All records are from Avon Meadows Wetland.

4 August 2022

Light cloud, clearing, warm 18° to 24°C; wind SW 2-4.

BIRDS: Total species count = 36 species. The biggest surprise was a Little Egret flying up the river. The ‘wetland’ is so dry it did not stop. There are quite a few young Sedge and Reed Warblers present. 2 Cetti’s Warblers called briefly. Two young Sparrowhawks were watched ‘play fighting’ high overhead. Quite a few House Martins and Swallows were recorded passing through. A Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Raven flew over, the first of each for several weeks. Young Blackcaps were watched eating the few ripe elderberries. A single Common Whitethroat was recorded.

BUTTERFLIES: A Marbled White was reported on 13 July. The first Common Blue of the year was recorded on the scrape on 29 July.

MOTHS: A Mint Moth was recorded on Water Mint on the scrape on 29 July. The caterpillar of an Emperor Moth was found on the boardwalk on 3 August, only our second record for this moth.

28 July 2022

Overcast, cool, 15° to 20°C; wind NE 1.

BIRDS: Total species count = 36 species. Another very quiet day most birds either calling very briefly or not at all. High points were a Grey Heron on the main pool, small numbers of House Martins and Swallows flying overhead, and a Green Woodpecker calling. A single Linnet was recorded but the Swift count was good with 19 birds recorded. A Common Whitethroat called once, briefly. Two Cetti’s Warblers made a shortened version of their normal call.

MOTHS: There was a moth trapping session on Tuesday which went well. A total of 72 species were recorded of which 2, Dusky Sallow and September Thorn were new records for Avon Meadows bringing the total recorded now to 401 species. Other notable records were; Red Twin-spot Carpet, Magpie, Bordered Beauty, Buff-tip, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Scarce Footman, Muslin Moth, Turnip Moth, Cloaked Minor, Lobesia abscisana, Cydia splendana and Endotrichia flammealis.

21 July 2022

Sunny with some cloudy periods, 18° to 20°C; wind N 2.

BIRDS: Total species count = 38 species. After 2 days of temperatures exceeding 40°C a mercifully cooler day today. Perhaps the nicest sighting of the day was a small party of Barn Swallows flying over as it was some time since we have seen them. House Martins and Swifts too. Sedge Warblers were seen feeding young, presumably a second brood. Cetti’s Warblers were heard to, mostly making their shot contact call. The presence of two Goldcrests along Mill Lane was a good record. There was a small flock of Long-tailed Tits near the tilting weir and a good number of Chiffchaffs. Some species are hard to find now they have stopped singing including Robins and Great Tits, one of each was recorded.

A pair of Tawny Owls was heard near our nest box during the week.

14 July 2022

Sunny with some cloudy periods, 16° to 26°C; wind NW 2-3.

BIRDS: Total species count = 36 species. We are rather in the “dog days of summer” with many birds not singing and therefore difficult to find again. Two Red Kites and a Peregrine Falcon stooping lifted the spirits. The Moorhens and Coots were showing off they fully fledged young on the main pool. Four House Martins this week were the only hirundines on show. A Grey Wagtail on the dipping platform was a nice surprise. Reed and Sedge Warblers are still present but in small numbers.

DRAGONFLIES: The first Brown Hawker of the year was recorded today together with a Scarce Chaser and Black-tailed Skimmer.

The most recent transect count was carried out on 11 July turning up 9 species including White-legged, Blue-tailed, Azure, Common Blue and Red-eyed Damselflies.

MOTHS: The results from the moth trapping session on 6 July are now confirmed and 60 species were recorded. The highlight was the 399th species for Avon Meadows, a Slender Pug (Eupithecia tenuiata). Other unusual species were Green Pug, Short-cloaked Moth, Coronet, Dingy Shears, Celypha striana, Ancylis achatana and Crambus lathionellus.

7 July 2022

Overcast only clearing in late morning, 15° to 20°C; wind N 2.

BIRDS: Total species count = 32 species. After previous days of warm weather the birds were quiet this morning making them more difficult to detect. Highlights would be a party of Common Swifts, a Kingfisher flying by, a Skylark singing overhead but only one House Martin. No Cetti’s Warbler heard today but all others were present; Sedge and Reed Warblers, Common Whitethroat and Blackcap. The young Coot chicks have now fledged. A Lesser Whitethroat was heard in the week and the Barn Owl was seen on the 6 July.

BUTTERFLIES: Large Skipper, Essex Skipper and Gatekeeper were all recorded this week.

MAMMALS: A Roe Deer was seen on the scrape during the morning.

30 June 2022

Sunny, broken cloud, warm, 16° to 23°C; wind NW 1-3.

BIRDS: Total species count = 37 species. The Grey Heron was on the main pool this week. A pair of Sparrowhawks was hunting for most of the morning. The Coots on the main pool still have all 4 of their chicks. 9 Swifts and 4 House Martins were recorded. Only 1 Cetti’s Warbler was calling this morning. Robins and Dunnocks were recorded but were generally very quiet. Blackcaps and Whitethroats were still calling. A pair of Linnets was recorded flying along a hedge.

The Barn Owl was recorded hunting in late evening and early morning during the week. There was a number of records for Red Kite too. A Tawny Owl was seen near one of the nest boxes. The last adult Cuckoo was heard on 26 June.

INSECTS: We made our 3 rd record for the Thistle Picture-wing Fly on Thursday.

FLOWERS: Yellowrattle and Common Knapweed are flowering nicely at present. These are both species we are trying to reintroduce.

23rd June 2022

Clear, sunny, hot, 18° to 26°C; wind S 1.

BIRDS: Total species count = 39 species. A Grey Heron put in an appearance on the main pool today and a Sparrowhawk was recorded, both for the first time this month. Generally the records were unremarkable.

BUTTERFLIES: Both Small Skipper and Ringlet emerged this week.

DRAGONFLIES: Our first Southern Hawker was recorded today. A Four-spotted Chaser was recorded during the week.

MOTHS: The first moth trapping session of the year took place last Tuesday. Modest beginnings with a total of 42 species recorded. Among the species less commonly recorded on Avon Meadows were; Peach Blossom, Barred Yellow, a probable Tawny Marbled Minor (dissection necessary for certain identification), Middle-barred Minor, Plum Tortrix, Crambus lathionellus and Ephestia woodiella.

WILD FLOWERS: The first orchid was discovered on Avon Meadows today, a single Pyramidal Orchid.

16 June 2022

Clear, sunny, hot, 16° to 25°C; wind N 1.

BIRDS: Total species count = 40 species. The scrape is now totally dried out and overgrown but does provide food for passerines. Some interesting birds this week including our first Cormorant for 9 weeks and Chaffinch for 6 weeks. 2 Red Kites flew over (8 weeks since the last sighting). Both male and female Cuckoos were calling in the morning. Our resident Coots still have their 4 downy young. This week both House Martin and Swallow were recorded as well as at least 10 Swifts flying over. Warbler counts were good with 5 Cetti’s Warblers and 15 Blackcaps. A Jay put in an appearance again and there were 4 Linnets recorded. Reed Buntings seemed to be everywhere, 18 were logged. A pair of Pied Wagtails put in an appearance too.

A Barn Owl was recorded during the week hunting over the N Meadow in the evening.

DRAGONFLIES: Our first dragonfly survey took place this week and delivered very good results. Species recorded were Banded Demoiselle, White-legged, Large Red, Blue-tailed and Azure Damselflies, Scarce Chaser and Black-tailed Skimmer.

9 June 2022

High cloud, sunny, 14° to 20°C; wind SW 3-4.

BIRDS: Total species count = 42 species. A rather unremarkable count for today in terms of variety of species. A Tufted Duck flew over, a scarce species in recent years. A Peregrine Falcon flew over flying towards the Abbey, possibly one of the pair there. There was a good number of Common Swifts but no hirundines. Two Kingfishers were seen along the river. 5 Cetti’s Warblers were recorded. Warbler counts were good; Sedge Warbler (4), Reed Warbler (7), Whitethroat (2), Blackcap (7), Chiffchaff (4). Young Long-tailed Tits were recorded for the first time this year. A Jay flying out of a willow tree was a nice surprise. 4 Greenfinches and 3 Linnets were recorded.

2 June 2022

Fine, clear, warm, 14° to 22°C; wind E 1.

BIRDS: Total species count = 46 species. There has been a Turtle Dove around since 9 May but today is the first time it has been seen on a Thursday Bird Count. Rook and Kestrel were unusual sightings too. Mute Swans on the river have raised 2 cygnets. Male and female Cuckoos were present this morning, both calling. Adult and juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker were seen in Mill Lane. It was nice to see Swifts (15), Swallows (2) and House Martins (7) today which have been a rare sight until today. A Pied Wagtail flew over to add to the list. Only 3 Cetti’s Warblers were heard this morning. There were 2 Goldcrest in the NW corner. A Rook flying over was an unusual record for Avon Meadows, the previous record was on 27 Jan 22. It was nice to see plenty of Linnets about.

DRAGONFLIES: Still quite scarce. Banded Demoiselle and Blue-tailed Damselfly were seen during the morning as was a Black-tailed Skimmer, this a new early record for Avon Meadows.

26 May 2022

Overcast with occasional bright periods, 15° to 18°C; wind SW 3-5.

