31st August 2012 - Sun and showers.
The Little Egret was again on Car Park Pool in the morning and other birds of note included a Hobby, Buzzard and Kestrel, all hunting over or around the Reserve, the Garganey on Car Park Pool, four Snipe also on Car Park Pool, a Common Tern from Oak Hide (which decided to chase the Hobby), a Kingfisher on the reedbed, a Sedge Warbler in the pond by the car park and a Yellow Wagtail over at 8.45 a.m.
30th August 2012 - Sun and showers.
New in was a Little Egret which roosted on Car Park Pool in the morning, a Peregrine was seen from Oak Hide, two Common Terns commuted between the pools and the Garganey remained.
29th August 2012 - Sunshine and showers.
28th August 2012 - Mostly sunny and warm, brisk south westerly
Two Ecologists from HS2 were surveying the Reserve today; no doubt one of many surveys to come.
There were no records in the log at lunchtime but, along the Old Road there were at least four Chiffchaffs calling between the Car Park and the horse paddock. A quick look from there suggested the Redstart had probably moved on but, as it was quite elusive, it is worth checking and these bushes are quite productive at the moment in any event.
The Old Road game crop was busy with insects, many bees foraging in the Phasaelia and the flowers of the fodder raddish; there were also a number of butterflies including Comma, Small and Green-veined White, and plenty of Common Darters were patrolling the crop. Brown Hawkers were seen along the road and along the Dragonfly Pool, where there was also a Migrant Hawker.
80-100 Jackdaws were again present on the flood plain with at least two Rooks and up to ten Crows.
In the evening as the rain came in, an adult Arctic Tern lingered briefly on Railway Pool, resting up on the gravel bar but it disappeared quickly. Hirundines also congregated with a flock of about 40 birds at the southern end of Car Park Pool (mostly House Martins but a few Sand Martins and Swallows) with a further 15 House Martins over Siden Hill Wood. As the evening wore on, approx 100 Swallows flew in to roost in the Reedbed where they joined approx 300 Starlings.
The Garganey remains.
27th August 2012 - Bright start, soon clouding over, brisk southerly, periodic showers
A male Redstart was today’s star bird, found by Graham Rowling in the Hawthorns on the flood plain, just north of Car Park Pool. It remained all day. A few Sand Martins continued to move through but it was harder to tell with the Swallows whether they were on the move or just local birds feeding up. It was not a concern to the juvenile Hobby however, which put the “frighteners” in to all the hirundines mid morning.
The Garganey and the Greenshank were again present and a Peregrine perched in the top of the dead Larch in Siden Hill Wood for part of the morning.
A new Little Grebe brood of three has hatched on Car Park Pool and plenty of Geese were on the pools, including 210 Canadas and 194 Greylags. It appears as if some of the Greylag flock may have moved east to Brandon, as the Pink-footed Goose that was present at Marsh Lane earlier this year as moved there.
Other birds of note included a Grey Wagtail over and a Treecreeper by the top gate.
26th August 2012 - Mostly sunny, light north westerly
Whilst it was disappointingly quiet on the west side, the Old Road was productive with a minimum of 16 Chiffchaffs between the Car Park and Patrick Farm. This included one Tit flock with at least six in towards the Farm along with Nuthatch and ten Long-tailed Tits. As usual, the Old Road game crop held a few with at least four there along with Blackcap and Lesser Whitethroat, whilst on the Railway Embankment, there were further Blackcaps and at least one Garden Warbler.
The Garganey was present for its sixteenth day and two Wigeon were still present along with 146 Canadas.
A few hirundines were again on the move with at least six Sand Martins and two House Martins through, for example, at 10am.
A scattering of Peacock, Red Admiral and Speckled Wood Butterflies were evident and a female Southern Hawker was patrolling the Old Road down towards the Farm.
A number of Banded Demoiselles were visible from the road bridge at Patrick Farm.
25th August 2012 - Sunny intervals and very heavy showers, light south-westerly
The best bird of the day was a female type Marsh Harrier which initially flew over and flushed the Lapwings off Car Park Pool before landing in Lower Siden field and then, shortly after, heading off low towards Hampton in Arden at approx 7am. Unfortunately it was not seen again.
