All records are from Avon Meadows Wetland.

21 May 2020

After a cloudy start the sky cleared with a consequent rise in temperature, 12°-22°, wind calm to SW 3.  With only a trace of rain so far in May, the scrape is now almost completely dry.

BIRDS:  The count was down a little today at 45 species after 2 excellent weeks.  There were 2 new birds for the month, a Common Pheasant was seen in the week and a European Jay today.  Cuckoos are still very busy and audible around the reserve but the greatest commotion was caused by the Starlings whose number has ballooned as the young birds take to the wing.  The Mute Swans on the river have moved off but those on the main pool are looking after their 3 cygnets and were joined by 3 goslings of the Greylag Geese.  Another Hobby was seen in the week and Swift and House Martin numbers are beginning to build.  A Grasshopper Warbler has been heard very occasionally.

BUTTERFLIES:  An early Common Blue was seen in the N meadow this morning.  

DRAGONFLIES:  On warmer days dragonflies are beginning to show.  At early Emperor Dragonfly was recorded on 20 May.

14 May 2020

Clear and sunny with cool breeze,  0°-10°C; wind NE 0-4

BIRDS:  Birds were relatively quiet today although we did manage to log 46 species.  It was exciting to learn that a Barn Owl has been using one of our nest boxes.  A small number of Whinchats passed through today.  Our Mute Swans have been generating a lot of interest, those on the main pool hatched 4 cygnets, sadly one of which as disappeared, and those on the river produced no less than 7 cygnets!  The Cuckoos are putting on an excellent display with both male and females calling and as many as 4 Cuckoos present at any one time.  There has been no sign of the Grasshopper Warbler since last week.  All our summer warblers are in full song!

DRAGONFLIES:  Our first transect of the year was undertaken on 8 May, the most recent warm day!  A total of 5 species was logged, good for the time of year, including; Banded Demoiselle, White-legged, Large Red, Blue-tailed and Red-eyed Damselflies.

FLOWERS:  The unusually dry weather is not helping the flowers but even so the grassland is full of Meadow Buttercups and both Hogweed and Cow Parsley are in flower.  More recently, Yellow Iris is out in the reed beds and Black Mustard along field edges.

7 May 2020

Clear and sunny with occasional light cloud,  6°-20°C; wind calm.

BIRDS:  The nice weather brought the birds in and our new coronavirus recording regime (as individuals) means we cover a longer period in the morning overall.  This has resulted in a new Thursday morning high count of 54 species!  New birds for the year were Lesser Whitethroat and WhinchatCetti's Warblers are singing loudly  There was a Little Egret on the scrape and a Little Ringed Plover dropped in during the morning.  There is a pair of Cuckoos present in and around much of the time now.  The Grasshopper Warbler is heard very occasionally but mobile and hard to find.

During the week we had our first Hobby and Yellow Wagtail for the year.

30 April 2020

Light cloud with sunny periods, rain later 6°-9°C; wind SE 3-5

BIRDS:  Reasonable weather soon after sunrise but cold and windy later but still 50 species.  Two Cuckoos present from time to time one female and one male (call).  A Little Egret and 2 Oystercatchers put in an appearance on the scrape.  Barn Swallows are becoming more numerous.  All the usual warblers were singing.  

Common Grasshopper Warbler heard yesterday for the first time in several days.  A Tawny Owl has been reported calling at night.

FLOWERS:  Meadow Buttercups are colouring the meadows, Hawthorn is in flower as are both Hogweed and Cow Parsley.

23 April 2020

Clear and sunny, 6°-16°C (21°C later); wind NE 0-1

BIRDS:  Another good week this week with a total species count of 52.  Attention continues to be drawn to the Grasshopper Warblers of which 2 were seen together today and up to 4 in the week.  Common Whitethroats are arriving now.  2 Cuckoos were seen together early in the morning in trees to the south of the main pool.  The can be heard now calling most of the time.  Mute Swans have 2 nests and Cetti's Warblers are holding 3 territories.  Swifts have arrived and were seen with small numbers of Swallows and House Martins.  A Little Ringed Plover put in a brief appearance on the scrape where Greylag and Canada Geese make a noisy presence.  A pair of Linnets were seen in late morning, not a common species with us.

BUTTERFLIES:  Orangtips were particularly numerous today.  Peacocks and Large Whites were also in evidence.

REPTILES:  A Grass Snake was seen swimming in the channel near the bird screen.

16 April 2020

Mist over the meadows early one quickly burned off to give a lovely sunny morning; 4°- 20°C; wind calm.

BIRDS:  Summer visitors are arriving in number now and we ended up with a total of 51 species.  Hirundines are only present in small numbers so far but the bird of the morning was a Grasshopper Warbler singing in the reed beds, our first spring record.  There were plenty of Sedge Warblers, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs with Reed Warblers and Whitethroats are just beginning to arrive.  The first Cuckoo was heard yesterday and again today but only very early in the morning.  Goldcrests are nesting.

BUTTERFLIES:  As the day warmed up there were plenty of Orangetips and Peacocks together with Holly Blue, Speckled Wood, Brimstone, Large White and Small Tortoiseshell.

FLOWERS:  Meadow Buttercups are just beginning to come into flower.

9 April 2020

Early morning cloud clearing rapidly for a warm, sunny morning, 8°- 20°C; wind NE 0-3

BIRDS:  A lovely spring morning with the beginning of summer arrivals led to a total of 42 species.  Two Swallows passed through and we found our first Willow Warbler and Sedge Warbler, one of each.  There is a pair of Little Grebes on the main pool and this morning they were jointed by a pair of Tufted Ducks.  One of our nesting Coots has produced two chicks.  The most surprising sighting of the morning was a flock of 50 Black-tailed Godwits flying over.  As last week, there were plenty of Wrens and Reed Buntings singing as well as Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs.

