BLAGDON LAKE BIRDS

September 2010 News


Wednesday 1st September [Warm and sunny]

On this, the first day of the month, the reservoir water level has dropped to 45% and inflow has all but stopped, despite the wetter than average August. Providing weather conditions remain favourable, we should see some interesting migrants in the coming month at the lake. The current total of 130 species for the year to date, is the best for several years and already reflects the early autumn migrants that have dropped in.

I visited the lake this morning, in misty conditions, but was unable to find the Red Knot, Little Stint or any Curlew Sandpipers. This evening I was able to do a more thorough count and saw 17 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia, 13 Green Sandpipers Tringa ochropus, the Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus, 5 Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago and and what looked like a juvenile Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius (some distance away from my viewing position at Bell's Bush) showing the pointed cheek character illustrated in the Collins Guide. As it happened I also counted 15 Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope, 31 Common Moorhens Gallinula chloropus, 2 Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis and 20 Mute Swans Cygnus olor.

Andy Davis emailed me to say he and Richard Mielcarek had visited today. "We couldn't locate any small waders. What we did see was seven Curlews at The Lodge (dropped from the sky mid-morning), 15 Greenshanks, 4 Snipe, 8 Wigeon at Top End and a single Little Egret."

I saw a Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe at Somerdale, Keynsham today.

Thursday 2nd September [Warm and sunny again]

A bit of a disaster trying to count birds at the lake this evening what with walkers, a cyclist and the 'Original 106.5' balloon (G-CEWX) causing absolute mayhem among the shorebirds and wildfowl as it landed just outside the Top End lake boundary. I counted 22 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia, 6 Green Sandpipers Tringa ochropus, a Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus and a Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos before I gave up. While I watched the chaos from Rainbow Point, I clearly heard a Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus calling, but I hadn't seen it up to that time (it wasn't near the Lodge earlier). There were 10 Grey Herons Ardea cinerea dotted around the Top End as well.

The juvenile Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe was still at Somerdale, Keynsham today.

Friday 3rd September [Warm and sunny]

There were 20 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia, 9 Green Sandpipers Tringa ochropus, 21 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus and a Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus this afternoon and evening. I saw 4 Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis with the Canada flock and 8 Great Black-backed Gulls Larus marinus (2 adults and 6 juveniles) at Tiny's Shallow. There was also a small peep that I couldn't identify in the gloom at Top End later on. A Tawny Owl Strix aluco startled me as it called "ku-wit-ku-wit-ku-wit" overhead whilst walking past Hellfire Corner on the way back home.

I met Andy Davies and Ken Hall at Bell's Bush barrier at tea time and they told me they'd seen 2 Little Egrets Egretta garzetta and a juvenile Hobby Falco subbuteo among other things included in this email from Ken "The only things I can think of to add were the 6 Ringed Plover and 2 Dunlin we saw near the Top End, along with the Spotted Redshank and one Snipe. Also a Sand Martin over."

Saturday 4th September [Warm with a steady easterly draught]

Shorebird numbers are down a little with just 15 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia, the juvenile Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus, 6 Green Sandpipers Tringa ochropus, 3 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos, 2 Dunlin Calidris alpina and 7 Ringed Plovers Charadrius hiaticula. Large numbers of wildfowl are present with 18 Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope, the juvenile Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna, 6 (feral) Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis plus 6 Great Black-backed Gulls Larus marinus among the highlights. The Canada Goose Branta canadensis tally came to 257 with 3 hybrids among them.

This afternoon Chris Craig rang to say he'd found a Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis in front of the Lodge which was still there, feeding just off the bank, until 1945 hrs this evening, at least. A nice find Chris and thanks for the call.

I found a dead Common Shrew Sorex araneus on the Butcombe Bank footpath, so have added that to the Mammal List for the lake.

