All records are from Avon Meadows Wetland.

6 September 18

BIRDS:  Another difficult week for birds in spite of decent weather resulting in a total of 34 species.  All 6 cygnets remain on the main pool together with 9 Teal this week.  Swallows and House Martins are still present in small numbers and summer warblers in the form of Common Whitethroat and Willow Warblers were recorded.

30 August 18

BIRDS:  In spite of a beautiful late summer's morning bird numbers and variety were down and we only recorded 34 species.  Great Cormorants were recorded over the river for the first time in a couple of months and we found 2 Bullfinches.  The elderberries still hold their attraction although the variety of warblers is reduced as passage bird pass through.  There were Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff present there and Reed Warhlers have not left us yet.  Barn Swallows and House Martins are present but in smaller numbers than last week.  The Mute Swans are still on the main pool with their cygnets and two Grey Wagtails flew over.

23 August 18

BIRDS:  Better weather this week but not quite so many bird species, 44 in total.  Mute Swans are still present on the main pool with their 6 cygnets and the Grey Heron seems to like this pool at its present rather low level.  3 Common Teal were recorded today, an early visit for us.  A Peregrine Falcon flew over heading north.  The elderberries continue to attract warblers with the less common Garden and Willow Warblers present.  A pair of Yellow Wagtails flew over during the morning, a species one suspects is under recorded as there is no suitable habitat on Avon Meadows to tempt them down (the scrape is rather overgrown and dry).  Both young and adult Goldcrests revealed themselves and we counted 6 Ravens during the morning.  No Sedge Warblers today so it seems they have moved off but Reed Warbler numbers were boosted by migrants passing through.  After a summer of very few Barn Swallows, there have been several days during this week when counts of over 100 migrants have been made.

16 August 18

BIRDS:  Rain at first but the morning brightened slowly and the elderberries provided a considerable attraction so we ended up with a total of 47 species.  The Mute Swans with 6 cygnets are on the main pool eating the duckweed.  We believe that the other 2 cygnets are OK and have simply taken themselves off.  Canada Geese are in the area and flew by during the morning.  Swifts, Swallows and House Martins are still present.  Both Grey and Pied Wagtails flew over.  The elderberries drew in all 8 species of warbler; Sedge, Reed, Garden & Willow Warblers, Lesser & Common Whitethroats, Blackcap and Chiffchaffs, the first time we have seen all 8 in one morning!  There was a Goldcrest in the conifer near Cherry Orchard School and Long-tailed Tits in trees around the riverside carpark.

9 August 18

BIRDS:  Today, plenty of warblers enjoying the ripening elderberries resulting in a total of 44 species.  The highlight of the morning was finding a young Water Rail feeding along the margins of the main pool.  As to warblers we found Reed, Sedge, Willow together with Chiffchaff and BlackcapsSwifts (a few), House Martins and Swallows are still present and two Ravens flew over.

2 August 18

BIRDS: Rather to our surprise we recorded 45 species today.  Highlights for the year were a Hobby flying through with passage hirundines.  The Mute Swans still have their 8 cygnets although one adult has been reported with a broken wing (taken to Swan Rescue).  Both Pied and Grey Wagtails flew over.  A young Garden Warbler was found eating Elderberries, a new species for 2018.

BUTTERFLIES:  A pair of Common Blue butterflies turned up with a Small Copper in the same area.

27 July 18

MOTHS:  72 species of moth were recorded this evening, which included two new species, Large Twin-spot Carpet and Shaded Broad-bar.

26 July 18

BIRDS:  Hot weather kept the bird count down to 40.  The big news is that our Mute Swans with their 8 cygnets have appeared on the river.  Three Sparrowhawks and a Peregrine Falcon flew over.  Breeding of warblers has been confirmed by the presence of family parties of Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Reed & Sedge Warblers.

19 July 18

BIRDS:  Another hot day produced 42 species in the morning this week.  The scrape is now completely dry and producing very little as a result.  However, a Grey Heron is regular on the main pool.  No Coot but 8 Moorhens on the main pool too including several young birds.  Swifts were present but for the most part flying high.  Encouragingly we saw Swallows feeding young so in spite of low Swallow numbers some birds at least are producing young.  All our regular summer warblers are still present most of them feeding young.  Two Linnets flew over and our most unusual bird of the morning was Yellowhammer.  This is a scarce species on Avon Meadows although locally common in surrounding farmland.

13 July 18

MOTHS:  Our moth night revealed 61 species with 3 new to Avon Meadows, 2 micro-moths and a handsome Chocolate-tip.

12 July 18

BIRDS:  Cooler this morning, even spitting with rain early on!  The dog days of summer only produced 40 species although not without interest.  Adult and young Grey Herons were present on the main pool.  Very much to our surprise we saw an adult Cuckoo flying through.  This is very late for adults and we could only assume it was a bird moving south having spend the summer in the north.  Swifts are still present in good numbers although often flying very high and all 3 hirundines were present.

DRAGONFLIES:  10 species of dragonfly were recorded on today's transect.  Notable was a very high count of 111 Banded Demoiselles.  Both Scarce and Black-tailed Skimmers were recorded and 4 Ruddy Darters.

5 July 18

BIRDS:  A hot morning seemed to make the birds torpid so we managed just 40 species.  Finally the scrape is dry so will not attract water birds until rain fills it up.  Our Mute Swans have moved off although we did see the cob on the river this morning.  The Coot count is down as they seem to move away when the pools get shallower.  All hirundines were present this morning, Sand Martin, Swallow and House Martin.  A Grey Wagtail flew over and there was a Pied Wagtail on the scrape.  Young Blackcaps and Common Whitethroats were both seen.  Two Rooks flew over and a pair of Ravens too.

29 June 18

MOTHS:  61 species of moth were recorded tonight with one new micro-moth to add to the Avon Meadows list.  Round-winged Muslins and Straw Dots were both very numerous this evening.  A handome female Buff-tip paid us a visit (34mm long!).

28 June 18

BIRDS:  We recorded a total of 45 species today.  Happily there were plenty of Swifts and House Martins today but no Swallows.  We could not find our Mute Swans this morning but all were present and correct yesterday afternoon.  There is still some water on the which was being used by a Grey Heron.  Four Linnets flew over and there were good numbers of Blackcaps and  28/06/2018.  We spotted a Lapwing flying away which could have flown up off the scrape although we did not find it on the ground.  We heard a Raven and found a Rook for the second week in a row.  No Chaffinches this week though.  A Cuckoo flew by on two occasions, a late record for an adult bird.  The juveniles leave 4-6 eweeks later.

BUTTERFLIES:  Meadow butterflies are out in number with plenty of Meadow Brown and Ringlets to be seen,  We found another Small Skipper too.

DRAGONFLIES:  This is dragonfly weather!  We found Large Red Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle and Black-tailed Skimmer.

21 June 18

BIRDS:  10°C cooler today than in recent days with a NW wind kept many of the smaller birds down and our species count down to 40.  The Mute Swans continue to look after their 8 cygnets well although sometimes to the alarm of members of the public as they have taken to roosting on the main path and resent passers by with aggressive displays!  There was one Lapwing on the scrape this morning and a Great Spotted Woodpecker showed.  There is still a strong warbler presence, Sedge and Reed Warblers buzz from the reed beds, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff from scrub and trees.  A Common Linnet was spotted behind the Cherry Orchard houses and Reed Buntings are calling from the reed beds.

BUTTERFLIES:  Generally numbers are beginning to increase, we found an early Small Skipper this morning. 

16 June 16 - BIOBLITZ 2018

The Bioblitz day was cold and windy with showers early in the morning.  Not a good prospect!  Species data is still coming in from our observers from the  Worcestershire Recorders and this section will be updated from time to time.

BIRDS:  We logged 51 species this year, exactly the same as 2017.  To get this species total most of the 'usual suspects' have to poke their heads up to be counted.  Less usual sightings were 2 Little Egrets and 2 Northern Lapwings on the scrape.  Four Greylag Geese flew over and there were 3 Cuckoos around for most of the day, 2 males and 1 female.  Swift, Sand Martin and House Martin showed in small numbers but no Swallows.  We did particularly well for corvids recording all our common ones; Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow and Raven.

BUTTERFLIES:  Insects were badly effected by the cold weather so we only recorded 3 species of butterfly; Large Skipper, Speckled Wood and Meadow Brown.

DRAGONFLIES:  Dragonflies were similarly effected although we did manage 4 species; Banded Demoiselle, Blue-tailed, Common Blue and Red-eyed Damselflies.

ARACHNIDS:  Spider counts will follow other insect groups and be lower than usual due to the weather.  However with records received to date we have 1 species new to Avon Meadows, Misumenia vatia.

MAMMALS:  A Weasel was recorded in the morning, a Red Fox in the afternoon and 4 species of bat in the evening; Common and Soprano Pipestrelle, Noctule and Daubenton's Bat.

MOTHS:   58 moth species were recorded this evening including spectacular Elephant Hawk Moths and Eyed Hawk Moths.

PLANTS:  Not all plant records are in yet but we have discovered 2 new species for Avon Meadows; Prickly Sedge (Carex muricata) and Carnation Sedge (Carex panicea).

14 June 18

BIRDS:  An overcast, cool, breezy morning resulted in 42 species so not too bad although we have become used to better!  Our Mute Swans continue to look after their 8 cygnets well.  A Little Egret flew onto the scrape during the morning and a Cuckoo continues to call.  There are plenty of Common Swifts and House Martins but no Swallows!  A Rook has become a regular sighting on Avon Meadows where before we saw perhaps one a year.  Common Linnets were showing well in two possible nesting locations today.

7 June 18

BIRDS:  It was an overcast morning and somewhat cooler than recent days.  The bird breeding season is in full swing so some birds are calling, come silent and young birds abound.

The Mute Swans still have all 8 cygnets and can often be seen from the boardwalk across the main pool.  There was a female Tufted Duck on the scrape and good numbers of Reed and Sedge WarblersCommon Whitethroats were found in a number of places around the reserve as were Blackcaps.  Two Ravens flew over.  Linnet are present too.

DRAGONFLIES:  A female Scarce Chaser was found in the north meadow near Piddle Brook.

FLOWERS:  Some of the seed/green hay strewn in the middle meadow has been successful as Yellow-rattle Rhinanthus minor is flowering in a number of places. 

MAMMALS:  There were 3 fully grown Roe Deer on the scrape for most of the morning.

MOTHS:  A diurnal micro-moth was found near the NW entrance which was new to Avon Meadows, Nemophora degeerella. which is only 9mm long but has extraordinarily long antennae!

3 June 18

DRAGONFLIES:  The warm weather brought out plenty of dragonflies on today's transect.  The most numerous species are; Banded Demoiselle, Azure and Red-eyed Damselflies.  Other species that are out in smaller numbers are; White-legged, Large Red and Blue-tailed Damselflies plus Broad-bodied and Scarce Chasers.

31 May 18

BIRDS:  A warm, humid morning with little wind resulted in a total of 51 species.  Our Mute Swans on the main pool are hanging on to their 8 cygnets and these are boosted by a pair with 5 cygnets on the river.  Greylag Geese seem to have taken over the scrape but a Little Ringed Plover appeared in late morning.  2 Cuckoos were seen, one a female making her bubbling call.  We did see Swallow, House Martin and Sand Martin but there are still very few hirundines.  We saw both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a pair of Mistle Thrushes turned up behind Cherry Orchard.  A Lesser Whitethroat was heard in the NE corner of the reserve and number Common Whitethroats were encountered.  Sedge Warblers were quiet today but the Reed Warblers were noisy enough.  We found 2 Long-tailed Tit flocks of parents and young birds.  Reed Buntings are singing from the tops of reeds and adjacent trees and there was one pair of Linnets nearby.

FLOWERS:  Yellow Flag Iris Iris pseudocorus is putting on a good show at present in the wetter areas.  Common Vetch Vicia sativa and Meadow Vetchling Lathyrus pratensis are starting to flower in the meadows.

26 May 18

BIRDS:  This is a time of year when birds are on the move and poor weather can often mean that they find a good place to stop to wait the weather out.  So yesterday it was a great surprise to find to Dunlin on the scrape, last recorded on Avon Meadows in 2011, together with a Little Ringed Plover and a Little Egret.  This means we have recorded 100 species on Avon Meadows so far this year.

MAMMALS:  Later in the day a dead Water Shrew was found beside the path south of the main pool.  These are fairly scarce in the county but we find them regularly (but not frequently) on Avon Meadows, sadly mostly dead for no obvious reason.  It does indicate a viable population here which is good.

24 May 18

BIRDS:  This turned out to be a cold morning with the temperature increasing from 10°C to 12°C with a stiff NE breeze.  All this is a way of excusing our count of 46 species during the morning!  The Mute Swans with the 8 cygnets were not to be seen although they have been around all week.  The surprise sighting was of a single Lapwing on the scrape in late morning.  There was also a pair of Pied Wagtails on the scrape.  Counts of Swifts and hirundines are beginning to reach normal summer levels with 25 Swifts, 5 Swallows and 25 House Martins appearing.  There are 3 Cuckoos on Avon Meadows, 2 males and 1 female resulting in a lot of male competition including calling from 02h00!  A Skylark flew over and 3 Linnets were recorded including a pair.  In addition to the cygnets, chicks and juvenile birds for Moorhen, Coot, Magpie and Starlings are now out and about.

DRAGONFLIES:  Recent sightings include 2 Broad-bodied Chasers on 22 May and 1 Black-tailed Skimmer on 23 May.  

17 May 18

BIRDS:  A count of 50 species this morning in fine but cooler weather.  The big news is that the Mute Swans have just produced 8 cygnets on the main pool.  There are chicks of Moorhen, Coot and Mallard present.  During the morning we enjoyed the extraordinary sight of 2 pairs of Cuckoos arguing over territory!  Gadwall and Tufted Duck are still present.  Three Lesser Whitethroats were recorded, 2 in the middle hedge.  One Rook flew over, a scarce species on Avon Meadows.  Linnets are still present and we found a Goldcrest singing behind Cherry Orchard School.

In the afternoon a Eurasian Oystercatcher was reported on the scrape and a Hobby flew over.

DRAGONFLIES:  Sustained sunny weather has brought the dragons out!  Today we found Banded Demoiselle, Large Red Damselfly and Common Blue Damselfly.

10 May 18

BIRDS:  A very good count in lovely weather - 51 species.  Pairs of Gadwall and Tufted Duck present.  One Cuckoo present.  14 Common Swifts recorded and hirundine numbers beginning to build; 16 Sand Martins, 4 Barn Swallows and 6 House MartinsLesser Whitethroat still present in the middle hedge, 8 Common Whitethroats and good numbers of Reed and Sedge Warblers singing.  Two Willow Warblers were seen and 5 Linnets.

REPTILES:  A Slow Worm was found near the main entrance.  A number of reports have been received of people seeing Grass Snakes swimming in shallow pools.

3 May 18

BIRDS:  Better weather than at the weekend but the birds kept appearing, our morning count today was 53 species, our best yet for a normal morning session!  The bird of the morning was undoubtedly a Whinchat on the scrape, these are scarce spring migrants on Avon Meadows.  Now Mallards and Coots have chicks on the pools and the Mute Swans are still sitting on eggs, expect cygnets later this month.  Other sightings of interest were a Mandarin Duck flying down the river, a Lesser Whitethroat singing in the middle hedge, a Cuckoo was calling early on, Cetti's Warbler was seen (they are rather quiet at the moment) and there are plenty of Sedge and Reed Warblers, Common Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs.  Finally at least 6 Linnets were recorded leading to hopes that at least some of them will nest on Avon Meadows.


