31st January 2012 - Cold, frosty, mostly sunny.
30th January 2012 - Cold, frosty, mostly sunny.
11 Snipe were in front of Oak Hide in the channel, at least 12 Yellowhammers were in the crop field and, elsewhere, two male Bullfinches and a Treecreeper were reported.
29th January 2012 - Overcast, after a frosty start, light south easterly
An adult Meditteranean Gull was an excellent find amongst the Black-heads on Railway Pool in the early afternoon and coincided with a good Gull movement the previous day. Other goods birds included a Peregrine and a pair of Goosanders
28th January 2012 - Cold after a frosty start, mostly sunny, cool northerly
A female Goosander appeared briefly at 10am but did not linger. A Weasel showed well on the central streamline. In the late morning, there was an excellent Gull passage with some dropping in but most flying over with minimum counts of 34 Herring Gulls, 28 Lesser Black-backs and six Greater Black-backs. Of the latter, three adults and one immature went over west, an immature landed briefly on Railway Pool followed by a second winter. There were at least 200 Black-headed Gulls and eight Commons but there was a turnover all day.
There were also some good counts of Wigeon with 270 being the best number this winter. Lapwing, which have been rather thin on the ground and probably put off by the Peregrine, reached 413 today, again the best count of the winter.
Other counts, courtesy of Graham Rowling, Dave Scanlon and John Belsey were: three Herons, 28 Cormorants, 11 Mutes, the female Black Swan and Hybrid, 173 Greylags, five Farmyard Geese, 270 Wigeon, 45 Gadwall, 135 Teal, 42 Mallard, 35 Shoveler, 18 Pochard, 24 Tufted, 12 Moorhen, 68 Coot, three Dabchick, 413 Lapwing, seven Snipe, two Lesser Redpolls and, in the crop field, 26 Yellowhammer, 19 Linnet, 15-20 Chaffinch and a few Greenfinch and Reed Bunting
27th January 2012 -
There were 13 Snipe in front of Oak Hide in the late morning and within Siden Hill Wood, two singing Goldcrests, two pairs of Great Spotted Woodpecker including one drumming, a Treecreeper and Nuthatch; also 15 Fieldfare
26th January 2012 - Sunshine and showers, cold south, south-westerly wind.
40 Golden Plover circled Railway Pool for two minutes this morning at about 10.30, the drake Shelduck was still present and there were six Meadow Pipits by Car Park Hide. The Finch and Bunting flock in the crop field remains at the same level as in the previous days. There were plenty of birds in song this morning and Long-tailed Tits were prospecting nest sites along the Old Road and the concrete road. Lastly, there were six Snipe in the Marsh.
25th January 2012 - High cloud, mild, light south westerly
The Oystercatcher was again present on the Car Park Pool islands along with 24 Cormorants and a drake Shelduck. A Water Rail called frequently from the area to the north causeway and a Peregrine put in a brief appearance over Railway Pool. A Treecreeper was in regular song along the central streamline.
24th January 2012 - Overnight rain lingered into the morning, slowly clearing. Westerly
There were at least 20 Yellowhammers in the crop field with a few Chaffinches and Greenfinches. Gulls were coming into Railway Pool from the south during the morning and included at least 12 Common Gulls. 21 Cormorants roosted on Car Park Pool. A pair of Treecreepers showed well in the alders by the top gate.
23rd January 2012 - Mostly sunny, westerly wind, occasional light showers
The most unexpected bird today was a very early Oystercatcher, roosting on the most northerly island on Car Park Pool. There was also a probable Willow Tit calling along the Old Road near to the entrance gate cottages. Unfortunately the bird was not seen to clinch its identity.
We are undertaking some maintenance work to the Reedbed Pool next week, and the water level will be temporarily lowered before being reinstated again.
22nd January 2012 - Mostly bright and sunny with a cool and strong north-westerly wind.