Sunday 5th September [A grey cloudy day with a stiff easterly breeze]

I couldn't see the Black-necked Grebe today, but did find a Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola in front of the Lodge with a Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula, Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago and an adult Common Tern Sterna hirundo.

Common Greenshanks and Spotted Redshank, Bell's Bush © Nigel Milbourne, 2010

I didn't visit Butcombe Bay, but nevertheless saw 14 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia, the juvenile Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus, 2 Dunlin Calidris alpina, 15 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus, a Little Egret Egretta garzetta and the juvenile Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna. Most surprising was the number of White Wagtails Motacilla alba alba scattered about, I reckon I saw at least 6.

Monday 6th September [Cool and cloudy with a stiff easterly wind, which turned to steady rain late afternoon]

The Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola was in front of the Lodge first thing (still there at 1700 hrs), a Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos was in Long Bay, 3 Green Sandpipers Tringa ochropus were in Butcombe Bay and the juvenile Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus was at Bell's Bush with a total of 15+ Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia scattered about. I saw 3 Dunlin Calidris alpina, one on Tiny's Shallow and 2 at Top End and a Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago fed out in the open at Bell's Bush. The juvenile Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna was feeding off Peg's Point and a late, late Common Swift Apus apus was feeding over Butcombe Bay, in the rain, with a flock of House Martins Delichon urbicum.

At long last I managed to find a Garganey Anas querquedula (first of the year) at Top End among the throng of Eurasian Teal Anas crecca, and I saw a Little Egret Egretta garzetta, 34 Great Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo, 18 Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope, several Sand Martins Riparia riparia, a juvenile Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus and some big mixed flocks of passerines in the sheltered areas away from the strong east wind.

Jeff Hurst collared me and told me he'd seen a pair of raptors apparently teaching a youngster to hunt during the last week while fishing around Spinney Point and The Island. I briefly glimpsed a falcon this afternoon and heard what sounded like a juvenile Hobby Falco subbuteo food-begging in the pine trees, but didn't see it again as the rain started to pour down. Finally, as I left the Lodge at tea time, I saw 6 Great Black-backed Gulls Larus marinus together on Tiny's Shallow (2 adults and 4 juveniles) but there were undoubtedly more present at the lake, as I saw 3 adults earlier in the afternoon at Top End.

On the photographic front, I got a flight shot of the hybrid goose that has been with the Canada flock recently. It appears to be a juvenile (if the dark nail can be trusted) Canada x Greylag.

Hybrid Goose, Green Lawn © Nigel Milbourne, 2010

The other observation was of a Hornet Vespa crabro nest in a FN bat box at Home Bay, which in itself is not unusual, but what was surprising was that a hoverfly Myathropa florea was hanging around the entrance of the nest and then entered the nest itself. There are some hoverflies of the genus Volucella that oviposit in wasp and hornet nests and I was expecting the photograph to show one of these, not M. florea which develops in rot holes or water filled cavities full of decaying leaves between the root bases if trees. I wonder what it was up to?

Bat box with Hornet nest inside © Nigel Milbourne, 2010

Male Myathropa florea entering hornet nest © Nigel Milbourne, 2010

An interesting day at the lake and some consolation for taking time off to go and see the Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscipcapa daurica at Bempton with Messers Ponsford, Vinicombe and Willmott, but which had kindly moved on overnight, saving me the trouble of an 8 hour drive!

Tuesday 7th September [Changeable with sunny intervals]

This evening I saw 17 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia, 9 Green Sandpipers Tringa ochropus (in Butcombe Bay), 1 Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos and 3 Dunlin Calidris alpina. I didn't see either the Wood Sandpiper or Spotted Redshank and I don't know if anyone else did because my emails have stopped working during the last 24 hours. Unfortunately, Blagdon hasn't joined in the Black Tern fest - just one would be nice! The lake is 42% full today, a 3% drop since last week.

Roger Treeby emailed me to tell me he'd seen a Little Stint Calidris minuta at Top End today. Thanks Roger.