BIRDS:  In summary, awful weather, excellent birds resulting in a total of 64 species recorded.  It was dark at 05h00 when we started but Blackbirds, Blackcaps, Song Thrushes, Robins and Reed Buntings were singing.  As it became light a Common Sandpiper appeared on the scrape and a pair of Gadwall was moving around among the Canada and Greylag Geese.  During the day Red Kite, Little Egret and Yellow Wagtail flew over.  By mid-morning more and more warblers were singing including, Reed and Sedge Warblers, Common and Lesser Whitethroats, Chiffchaff and Cetti's Warblers.  There was even a Mandarin Duck on the river!  Although only arriving in small numbers so far this year we recorded, Swift, Swallow, House and Sand Martins and a Cuckoo was calling from 05h20!

26 April 18

BIRDS: A chilly day today with a stiff SW wind reduced our bird count to 45 species.  Hirundine counts still low and only Swallows and Sand Martins present.  A pair of Gadwall on the scrape and a second Mallard brood of 7 chicks cheered things up.  A Cuckoo was singing for much of the early morning and both Sedge and Reed Warblers have arrived in number.  Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs made up the warbler numbers but we only found one Common Whitethroat.  A small flock of 4 Linnets flew around the north meadow.  The Mute Swans are still sitting tight on the main pool.  

20 April 18

BIRDS:  A singly Egyptian Goose was recorded on the scrape early this morning but flew off just after 9;00pm.  It is a new species for Avon Meadows.

MOTHS:  Our first moth night of the season brought in 1 new species for us, The Chestnut.

19 Apr 18

BIRDS:  A lovely morning produced a lot of birds resulting in a record equalling morning count of 50 species!  The scrape held Canada and Greylag Geese, Shoveler and Tufted Duck plus a Common Sandpiper.  Wading birds are quite scarce on Avon Meadows.  Swallows and Martins are still only present in small numbers, we managed 2 Swallows and 5 Sand Martins Cetti's Warbler seems to be singing everywhere it seems although there are only perhaps 2 birds.  Summer warblers put up a good show, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs are present in good numbers, Willow Warblers are still passing through and Common and Lesser Whitethroats have just started to arrive.  Two Linnets were heard flying over.  Resident birds are all breeding now and Mallards continue to produce broods.  A pair of Mute Swans is nesting beside the main pool.

REPTILES:  Grass Snakes now active.  One seen basking in the sun on a pile of sticks in a pool recently cleared of reeds near the end of the boardwalk.

FLOWERS:  Cuckooflower (aka Lady's Smock Cardamine pratensis) out now, esp. in N meadow.  Marsh-marigold now flowering on all its regular locations.

14 April 18

BIRDS:  The first Cuckoo of the year was heard this morning.  Spring is here!

12 April 18

BIRDS:  A dull wintery day today, 8°C with showers later.  However the birds did not seem to mind and we logged 48 species.  Mute Swan and Coot are sitting on their nests beside the main pool.  Tufted Duck are still present on the main pool.  Both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were recorded today.  Only 2 Swallows present although House Martins and Sand Martins have been seen during the week.  There are a few Meadow Pipits still present and a Skylark flew over.  Warblers are still providing interest.  The first one or two Sedge Warblers can be hard chattering in the reed beds.  Willow Warblers continue to pass through and Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps continue to arrive for the summer.  Cetti's Warbler is singing regularly and the Water Rail can be seen occasionally looking down the channel cut in the reed beds near the far end of the boardwalk.  Three Linnets flew over mid-morning.

FLOWERS: A clump of Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris has appeared in an area of cut reeds near the far end of the boardwalk.

10 April 18

MAMMALS:  A Muntjac deer was disturbed from near the school today.

9 April 18

MAMMALS:  A Weasel was seen near the river today.