The better birds included two adult Great Black-backed Gulls, one on Railway Pool and a separate bird that flew over, 200 Black-headed Gulls, 35 Yellowhammers, 40 Linnets, a female Peregrine and a pale Buzzard. Shelduck was again present, there were two male Bullfinches (no location given), and a flock of 200 Wood Pigeon with a not dissimilar size flock the day before.
21st January 2012 - Overcast, drizzly, light but increasing westerly wind.
Less usual birds included, initially, a flock of ten confiding Lesser Redpolls in the Alders along the concrete road and, later, either a different flock or part of the same flock totalled 25 along the central stream. Two separate Ravens flew over in the morning with probably one of the same group seen nearer to lunchtime. In the crop field there was a flock of at least 60 to 70 birds, including 40 Chaffinches and at least 20 Yellowhammers, together with a few Greenfinches and Reed Buntings.
Three separate Goldcrests were seen, with singles along the concrete road by the south-west pond and on the railway embankment. There were three Meadow Pipits by the car park, a Sparrowhawk and two Buzzards showed and the regular counts included 21 Cormorants, three Dabchicks, eight Mute Swans, a Black Swan and hybrid young, 69 Greylags, 12 Farmyard Geese, two Canadas, 242 Wigeon, 65 Gadwall, 114 Teal, 55 Mallard, 13 Shoveler, 27 Pochard, 20 Tufteds, 62 Coot, 11 Moorhen, 125 Black-headed Gulls, 16 Common Gulls, 11 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 12 Herring Gulls which flew over, seven Herons, a Skylark and 27 Lapwing.
20th January 2012 - Overcast, generally gold and wet. North-westerly wind.
The best bird today was a Jack Snipe which was flushed beside the oak tree (presumably the one by Oak Hide). This is the first record this year.
The regular female Peregrine was perched on the edge of the railway arches during the afternoon, and was mobbed by a Kestrel, the latter also being the first record of the month. Three Meadow Pipits were again around the car park and tip field, and there were 30 Yellowhammers in the crop field. A Pale Phase Buzzard showed well along the Old Road. This is probably the bird that visits occasionally from the Estate (where it is regular) and it shows some plumage characteristics of Rough-legged Buzzard, including a white rump.
The laying of the hedge along the Kenilworth Road has commenced today. A short section of the east hedge to the Old Road is also programmed for laying, adjacent to the Dragonfly Pond.
19th January 2012 - Overcast and showery. North-westerly wind.
18th January 2012 - Mild, grey and overcast.
A front moved south-east overnight bringing some light rain and temperatures have improved by at least 10 degrees. Nevertheless, the ice is obviously quite thick with only a small area of open water existing in the north-west corner of Car Park Pool and held only a handful of Mallard this morning. Railway Pool on the other hand has much more open water and virtually all the wildfowl were concentrated here, though nothing out of the ordinary appeared to be amongst them.
In the crop field there were at least 30 Yellowhammers and 12 Pheasants this morning and by 8.45 am some Chaffinches and Greenfinches were flying in to join the Buntings. Three Redpolls and three Siskins were in the alders along the Old Road and another five Redpolls were along the central stream. Three Meadow Pipits came up from by the side of the Dragonfly Pond.
A Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming again by the south-west pond and both Goldfinch and Song Thrush were by the cottages.
17th January 2012 - Remaining cold, frosty and icy.
16th January 2012 - Cold, frosty and sunny.
There were still plenty of Finches and Buntings at the south end of the crop field. The Linnets seemed slightly down on the weekend but, nevertheless, there were at least 75 to 100 birds. On the pools, the decreasing area of open water still held at least 71 Coot spread between the two pools, and nine male Shovelers were at the top end of Car Park Pool. Six Snipe showed with at least ten Moorhens in the channel in front of Oak Hide.
In the late morning a pair of Goosanders were present, briefly.
15th January 2012 - Cold, frosty and sunny.
A pair of Peregrine were present today, the usual pale headed female and a juvenile male with both flying off together in the early afternoon.
A ringing session around the Reedbed and the crop field yielded at least 35 Reed Buntings, the best count of this winter period, with more coming into the Reedbed at dusk which remained un-ringed. Other bonuses from the ringing session included a female Green Woodpecker and a Goldcrest. 50 Starlings came into the Reedbed to roost as well.
The ringing totals were as follows: two Blue Tits, one Great Tit, one Robin, three Wrens, a female Green Woodpecker, one Dunnock, one Goldcrest, 35 Reed Buntings of which two were re-traps, split 18 males to 17 females.
14th January 2012 - Cold and frost, but sunny.
The cold weather is beginning to have an affect on the open water with most of the Reedbed and parts of the two main pools now frozen over.
The cold weather has altered the balance of the wildfowl too, with Wigeon, Gadwall and Teal remaining fairly constant but Mallard dropping significantly from 68 last weekend to 12 this weekend and Shoveler dropping from 23 to nine; Pochard are fairly consistent at around 24, but Tufted Duck are increasing and reached 40 at the weekend.
There was also a significant increase in Linnets, with a fairly consistent 20 to 30 birds increasing to at least 160. The Yellowhammer figures remained fairly constant at around 30. There was also a flock of 20 Lesser Redpolls along the central streamline early in the morning but they regrettably did not linger. The weekend counts were as follows: 19 Cormorants, three Herons, 12 Mute Swans, a Black Swan and hybrid, 380 Greylags, 17 Farmyard Geese, two Shelduck, 220 Wigeon, 108 Teal, 76 Gadwall, 12 Mallard, nine Shoveler, 24 Pochard, 40 Tufteds, 50 Coot, ten Moorhen, a Lapwing, 11 Snipe, 84 Black-headed Gulls, one Common Gull, a Lesser Black-backed Gull, a Kingfisher along the top stream and three Meadow Pipits.
A female Peregrine was again present, spending part of the day perched in the big Poplar at the middle front edge of Siden Hill Wood.
13th January 2012 - Cold, frosty and sunny
A female Goosander flew low to the north at 8.55am this morning. The crop field was reasonably lively with minimum counts of 20 Reed Buntings, 15 Yellowhammers, 15 Chaffinches and 11 Linnets. There were two Song Thrushes along the Old Road and two on the causeway and this morning the Kingfisher was feeding along the north shore of Car Park Pool. There was at least one pair of Shelducks on Car Park Pool as well.
The mild weather has already encouraged the Tits to start pairing up and there was display flight from a male Blue Tit in the crop field oaks. Tits have also been prospecting the nest boxes in the last few days.
The regular Buzzard was sitting on the fence posts in the tip field and another was perched in the top of one of the trees in Siden Hill Wood.
12th January 2012 - Sunshine and showers, turning appreciably colder as a cold front moved south-east.
11th January 2012 - Light south-westerly wind, remaining mild, Sunny intervals.
10th January 2012 - Light South-westerly wind, remaining mild, sunny intervals.
Two tight flocks of Lapwings, totalling about 200 birds, went over high to the north-east this morning at about 8.15 a.m. Whether they were birds on the move, or birds that had been disturbed by the Peregrine is not clear, but certainly Lapwing numbers have dropped since the Peregrine has been a regular visitor.
On the pools, there was a single male and a single female Shelduck in the early morning, with two pairs later, a lingering Dabchick and the other usual wildfowl. Six Stock Doves were of note, a Green Woodpecker called from Siden Hill Wood, and there was plenty of song this morning including a Song Thrush by the cottages. The Old Road held Siskin, Redpoll and two pairs of Bullfinches.
9th January 2012 - Light South-westerly wind, remaining mild, sunny intervals.
The mild weather continues and, as a result, there has been relatively little of note today. Shelduck numbers were up to three (one male and two females) and there were eight Common Gulls.
8th January 2012 - Mild, light westerly wind, sunny intervals.
The female Peregrine was perched for much of the morning in its usual and favoured post, the dead top to the Larch in Siden Hill Wood.
