7 Feb 2019

Pit 44 / Lower Mill – YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER briefly by the stream junction at 9.15 am, not seen again by 10.15am. Also 3 Chiffchaffs, pair Bullfinches and 2 Mistle Thrushes. On pit 44, 3 Goosander (2m) and 30+ Red-Crested Pochards.

Pit 55 – 4 Goosander (3m,f).

Lower Moor – male Kingfisher, Nuthatch and Green Woodpecker calling, pair Bullfinch.

Cleveland Lakes – displaying Raven.

Pit 200 – 45 Gadwall, 4m Shoveler, 13 Lapwings – JM.

Eysey Pit 305 – 3 pairs Pintail, 250-300 Teal, c100 Wigeon – John Durell.


My impression generally is that last week’s cold spell was not long enough to significantly affect small bird numbers – Kingfishers, Cetti’s Warblers, Chiffchaffs, ‘Crests, Long-tailed Tits and Wrens still seem to be in evidence as before. So hopefully not much excess mortality in the freeze-up……..

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6 Feb 2019

Pit 44 Lower Mill – the YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER present this morning til midday at least – Vale Birder, Roger Gillespie.

The drake RING-NECKED DUCK reported still present today, again in a private area.

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5 Feb 2019

Pit 56 Neigh Bridge – 23 Goosander (8m,15f) also c20 Siskins in lakeside Alders.

Redhead Smew on Pit 29.

Pit 29 – redhead SMEW still, also a drake Goosander. Pit 28a – redhead Goosander.

Lower Moor – drake Goosander, 2 Ravens over, Jays, Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker – JM.

Cricklade meadows – Red Kite – Felicity Cobb.

Shorncote –

Grey heron
Little egret
7 Fieldfare
2 Moorhen
20 Skylark
2 Lapwing
100 Wigeon
10 Canada Geese
2 Pochard
2 Teal
3 Raven
3 Buzzard – Graham Powell.


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4 Feb 2019

Yellow-browed Warbler at Lower Mill.

Lower Mill Pit 44 – YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER briefly at 3pm by the stream junction, but very mobile, also 2 pairs of Bullfinches and 2 Green Woodpeckers.

Pit 42 – 6 Goosander (2m,4f).

Pit 41 – 5 Goosander (2m,3f), also a male Goldeneye.

Pit 57 – Little Egret and flyby Kingfisher – JM.

Blakehill – a perched Peregrine, and Short-eared Owls hunting late afternoon –  Robin Griffiths – then 3 Owls seen together at 1650h – JM, Simon Gathercole.

Ashton Keynes – Barn Owl hunting at dusk – Richard Vernon.

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3 Feb 2019

Pit 104 – female SMEW, 18 wigeon, 4 gadwall, 18 pochard, 6 goldeneye, 14 goosander, water rail, 2 snipe, kingfisher and 4 lesser redpoll – Mick and Jo Jones.

mick and jo jones
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2 Feb 2019

Lower Mill Pit 44 – YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER still present this afternoon, Water Rail – Graham Lawlor, Wilf Lewis.

Pit 16 – juv ICELAND Gull in the roost – Graham Lawlor.

Shorncote – 4 Little Egrets, Barn Owl hunting from 4pm, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, Cetti’s Warbler, Chiffchaff – JM.

Pit 125 – 225 Tufted Duck, 2 Egyptian Geese, 5 Snipe, 20 Meadow Pipits,  Chiffchaff – Ian Ralphs.

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1 Feb 2019

Cricklade – Redwing, 2 Reed Buntings, Blackcap in the garden – Robin Griffiths.

Blakehill – late afternoon, male Merlin perched on a post, Peregrine flew N and a Little Egret flew over E side towards CWP, also 8 Meadow Pipits, small numbers Redwings and Fieldfares, and a flock of 6 Reed Buntings (5m, 1f) – JM.

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A good start to the year!

January was a generally mild month til the last week (we probably can’t remember that today, with snow falling) and there have been several highlights birdwise.

A Yellow-browed Warbler has been viewable on and off at pit 44 (with a Firecrest at the same site) with a second bird at a private site in South Cerney for a few days. This migratory Warbler breeds in Siberia, and in recent years has been an increasingly regular autumn migrant on the east coast, with a corresponding increase in winter records in Britain, including inland locations. They tend to be found where birdwatchers look regularly, and there must be more wintering individuals that are never discovered.

Both of our wintering Great Northern Divers seem to have finally departed towards the end of January, having depleted the Crayfish stocks….. most years see an individual of this species somewhere in CWP, but having 2 is a bonus, conveniently one in Glos and one in Wilts!

Unusual waterfowl include the (presumed) returning drake Ring-necked Duck in the Cleveland Lakes area, a North American species – the female Scaup at pit 132, a predominantly coastal bird, and 2 redhead Smew, an expected but very scarce visitor – let’s hope for a male Smew as a result of the current cold snap. 3 Whooper Swans at Lechlade with the Mute flock are again a half-expected scarcity, as both Whoopers and Bewick’s Swans have occurred with this flock in recent years.

The current cold weather will place stress on our wildlife, with species such as Water Rails and Snipe forced more into the open and passerines such as Cetti’s Warblers, and particularly Goldcrests and Long-tailed Tits suffering if the freeze up continues, The local Barn and Short-eared Owls will be more likely to be out hunting during daylight hours so may be more visible. Kingfishers, Herons and Egrets will probably move to the rivers to feed, looking for unfrozen flowing water.

Areas of open water on the main pits will be at a premium, so waterfowl will be concentrated together in these areas, and scanning these flocks will offer the chance of an unusual find.

Thanks again for the records sent so far this year, all appreciated!

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