Dave Bowman

220 Greenfinch

Carduelis chloris

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, 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.

2017 Records - This is our commonest finch by far, present all year round, breeding on all four beds and forming large feeding flocks after the breeding season. Greenfinch populations declined during the late 1970s and early 1980s but increased dramatically during the 1990s. A recent decline in numbers has been linked to an outbreak of trichomonosis, a parasite-induced disease which prevents the birds from feeding properly, though there has been little sign of this decline at Woolston. From mid-January to late March a flock of between 45 and 65 frequented the feeding stations on No.3 bed on a daily basis.

The Breeding Bird Survey produced the following counts: three in song on No.1 bed, nine in song on No.2 bed, eight, including two in song, on No.3 bed and seven in song on No.4 bed. Following the breeding season, from mid-August to the end of the year, a flock of in excess of 100 was regularly present on No.3 bed. This may represent a significant underestimate, as feeding flocks roam around the bed, visiting both feeding stations and are thus difficult to count accurately. The highest estimates for the year were of 120 on 7th October and again on 27th December. There is also, usually, a large flock visiting the feeders on No.1 bed, but no records were received from that bed, though the ringing data gives an idea of the numbers present.

The excellent total of 1,074 was ringed, compared with an above average 711 in 2016. On No.1 bed, it was the best year since 2013, with 438 ringed. A further 46 were caught that had either been ringed in previous years or on No.3 bed, with three others having been ringed elsewhere in Britain. The oldest to be re-trapped was first ringed on 6th October 2013. Just 12 were caught in breeding condition, nine males and three females, while the first juvenile was caught on 22nd May. On No.3 bed, it was an outstanding year, with 636 newly ringed. This is the highest number of Greenfinches ringed on No.3 bed since the exceptional 1199 in 2003. The average since 2004 has been 302 new birds. The first juvenile was ringed on 2nd June which is a typical date.

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


Andy Weir

221 Goldfinch

Carduelis carduelis

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a common bird over the whole Reserve throughout the year.

2017 Records - Goldfinches are present year-round, with a few breeding and some sizeable post-breeding flocks forming. The maxima from early in the year were of 18 across the whole Reserve on 4th January and 20 on No.2 bed on 1st February. The Breeding Bird Survey found: two in song on No.1 bed, five present with one in song on No.2 bed, five present with one carrying nest material on No.3 bed and six present with one in song on No.4 bed. August then saw 25 around the Sandpit Pond on the 6th and 40 on the 20th. The year’s highest count came from Butchersfield Tip, during the Migration Watch on 4th September, with 141 counted during the morning. There were then three more notable counts before the end of the year, with 60 on No.4 bed on 7th October, 45 during the Migration Watch from Butchersfield Tip on 4th November and 85 at Bollin Point on 11th November. The 27 ringed during the year was well above average. On No.1 bed the highest number since 2010, 12, was ringed. Just one, a male, was in breeding condition and the first of five juveniles was caught on 12th July. The No.3 bed ringing team achieved a record total for the bed, with 15 ringed between 3rd June and 28th December. This compares with an average of just six per year since 2004.

No Woolston image available


David Bowman

222 Siskin

Carduelis spinus

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, not a common bird on the Reserve but frequently reported. Largely a passage and winter visitor it takes advantage of the feeding stations but best area is the eastern end of the Reserve on Butchersfield with its higher concentration of Alders.

2017 Records - The UK breeding population of Siskins is steadily expanding, with numbers augmented in autumn and winter by influxes of continental migrants. At Woolston, it remains a passage and wintering species in variable numbers. During the first half of the year up to three were present, on eight dates, between 21st January and 6th May. Return passage was first noted on 7th October, when two flew over Butchersfield Tip during the monthly Migration Watch and a flock of 40 was observed dropping into Alders around the North Meadow on No.3 bed. While one or two were noted on several dates after this, the only significant counts from later in the year came with 19 during the Migration Watch on 4th November and eight on No.3 bed on the 11th of the month.

From a ringing point of view, it was a below-average year. Just one was caught on No.1 bed, a male, on 13th March. This is a rare species to ring on No.3 bed and a single adult male was ringed on 25th October, was just the sixth since 2004.

No Woolston image available

223 Linnet

Carduelis canabina

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, 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.

2017 Records - Linnets are present all year round and breed in small numbers, mainly where stands of Gorse occur. The only notable flock from the first winter period was of 20 on No.2 bed on 21st February. The annual Breeding Bird Survey located 19 in suitable habitat, distributed as follows: 6 on No.1 bed, including one male in song, 10 on No.2 bed, again with one male in song, none on No.3 bed and four on No.4 bed. While smaller numbers could be encountered right across the Reserve after the breeding season, the maxima were of: 40 on No.2 bed on 7th August, 60, which moved regularly between No.4 bed and the seed crop on No.3 bed between 7th October and 2nd November and 100 which were perched in trees around the seed crop on 6th November.