BIRDS: Total species count = 35 species. Male and female Cuckoos were heard and seen this morning, the female only briefly. There were Swifts overhead early on. The Mute Swans seem to have given up any idea of breeding this year. A Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over, the first sighting for several weeks. Just 1 Coot today although a pair with 4 chicks was seen yesterday. There were big numbers of House Sparrows and Starlings as young birds joined their parents feeding. A single male Linnet was recorded beside the scrape. In spite of recent rain, the scrape is mostly dry and quite overgrown.

DRAGONFLIES: Still quite scarce. Banded Demoiselle and Blue-tailed Damselfly were seen during the week as was a Scarce Chaser, this a new early record for Avon Meadows.

FLOWERS: Hogweed, Yellow Flag Irises and Dog Rose are all in full bloom which together with the Cow Parsley and both Creeping and Meadow Buttercups show the meadows at their best.

19 May 2022

Sunny periods, warm.

BIRDS: Total species count = 39 species. The Cuckoo was back singing this morning. The Garden Warbler is still present and there are good numbers of Sedge, Reed and Cetti’s Warblers together with Blackcaps, Common Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs. Barn Swallows and House Martins were recorded but only single birds.

Interesting records during the week included one Little Ringed Plover on 14th, 3 Little Egrets on 16th and a pair of Coots with 3 chicks on 21st. The Turtle Dove is being harassed by Collared Doves but was recorded on 17th.

Mammals: Roe Deer have been regularly seen on the scrape where they eat the young reed shoots. A Fox has also been a regular visitor.

12 May 2022

Clear, sunny mild morning, 14°C to 18°C; wind SW 3-4.

BIRDS: Total species count = 43 species. No Cuckoo this morning! Little Egret on the scrape early on. A Garden Warbler was singing from the same spot as last week. Young birds are on the wing now including, Starlings, Robins, Goldfinches and House Sparrows. It looks very much as though both Mute Swan’s nests have been predated by Foxes.

A Turtle Dove has returned to the same site just N of Avon Meadows for the second year running. We did not find it during the Thursday bird count but it was recorded the day before and the day afterwards!

5 May 2022

Overcast, clearing to sunny morning, warm, 12°C to 22°C; wind calm to NW 2.

BIRDS: Total species count = 49 species. Much Cuckoo activity this morning with 2 males and 1 female cavorting around the sky. A Garden Warbler was new for the year. Other warblers were well represented, Sedge Warbler – 13, Reed Warbler – 9, Whitethroat – 2, Blackcap – 12, Chiffchaff – 6 & Cetti’s Warbler – 6. Just 4 Swallows and 1 House Martin was all the hirundines recorded. A single Goldcrest was heard. Fly-byes included Canada Goose, Grey Heron and Jay. Starlings and House Sparrows look to be feeding nestlings. 7 Greenfinches and 2 Linnets turned up.

The first Swifts were seen on 4 May. Lesser Whitethroat and Sand Martin were recorded during the week.

28 April 2022

Overcast, cool, 8°C to 11°C; wind N 2-3.

BIRDS: Total species count = 45 species. Another Cuckoo arrived this morning, so far they are not staying. The first Lesser Whitethroat of the year was heard together with several Common Whitethroats. Both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were recorded. Warblers were in good song, Cetti’s, Sedge and Reed Warblers were singing as were Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs. Hirundines continue to be scarce but today 4 Swallows flew over. Linnets were present and a Skylark was heard singing in spite of the cold weather.

A Little Egret was present from last week until Tuesday. A Common Tern flew past up river on 22 April. Another Willow Warbler was recorded in the week

21 April 2022

Clear with light cloud, sunny, 11°C to 18°C; wind NE 2-4.

BIRDS: Total species count = 44 species. A Little Egret was present on the scrape and a single Little Ringed Plover. The first Common Whitethroat of the year was recorded. A Cuckoo greeted us at 09h00 but was not heard later in the morning. The first House Martin passed through; hirundines are scarce so far this spring. Sedge and Reed Warblers have arrived in small numbers and were singing from the reed beds. A single Goldcrest was heard

14 April 2022

Overcast, clearing to sunny, warm morning, 9°C to 18°C; wind calm to SW 2.

BIRDS: Total species count = 45 species. What a difference a week makes, mild weather and light winds brought in the first wave of summer visitors. Sedge, Reed and Willow Warblers were all recorded. It was pleasing to hear a Water Rail calling after the fire of 3 April. No less than 8 Cetti’s Warblers were heard. Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were present in number, overwintering bird numbers boosted by recent arrivals. Linnets and a Goldcrest were also present. 4 Sand Martins flew over but otherwise hirundines have been hard to find so far this spring.

7 April 2022

Sunny periods, very windy, cold, 7°C to 11°C; wind N 5-8.

BIRDS: Total species count = 31 species. High winds throughout the day kept the bird count down. No new summer visitors have arrived. The Kingfisher continues to use the scrape to feed. There is a pair of Canada Geese showing very sign of nesting on one of the scrape islands. Most interesting sightings were at the previous weekend.

3 April 2022: A Tufted Duck and a single Oystercatcher flew over, both the first sightings for 2022. There were late Common Snipe and Meadow Pipits recorded too. No less that 6 Cetti’s Warbler territories were located.

On Saturday night (9 Apr) fire set by yobs destroyed about half an acre of reed bed and we are fearful that a number of birds nests will have been destroyed, particularly those of Water Rail.

FLOWERS: Marsh Marigolds have just started to appear. The meadows are full of Dandelions now.

31 March 2022

Overcast, cold, 5°C; wind N 4.

BIRDS: Total species count = 38 species. A lull between winter visitors departing and summer visitors arriving continues although Blackcap and Chiffchaff numbers are beginning to build. A late Meadow Pipit was recorded. There are now 2 Little Grebes on the main pool leading to hopes that they might breed again. This week 4 Greylag Geese were recorded.

FLOWERS: Ladies smock (Cuckooflower) have just started to appear.

24 March 2022

Clear, sunny warm, 18°C; wind light.

BIRDS: Total species count = 36 species. A lull between winter visitors departing and summer visitors arriving continues it seems. Chiffchaff numbers are beginning to build and this week 2 Blackcaps were recorded. Cetti’s Warbler numbers are strong with 6 heard calling. A Common Snipe dropped in

During the week there were several interesting records, a pair of Little Grebes in breeding plumage on the main pool, a Shoveler stopped over briefly and our first Greylag Geese of the year appeared as did our first Sand Martins on 28th. A Green Sandpiper was recorded on 20th and Linnets have been much in evidence during the week.

17 March 2022

Clear, sunny cold, 4° to 12°C; wind SW 2-4.

BIRDS: Total species count = 34 species. A lull between winter visitors departing and summer visitors arriving. The highlight of the morning was a Common Kingfisher hunting over the scrape, much of the time in front of the bird screen. Recent heavy rain had made the river extremely turbid so fishing over the clear water of the scrape was easy for him. Three Linnets flew over and Greenfinches are singing. The Little Grebe is still at the S end of the main pool although elusive. Chiffchaffs are singing and their numbers slowly increasing.

10 March 2022

Overcast, sunny later, mild, 10° to 14°C; wind SE 3-4.

BIRDS: Total species count = 42 species. A fire in a reed bed yesterday destroyed about half an acre of reeds. Effectively extinguished by Pershore Fire Brigade. Most birds not affected. A single male Stonechat was recorded this morning. 2 Water Rails were heard and at least 5 Cetti’s Warblers. A handsome Red Kite flew over in mid-morning. A single Skylark flew over high up and there were 3 Meadow Pipits present. There were still 25 Redwings which had not left for the summer. No less than 6 Ravens were counted and it was good to see 9 Greenfinches, a species under pressure.

On 7 March, a flock of 25 Linnets were recorded in the late afternoon over the scrape.

3 March 2022

Overcast, mild, 9° to 11°C; wind calm.

BIRDS: Total species count = 43 species. 2 pairs of Stonechats this morning, presumably birds on passage. Cetti’s Warblers and Water Rails very audible. As for waterfowl, 90 Mallard but only 2 Mute Swans (resident pair) and 2 Canada Geese. 11 Redwings still present. 2 Chiffchaffs and two Goldcrests recorded along the North Hedge. In short, a good number of birds around but none of them unusual.

24 February 2022

Mostly sunny with cloudy periods, windy, 3° to 7°C; wind SW 3-6.

BIRDS: Total species count = 40 species. A Cetti’s Warbler allowed itself to be photographed. There were still plenty of Redwings present although no Stonechats since 22 Feb. There were 2 pairs of Shovelers on the scrape. A single Meadow Pipit was recorded. There were two Sparrowhawks seen hunting from time to time and 4 Buzzards. One Common Snipe flew into the scrape. There was a nice Grey Wagtail near the beginning of the boardwalk. No less then 4 Greenfinches were recorded and a single Raven flew over.

17 February 2022

Sunny and windy, 6° to 12°C; wind SW 4-6.

BIRDS: Total species count = 41 species. Two Canada Geese on the scrape marked a return after several weeks missing. 25 Teal was an unusually high count. Sparrowhawk (female) and Buzzard were both present today. 231 Black-headed Gulls were recorded feeding on waterlogged meadows. A Kingfisher was seen on the scrape, the river and brooks were muddy after recent rain. There are still plenty of Redwings present. A Skylark was located singing very high up. 4 Cetti’s Warblers were heard, none seen!

10 February 2022

Overcast, clearing, sunny 3° to 8°C; wind SW 2-4.

