BLAGDON LAKE BIRDS

July 2009 News

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2009

Wednesday 1st July

6 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus at Long Bay, their favoured site at the lake in falling water levels year after year for some reason, and the adult Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis was sitting on the green buoy off the North Shore. The Canada Goose Branta canadensis family of 2 adults and 4 juveniles was in Holt Bay with 2 other adults. The juveniles have attained head and facial markings now. A newly-fledged juvenile Tawny Owl Strix aluco was food begging and flying at Holt Copse.

A Horse Chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum at Hellfire Corner is showing signs of infestation on its lower leaves by the Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner Cameraria ohridella. This species was discovered near Macedonia in 1985, and since then has spread rapidly to other countries in Europe. It was first discovered in Britain at Wimbledon in south-west London in 2002, but possibly had arrived the previous year, as it was quite plentiful (per UK Moths © Ian Kimber). It has spread rapidly through the Bristol area causing devastation at some sites e.g. the line of trees along the entrance drive of Cadbury's in Keynsham.

Saturday 4th July

There was an Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus on the dam and the adult Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis early in the morning (per Sean Davies) and 2 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus were in Long Bay. 2 juvenile Tawny Owls Strix aluco were food begging this evening in Holt Copse. 'Scaup-a-like' the drake Aythya hybrid was present at Burmah Road.

I counted 117+ flower spikes of Pyramidal Orchids Anacamptis pyramidalis on Green Lawn.

Monday 6th July

An egret sp. probably a Little Egret Egretta garzetta was noted in flight in Butcombe Bay, and I saw the adult Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis and 2 Great Black-backed Gulls Larus marinus on Rugmoor Point. The Canada Goose Branta canadensis family of 2 adults and 4 juveniles was still with 2 other adults.

Tuesday 7th July

There were 6 juveniles with the moult flock of Black-headed Gulls Chroicocephalus ridibundus on the dam and the adult Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis was patrolling around the lake. There were 3 drake Ruddy Ducks Oxyura jamaicensis and 2 large juvenile Common Moorhens Gallinula chloropus in Home Bay with juvenile Reed Warblers Acrocephalus scirpaceus in the reed bed. A female Mallard Anas platyrhynchos with a single juvenile was off Home Bay Point and there were 8 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus in Long Bay.

Wednesday 8th July

There was a steady build-up of Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula, mainly drakes, over the last week or so - presumably migrating on the full moon to somewhere where they might moult in safety. A Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos was at Cheddar Water, 9 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus were in Long Bay, the adult Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis was on its green buoy and a female Mallard Anas platyrhynchos was in Home Bay with 2 juveniles.

Thursday 9th July

2 adult Great Black-backed Gulls Larus marinus were noted today with 3 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos on the north end of the dam and a female Mallard Anas platyrhynchos was with 7 juveniles in Butcombe Bay. A Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus doe was seen with two fawns on the North Shore.

Saturday 11th July

WeBS Count Day; Sean Davies visited the lake early this morning and saw 3 Eurasian Oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus in front of the Lodge before they headed off south over the village. Sean also noted a Common Tern Sterna hirundo flying straight through and two Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos on the dam and the adult Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis.

Additionally, on the count, we saw 30+ Common Swifts Apus apus, another Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus on Home Bay Point, 3 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus, an adult Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo perched in the pines at Long Bay plus the WeBS species recorded in the table on the WeBS Counts page.

Marbled Whites Melanargia galathea were noted along Burmah Road and at Bell's Bush along with Gatekeepers Pyronia tithonus and Meadow Browns Maniola jurtina. Rain fell in the evening and there were lots of Common Frogs Rana temporaria and Common Toads Bufo bufo on the entrance drive to the Lodge.

Sunday 12th July

Today I recorded the adult Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis, 5 Little Grebes Tachybaptus ruficollis in Long Bay, 4 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus in Long Bay, 4 drake Ruddy Ducks Oxyura jamaicensis and a Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus female at Top End. Eurasian Jays Garrulus glandarius and Eurasian Bullfinches Pyrrhula pyrrhula were feeding in the Top End hide copse, presumably on the abundant cherries.

A Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta was on the wing at Hellfire Corner, Meadow Browns Maniola jurtina and Small Whites Pieris rapae were at Holt Copse, a Comma Polygonia c-album sunned itself at Top End bridge, a Painted Lady Vanessa cardui and Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus were at Rugmoor and a Red Admiral was in Butcombe village.

Monday 13th July

4 Ruddy Ducks Oxyura jamaicensis (3 drakes & a duck) were in Home Bay, 10 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus were in Long Bay, a Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia flew west calling and a Barn Owl Tyto alba was roosting in the Top End box.

Tuesday 14th July

A Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos was on the dam.

Wednesday 15th July

2 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos were on the dam, a Green Woodpecker Picus viridis was at Bell's Bush, 7 Eurasian Teal Anas crecca were on Wookey Point and a Barn Owl Tyto alba was at Top End. A female Mallard Anas platyrhynchos was in Holt Bay with 5 juveniles.

Thursday 16th July

A Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos was calling at the dam and an adult drake Garganey Anas querquedula in eclipse was in front of the Lodge.

Friday 17th July

There was a Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos on the dam and the drake Garganey Anas querquedula was still in front of the Lodge. The adult Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis was on Rugmoor Point, possibly with another two. A Barn Owl Tyto alba was at the Top End box.

Saturday 18th July

Sean Davies emailed me to say he saw a Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus in Long Bay, a Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos, 2 Common Redshanks Tringa totanus and 2 Yellow-legged Gulls Larus michahellis very early in the morning.

Later in the day I saw 2 adult Great Black-backed Gulls Larus marinus at Green Lawn, 8 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus in Home and Long Bays and the drake Garganey Anas querquedula was still at the Lodge.

Sunday 19th July

There were 2 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos and 2 Eurasian Oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus on the dam and the Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus and 10 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus were in Long Bay. Sean Davies saw a Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus fly west at 0615 hrs, a Little Egret Egretta garzetta in flight and 4 or 5 Great Black-backed Gulls Larus marinus.

Monday 20th July

A juvenile Common Redshank Tringa totanus was feeding on the point, Tiny's Shallow, in front of the Lodge and the drake Garganey Anas querquedula was feeding along the water's edge known as Polish Water. 9+ Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus were in Long Bay and a female Mallard Anas platyrhynchos with a new brood of 4 juveniles was in Holt Bay.

Tuesday 21st July

It was a huge surprise to find 2 adult Sandwich Terns Sterna sandvicensis on the dam, along with 5 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos. The drake Garganey Anas querquedula was in front of the Lodge and there were several juvenile Common Chiffchaffs Phylloscopus collybita in Lodge Copse. A female Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula was in Long Bay with 2 juveniles (1st, and only, brood at the lake in 2009) and the Canada Goose Branta canadensis family of 2 adults and 4 juveniles was joined by 4 other adults. The adult Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis was noted and a single Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata was asleep on Wookey Point.

As it got dark I counted 15 Glow-worms Lampyris noctiluca along Butcombe Shore footpath and saw 3 Badgers Meles meles at Lodge Copse.

Wednesday 22nd July

A Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos was on the dam.

Thursday 23rd July

3 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos were on the dam, the drake Garganey Anas querquedula was in front of the Lodge and 1 or 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls Larus michahellis and 40 Canada Geese Branta canadensis have appeared at the lake - having moulted and regrown their flight feathers.

Monday 27th July

3 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos were still on the dam, 2 Sand Martins Riparia riparia showing at the Lodge, 6 Little Grebes Tachybaptus ruficollis (4 adults & 2 juveniles) and a single Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus in Long Bay, 152 Canada Geese Branta canadensis on Holt Farm fields, a Little Egret Egretta garzetta at Bell's Bush and a juvenile Tawny Owl Strix aluco food begging at Hellfire Corner. The female Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula was in Long Bay with 2 juveniles still and I saw 3 Badgers Meles meles along the Lodge entrance drive and 2 outside 'Heronmere' in Park Lane.

Tuesday 28th July

There were 2 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos on the dam, the drake Garganey Anas querquedula was in front of the Lodge as was the female Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula with just a single juvenile. There were 8 Little Grebes Tachybaptus ruficollis gathered together and a single Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus in Long Bay. Finally, I counted 88 Common Pochard Aythya ferina at the lake.

Wednesday 29th July

3 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos were on the dam, the drake Garganey Anas querquedula had relocated to Wood Bay Point, 186 Canada Geese Branta canadensis were feeding together at Holt Farm and there were 9 Little Grebes Tachybaptus ruficollis (3 juveniles) in Long Bay. A Garden Warbler Sylvia borin sporting a BTO ring was in a bush at the waters edge in Wood Bay.

Thursday 30th July

I saw 2 flighty Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos today and 3 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus in Long Bay.