In the last week we saw our first Swallow arrive, the Oystercatcher paid us several visits and a Little Egret spent a day on the scrape.

2 April 2020

Sunny periods, mild, 6°-13°C; wind SW 0-2

BIRDS:  A total species count of 44 today with some evidence of bird movement.  A single Oystercatcher and Little Ringed Plover were seen, the latter on the scrape.  11 Chiffchaffs today as the count continues to increase.  Tufted Ducks have been on the scrape during the week but not today.  A Grey Wagtail remains faithful to the riverside carpark.  A single Raven flew over.

FLOWERS:  Marsh Marigolds are coming into flower.

26 March 2020

Sunny,  cold -1°-10°C; wind calm

BIRDS:  Nice weather but only 39 species recorded today, spring bird movement has not really started for us.  We have two Mute Swans nesting (1 on main pool) and two Coots nesting  on the main pool.  A Mallard with 9 chicks showed, the first young birds of 2020.  Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler can be heard in the reeds from time to time.  7 Chiffchaffs were recorded today as the summer visitors continue to arrive.  Reed Buntings were very active today.

19 March 2020

Sunny and rather windy 5°-6°C; wind NE 3-4

BIRDS:  Today was the first of many counts to be conducted under our Coronavirus regime.  This means that we go out on a Thursday morning to count as usual but at a time of our choosing but as individuals not as a group.  The recorder then consolidates the separate results into a single list.

The total species count today was 42.  No Redwing today so perhaps they have gone back to Scandinavia.  Highlights were pairs ot Gadwall and Tufted Duck on the scrape.  A couple of Meadow Pipits were present and a Peregrine Falcon and 6 late Fieldfare flew over.  Chiffchaff numbers are increasing, we recorded 4 today and a single BlackcapWrens seemed to be everywhere today, we logged 17.

FLOWERS:  The first Cuckooflower (Ladies Smock) was seen in flower yesterday.

12 March 2020

Sunny and rather windy 5°-10°C; wind SW 4 gusting 7

BIRDS:  We managed 40 species again this week so another rather quiet week.  Our Stonechats have gone but Redwing and Meadow Pipits are still present.  A Chiffchaff showed singing this morning, in the the vanguard of the spring arrivals.  Tawny Owl, Rook and Red Kite have been recorded during the week.  Water Rail and Cetti's Warblers are calling and Reed Buntings are singing.

5 March 2020

Sunny and rather windy 5°-6°C; wind N 3-5

BIRDS:  We struggled to find 40 species today but managed it in the end.  Our winter visitors are still around, Fieldfare, Redwing and Meadow Pipits included.  A large number( 247) of Redwing flew over presumably starting their journey back to Scandinavia.  We heard 2 Cettti's Warblers and 4 Water Rails so things are good there.  Both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers showed and two Mistle Thrushes showed up.  The Grey Wagtail is still present in the carpark.  Spring is around the corner!

27 February 2020

Sunny and rather windy 3°-7°C; wind N 2-6

BIRDS:  Mostly the usual suspects were on show mixed with one or two nice surprises led to a total of 45 species.  There are few birds on the scrape at present due presumably to disturbance as the reed screening that is usually there has been flattened by the weather.  Winter visitors are beginning to move off and Redwing and Meadow Pipit counts are beginning to reduce.  A pair of Gadwall on the scrape was a nice surprise but they were soon chased off by a pair of Coot!  There are at least 4 Common Stonechats present at the moment plus 3 Cetti's Warblers and 3 Water Rails, the latter two only heard calling.  There was a Grey Wagtail on the south carpark (presently closed due to flooding).  A Linnet flew over and we found 3 Bullfinches (an unusual bird for us) just north of our north hedge.

21 February 2020

Overcast following flooding, 6°-9°C; wind SW 3-5

BIRDS: A largely uneventful morning saw us recorded 42 species.  Water Rails and Cetti's Warblers were in good voice and the Reed Buntings are singing now.  Grey and Pied Wagtails and Meadow Pipit numbers are all down.  It was interesting to find a pair of wintering Blackcaps in one of the large willows behind Cherry Orchard.  A pair of Linnets flew over.

13 February 2020

Sunny periods and showers, 7°-10°C; wind SW 3

BIRDS:  Decent weather allowed us to amass a total of 44 species.  Notable records included 2 Shelduck flying over, Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler continue to call and a high count (16) of Stock Doves,  We logged one Kingfisher, both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers and Grey and Pied Wagtails.  Two Skylarks flew over, our first Thursday records for 2020.  A Raven flew over and there were good numbers of Chaffinches and Greenfinches.

6 February 2020

Sunny with mist clearing, cold, -1°-6°C; wind calm.

BIRDS:  In spite of the lovely weather new birds seem to have been in short supply although in the end we managed 40 species.  Common Teal had been present in the week and we found 2 today on the scrape and a single Snipe flew up as the Teal moved off.  The Water Rails were noisy, we counted 4 by call, similarly Cetti's Warbler where we recorded 5.  Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails were present but in small numbers.  On the assumption that the Stonechats were not especially mobile we counted 5 today, interestingly a pair was occupying the  gardens around Cherry Orchard House.  Two Blackcaps were seen near the school and there was a Goldcrest in the NW corner.  A single Coal Tit turned up beside the 'white house' and today Dunnocks seemed to be everywhere displaying.  Two Ravens flew over and that was it.  No birds of prey and not many gulls.

30 January 2020

Overcast with light rain clearing later, 8°-11°C; wind S3 to calm

BIRDS::  Overcast skies kept the birds quiet although we did manage to record 38 species.  Meadow Pipits, Grey and Pied Wagtails present in small numbers.  We found 4 Coal Tits, a high count for Avon Meadows.  A pair of Stonechats were found in an area of recently cut reeds.  Two Goldcrests were a nice find and there were plenty of Chaffinches to be seen.  Reed Buntings have begun to sing making them easier to locate.  A pair of Cetti's Warblers were heard calling.

