31st July 2011 - Occasional sunny periods, mostly overcast but warm southerly
The only records in the book were of singles of Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Pochard and Teal, plus three Oystercatchers and a Red Admiral.
30th July 2011 - Occasional sunny periods, mostly overcast but warm south easterly
Early morning waders included a Greenshank, one Green Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper, two Little Ringed Plovers (increasing to three later), two Ringed Plovers, a Snipe, two Redshanks and three Oystercatchers.
A family party, including two juvenile Reed Buntings, were along the Concrete Road. A Treecreeper and Willow Warbler were part of a mixed tit flock on the streamline and a Lesser Whitethroat frequented the scrub in the back gate enclosures.
The counts provided by Graham Rowling and Dave Scanlon for Saturday were as follows:
Six Little Grebes and one juvenile, 17 Herons (the best count of the autumn so far), six Cormorants, four Mute Swans and seven cygnets, a Black Swan and two hybrid cygnets, 144 Greylags, one Farmyard Goose, nine Canadas, 175 Mallard (again, the best count of the autumn so far), a single Teal, seven Gadwall but only a single brood of three part grown youngsters with the three Tufted Ducks, a drake Pochard, 12 Tufted Ducks and five broods (2:3:1:3:1), a Sparrowhawk, three Buzzards, 89 Coot, seven Moorhen, three Oystercatchers, 84 Lapwings, three Little Ringed Plovers, a single Redshank, Common Sandpiper, 78 Black-headed Gulls including six juveniles and two chicks, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a highly impressive 82 Common Terns of which 54 were adults and 28 were juveniles, a Kingfisher, a single Hobby, a Raven, a Water Rail on the Causeway and two Purple Hairstreaks in the oak trees on the Old Road north of the gate.
29th July 2011 - Overcast, north easterly
28th July 2011 - Sunny periods, light northerly
At least 60 Terns were present this morning, a mixtures of adults and fledged young. Pairs were seemingly in display flight and very noisy. A Hobby flashed through low over the Car Park at 9am.
There was again, plenty of warbler activity, although some patience is required.
On the railway embankment there were three each of Whitethroat and Blackcap (all juveniles), at least one adult Lesser Whitethroat and probably some youngsters (but they were all elusive) and a Sedge Warbler. By the south west pond, there was a singing Chiffchaff, a juvenile Sedge Warbler, a Blackcap and a Whitethroat, with a Chiffchaff feeding below the Oak Hide feeder, a Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler in the Car Park and, on the causeway, at least two Whitethroats and plenty of Reed Warblers.
In addition to the Chiffchaff, at the Oak Hide feeder, there were two Tree Sparrows, one which flew off south towards Patrick Farm.
Other than Lapwings, one adult Oystercatcher and a Common Sandpiper, there were no other waders first thing but four Little Ringed Plovers, of which three were juveniles, appeared later in the morning. The water level continues to fall and at least one Birch tree appears to have died along the Old Road with others on the Kenilworth Road looking pretty sorry for themselves.
27th July 2011 - Sunny periods, light northerly
The Little Egret put in one of its daily appearances during the late morning when a pair of Oystercatchers were also on site.
In the evening, an impressive 64 Common Terns were either roosting or noisily flying around the pools. This included 21 adults and 43 fledged young. Other birds of note included at least 3 Little Ringed Plovers, a Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper, two Redshanks and a Kingfisher.
26 July 2011 - Mostly overcast, light easterly
There was definitely a different feel to the day, possibly because the wind has moved round to the east. The Pools were relatively quiet with waders limited to the fledged Redshank chick, one adult and the nearly fledged Little Ringed Plover chick and an adult Oystercatcher. Around the Car Park pond and feeder, there was one scruffy adult Lesser Whitethroat and at least four Common Whitethroats with either those birds or a different group, a little earlier, in the dried up pond. A pair of Reed Buntings were feeding at least two fledged chicks in the reeds around the pond. Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers were also present there.
Badgers have been active with wasps nests almost opposite the car park and another one on the reed bed, both dug up and the contents consumed and ripped apart. However, many angry wasps were still present at both nests as I found to my cost!
The Common Terns were very noisy and active again this morning.
At lunchtime the Little Egret again roosted on Car Park pool and there were a minimum of 150 Lapwings present. The count was disrupted by a Sparrowhawk. A Ringed Plover, two Common Sandpipers and two adult and two fledged juvenile Little Ringed Plovers appeared later in the day and in the late evening there were 22 adult and 35 fledged Common Terns with two chicks yet to fledge.