BIRDS: Total species count = 40 species. An unremarkable day. There was a Peregrine Falcon on Pershore Abbey, a small party of Meadow Pipits flew over and there were 23 Teal on the scrape together with 3 Shoveler. There was a pair of Stonechat there too. Several Cetti’s Warblers were calling as were 2 Water Rails, no Moorhens were seen but two heard.

3 February 2022

Overcast, sun breaking through in late morning, 7° to 11°C; wind W 2-3.

BIRDS: Total species count = 42 species. The nice surprise of the morning was a Red Kite flying over low enough to be seen properly. There were an unusually high number of wintering duck on the scrape, 23 Teal and 7 Shoveler. A Rook was a nice sighting as was a Grey Wagtail feeding in a wet, wooded area. Water Rails and Cetti’s Warblers were calling. A single Siskin afforded brief views and an overwintering Blackcap gave rather better views. Reed Buntings have started to sing. There was a pair of Stonechats on the scrape.

27 January 2022

Overcast, sun breaking through in late morning, 7° to 11°C; wind calm to NW 1.

BIRDS: Total species count = 42 species. The big surprise was a Merlin flying through at speed early on. A pair of Mandarin Ducks, 3 Shoveler and 10 Teal were present to boost the resident Mallard population. In late morning small flock of Meadow Pipits flew in. There was a Peregrine on Pershore Abbey. 3 Stonechats showed, a pair on the S Meadow and a male beside Piddle Brook. A Jay put in a brief appearance.

20 January 2022

Long sunny periods, cold, -4° to +4°C; wind calm to N 1. Ice on pools

BIRDS: Total species count = 43 species. The ice kept many of the water birds away but a Little Grebe was found on the river. A flock of about 100 Lapwing flew over. Water Rail and Cetti’s Warblers were heard. A male Blackcap was a welcome winter visitor. Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Goldfinch were all present. The winter thrushes were all present; Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Redwing and Fieldfare

13 January 2022

Overcast, frost and mist, -2 to 5°C; wind calm to SW 1. Ice on pools.

BIRDS: Total species count = 37 species. Another miserable cold morning this time with mist which did not clear until late morning. Ice on the pools kept most of the waterfowl away. Today was mostly the "usual suspects" turning up. The sun breaking through the mist in late morning brought 9 Moorhens out onto the main pool. One tree at the end of Mill Lane held 22 Collared Doves. A large flock of Redwing (150+) was feeding on the N Meadow. Several Chiffchaffs were recorded, a less usual sight in winter.

During the week there was a pair of Mandarin Duck on the main pool and a Peregrine was recorded flying over.

6 January 2022

Overcast, sunny, cloud later, poor light, -1 to 2°C; wind S 3-5. Ice on pools.

BIRDS: Total species count = 44 species. A miserable cold morning but quite a few birds about. Ice on the pools kept most of the waterfowl away. A Lapwing landed on the scrape and a Bullfinch turned up along Mill Lane. The morning was notable for the large number of Redwing present, 221 were recorded but this was probably an undercount. It was a good morning for thrushes as in addition to the Redwing, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song and Mistle Thrushes were seen. Two pairs of Common Stonechat were around, and a Goldcrest turned up. A Kestrel flew over, a less common sight than in the past. Cetti’s Warbler and Water Rail were heard. Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Goldfinch were recorded. Two overwintering Blackcap were found. There was a Kingfisher on the ditch beside Mill Lane

In the week, a Common Gull was recorded on the main pool together with two Common Teal drakes and our resident Coot.

30 December 2021

Overcast, very poor light, 11°C; wind SW 3-5

BIRDS: Total species count = 43 species. In spite of the weather some interesting sightings today. Two flocks of Shoveler flew over totalling 46 birds and 146 Mallard were counted. Two Peregrine Falcons flew over both flying towards the town. There were over 300 Black-headed Gulls feeding on the waterlogged meadows. An overwintering Chiffchaff and a pair of Blackcaps showed well. Wintering thrushes were all present as on 9 Dec, but today there were 46 Pied Wagtails and 3 Stonechats. Greenfinches have been scarce but one turned up today and there were 4 Meadow Pipits in the N Meadow.

23 December 2021

Overcast, occasional drizzle, poor light, 6° to 9°C; wind S 1-3

BIRDS: Total species count = 41 species. Today a single female Tufted Duck put in an appearance on the scrape, the first for some months. Shoveler and Teal were present and there was a Little Grebe on the river. Water Rails were noisy, 4 were logged of which 2 were seen, not easy with such a skulking species. A flock of over 100 Lapwing flew over. A single Cetti’s Warbler was heard and two pairs of Stonechat were present.

16 December 2021

Overcast, damp, 8° to 12°C; wind SW 1

BIRDS: Total species count = 42 species. Plenty of wildfowl today, Canada and Greylag Geese flocks were present, together with resident Mallard, Shoveler and Teal. There were 3 Coot located, a recent high count. Water Rail and Cetti’s Warbler were heard. A Sparrowhawk flew over and a Kingfisher flew by along the river. Two pairs of Common Stonechat were present. There was a Goldcrest along Mill Lane. Both Grey and Pied Wagtails were found and a single Linnet flew by.

9 December 2021

Light cloud, clearing, sunny, 2° to 6°C; wind SW 1-2

BIRDS: Total species count = 45 species. Today the wind dropped after several very windy days. Notable today were the thrush count when all 5 common species were recorded; Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Redwing and Fieldfare. Similarly our 2 common finches were recorded; Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Goldfinch. A Kingfisher flew by at speed and a Great Spotted Woodpeckerstrong> turned up in the carpark. There were several Blackcaps and this week we found a Chiffchaff. There was a single Canada Goose and female Shoveler on the scrape

2 December 2021

Clear, sunny, cold -2° to +2°C; wind NW 2-5

BIRDS: Total species count = 45 species. A very cold day today in spite of the sunshine with a strong north-westerly breeze. This week there were 3 Wigeon present including 2 drakes. Water Rails and Cetti’s Warblers were calling. A Kestrel put in an appearance over the N Meadow. Five Blackcaps were recorded and a similar number of Skylarks flew over. Two Song Thrushes were located as were 6 Reed Buntings,0 all rather hard to find at this time of year. A single Linnet flew over the scrape and this week there were 3 Stonechats in the S Meadow.

The highlight of the week was 2 Nuthatches recorded on 28 November, the second record for Avon Meadows. A Little Egret flew over on 29 November. The total species count so far in 2021 is 108 species.

25 November 2021

Clear, sunny, cold 1° to 7°C; wind NW 3-5

BIRDS: Total species count = 41 species. There was a pair of Wigeon on the main pool together with Mallardand Teal. A Jay is now regularly recorded. A Mistle Thrush was a welcome sight as was a Goldcrest. Two Greenfinches were recorded, a species which has declined recently. There was a pair of Stonechats on the S Meadow. Winter thrushes, Fieldfare and Redwing, are now well established.

18 November 2021

Broken cloud with short sunny periods, 8° to 12°C; wind SW 3-4

BIRDS: Total species count = 39 species. Far fewer birds around this week both in number and variety. However, two species turned up that were not recorded last week, Wigeon (female on the main pool) and Coot, our first for 8 months! The Teal number was back up today with 11 on the main pool, the drakes now looking very smart. Both Blackcap and Chiffchaff were recorded, good winter records. It was pleasing to find several Chaffinches which have been scarce in recent months.

11 November 2021

Overcast, damp, 10° to 12°C; wind calm to S 3.

BIRDS: Total species count = 52 species. An exceptionally high count today, our highest ever November count. 3 Sparrowhawks, 3 Red Kites, a Kestrel and a Buzzard made it an excellent day for raptors. A female Shoveler and a hard- to-find Little Grebe on the main pool were unusual sightings. Water Rails were most vociferous, 5 were recorded and 10 Snipe got up off the scrape. A Kingfisher put on an excellent display at ‘The Beach’, a single Skylark flew over, no less than 5 Jays were recorded and both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers turned up. A single Chiffchaff and a Mistle Thrush were discovered and 2 Ravens flew over.

BUTTERFLIES: A late single Red Admiral flew by.

4 November 2021

Clear with light cloud, 3° to 9°C; wind N 3.

BIRDS: Total species count = 42 species. A Jay appeared which has been a common species in recent weeks. 105 Canada Geese flew over, there were 11 Teal on the scrape and 42 Mallardsplit between the scrape and the main pool. A Common Snipe was an unusual record due mainly to its difficulty in detection. A single Blackcap was recorded and a small flock of Fieldfares. A good day for thrushes as Redwing and Mistle Thrush were recorded too. Unusually, recently, all 3 common finches turned up, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Chaffinch.

28 October 2021

Overcast with occasional sunny periods, 14°C; wind S 4-6

BIRDS: Total species count = 42 species. 42 Canada Geese and 12 Common Teal were recorded today. Two pairs of Stonechat were present albeit well separated. A Peregrine flew over and the black backed race of Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus intermedius) was found overhead. A large flock of over 70 Linnets was unusual. Meadow Pipits, Grey and Pied Wagtails all showed. Stonechats and Cetti’s Warblers both had 4 individuals recorded.

21 October 2021

Clear and sunny, 3° to 12°C; wind calm to NW 3.

BIRDS: Total species count = 36 species. The first survey where we went round as a group since the COVID lockdown started on 23 March 2020! A female Wigeon has been on the main pool for several days. A Common Kingfisher flew across towards the main pool. 5 Common Stonechat and a Chiffchaff were found. A Goldcrest was found in Mill Lane and this week 4 Linnets turned up.