23 January 2020

Overcast, dull, misty, 6°-8°C; no wind.

BIRDS:  Few birds around today but we managed 39 species with some of interest.  3 Water Rails and 3 Cetti's Warblers were heard.  Five Lapwing flew over, scarce with us.  There were quite a few Stock Doves around as indeed there were Blue Tits, we counted 44.  Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails are still using the waterlogged meadows from time to time.  Two Blackcaps turned up and one Treecreeper and a Linnet flew over, all three scarce on Avon Meadows..

16 January 2020

Sunny periods, 6°-10°C; wind SE to S, 4-6

BIRDS:  A very good count today of 48 species in spite of the blustery weather.  First records for 2020 were; Greylag Goose, Shelduck, Gadwall, Peregrine Falcon and Kingfisher Common Gulls have been scarce so far this winter but there was one today in the Black-headed Gull flock.  A Sparrowhawk flew over, our first Thursday record.  4 Cetti's Warblers were heard and there was a lot of Redwings flying over.  Ravens and Buzzards put up a good show with 5 of each being recorded.

9 January 2020

Overcast with sun breaking through later, 10°C; wind SW 4-5

BIRDS:  Harder to find birds than the count might indicate, the wind not helping.  Total species count was 43Grey Heron on the scrape and one found dead in the N meadow, cause unknown.  Black-headed Gulls continue to dominate in numbers.  It was nice to find 4 Stonechats today, one pair and two lone females.  A European Treecreeper in the N hedge was a good find.  Pied Wagtail numbers were still good and there were two Grey Wagtails, Meadow Pipits were present but harder to find today.  For the second week in a row a Blackcap was recorded.  Up to 3 Cetti's Warblers are present and a  similar number of Water Rails.

2 January 2020

Overcast, 7°-10°C; wind SW 2-4

BIRDS:  Good numbers of birds around today brought the total up to 41 species.  Flocks of 120 Black-headed Gulls and 220 Redwings were typical.  3 Water Rails heard, one Coal Tit found and a male overwintering Blackcap.  4 Ravens flew over and the wet meadows are still attracting Pied Wagtails and the occasional Meadow Pipit.

27 December 19

Light cloud, clouding over later, 7°-9°C; wind calm.  Flooding from Piddle Brook during the last week, subsiding again today.

BIRDS:  The last count of the year produced 40 species.  The least usual sighting of the morning was a female Bullfinch (possibly two).  Water Rails were heard from 5 widely spaced locations and at least two Cetti's Warblers were calling.  A Sparrowhawk flew by, the first record for this December.  Small flocks of Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails were seen feeding on the waterlogged meadows.

19 December 19

Sunny, clouding over later, 10°C; wind S 3-5

BIRDS:  Hard work today but eventually we managed to record 42 species.  Two new for the month, Grey Heron and Raven.  Plenty of Redwings and Mistle Thrushes but few Fieldfares.  Both Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler called but not often.  Just one female Stonechat this week.and Reed Buntings were present but hard to find.

12 December 19

Rain clearing, dull, 5°-8°C; wind S 2-4

BIRDS:  Given the conditions we managed a reasonable total of 41 species.  A wintering Chiffchaff was a good record.  Cetti's Warbler and Water Rail are both present and call occasionally.  A Kingfisher was spotted fishing in the channel beside the main path.  Pied Wagtail numbers were down and were mostly recorded flying over as were Fieldfare and Redwing.  Two Greylag Geese flew over to boost the December species count.

A small flock of Golden Plover flew over during the week and both Linnet and Skylark have been recorded.

5 December 19

Mist clearing, hazy sun, 4°-8°C; wind SW 3-4

BIRDS:  Large numbers of birds moving today, species count was 47.  Peregrine Falcon seen twice, presumably chasing large flocks of winter thrushes - Redwing 106 & Fieldfare 78.  Jack Snipe flushed from meadow.  Cetti's Warblers and Water Rails heard.  Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit and Coal Tit recorded.  Small flocks of Common Snipe present.  More Stock Doves than is usual.

28 November 19

Overcast, 7°-9°; wind W 1-2

BIRDS: Conditions were similar to last week but more birds, the total count was 50 species.  Notable records were Common Teal on the main pool, a pair Northern Shoveler on the scrape, large numbers of Pied Wagtails (50+) and Meadow Pipits (30+), a large movement of Fieldfares and Redwings, 2 Cetti's Warblers and 2 Water Rails heard, 8 Snipe on the scrape following a week with high counts of Snipe and both Blackcap and Chiffchaff present.

21 November 19

Overcast, 4°-5°C; wind NE 2-3

BIRDS:  A good day for birds as they enjoyed the wet meadows left by the receding floods.  Total count = 48 species.  Notable records included Little Grebe on Piddle Brook, Water Rail and 2 Cetti's Warblers heard, 5 Stonechats, an overwintering Chiffchaff and 4 Goldcrests and all 3 finches, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Goldfinch.

MAMMALS:  European Otter seen on Piddle Brook at 8:15am.

14 November 19

Steady, 6°C with a NE wind Force 2-4.  The meadows are still waterlogged following the recent floods and likely to be flooded again following heavy overnight rain.

BIRDS:  The miserable weather meant we only counted for about an hour and a half and many common species were sheltering out of sight.  The count was 27 species.  Notably there was a pair of Gadwall on the scrape, the first record for 2019, the 103rd species for the year.  There was a Kingfisher on the scrape with was interesting.  In spite of the weather both Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler were calling.

7 November 19

Sunny with scattered cloud, 7°-10°C with a SW breeze Force 3-4.  The meadows are still waterlogged following the recent floods.

BIRDS:  A good total of 48 species today.  3 Cetti's Warblers seen flitting in the reeds together and a Water Rail heard several times.  The first Common Gull of the autumn flew past along the river.  Fieldfares and Redwings all flew over.  A pair of Stonechats present mostly around the scrape.  2 Coal Tits were found, one on the N path and one in the Cherry Orchard gardens.  A single Rook flew over.  Two Linnets and two Greenfinches seen in the same tree!

BUTTERFLIES:  A late Red Admiral was seen sunning itself.

DRAGONFLIES:  Common Darters are still on the wing and 2 Migrant Hawkers were seen.

31 October 19

Overcast, 6°-11°C with a NE breeze Force 1-3.  Meadows waterlogged following recent flooding.

BIRDS:  The total bird count for the day was 42 species.  Sightings were characterised by the falling water level after extensive flooding at the weekend.  In particular 55 Pied Wagtails were recorded.  A Water Rail was heard, a Grey Wagtail flew over as did a single Fieldfare.  No warblers today but there was a good number of Meadow Pipits.

24 October 19

Overcast, 10°C with no wind.

BIRDS:  A total count of 44 species today.  A Water Rail and 2 Cetti's Warblers were heard.  Song and Mistle Thrushes showed and now there is a pair of Stonechats present.  Two Lapwing dropped in which was a nice surprise.  Other interesting sightings were, Blackcap, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Coal Tits and a Linnet.

17 October 19

Sunny, cold with cloudy periods,5°-15°C; wind S Force 1-3

BIRDS: An excellent count of 50 species today.  There was a lot of bird movement today allowing records of both Canada and Greylag Geese and plenty of Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails.  A surprise was 3 late Swallows.  The Stonechats are back and good numbers of Redwings were arriving.  Cetti's Warbler called several times.  For the first time in a long time we logged Chaffinch and Greenfinch on the same day.  A Goldcrest showed briefly and both Siskin and Linnet flew over.  Several Chiffchaffs were still present.

A flock of sheep arrived on Avon Meadows this afternoon.

10 October 19

Sunny, clouding over later, 15°C;  wind SW Force 3.

BIRDS:  A better total of 46 species this week with some interesting sightings.  The scrape is now full of water again and cutting of the vegetation complete.  We found Common Teal, Common Snipe, Meadow Pipit and a single Stonechat there.  Both Cetti's Warbler and Water Rail called from time to time.  A single Redwing appeared, equalling our early arrival record.  Parties of Rooks and Skylarks flow over, unusual for Avon Meadows.  A Eurasian Treecreeper was recorded in the carpark in late morning.

BUTTERFLIES:  A single Speckled Wood showed in the sun.

DRAGONFLIES:  Both Southern Hawker and Common Darter were present, the latter quite numerous.

MOTHS:  A caterpillar of a Buff Ermine was seen basking in the sun early on.

3 October 19

Overcast, 6°C to 10°C, calm.

BIRDS:  We struggled to make 37 species this dull morning.  Once again both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers declared their presence.  Swallows were present in good numbers but House Martin numbers were beginning to tail off.  There was a good number of Pied Wagtails to be seen as young birds made use of the wet meadows.  Warblers were represented by a single Chiffchaff.  The first Stonechat of the winter was seen on 28th September.

BUTTERFLIES:  A lone Red Admiral served to brighten the morning.

26 September 19

Sunny, 14°C to 17°C; wind SW Force 3-5

BIRDS:  A good count today of 46 species again.  The highlights were Common Teal on the main pool, a big passage of Barn Swallows and House Martins and both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers showed.  Reed Warblers are still present in small numbers and a Cetti's Warbler called once or twice.  A Jay flew over (unusual for Avon Meadows - woodland species) and a pair of Goldcrests revealed themselves.

BUTTERFLIES:  A Painted Lady was seen basking in a good year for this species and a Red Admiral showed too.

DRAGONFLIES:  Both Brown and Southern Hawkers were taking advantage of the late sunshine.

19 September 19

Sunny, 16°C to 20°C, calm.

BIRDS:  A good count today of 46 species, perhaps the late summer doldrums are over now!  Early on a Water Rail with its chick was seen on the margin of the main pool.  Common Teal have made a return after the summer.  A Red Kite flew over in early afternoon.  There was a small party of 4 Buzzards flying through.  A Green Woodpecker was heard and there were several Great Spotted Woodpeckers.  Small numbers of Swallows and House Martins are still present and Meadow Pipits arrived during the week and were present today.  A pair of Mistle Thrushes flew over.  Most of the warblers seem to have gone although Reed Warbler and Blackcap were present, conversely there were plenty of Chiffchaffs.  A single Linnet flow over.

DRAGONFLIES:  A nice sunny day brought forth, Brown and Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters.

13 September 19

Sunny, 12°C to 18°C, NW wind.

BIRDS:  A hard-won count of 39 species today.  Canada Geese were heard today and  Kestrel was successfully hunting Field Voles!  Swallows and House Martins were present but not in the numbers of last week.  A Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over.  A Lesser Whitethroat showed which was our first autumn record.  Other warblers present were Common Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler.  Small parties of Long-tailed Tits were flitting though the bushes.

5 September 19

Sunny periods, 12°C to 15°C, SW wind.

BIRDS:  Just 38 species this week, everything was very quiet.  Cormorants have made a return.  There were good numbers of Swallows and House Martins passing through.  Reed Warblers, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers were present.

29 August 19

Sunny periods, 12°C to 17°C, SW wind.

BIRDS:  A rather better total this week, 38 species.  Highlights were a Green Sandpiper on the scrape and Garden and Willow Warblers feeding on elderberries.  We only saw one bird of prey today when a Sparrowhawk flew over.  Reed Buntings are present but hard to find.

MAMMALS:  An Otter was seen in the channel beside the main path just before we started out.

22 August 19

Sunny periods, 16°C to 21°C, stiff S wind.

