30th September 2011 - Hot, sunny, south, south-westerly wind.
29th September 2011 - Hot, sunny, south, south-westerly wind.
The Old Road was quite lively first thing with at least 20 Chaffinches, eight Reed Buntings, two Chiffchaffs and two Bullfinches spread along its length from the cottages to the Aeromodellers. The first Common Gull of the autumn was on Car Park Pool in the early afternoon, along with singles of Green and Common Sandpiper.
28th September 2011 - Hot, sunny, south, south-westerly wind.
27th September 2011 - Sunny, warm with a south-south-westerly wind.
The best of today’s birds was an adult Peregrine which hunted the pools in the morning and landed on Tern island before flying off. A single Common Sandpiper and four Snipe fed on the pool margins, a Nuthatch visited the Oak Hide feeder and a trickle of Meadow Pipits and Swallows flew south.
Later in the day, a late Hobby took advantage of the warm conditions and the plentiful supply of Common Darters that were on the wing.
26th September 2011 - Sunny periods, south-westerly wind.
Little of note limited to one Common Sandpiper, two Snipe, a Buzzard and Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
25th September 2011 - Sunshine and showers, south-westerly wind.
Nothing particularly unusual; Wigeon had increased to 16, there were five Snipe, singles of Green and Common Sandpiper, a light passage of Swallows and at least one Raven flew north along the railway embankment.
24th September 2011 - Misty start and mostly overcast all day, south-westerly wind.
Much more of interest today with the highlights being two Golden Plover south at just after 9 a.m., three Black Terns which dropped in briefly and then passed through at 10.35 a.m., and a Wheatear around the car park mid morning.
A trickle of visible migration throughout the day saw ten Meadow Pipits, eight Pied Wagtails and 20 Swallows through by 9 a.m. with, subsequently, five Skylark, nine Siskin and a Redpoll also noted. Warblers included at least eight Chiffchaffs spread across the Reserve and three Blackcaps (two males and a female or juvenile) on the railway embankment, whilst a Treecreeper showed well in the enclosures by the back gate. A Kingfisher was again on view mostly around the Reedbed and the rest of the Saturday counts taking the highest from two counts (one in the morning and one in the afternoon), were as follows: One Great Crested Grebe, six Dabchicks, 11 Cormorants, nine Herons, eight Mute Swans, a Black Swan and fledged cygnet, 142 Greylags, 42 Gadwall, 15 Wigeon, 52 Teal, 72 Mallard, 36 Shoveler, seven Pochard, 36 Tufted, 74 Coot, 15 Moorhen, a Water Rail at the causeway, eight Snipe, 250 Lapwing, 213 Black-headed Gulls, 11 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, two Common Sandpipers and a Green Sandpiper.
23rd September 2011 - Mostly cloudy, south-westerly wind.
22nd September 2011 - Sunny intervals south-westerly wind
The only records in the log were of a juvenile Peregrine on Car Park Pool, a female Sparrowhawk around the Oak Hide, a mobile Green Sandpiper on both pools and five Siskins on the Old Road.
21st September 2011 - The front moved away to the south-east and it was sunny from about 7.30 / 8 a.m. Light westerly wind.
With the disappearance of the front to the south-east this morning, visible migration got going pretty well straight away with Swallows and Meadow Pipits to the fore. In an hours count between 7.40 and 8.40 a.m., 106 Swallows and 41 Meadow Pipits moved south along with two Siskins, a Skylark, a Pied Wagtail, one Sand Martin and some distant Finches over Siden Hill Wood. The Swallows and, to a lesser extent, Meadow Pipits were all moving through just above the ground and could be missed easily amongst the trees and hedgerows. A Grey Wagtail also flew to the east.
The Old Road was also more lively than of late with a small build up of Reed Buntings (seven), a Yellowhammer between the gate and the car park and at least six Chaffinches, three Greenfinches and a Yellowhammer in the game crop by the Aeromodellers. Three Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap and three Bullfinches were present around the top gate area and four Skylarks and three Meadow Pipits on the crop field. A Herring Gull and a Green Sandpiper also dropped in.
20th September 2011 - Blustery westerly wind and overcast.
Another day of a good turnover of Black-headed Gulls with birds coming and going all the time and a minimum of 300 on Car Park Pool at 9 a.m. There were also 13 Lesser Black-backs with the Black-headed Gulls. There were 22 Tufteds and a Great Crested Grebe with a number of other ducks on Car Park Pool but, generally, duck numbers seem to be lower and Railway Pool was quiet. There appeared to be little on the move overhead other than a solitary Swallow.
In the afternoon, Snipe were up to eight, there were single Common Sandpipers on both Railway and Car Park Pools, but Wigeon remained at 14.
19th September 2011 - Mostly overcast, south-westerly wind.
An hours count between 3.15 and 4.15 yielded ten Swallows, two Meadow Pipits south, 18 Herons, 14 Wigeon, and at least 300 Black-headed Gulls on the pools and three Buzzards in the air.
18th September 2011 - Cool overnight, sunshine and occasional showers, light south-westerly wind.
A trickle of migration again today, but in no great numbers. Meadow Pipits were again on the move but in fewer numbers than the last few days (no specific counts). At least 15 Swallows, 11 Sand Martins, two Grey Wagtails, 22 Siskins and a Redpoll were the most noteworthy birds on the move. A juvenile Peregrine was perched in the top of the dead Larch in Siden Hill Wood, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Buzzard were also in the air in the warmer afternoon sun, and the lingering Whitethroat was again on the railway embankment.
17th September 2011 - Sunny and occasional showers, south-westerly wind and cool.
A small amount of overhead movement during the morning included 38 Swallows, 12 House Martins, two Sand Martins, four Pied Wagtails and four Meadow Pipits. A flock of ten Siskins fed in the Alders along the concrete road and lingering warblers included at least eight Chiffchaffs spread across the Reserve, four Blackcaps (three on the railway embankment and one on the Old Road) and a Whitethroat also on the railway embankment. A Redpoll flew over low by the back gate at about 9 am., and the other birds during the morning count were as follows: one Great Crested Grebe, four Dabchicks, 17 Cormorants, 12 Herons, 13 Mute Swans, a Black Swan and fledged cygnet, 446 Greylags, 12 Farmyard Geese, one Greylag / Canada cross, 66 Canadas, 32 Gadwall, 52 Teal, ten Wigeon, 46 Shoveler, 79 Mallard, 16 Pochard, 30 Tufted Ducks, 81 Coot, 15 Moorhen, one Water Rail (causeway), 283 Lapwing, two Snipe, one Common Sandpiper, 334 Black-headed Gulls, 27 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (ten on the Car Park Pool and 17 on the freshly ploughed land east of the A452), one Herring Gull, ten Rooks on the flood plain and Kingfisher. Vocal Goldcrest were by the cottages and by the kennels.
16th September 2011 - Warm, still, south-easterly wind.
Wigeon had increased to 11 by this morning and the first substantial Siskin numbers, 12, flew over to the south. Lingering warblers included at least four Chiffchaffs and three Blackcaps, the latter to the rear of Railway Hide. There were 20 Linnets in the crop field and on the pools, and Green and Common Sandpiper were both present.
15th September 2011 - Sunny, still after a cool start.
Birds were obviously on the move today and a short sky watch from 11.10 to 11.25 am yielded the following birds south: 14 Swallows, 10 House Martins, six Meadow Pipits, six Goldfinches, three Greenfinches and a Pied Wagtail. A vocal young Buzzard and an adult were present around the crop field and a Kestrel thermaling towards the Aeromodellers.
Later in the day, a Kingfisher showed in front of Oak Hide and the regular Green Woodpecker was towards the back gate.
14th September 2011 - Sunny, south-westerly wind, cool.
