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Woolston Eyes Nature Reserve

An S.S.S.I. Managed by Woolston Eyes Conservation Group

Woolston Eyes Monthly Sightings


Late entry for 13/12/2015 WeBS count.

Little Grebe 12,Great crested Grebe 3, Cormorant 7, Mute Swan 46, Grey Heron 8, Canada Goose 20, Shelduck 3, Wigeon 1, Gadwall 52, Teal 456, Mallard 78, Shoveler 10, Tufted Duck 176, Moorhen 31, Coot 33, Water Rail 1, Kingfisher 1, Snipe 1. Woodcock 1, Black-headed Gull 10 Common Gull 2.

Submitted by: Brian Martin


Redpoll feeding in front of John Morgan Hide last weekend

Submitted by: Brian Burnett


The Eyes looked very strange today due to the low water levels in the canal and river. This is a result of deliberate action by the Ship Canal Company who are carrying out work to the sluices at Latchford Locks. The water level has been reduced in order to enable divers to carry out the work. Part of the river bank to the north of No.2 bed has collapsed and it was not possible to walk up to the viaduct as the footpath has been closed. There were large numbers of Black-headed Gulls present - about 550 in total. One or two of these were acquiring their summer plumage! Another unseasonable occurrence was a Song Thrush singing on the south bank of No.2 bed, clearly confused by the exceptionally mild weather (13 degrees today). Mallard numbers have increased and I counted 143, whilst Tufted Duck totalled 260. A Pochard was on no.3 bed and Dave Spencer and I saw a Nuthatch at the weir. Photo; low water to the north of No.2 bed

Submitted by: Dave Hackett


Down on Nos.3 and 4 beds this morning for a meeting and managed a bit of birding on the way round. There was a substantial movement of thrushes, filtering east across No.4 bed. with 60 Fieldfares mixed in with 350 Redwings. Ten Lesser Redpolls and 40 Goldfinches were also feeding around the Loop of the bed. On No.3 bed, I spent some time trying to get a count of the Brambling flock, settling on a maximum of 60, split evenly between the Morgan Hide feeders and the winter feed crop. They’re very mobile, sometimes joining into a single flock with c.100 Chaffinches when disturbed. Greenfinch numbers remain at c,150.

Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman


On No.3 bed a minimum of 60 Bramblings at Morgan hide feeders . At same time the ringing team caught several Bramblings in nets by the north meadow with many others present there.It is highly likely that 80-100 were present on the bed.Chaffinches and Greenfinches also numerous as were Goldfinches and a few Lesser Redpolls. A Redwing of the Icelandic race was caught by the ringers.Bullfinches were much in evidence with a number in ringers nets and seen and heard in other parts of the Reserve.The Marsh Tit seen on several occasions on the left side feeders at the Morgan hide.The Ship Canal in full flow after recent heavy rain

Submitted by: Brian Martin


Another good morning at The Woolston Eyes Nature Reserve, despite the constant drizzle. After a quick breakfast in the Morgan Hide, David Spencer, Paul Hazlehurst, Les Jones and I completed the monthly wildfowl count, wandering as far east as Bollin Point, while the rest of the crew stayed snug and warm in the hide. Highlights were a Woodcock flushed from No.2 bed, 6 Little Grebes at Bollin Point and on No.3 bed: 1 Marsh Tit, 20 Bramblings, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Lesser Redpolls, 2 Wigeon, 1 Kingfisher, 150 Greenfinches, 2 Snipe and 40 Goldfinches. The link to a video clip shows a brief view of the long-staying Marsh Tit, plus some of the 20 + Bramblings under the Morgan Hide feeders.

Click here to watch Dave’s video of Bramblings and brief Marsh Tit or cut and paste the link below into your browser


Cheers David (with David Spencer, Alan Warford, Paul Hazlehurst, Helen Allan, Diane Shepherd, George Dunbar and Les Jones)

Submitted by: David Bowman


A few hours on Nos.3 and 4 beds today, with pleasant sunshine and the odd shower. On No.3 bed, the Marsh Tit was still around the Morgan Hide feeders, with up to 20 Bramblings, a Willow Tit and the odd Lesser Redpoll. On No.4 bed, 2 Woodcocks were flushed, 2 Willow Tits were calling and a few Fieldfares feeding. Cheers David

Submitted by: David Bowman


The Marsh Tit was still regularly visiting the John Morgan hide feeders this morning. It favours the feeders on the left hand (westerly) side of the hide. It is ringed on the left leg, any Willow Tits with rings will be ringed on the right leg. It is at times associating with a Willow Tit and both were caught on Saturday, see photo (the Marsh Tit is the right hand bird).

Submitted by: David Spencer


MIssion accomplished on No.3 bed today, where we set out, with Kieran Foster and his ringing team, to try and catch and ring the Marsh Tit which has been around for the past couple of weeks. It obligingly went into a net at the Morgan Hide feeding station, along with a Willow Tit for comparison. It turned out to be a bird of the year and it would be fascinating to know where it fledged from. We also kept a weather eye out for other birds with highlights being: Marsh Tit 1, Willow Tit 1, Brambling 22, Siskin 1, Black-tailed Godwit 2, Snipe 13, Fieldfare 3, Lapwing 191, Teal 375, Greenfinch 130, Grey Wagtail 1 and Shoveler 16.

Photo of the Marsh Tit

Cheers David (with Dave Steel?, David Spencer, Kieran Foster, Alan Warford?, Paul Hazlehurst?, Helen Allan? and George Dunbar?)

Submitted by: David Bowman


A dry morning followed by rain in the afternoon; one of the better days recently! A flock of about 15 Siskin was on Butchersfield Tip. On No.3 bed were 2 Black-tailed Godwit and about 350 Teal. I finally managed to see the Bramblings under the feeders where about 12 were present.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett