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May 2010 Diary and News
All the latest sightings, news and photos from Chasewater, Cuckoo Bank and surrounding areas
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1st
Sat
11C
Sunny intervals. Evening rain
ENE2
The fish rescue continued but the net was damaged by several large concrete and wooden items and few fish appeared to be caught. Of several hundred small 'silver' fish, several didn't survive the netting and attracted 5 Common Terns to the easy pickings. A Grey Wagtail sang from the fencing on the dam and 4 Little Ringed Plovers were over the Sailing Shore (GE).
Male Grey Wagtail G Evans 
Fish rescue G Evans
 

 

A Short-eared Owl was hunting over the North Shore heath at around 16:00 (PH).

 

Short-eared Owl P Harper

 

At least 4 Grasshopper Warblers were reeling on Cuckoo Bank, a Cuckoo was present but no Stonechat was seen (PJ).
The Hoopoe was still present at Clayhanger where a male Pied Flycatcher was also seen.
2nd
Sun
11C
Sunny intervals
NNE4
The Short-eared Owl was hunting over the North Shore heath at 18:00 (IW). 4 Oystercatchers, 48 Black-headed Gulls, 200 hirundines and several Swifts were also present (GE).
The Hoopoe was again present at Clayhanger where a female Marsh Harrier was seen flying over high to the south-west (PW).
3rd
9C
Sunny intervals, heavy showers
ENE4-5
Short-eared Owl P Harper

 