I was amazed to see 5 Northern Wheatears Oenanthe oenanthe at Somerdale, Keynsham during my lunchtime walk.

I hear that a CITRINE WAGTAIL Motacilla citreola was seen briefly at Herriot's Bridge, Chew Valley Lake this evening, along with a list of other good birds present today - see CVL Birding on the Links Page.

Wednesday 8th September [Warm & sunny]

Mike Jenkins texted me this morning to say an Osprey had flown west from Chew towards Blagdon at 1025hrs. I haven't spoken to any anglers yet to find out if they saw it.

The Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola was in Butcombe Bay this evening and may have been there last night but remained out of view to me. I also saw 13 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia, 2 Green Sandpipers Tringa ochropus (in Butcombe Bay), 4 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos and a family of Hobbys Falco subbuteo (also at Butcombe Bay).

There was a single Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe and Stonechat Saxicola torquata at Somerdale, Keynsham today.

Thursday 9th September [Warm & sunny]

The Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola was still in Butcombe Bay this evening. I also saw 13 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia and a single Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos. There were 28 Great Crested Grebes Podiceps cristatus on the lake.

There was a pair of Stonechats Saxicola torquata on the fence around the sports fields at Somerdale, Keynsham today.

Friday to Sunday 10th - 12th September

I was away up north and thanks to Sean Davies for the following sightings:

"I visited on Sat and Sun mornings but no surprises. Over both days: 14 Greenshank, 3 Green Sand, 4 Common Sand, 5 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 1 Snipe, 8+ GBB Gulls & a Cetti's heard on Sunday at Top End."

The Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti is the first to be reported since early in the year to my knowledge, so thanks for the record Sean.

Monday 13th September [Cloudy with a westerly wind and occasional drizzle]

I popped down to the lake this morning and didn't see anything new, but this evening there were 9 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia and singles each of Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago and Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos in Butcombe Bay. There were also 31 Canada Geese Branta canadensis and 4 Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis in Butcombe Bay feeding on the lakeside margins; I don't believe I've seen them in the bay before. At Burmah Road 4 Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa appear to have dropped in during the day and at Bell's Bush there was a Dunlin Calidris alpina and 13 Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope.

At Somerdale, Keynsham there were at least 4 Northern Wheatears Oenanthe oenanthe present around the paddock again and a friend who was fishing at Bathampton saw what he felt sure was an Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiacus in one of the fields upstream of the weir on the south bank around the area of Bathampton Ox-bow NR. If anyone goes for a look and sees it, perhaps you'd let me know so I can tell my mate.

Tuesday 14th September [A grey, miserable, and wet day]

The 9 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia (8 at the head of Butcombe Bay and another at Wood Bay) were still present, as was the Dunlin Calidris alpina, 2 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos,2 Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa and 7 Great Black-Backed Gulls Larus marinus (3 adults). However, there has been a noticeable reduction in the numbers of water birds, particularly Aythya ducks, over the last couple of weeks. Perhaps this is due to the low water level that has allowed many of the weed beds to have been left high and dry on the bank and there are few silty areas (one of the attractions of the head of Butcombe Bay) so the exposed lake bed is not that attractive to probing shorebirds. I'm amazed there haven't been any Northern Pintails Anas acuta at Top End yet, perhaps we'll find one on the WeBS Count on Saturday.

The water level appears to be static now with the level holding at 42% (per Bristol Water website). I guess BW are no longer pumping from the lake and have switched their attentions to Chew Valley as well as drawing water from the Sharpness Canal.

Wednesday 15th September [Sunny, with a strong westerly wind most of the day]

The Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia are beginning to slip away now and there were just 5 left today (4 Butcombe Bay and 1 Wood Bay), along with 4 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos (2 Butcombe Bay and 2 Long Bay), 2 Little Ringed Plovers Charadrius dubius (Top End) , and a single Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa (Burmah Road). On the wildfowl front there were 6 feral Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis with the large Canada Goose Branta canadensis flock and 23 Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope scattered about in little groups.