25 July 2011 - Mostly sunny
The Little Egret, again, roosted on Car Park Pool at midday. Two Ravens flew over and there was a Hobby around the Car Park Pool for some of the morning. Three Whitethroats and three Blackcaps were on the Railway embankment and there was a Common Sandpiper on Railway Pool.
24 July 2011 - Sunny intervals, wind varying between north west and north east
Wader and wildfowl activity on the pools was much the same as yesterday. There remained plenty of activity on the Old Road with Bullfinch, House Sparrow, fledged Dunnock, Chiffchaff and Linnet by the cottages. At least four fledged Chiffchaffs were by the Guelder Rose just south of the top gate being fed by adults with a further two birds on the opposite side of the road and others along the Concrete Road and round the game crop.
Family parties of Whitethroats were around the horse paddock and opposite the car park. Along the Concrete Road, a Blackcap was eating Woody Nightshade berries which almost looked too big for it to consume.
There were Gate Keepers aplenty today, with a minimum of 80 counted between the gate on to the Concrete Road and the bend. There were also singles of Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and two Common Blues. A Southern Hawker was round the cottages and it was seen there last week as well.
As temperatures warmed up later in the day, patience was rewarded by a sighting of the Purple Hairstreak again in the top of the oaks just north of the car park on the Old Road. There may have been more than one. A Brown Hawker and a second Southern Hawker (by the causeway) were additions during the day as were Comma, Peacock and Red Admiral.
The Little Egret roosted at lunchtime and then returned to the river to feed.
23 July 2011 - Sunny intervals, north westerly
The Little Egret was seen again and a fifth brood of Gadwall was slightly overdue. A Water Shrew was seen on the path to River Hide and three fledged juvenile Bullfinches were with their parents by the back gate.
Other counts included five Dabchicks and a fledged young on Railway, nine Cormorants, nine Herons, four Mute Swans and seven cygnets, the Black Swan and two cygnets, 66 Greylags with one Farmyard Goose. Four Canadas, an impressive 109 Mallard, two Teal, 22 Gadwall with four broods of five, five, four and three, 12 Tufted and three broods of only five ducklings, the over-summering drake Pochard, 101 Coot, eight Moorhens, four Oystercatchers, two Ringed Plovers, three adult and four juvenile Little Ringed Plovers plus the chick, 185 Lapwing, three Common Sandpipers, one adult and a juvenile Redshank, 41 Black-headed Gulls with ten juveniles, 11 Common Terns with 23 juveniles.
On the central streamline, a Treecreeper, a Blackcap, a Garden Warbler and five Chiffchaffs were in a tit flock and there were four Whitethroats along the Old Road.
22 July 2011 - Sunny periods, north westerly, showers later
With the wind rather stuck in the north and north west, there has been nothing particularly out of the ordinary for some days, although a steady trickle of Common and Green Sandpipers and Little Ringed Plovers has been of interest.
However, today there was a new record for the Reserve in the shape of a Purple Hairstreak butterfly. Glenn Giles spotted the female at the top of the Oak just north of the car park gates along the Old Road. Hairstreaks are pretty unobtrusive butterflies at the best of times and Purple Hairstreaks often stay at the top of Oaks whilst White-letter Hairstreaks stay at the top of Elms and require patience and dedication to see them. An excellent addition to the butterfly list.
Birdwise there were two adult Little Ringed Plovers and a migrant juvenile and I am pleased to say that the half grown juvenile was spotted again and so had obviously been hiding over the last 2-3 days. A single Green Sandpiper, an adult and nearly, or fully fledged, Redshank youngster plus an Oystercatcher were the other waders of note.
In the afternoon, a Little Egret and 100-120 Jackdaws (no location given for either) were additional records of note.
21st July 2011 - Overcast, cool, north-westerly wind
Waders in the morning included two adult and two fledged Little Ringed Plovers but there was again no sign of the part grown juvenile that had been raised in front of Railway Hide, nor of the sitting bird near Oak Hide. There is a single adult Redshank, two Oystercatchers (one adult and one fledged juvenile) and an adult Ringed Plover. Around 10.30 a.m., a flock of 38 House Martins over Railway Pool appeared to be moving slowly south. There are still plenty of warblers in the various hedgerows but difficult to get to grips with in the blustery conditions.
20th July 2011 - Overcast, north-westerly wind.
19th July 2011 - Overcast, cool, drizzly, westerly wind.
