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Woolston Eyes Monthly Sightings

2021-04-11

WeBS Count 10/04/2021 Little Grebe 37, Great crested Grebe 34, Black-necked Grebe 23, Cormorant 14, Mute Swan 51, Grey Heron 3, Shelduck 17, Greylag 14, Canada Goose 62, Gadwall 130, Teal 30, Mallard 76, Shoveler 27, Pochard 25, Tufted Duck 203,Water Rail 4, Moorhen 25, Coot 63, Oystercatcher 2, Lapwing 12, Ringed Plover 1, Little Ringed Plover 2, Snipe 1, Black-headed Gull 344, Common Gull 1, Herring Gull 4, LBB Gull,44, Kingfisher 1

Submitted by: Brian Martin

2021-04-10

An early frost and clear blue skies made for a cold start. We had a busy morning, helping to complete the monthly Wetland Birds Survey (WeBS) on No.4 bed, while also undertaking a Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) for the bed. For the latter, numbers of birds in song included: 1 Reed Warbler, 8 Willow Warblers, 22 Blackcaps, 35 Chiffchaffs, 54 Robins, 26 Wrens, 10 Dunnoks,10 Blackbirds and 6 Song Thrushes. In addition, 1 Curlew,1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 House Martin, 35 Sand Martins, 11 Swallows and 6 pairs of Lapwing were also noteworthy. Back on No.3 bed, 21 Black-necked Grebes were busy interacting, Swallows and Sand Martins were still moving through and the Black-headed Gull colony had swelled to over a1,000 by early afternoon. Best was saved for last though, as is often the case, when a high-soaring Red Kite was mobbed by a Buzzard before making a bee-line to the south-east. Photo of two Mediterranean Gulls Cheers David Bowman (with Helen Wynn, Dave Steel, Colin and Craig)

Submitted by: David Bowman

2021-04-08

We traded bitter northerlies for blustery south-westerlies this morning and ended up with some good counts of migrants for this early in the spring. While I was completing a breeding bird survey on No.3 bed, Daniel Owen was doing counts on No.4 bed, before we joined forces to scan for migrants from the Morgan Hide. Our collective counts included: 21 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 1 Jack Snipe, 3 Common Snipe, 3 adult Mediterranean Gulls, 1 female Wigeon, 15 Willow Warblers, 27 Blackcaps, 42 Chiffchaffs, 300 Sand Martins, 15 Swallows, 1 House Martin, 3 Water Rails and a Kingfisher. Despite the increasing wind strength, a few butterflies were on the wing, with 2 male Orange Tips, 5 Small Tortoiseshells and 2 Commas along the main path as I was walking off in early afternoon. Photo of an Orange Tip Cheers David Bowman

Submitted by: David Bowman

2021-04-06

The Lapwing also taken on the 4th

Submitted by: Terry Lawson

2021-04-06

The Grey Heron waiting to strike

Submitted by: Terry Lawson

2021-04-06

Really enjoyed seeing this little Grebe

Submitted by: Terry Lawson

2021-04-06

Male Reed Bunting taken on the 4th

Submitted by: Terry Lawson

2021-04-06

More pictures from 2nd The Shoveler, its always a good bird to see

Submitted by: Terry Lawson

2021-04-06

More from the 2nd male Gadwall duck

Submitted by: Terry Lawson

2021-04-05

Sand Martin

Submitted by: Daniel Owen

2021-04-01

Sand Martins - two of an impressive 9,400 that flew through the reserve on 1 April

Submitted by: Daniel Owen

2021-04-06

Hi to all members My name is Terry Lawson I’ve only just become a member with my friend Jeff, We are pleased to say it’s not just a fantastic place but the people seem to be as well. Here are some pictures I took on Friday the 2nd of the male Gadwall duck chasing off the other males. Great to see wildlife behaviour this time of the year.

Submitted by: Terry Lawson

2021-04-06

Dawn saw a light frost, clear blue skies and a very chilly north-westerly wind. Over the morning the skies were ever-changing until, by early afternoon, I was walking off No.3 bed in a flurry of hailstones. Early on, at least 500 Sand Martins came out of an overnight roost, though there may have been many more. Eleven Black-necked Grebes were in front of the Morgan Hide, with 8 more around the bed. Then it was a walk over to No.4 bed for a meeting with our contractor, who is making good progress building the second of the wetland cells, While we were talking, 170 Sand Martins and a few Swallows were feeding over the water and plenty of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were in song. Back on No.3 bed, hirundines continued to struggle north into the wind, with another 200 Sand Martins and 25 Swallows counted before a female Marsh Harrier dropped in and stayed to hunt actively, to the consternation of the 1,000 or so Black-headed Gulls at the breeding colony. Photo of a Jay on No.3 bed Cheers David Bowman

Submitted by: David Bowman

2021-04-04

Female Shoveler.

Submitted by: David Collis

2021-04-04

Oystercatcher pair bathing as soon as they arrived on the scrape in front of the Morgan hide.

Submitted by: David Collis

2021-04-04

Oystercatcher pair bathing as soon as they arrived on the scrape in front of the Morgan hide.

Submitted by: David Collis

2021-04-03

15 Black-necked Grebes were in front of the Morgan Hide not long after dawn while 700 Sand Martins were hawking for insects over the north bank of the bed. Although never quite hitting the heights of Thursdays exceptional hirundine passage, by early afternoon we had counted 1,500 Sand Martins, 45 Swallows and 3 House Martins passing through, again on a west-east flight path. Many of them stopped to feed low over the water and, with such an abundance of prey, we weren’t surprised to see an early Hobby appear in front of the hide, skim through the feeding martins and disappear over the north bank. Other sightings of note included: a final total of 19 Black-necked Grebes, 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Bramblings, 2 Siskins, 1 Redshank, 7 Cetti’s Warblers and an impressive 1,150 Black-headed Gulls at the breeding colony. Photo of a Swallow Cheers David Bowman (with Helen Wynn, Dave Steel and Les Jones)

Submitted by: David Bowman

2021-04-02

Yesterday brought a remarkable morning with an unprecedented movement of hirundines. The combination of warm southerly winds had clearly brought large numbers of Sand Martins north yesterday, along with smaller numbers of Swallows and the odd House Martin. The switch to an easterly air stream and the prospect of arctic air coming in from the north had them turning to move into the prevailing wind, before probably heading south again till the weather improves. As aerial feeders they depend on flying insects and struggle to survive prolonged cold spells. By the end of the morning 9,400 Sand Martins, 155 Swallows and 5 House Martins had streamed over in large groups, pausing briefly to feed before passing on. Other migrants had arrived in numbers, too, with counts on Nos.3 and 4 beds totalling: 8 Willow Warblers, 87 Chiffchaffs, 28 Blackcaps, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Redshank and 2 Oystercatchers. In addition, 11 Black-necked Grebes were in front of the Morgan Hide and at least one Brambling was still with the Chaffinch flock. Photo of a Sand Martin Cheers David Bowman (with Daniel Owen, Dave Steel and Kenny McNiffe)

Submitted by: David Bowman