BIRDS:  A difficult day for birds with comparatively few about resulted in a count of only 33 species.  During the week a Red-legged Partridge was seen, our 101st species for 2019.  The last Swifts were seen on 19 Aug.  Canada Geese were seen early on and there were two Great Spotted Woodpeckers on show.  Warblers are still present but rather few Blackcaps and Common Whitethroats now.  Chiffchaff numbers are still up and there are still a few Reed Warblers present.

15 August 19

Overcast, clearing later, 17°C to 21°C, stiff W to NW wind.

BIRDS:  Not an easy morning for birds although we did end up with 42 species.  A few common Swifts still present, otherwise hirundines mostly heading south.  No Sedge Warblers today but some Reed Warblers apparently still feeding young.  Goldcrest heard and a Treecreeper too.  Two Common Whitethroats recorded and plenty of Chiffchaffs.   Four Ravens flew over.  Several Common Snipe seen on the scrape during the week; this is the first year that the scrape has still held water at this time of year.

BUTTERFLIES:  A good selection of butterflies present including; Large, Small and Green-veined Whites, Red Admiral, Peacock, Painted Lady, Meadow Brown and Speckled Wood.

DRAGONFLIES:  Dragonflies appeared in sheltered, sunny spots.  Banded Demoiselles were present in small numbers, Southern, Migrant and Brown Hawkers and Common Darters.

8 August 19

Sunny with light cloud, 17°C to 23°C, light SW breeze.

BIRDS:  A modest 37 species today, however it was not without interest.  We had a new early record for Common Snipe on the scrape and a Grey Wagtail flew over.  Swifts are still present and there were plenty of Swallows and House MartinsReed Warblers are still present but Sedge Warbler numbers are now low.

BUTTERFLIES:  The first Common Blue of the summer seen today, very late.  A single Painted Lady flew through.

DRAGONFLIES:  Many Common Darters seen mating and a Southern Hawker perched to give excellent views.

MOTHS:  A new moth for Avon Meadows!  A Hummingbird Hawk-moth was recorded feeding on Buddlea in a garden.

1 August 19

BIRDS:  It was not as hot as last week, starting out with overcast skies which cleared by mid-morning raising the temperature from 16°C to 23°C with a light southwesterly breeze.  Overall it was a good morning for birds and a total of 43 species was accumulated.  Grey Herons put in an appearance and for the first time in several months we recorded both Green and Great Spotted WoodpeckersSwifts and House Martins were still present but no Swallows or Sand Martins.  The warbler passage continues with Garden and Willow Warblers recorded in addition to the breeding species.  A Coal Tit appeared early on as did two Ravens.  Finally a Linnet flew over, a once common species in the Vale of Evesham but now rather scarce.

26 July 19

MOTHS:  It turned out to be a good moth night with over 80 species recorded, no wind and the temperature did not fall below 19°C.  There was one new species for Avon Meadows on the night, Black Arches.

25 July 19

BIRDS:  Today was a hot summer day with clear skies and the temperature rising during the morning from 23° to 31°C during the morning with only a light southerly breeze.  None the less 40 species were recorded, the most interesting undoubtedly was a juvenile Cuckoo being fed by Reed Warblers.  Even when the location of the Cuckoo is known they are extremely difficult to catch sight of.  A second brood of Coot chicks was on the main pool.  Swifts, Swallows and House Martins are still present.  There was evidence of the start of the warbler migration south with the presence of Lesser Whitethroat, Garden and Willow Warblers, none of which bred on Avon Meadows this year.

18 July 19

Overcast with sunny periods, 18°-22°C with a SW breeze.

BIRDS:  Two surprises served to raise our count to 44 species this week.  Two Little Egrets flew over early on and at least 2 Common Terns were seen along the river.  The meadows were cut yesterday, 17 July, and this brought in raptors which continued to appear today.  Today's were Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and Kestrel.  Swifts and hirundines are still present but young Swallows were seen flying south.  A Mistle Thrush was an unusual summer sighting.  All warblers are present still.  We recorded a singly Chaffinch flying over.

BUTTERFLIES:  A small area of thistles have been left after the mowing which held Marbled White and a Narrow-boardered Five-spot Burnet, a diurnal moth.

11 July 19

A sunny morning becoming overcast later, 15°-26°C with a light SW breeze.

BIRDS:  The dog days of summer.  41 species recorded today.  The undoubted highlights were a pair of Hobbies chasing hirundines and a LinnetMoorhens and Coots are producing second broods.  There were 3 Grey Herons and 2 Sparrowhawks.  All the usual hirundines and warblers still present.

BUTTERFLIES:  The first Gatekeeper of the year seen this morning and a Holly Blue.

MAMMALS:  Two Water Shrews were recorded today near the settling pit.

5 July 19

MOTHS:  An excellent moth night tonight when we recorded 76 species.  Three new species were recorded; 2 micro-moths, Lazotaeniodes formosiana and Homoeosoma sinuella.   The new macro-moth, Dotted Fan-foot was new for Avon Meadows and Worcestershire.

4 July 19

It was a nice summer day, sunny throughout, 17°-24°C with a light SW breeze.

BIRDS:  Among a total count of 41 species the unusual ones were;  two Common Shelduck flying over, a Water Rail called once from a dense reedbed beside the 'cross roadws', a Common Kingfisher was seen along the river and a Goldcrest seen feeding young.  A number of young birds were seen including Moorhen, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Swallow, Reed Warbler, Whitethroat and Blackcap.

BUTTERFLIES:  A patch of flowering Creeping Thistle near Piddle Brook had literally hundreds of butterflies feeding; mostly Meadow Browns but including Large Skipper, Small Tortoiseshell and Marbled White.  

DRAGONFLIES:  It was a perfect day for butterflies and Black-tailed Skimmer, Scarce Chaser, White-legged and Red-eyed Damselfies and Brown Hawker were located.