The pools were quiet this morning but there was a little bit of passage overhead with Hobby, Yellow and Grey Wagtail and six Meadow Pipits on the move, the latter the first of the year.
13th September 2011 - Mostly sunny, occasional showers, blustery south-westerly wind.
The elusive Garganey was again on Car Park Pool in the morning, and a Peregrine also went over. Green and Common Sandpipers were present along with 300 Black-headed Gulls.
Eight attended the evening work party - many thanks to those who attended - and the principle job was striming the islands on Railway Pool and removing some of the Ragwort and Willow that was beginning to emerge.
Whilst on the islands, my dog became particularly interested in the pipes that were originally put in as shelter for young Terns. On lifting the pipes a family of Short-tailed Field Voles were discovered (two adults and two young) and there were almost certainly others elsewhere on the islands. They have presumably reached the island by swimming (as most mammals can) and seem quite content. The dog, however, was less impressed by being withdrawn from proceedings!
12th September 2011 - Warm and still strong westerly winds.
The better of the birds today included a Little Egret, a Greenshank and four Greater Black-backed Gulls, whilst a late Small Copper butterfly was the highlight of the insects.
11th September 2011 - Mostly dry, sunny, warm but windy from the west.
The wretched cows got in again and a frustrating morning was spent trying to get them back onto the west side again. An electric fence has now been erected which will hopefully keep them out, but much of the crop field has been trashed.
The most noteworthy record of the day was a Black-headed Gull movement which saw at least 600 to 700 birds present during the morning, together with two Greater Black-backed Gulls. There were four Wigeon, a few hirundines still moving through, a Common Sandpiper and a Yellow Wagtail.
Later in the day the Garganey reappeared and 100 Starlings went to roost in the Reedbed.
10th September 2011 - Overcast drizzly start, remaining warm and windy, sunny thereafter with heavy showers in the evening.
A fantastic movement of hirundines during the early morning saw at least 500 Swallows move through by 8 am., and 300 House Martins between 8 am and 9.45 am, after which passage largely either ceased or, more likely, became less obvious in the sunny conditions. The male Garganey was still present and the other counts were as follows: one Great Crested Grebe, seven Dabchicks, 14 Herons, 11 Cormorants, 15 Mute Swans, the Black Swan and one cygnet, 296 Greylags, ten Farmyard Geese, one Canada / Greylag cross, 138 Canadas, 80 Gadwall, 128 Mallard, 54 Teal, a drake Garganey, 27 Shoveler, three Wigeon, 18 Pochard, 31 Tufteds, 101 Coot, 11 Moorhen, 540 Black-headed Gulls, one Herring Gull, 13 Lesser Black-backs, 107 Lapwings (including one which appeared to be partly submerged for most of the morning), 100 plus Jackdaws and four Rooks.
9th September 2011 - Warm, sunny periods, brisk south-westerly wind.
The Garganey was present and a variety of Odonata showed including three Small Red-eyed Damselflies on the Reedbed Pool. There were also Brown Hawkers there and on the Reserve generally, at least three Migrant Hawkers and five Common Darters. A Brimstone was an unseasonal record. There was a small Smooth Newt on the causeway and Roesel and Common Green Grasshoppers were also seen and heard.
In the afternoon, the cows from the adjoining fields managed to get around the stock fences due to the low water level and were happily munching away in the crop field. The effect of moving them back onto the right side of the pool was that Green Sandpiper, Snipe and Yellow Wagtail were all seen. 11 Linnets came in to roost along the Old Road.
8th September 2011 - Overcast start, clearing later, sunny intervals with a westerly wind.
An adult Arctic Tern on Car Park Pool at 12.15 and again at 12.30 pm was the best bird of the day, but the elusive Garganey also reappeared and House Martin passage continues with at least 25 through or present at mid-day.
7th September 2011 - Still blustery from the west, although not as strong. Mostly dry and overcast.