There were still small groups of Redwings and Fieldfares across the flood plain and a Grey Wagtail by the sewage pumping station.
Eight attended the work party in the afternoon, with work concentrated on the west side. Brambles were removed from around the car park gates, the various Tit boxes were emptied and nine out of the 11 had been used. The Owl box was doing its job and held a Tawny Owl.
Some rubbish was cleared as well, and netting was put on the style and the bridge over the ditch-line. Many thanks to all those who attended.
7th January 2012 - Mostly cloudy, occasional sunny intervals, mild westerly wind.
Plenty of birds but nothing particularly unusual. Two Shelducks were present today and, in the crop field, there were 16 Yellowhammers, 20 Linnets, ten Reed Buntings, 39 Jackdaws and 23 Pheasants.
On the pools, Graham’s counts were: 28 Cormorants, seven Herons, a Dabchick, ten Mute Swans, a Black Swan, 286 Greylags, 13 Farmyard Geese, 234 Wigeon, 84 Gadwall, 139 Teal, 68 Mallard, 23 Shoveler, 26 Pochard, 30 Tufteds, 15 Moorhen, 57 Coot, six Lapwing, 200 Black-headed Gulls, 18 Common Gulls, five Lesser Black-backs, a Kingfisher, one Meadow Pipit over, a female Peregrine mobbing a Buzzard and three Collared Doves over the Railway Pool towards the cottages.
6th January 2012 - Overcast, blustery west, south-westerly wind.
A quality bird today in the shape of a female or juvenile Merlin which chased a Passerine across Railway Pool, perched briefly on the embankment and then departed. A Water Rail showed at the causeway and there were two Siskins and a Bullfinch on the Old Road.
5th January 2012 - Very strong north westerly wind, squally showers
The best birds of the year so far were five Pintail which showed well on Railway Pool from River Hide. The two males and 3 females were preferring the flooded margins on the river side of the Hide.
The strong wind was to the liking of the Gulls, particularly Common Gulls, with a minimum of 40 on site at any one time but birds coming and going all morning. Cormorants were up to 59, the Kingfisher showed well at the causeway screen and Yellowhammers were up to a minimum of 35 in the crop field.
4th January 2012 - Light frost, sunny start, cold westerly wind.
No great change from previous days. A minimum of 15 each of Yellowhammer, Linnet and Chaffinch in the crop field and still a few Thrushes about including 15 Redwing along the Old Road. The Kingfisher was, as ever, present around the causeway screen and a Water Rail showed well in the marsh. Two Nuthatches visited the Oak Hide feeder and there were a pair of Lesser Redpolls along the Old Road.
3rd January 2012 - Strong south-westerly wind, hail and rain.
Various good counts despite the appalling weather including 48 Cormorants, 79 Gadwall, 29 Shoveler and 28 Pochard. A Water Rail showed again in the Marsh and the Kingfisher by the causeway.
2nd January 2012 - Sunny all day, cold blustery westerly wind.
A slightly wetter Marsh appears to be more to the liking of Snipe with 13 there this morning and an additional three in front of Car Park Pool. Still plenty of Gulls about, including eight Herring Gulls, 15 Lesser Black-backs and ten Common Gulls. Cormorants increased to 32. There was a Shelduck on Car Park Pool and in the crop field, seven Yellowhammers and ten Linnets, with 12 Siskins and eight Redpolls behind Oak Hide.
1st January 2012 - Mostly overcast, rain p.m., westerly wind.
A significant increase in Chaffinches today with at least 110 at the south end of the crop field with 25-30 Linnet, 10-15 Greenfinches, a Siskin and three Goldfinches. There were about 10 Yellowhammers and probably half that number of Reed Buntings in the crop field.
The Kingfisher showed well from the north causeway screen this morning, favouring the left hand side including the fence where it takes the fish that it has caught for dispatching.
A juvenile Great Crested Grebe was new in.
Later in the day, Common Gulls were up to 27 and Gadwalls were an impressive 84.