BLAGDON LAKE BIRDS

August 2009 News

Home
2009

Saturday 1st August

2 Yellow-legged Gulls Larus michahellis the usual adult on Rugmoor Point and a juvenile at the Lodge. An adult Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula and 4 Dunlin Calidris alpina on Green Lawn, 10 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus, a Common Redshank Tringa totanus heard calling in flight over the dam and 30+ Common Swifts Apus apus feeding over the lake. A juvenile Tawny Owl Strix aluco was in the trees at Cheddar Water and a Barn Owl Tyto alba at Top End. Sean Davies saw many of the above earlier in the day together with 2 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos.

Sunday 2nd August

2 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos one each in Long and Holt Bays, a juvenile Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna in flight at Holt Bay, a Dunlin Calidris alpina at the Lodge, 2 adult Great Black-backed Gulls Larus marinus on Home Bay Point and a Barn Owl Tyto alba at Top End. I found a moth called a Blackneck Lygephila pastinum in a Top End meadow in the evening, a nationally local species, whose larval foodplant is said to be Tufted Vetch Vicia cracca. I think this is the first record for the lake.

Monday 3rd August

There were 4 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus in Long Bay, Common Swifts Apus apus over the lake still and the Barn Owl Tyto alba at Top End. There were also 3 feral Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis and 228 Canada Geese Branta canadensis including an hybrid with a pink bill.

Tuesday 4th August

Long Bay had 8 Little Grebes Tachybaptus ruficollis in a tight flock and 16 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus around the bank while there was a Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos in Holt Bay.

Wednesday 5th August

I noted the adult Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis, 3 feral Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis, a fledged juvenile Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna, a (probable male) Barn Owl Tyto alba hunting at Top End and a Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus heard calling after dark at Rugmoor Point.

Thursday 6th August

There were 2 recently fledged Tawny Owl Strix aluco youngsters at Hellfire Corner where they have apparently flown since leaving the box in Holt Copse. The adult Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis was still hanging around.

Saturday 8th August

Sean Davies visited today and reported seeing an eclipse drake Garganey Anas querquedula, a female Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula, 3 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos, 4 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus and a flyover Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostra (a species that's always eluded me at the lake- damn).

Sunday 9th August

Two Stock Doves Columba oenas flew out of the Long Bay pines when I walked past and there were 15 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus and 2 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos around the bay. There were also 2 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos on the North Shore. There was a massive feeding flock of Canada Geese Branta canadensis (I counted 388 but some flew off, so I estimated 420 as being present) together with 3 feral Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis and the white Greylag hybrid thing. 9 Eurasian Teal Anas crecca have arrived and were feeding at Wood Bay Point and a female Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula was in Wood Bay. I saw the Barn Owl Tyto alba at Bell's Bush this evening.

Monday 10th August

There was a Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus sitting on a nest in Pipe Bay - could I have missed this first breeding attempt of the year? No, I hadn't, it was an old Common Coots Fulica atra nest being used for resting up. Scarers have been deployed on Holt Farm today, no doubt as a result of the huge goose flock having turned up. I counted a mere 295 Canada Geese Branta canadensis, 3 Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis, the white Greylag hybrid and the pink-billed Canada Goose hybrid, so I guess the scarers must be having some effect. The adult Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis was at Rugmoor.

Tuesday 11th August

Sean Davies visited this morning and reported seeing the eclipse drake Garganey Anas querquedula at the Lodge with another female / juvenile near Rugmoor Bay, a female Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula along the North Shore, 4 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos, the adult Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis and a surprise juvenile Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus on the dam.

I didn't note anything from the dam this evening.

Wednesday 12th August

There was a record count of 18 feral Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis in front of the Lodge this morning. A Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos was feeding on Home Bay Point, a Barn Owl Tyto alba was sitting outside the Top End box where it had been roosting by day and a Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus was on Rugmoor Point. After dark I heard a juvenile (branching) Tawny Owl Strix aluco food-begging at Cheddar Water on the way back home.