The long staying Garganey was joined by two Wigeon and a Greenshank was heard but not seen.
There are still plenty of Warblers around the Reserve with at least eight Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap and three Whitethroats, including two of the latter in the Marsh. Raptors included Kestrel and Hobby but Waders were limited to 48 Lapwing and three Snipe.
Other counts today were as follows: Two Great-Crested Grebes, 12 adult and eight juvenile Little Grebes plus two broods, four on Car Park Pool and two on Railway, two Herons, three Cormorants, two adult Mute Swans and six Cygnets, a Black Swan, 156 Greylags, 12 Farmyard Geese, six Canadas, 11 Teal, 36 Mallard, 51 Gadwall, 13 Shoveler, two Pochard, 27 Tufted and 30 ducklings in seven broods, 90 Coot, ten Moorhen and a new brood of four on the Reed bed, 50 Black-headed Gulls, five Lesser Black-backed Gulls and three Common Terns.
Around the Dragonfly Pond, a male Ruddy Darter showed well.
24th August 2012 - Mostly overcast and very heavy showers
23rd August 2012 - Occasional sunny periods becoming progressively cloudy, light south-westerly wind.
A loan Greenshank flew into Railway Pool at 9.30 this morning before it flew off at about 10.45 and presumably the same bird was later seen roosting on the top of the tallest island on Car Park Pool.
The long staying Garganey fed in front of the same island, in the early afternoon, and there were three Snipe also on Car Park Pool.
A juvenile Hobby was perched in the dead Larch top in Siden Hill Wood before dropping down to feed around the pools. The Lapwing flock on Car Park Pool numbered 70 and there were also 25 Starlings feeding on the island as well. Again, there were a few hirundines on the move but they were too distant over Siden Hill Wood to be sure of the species.
22nd August 2012 - Sunny intervals, occasional showers.
The only birds in the log were Snipe, Common Sandpiper and 266 Greylags.
21st August 2012 - Overcast, but high cloud, cooler and sunny intervals in the afternoon, light south-westerly wind.
A Yellow Wagtail flew over low at about 9.30 and may have come off the tip field. A few Sand Martins and House Martins continue to trickle through and a scattering of warblers on the Old Road included at least one Lesser Whitethroat, one Whitethroat, at least two Reed Warblers and at least four Chiffchaffs, with other species including 20 Goldfinches, two Linnets, a Treecreeper and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.
It was very pleasing to note that Water Rail appears to have bred again this year, with a partly fledged youngster visible in front of car Park Hide this evening. Aside from the occasional calling bird, there have been no sightings for months - it is amazing how elusive this species can be. Other records in the evening included the Garganey again, Hobby, Common Sandpiper and two Snipe.
20th August 2012 - Overcast start, sunny later, remaining humid.
The highlights today included the Garganey, a Kingfisher on the reedbed, a Hobby over River Hide and a scattering of warblers, the highlight of which was a Garden Warbler in the scrub at the west end of the causeway. At least two Whitethroats, some Blackbirds and a Reed Bunting were in the scrub between the car park and the embankment.
A Migrant Hawker showed well as it patrolled the causeway area.
19th August 2012 - Hot and humid.
Two Common Sandpipers and three Snipe showed in front of Oak Hide, and there were numerous juvenile Sedge and Reed Warblers visible from the causeway screen.
18th August 2012 - Hot and humid after heavy overnight rain.
The early morning proved to be the best time for the smaller birds since, as the weather warmed up, the passerines became more elusive. A Yellow Wagtail fed with some Pied Wagtails by the cattle feeders, north of Car Park Pool, and a Grey Wagtail went over. There were at least three Sedge Warblers around Railway Hide, a Willow Warbler singing along the Old Road with at least eight Chiffchaffs, there were four Bullfinches (two by the back gate copse and two on the Old Road), two Whitethroats on the Old Road and a handful of Linnets and Goldfinches mostly down the Old Road.
The Greenshank was present in front of Oak Hide in the morning but, as usual, became elusive throughout the rest of the day and other waders were limited to four Snipe, one Common Sandpiper, 150 Lapwings and a Green Sandpiper (which flew in at 18.15 to Railway Hide).
Graham’s other counts were as follows: two Great Crested Grebe, two adult Mute Swans and six cygnets, 21 Little Grebes (13 adults, eight juveniles and two small chicks on Railway Pool plus three birds still sitting), seven Herons, five Cormorants, 145 Greylags, eight Farmyard Geese, one Greylag Canada Cross, 32 Canadas, 46 Gadwall, 19 Shoveler, eight Teal, the Garganey on Car Park Pool, 32 Mallard, eight Pochard, 15 Tufted Ducks and 17 ducklings from ten broods, 12 Moorhens with one new brood of four in the causeway, 110 Coot, 50 Black-headed Gulls, four Lesser Black-backed Gulls, four Common Terns and a Raven over to the west.
An impressive 15 Small Red-eyed Damselflies were counted on the Dragonfly Pond and along the concrete road there was a single Red Admiral with two Peacocks, with quite a few Green-veined Whites and Speckled Woods present in and around Siden Hill Wood.
In the late afternoon, early evening, there were some 200 Starlings around Railway Pool and in the bare tree, just past of Oak Hide, probably washing and preening prior to roosting in the Reedbed.
17th August 2012 - Periodic heavy showers, mostly overcast, strong south-westerly wind.
The Greenshank was again present this morning, but not this afternoon, and other waders, aside from Lapwings, were limited to three Snipe and a Common Sandpiper.
Four Wigeon were new in and the female Garganey was seen on both pools throughout the day. There were at least 15 Shoveler and ten Teal, but there could have been more, as the birds were quite mobile.
Sand Martins and House Martins were on the move again today. In one of the heavy showers around 3 p.m., 20 to 30 Sand Martins were feeding in the lee of Siden Hill Wood and four Swifts were amongst them; as the rain eased, they moved off but others quickly took their place, joined by some House Martins and another 20 or so Swifts. One or two Swallows also appeared on the move, although it is harder to tell with this species because of the feeding forays and the breeding pairs at the local farms.
Hobby, Kestrel, Raven and three adult Common Terns were also seen.
16th August 2012 - Sunny and warm with periodic heavy showers, variable south-westerly wind.
There was a distinct movement of hirundines this morning with at least 100 Sand Martins and 40 House Martins around the pools at the start of the day. Those had largely dispersed by 10 a.m., but there was a steady trickle of all three species moving south all morning.
On the pools, the two Greenshanks were again present in the early morning but were not visible at about 11 a.m. Other waders included singles of Green and Common Sandpipers, an adult Little Ringed Plover and a Snipe, and the Garganey remains also on Railway Pool.
Along the Old Road there were three Willow Warblers together by the horse paddock, but they were clearly on the move as they were working their way down the road. Also there were at least 60 Goldfinches and 10 Linnets with six Pied Wagtails and a further ten Goldfinches by the cattle feeder.
Other birds of note included eight shoveler, six Teal, three Pochard, a Lesser Whitethroat on the railway embankment and 65 Starlings. Lastly, two juvenile Grey Wagtails put in a brief appearance on Railway Pool.
15th August 2012 - Windy, cool with some heavy showers.
Waders today comprised a Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper and three Snipe, together with a Little Ringed Plover.
Disappointingly only three attended the evening work party and some willows and alders were removed to the side of the north causeway screen and more of Car Park Pool islands were strimmed.
14th August 2012 - Warm and Sunny.
The remaining Garganey showed well on Railway Pool this morning and a Hobby sat out in a tree between Oak and Railway Hides before flying towards Bradnocks Marsh. Singles of Greenshank and Common Sandpiper were also present on Railway Pool and there was still at least four Common Terns.
At least eight juvenile Little Grebes are now present on Car Park Pool in three broods.
Plenty of warblers were present still today including Lesser Whitethroat and a few butterflies were on the wing as well, including Red Admiral and Holly Blue.