MOTHS:  A single Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet was found, sadly missing one wing and there were large numbers of grass Pyralids in the meadows.

27 June 19

After a period of cool, wet weather this was the start of a spell of hot weather.  Today was sunny, 14°-21°C with a NE breeze.

BIRDS:  A total count of 41 species today with nothing particularly unusual to report.  There were two each of Sparrowhawk and Buzzard and at least 5 Ravens.   This week the hirundines all turned up, House and Sand Martins plus Swallows.  A Skylark was heard and a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew by in the distance.  A Cuckoo flew over silently.  All the warblers of last week were still present.

BUTTERFLIES:  There was a multitude of Meadow Browns flying in the meadows with a few Ringlets.  Three Painted Ladies appeared and two Large Skippers plus several Red Admirals and Small Tortoiseshells..

DRAGONFLIES:  It was really a bit too windy for dragonflies but some turned up in sheltered, sunny spots.  These included both Beautiful and Banded Demoiselles, Blue-tailed Damselfly and an Emperor Dragonfly was defencing its territory over the main pool beside the boardwalk.  We also found and early Common Darter.

MOTHS:  A Scarlet Tiger was found clinging to a grass stem in the breeze and several Plum Tortrix micro moths.

FLOWERS:  Lots of Yellow-rattle Rhinanthus minor in flower in the meadows and Narrow-leaved Water Plantain Alisma lanceolatum in some of the channels.

21 June 19

MOTHS:  It was a moth night tonight and we ran one trap from 22h00 until 01h00 the following morning recording a modest 30 species.  No new species but among the micro moths were Olive Pearl Udea olivalis and Plum Tortrix Hedya pruniana.  There were big numbers of Dark Arches and Heart and Dart in particular.  The Uncertain was present in reasonable numbers as was the the attractive Clouded Border.

20 June 19

BIRDS:  Sunny with light cloud, 15°-17°C with light SW breeze.  43 species recorded today.  The highlight was a Common Tern flying along the river.  There were good numbers of Swifts, Sand and House Martins but no Swallows.  Good numbers of warblers too with Sedge and Reed Warblers, Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff present in normal numbers.  Plenty of Reed Buntings singing.

13 June 19

BIRDS: Over 1 inch of rain in the last 24 hours left the meadows rather wet!  Almost no rain this morning, 11°-13°C with a light southerly breeze.  The species count was 43 with good numbers of most birds present.  Young Mallard chicks are still appearing.  Just as we were finishing an Oystercatcher flew over.  A male Cuckoo was calling for the first hour.  2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers today and a Herring Gull, both new for June.  There were good numbers of Swifts and Martins but only 1 Swallow.  

MAMMALS:  The dead Muntjac carcass is now just a skeleton.  Two young Foxes watched us from the main path at 09h00.

6 June 19

BIRDS: A breezy early summer day, 14°-18°C resulted in our recording 43 species.  Ravens were seen feeding on the dead Muntjac carcass reported last week.  Young Blackcaps and Whitethroats were seen flying.  We recorded a single Swallow (low numbers this year) and average counts of Sand and House Martins.  A Goldcrest was found singing as was a Skylark high overhead.  Buzzards and Sparrowhawks put in an appearance and a Cuckoo was heard early on.

31 May 19

MOTHS:  Light cloud and only a light breeze made it a good night for our first moth night of 2019 and we found 42 species.  Among these were two new species for Avon Meadows, White-spotted Pug and Light-shouldered Brocade.

30 May 19

Mild weather today after a few cool days with sunny periods, 15°-22°C; stiff SW breeze.

BIRDS:  A rather uneventful day for birds enlivened by a Rook flying over.  A Skylark was another unusual appearance. Young birds recorded today were; Mallard, Blackbird, Great Tit, Starling, House Sparrow, Goldfinch.   There was a pair of Greylag Geese on the main pool together with two pairs of Tufted Duck.

BUTTERFLIES:  Several butterflies were recorded including our fist spring records for Red Admiral.  Others were Holly Blue, Common Blue, Brimstone, Speckled Wood and Small Tortoiseshell.

MOTHS:  A diurnal micro-moth was found at two locations along the North Hedge path, Nemophora degeerella. The same species was found at this location on 7 June 18.  Other moths found during the morning were Garden Carpet and Common Marbled Carpet.

DRAGONFLIES:  To windy for many dragonflies today but we did find Banded Demoiselle and Large Red Damselfly in a sheltered corner.

MAMMALS:  We had a record of a dead Muntjac this morning but could not find the carcass.

23 May 19

A lovely late spring day with the meadows full of buttercups.  Sunny with light cloud, 18°-23°C; wind light SW.

BIRDS:  45 species recorded today, the number disrupted by the non-appearance of breeding species (they breed elsewhere).  Blue Tits and Great Tits have young on the wing.  There are many young Starlings out and about feeding and gathering in significant number in the evenings.  The Mute Swans have given up breeding for this year but a family of Mallards are using their nest!  A Goldcrest was heard singing and the regular warblers are all present in number (viz: Sedge & Reed Warblers, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat & Chiffchaff).  No sign of the Treecreeper breeding.

BUTTERFLIES:  The fine weather brought in the insects out.  The following species were recorded; Brimstone, Orangetip, Holly Blue, Small Copper, Peacock and Speckled Wood.

DRAGONFLIES:  The first week dragonflies have emerged in number.  Species present were; Banded Demoiselle, Azure Damelfly, Large Red Damselfly and Four-spotted Chaser.

16 May 19

BIRDS:  Fine, sunny weather, 10°-20°C with an east breeze.  46 species were recorded albeit nothing unexpected.  The Mute Swans have deserted their nest after 2 eggs had been removed by unknown means.  There are young House Sparrows, Starlings, Goldfinches and Long-tailed Tits on the wing.  Plenty of Swifts and hirundines present.  One Willow Warbler which looked rather washed-out and was possibly of the northern race Phylloscopus trochilus acredula.  There were plenty of Common Whitethroats singing today and a pair of Cuckoos was present to, the female calling regularly. 