Few Linnets find their way into the Ringing Teams’ nets, so the 13 ringed this year was a decent total. Three came from No.1 bed, including two adults, a male and a female in breeding condition, caught on 10th May. The final one, a juvenile, was ringed on 21st July. On No.3 bed, the 10 ringed was a record total. A very recently fledged juvenile was ringed on 28th May, the first confirmed breeding of this species in the centre of the bed, though breeding has previously been confirmed from the perimeter of the bed. The remainder were ringed between 30th October and 28th November and were part of a large flock regularly feeding in the seed crop.

No Woolston image available

224 Twite

Carduelis Flavirostris

Status:: BoCC4 red-listed, a rare passage and winter visitor.

2017 Records - no reports submitted. The last record was ???

No Woolston image available


Douglas Buchanan

225 Lesser Redpoll

Carduelis cabaret

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, a regular recorded bird usually seen in feeding flocks outside the breeding season and occasionally on the feeding stations over the summer months.

2017 Records - This agile, small finch is most often seen feeding high up on Alder cones, during passage and winter periods. There were six records of one or two from January through to mid-March, all from No.3 bed, except for two at Bollin Point on 14th January. Return passage was first noted on 15th July, when one arrived on No.3 bed. Highest counts from the remainder of the year were of 10 on No.1 bed on 4th October, 16 on No.3 bed on the 23rd of the month and 10 on No.4 bed on 9th December.

From a ringing perspective the 68 ringed was about average. On No.1 bed, it wasn’t quite as good a year as 2016 but the 40 ringed was a reasonable total. One was re-trapped that had been previously ringed on 16th October 2015, while another re-trap originated from elsewhere in Britain. Just one adult, a female, was caught in breeding condition and the first juvenile was ringed on 30th September. The species tends not to summer on the bed with the captures from two distinct time periods, the first from February to mid-April and the second from late August to late November. On No.3 bed, 28 were ringed compared with an average of 26, the first on 25th March and then the remainder between 7th October and 10th December.

Photograph from No3 Bed

226 Common Redpoll

Carduelis flammea

Status: an uncommon mainly winter visitor and migrant.

2017 Records - No reports submitted this year. The last record received was a first year bird caught and ringed on No.1 bed on 26th October 2016, the first since 2013.

No Woolston image available

227 Crossbill

Loxia curvirostra

Status: BoCC4 green-listed, a scarce passage visitor to the Reserve. Reported less than annually.

2017 Records - there were no records submitted this year. Crossbill have however been recorded in consecutive years in 2014, 2015 and 2016 primarily over the eastern end of the Reserve over Butchersfield on autumn migration watches.

No Woolston image available


Andy Weir

228 Bullfinch

Pyrrhula pyrrhula

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, 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.

2017 Records - Despite a steady national decline, this shy, colourful finch is surprisingly common across the Reserve. The highest counts from early in the year were of seven on No.2 bed on 4th January and eight at Bollin Point on the 14th. They were then a common sight, in small numbers, at the Morgan Hide feeding station on most days right through to the breeding season. The Breeding Bird Surveys located 19 in suitable habitat, across all four beds, including a male in song on No.2 bed on 4th April. Distribution was as follows: No.1 bed four present; No.2 bed three, including a male in song and a pair; No.3 bed, three present; No.4 bed, nine present including four pairs. Highest counts from the rest of the year all came from the Migration Watches on Butchersfield Tip. These were of 11 on 7th October, 15 on 4th November and 10 on 2nd December.

The true story of the occurrence of Bullfinches at Woolston, however, comes from the ringing data. A remarkable 442 were ringed on Nos.1 and 3 beds during the year, far exceeding the record of 264 from 2015. On No.1 bed 145 were ringed during the year compared to the previous record of 94 during 2016. A further 37 were caught from previous years with the oldest from 21st July 2012. An indication of the numbers which might be breeding in the locality came from the 38 which were in breeding condition, including 15 females and 23 males. The first juvenile was ringed on 31st May.

On No.3 bed the 297 ringed was a record for the bed, far exceeding the 2015 figure of 182. This compares with an annual average, since 2004, of 117. The first juvenile was ringed on 11th June, about two weeks later than last year, but the breeding season went on for a considerable time. An un-sexable juvenile bird was caught on the late date of 16th September. There were re-traps from 2016 (44), 2015 (13), 2014 (2) and 2013 (3). Including re-traps 359 different Bullfinches were therefore handled on No.3 bed during the year.

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

229 Hawfinch

Coccothraustes coccothraustes

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, a scarce visitor, usually all Reserve sightings are of birds flying over outside of the breeding season.

2017 Records - This, the UK’s largest finch, is a very scarce visitor to the Reserve. Despite the continuing decline in national breeding numbers, 2017 saw an unprecedented, UK-wide arrival of continental birds, presumably in response to a failure in their food crops. It looked for a while as if Woolston might miss out on this influx but on 25th October a large finch which dropped in on No.1 bed, close to where a Hawfinch tape was being played in a ringing ride, was thought to be one. Then, on 16th December on No.3 bed, two were seen to land briefly in a tree in the centre of the bed before flying away over the Morgan Hide. The last previous years record was of two flying over Butchersfield Tip during a Migration Watch on 9th September 2012.