14 October 2021

Overcast, 12° to 16°C; wind calm.

BIRDS: Total species count = 40 species. Once again, there were 10 Teal on the main pool. 2 Water Rails and 4 Cetti’s Warblers were heard. Two flocks or Redwing, totally 70 birds, herald the start of winter proper. Two Linnets were present.

7 October 2021

Overcast with occasional sunny periods, 14° to 18°C; wind calm to SW 2-4.

BIRDS: Total count = 44 species. Birds were moving through in small numbers making the count rather a hit and miss affair. There were 10 Common Teal back on the main pool. A Pheasant put in a brief appearance, the first recorded for some time. Both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers showed. An early Stonechat showed on the scrape. It was nice to see a flock of 25 Greenfinches fly out of a willow tree, a species that has been hard to find of late.

There were a number of interesting sightings during the week; 1 Oct saw a late Reed Warbler appear and the first Stonechat of the autumn. A Siskin and Lesser Redpoll flew over as did a Red Kite.

30 September 2021

Sunny periods, 17°; wind calm to SW 5.

BIRDS: Total count = 44 species. Quite a lot of bird movement over the week before which brought in an early Lesser Redpoll and a flock of European Golden Plover which brought the species count for 2021 up to 106.

The bird count found a late Whinchat and Garden Warbler. Small numbers of Swallows and House Martins were passing through. Grey Wagtails flew over. A Water Rail was heard and there is a good number of Cetti’s Warblers present.

23 September 2021

Clear and sunny, 13° to 22°C; wind calm to SW 2-3.

BIRDS: Total count = 50 species. Quite a lot of bird movement today. 2 eclipse Shoveler on the main pool, 14 Jays flying through, and still Swallows and House Martins on the move. Warblers present in small numbers including Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap. An apparent influx of Robins too. A Hobby flew over and 2 Water Rails were heard. The Cetti’s Warbler population is holding up well, 6 were recorded.

16 September 2021

Clear and sunny, 14° to 19°C; wind calm to SW 1.

BIRDS: Total count = 53 species. Yet another day when birds were hard to find. However the result was an excellent count with 43 species being found in 1.5 hours from the boardwalk and path beside the scrape. Highlights were; a Jay flying over, new late records for Sand Martin and Garden Warbler and a new early record for Siskin. 7 Cetti’s Warblers were recorded and a single Water Rail heard.

Reed and Sedge Warblers are still present in small numbers.

In the preceding week, there was only the second record for Yellow-legged Gull, a juvenile flying over with juvenile Herring Gulls.

9 September 2021

Light cloud, mild and humid, 17° to 21°C; wind calm to S 1.

BIRDS: Total count = 50 species. Another day when birds were hard to find. Barn Swallows and House Martins continue to head south. Up to 13 Common Teal were found on the main pool and a Water Rail called from there. No less than 6 Cetti’s Warblers were heard calling reflecting a good breeding year for this species. Another British Yellow Wagtail flew over and both Common and Lesser Whitethroats turned up.

4 September 2021

Overcast at first, sunny later, 14° to 22°C; wind calm to E 1.

BIRDS: WEST MIDLANDS ALL-DAYER: Total count = 60 species. 4 of our experienced observers worked from 05h00 until 17h00 to bring in a best total ever for one day. Birds of interest included a late Common Swift, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Whinchat all passing through. A British Yellow Wagtail flew over.

2 September 2021

Overcast at first, sunny later, 13° to 17°C; wind calm to N 3-4.

BIRDS: Total count = 49 species. A highlight not from Avon Meadows that must be mentioned is a European Spoonbill that turned up at Lower Moor on 1 September, possibly only the 10th record for the County. On Avon Meadows, there the strong warbler passage continues, 24 Chiffchaffs being recorded today together with a late Common Whitethroat. 5 Cetti’s Warblers were heard and our first Common Snipe of the autumn arrived. The sighting of a European Jay was a new species for 2021

26 August 2021

Overcast at first, sunny later, 14° to 20°C; wind calm to N 4.

BIRDS: Total count = 47 species. The Common Sandpiper was a new late sighting. There are still warblers passing through, Willow Warbler, Common Whitethroat although summer residents are reducing in number, Sedge and Reed Warblers. Resident warbler numbers are good, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Cetti’s Warbler.

INSECTS: A Roesel’s Bush Cricket was recorded.

MOTHS: 2 new species were recorded for Avon Meadows, Cypress Pug and the micro moth Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix.

19 August 2021

Clear and sunny with some cloud later, 14° to 20°C; wind SW 1-3.

BIRDS: Total count = 44 species. Hard work finding birds early on but they began to move through once the sun was up. A fairly late Common Swift flew over and the warbler passage included Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Common. and Lesser Whitethroats. Common Teal made a return to the main pool. A Water Rail was seen on the margins of the main pool taking advantage of the low water level.

12 August 2021

Clear and sunny with some cloud later, 12° to 20°C; wind SE 1-4. Scrape bone dry once more and very much overgrown.

BIRDS: Total count = 45 species. The bird of the day was a juvenile Cuckoo flying over the scrape. There was an apparent movement of birds which included Little Egret, Common Whitethroat, Swift, Swallow, Sand Martin and House Martin. Cetti’s Warbler has started singing more that of late following its post-breeding silence. 3 Ravens were recorded too.

5 August 2021

Light cloud sunny at first clouding over later with sunny periods, 13° to 16°C; wind SE 1-4. Scrape with puddles after heavy rain.

BIRDS: Total count = 39 species. Highlight was a single Common Sandpiper circling the main pool. Good numbers of Mallard, Black-headed Gulls and Moorhen present. It was good that Linnets were located again. Cetti’s Warblers are only calling very occasionally at the moment and so difficult to locate.

29 July 2021

Cloudy clearing then sunny, 11° to 16°C; wind SW 2-4. Scrape dry.

BIRDS: Total count = 40 species. Birds remain quiet and numbers begin to fall off as summer visitors begin to move off. A few Common Swifts were present as were both Barn Swallows and House Martins were present. Geese are beginning to reappear with both Greylag and Canada Geese flying over. A family part of 4 Linnets was recorded. A Sparrowhawk was flushed from a reedbed. Young birds of all breeding species are very apparent.

22 July 2021

Clear, sunny and hot, 18° to 27°C; wind calm to SE 1.

BIRDS: Total count = 42 species. The scrape is now bone dry. Birds are quieter now as the breeding season passes its peak and the hot weather makes everything lethargic! Common Swifts were present in good numbers and both Barn Swallows and House Martins were present. All the summer warblers are present. Singles of Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were recorded. Common Whitethroats were observed feeding young. There was a good number of Reed Buntings singing in the reed beds.

DRAGONFLIES: A Ruddy Darter recorded today was our earliest record for this species.

MOTHS: A moth trapping session on 14 July brought in 3 new species for Avon Meadows; Privet Hawk Moth, Dwarf Cream Wave and the micro moth Endotrichia flammealis.

OTHER INSECTS: The moth trapping session also brought in 2 new species of Caddis fly for Avon Meadows (others awaiting identification);

15 July 2021

Light cloud, sunny, 15° to 22°C; wind calm to NW 4.

BIRDS: Total count = 39 species. The hay was cut on 12 July. Oystercatchers have been seen flying over and Goldcrests were found too during the week. A Grey Wagtail turned up on Thursday morning. There are 2 Grey Herons around, an adult and a juvenile. The Tawny Owl has been heard calling from the usual area behind Cherry Orchard.

8 July 2021

Light cloud, sunny, 16° to 22°C; wind calm.

BIRDS: Total count = 40 species. Only our third Spotted Flycatcher record this morning. A Little Egret was found on the scrape as was a pair of Pied Wagtails. 3 Linnets were recorded and there were plenty of juvenile Reed Warblers on show.

Away from the Thursday count, a Turtle Dove was heard again in the week just outside the reserve. A Common Sandpiper turned up on the riverbank opposite the scrape and a Willow Warbler was heard near the tilting weir.

1 July 2021

Sunny at first, overcast later, 14° to 20°C, humid; wind calm to SE 2.

BIRDS: Total count = 41 species. A Hobby was seen keeping station above Swifts during the morning. Two Sparrowhawks were seen both carrying prey.

BUTTERFLIES: The first Ringlet for the year seen this morning.

MAMMALS: A Roe Deer reported on the scrape during the week.

24 June 2021

Overcast, with shower at first, 14° to 19°C, humid; wind SW 1

BIRDS: Total count = 41 species. No big surprises today. Two Moorhen broods with 3 chicks in total indicating a high mortality rate. A Grey Heron turned up on the scrape which still has water in it. Mallards are moulting but 53 were recorded. A Sparrowhawk cruised overhead. There was both a mail and female Cuckoo present, it is now getting late to see adults. Another good Swift counts, today 40 and 2 Swallows which have been scarce this year.

17 June 2021

Light cloud clearing later, 15° to 23°C; wind NW 2

BIRDS: Total count = 45 species. Two Tufted Duck on the main pool provided a nice surprise. A Red Kite was recorded again today flying very high up to the north. Today there were 4 Cuckoos present, one female and the rest males. No less than 50 Swifts were seen feeding over the meadows and a single Sand Martin passed through. 7 Cetti’s Warblers were recorded. Indeed warbler counts were high today; Sedge 10, Reed 7, Whitethroat 3, Blackcap 7, and Chiffchaff 11. Chaffinch and Greenfinches were hard to find.

BUTTERFLIES: An early Meadow Brown was recorded today.

10 June 2021

Generally sunny, 18° to 22°C; wind SW 2-3

BIRDS: Total count = 40 species. A Red Kite flew over to enliven proceedings and a Sparrowhawk and 2 Buzzards completed the raptor count. Swallows are still scarce. There was an unusual summer record for Pied Wagtail. 6 Common Whitethroats were recorded only to be outdone by 9 Blackcaps.

3 June 2021

Overcast with sunny periods later, 17° to 19°C; wind SW 2

BIRDS: Total count = 38 species. Swifts were present in small numbers flying very high up. Once again there were 3 Cuckoos present their competition making them easy to see. Two Ravens flew over. Linnets were present as last week. Sedge and Reed Warblers were singing.

27 May 2021

Clear and sunny, 6° to 18°C; wind calm to SW 1

BIRDS: Total count = 42 species. Our first Hobby of the spring passed through giving a lucky one of two observers brief views. The Canada Geese that bred on the scrape were seen with 3 goslings. There were 3 Cuckoos present for most of the morning, one female and two males. Warblers were present in good numbers as were House Martins and Swifts although Swallow numbers seem to be down. 5 Cetti’s Warblers were recorded. Linnets seem to be breeding with us this year.

20 May 2021

Sunny early one but overcast with showers later, 9° to 12°C; wind SW 2-7

BIRDS: Not helped by inclement weather, the count today was 41 species. Both male and female Cuckoos were calling early in the morning.  The first young Goldfinches turned up.  At one time there were 4 Canada Geese on the scrape but no sign of any goslings.  There are good numbers of Reed and Sedge Warblers as well as Common Whitethroat and BlackcapCetti's Warblers are singing from 4 territories.

The highlight of the week was a Turtle Dove recorded flying and calling over the North Meadows on 17 May, a first for Avon Meadows, our 134th species.  Other notable record during the week was a pair of Teal on the scrape on 16th and a Skylark on 19th..

FLOWERS:   The Hawthorn is now all in flower, the  Creeping Buttercups have come into flower in the last few days and Hogweed is about to flower.

13 May 2020

Overcast with light rain showers, 9° to 15°C; wind NE 2-3

BIRDS:   Relatively cool today but even so 44 species were recorded.  Young Starlings are on the wing leading to large feeding flocks on the meadows.

Notable records during the week included our first brood of Mallard chicks, a Tawny Owl calling from behind Cherry Orchard and a Peregrine Falcon flying over.  A Barn Swallow and several Sand Martins flew over during the morning.  Up to 5 Linnets were recorded apparently breeding.

MAMMALS: During the week a family of Roe Deer were recorded, buck, doe and foal on the scrape.

6 May 2021

Cloudy, clearing later, 5° to 13°C; wind calm to NW 2

BIRDS:  As the breeding season gets under way it becomes harder to find species that do not actually breed on Avon Meadows so the count this week is down to 41.  The big news is that a male Montagu's Harrier flew over this afternoon, the 133rd species for Avon Meadows.  Cuckoo's are around but have not settled to a territory as yet.  A Kingfisher can often be seen fishing from the screen.  Sedge and Reed Warblers are now numerous and Cetti's Warblers are singing strongly (as they do) from 4 territories.  Sadly both Mute Swan's nests have been predated although the Canada Goose nest on the scrape is undisturbed so far.  Swallows and House Martins continue to arrive.  A single Mistle Thrush was recorded.

A Lesser Whitethroat was recorded during the week, another new species for 2021.

FLOWERS:   Meadow Buttercups and Cow Parsley are just coming into flower.

29 April 2021

Clear and sunny with cloudy periods, 1° to 11°C; wind calm.  The coldest April since the 60's.

BIRDS:  Perhaps it is the cool weather but the bird count was a more modest 48 species today.  The main arrival of hirundines is now under way.  Notable sightings were a Kingfisher hovering over the scrape for 5 mins and hearing a Water Rail which have been very quiet of late.  Good numbers of warblers now present.  Cuckoos can be hard to find as they are not calling all the time.  Linnets are being recorded regularly so breeding very likely.  No really unusual birds this week.

Common Swifts arrived on Tuesday 27 April.

22 April 2021

Clear and sunny, cold at first, 0° to 14°C; wind calm to NE 2

BIRDS:   Lovely weather brought out birds and bird observers!  The total count was 52 species.  Most notable was the arrival of Cuckoos with at least 4 present early in the morning.  This coincided with the arrival of good numbers of Reed Warblers.  Both Green and Common Sandpipers were found beside the river and a small number of Sand and House Martins passed through. Sadly the Grasshopper Warbler of last week did not stay.  However there were plenty of other warblers including Sedge & Willow Warblers, Blackcaps, Common Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs.

BUTTERFLIES:   Sunshine equals butterflies at this time of year.  New observations for 2021 today were; Large, Small and Green-veined Whites, Orangetip and Holly Blue.

20 April 2021

BIRDS: Our first Cuckoo of the year arrived this evening!  It seemed to be part of a general bird movement.  In the morning the number of Reed Warblers had arrived and a Little Ringed Plover appeared on the scrape.  Later in the afternoon a Common Redstart was recorded (only the 3rd record for Avon Meadows), a Little Egret and 4 Swallows flew over.

15 April 2021

Clear and frosty at first, sunny later, -1° to 11°C; wind calm to E 2

BIRDS:   Another high total today of 52 species as the summer visitors begin to arrive.  Perhaps the highlight of the morning was a record of Common Grasshopper Warbler singing just one day earlier that it arrived in 2020.  A single Sand Martin and Barn Swallow flew over during the morning and both Reed and Sedge Warblers were recorded although very small numbers at the moment.  There are two established nests for Mute Swans and one for a Canada Goose, this last is on the scrape.  A Little Ringed Plover appeared briefly on the scrape.  Several Common Whitethroats were recorded as were several parties of Linnets.

A Common Oystercatcher and two Jack Snipes were recorded during the week.

8 April 2021

Overcast at first and sunny later, 4°-11°C; wind SW 2-4

BIRDS:   Better weather brought out lots of observers resulting in a total count of 50 species today.  5 Common Teal and 2 Common Snipe were recorded on the scrape.  A male Sparrowhawk was observed displaying.  Coots continue to be hard to find and Sedge Warblers are only present in very small numbers at the moment. 6 late Meadow Pipits were seen and a Linnet flew over.

2 April 2021:  2  Green Sandpipers dropped onto the scrape in mid-morning and stayed for the rest of the day.

4 April 2021:  The first Sedge Warbler to arrive was recorded today.

5 April 2021: 3 Little Egrets landed on the scrape briefly before being chased off by Mute Swans!  2 Little Ringed Plovers put in a very brief appearance and the first Yellow Wagtail of the year flew over.

6 April 2021: The first Common Whitethroat of the year was recorded today.

7 April 2021:  The Little Ringed Plovers returned this afternoon only to be chased off by a dog!!!

MAMMALS:   A Roe Deer stag was seen on the scrape on the afternoon of 7 April.

1 April 2021

Overcast with a cold breeze, 8°-10°C; wind NE 4

BIRDS:   I not very pleasant conditions we managed a count of 43 species.  Cetti's Warblers could be holding as many as 6 territories but the Water Rails are silent so although we know they are present counts are difficult.  All birds on site are very much in breeding mode, prominent among them are Mute Swans (2 nests) and Stock Doves (2 territories).  Most of the summer visitors are awaited.

29 March 2021:  3  Little Egrets landed on the scrape very briefly before being chased off by the swans.  An  Osprey flew over in the afternoon, the 4th record for Avon Meadows.

30 March 2021:  A Willow Warbler was recorded in the afternoon, the first for 2021 

31 March 2021: The first House Martins arrived today.

FLOWERS:   Ladies Smock (Cuckooflower) dot the meadows now and Marsh Marigold are in flower in their usual spot behind Cherry Orchard.

29 March 2021

BIRDS:   An Osprey flew over Avon Meadows this afternoon, heading west - just the 4th record.

25 March 2021

Sunny periods, 6°-12°; wind S 3-4

BIRDS:  An in-between period now the winter visitors have left and most of the summer visitors yet to arrive.  Reasonable weather resulted in a count of 41 species.  The Mute Swans have established 2 nests now on Avon Meadows.  Small parties of Linnets were recorded, not a common species on Avon Meadows.  No hirundines have been recorded this week.  There seem to be 4 established Cetti's Warbler territories now.  This is the best time of year to actually see this species!  A Kingfisher uses the scrape regularly but you have to be either lucky or very patient to see it as it does not come often and does not stay for long.

MAMMALS:   A Roe Deer has been seen on the scrape on several occasions recently.

18 March 2021

Overcast and cool, 1° to 7°C; wind calm to W 1

BIRDS:   A good count today of 50 species.  The first Swallows of the year were recorded today, ahead by 12 days from the previous early record for this species.  Cetti's Warblers and Water Rails are both calling regularly indicating the possibility of several breeding pairs of each.  2 Mute Swans nests are under construction.  6 Common Teal were present on the scrape which is also being used by Black-headed, Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls from time to time.  A single Common Snipe was recorded today.  A Kingfisher often perches in the willow tree in front of the bird screen although sadly it does not often stay for long.

Earlier in the week a pair of Tufted Duck was recorded on the main pool.  Also a pair of Linnets.  Remarkably, on 17 March, a Merlin was watched for 10-15 minutes chasing a Lapwing over Avon Meadows.