13th August 2012 - Mostly sunny, light south-easterly wind.
A good total of birds today included Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, 17 Teal, 30 Goldfinches and at least 50 Jackdaws with a Small Copper Butterfly on the grassy bank by Railway Hide.
12th August 2012 - High level cloud, sunny intervals with afternoon showers
Perhaps the most surprising record of the day concerned 13 Snipe which dropped in at 9.45 at the southern end of Car Park Pool. Only a single Garganey was visible today but had moved to Car Park Hide and a single Greenshank was present on Railway Pool.
Equally unusual was a probable female Ruddy Shelduck which showed briefly on the flood plain loosely associating with the Goose flock but, unfortunately it disappeared fairly quickly and was not seen again.
11th August 2012- Sunny
Three Garganey which were found as part of the morning wildfowl count in front of Oak Hide was the equal highest days total for this species. The birds were present all day. A single Greenshank was also present again and a Tawny Owl showed whilst it roosted in the ivy covered tree at the junction between the Old Road and the concrete road.
Other counts today were as follows: two Mute Swans and six cygnets, the Black Swan,at least 300 Greylags, a Greylag / Canada Cross, 12 Farmyard Geese, 47 Canadas, 63 Mallard, six Shoveler, eight Teal, 19 Gadwall and seven broods totalling 36 ducklings, a male Pochard, ten Tufted Ducks and eight broods with 31 ducklings, plus a juvenile Gadwall with them, two Great Crested Grebes, 11 Dabchick plus for broods (four and three on Car Park and one and a two on Railway Pool), a single Heron, four Cormorant, 25 Black-headed Gulls, six Lesser Black-backed Gulls, five Common Terns, six Moorhen, 93 Coot, three Oystercatchers, 67 Lapwing, a Buzzard and a Kestrel.
Two Small Red-eyed Damselflies were visible on the Dragonfly Pond as well.
10th August 2012 - Sunny.
There was still at least one Greenshank on Railway Pool this afternoon but the birds are elusive and appear to leave site from time to time to feed elsewhere.
9th August 2012 - Sunny and hot.
A single Hobby was high up to the north of Siden Hill Wood catching dragonflies on the wing and two Buzzards were quartering the Reserve. Along the Old Road there were six Whitethroats, six Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap and a Reed Warbler with two Rooks in the dead tree on the flood plain.
A mobile Greenshank reappeared on Railway Pool mid-morning with two together a little later on, and also a Black-tailed Godwit on Car Park pool.
8th August 2012 - Sunny and warm.
Both Greenshanks were visible from Oak Hide, showing well in the early afternoon, and two Dunlin were on the gravel bar as viewed from River Hide. The juvenile Grey Wagtail was present again, but this time down the Old Road with at least 30 Goldfinches, two Chiffchaffs and at least one juvenile Sedge Warbler.
7th August 2012 - Showers.
Just a single Greenshank was visible today, though there may have been two with the birds quite well spread out, and one bird commuting between the main Reserve and the flood plain. There were singles of Green and Common Sandpiper and also three Oystercatchers.
6th August 2012 - Sunshine and showers.
Max Silverman has kindly text me to say there are two Greenshanks on Railway Pool this morning.
5th August 2012 - Sunshine and very heavy showers.
Brian Harris discovered a tricky wader on Railway Pool in the early morning which was initially thought to be a Temminck’s Stint but was subsequently identified as the Reserve’s second only Pectoral Sandpiper. Its small size added to the confusion and as an adult it lacked rufous tinges and a white V on the back. It flew off with Lapwings at 2.15. An adult Little Ringed Plover was new in too.
Other birds included a Snipe, three Oystercatchers and seven Common Terns.
4th August 2012 - Sunshine and showers.
After a single Yellow Wagtail by the cattle feeder yesterday, there were two today. It is always worth a check there and in the bushes behind.
Other birds of note included a juvenile Grey Wagtail on the blanket weed in front of River Hide, a juvenile Shelduck on Car Park Pool and the feral Pink-footed Goose again.
