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Woolston Eyes Monthly Sightings

2019-08-29

Pic of the eclipse drake Garganey from today, note the blue lesser + median coverts, and broad white secondary coverts. The white supercilium is also beginning to become more apparent

Submitted by: Daniel Owen

2019-08-29

A day of nice sightings, but poor pics! A walk around the perimeter produced an overflying Osprey, heading W harassed by gulls. 3 different Garganeys (ad female, eclipse drake and a juv. male) were found amongst the Teal flocks. A few waders were also present: 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpiper, 5 Black-tailed Godwit and 6 Snipe, as well as Oystercatcher heard calling from No.4 bed. A Ruff was also seen on the scrape this morning, however it didn’t hang around for long.

Submitted by: Daniel Owen

2019-08-28

A few decent bits seen whilst out and about on the reserve today. 5 Snipe, 3 Green Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper and 3 Kingfisher were feeding around No.3 bed all day. Around lunch time a Pintail flew in and joined the 3 Wigeon already present. A juv Black-necked Grebe was in the SW corner, the first seen for a few weeks and maybe passing through from elsewhere? A Garden Warbler was seen feeding on elder berries with Blackcaps that are starting to move through in increasing numbers.

Best bird of the day was a Great White Egret picked up by Kevin Atherton, fishing at the back of No.3 bed with 2 Grey Herons. The 3rd record of this species so far this year.

Wasn’t carrying a camera so sorry for the lack of pics!

Submitted by: Daniel Gornall

2019-08-27

3 Wigeon on the scrape this afternoon

Submitted by: Daniel Owen

2019-08-27

On a hot, clammy day the water level on No.3 bed is starting to look a lot more attractive to waders. Totals included 2 Common Sandpipers, 3 Green Sandpipers, 4 Common Snipe, 7 Black-tailed Godwits and 120 Lapwings. Hopefully, those numbers will now start to build up. Other bits and pieces included two Kingfishers, a Cetti’s Warbler, 2 Water Rails, 3 Wigeon and, after a lot of scanning, a single late Swift. The bird of the day, however, was a over-flying Tree Pipit picked up by Danny Gornall earlier on. Photo of a Grey Heron Cheers David Bowman (with David Spencer)

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-25

A lovely hot late summer’s day and plenty of butterflies on the wing on the northern half of No.1 bed. The highlights were 64 Painted Ladies, 49 Common Blues and 42 recently emerged Small Tortoiseshells. 39 “Whites” were thought to be all Small Whites. To add to the variety there were singles of Large White, Small Copper and Holly Blue. Photo; Small Copper

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

2019-08-26

There was also a minimum of 7 Snipe on No3 Bed today

Submitted by: Daniel Owen

2019-08-26

2 of at least 7 Green Sandpipers on No3 Bed this morning. A minimum of 2 were already present when 5 dropped out of the sky and landed on the bed

Submitted by: Daniel Owen

2019-08-24

2 of 5 Ravens that flew over No3

Submitted by: Daniel Owen

2019-08-25

Nice day at Woolston yesterday with a few waders passing through and Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps feeding in the bushes. Rewarding to see the Spotted Flycatched behind the toilet facility. A new patch tick for us.

Helen and Brian Burnett

Submitted by: Brian Burnett

2019-08-24

Early morning felt rather autumnal today, with mist over the water and a heavy dew on the grasses. By mid-morning, however, it had turned into full, blazing summer. There were some excellent sightings, too. Five Green Sandpipers, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Snipe and 60 Lapwings were the sum of the waders on No.3 bed, with Lesser Whitethroat, Kingfisher, Cetti’s Warbler, Nuthatch, Grey Wagtail, Willow Tits and Water Rails also noted. There is currently a roost of c.300 Swallows, with a few Sand Martins on the bed and these were added to by 25 Swallows and three Sand Martins which flew south over the morning. 100+ flocks of Goldfinch and Greenfinch were also a feature of the day, with plenty of Blackcaps, Whitethroats and Reed Warblers also feeding actively. There were fewer Swifts moving than during the past few days, though, with just 6 flying west. Finally, the day finished with a flurry, as a female Garganey was picked out amid a flock of 70 Shovelers, a Hobby threw in some acrobatics and 5 Ravens flew south past the Morgan Hide. Photo of a spider’s web Cheers David Bowman (with David Spencer, Helen Wynn, Alan Warford, Les Jones, Dave Steel and Brian Baird)