Hirundines continued to move through and between 11.50 a.m. and 12.20 p.m., a steady stream of mostly House Martins came in from the north-east, fed in the lee of Siden Hill Wood before trickling off to the south. In that period, at least 100 House Martins, 10 Swallows and two Sand Martins moved through. The only other bird of note in that period was an adult Herring Gull which was roosting with the Black-heads on Car Park Pool before departing to the north-west.
6th September 2011 - Very windy after patchy overnight rain, showery during the day but clearing in the late afternoon.
Despite the very strong windy conditions, hirundines were still on the move. Between 8 and 9 a.m., at least 26 House Martins, four Swallows and three Sand Martins moved through, keeping low in the blustery conditions.
In the evening there were at least 50 Swallows feeding up prior to roosting, and the elusive Garganey appeared again. Wigeon had increased to four, a Common Sandpiper was present on and off for much of the day, and Dabchicks were up to 11. A Tern species appeared at dusk, presumed to be Common.
5th September 2011 - Sunshine and showers, blustery south-westerly wind.
The Garganey showed again on the south end of Car Park Pool, best viewed from River Hide. Swallows were again on the move with at least 20 through at 8.30 am.
4th September 2011 - Overnight rain clearing slowly, sunshine and showers.
The new bird of the day was a moulting drake Pintail on the Reedbed Pool and the Garganey was also re-found. A Ringed Plover was a brief addition to the waders and Wigeon numbers increased to three during the day. Two Ravens flew over Patrick Farm and a Hobby was perhaps attracted by good numbers of dragonflies including at least eight Southern Hawkers, 20 Common Darters and a number of migrant Hawkers.
3rd September 2011 - Warm and sunny.
Some reasonably good birds today with a juvenile Ruff briefly at 7.15 am, before being flushed by a Sparrowhawk, the reappearance of the Garganey, a Snipe and the Little Egret again. A late Common Tern also put in an appearance in the afternoon.
The weekend counts were as follows: 11 Cormorants, 10 Herons, two Great Crested Grebes, six Dabchicks, 16 Mute Swans, the Black Swan and a cygnet, 331 Greylags, six Farmyard Geese, 127 Canadas, 74 Gadwall, 69 Teal, a drake Garganey, 99 Mallard, 24 Shoveler, two Wigeon, 22 Pochard, 33 Tufted, 90 Coot, 11 Moorhen, a Water Rail, one Common and two Green Sandpipers, a Snipe, 165 Black-headed Gulls, six Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 120 Jackdaws, five Rooks; warblers included at least three Whitethroats, three Blackcaps, a Reed Warbler, two Tree Creepers and 15 Chiffchaffs were spread across the Reserve.
A migrant Grey Wagtail also flew over.
2nd September 2011 - Mostly overcast, south westerly wind.
A notable movement of Black-headed Gulls today with variable numbers. Attached to them was a fine adult winter Mediterranean Gull which, unfortunately, did not linger long. The Black-headed Gull numbers were 240 at 14.15, 120 at 15.30, and 190 at 16.15. A Little Egret also put in a brief appearance and Herons reached 17.
1st September 2011 - Sunny, warm southerly
There were again, plenty of duck spread across the Reserve and with most of the Teal and some of the Gadwall asleep and hiding in the vegetation at the southern end of the islands on Car Park Pool, the Garganey proved elusive initially but eventually showed mid morning. There were at least 62 Teal and 29 Pochard together with the two Wigeon.
Black-headed Gull numbers had increased with at least 334 today but a steady turnover during the late morning when a Yellow Wagtail also flew over.
There was a steady trickle of Swallows moving through around midday with at least 25 south in half an hour along with two House Martins. A very vocal Water Rail was calling from the vegetation to the left of the north causeway screen.
A few Lesser Black-backed Gulls moved through with a couple of Herring Gulls and there were plenty of Speckled Wood butterflies in the woodland areas and a Comma as well.