Woolston Eyes Monthly Sightings


David Bowman

2018-07-17

A very pleasant few hours on No.3 bed this afternoon. The weather began rather gloomily but then the sun began to periodically break through the heavy cloud. I was hoping to see a few waders move through and wasn’t disappointed. From the South Screen a single Green Sandpiper was feeding alongside 150 Gadwall, while four Black-tailed Godwits came over, with two stopping to feed on the Morgan Hide scrape. These were adults in breeding plumage, probably freshly arrived from Iceland where, hopefully, they had managed to raise young. Lastly, a Common Sandpiper arrived to feed actively, alongside four Common Snipe, while dodging the aggressive attentions of the local Shelducks. Out on the water two fully grown Black-necked Grebe young appeared briefly out of the north-east channel before disappearing back into the reeds. Overhead, brought down during one of the gloomier interludes, were 120 Swifts, 12 Sand Martins and the odd Swallow and House Martin. It wasn’t surprising, then, when a Hobby appeared over the hide to cause the Swifts to ball up defensively. Wandering off the bed, I came across two species which are uncommon on No.3 bed: a group of three House Sparrows and a single Nuthatch. Photo of a Red-eyed Damselfly

Cheers David Bowman

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

David Bowman

2018-07-14

Another sultry morning produced a good variety of birds as odd migrants passed through. A 6.30 am start saw a single Little Ringed Plover in front of the Morgan Hide, with a Common Sandpiper arriving later on. Other waders included four Common Snipe and 49 Lapwings on the scrape, while a KIngfisher, a young Black-necked Grebe plus broods of Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Tufted Duck and Shelduck were out on the water. The morning’s highlight, however, was undoubtedly the distant Red Kite, which soared over the north bank of the bed before drifting off to the north-east. Other raptors included: Hobby, Peregrine, Common Buzzards and Sparrowhawk. As well as being attractive to waders the lower water levels are making the local Water Rails more visible, with three seen well. Of the birds moving through, the pick were three Common Terns, 55 Swifts and 37 Swallows. Many more butterflies were evident, with our first Painted Lady of the year located. News from the Ringing Team on No.3 bed included 3 Cetti’s Warblers, one Garden Warbler and a new Willow TIt.

Photo of a Magpie from No.3 bed

Cheers David Bowman (plus David Spencer, Alan Warford, Helen Wynn, Brian Baird and Les Jones)

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2018-07-12

Woolston weekly bird ringing news W/E 8th July 2018

There were three sessions on No1 bed during the week and 118 captures were made. The 98 new included the first Sand Martin of the year along with the first two Lesser Whitethroats (one an adult female with a brood patch), the two Kingfisher s were the second and third of the year and Goldcrests were still moving through in small numbers along with Treecreeper. Warbler numbers are starting to build up and 56 were ringed, 57% of the total new, the usual, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Reed Warbler, made up the majority. There were no sightings of note during the week.

Mike Miles was on No3 bed on Tuesday and Friday running just the shaded nets round the hut, he made 173 captures with the 94 new birds included 8 juvenile Whitethroats, but Sedge Warblers remain very thin on the ground although another juvenile Willow Tit was welcome.

On the Saturday morning he was joined by Kieran and Margaret along with Tom and Kay, visiting from South Manchester Ringing Group. They made 192 captures (132 new and 60 re-traps). New birds included juvenile Goldfinch and juvenile Goldcrest while re-traps were dominated by juvenile tits. The only sighting of note was an overflying Oystercatcher on the Saturday.

Submitted by: John Blundell

 

David Bowman

2018-07-10

With a light north-easterly breeze blowing this morning, there was some respite from the heat, though in sheltered places it was still oven-like. At this time of year and particularly when it’s hot, time spent watching over the lagoon from the Morgan Hide, interspersed with some wandering round the bed, usually provides the widest variety of birds. Early on, David Spencer saw Little Egret, Green Sandpiper, Hobby and a couple of Black-tailed Godwits. When I arrived the Little Egret and Hobby were still around and were joined by a Greenshank, an Oystercatcher and a few Common Snipe, along with hundreds of the more regular species. Of particular note was the variety of passerines feeding in the flower-rich cover in front of the hide, including Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Reed Bunting, Linnet and Goldfinch.

Photo of an Oystercatcher from this morning.

Cheers David Bowman

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

2018-07-04

Butterflies continue to emerge during the prolonged hot weather. Latest totals include 23 Purple Hairstreaks (2nd July), 160 Small White and 49 Large White (today)

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

 

Andy Weir

2018-07-03

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) from South Pool screen

Submitted by: Andy Weir

 

Andy Weir

2018-07-03

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) from footbridge.

Submitted by: Andy Weir

 

David Bowman

2018-07-02

The heatwave is really beginning to bite now, with the grass looking scorched, the adult Black-necked Grebes making an early post-breeding departure and the water levels dropping fast. The latter is no bad thing, in one way,as the exposed mud should be good for wader passage. This morning’s highlights on No.3 bed were: 12 juvenile Black-necked Grebes, 1 Common Tern, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 1 Garden Warbler, 2 Kingfishers and a Water Rail. There was also a decent gathering of 90 Swifts over No.3 bed, with just one each of Swallow and Sand Martin. It was also nice to locate and photograph a smart Four-banded Longhorn Beetle (see photo)

Cheers David Bowman

Submitted by: David Bowman

 

Dave Hackett

2018-07-01

Following the first reports of Purple Hairstreak by David Spencer on 26th June I did an evening visit on Friday 29th and found a total of 17 along the Canal Track and the south bank of No.3 bed. They were very active and relatively easy to see as they flitted about the oak canopy. These are the first ever June records of this normally elusive species for Woolston and hopefully they will have a successful season. As always any records would be much appreciated. Other butterfly totals for the last week of June included 137 Meadow Brown, 57 Gatekeeper, 50 Small White, 5 Common Blue, 6 Small Skipper, 5 comma, 5 Speckled Wood and singles of Brimstone and Large White. Birds of note included a total of 445 Gadwall, 2 Shelduck broods on No.3 bed and 2 Tufted Duck broods on the Loop of No.4 bed. Photo; Large White

Submitted by: Dave Hackett