11 March 2021

Very windy!  Overcast at first, sunny later, 7°-9°C; wind W 5 gusting 8.

BIRDS:   The high winds kept the birds down thereby limiting the count to 41 species.  A Great Black-backed Gull flew over, not common inland but our second record for this year.  Water Rails were present but comparatively silent, not so Cetti's Warbler that were singing lustily!  Flocks totalling 90 Redwings are present but the Fieldfares seem to have gone and only 1 Meadow Pipit was found.  Chiffchaffs are beginning to sing.

The highlight of the week was the sighting of a new species for Avon Meadows when 4 Corn Buntings flew over making 132 species recorded on Avon Meadows in total.  A Peregrine Falcon flew down the river in the week which was new for 2021.

4 March 2021

High cloud, sunny later, 8°-11°C; wind SW 2

BIRDS: Really poor light today moderated the bird count.  The two key sightings today were of Merlin and Sand Martin.  A single Linnet also turned up.  Pied and Grey Wagtails were recorded from the scrape.  There were up to 5 Common Teal on the scrape.

2 Sand Martins seen on Wednesday 3 March are a new early record for this species on Avon Meadows.  On the same day a pair of Northern Shoveler spent the day on the scrape.

25 February 2021

Overcast, thick cloud, 3°-5°C; wind NE 2

BIRDS: Nice weather brought out the birds leading to a total of 51 species recorded today.  A Little Grebe had been on the main pool for a couple of days.  Water Rails and Cetti's Warblers are all calling.  A pair of Kingfishers was seen checking a possible nest site.  Meadow Pipits and Redwings still present as were StonechatsBlackcap, Chiffchaff and Goldcrest were nice birds to find.

A Red Kite flew over the scrape at the weekend.

AMPHIBIANS:   Common Frogs calling.

18 February 2021

Overcast with rain early on, sunny later, 8°C; wind SW 3-4

BIRDS:  The nice weather later on in the day encouraged more observers to venture forth and the birds liked it too resulting in a total species count of 50 today.  Several less common birds on Avon Meadows turned up today including Common Snipe, Lapwing, Goldcrest and Linnet.  It is pleasing to note that the Greenfinch count is increasing, 6 today.  Cetti's Warblers were heard in 4 locations and Water Rails were vociferous too.  Stock Doves are establishing their presence too.  It seems that there is a passage of birds at the moment and today 7 Stonechats were recorded in the afternoon including 3 pairs.

BUTTERFLIES:  A Small Tortoiseshell found in a sunny spot today was a new early record for Avon Meadows.

11 February 2021

Mainly sunny with occasional cloudy periods, -5° to -1°C; wind calm to NE 2

BIRDS: The find (albeit cold) weather brought out plenty of birds resulting in a count of 44 species.  The highlight species was a Great Black-backed Gull flying over.  The frozen pools tended to keep water birds away.  However a party of 8 Lapwings was spotted.  The female Stonechat in the S Meadow seems to be quite tame and allows quite close approach.  The overwintering Blackcap is still around.  Tawny Owls are calling behind Cherry Orchard regularly from about 22h00 onwards.

4 February 2021

Clear at first, cloudy later, 1° to 7°C; wind calm.

BIRDS:   The sunshine encouraged the birds to sing and there were plenty of them giving rise to a total count of 47 species.  The surprise sighting of the morning was a pair of Treecreepers in one of the big Oak trees along Mill Lane.  5 Stonechats were recorded as well as both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.  4 separate Cetti's Warblers were recorded including one that was watched displaying; a rare pleasure for such a shy bird.  The Coot was back on the main pool again.  In less disturbed areas flocks of up to 100 Redwing could be seen foraging on the ground.

The highlight of the week was a Great White Egret flying over on 3 February.

28 January 2021

Sunny with cloudy periods, 10° to 12°C; wind SW 3-5

BIRDS:   Birds were more difficult to find today reducing the count to 40 species.  The Kingfisher was again evident.  An overwintering Blackcap was discovered.  Up to 4 Mistle Thrushes were a nice sighting.  A pair of Stonechats were recorded near the pools in the S Meadow.  4 Greenfinches were recorded, several singing, something which has been an uncommon species recently.  3 Ravens flew over.

21 January 2021

Light cloud clearing to sunny morning, 3° to 6°C; wind SW 4-5

BIRDS:  Today's count was 43 species, normal for this time of year.  The highlight was a flock of 80 Northern Lapwings taking advantage of partially flooded meadows.  A Kingfisher was seen several times as it searched for clear water to fish.  A Common Coot was recorded for the first time since 4 June 2020!  Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler were heard and seen respectively.  All 3 common raptors appeared during the morning, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel.

14/15 January 2021

Overcast but dry, 1° to 2°C; wind calm.

BIRDS:   This week's count was spread over 2 mornings as the weather forecast for Thursday was awful.  In the event it did not rain at all!  A reasonable count today of 42 species without anything very unusual turning up.  A dozen Common Snipe flew over, Kestrel, Buzzard and Sparrowhawk were recorded.  Cetti's Warblers have been relatively visible and Water Rails have been heard.  There are still one or two Blackcaps to be found and there were 2 Common Stonechats in recorded.  Reed Buntings are present but hard to see.

7 January 2021

A dull cold morning with mist throughout, -4° to -1°C; wind W 1 to SW 2

BIRDS:  A total of 40 species were recorded today in poor visibility.  Highlights were 2 pairs of Northern Shovelers, a Little Grebe on the river with a Common Kingfisher showing well in the same area.  At least 3 Common Snipe were present.  2 Moorhens were seen up in one of the large willow trees beside the main pool.  There are now 4 Common Stonechats present, 1 male and 3 females.

There have been some interesting sightings since the turn of the year including; Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Bullfinch, Goldcrest, Coal Tit, Linnet and Tawny Owl.

31 December 2020

A cold, crisp morning with mist rising off the meadows.  A nice clear sky, -3° - +1°C; wind calm.

BIRDS:   A good count this morning totalling 46 species.  Highlights were a single Little Egret flying down the river and a flock of 70 LapwingsWater Rail and Cetti's Warbler were both heard.  There were at least 2 overwintering Blackcaps present.  I single Common Snipe was noted in the late afternoon on the scrape.  Fieldfares were scarce but there were plenty of Redwings to be counted.  Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Goldfinch were present in small numbers and there were small numbers of Meadow Pipits in the North Meadow..

24 December 2020

Whole wetland flooded after 40mm of rain fell on 23rd.  This limited access for counting.  Otherwise a nice sunny day, 1°-4°C; wind NW 2-3.

BIRDS:  A lower than usual total today, 38 species.  No new species for the month but large counts of Black-headed Gulls and StarlingsCetti's Warbler and Water Rail both heard.  Highlight was a pair of Peregrine Falcons chasing pigeons over Cherry Orchard.  There were two Stonechats present and a Kingfisher desperately seeking water he could see through to fish.

17 December 2020

Clear and sunny, 4°-10°C; wind S 2-3

BIRDS:   A good count this week of 44 species but no new birds for December.  No new species for the month though.  There were 5 Mute Swans in addition to our resident 4.  No waterfowl are showing any signs of Avian Flu at the moment.  A grand total of 81 Mallard were recorded.  Oddly, no Coot, no Snipe.  The Redwing population seems to be building, ~150 were recorded this week.  2 Blackcap wre recorded and 10 Long-tailed Tits.  It was nice to find 6 each of Chaffinch and Greenfinch.

10 December 2020

Sunny periods at first clouding over later, 6°-10°C; wind S 2 veering E 3

BIRDS:  An excellent count this week of 52 species.  There were Northern Shoveler and Common Teal on the scrape to accompany the Canada Goose with a damaged wing.  Kingfishers have been much easier to see on Avon Meadows of late presumably because of the turbidity of the river (can't see the fish!).  A European Siskin in the N hedge was a good record as was a pair of Goldcrests.  An overwintering Blackcap was a good find.  Thrushes performed well with, 2 Mistle Thrushes, 3 Song Thrushes. 32 Blackbirds, 7 Fieldfares and 90 Redwing recorded.

3 December 2020

Heavily overcast with light rain, 5°C; wind S 2

BIRDS: Given the weather, a good out this week of 45 species.  A Jay put in an appearance from across the river.  It is nice to be sing Greenfinches and Chaffinches more frequently.  A Cetti's Warbler was seen and Water Rail heard from time to time.  There are certainly two Stonechat's present as a male and female were recorded.  The winter ducks have had a good week with small numbers of Common Teal, Gadwall and Northern Shoveler all appearing today.

26 November 2020

Clear sky but mist all morning with weak sun, -1°-3°C; wind calm.

BIRDS:   Just 40 species recorded today.  The Canada Goose on the scrape seems to have a damaged wing.  Rook was a new species for this month. Common Stonechats are hard to find at the moment but the winter thrushes, Fieldfare and Redwing are present together with the resident Blackbird, Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush.  One Meadow Pipit was seen.  Cetti's Warbler and Water Rail are heard regularly although not frequently.

19 November 2020

Overcast at first, clearing later as the wind veered NW; 9°C; wind SW 3 veering NW 4

BIRDS:   Anot her respectable total of 47 species today.  10 Mute Swan were recorded, an unusually high count.  Common Teal were present and a Common Snipe flushed from near the scrape.  A pair of Stock Doves can often be found in one of the willows in the S Meadow.  Skylarks and Meadow Pipits were recorded during the day particularly over the N Meadow.  Common Stonechats are present along Piddle Brook and in the S Meadow. Unusually, 3 Kestrels were seen today.