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-22

On an overcast day, with a light south-westerly breeze blowing, we managed to gather some nice sightings. An early morning walk around No.1 bed was pretty quiet but things picked up when we arrived on No.3 bed, where we were met by a passing Hobby. A juvenile Goosander on the Morgan Hide scrape was a nice surprise as they are very scarce there. Three Green Sandpipers, two Black-tailed Godwits and 340 Lapwings were the only wader sightings, all of which were flushed by one of the local juvenile Peregrines, which made several fast, low level passes without threatening to catch anything. As ever, one of the local Kingfishers posed well and a juvenile Great Black-backed Gull was with the 48 Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the water. We then concentrated on counting the passing Swifts and hirundines with totals of: 160 Swifts, 65 Swallows, 15 Sand Martins and 2 House Martins. A bit less welcome was the arrival of the local feral goose flocks, totalling 99 Greylags and 52 Canadas. Photo of today’s Goosander Cheers David Bowman (with Dave Steel, David Spencer, Daniel Owen and Danny Gornall)

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-18

Photo of a female Common Darter from Saturday.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-18

Another Curlew photo from Saturday.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-18

Photo of the view looking westward over No.3 bed.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-18

Photo of the sun rising over No.3 bed

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-18

Photo of a Little Grebe

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-18

Photo of Tansy

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-18

Photo of a Painted Lady

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-18

Photo of a Marmalade Hoverfly

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-17

It felt a little more like summer today, with plenty of sunshine and a warm south-westerly wind blowing. The day’s treats included a Hobby, which flew straight over the Morgan Hide, and a sprinkling of waders including two Curlews which landed on the scrape, three Green Sandpipers and four Black-tailed Godwits. As ever at this time of year, Water Rail and Kingfisher gave nice views, while a few Swifts and hirundines moved southwards. The warm weather was productive for smaller stuff, too, with a Hornet-mimic Hoverfly, 35 Painted Ladies, 11 Brown Hawkers and 4 Migrant Hawkers the pick of the bunch. Photo of one of today’s Curlews Cheers David Bowman (with David Spencer, Sue Haddock, Les Jones and Brian Baird)

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-15

A week of blustery winds and intermittent heavy rain has brought some good wader sightings. The undoubted highlight was the 250 Black-tailed Godwits reported flying over, supported by records of Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Redshank and Green Sandpipers. This morning continued in the same vein, with two Dunlins, three Green Sandpipers and five Black-tailed Godwits on No.3 bed. One of the Dunlins, a juvenile, was very long-billed and may have been of one of the northern races. As usual, there were prolonged views of Water Rail and Kingfisher in front of the Morgan Hide, with around a hundred each of Greenfinch and Goldfinch feeding around the bed and about a dozen Swifts passing over. Photo of a Kingfisher from this morning Cheers David Bowman (with David Spencer, Daniel Owen, Dan Gornall and Kieran Foster)

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-11

This link is to a short video clip showing close-ups of a Migrant Hawker dragonfly, a juvenile Garganey, a food-begging juvenile Black-headed Gull and a Water Rail which has recently taken to wandering round in the open in front of the Morgan Hide on No.3 bed.

To watch David’s video click here….

or copy the following link into your browser, https://youtu.be/SQomnkC_d1o

Photo of a Greater Willowherb flower.

Cheers David Bowman

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-10

When strong westerly winds and rain are forecast at this time of year, we keep an eye out for the odd wind-blown seabird on No.3 bed. In the end, the weather was pretty tame but that didn’t stop the sharp-eyed Daniel Owen from picking up a juvenile Kittiwake, which flew east across No.3 bed without stopping. The long-staying juvenile Garganey, which has been elusive for the past few days, was back on the Morgan Hide scrape though with a discernible limp. A single Black-necked Grebe was glimpsed and should soon be heading south for the winter. A nice southward passage of aerial feeders totalled 145 Swifts, with just single figure counts of Swallow and Sand Martin. With more extensive mud now visible, one of the local Water Rails put in numerous appearances, five Black-tailed Godwits were feeding actively and a KIngfisher was also present.