No obvious signs of any Little Ringed Plovers or Ringed Plovers this morning and waders were limited to one adult and one fledged Oystercatcher, one adult and one nearly fledged Redshank and one Common Sandpiper. Singles of Pochard and Teal were the only ducks of note. Ten Sand Martins flew south at 8.15 a.m.
Later in the day, three adult Little Ringed Plovers and three juvenile Shelducks appeared. The Shelducks flew off late in the morning but returned to roost in the evening, when there was also a Green Sandpiper, three Common Sandpipers, at least 20 Swifts and a handful of Martins.
Thanks to those that attended the work party with some useful maintenance carried out. The view from Oak Hide has been improved, amongst other things.
18th July 2010 - Heavy showers, cool westerly wind.
Common Sandpipers were up to four this evening and a Green Sandpiper flew over at dusk. There were still four adult Little Ringed Plovers, together with a partly grown chick. One adult Redshank lingers on, with one fully grown and fledged youngster and one that is there or thereabouts. An adult Water Rail and a probable well grown young was seen at the causeway and hirundines included five House Martins, 35 Sand Martins and ten Swifts. 46 Common Terns roosted, including 36 fledged young.
Other birds of note included a Kingfisher, two Teal and the summering drake Pochard.
17th July 2011 - Strong north-westerly wind, regular heavy showers all day.
Some wader migration today included an increase in Common Sandpipers to four, three adult Little Ringed Plovers plus four fledged juveniles and the chick, two adult Redshanks and two fledged juveniles, at least one being from off-site, also the nearly fledged chick, three Oystercatchers (two adults and one fledged juvenile) and despite the blustery conditions, a Small Tortoiseshell. In the cool of the evening, there were at least 20 Swifts buzzing about and one tight flock of 35 Sand Martins flew north over the site. At least 30 Terns came into roost.
16th July 2011 - Overnight rain and prolonged rain in the morning, clearing with sun and showers in the afternoon, brisk south, south-westerly wind.
Warblers are beginning to form up into flocks with Tits and other birds and one such group at the junction between the top gate and the river this morning included at least three Lesser Whitethroats (probably a family party), at least three Whitethroats, two adult and two juvenile Chiffchaffs, the latter still being fed by the adults, an adult and two juvenile Pied Wagtails and a number of Blue and Great Tits. Chiffchaffs were beginning to congregate around the Old Road game cover with at least five calling in the hedgerows and a further two with two Blackcaps and a Whitethroat by the top gate / concrete road. At least three more Chiffchaffs and three Whitethroats and two Blackcaps were in the stretch of Old Road either side of the cottages, and three juvenile Sedge Warblers were in the Marsh.
By the cottages, a loose flock of Tits included a juvenile Coal Tit and Nuthatch (which flew over the Kenilworth Road towards Berkswell), two Goldcrests and some House Sparrows.
Waders were limited to two Common Sandpipers, two adult and two fledged Redshanks, two adult Little Ringed Plovers, one chick and one juvenile from elsewhere and three Teal and Shoveler were the main ducks of note.
On the flood plane, aside from 40 to 50 Lapwings, there was a flock of nearly 40 Starlings as well.
The Saturday counts were as follows: two Great Crested Grebes, four Dabchicks, three Cormorants, two Herons, four adult Mute Swans and seven cygnets (comprising the usual six on Railway Pool and the new youngster on Car Park Pool hatched adjacent to the site somewhere), a female Black Swan plus two cygnets, 62 Greylags, four Canadas, 32 Gadwall plus ten fledged young and two broods of a five and a three (the latter still with three young Tufteds), an increase in Mallard to 97, three Teal, a drake Pochard, only six Tufted Ducks plus two broods of eight on Car Park Pool and five on Railway Pool, 75 Coots, 40 Moorhens, 50 Lapwings, three Oystercatchers and a juvenile, two Common Sandpipers, one Ringed Plover, five adult Little Ringed Plovers, two juveniles and a chick, two adult Redshanks, one fledged juvenile and one nearly fledged juvenile, 64 Black-headed Gulls and 21 juveniles and four unfledged chicks, seven adult Common Terns and 34 juveniles, 70 Swifts (just as the rain stopped late morning) and a single Kingfisher over the Railway Pool.
15th July 2011 - Sunny and warm, north-westerly wind.
Much the same on the wader front this morning, with two Common and one Green Sandpiper, three adult Little Ringed Plovers and a chick, one Oystercatcher and the nearly fully grown Redshank, but no obvious adult Redshank.