Graham’s counts were as follows: two Great Crested Grebes, nine Little Grebes with three broods, two Cormorants, five Herons, three Mute Swans and six cygnets, a Black Swan, 300 Greylags, 14 Farmyard Geese, a Canada Greylag hybrid, 53 Canadas, 53 Mallard, 8 Teal, six Shoveler, 16 Gadwall and two part grown broods, a drake Pochard, 12 Tufted Ducks and seven broods, 100 Coot, 13 Moorhen, 47 Lapwing, two Dunlin, 36 Black-headed Bulls, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls, seven Common Terns, a Kestrel, a Peregrine, and 20 Sand Martins.
3rd August 2012 - Sunny intervals, south-westerly
The Old Road was lively in the early morning with the following birds in the following locations:
Cottages: a singing Goldfinch, at least three Bullfinches, a singing Linnet and House Sparrow.
Car park gates: Mixed flock of Blue Tits, Great Tits, at least four Long-tailed Tits, two Chiffchaffs, a Treecreeper, a family party of two adults and two juvenile Reed Warblers and another Bullfinch.
Just north of the car park gate: two Whitethroats.
Top gate: A singing Song Thrush, another family party of Reed Warblers and at least four Chiffchaffs.
Between the top gate and the horse paddock: A Whitethroat, male and juvenile Bullfinch, a family party of Goldfinches and Greenfinches and another Tree Creeper.
Cattle feeder in the field: one Yellow Wagtail, four Pied Wagtails and a Lesser Whitethroat. Whitethroat and Willow Warbler in the bushes along the riverbank.
Opposite car park hide: 14 Goldfinches.
Causeway Screen: Six plus Reed Warblers and a pair of Sedge Warblers.
Railway Pool: Adult Dunlin, adult Little Ringed Plover, one adult Common Tern, a female Pochard and a female Teal.
Details have come through from the BTO showing that a Goldcrest that was caught in the Reedbed in a ringing session on 15th January 2012 has been controlled (i.e. trapped and released) at the Calf of Man Bird Observatory on the 18th March 2012. The distance travelled was 277 kilometres.
For the group of ringers that come to the Reserve, this is the first ringing recovery of this species. It is difficult to be sure whether the bird is of British or European origin but according to Wernham et al (the 2002 Migration Act list) it is noticeable that long distance movements of birds wintering in south-central England are mainly towards the north-west, suggesting a British or an Irish destination rather than a continental one. The Calf of Man is an important passage site for Goldcrests, suggesting that birds wintering to the south may originate in Scotland, Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man itself. Covering a distance of 277 kilometres, this is further than the two examples given by G and J Harrison in the 2005 Birds of the West Midlands, one of which was a bird ringed on the Isle of Man in September 1981 and recovered in Sutton Coldfield in 1983.
Interestingly, nine days after this recovery, a Goldfinch ringed in the same ringers garden in November 2011, was also caught on the Calf of Man.
2nd August 2012 - Sunshine and showers
A Common Sandpiper was a new arrival today and there were still three Common Terns present. Sand Martins have definitely been on the move and have been recorded at coastal observatories, so all counts are welcome and there were at least ten today. There were also four, recently fledged, Long-tailed Tits present, although unfortunately there was no location given. It is unusual for this species to nest so late.
1st August 2012 - Occasional sunny intervals, humid south-westerly
The feral Pink-footed Goose was again on Car Park Pool this morning with at least 340 Greylags. Yesterday’s two Dunlin were still present on Railway Pool along with three Oystercatchers. Three Common Terns were in noisy display flight over the Pools. Bullfinches were showing occasionally by the Cottages and on the west side, a brood of Blackcaps showed well by Lower Siden Hide with an elusive Sylvia warbler (Garden or Lesser Whitethroat) calling frequently from the adjacent Railway Embankment but it refused to show.
Other counts today of note included 35 Canada Geese, four Shoveler, 90 Mallard, 60 Coo, eight Herons, two Little Grebes, 55 Lapwings and 40 Starlings. The Dunlin were present until 2.40pm when they flew off and there was a Raven seen over the wood.