Photo of the view from the Morgan Hide

Cheers David Bowman (with David Spencer, Helen Wynn, Alan Warford, Daniel Owen, Les Jones, Brian Baird)

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-08

A very pleasant day for my walk round the reserve. One of the resident Peregrines was on the viaduct whilst about 120 Canada Geese flew west along the canal. Perhaps less welcome were the large numbers of Lesser Black-backed Gulls at the river basin and on No.3 bed. I counted 31 adults and no less than 183 juveniles. Flocks of post-breeding Goldfinch are appearing with a total of 60 on No.4 bed. The large numbers of Peacock and Painted Lady butterflies seemed to have peaked and reserve totals of 59 and 41 respectively were well down on last week, although in the case of the latter species still exceptional. An interesting sighting was of a female Brimstone on the south bank of No.3 bed. Photo; Speckled Wood

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

2019-08-09

Juvenile Peregrine harassing the gull flock on No.3 Bed

Submitted by: Daniel Owen

2019-08-09

Juvenile Peregrine harassing the gull flock on No.3 Bed

Submitted by: Daniel Owen

2019-08-08

Reed Warbler juv. no: 3 bed

Submitted by: Hazel Rothwell

2019-08-08

Common Whitethroat juv. no.3 bed

Submitted by: Hazel Rothwell

2019-08-08

Common Whitethroat - juvenile ?

Submitted by: Hazel Rothwell

2019-08-08

Common Blue butterfly; by the car park

Submitted by: Hazel Rothwell

2019-08-09

Painted Lady butterfly - No.3 bed

Submitted by: Hazel Rothwell

2019-08-08

Painted Lady butterfly - No.3 bed

Submitted by: Hazel Rothwell

2019-08-08

Small Tortoiseshell butterfly - No.3 bed

Submitted by: Hazel Rothwell

2019-08-08

Photo of a Purple Hairstreak.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-08

Once in a while you get a morning which is enlivened by the arrival of something a bit out of the ordinary and today was one of those days. We arrived on No.3 bed at 7.00 am and within half an hour three small waders flew in over the north bank and looked to be heading for the Morgan Hide scrape. At the last moment they veered off and flew away to the west. Luckily, we were able to see the key identification features - a rufous breast and broad white wing bars - of summer plumage Sanderlings. Sanderlings are a very uncommon wader at inland sites and these were the first for us since 2015. A good morning got even better an hour later, when Kieran Foster and George Dunbar caught and ringed a suspected juvenile Marsh Warbler, an even rarer bird for the Reserve. Following review of photographs and biometric data collected the bird was subsequently recorded as a Reed not Marsh Warbler. We then walked on to No.4 bed to check out the wetland on the Loop, where a Snipe, 2 Willow Tits and 2 Sparrowhawks were the main sightings. On the way back into No.3 bed we were fortunate to see a Purple Hairstreak butterfly, relatively low down in am Oak tree. They are usually neck-craningly high in the tops of Oaks and hard to see well. Other sightings included: 3 Green Sandpipers, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Snipe, a Peregrine, 55 Swifts and 20 Swalllows, along with 45 Painted Ladies on No.3 bed alone. Photo of the Marsh Warbler Cheers David Bowman (with Dave Steel and David Spencer).

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-05

Photo of one of the Ruddy Darters on No.3 bed this afternoon.

Submitted by: Brian Baird

2019-08-05

Photo of a Southern Hawker present on No.3 bed today.