There was an adult winter-plumaged Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus graellsii in front of the Lodge this evening with a blue darvic on the left leg bearing the orange letters "F:Z". Peter Rock has kindly sent me the following history:

It is a male that was ringed on 3rd July 2004 in Bristol (cohort blue3), so is aged 7W (7th-winter) and bears the BTO ring GN75121.

Thursday 16th September [Warm and dry, with barely a breath of WNW wind]

This evening I saw 3 Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa off Bell's Bush, 7 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia (3 in Long Bay and 4 in Butcombe Bay), 2 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos at Butcombe Bay and a Dunlin Calidris alpina and 28 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus at Tiny's Shallow. There didn't appear to be any unusual wildfowl present but I'll spend more time checking through them over the next couple of days.

Friday 17th September [Warm, dry and sunny, with barely a breath of WNW wind]

I visited the lake this afternoon in the beautiful autumn sunshine. The shorebird numbers remain low with just 3 juvenile Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa off Bell's Bush, 8 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia, 4 in Long Bay and 4 in Butcombe Bay, the Dunlin Calidris alpina still in front of The Lodge and 18 Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope among the wildfowl at Top End. Whereas in some years there have been as many as 4000 - 5000 water birds at this time of year, I suspect we might struggle to reach 1000 tomorrow on the WeBS Count. Migration really seems to have slowed during the last week, with very few new birds in or out, so lets hope it livens up again soon, or I might be forced to pop over to (whisper it) Chew Valley Lake!

Interestingly, Peter Rock emailed to tell me Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus graellsii Blue3 F:Z (see 15th Sept below) was back at Shortwood Landfill tip again this evening. Perhaps it's not going to migrate south to the Iberian peninsula for the winter but is going to hang around locally instead? I seem to recall Peter telling me that some of the larger gulls are no longer migrating south for the winter because they can find sufficient food on our streets these days to see them through.

Saturday 18th September [Dry, warm and sunny with a whisper of a WNW breeze]

Roy Curber, Phil & Lucy Delve and I did the WeBS Count this morning, the highlights of which were 4 Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa off Bell's Bush (3 juveniles and an adult winter), 8 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia, 2 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos at Butcombe Bay and a Dunlin Calidris alpina (Phil had seen two, but despite an extensive search, I couldn't find a second bird when I looked later). There were also 18 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus along Burmah Road and a mobile Little Egret Egretta garzetta.

We found 2 Northern Wheatears Oenanthe oenanthe (one on the dam and one at Bell's Bush - the first of the year at the lake) and while I was eating some lunch Ken Hall kindly rang me to say a Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus had just flown west from Heron's Green at Chew towards Blagdon. I whipped down to Rainbow Point and at 14:33 hrs a large raptor flew in low over the Top End trees on long flat wings and dropped into the tangle of vegetation. I waited for over an hour with my camera at the ready but didn't see the bird again. However, I did see a Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus and an adult female Peregrine Falco peregrinus. The Peregrine came hurtling in over the Top End like an exocet and I'm guessing hit a Common Coot Fulica atra a couple of feet off the bank at Wood Bay Point. The Coot flapped around for quite a while before eventually righting itself but appeared either severly shocked or immobile. The Peregrine wandered over the to waters edge by the Coot then eventually lost interest and flew off. An adult Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis flew east towards Chew.

Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis © Nigel Milbourne, 2010

Other widlife interest included lots of Green-veined Whites Pieris napi, 3 Small Coppers Lycaena phlaeas, 2 Small Tortoiseshells Aglais urticae, 3 Speckled Woods Parage aegeria and a Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta. Dragonflies were represented by a few blue damselflies, 2 Migrant Hawkers Aeshna mixta and 2 male Common Darters Sympetrum striolatum along the south side.

