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Woolston Eyes Monthly Sightings


A Marsh Harrier was reported on 23rd. Today Les Jones and I covered No.3 bed and Bollin Point A Green Sandpiper was on the muddy river edge at the Point, where 8 Buzzards and a few Goldfinches, Linnets and Redpolls were noted, while just 4 Swallows moved southwards. On No.3 bed 200 Pink-footed Geese flew east early on. A Water Rail, 108 Teal and 44 Shoveler were in front of the Morgan Hide, while scores of Greenfinches and Chaffinches were moving round. Warblers included a few Reed Warblers and plenty of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps.

Butterflies included Commas, Red Admirals and Speckled Woods.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman


Star bird today was a big immature female Goshawk which Les Jones and I watched chasing two Wood Pigeons over the west bank of No.3 bed early on. Two Nuthatches was a good record for the bed, too. Kieran Foster and Jason Atkinson had a small southward movement of about 30 Skylarks during the morning and ringed a late Sedge Warbler, along with a Meadow Pipit among more than 100 birds caught. Plenty of butterflies and dragonflies were in evidence, with five Commas being a good count.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman


Waterbird numbers were low today, as Les Jones and I covered Nos. 1, 2 and 3 beds, as well as Bollin Point. One Water Rail, 30 Teal, 22 Moorhens, 10 Shovelers, 1 Greylag Goose, 4 Little Grebes, 38 Gadwall, and 40 Mallard were among the counts made. Finches and warblers, though, were present in good numbers. Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were everywhere, with odd Reed Warblers still present around the water margins. Nearly 200 Goldfinches and 100 each of Greenfinch and Chaffinch were good totals across the three beds. Mike Miles reported a Hobby among c. 500 House Martins on Friday, though only small numbers of these and Swallows passed through today. Raptors included 1 Peregrine, 2 Kestrels, 2 Sparrowhawks and 7 Buzzards.

It was a good day for late butterflies and dragonflies, with the following counts made: 12 Small Tortoiseshells, 7 Speckled Woods, 3 Red Admirals, 2 Commas, 3 Meadow Browns, 1 Common Blue, 1 Green-veined White, 60 Common Darters, 1 Southern Hawker and 3 Brown Hawkers.

Submitted by: David Bowman


The warm, sunny weather during the past week has produced good numbers of butterflies for early September. Reserve totals include 118 Small Tortoiseshells, 75 Speckled Woods, 80 Peacocks, 62 Meadow Browns and 33 Common Blues. An interesting find was a Painted Lady at the second barrier and a late Gatekeeper on the 5th and a couple of Small Coppers were also noteworthy.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett


No.3 bed’s low water levels continue to deliver on the wader front, with two Green Sandpipers and one Greenshank during a warm, calm morning. Six species of warbler were still present, with good numbers of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, 6 Reed Warblers, 3 Whitethroats, 2 Willow Warblers and one Sedge Warbler present. A Hobby passed through early on, with only a handful of House Martins and 4 Swallows to detain it. Other evidence of passage came when 6 Siskins flew south, along with a single Lesser Redpoll. Two families of Water Rail were active early on, with an adult and 2 young in front of the Rotary Hide and an adult with 3 young in front of the Morgan Hide. As usual the Morgan Hide feeders were very busy, with c.60 Greenfinches, 10 Chaffinches and 4 Willow Tits notable. Two Mistle Thrushes, uncommon at Woolston, were on the North Meadow, where a few Reed Buntings were among the small finch flocks. In total, 46 species were noted.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman


On a pleasant morning Dave Steel, Les Jones and I met at 6.30 am for a spell of visible migration watching on Butchersfield Tip (at the eastern end of the Reserve). Swallows were trickling through all morning, while House Martins tended to feed up over the mosses to the north, en masse, before moving south. A Grey Wagtail, followed by two Yellow Wagtails were decent birds for Woolston but the highlight came just after 10.00 am when two Hawfinches flew in from the east, passed a few feet over our heads and landed in some nearby trees. Some of the totals for the morning were: 2 Hawfinches, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Grey Wagtail, 4 Siskins, 102 Swallows, 494 House Martins, 165 Goldfinches, 171 Lapwings, 80 Stock Doves, 21 Common Buzzards, 4 Kestrels and 5 Sparrowhawks.

Reports from No.3 bed, from Kieran Foster, MIke Miles and Jason Atkinson included a Hobby at the Swallow roost on Friday night and 52 Blackcaps ringed on Saturday morning.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman