Tuesday 23 January 2024

The Stour Valley list for 2024 stands at 125 species so far


Please send your sightings to martynwilson@talktalk.net 

April 9th  

Despite the cloudy skies and gale force winds, I was dropped over at Grove Ferry where I completed the circuit down to Stodmarsh and back. Birds noted included 35 Greylag Geese, 2 Canada Geese, 2 Garganey from the Marsh hide, 49 Shoveler, 32 Gadwall, 96 Teal, 14 Tufted Duck, 1 Little Grebe, 3 Great crested Grebe, 3 Lapwing, 1 Bittern heard booming a few times, 3 Little Egret and 10 Cattle Egret. As I was sat in the Reedbed hide scanning the horizon line, I picked out a White Stork which initially flew towards Hersden before banking south and flew over the main lake and carried on south out of view. There were 4 Marsh Harrier, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Great spotted Woodpecker, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Kestrel, 2 Skylark, 2 Bearded Tit, 6 Sedge Warbler, 5 Reed Warbler, 11 Sand Martin west, 4 Swallow west, 11 Chiffchaff, 24 Cetti's Warbler, 8 Blackcap, 1 Yellow Wagtail and 4 Reed Bunting. 

(Marc Heath)

April 8th 

Latest additions to the Valley year list are Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Goshawk (David Feast), Common Tern and Nightingale. Still plenty more to come. 

April 2nd 

New additions to the Valley year list comprise of Ruff (David Smith), Garganey (Steve Ashton), Willow Warbler (Tim Gutsell) and Curlew and Yellow Wagtail (Brendan Ryan). The coming weeks should add several more. 

March 20th-25th  

A few new additions to the valley year list over the past couple of days. A Red Kite was seen by Chris Gillard and a Sand Martin by Kieron McDonnell over the weekend and Norman McCanch had a Little-ringed Plover today. A male Wheatear was out in front of marsh hide on 23rd with 2 males at Collard’s on 24th and a Swallow was with Sand Martins at Collard’s also on the 24th. At least 6 Red Kites passed over Collard’s and Westbere on 23rd.  



There was a Dunlin at Marsh hide this morning and it was nice to hear and watch a few Lapwings' displaying. There was a small flock of Siskin in the alder wood and 2 Canada geese in the field with some Greylags. Still very wet and muddy and tough going in places. 

(Bryan East) 

February 28th  

There were 29 Cattle Egrets in the field above Collard's this morning, another record for the valley (for now). 

(Bryan East)


February 19th  

A new Stour Valley record of 28 Cattle Egrets were seen in the fields above Collard’s this morning. The previous record being 27! 


February 18th  

An hour or so this afternoon driving around at Stodmarsh trying to keep dry produced c22 Cattle Egret in fields with cattle at Higham Farm. Also 1 Mistle Thrush singing there and on the water meadows, 1 Canada Goose, 3 Greylag Geese and 1 Little Egret. At Collie Corner were 7 Egyptian Geese in the fields and also 2 Treecreeper and 1 Raven flew through overhead calling. On Collards were 6 Wigeon, 12 Pochard and 15 Tufted Duck.  

(Marc Heath) 

February 15th  

Birding at Grove Ferry down to the Marsh hide and back between 06:45 - 09:45 produced 3 Hen Harrier including 1 adult male, 4 Marsh Harrier, 2 Woodcock. 2 Shelduck, 2 Little Grebe, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Cattle Egret, 1 Great White Egret, 2 Little Egret, 3 Water Pipit, 1 Redshank at the Marsh hide briefly before flying off calling towards Stodmarsh, 1 Egyptian Goose, 1 Raven, c120 Lapwing, 4 Stonechat and 5 Skylark. 2 Tawny Owl heard early morning at Stodmarsh 

(Marc Heath) 

February 13th  

There were 5 Siskin in the Alder wood this morning and 125 Lapwing at marsh hide and just as i was about to leave a Merlin landed on one of the gate posts. 

(Bryan East)


February 11th 

Birding the valley at different locations produced the following highlights: 4 Hen Harrier including 1 adult male into roost at Grove Ferry, c50 Corn Bunting into roost in bushes near back pools at Grove Ferry, 1 Coal Tit, 3 Yellowhammer, 1 Bittern in flight at Stodmarsh, 1 Great White Egret, 1 Little Egret, 1 Firecrest and 7 Marsh Harrier. Recording during the night produced 1 Tawny Owl and a drumming Snipe in the early hours of the morning.   

(Marc Heath) 

January 21st  

An afternoon drive around a few sites at Stodmarsh produced 4 Marsh Harrier, 5 Pochard, c40 Tufted Duck, c35 Coot on Collards with 3 Cattle Egret in with the cattle there along with 14 Yellowhammer. At Collie corner there was 1 Firecrest and at Cow Corner, 1 Goldcrest and 1 Great White Egret on the water meadows.  

(Marc Heath) 


January 18th 


I did the circuit this morning and it was fairly quiet but i did get some great views of  2 Goldeneye at reed bed hide. 

(Bryan East) 


January 9th  

A good few days birding at the reserve with a lovely male Hen Harrier at marsh hide this morning, also 2 Water Pipit. On the lake were 6 Wigeon,4 Little Grebe and a Great Black- backed gull and the usual wildfowl. In the Alder wood were a small flock of Siskin and a Firecrest  January 8th- there were 4 White-fronted geese with the Greylags in the field near the carpark also 2 Egyptian geese. January 6th- there was a Nuthatch calling near the Rookery and a Peregrine circled above for a few minutes. 

(Bryan East)