DRAGONFLIES:  The first Beautiful Demoiselle was seen today, an unusual sighting on Avon Meadows.

FLOWERS:  The first Yellow-rattle are coming into flower, particularly in the middle meadow.

9 May 19

BIRDS:  A rather miserable cold morning, overcast with light rain and a NE breeze, 9°C - 11°C.  The Mute Swans' nest now has 4 eggs.  Interest this week has focused on the scrape.  Today a Green Sandpiper flew of from there.  There were 5 Tufted Duck on the main pool and both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were recorded.  There were 3 male Cuckoos and one female present on and off throughout the morning all calling at various times.

During the last week the scrape held Little Egret (briefly), Oystercatcher, Little Ringed Plover (pair), Common Sandpiper, Greenshank and a Whinchat.

2 May 19

BIRDS:  This morning was overcast with occasional light showers, 9°C - 13°C with a SW breeze.  Hirundines are back in force with good numbers of Swallows, Sand and House Martins overhead.  The first Common Swift of 2019 arrived as did our first Hobby.  The Mute Swans' nest beside the boardwalk now has 3 eggs.  There are Coot and Moorhen chicks present and a flock of young Long-tailed Tits showed well.  A Water Rail called once from the main reed bed and  both male and female Cuckoos were heard.  Little Ringed Plovers remain on the scrape.  Blackcaps, Whitethroats, Chiffchaffs, Reed and Sedge Warblers were all in full song.  Starlings and House Sparrows are busy collecting food to feed young in their nests.

25 April 19

BIRDS:  The lovely warm weather of the weekend has passed and cooler, showery weather prevails; 11°C - 13°C with a SE breeze.  No hirundines at all today but there is a pair of Little Ringed Plover on the scrape, we have located our first Treecreeper nest and the first Coot chicks have appeared.  A Cuckoo was first heard on 19th and Common and Lesser Whitethroat have arrived.  

18 April 19

A lovely spring morning this morning with early morning light  cloud clearing, 8°C - 18°C with a NW breeze.

BIRDS:  A record equalling count of 53 species this morning although there was noting particularly remarkable but everything (nearly!) turned up.  A Great Cormorant flew over quite high up and there was a Grey Heron on the river, both scarce in summer.  Both Greylag and Canada Geese were on the scrape as were a remaining pair of TealSparrowhawk, Buzzard and Kestrel all put in an appearance.  Both Cetti's Warbler and Water Rail were heard and a Lapwing flew over for the second week in a row.  All our usual hirundines were present (Swallow, Sand Martin and House Martin, the latter in small numbers).  Blackcap numbers continue to increase, Willow Warblers have arrived in force and both Sedge and Reed Warblers have started to arrive.  A Jay flew through, unusual for Avon Meadows as was the Bullfinch in the North Hedge.

BUTTERFLIES:  The warmer weather brought the butterflies out, Orangetip were much in evidence and there were plenty of Speckled Woods on the North Path.  The set was completed with Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock all on the wing.

11 April 19

BIRDS:  Better weather this week although still with a cold NE breeze, sunny with light cloud, 2°C - 10°C.  Northern Lapwing on the scrape and House Martins arriving were both new records for 2019.  Teal and Greylag Geese are on the scrape and a dead Lesser Black-backed Gull.  There was a late Common Snipe flushed and a Meadow Pipit flew over.  It was nice to find a Treecreeper at the north end of the reserve.  Blackcap numbers continue to increase and there are plenty of Chiffchaffs but other summer warblers have yet to arrive.  Sand Martins and House Martins are just arriving.

10 April 19

BIRDS:  A new bird for Avon Meadows was seen this morning, a Common Redstart!  This is the 130th species to be recorded.  Oystercatcher, Yellow Wagtail, Wheatear and Mandarin Duck have also been recorded in the last week.

4 April 19

BIRDS:  A dramatic change in the weather from last week, cold and wet, 2°C - 4°C with a stiff NE wind.  We made a very decent count of 47 species.  There are two pairs of Mute Swans present, one on the main pool and one on the scrape.  The first Barn Swallow of the summer arrived today!  A late Common Gull flew over and both Teal and Tufted Ducks are still present.  Chiffchaffs have really arrived now and the number of Blackcaps is increasing, with several singing birds.

28 March 19

AMPHIBIANS: A Common Toad and Smooth Newt were seen swimming in the channels and a Common Frog croaking..

BIRDS:  A lovely sunny spring morning with the temperature rising to 15°C with a light breeze.  This brought in two new species for 2019; Red Kite and Common Shelduck.  There was some migration movement to with at least 9 Buzzards and 6 Common Snipe moving through.  Teal and Tufted Duck are still present.  A male Blackcap put in an appearance and there are at least 5 Chiffchaffs present now.  

BUTTERFLIES:  A good morning for butterflies with Brimstone, Large White, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Orange Tip all on the wing.

FLOWERS:  May blossom is well out now and the first Ladies Smock are out too.  Marsh Marigold are beginning to open.

21 March 19

BIRDS:  A cool overcast day today but signs of spring everywhere.  There was a light breeze from the SW and the temperature was 10°C to 13°C.  Better weather conditions lifted the count to 44 species today.  We had our first Chiffchaffs of the year this week and it was nice to record a European Treecreeper.  Cetti's Warbler was calling rather intermittently but there is considerable Reed Bunting activity.  4 Ravens flew over during the morning.  There was a female Blackcap in the north hedge and two Common Snipe on the scrape.  A Skylark flew over and there was one Meadow Pipit recorded.  There is a pair of Tufted Duck on the main pool and up to 8 Common Teal on the scrape.

