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Woolston Eyes Monthly Sightings

2022-08-13

It was another roasting hot morning, with some really good birds to be found. We started not long after dawn on No.4 bed, where two of the long-staying Garganeys and a juvenile Black-necked Grebe were still present. The new wetland has been very attractive to Little Grebes and 18 were feeding actively as the water level continues to steadily recede. Then, with the thermometer rising, we scuttled for the shade of the Morgan Hide, where the light north-easterly breeze took the edge off the heat. Clear skies and a wind from the eastern quadrant can usually be relied upon to deliver the odd interesting migrant, so we waited patiently. Four Green Sandpipers, 2 Black-tailed Godwits and 10 Snipe were good for starters but the highlights came, as often the case, towards lunchtime when 2 Greenshanks dropped in and a Tree Pipit was trapped by Kieran Foster’s ringing team. Tree Pipits are a summer visitor which breeds in open wooded habitat and is usually a very scarce visitor to the Reserve but, surprisingly, this was our sixth in the last ten days. Photo of the Tree Pipit Cheers David Bowman (with Dan Owen)

Submitted by: David Bowman

2022-08-11

Butterfly totals for August including the river; 103 common blue, 87 gatekeeper, c.44 green-veined white, 37 speckled wood, 34 meadow brown, 28 small white, 8 red admiral, 6 comma, 6 peacock, 5 large white, 3 holly blue, 2 brimstone, 2 small tortoiseshell, 2 small copper, 1 painted lady.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

2022-08-11

On a scorching hot morning Brian Ankers and I met with colleagues Graham Jones and Becky Longden from the RSPB, to plan the habitat management work for the coming few months. Birding highlights included a juvenile male Hobby, 5 Little Egrets, 3 Green Sandpipers and 2 Black-tailed Godwits. Photo of a Sparrowhawk Cheers David Bowman

Submitted by: David Bowman

2022-08-09

Early on, a few waders were in front of the Morgan Hide on No.3 bed, including 2 Black-tailed Godwits, a Green Sandpiper, an Oystercatcher and a couple of Snipe. On No.4 bed 2 Tree Pipits and a Yellow Wagtail flew south over the wetland, while 5 Garganey and 2 Black-necked Grebes were still out on the water. Swift numbers continue to fall as the bulk of the population has already headed south, with just 18 counted. As summer migrants move south, though, they are replaced by species from further north and by the end of the morning 17 Snipe had arrived and will hopefully continue to grow in numbers throughout the autumn. As the heat we searched for and photographed some of the myriad of insects which are such a highlight of summer on the Reserve. Pick of the bunch were a Hornet Hoverfly and the real deal - a massive European Hornet, which managed to dodge getting its photo taken. Photo of the Hornet Hoverfly Cheers David Bowman (with Dan Owen)

Submitted by: David Bowman

2022-08-06

A really pleasant morning, starting with a dawn till mid-morning session on the No.4 bed wetland and ending with a lazy few hours in the Morgan Hide. No.4 bed delivered: an over-flying Tree Pipit, 5 Garganey, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 3 Yellow Wagtails feeding on the muddy margins, 3 Green Sandpipers, 2 Snipe and a light movement of 60 Swifts, 28 Sand Martins, 10 House Martins and 4 Swallows. No.3 bed, however, held the day’s surprise, when Dan Owen picked out a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull among the scores of juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the water. Yellow-legged Gulls breed further south in Europe but increasingly wander into the UK after the breeding season before heading back south in late autumn. Other notable sightings from No.3 bed included 2 more Green Sandpipers, a Hobby and a Red Underwing Moth sunning itself on the Morgan Hide. Photo of the Yellow-legged Gull Cheers David Bowman (with Dan Owen and Dave Steel)

Submitted by: David Bowman

2022-08-05

Photo of a Ruddy Darter

Submitted by: David Bowman

2022-08-05

Photo of a Lapwing Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2022-08-05

It was a fresher morning yesterday, with the odd shower passing through. Early on there was a flurry of passage over No.4 bed, with Tree Pipit, 8 Yellow Wagtails, Little Egret plus small numbers of Swifts and hirundines passing over. Three Green Sandpipers were the only waders of note, with 4 Garganey and a single moulting adult Black-necked Grebe also still present. A steady passage of Swifts over No.3 bed later in the morning resulted in a total count of 81, well down from the 1,000 recorded on Saturday. It was a good morning for raptors, too, with a juvenile Peregrine beating up the wildfowl on No.4 bed, 3 sightings of Hobby involving at least two different birds plus 3 Sparrowhawks, 8 Buzzards and 2 Kestrels. The count of 8 Ravens passing through was also high by our standards. Photo of a Snipe Cheers David Bowman (with Dan Owen)

Submitted by: David Bowman

2022-08-02

Butterfly totals for the past two weeks including the river; 170 gatekeeper, c.90 small white, c.50 green-veined white, 33 meadow brown, 33 speckled wood, 20 common blue, 19 peacock, 17 red admiral, 11 comma. 10 holly blue, 6 large white, 3 small tortoiseshell, 1 small skipper, 1 painted lady.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett

2022-08-02

Photo of a Common Blue Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman

2022-08-02

It was a really wet one this morning, with plenty of much-needed rain hammering down till late morning. Consequently, we spent the early part of the day scanning from the Morgan Hide in No.3 bed where, given the conditions, not much was moving apart from Swifts and a few hirundines. By mid-morning 130 Swifts had gathered to feed, attracting the attentions of a couple of Hobbies. Other birds of note on the bed, early on, included a juvenile Garganey, 2 Black-tailed Godwits and 3 Green Sandpipers. With the wind freshening the weather eventually started to clear, so we made our way over to the No.4 bed wetland, where we were treated to some dramatic skies, 4 Black-necked Grebes, 1 Common Sandpiper, another Green Sandpiper, another Hobby and a further 70 Swifts. Photo of a Goldfinch Cheers David Bowman (with Dan Owen)

Submitted by: David Bowman