Sunday 19th September [Dry and cool with a southerly breeze]

There appears to have been very little change since yesterday, with 8 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia still present, just the 3 juvenile Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa off Bell's Bush and the lone Dunlin Calidris alpina in front of the Lodge. I counted 235 Canada Geese Branta canadensis (plus 2 hybrids) and 6 feral Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis and heard a Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla scolding me at Hellfire Corner for interrupting its lunch on Elderberries.

Monday 20th September [Sunny with a warm westerly breeze]

I hurt my back today and didn't visit the lake. There wasn't any news from anyone else either.

Tuesday 21st September [Beautifully sunny and warm with SE zephyrs]

This evening I could only find 7 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia (6 in Butcombe Bay and one in Holt Bay), 2 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos in Butcombe Bay, 28 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus along Burmah Road, 14 Grey Herons Ardea cinerea and 2 juvenile Hobbys Falco subbuteo sitting side by side on a branch in the evening sunshine.

Wednesday 22nd September [Warm and sunny with a light, variable SSE-SSW breeze, with rain due tonight]

This evening I found 5 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia in Butcombe Bay and a single juvenile Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa and Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia in Holt Bay. That was about it....

Apart from 7 Gadwall Anas strepera new in since the WeBS Count last Saturday, I saw a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis, a flock of about 25 Goldfinches Carduelis carduelis at Bell's Bush and a pair of Ruddy Ducks Oxyura jamaicensis.

So, the great clear out appears to be continuing and you have to wonder why. With the water level so low, I've been speculating that most of the food items have been eaten out. Nearly all of the top end of the lake has been accessible to dabbling ducks, Mallards Anas platyrhynchos in the deeper water and Eurasian Teal Anas crecca around the edges. Before that, diving ducks especially the 900+ moulting Tufted Ducks Aythya fuligula during August, will have accounted for the invertebrates, while Common Coots Fulica atra and Mute Swans Cygnus olor will have scoffed much of the aquatic weed that provides shelter for the invertebrates. It cannot be without some significance that towards the end of August a great flotilla of diving ducks and Coots swam up the lake from the quiter top end towards the dam every evening to feed when the anglers had gone home. Since that time, the majority of those species have departed. As for many species of shorebirds, aka waders, there is little accessible feeding because the shore is composed of quite a hard substrate except in the areas around inflowing streams where there are deposits of mud which allow them to probe for food e.g. the head of Butcombe Bay. The Carrion Crows Corvus corone and Gulls Laridae have been feeding around the margins, turning over stones and weed that has been left high and dry to find morsels of food hiding there - perhaps including newts Urodela, that would normally be leaving the lake in August - I've seen very few crossing the road this year. The other corroborative observation is that the anglers have been absolutely hammering the trout in August, normally a difficult month. Perhaps the trout are suicidally hungry as well? I've already noted the lack of large Dragonflies Odonata; there have been very few adult, late-emerging, Common Sympetrum striolatum or Ruddy Darters S. sanguineum at the lake this year (I've seen three!). Perhaps the larger Odonata such as Black-tailed Skimmers Orthetrum cancellatum will take a few years to recover because their aquatic stages take more than a year to develop from egg to adult. The only organisms that appear to have done OK are early-emerging Damselflies Zygoptera, which have hatched in huge numbers this year (perhaps their numbers have enjoyed boom times during the last few years since the level dropped significantly last time in 2004 because they have an annual growth cycle). These are interesting times!

Thursday 23rd September

I stopped at Bell's Bush on the way home and saw 3 juvenile Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa and 5 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus. Further along there were 2 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos in Long Bay and 8 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia and a Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos in Butcombe Bay and 2 Grey Wagtails Motacilla cinerea on the dam wall.

Friday 24th September

Today there were still 6 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia in Butcombe Bay , 7 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos scattered about and 28 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus off Bell's Bush. There was no sign of the juvenile Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa.