5 April 18

BIRDS:  A lovely early spring day after the floods brought out birds, butterflies and bird watchers!  49 species were recorded including a Hawfinch, which is new for Avon Meadows.  You may have read that there has been a huge influx of Hawfinches from the Continent this winter.  Spring is with us as far as the Mallards are concerned and a brood of 9 chicks is present on the scrape.  New arrivals include Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Sand Martin and Swallow all in rather small numbers so far.  We found a drake Mandarin Duck just north of Piddle Brook and a Kingfisher was using the brook in preference to the river which was still in spate.  Pairs of Water Rails and Cetti's Warblers have been recorded during the week raising our hopes of breeding again this year as they clearly have survived the winter.  A few Meadow Pipits are still with us but the winter thrushes have all gone.

BUTTERFLIES:  Several early butterflies were on the wing including Brimstone and Comma.

29 March 18

BIRDS:  Not very spring-like weather today but we did manage to log 41 species.  A European Oystercatcher flow over, our 77th species for 2018.  There are up to 2 Little Grebes on the main pool occasionally joined by a pair of Tufted Ducks.  The Tufted Ducks spend some time on the scrape where there is also a pair of Teal.  Today was characterised by the bird of prey whereby at least 3 Sparrowhawks and 5 Buzzards were cruising over for most of the morning.  A pair of Grey Wagtails was seen on the boardwalk and an early Chiffchaff is singing beside the main pool.

FLOWERS:  The Blackthorn blossom (aka Sloe or May - Prunus spinosa) is just coming out.

22 March 18

BIRDS:  Overcast with a chilly breeze from the SW but we recorded 48 species none the less.  One of our original Mute Swans with the orange leg ring number 83C was on the main pool.  A Water Rail was heard and seen after several weeks missing.  A Red Kite flew over early on.  A flock of 31 Meadow Pipits were around Piddle Brook and a flock of ~100 Fieldfares flew over together with a few Redwing.  2 Chiffchaffs were our first spring arrivals.  At least 2 Treecreepers were found in the N hedge together with a female Bullfinch.  A Rook flew over which was a new bird for 2018.  

21 March 18

BUTTERFLIES: A single Red Admiral seen flying on a sunny morning chancing its luck with the weather.

15 March 18

BIRDS:  Sunny periods and less wind today resulted in a count of 46 species.  The undoubted highlight of the morning was an adult Iceland Gull flying over, and uncommon winter visitor in Worcestershire and the first record for Avon Meadows, our 124th species.  Other notable records included a Little Grebe and 6 Tufted Ducks on the main pool.  A Jay was recorded beside the river and a Goldcrest found in the north hedge.  No spring arrivals yet but our Common Stonechats were last seen on 9 March.  A Treecreeper was seen in willows along the northern boundary.

FLOWERS:  Spring is around the corner!  The Lesser Celandines (Ranunculus ficaria) are coming out on the Wetland.

8 March 18

BIRDS:  Better weather this week although still  a stiff breeze to keep the smaller birds down.  A count of 40 species cheered us all up!  Several species of wildfowl are using the scrape to roost in the evening; Canada Goose, Shelduck, Teal and Shoveler.  Rather more dramatically a roost of ~300 Pied Wagtails have been reported in early evening!  We recorded a single Pied Wagtail flying over this morning!  Land clearance for building for a site just to the north of Avon Meadows has brought in a lot of gulls.  Today we recorded 150 Black-headed Gulls, several Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls and an adult Common Gull.  Three common birds of prey were recorded during the morning, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and 3 Common Buzzards.

FLOWERS:  One or two clumps of Snowdrops have appeared in an area where the brambles have been cleared, a new species for us!

3 March 18

BIRDS:  Plenty of snow cover today but little wind and the birds were quite active.  This report is a summary of several observers' visits during the day.  The three species from 1 March (Lapwing, Snipe and Fieldfare) were still present.  The scrape held a Common Gull, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail and 3 Stonechats.  A Grey Wagtail stopped briefly on the icy part of the main pool.  Two Linnets flew up off the scrape, our first record for this species in 2018.

1 March 18

BIRDS:  Challenging weather today (-4°C, NE wind Force 4-5 and snow showers) so we only managed about an hour and a quarter during which time we logged 32 species.  The main interest was species that have been uncommon on Avon Meadows this winter but were quite numerous today.  These were Lapwing, Snipe and Fieldfare.  This is apparently a country-wide phenomenon. There was on Common Gull with the Black-headed Gulls on the scrape.