No Woolston image available

230 Snow Bunting

Plectrophenax nivalis

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a rare winter vagrant to the Reserve.

2017 Records - no reports submitted. The last record was on 27/10/1985.

No Woolton image available

231 Lapland Bunting

Calcarius lapponicus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a very rare passage migrant to Woolston.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last report was ???

No Woolston image available

232 Yellowhammer

Emberiza citrinella

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, 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.

2017 Records - Despite the fact that the surrounding farmland holds quite a few breeding pairs, this colourful bunting is a scarce visitor throughout the year. There were just five sightings, all from the eastern end of the Reserve or the adjacent farmland. On 21st January six, three males and three females, were in the lane to the east of Rixton Paddocks, while on 17th February two were in trees near the No.1 bed feeding station. On 14th April one was on Butchersfield Tip, with five recorded at the same site during the Migration Watch on 9th December. Finally, two were also over the Tip on 9th December.

No Woolston image available

233 Ortolan Bunting

Emberiza hortulana

Status: rare passage migrant to the Reserve.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last report was ???

No Woolston image available

234 Little Bunting

Emberiza pusilla

Status: rare winter visitor.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last report was ???

No Woolston image available


Andy Weir

235 Reed Bunting

Emberiza schoeniclus

Status: BoCC4 amber-listed, a common bird across the whole Reserve throughout the year. Breeds on all four Beds.

2017 Records - Originally a species of wetland margins, in recent years Reed Buntings have also adapted to breeding in farmland crops. Numbers breeding on the Reserve have declined steadily over the past couple of decades, reflecting the national situation. Although they are easy to overlook in winter, it was unusual to receive only three records from the early winter period, all from No.3 bed, with no more than three present and no winter roosts located. The spring breeding bird surveys located a maximum of 16 singing males, slightly down on the previous year’s 18, with: eight on No.1 bed, one on No.2 bed, three on No.3 bed and four on No.4 bed. In addition, a minimum of eight were present in suitable habitat across all four beds. Breeding was confirmed on 21st June, when one was observed carrying food into a suitable nest site. Although odd ones were noted on several dates in the second half of the year, the only significant sightings were of: 13 feeding in the seed-rich south-west corner of No.2 bed on 11th November and 30 leaving a roost on No.1 bed at dawn on 20th December.

As with many of the passerines, the ringing data gives a more accurate picture of prevalence than do sight records. From a ringing perspective the 148 ringed was considered a good total, though down on the 174 ringed in 2016. On No.1 bed it was an excellent year with 109 ringed, the highest total since 2010. A further 28 were caught that had been ringed in previous years, the oldest were two males both ringed on 26th June 2009! A further two were originally ringed elsewhere in Britain. There were 12 caught in breeding condition, three females and nine males and the first juvenile was ringed on 3rd July. It was a different story on No.3 bed as, after last year’s record total of 102, just 39 were ringed, compared with an average of 52. Only three juveniles were caught in plumage indicative of local breeding. Four were re-trapped from 2016, four from 2015 and one from 2014.

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

236 Corn Bunting

Miliaria calandra

Status: BoCC4 red-listed, a rare visitor to the Eyes although the surronding agricultural land to the north and south east hold small breeding populations.

2017 Records - no records submitted. The last report was on 04/12/2004.

No Woolston image available

237 White Crowned Sparrow

Zonotrichia leuccophrys

** Status** Very rare North American vagrant

2017 records - None. The last and first record of White Crowned Sparrow remains the 6th for the UK on 30th April 2016 on No3 bed and if confirmed as being the race gambelli would be a first for UK.

A completely unexpected find in one of the ringers nets it was aged as a second calendar year individual and was released by the John Morgan Hide where it promptly disappeared for an hour. Numerous visitors managed to see the bird when showing occasionally before flying towards the Frank Linley Hide and not being seen again. The bird was carrying a reasonable amount of fat (score 3 on the 8 point scale) and it presumably moved on.

Photographed during the ringing process 30th April 2016.


Brian Burnett

E7 Red crested Pochard

Netta rufina

Status: Scare vagrant

2017 Records - There were no records of this species in 2017. The most recent sightings have been of a pair found on the Mersey near to Woolston Weir and later that day, 19th April, on No3 bed where they stayed until the 20th. A pair in April 2014 and a drake in 2013.

Photograph of a pair from No3 bed 19th april 2014


Ian Greenwood

E8 Bufflehead

Bucephala albeola

**Status: - rare visitor.

2017 records - no records were submitted this year. The last report was on 2nd May 2015, when a group of observers located a female Bufflehead on No3 bed. It eventually showed a green colour-ring, indicating that it was not a wild bird. What was almost certainly the same individual had been seen, during 2014, in Norfolk and Fife.

E9 Saker Falcon

**Falco cherrug**

Falco cherrug

Status: Very rare visitor.

2017 Records - On 21st November a large falcon, presumed to be an escape of either this species or a Saker/Gyr cross, chased a small male Peregrine which it dwarfed over the east end of No.1 bed.

No Woolston image available

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