Saturday 25th September

The first bird I clapped eyes on this morning was a Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator feeding alongside the dam wall. I took some photos one of which is shown below. It appears to be a juvenile female to me.

Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator © Nigel Milbourne, 2010

There were also 4 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos, 2 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia, 31 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus, 2 Dunlin Calidris alpina, 1 Little Stint Calidris minuta, 190 Canada Geese Branta canadensis (plus 2 hybrids) and a Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis. I heard a Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita singing at Lodge Copse and heard a Siskin Carduelis spinus from a conifer where there were some Goldfinches Carduelis carduelis feeding. I eventually spotted a single bird feeding - the first of the autumn. In front of the Lodge there were 68 Lesser Black-backed Larus fuscus and 35 Herring Gulls Larus argentatus an unusually high count for the time of year. A single adult Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis was also present.

3 Small Coppers Lycaena phlaeas and a single Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta were still on the wing in the sunshine.

Sunday 26th September

There was no sign of yesterdays visiting Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator when I checked this morning. The waders included 33 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus, 2 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos at Green Lawn, 3 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia in Butcombe Bay and 30 plus Meadow Pipits Anthus pratensis at Top End. I saw a Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae today at Bell's Bush.

This lovely photograph of a Wryneck Jynx torquilla was taken by Justin Myers today near Nempnett Thrubwell Church - a bird with no definite sightings at the lake, but I know of one seen in Blagdon several years ago.

Wryneck Jynx torquilla, Nempnett Thrubwell © Justin Myers, 2010

Monday 27th September

I had a quick look over the dam this morning but didn't spot anything unusual before scooting off to Norfolk to see the Empidonax sp. on Blakeney Point, a welcome chance that I didn't expect to get having missed the first in Cornwall because I was on the Shetland Isles. It was an impressive half an hour during which there was plenty of visible migration with Bramblings Fringilla montifringilla, Song Thrushes Turdus philomelos, Goldcrests Regulus regulus and Siskins Carduelis spinus dropping into the 'plantation' during the late afternoon. I also saw 2 ringtail Hen Harriers Circus cyaneus hunting over the saltmarsh.

Empidonax sp, Blakeney Point, Norfolk © Nigel Milbourne, 2010

Tuesday 28th September

The Bristol Water website has the lake at 41% full today and waterfowl numbers continue to fall, but there were 2 Common Shelducks Tadorna tadorna in front of the Lodge this evening. 35 Northern Lapwings Vanelllus vanellus and a single Dunlin Calidris alpina were at Bell's Bush while 35 Herring Gulls Larus argentatus and a single 2nd-winter Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis were loafing in front of the Lodge with small numbers of Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus.

An adult Herring Gull wearing a darvic ring on its right leg was one of Peter Rock's who has provided these details:

A yellow ring with black lettering 'C:P'. A female ringed on 30th June 2001 in Bristol as cohort Yellow3 CP with a ring number GN31633. So the bird is a 10th-winter and has been reported as follows:

Wednesday 29th September

At Bell's Bush there were 33 Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus, while a lone Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos fed along the shoreline at Wood Bay, 2 Common Shelducks Tadorna tadorna were in Holt Bay, another Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos was at Long Bay and in Butcombe Bay there were still 2 Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos and 2 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia.

Thursday 30th September

Sorry for the lack of news over the last few days, my computer crashed big time last Saturday lunchtime.....

The Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus count was back up to 35 at Bell's Bush this evening along with a single Dunlin Calidris alpina and the 2 Common Shelducks Tadorna tadorna. The Common Sandpipers Actitis hypoleucos were either hiding or depleted with just the odd bird at Holt Bay and the 3 Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia were still at the head of Butcombe Bay despite tree work being done there. By the way, a word of caution to the unwise, I've been told of at least two unwary people have had to be pulled from the mud at the waters edge this week - one by the Fire Service and one by the Bristol Water fisheries staff. Beware!