22 February 18

BIRDS:  A cold wind today giving a hint of the icy wind promised for next week.  A total of 43 species were recorded today.  Less frequent sightings for us included Canada Geese, Common Teal, Common Snipe, Common Gull and Skylark.  There were 3 Stonechats present and we found both Green Woodpecker and Buzzard today both of which had been absent for several weeks.

15 February 18

BIRDS:  Better weather this seem with sunshine but a chill wind and the temperature stayed below 8°C.  The count was 40 species again.  Looking at last week's highlights below, the Water Rail and Ravens were recorded again this week but the others were replaced with Great Spotted Woodpecker, Pied Wagtail, Cetti's Warbler (called briefly) and Treecreeper.

8 February 18

BIRDS:  A bleak windy day but we managed 40 species this week.  The undoubted highlight was 4 Bullfinches all in the same bush (beside the mini football pitch), 3 males and 1 female.  It is unusual to see more that 2 on Avon Meadows.  There were 3 Common Teal on the main pool and the Water Rail could be seen on the margins in the same place as last week.  We are due to raise the water levels quite soon so the Water Rail is likely to get pushed back into the reed beds then.  A single Common Snipe flew over as did a small flock of Meadow Pipits.  Three Ravens flew over at different times.

1 February 18

BIRDS:  Although sunny there was a cold wind which kept the birds down resulting in a count of a modest 36 species.  Notable observations were; a Water Rail showing well at the base of the reeds on the main pool, a pair of Sparrowhawks displaying early on, 3 Stonechats, 1 Cetti's Warbler seen and a Lesser Redpoll.

25 January 18

BIRDS:  A good count of 47 species this week in the face of a cold southerly wind offset by sunshine.  With the river in spate there was a pair of Kingfishers on the Wetland today providing excellent views.  With the water level on the main pool lowered for reed cutting a Water Rail can occasionally be seen on the margins.  There were 3 Sparrowhawks around today including a male on the scrape which put up a Snipe.  A single Common Gull flew over as did a Great Spotted Woodpecker.  The Pied Wagtails no longer inhabit the wet meadows but are to be found in hedges and on houses around.  There was one male Stonechat in the S meadow.  A pair of Goldcrests were seen displaying in the sunshine.  Jackdaw and 2 Ravens flew over as did a female Bullfinch.

18 January 2018

BIRDS:  Only 43 species this week but some interesting ones included in the count.  Three Sparrowhawks today, 2 females fighting over a male.  7 Teal on the main pool looking very smart.  Two Common Gulls flew over and a Water Rail was heard calling.  Long-tailed Tits appeared for their first Thursday record this year.  There was one Lesser Redpoll feeding on Great Willowherb seeds beside the main pool.  Most exciting of all was a female Brambling found in a mixed flock of finches and tits.  This is only our second record for this species the previous one being in January 2013.

11 January 2018

BIRDS:  Better than expected weather with good visibility and little wind helped us to record 48 species today.  Key species were Teal on the main pool and Wigeon and Shoveler on the scrape.  The main pool is low enough now (lowered for reed cutting) for Water Rail to be seen occasionally on the margins.  Both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers showed as did a pair of Cetti's Warblers.  Of the less common passerines Blackcap, Goldcrest, Coal Tit and Yellowhammer were all recorded.  So a very good day with some unusual birds for us on show.

4 January 2018

BIRDS: A pleasant morning turned into a rather blustery one reducing the bird count in the latter part of the morning.  Much of the meadows are water logged which serves to attract Pied and Grey Wagtails together with a flock of Meadow Pipits.  Our eventual count rose to 46 species which is our highest for the first week in January.  The undoubted highlights of the morning were only our 3rd records for Goosander and Greater Black-backed Gull.  There were 2 Snipe hiding in the grass on the scrape.  Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler were both heard.  A Peregrine Falcon flew over and our pair of Stonechats is still present around the scrape.


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