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Woolston Eyes Monthly Sightings

2021-05-08

Dave Steel and I decided to brave the rain and look for grounded migrants on the wide open spaces of the new No.4 bed wetland. A Fox sauntered into view carrying a freshly killed adult Canada Goose and we then heard Yellow Wagtail calling and managed to track down 9 feeding in weedy cover, which is the highest ever count for the Reserve. Along the margins of the flooded area, 2 Dunlin and 2 Common Sandpipers were feeding actively, while more wagtails were flushing and flying. Around 30 of these “alba” wagtails were feeding around the freshly dug areas and at least 2 (and possibly many more) were White Wagtails, which allowed a really close approach. Alongside the wagtails was a nice “Greenland” type male Wheatear. The White Wagtails and the Wheatear will have been en route for breeding grounds in Iceland or Greenland before being forced down by the rain. Back on No.3 bed, 2 more Yellow Wagtails and 35 Swifts rounded off a brilliant morning. Photo of a Lesser Black-backed Gull Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2021-05-07

It was a delight to see a Male Kingfisher (ringed) in front of the John Morgan Hide , preening and diving twice before being banished by a Black Headed Gull. By Hannah Kearney .

Submitted by: Chris Kearney

2021-05-07

Photo of a 2nd Calendar-year Mediterranean Gull Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2021-05-07

Photo of a squall passing to the north of No.3 bed. Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2021-05-07

Photo of an Arctic Tern Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2021-05-07

Photo of an Arctic Tern Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2021-05-07

Here’s a link to a brief video from the past few days, including a second-calendar year, Mediterranean Gull and an Arctic Tern on the Morgan Hide scrape. https://youtu.be/keCjUDF3vRI Cheers David Bowman

Submitted by: David Bowman

2021-05-04

Arctic Tern showing the diagnostic underwing pattern. There is a well-defined dark trailing edge formed by the dark tips to the primary feathers, and the primary feathers are translucent.

In Common Tern the trailing edge is ill-defined and broad, and only the inner primary feathers are translucent.

Submitted by: Daniel Owen

2021-05-04

Arctic Tern

Submitted by: Daniel Owen

2021-05-04

Arctic Tern showing a nice plain grey upperwing, whereas Common Tern would typically show darker outer primaries.

The bird also lacks the white lower eyering a Common Tern would show

Submitted by: Daniel Owen

2021-05-04

Arctic Tern

Submitted by: Daniel Owen

2021-05-04

Arctic Tern and 2cy Mediterranean Gull on the scrape

Submitted by: Daniel Owen

2021-05-04

2cy Mediterranean Gull showed well on the scrape mid-morning

Submitted by: Daniel Owen

2021-05-03

Rain drenched Swallow photos by Hannah Kearney.

Submitted by: Chris Kearney

2021-05-06

The weather treated us well this morning, with blue skies and scudding clouds, while the squalls which came in from the north-west passed us by. We covered both No.3 bed and the new No.4 bed and highlights were: a couple of Common Sandpipers, a hunting Hobby, a late Jack Snipe, a reeling Grasshopper Warbler and a passage of aerial feeders which, by the end of the morning, totalled: 140 Swifts, 120 House Martins, 90 Swallows and 30 Sand Martins. Photo of a Blackcap Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2021-05-03

It was a welcome surprise to stumble upon six rain-drenched Swallows on the No.3 bed footbridge taking a break from their elegant skimming across the water catching insects .

Submitted by: Chris Kearney

2021-05-04

Adverse weather in spring always brings the promise of something different, as migrants are forced down by headwinds and the threat of rain. Daniel Owen and I arrived on No.3 bed, not long after dawn, to find rain-drenched Swallows perched on the Footbridge. Arriving in the Morgan Hide, in blustery north-westerlies, we were greeted by an elegant Arctic Tern out over the water. This is the species with the longest migration journey of all and it may have spent our winter as far south as Antarctica and be on its way to breeding grounds on the sub-arctic tundra. It stayed for a few hours and rested for a while on the scrape before drifting northwards. A calling Greenshank and a surprisingly silent Whimbrel then both passed through, while four sub-adult Mediterranean Gulls dropped in and stayed for a while. I then had to go over to No.4 bed for a progress meeting about the new wetland, enjoying the spectacle of scores of hirundines hawking for insects below the Footbridge as I walked off the bed. No.4 bed also produced some nice birds, with three late Jack Snipes and a Common Sandpiper the pick of the bunch. Back in the Morgan Hide for lunch, six Swifts passed over, while the surface of the water was covered with masses of low-skimming hirundines. Photo of a Swallow Cheers David Bowman

Submitted by: David Bowman

2021-05-03

Belated posting of a photo of the Bittern on No.3 bed on 18th April. Found by Al Warford and Les Jones.

Submitted by: David Spencer

2021-05-03

Grasshopper Warbler reeling on No.3 bed

Submitted by: David Spencer

2021-05-03

Whitethroat on the public footpath by No.2 bed

Submitted by: David Spencer

2021-05-03

Swallow on the footbridge

Submitted by: David Spencer

2021-05-03

There were numerous hirundine’s feeding in the ox-bow this afternoon and using the footbridge to rest on in the heavy rain.

Photo of House Martin.

Submitted by: David Spencer

2021-05-01

With a light but cool northerly breeze and blue skies, conditions were perfect for another breeding bird survey of No.1 bed. Highlights were: a second singing Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Garden Warblers and 7 Reed Warblers, plus finding the resident Peregrine pair still looking settled at the nest site, as they should have small young in the nest by now. It was also good to see 2 pairs of Swallows and a pair of Pied Wagtails building nests, as they are uncommon breeders on the Reserve. Back on No.3 bed there had been a noticeable arrival of warblers, with 4 Grasshopper Warblers, 10 Sedge Warblers and 8 Reed Warblers the pick of the bunch. Although 70 Swallows and smaller numbers of Sand Martins and House Martins were feeding low over the water, no Swifts came over, for the first time this week, though a Hobby did put in an appearance. Photo of a Whitethroat Cheers David Bowman

Submitted by: David Bowman