During the week a Red Kite soared over, a Green Woodpecker was recorded and an oddly scarce Greenfinch turned up.

12 November 2020

Light cloud, sunny, 7°-10°C; wind SW 1-3

BIRDS:   A respectable total of 46 species were recorded.  Waterfowl are roosting overnight on the scrape resulting in high counts of Canada Geese and MallardTeal and Wigeon have turned up in smaller numbers.  Small numbers of over wintering Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were recorded.  3 Common Stonechats were recorded and a flock of 20 Lesser Redpolls flew over in the late afternoon.  2 Goldcrests were found and both Pied and Grey Wagtails were present.  Cetti's Warblers and Water Rails were present as has become the norm.

5 November 2020

Early morning mist giving way to a lovely sunny morning, 5°-10°C; wind calm.

BIRDS:   A good total of 44 species with some interesting ones among them.  The undoubted highlight was a Green Sandpiper dropping onto the scrape quite early on.  Other interesting species were, a Coal Tit near Wyre Mill, a Chiffchaff behind Cherry Orchard and a pair of Goldcrests near the N Gate.  Stonechats (pair) were very mobile, Cetti's Warblers and Water Rails could be heard from time to time.  There were unusually high counts of Robins and Blackbirds suggesting that there were some arrivals from Europe joining the resident population.  A Common Snipe was found on the scrape and there were several Common Teal, the males now fully moulted into their smart breeding plumage.

29 October 2020

Overcast with drizzle, 9°-11°C; wind S 3 gusting 6.

BIRDS:   A good total of 44 species today in spite of the wind.  The species listed for last week were all recorded again today.  Only 3 Common Stonechats could be found today but 2 Goldcrests was a nice record as were 5 Chaffinches.  There are large numbers of roosting birds that move off at first light, these are Canada Geese (34), Mallard (56) and Black-headed Gulls (150).  Another early bird was a Common Snipe on the scrape.  There were 6 Northern Shoveler on the main pool at first light, only our second record for 2020.

22 October 2020

Cloudy at first clearing later to a lovely sunny day, 10°-12°C; wind SW 1-3

BIRDS:  An interesting day without any really unusual sightings but a total species count of 44.  Winter visitors were recorded including Fieldfares, Redwings and Meadow Pipits. The  Common Stonechat count is now 5.  Less usual residents showed too including a Kingfisher and a pair of Chaffinches.  As is almost usual, both a Water Rail and 4 Cetti's Warblers were heard.    Reed Buntings are present but hard to detect at the moment.  2 Ravens flew over and parties of Long-tailed Tits could be found with patience.

BUTTERFLIES:  A late Peacock was recorded this morning.

17 October 2020 - 2 Jack Snipe put up off the scrape during a work party.  This was the first sighting of this species in 2020.

15 October 2020

Light cloud slowly clearing to give a nice sunny morning, 5°-10°C; wind N 1-2

BIRDS:  The nice weather brought out the birds and bird watchers leading to a total count of 45 species.  Most notably Fieldfares and Redwings were arriving in number for the winter.  The Mute Swan cygnets are now flying.  Cetti's Warblers and Water Rail were heard.  There are 3 Stonechats on site at present, mostly in the S meadow around the newly cut reeds or the temporary ponds, let us hope these will stay for the winter.  2 Goldcrests were located well away from their normally preferred conifers.  Meadow Pipits and Skylarks were recorded flying over.  There were several Common Teal on the main pool.  A female Sparrowhawk was recorded on a number of occasions.  Although not present today, Common Snipe have been recorded on the scrape during the week.

11 October 2020

BIRDS:  Winter visitors are beginning to find the recently flooded scrape, there were 2 Common Snipe present this morning to join the Mute SwansMallard and Grey Heron.

8 October 2020

Sunny periods and showers, cool.

BIRDS:  Only 35 species recorded this week but some interesting ones.  The most significant news is that the heavy rainfall at the beginning of October has put water back into the scrape for the first time since the end of May.  Hard work by our volunteer work parties have cleared the scrape area before the rain came so that we now have clear areas of open water.  

The most notable record of the week was of a flock of Northern Pintail flying over in late morning.  This is only our second record for this species.  The Cetti's Warblers are singing again and Meadow Pipits are a regular sight, usually flying over.  Records for Rook, Linnet and the occasional Swallow passing through have all contributed to the total species count for October rising to 51.

1 October 2020

Broken cloud with long sunny periods, 8°-12°C; wind SW 1-3

BIRDS:  Much nicer weather from last week but still a total of 41 species.  The Water Rail continues to show well on the main pool.  The Teal number on the main pool has increased a little.  Overall there seemed to be plenty of birds to be seen.  This week 2 Cetti's Warblers were recorded; Blackcap and Chiffchaff boosted the warbler number.  Many wildfowl seem to be using the main pool to roost overnight and most fly off at first light.  Birds of prey are still hard to find but there were 2 Buzzards recorded today. Skylarks flyover from time to time and Meadow Pipits are a more frequent sight although none are stopping at present.  Goldcrest and Coal Tit were the least usual sightings today.  A small party of Swallows flew over, it is getting late for them now.

24 September 2020

Overnight rain followed by heavy showers and sunny periods. cool, 9°-11°C; wind SW 2-5

BIRDS:   Total species count of 41 species today in spite of the weather.  The low level of the main pool encouraged the Water Rail to show.  A party of Common Teal have moved onto the main pool during their moult.  A Red Kite flew over to cheer up those that managed to see it.  There was a late Swallow & a House Martin flying over and a Willow Warbler and Common Whitethroat turned up.  Cetti's Warbler has begun to sing again from time to time.  A pair of Mistle Thrushes flew over too which was a surprise.  Meadow Pipits are passing through regularly now.

17 September 2020

Light cloud clearing, sunny and warm, 12°-18°C; wind NW 2-5.  No rain since 2 Sep 2020.

BIRDS:   A count total of 36 species today.  A Sparrowhawk and Common Snipe made their first appearance for this September.  A few Meadow Pipits were flying over and some Swallows too.  A Water Rail was showing well on the muddy margins of the main pool.  There was a pair of Teal on the main pool and Chiffchaff numbers were good.  Otherwise the only warbler was a young Blackcap.  A Kingfisher showed on the river but Reed Buntings, although present, were hard to find.

10 September 2020

Overcast, cool, 8°-16°C; wind calm.

BIRDS:  The group managed to find 40 species today in spite of superficially quite bird life!  A Meadow Pipit flew over and both our Water Rails and Cetti's Warblers were heard.  There were 2 Whinchats on the scrape today after having been just one all week.  There were small numbers of House Martins and Swallows passing through.  There were still one or two Reed Warblers present and a late Willow Warbler turned up.  Three Ravens flew over and there 3 Common Teal at the far end of the main pool among the tree stumps making them difficult to see.

5 September 2020

BIRDS:   It was the West Midlands All-dayer today whereby bird watchers across the West Midlands select a site and count as many bird species as they can over a 24-hour period.  2 FoAM Bird Group members took on the challenge and finished with a very creditable 55 species, this particularly in consideration of how dry it still is.  Bird highlights were, a Tawny Owl soon after dawn, a Little Egret flying over and four Siskins, new for 2020 and our 99th species for the year.

3 September 2020

Overcast with rain later, 17°-20°C; wind S 2-4

BIRDS:  It is that time of year, birds can be hard to find so we struggled to find 39 species today.  A  Whinchats eventually showed itself in the late afternoon, this is a new late record for the species..  There was an early Meadow Pipit which was good and a Cetti's Warbler was heard for the first time in several weeks.  Warbler numbers are beginning to dwindle, no Sedge or Reed Warblers, 2 Willow Warblers and a single Blackcap were recorded.  An early Meadow Pipit was recorded in the late afternoon.  After careful  consideration, a Mallard-sized duck with a red bill was deemed to be a male Red-crested Pochard in eclipse plumage, only our second record of this species.

29 August 2020

BIRDS:  There were 2 Whinchats on the scrape this morning.

BUTTERFLIES:  A Purple Hairstreak was reported sunning itself on brambles.  This is a new species for Avon Meadows.  It is unusual to find this species so far from oak trees.

BEETLES:   A small red beetle was found and photographed, Anthocomus rufus , this is a new species for Avon Meadows.

DRAGONFLIES:  Although there was a cool breeze there were dragonfleis about.  A Ruddy Darter was recorded which is an unusual species to see on Avon Meadows.  There were Southern and Brown Hawkers flying too.

27 August 2020

Light cloud and sun early on, overcast and heavy rain later, 13°-15°C; wind calm to SW 1

BIRDS:   Dry to just after 11h00 allowing 44 species to be recorded.  Whinchats have been present all week which is unusual for Avon Meadows.  Heavy rain has caused the level of the main pool to rise sufficiently to submerge the muddy margins so a Water Rail was only heard today.  A late Common Swift flew over and there was a significant passage of Swallows and House Martins.  The two Mute Swan cygnets on the main pool have fully developed flight feathers and can be seen trying to take off from time to time.  A good variety of warblers are still present including W illow Warbler, Blackcap and Whitethroat.

During the last week, since 20 Aug, a female/juvenile Common Redstart and 2 Spotted Flycatchers have been recorded passing through.

23 August 2020

FUNGI:  A new fungus was found and photographed today, Yellow Fieldcap, which is an attractive small species.