Submitted by: Brian Baird

2019-08-05

Photo of a Migrant Hawker

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-05

Photo of a Migrant Hawker

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-05

Close-up photo of a Migrant Hawker

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-05

Photo of a Brown Hawker

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-05

Close-up photo of a Brown Hawker

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-05

After doing some bird counts around No.3 bed (with highlights of three Kingfishers, one Green Sandpiper, four Black-tailed Godwits and a Garden Warbler) it was nice to just wander round taking in the flowers, butterflies, dragonflies and myriad of insects in the sunshine. Counts included: 34 Painted Ladies, 3 Migrant Hawkers,2 Southern Hawkers, 7 Red-eyed Damselflies, 4 Ruddy Darters and 10 Brown Hawkers. With autumn not far away, the Reserve is now a veritable larder of ripening fruits and berries. We seem to have a good crop of elderberries, blackberries and haws (the fruit of the Hawthorn) this year. The first two are the primary foods of migrating Blackcaps and other Sylvia warblers in autumn and the Reserve will see many hundreds feeding, particularly throughout September. The haws will in turn sustain the large flocks, sometimes numbering in the thousands, of Redwings and Fieldfares which arrive from Scandinavia from October onwards. Photo of a Brown Hawker Cheers David Bowman

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-05

The huge national influx of Painted Lady butterflies was reflected in the exceptional numbers present at Woolston in the past few days. A series of visits since 1st August covering the whole reserve produced a record total of 193; this is by far the largest count for many years, the previous highest being 46 in 2009. Other counts of interest were 335 Peacock, 192 Gatekeeper, 114 Meadow Brown, and 60 Speckled Wood. Whites were plentiful and 114 included about 75 Green-veined and 30 plus Small. “3 Common Blue were found and 2 Holly Blue whilst 3 Small Copper were encouraging. Photo; Common Blue

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

2019-08-03

Some nice sightings on No.3 bed this morning, though the most interesting was one that got away. Four juvenile Black-necked Grebes were still present, included one making short flights, no doubt testing its wings for the forthcoming southerly migration. Four Kingfishers were around the bed, including the regular individual fishing in front of the Morgan Hide, while a Water Rail showed well, on and off, all morning. Swifts were noticeably absent, till a flock of 50 arrived at midday, feeding up near the limit of vision and drifting slowly away to the west. Wader movement was initially minimal, with just one Green Sandpiper noted and two Black-tailed Godwits dropping in. Frustration arose when we picked up a loose flock of 14 waders flying south over the east bank of the bed. T he consensus was that they were Tringa sp., probably Wood Sandpipers but they just kept going, into the sun, and we were unable to see enough detail to confirm the identification. There has been a huge passage of Wood Sandpipers through the country recently and it would have been nice if we’d been able to join in. Photo of a Kingfisher. Cheers David Bowman (with David Spencer, Alan Warford, Helen Wynn, Diane Shepherd,Sue Haddock, Brian Baird and Les Jones)

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-02

Common Whitethroat (Sylvia Communis) fro The John Morgan Hide

Submitted by: Andy Weir

2019-08-02

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) Butterfly

Submitted by: Andy Weir

2019-08-02

Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) from The John Morgan Hide

Submitted by: Andy Weir

2019-08-01

Photo of a Painted Lady

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-01

Photo of Broad-leaved Helleborine

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-01

Photo of Ruddy Darters

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-01

Photo of Acorns

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-01

Photo of a Willow Warbler

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-01

Photo of a Migrant Hawker

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2019-08-01

With no sign of any migration today, other than the odd Swift and Swallow, the main sightings included the long-staying juvenile Garganey, a couple of Green Sandpipers, four Black-tailed Godwits, three juvenile Black-necked Grebes and the daily Kingfisher. So, with the sun beating down it was time to undertake a butterfly and dragonfly survey of No.3 bed. There was plenty of activity, too, with totals for the dragonflies of: 12 Brown Hawkers, 5 Ruddy Darters, 1 Southern Hawker, 1 Emperor, 1 Migrant Hawker and 15 Blue-tailed Damselflies. For the butterflies it was also a good day, with: 14 Painted Ladies, 45 Peacocks, 8 Small Tortoiseshells, 9 Speckled Woods, 12 Red Admirals, 5 Commas, 1 Common Blue and a handful of unidentified Whites. Photo of a Southern Hawker Cheers David Bowman

Submitted by: David Bowman