14 March 19

BIRDS:  Windy weather again characterised the count although when the sun came out it was a bit warmer, 10°C.  Several new species for March turned up although none new for the year.  March 19 new birds were Common Snipe, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Cetti's Warbler and Raven.  The total count was 40 species.

7 March 19

BIRDS:  Sunny at first but overcast later, 7°-9°C, but the strong SW wind made it seem rather chilly and kept the bird numbers down to 38.  The tilting weir has been raised so the water level is beginning to rise.  1 Canada and 2 Greylag Geese on the scrape early on and a good number of Common Teal present.  Tufted Duck and Mute Swans on the main pool and gulls flying over including one Common Gull.  One Pied Wagtail on the south meadow with a flock of Redwing.  A male Blackcap was seen near the tilting weir (first summer arrival?).  

28 February 19

BIRDS:  Overcast today and not quite so warm, 8°-10°C with a SW breeze.  We did manage 47 species without anything particularly unusual.  Greylag Goose and Canada Goose were roosting on the scrape early on and there were two Common Snipe in front of the bird screen although very hard to pick out in the cut reed stems.  There was a pair of Tufted Duck on the main pool and Common Teal on the main pool and the scrape.  A Skylark, Meadow Pipit and Grey Wagtail all flew over at different times and there were up to 7 Pied Wagtails on the waterlogged part of the south meadow.  Two Cetti's Warblers were heard singing and a Coal Tit was spotted behind the houses along Cherry Orchard.  Two Ravens flew over and Carrion Crows were observed nest building.

21 February 19

BIRDS: A lovely sunny morning this morning with the temperature rising to a spring-like 15°C.  The bird count responded and we manged 44 species this week.  It seems that the Mute Swans are being numbered again with orange leg rings so 32T and 37U were new for us.  We recorded Skylark and Meadow Pipit today, our first Thursday records this year.  There were plenty of Common Teal on the scrape but only two Common Snipe this week but they were hard to find.  Both Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler called very occasionally which is encouraging.  Magpies are building a nest in a tree beside Cherry Orchard School.

AMPHIBIANS:  A Common Toad was seen crossing the path this morning.

BUTTERFLIES:  One Brimstone and two Small Tortoiseshells today in the lovely sunshine.

14 February 19

BIRDS:  It was a lovely sunny morning following a light frost overnight and the temperature rose to 10°C with only a light wind.  None of this helped the total count however which was down to 36 species.  The morning started off well with a Kingfisher perched at the far end of the main pool.  The scrape produced 26 Common Teal and 10 Common Snipe, the latter all withing 50m of the bird screen although not easy to see.  A Grey Wagtail perched on the roof of one of the houses along Cherry Orchard until after we moved off!  There are still some Redwing present and Reed Buntings have started singing and are consequently very visible.  A pair of Mute Swans were seen mating on the main pool.

7 February 19

BIRDS:  Main feature of the morning was the strong SW wind which kept bird numbers down, we recorded 38 species.  Two Little Grebe on the river and Mute Swans on the main pool for the first time in a while.  A pair of Tufted Duck on the main pool too.  Two Common Snipe and 12 Common Teal on the scrape.  A Pied Wagtail and a number of Redwing found in the S meadow.  A Common Gull flew over and one Cetti's Warbler heard.  Three Ravens flew over.

31 January 19

BIRDS:  It was very cold this morning, -6°C when we started out.  Even so we managed 45 species including hearing Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler.  Nearly all the water birds were on the river as the pools were frozen over and there were Little Grebe, Mute Swan, Mallard, Teal and Tufted Duck to be seen.  The exception was Common Snipe and there were 3 on the scrape.  A Common Gull flew over a couple of times as did a SparrowhawkRavens put in a brief appearance too.

24 January 19

BIRDS:  Today was overcast and cold with forecast sleet.  Happily the sleet did not arrive and we recorded 46 species again.  A Coal Tit was a new species for 2019.  A flock of 36 Greylag Geese flew over and there was a good number of Teal moving between the scrape and the main pool.  Both Cetti's Warbler and Water Rail were heard, 4 Water Rail were heard on 22 Jan!  A single Common Gull was seen flying south along the River Avon.  The Common Stonechat has been seen regularly on Saturday work parties but today was the first time it had been seen on a bird count.  Only one Pied Wagtail was seen this morning but at least 40 have been roosting in the reed beds recently.

17 January 19

BIRDS:  A cold, sunny morning brought forth 46 species.  These included wintering Blackcap, a Goldcrest and 4 Long-tailed Tits.  There was a Little Grebe and a pair of Tufted Duck on the river and four Ravens flew over.  We managed to find four Common Snipe on the scrape but they are difficult to locate among the reed stubble once they land.

10 January 19

BIRDS:  We got off the a slow start on a cold day but eventually finished with a total of 47 species including some unusual ones for us.  Common Teal were present although the ice on the pools meant they did not stay long.  The same applied to one or two Common Snipe on the scrape.  Two Sparrowhawks soared overhead briefly.  Cetti's Warbler called once from the reed beds although we believe that there are two bird present.  The north hedge had most to offer where we recorded Blackcap, Long-tailed Tit, Greenfinch (scarce recently), Lesser Redpoll, Bullfinch and Yellowhammer.  Four Ravens flew over during the morning.

3 January 19

BIRDS:  Overcast and cool today with almost no wind but the ground is quite dry .  The birds were quiet though and we managed a modest 39 species.  Tufted Duck have become scarce recently but we found a female on the river with Teal and Mallard on the main pool.  Winter thrush numbers were down but we did record both Redwing and Fieldfare.  Two excellent sightings were a Water Rail crossing a path near the scrape and two Treecreepers near the 'white house' in the NE corner.  The north hedge continues to hold wintering Blackcaps.


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