The Short-eared Owl performed well during the afternoon and evening although there were long periods when it didn't show (PW, JA, PH, GE). Also present were 4 Ringed Plovers, 2+ Little Ringed Plovers, 1 Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpipers, 3 Oystercatchers, 2 Common Terns, 49 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Cormorants, a Buzzard and a Grasshopper Warbler (GE).
At Clayhanger the Hoopoe was present throughout the day (JA).
4th
11C
Sunny intervals
N3
The Short-eared Owl was occasionally hunting over the North Shore heath during the evening and 2 Grasshopper Warblers were reeling (PJ, PW). 4 Ringed Plovers, 4 Little Ringed Plovers, 4 Oystercatchers, 2 Common Sandpipers, 4 Common Terns, 20 Black-headed Gulls and 3 Lesser Black-backs were also present (GE) along with 50 Swifts, 2 Reed Warblers, Grey Wagtail and 3 Large Red Damselflies (EO). Large areas of the lake bed are covered by huge numbers of bones which are almost certainly the remains of food  regurgitated by the thousands of roosting gulls. Not even gulls can digest bone but they do swallow chicken and turkey carcasses whole when feeding at the local landfills and it is now clear where they all end up (GE). 
A bed of Christmas dinners! G Evans
Crazy paving! G Evans
On Cuckoo Bank there were up to 15 Whitethroats, a Sedge Warbler and a Stonechat (EO). 
The Hoopoe was still at Clayhanger (BG).
5th
12C
Cloudy
NW3
The Short-eared Owl was present during the early morning (IW). A Yellow Wagtail flew high to the south, a Dunlin was present along with 4 Ringed Plovers, 4 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Oystercatchers, 1 Common Sandpiper, 4 Common Terns and 25 Black-headed Gulls (GE).
At Kingswood there was a pair of Whinchats (PJ).
The Hoopoe remains at Clayhanger (BG).
6th
11C
Cloudy
ENE3
A Yellow Wagtail flew north-east over the dam and 3 Common Terns were present (GE).
The Hoopoe remains at Clayhanger (BG).
7th
11C
Cloudy
ENE4
A Greenshank was new for the year and a 2cy Common Gull, 2 Arctic Terns, 4 Common Terns, 4 Ringed Plovers, 2+ Little Ringed Plovers and 4 Oystercatchers were also present (GE). The fish rescue team were present again today but due to poor catches and damaged nets they have decided to end this 'Phase 1', having netted over 10,000 small Roach, Perch and Bullheads, which have been  moved to the local canal, over 600lb of Pike, and over 100lb of larger Roach and Perch, which have been moved to other reservoirs and local canals. 'Phase 2' will start after the contractors have moved on site and have started to pump out more of the water. Once the water level has dropped by a further 1.5m, pumping will stop to allow the for the fish rescue, which will take up to 8 days. The few remaining fish will then be rescued before the water is pumped to its final level (LDC).
The Hoopoe remains at Clayhanger (BG).
8th
Sat
11C
Light rain
NNE4
The year's first Knot and Sanderling were present early in the morning (IW) with the Knot still present at dusk along with a Greenshank, 7 Ringed Plovers, a Dunlin, 2+ Little Ringed Plovers, 4 Oystercatchers, 2 Common Sandpipers, 5 Common Terns, a White Wagtail, 80 hirundines, a Cuckoo and Grasshopper Warbler (GE).
A distant shot of Knot, Dunlin and 
Ringed Plover G Evans
The Hoopoe was still present at Clayhanger (BG).
9th
Sun
13C
Sunny intervals
NE3
The Knot and Greenshank were still present along with 8 Ringed Plovers, 2 Dunlin, 3 Oystercatchers, 2 Common Sandpipers, 4 Common Terns and 3 Wheatears (NS, GE, IW, N).
Knot G Evans
Greenshank G Evans
The Hoopoe was still performing at Clayhanger where a Little Egret, Whinchat and 2 Wheatears were also seen (per PJ).
10th
10C
Sunny intervals
NNE3
Ringed Plovers numbers peaked at 20 this evening along with 7 Dunlin, a Common Sandpiper, 4+ Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Oystercatchers, 5 Common Terns, a 2cy Herring Gull, 5 Lesser Black-backs, 18 Black-headed Gulls, 100 House Martins, 50 Swallows, 50 Sand Martins, a Yellow Wagtail and 3 Wheatears (GE, PJ).
A male Pied Flycatcher was at Park Lime Pits, Rushall (PJ).
11th
10C
Sunny intervals
ENE2
18 Ringed Plovers, 8 Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpipers, 3 Oystercatchers, 5+ Little Ringed Plovers, a Lapwing, a pair of Gadwall,  a Cormorant, 20 Lesser Black-backs, 5 Common Terns, 4 Buzzards, a Cuckoo, 2 Wheatears and a Yellow Wagtail (GE, PJ, EO).
On Cuckoo Bank there was a male Stonechat, a Common Snipe, 6 Little Grebes including 2 young and a male Sparrowhawk was seen carrying its prey (EO).
12th
10C
Light showers
ENE3
Hopefully the night frost hasn't badly affected the ground nesting birds. During the early morning there were 5 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Shelduck, a Greenshank, 4 Oystercatchers, 2 Ringed Plovers, 4 Wheatears, 3 Cuckoos and the first Spotted Flycatcher of the year by Fly Pool (IW). Around midday there were still only 2 Ringed Plovers along with 2 Common Terns, 12 Lesser Black-backs, 15 Black-headed Gulls and a Cormorant (GE). By the evening numbers of waders had increased to 15 Ringed Plovers, 10 Dunlin and a Common Sandpiper (PJ, NS).
13th
11C
Light showers
SSW2
There are now at least 7 pairs of Little Ringed Plovers on territory but if any are to have a chance of being successful it is vital that a programme of education and protection is put in place as soon as possible. 11 Ringed Plovers, 5 Dunlin, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Oystercatchers, 10 Common Terns, 24 Black-headed Gulls, 3 Lesser Black-backs and a Cuckoo were also seen (GE, PJ). A Large Red Damselfly was also in flight (IW).
14th
10C
Light showers
SSW3
13 Ringed Plovers, 6+ Little Ringed Plovers, 5 Dunlin, 4 Oystercatchers and 3 Common Terns were present (GE, PJ, IW). Its good news that next week LDC will be putting up signs and rope fencing around the Little Ringed Plover areas in order to make the public and Rangers more aware of the need to leave these protected birds undisturbed. However, tonight's 'big party' on the Sailing Shore hardly helped the cause! The Voluntary Dog Walkers Code of Conduct will also be given a far greater profile than it currently has and let's hope it will be followed by all responsible dog owners (GE). 
15th
Sat
16C
Sunny
NW2
A Sanderling, 2 Dunlin and 8 Ringed Plovers were seen during a very brief visit around 11:00 am (GE).
A Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat and Tree Sparrows were present at Park Lime Pits, Rushall (PJ).
16th
Sun
14C
Sunny intervals
NW3
The WeBS count produced 24 Mute Swans, 11 Canada Geese, 127 Mallard, 4 Tufted Ducks, 11 Great Crested Grebes, a Cormorant, 2 Herons and 72 Coot (NS). A good influx of waders produced totals of 30 Ringed Plovers, a Sanderling, 11 Dunlin and 3 Oystercatchers during the early evening and several pipistrelles and Noctules were flying at dusk (GE).
17th
16C
Sunny intervals
NW3
30 Ringed Plovers, at least 13 Dunlin, 4 Oystercatchers and a Cuckoo were present. At mid-day a  Hobby rose up from the Sailing Shore with some small prey item and flew east over the dam (GE).
18th
20C
Sunny
W2
11 Dunlin, 31 Ringed Plovers, 6 Oystercatchers, 2 Common Terns, a Cuckoo and Grasshopper Warbler (IW, GE). A pair of Mute Swans have 3 cygnets on the canal (GE). Ten species of butterfly were seen including 8 Dingy Skippers, 5 Small Heaths, 1 Brimstone, Large, Small and Green-veined Whites, Orange Tip, Peacock, Specked Wood and several Green Hairstreaks together with a Four-spotted Chaser, a Common Blue and 15 Large Red Damselflies (EO, TH).

 On Cuckoo Bank there was a pair of Stonechats, a Cuckoo, 3 Little Grebes and a Four-spotted Chaser (EO).

Willow Tits were feeding young in a nest at Park Lime Pits, Rushall.
19th
18C
Sunny intervals
SW3
At least 39 Ringed Plovers, 7 Dunlin and 8 Little Ringed Plovers were present along with 4 Oystercatchers, 3 Common Terns, Cuckoo and Buzzard (GE, IW, PJ). 7 very approachable Red Deer were at Church Street Open Space where Water Soldier and Greater Spearwort were in the pool and the grassland was heaving with Adder's-tongue fern. The Sphagnum lawn below the dam is extremely dry; very few Sundews were seen and the nearby Bogbean wasn't looking healthy in the dry conditions. Fortunately the overflow Sundew colony is looking good and some of the seed spread during the summer of 2008 has now germinated and there are several plants between the overflow and the canal where the Deergrass is still surviving. Many Green Hairstreaks and a Small Copper were also present (GE).
20th
21C
Sunny intervals
W2
A Sanderling and 4 Dunlin were with the flock of 44 Ringed Plovers near the Sailing Club (GE).
21st
22C
Sunny
NNW2
At least 22 Ringed Plovers and 5 Dunlin were present.
22nd
Sat
25C
Sunny
W2
5 Whimbrels were present for a few minutes till 08:15, 37 Ringed Plovers, 5 Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpipers, 4 Oystercatchers and 3 Common Terns were also present (GE, PJ, IW). 3 male Red-eyed Damselflies and a Banded Demoiselle were along the canal and a mature male Broad-bodied Chaser was at the Boardwalk Pond. Unfortunately several Dog Walking Code signs have been ripped down and the fencing has not yet been put up around the Little Ringed Plover territories. One pair was still sitting during the day but a party was held close to it at night and two aerosol cans were exploded in the camp fire which hardly helped the plovers. The pair on Pimpernel Point was not seen but there were many motor bike tyre tracks over the territory. During a moth trapping session at night the pair by the Pier was calling and another Whimbrel called at 22:45 (GE, NS).
23rd
Sun
25C
Sunny
W2
A brief visit showed at least 12 Ringed Plovers and 2 Oystercatchers to be present (GE).
24th
23C
Sunny
NNW2
10 Ringed Plovers, 4 Oystercatchers, 2 Common Terns and a Cuckoo were noted (IW).
25th
16C
Sunny intervals
NE2
A Little Stint and Turnstone were both new for the year. A Hobby, Buzzard, 3 Common Terns, 2 Dunlin and 2 Oystercatchers were also seen. Half of the 44 Ringed Plovers present flew out to the north-west at 17:15. The whole of the South Shore and half the Sailing Shore has now been fenced off to protect the nesting Little Ringed Plovers and we await the response of the general public and visiting birders! 

The dry spring and drawn down lake have had a profound effect on the sphagnum bog below the dam which is now extremely dry and for the first time in at least 40 years there is no Round-leaved Sundew evident and the Cranberry is in a poor state. Further down in the marsh the Bogbean is surviving but several plants have curled leaves and only one plant is flowering (GE).

26th
14C
Cloudy
ENE3
The Little Stint and Turnstone were still present along with 2 Dunlin, at least 15 Ringed Plovers, 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Willow Tits and a Cuckoo. Around 50 Swifts and up to 100 House Martins were over the pools (GE, IW).
At Kingswood Lake there were at least 16 Reed Warblers and a Sedge Warbler singing from the reeds.
27th
14C
Sunny intervals
W3
Only around 12 Ringed Plovers were noted today along with 2 Oystercatchers and 2 Common Terns. It appears that yesterday a Mute Swan flew into the Little Ringed Plover fencing as it was flying from the boating pool to the lakes. Sadly there was a dead swan on the shore today which may have been this bird. The fencing will have to be made more visible or realigned to allow the swans to make this daily movement to and from the boating pool (GE). 
28th
17C
Sunny intervals
W3
The first Black-tailed Godwit of the year was feeding on the shore of the pool south of the 'Island' and 5 Ringed Plovers, 2 Dunlin, 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Buzzards, a Common Tern, 2 Cuckoos and a Brimstone were also noted (PJ, GE, IW, PW) During the evening a summer plumaged Sanderling was present and at 20;00 an additional 11 Ringed Plovers flew through to the north-west (PW).

Now that the fencing to protect the breeding Little Ringed Plovers is being erected the best way to cover the area is by walking down the west shore track which, with a telescope, gives good views of practically all the shorelines with the absolute minimum of disturbance. Unfortunately, the Rangers were out today putting up many more mud warning signs all over the lake bed, presumably with the understandable assumption that the Little Ringed Plover fencing will be ignored (GE). 

29th
Sat
16C
Rain
S3
The Black-tailed Godwit was still present along with 5 Ringed Plovers, 2 Dunlin and an Oystercatcher (GE, PW).
 A male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was seen near Park Lime Pits, Rushall (PJ).
30th
Sun
18C
Sunny intervals
WNW4
8 Ringed Plovers, 2 Dunlin, 2 Oystercatcher, 2 Common Tern and 3 Cuckoos were present during the morning (IW).

31st

 

18C
Sunny intervals
N2

The Black-tailed Godwit was present until it was seen to fly south, perhaps to Clayhanger, at 19:45. 2 Dunlin, 10 Ringed Plovers, 5 Oystercatchers, a Common Tern and 2 Cuckoos were present and around the Slurry Pool there were 4 singing Reed Warblers. A rather early unidentified hawker was between the Swag and the Slurry Pool (PW).