Whitethroat and Blackcaps were active on the railway embankment and there was a Treecreeper on the central streamline.
14th July 2011 - Warm, sunny, brisk northerly wind.
Waders were limited to three adult Little Ringed Plovers plus the chick, at least two adult Redshanks, two roosting Oystercatchers on Railway Pool and a calling bird somewhere in the long grass around Car Park Hide, one Ringed Plover and one Common Sandpiper.
An adult and a second summer Lesser Black-backed Gull made an attempt to predate a young Coot from the water, just to the left of Oak Hide, but the two parents, the fully fledged youngster and a female Gadwall all successfully scared them off and then Terns and Gulls pursued the birds away from the pool. Three or four Common Tern young were fishing Car Park Pool as well and these are beginning to roam more widely.
13th July 2011 - North-easterly wind, occasional sunny intervals, reasonably warm.
A miscellany of records today, with insects including a Marbled White around the car park again, a Field Vole which ran across the path to Car Park Hide, and then fairly routine fair on the birding front with records in the log of three adult Little Ringed Plovers and the chick, three adult Redshanks and two fledged young, Green and Common Sandpiper, Sparrowhawk, two Buzzards and the pair of Green Woodpeckers.
Kestrels were about earlier in the spring and were occupying one of the nest boxes, but for whatever reason they appear to have been unsuccessful and certainly in the last few weeks there have been no records in the log book at all. Thus, if you do see Kestrels on the Reserve, please make sure you record them.
12th July 2011 - Mostly overcast, blustery westerly.
Migrant waders in the morning included two Common Sandpipers and two juvenile Little Ringed Plovers. The Little Ringed Plover chick was still on the island in front of Railway Hide. In the evening, there were pairs of Shoveler and Teal and an impressive count of 40 fledged Terns and still five chicks. A second Tufted brood of just a single was on Railway Pool and the earlier brood of five was till in-tact.
Two Swifts moved south around 8 p.m. and during the afternoon a Marbled White showed well around the car park.
11th July 2011 - Sunny intervals, north-westerly wind.
10th July 2011 - Mostly sunny, but with very heavy evening showers.
The Little Ringed Plover chick was still present, along with three Teal and a drake Pochard. There were now four Gadwall broods (ten, five, four and three plus the three Tufted ducklings). 43 Greylags including juveniles, plus four domestic Geese. Waders included two Ringed Plovers and a Common Sandpiper.
There was also a female Banded Demoiselle by the Dragonfly Pond.
9th July 2011 - Mostly sunny, south-westerly wind.
Some wader movement occurred overnight and into the early morning, with a fledged Little Ringed Plover about at dawn (but subsequently not seen), a party of five adult Redshanks, which were feeding for some of the morning opposite Oak Hide, and two Common Sandpipers. The single adults, with one chick each, were still on site but the other breeders appear to have departed and the five adults were in a close group and fed together, and definitely gave the appearance of being on the move. The Common Sandpipers may well have been on the river as one appeared to come from that direction onto Car Park Pool, and a second fed around the margins of the Railway Pool. The Little Ringed Plover pair sitting in front of Railway Hide finally hatched out a single youngster.
There was again plenty of warbler activity. On the railway embankment, a group of four recently fledged Whitethroats were being fed by both adults at the junction with the railway copse and behind Railway Hide itself there were three fledged Whitethroats from another brood. A Reed Warbler was feeding two fledged young in the hedge behind Oak Hide whilst, on the Old Road, there were young Blackcaps, Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs and the adult Lesser Whitethroat showed again opposite the car park gates. An active Willow Warbler worked its way down the Old Road towards the cottages and appeared to be on the move.
The Saturday counts were as follows: Two adult Mute Swans plus 6 cygnets, the Black Swan plus two cygnets, seven Greylags, four Canadas, 15 Gadwall with three broods totalling 21, two Teal, 72 Mallard and two broods totalling nine, two drake Pochards, nine Tufteds and one brood of three, five Little Grebe and two part grown young, two Great Crested Grebes, three Cormorants, eight Herons, one Sparrowhawk, six Buzzard, nine Moorhen, 63 Coots, two Oystercatchers and at least one young, six Little Ringed Plovers and one chick, 73 Lapwing, 89 Black-headed Gulls and 38 chicks, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls, nine adult Terns and 25 chicks.
The contractors at the railway have cut through the westerly arch to form a new temporary bed for the river, whilst the existing channel is temporarily blocked off and pumped dry, so that rock armour can be put in place to protect the arch.