Thursday 13th August

An extraordinary flock of 12 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos was resting on the dam, while 2 Shelduck Tadorna tadorna flew over to the west. The 18 Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis were present and the Barn Owl Tyta alba was using the Top End box. Just saw 3 Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus and 4 Badgers Meles meles at Bell's Bush. The Badgers rushed out of marginal vegetation by the barrier and I wondered if they had gone to the water's edge to drink before going about their twighlight business.

Monday 17th August

A Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus was heard calling at Long Bay as were 2 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos at Holt Bay and 2 Tawny Owls Strix aluco (one heard and one seen) were at Bell's Bush barrier copse with another at Top End.

Tuesday 18th August

The dam wall was the venue for the migrant action today with 4 Common Redshank Tringa totanus and a Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos feeding along the waters edge. A Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis flew into Pipe Bay and the young Tawny Owls Strix aluco were calling from the copse by Bell's Bush barrier.

Thursday 20th August

While checking the lake from the southern end of the dam a Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis flew out from Cheddar Water over my head and into the Memorial Forest across the road! Also noted were 3 Badgers Meles meles at Bell's Bush barrier.

Friday 21st August

I walked home from Keynsham to Blagdon this afternoon along the River Chew and was surprised to see a Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus feeding at a puddle along the riverside path between Woollard and Publow.

There were 2 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos feeding in Butcombe Bay at the lake that flew off to the dam.

Saturday 22nd August

WeBS Count Day; I was checking the trees above the spillway on the way to Butcombe Bay and picked out a tatty adult Purple Hairstreak Neozephyrus quercus that we managed to scope sitting on an Oak Quercus sp. leaf. On the dam we saw a Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe, 2 juvenile Common Redshanks Tringa totanus and an overflying Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo. There were two returning migrant Willow Warblers Phylloscopus trochilus along the south shore and I found two Garganey Anas querquedula feeding quietly at Wookey Point between Bell's Bush and Top End hide. We only counted 2024 waterbirds today, the lowest August count since 2000.

I counted 4 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus later in the day cf. the one on the WeBS count.

Monday 24th August

There were 4 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus in Long Bay with Common Actitis hypoleucos and Green Sandpipers Tringa ochropus heard calling at Top End. There were also many large gulls in the pre-roost.

Tuesday 25th August

A Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos was heard calling at Long Bay and a Barn Owl Tyto alba was seen in the copse behind Top End hide. I also noted young Newts Triturus sp. crossing the south side road.

Wednesday 26th August

A Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus was heard calling in Long Bay.

Friday 28th August

A Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos was noted on the dam and there were 2 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus in Long Bay. Unusually, there were 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls Larus michahellis at the lake. The Canada Goose Branta canadensis brood of two adults and four juveniles were at Green Lawn.

Saturday 29th August

There were 24 Herring Gulls Larus argentatus at the lake, presumably migrating through, with the usual 2 adult Great Black-backed Gulls Larus marinus and adult Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis hanging about. I was delighted to see an adult winter Black Tern Chlidonius niger off Rugmoor Point. On the wader front, I counted 16 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus in Long Bay and an Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus flew through to the west. There were 2 Canada Geese Branta canadensis on Rainbow Point and 6+ Sand Martins Riparia riparia at Top End.

Sunday 30th August

The Black Tern Chlidonius niger was still at the lake, together with the adult Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis, 3 Great Black-backed Gulls Larus marinus (2 adults and a juvenile) and a single Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus in Long Bay. There was a juvenile Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo in Nempnett Thrubwell.

I saw a Painted Lady Vanessa cardui and Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni at the Top End.

Monday 31st August

Sean Davies reported seeing 2 Spotted Flycatchers Muscicapa striata, lots of Common Chiffchaffs Phylloscopus collybita, a Common Swift Apus apus among hundreds of hirundines, a Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo, 16 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus and the adult Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis.