Become a permit holder at Woolston Eyes

Become a Permit Holder

You can support Woolston Eyes Nature Reserve and conservation effort by becoming a permit holder.

Click here to find out more...

Permit Holders Login

Woolston Eyes Monthly Sightings


With Dave Riley ensconced on Fair Isle ringing was restricted to number 3 bed where the team netted the Swallow roost on Tuesday and Friday and had ringing sessions on Wednesday and Saturday. The result was 330 captures ( 285 new and 45 retraps). New birds included 90 Swallows, 79 Blackcaps and 37 Reed Warblers as well as 2 new Willow Tits. Main excitement on the observation front was a Hobby which entered the net on Tuesday evening but extracted itself as Kieran and Jason rushed towards it.


With Dave Riley still ensconced on Fair Isle and ringing today cancelled in the light of the weather forecast, the only ringing at Woolston this week took place yesterday on No 3 bed. Michael Miles spent yesterday afternoon strimming and ran just 2 nets catching a handful of birds in the warm windy sunshine. Kieran and Jason appeared early evening and we had a go at the Swallow roost. The roost remains about 600-700 birds (although, as we know from ringing, the turnover is very high) but they came down pretty much on top of the net and we took a nice catch of 62 Swallows and a Sand Martin.

Sightings were restricted to a Green Sandpiper although up to 4 have been recorded in the last few days. The juvenile Hobby has been recorded all week but did not show yesterday evening


Dave Riley and Zoe Houghton were on No1 bed on Friday, catching 77 birds, 68 new, including 21 Lesser Redpolls and 18 Chiffchaffs, Meadow Pipits were on the move and 3 birds were caught. The following day, afte a pleasant start, showers came in and restricted the ringing, although a further 51 birds were caught, 43 new, including a further 6 Lesser Redpolls and 7 Chiffchaffs, also another 2 Meadow Pipits found the net before the showers came in and stopped any movement.

Sightings on the bed included the following: Friday - 28 Lesser Redpolls, 1 Siskin, 14 Meadow Pipits, 13 Swallows (all south), Green Woodpecker and 50+ Reed Buntings came in to roost. Saturday - 68 Lesser Redpolls, 42 Meadow Pipits, 6 Swallows, 5 Skylarks (all south) and 1 Tawny Owl.

On No3 bed, Mike Miles and Margaret Rawlins went ringing on the Tuesday, unfortunately the rain stayed longer than predicted, until 11am, by which time Margaret had left. During the afternoon, Mike caught 69 birds, 46 new, including 40 Greenfinches, single Goldfinch and Goldcrest along with a control Chiffchaff.

Sightings on the bed included a fly over Crossbill, 100 Greenfinches and 30 Chaffinches.

17th September 2011 With Dave Riley still becalmed on Fair Isle the only ringing at Woolston this week took place on No 3 bed. Michael Miles went to Woolston yesterday afternoon to put up some nets but work came to an abrupt halt at 4pm when the heavens opened. This morning Margaret, Kieran, Hugh, Jason, Jake and Michael gathered at about 5.30 but nets were not opened until the rain stopped about 6.15. Thereafter it remained dry but breezy and, in the conditions the catch of 86 birds (68 new and 18 retraps) was a good result. traditionally this is “Meadow Pipit Weekend” and we did try but did not see or hear any over the bed. Two Goldcrests (our second and third of the year), are probably our first immigrants of the year.

Sightings were restricted to two Green Sandpipers and two Marsh Harriers.


Dave Riley ringed on No1 bed for the Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, catching 121 birds with 108 new, including 36 Greenfinches, 16 Lesser Redpolls, 13 Chiffchaffs and 8 Meadow Pipits, along with 3 Coal Tits. Sightings inluded 2 Tawny Owls on the Saturday morning.

Mike Miles ringed on No3 bed on the Friday afternoon, catching 6 new birds and on the Saturday morning, with Kieran Foster and Margaret Rawlings they caught a further 92 birds, with 78 new, warblers were represented by a Reed Warbler, 4 Chiffchaffs and 16 Blackcaps, while amongs the 16 Lesser Redpolls caught was a bird ringed on No1 bed the previous week. The main sighting on the bed was a group of 12 Grey Partridges seen by Kieran, while another bird was seen by Mike on the same bed at the same time. It must be many years since 13 Grey Partridges have been seen on No3 bed.