8th July 2011 - Showery, south-westerly wind.
No records for the moment.
7th July 2011 - Sunshine and showers, blustery south-westerly wind.
There were a number of young birds around today, including a family party of Robins in the copse opposite the cottages and also a young Song Thrush, a large mixed party of young Tits by the back gate, including at least three Long-tailed Tits, plus a Treecreeper. Young Whitethroats were on the railway embankment, but I am not entirely clear whether there are pairs on both sides or whether it is just the one pair.
There were four Pochards on Railway Pool, together with three Shoveler and still at least four Little Ringed Plovers and one Ringed Plover.
Later in the day an adult Redshank with two young were reported to the right of the north causeway screen. Two Swifts went south.
6th July 2011 - Sunshine and showers, blustery south-westerly wind.
5th July 2011 - Sunny start, forecasted rain for the afternoon, light south-easterly wind.
Other than two drake Pochards and a singing Goldcrest by the cottages, it was much the same as normal this morning.
Miscellaneous evening counts included seven Pochard, two Teal, 31 Greylags, at least one adult Oystercatcher and three young, two young Dabchicks on Railway Pool, three adult and two juvenile Redshanks, seven Little Ringed Plovers, two Ringed Plovers and 22 fledged Common Terns and ten chicks.
A dead Mole was in the grass near Oak Hide.
4th July 2011 - Sunny intervals, light south-easterly wind.
The Hobby again showed around the middle of the day, the elusive Lesser Whitethroat put in a brief appearance on the Old Road and a Kingfisher showed well around the Reedbed and the two causeway screens.
3rd July 2011 - Sunny morning, progressively more cloudy as the day went on, warm light north-westerly wind
The highlights of an otherwise quiet day was the first Marbled White of the year in front of Oak Hide and an obliging Hobby which spent much of the time feeding over Car Park Pool or around the central streamline during the afternoon. One of the younger Redshank chicks has either been predated or was hiding in the Marsh as it did not show during the afternoon. No sign of the Egrets today but a Tree Sparrowwas again calling at the Oak Hide feeder.
2nd July 2011 - Sunny morning, progressively more cloudy as the day went on, warm light north-westerly wind
The highlight of the day was three Little Egrets - an adult with two young - which spent part of the day on Car Park Pool and part of the day feeding on the river. The adult had full plumes and the family party suggests successful local breeding.
Other records of interest included the third Gadwall brood of the year, which included three Gadwall ducklings and three Tufted ducklings, another case in another year of egg dumping. Tufted Ducks did not even reach single figures after good double figure counts over the preceding months. The post-breeding flock of Lapwing reached 164 and the final tally of gull and Tern chicks appears to be 43 Black-headed Gulls and 24 Common Terns.
The first Gatekeepers were on the wing and there was also the first Brown Hawker of the year around Dragonfly Pond. A Kingfisher on the Reedbed showed well. The counts were as follows: four Great Crested Grebes, six Dabchicks and part grown chick, five Herons, three Little Egrets, two adult Mute Swans and six cygnets, a Black Swan and two cygnets, 27 Greylags, four Canadas, 50 Mallards and one new chick in front of Railway Hide, 31 Gadwall plus 21 ducklings (including three Tufteds), nine Tufted Ducks, two male Pochard, a male Teal, two Oystercatchers and three chicks, 164 Lapwings, one Ringed Plover, four Little Ringed Plovers, four Redshank and three chicks, 45 Black-headed Gulls plus 33 fledged and ten chicks, one Lesser Black-back, 14 adult, 14 fledged and ten Common Tern chicks, a Kingfisher and three Linnets.
Treecreepers were also much in evidence with one in the horse paddock north of the top gate, three just north of the Aeromodellers Club, two in Siden Hill Wood and at least one by the Packhorse Bridge. Very vocal young Coal Tits were totalled at least three in and around Siden Hill Wood and there was a young Goldcrest by the back gate.
1st July 2011 - Sunny, some cloud, north-westerly wind.
The Green Sandpiper was about again, assuming to favour amongst other places the Dragonfly Pond. There was also a Tree Sparrow at the Oak Hide feeder. At 3 p.m. there were at least three Lesser Whitethroats showing well opposite the car park gates and calling frequently. (The call is like two stones being knocked together, and is harsher than that from Blackcap for example).
By the top gate there was a family party of at least five Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs were feeding young by the horse paddock.
Later in the day, two Little Egrets appeared on Car Park Pool to roost.