20 August 2020

Clear, cool, sunny, 14°-23°C; wind S 2-5

BIRDS:   After heavy rain on Wednesday, Thursday was nice and sunny allowing 44 species to be recorded.  During the week a Tree Pipit passed through which was new for Avon Meadows, our 131st species.  Another scarce passage bird in the week was Common Redstart.  The warbler passage continued with Garden Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat added to the list.  Today no less than 5 Whinchats were recorded, remarkable for birds usually seen in 1's and 2's.  A Cetti's Warbler was recorded today too and a Water Rail was seen at the edge of the main pool.

12 August 2020

Light cloud, humid, sunny, 21°-34°C; wind calm - NE 1.  Note that this week's count was brought forward by one day as the weather forecast was for thunderstorms on Thursday.

BIRDS:   Water levels in the main pool were extremely low but there were plenty of birds about and 49 species were recorded on Wednesday with a few records from Thursday.  The day was notable for the number of birds passing through, particularly warblers.  There were particularly good numbers of Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers.  A Whinchat was seen on the scrape and there were 2 Teal in eclipse plumage on the main pool.  A Water Rail was seen on the main pool taking advantage of the muddy foreshore.  A total of 60 House Martins passed through.  During the week a Tawny Owl had been seen and heard.  Several small parties of Linnets were present.

6 August 2020

Overcast, clearing later, 18°-22°C; wind SW 1-3

BIRDS: Another good total species count today of 45.  There were several interesting records today.  A Common Snipe turned up which was a new early autumn record, a Little Egret flow over, 2 young Hobbies were watched interlocking their talons in play and at least 3 Willow Warblers were located.  A single immature/female type Bullfinch turned up, only the second record this year.  It was a good day for birds of prey for in addition to the Hobbies there was a Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and Peregrine Falcon

31 July 2020

Light cloud and moonlight, mild, 21°-15°C; wind SW 3

MOTHS:   Due to COVID-19 precautions we are only running 2 traps this summer and with only one person per trap so as to maintain social distancing.  With that qualification, our results have been very good.  A total of 74 species this evening was an excellent result.  There were 2 new species for Avon Meadows; Antler Moth and the micro moth Brachmia blandella .  There were big numbers of Ruby Tiger, Shuttle-shaped Dart and Large Yellow Underwing.

30 July 2020

Light cloud and long sunny periods, 15°-22°C; wind SW 0-2

BIRDS:  A good count of 43 species this morning. Unusual sightings this morning were Garden Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat.  A Sand Martin turned up this morning, the first for several weeks and both Linnet pairs were recorded.  There was a good number of Barn Swallows this morning which has not been the case for much of the summer.  

23 July 2020

Overcast clearing by late morning, 15°- 20°C; wind SW 1-2

BIRDS:  Just 39 species today.  Common Swifts were present in good number and Barn Swallow numbers have improved, presumably out feeding young in the nest.  Many birds have stopped singing now so finding them is harder!  Among the young birds there was a young Green Woodpecker around today.  Common Linnets are still present but moving around whereas last week they were loyal to a particular bush.  There is still water in the main pool but levels are getting low.  All our warblers are still around.

16 July 2020

Overcast clearing by late morning, 15°-18°C; wind SW 1-2

BIRDS:  Better counts this week with a total of 43 species.  A Common Tern flew over in mid-morning almost exactly a year after one flew past last year!  The Moorhen's nest in the middle of the main pool has been dismantled by the Grey Heron but the two Mute Swan cygnets continue to do well.  There are lots of young warblers (e.g. Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Reed and Sedge Warblers) and tits about and the Linnets are still very much in evidence.

BUTTERFLIES:   Over the last week, Gatekeepers and Ringlets have made an appearance and if you are luck you can find Marbled Whites too.

DRAGONFLIES:   Brown Hawkers can be seen now on sunny days without too much wind.

9 July 2020

Overcast after overnight rain, clearing slowly, 14°-19°C; wind SW 2-4

BIRDS: A slow day today when a comparatively modest 40 species were recorded.  A pair of Common Linnets had been showing well all week.  Common Swift numbers remain good but Barn Swallows are down.  Cetti's Warbler was heard just once but as with many birds they have moved away from their nesting territories as young birds take to the wing.  In spite of recent rain, the scrape remains dry so no incentive for water birds to drop in.  A Moorhen is nesting in the middle of the main pool as the level is so low.  A Grey Heron has been taking advantage of the pool's low level as it can stand on the bottom and fish!

BUTTERFLIES:  On recent sunny days, Small Coppers, Common Blues and Small Skippers can be seen now.

2 July 2020

Broken cloud at first light thickened and a sharp shower dampened mid-morning, then the sun broke through, 12°-18°C; wind SW 2-3

BIRDS:   After a slow start the birds perked up with the weather and a total of 48 species was recorded.  The Mute Swans retain their 2 cygnets and the main pool is enlivened by second Mallard broods.  Young Whitethroats and Reed Warblers were particularly noticeable.  A young Cetti's Warbler was recorded and a Grasshopper Warbler called briefly.  A Red Kite flew over as did 3 RavensRobins were quiet and hard to find but Wrens and Blackbirds were plentiful.  A pair or Linnets was located which is a nice summer record for us.

25 June 2020

Clear and sunny all morning, 17°-30°, wind NE 0-3

BIRDS:   A vast difference in weather from last week!  The birds liked it too and we recorded 40 species.  Second Mallard broods are on the main pool and a Moorhen is nesting in the middle of the pool.  Young Long-tailed, Great and Blue Tits are easy to find.  Reed Warbler young can be seen too as they are not quite as shy as their parents.  Common Swifts are numerous and Swallows and House Martins are present but not in large numbers.  Two Grey Herons and a Little Egret flew over.  A Red Kite was reported during the last week.

DRAGONFLIES:  The transect that took place on 24 June turned up good numbers of dragonflies in the hot weather.  Species recorded were Banded Demoiselle, White-legged, Blue-tailed, Common Blue, Azure and Red-eyed Damselflies, Emperor Dragonfly and Scarce Chaser.

MAMMALS:   Early this morning an adult Red Fox and a cup were seen together on the scrape and a Roe Deer was disturbed off one of the paths.  There was a report of a European Otter on the river "two weeks ago".

22 June 19

MOTHS:  Two members ran 3 traps on what turned out to be a very good night.  A total of 68 species were trapped, identified and released among which were 2 new micro-moths for Avon Meadows; Pseudargyrotoza conwagana and Eucosma hohenwartiana, two long names for tiny moths.  Some attractive species turned up too including Swallowtail Moth, Elephant Hawk Moth, Buff-tip, Beautiful Hook-tip among many.

18 June 2020

Heavy rain all morning, 13°-14°, wind NW 2

BIRDS:  The weather kept the bird fairly quiet and reduced the enthusiasm of the observers!  The count today was down to 40 species.  There were at last 3 Cuckoos present and there are a lot of young birds on the wing now.  A Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over.  More Mallard chicks continue to appear too.  A possible Rose-ringed Parakeet has been seen in the area so something to look out for.  Otherwise all the usual suspects! 

11 June 2020

Overcast with occasional light rain, 11°-14°C; wind NE 2 strengthening to 6

BIRDS:   The weather did not presage a high count but today we did manage 44 species.  The scrape is now completely dry so fewer water birds will come in.  Generally breeding birds are doing well with 7 more Mallard chicks on the main pool and many species feeding young.  The main pool is quite shallow in places which allows a Grey Heron to visit and fish.  Sad news is that one of our Mute Swan cygnets has disappeared, presumed dead, with a Fox the suspected culprit.  Common Cuckoos have been very active in the early morning with several males competing for one female.   Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat are all singing as are Cetti's, Reed and Sedge Warblers.  A non-breeding Teal turned up on the Thursday bird count.

FLOWERS:  In spite of everything the weather has thrown at us there are small patches of Yellow-rattle and Meadow Vetchling in flower.

MAMMALS:  A Fox has been seen a number of times, it is in the frame for the lost or one of our cygnets.  A male Roe Deer has taken to using the scrape.

4 June 2020

Overcast, cool, 8°-12°C; wind N 0-3.

BIRDS:  A count of 50 species in spite of the weather.  Highlights were a pair of European Jays flying through, Grasshopper Warbler showing definite evidence of breeding and good numbers of Swifts and House Martins.  A single Willow Warbler put in an appearance in the afternoon.  A Raven flew over during the morning.  It appears that Common Linnets are breeding.  There are big numbers of Starlings and House Sparrows as the young birds take to the wing.

28 May 2020

Clear and sunny, 12°-25°C; wind E 0- 1.  A lovely morning!

BIRDS:  The total species count for the day is 54.  Two new species for the year were recorded, Common Tern and Garden Warbler.  The Grasshopper Warbler was heard briefly on the scrape.  Both Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler were recorded today.  Oddly no birds of prey were seen.  At least 3 Cuckoos are present (2 male and 1 female) leading to competition between the males.  A Tufted Duck put in a brief appearance on the main pool where where was a Grey Heron standing in the middle as the level is quite low.

BUTTERFLIES:   An early Meadow Brown was see this morning, a new early date for Avon Meadows.

FLOWERS:  The Water Lilies are coming out on the river and Thread-leaved Water Dropwort is out in drainage channels that still have water in them!  The floods of winter followed by the draught of spring have not been kind to our wild flowers and the variety coming into bloom is much reduced.

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 Mead ow 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.


The Friends of Avon Meadows CIO is a Registered Charity, registered number 1174083