Monday, 4 January 2021

 The Stour Valley list for 2021 stands at 94 species so far.

Please send your sightings to

January 19th

It was very mild this morning so I had a quick walk up to middle drove from the Grove Ferry end  and the 2 Shelduck were on the ramp pool but little else. Nigel was clearing the ditch by the metal bridge and it had attracted 6 Grey Heron, 1 Cattle Egret, 1 Little Egret, 5 Pied Wagtail and 2 Grey Wagtail. One of the Heron's caught 3 Eel's within a few minutes of searching through the mud.   
(Bryan East)

January 15th

A couple of hours at Grove this morning was pretty quiet with few small birds apart from a Cetti's Warbler, Stonechat and a group of 4 Linnets. There was a Great White Egret and 3 Shelduck from the ramp, along with 35 Teal and 15 Lapwing.  A few raptors were around, 3 Marsh harriers, one each of Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel.  There were about 60 mixed Redwing and Fieldfare along Grove Road.

(Norman McCanch)

January 9th

There were 4 pochard like ducks on the lake this morning what looked like 2 males and 2 females, i am sure i caught a glimpse of white on the under tail covert's on one of them could they be Ferruginous duck's ?. Unfortunately the light was really bad and they kept diving and popping up further away, i enclose a couple of pic's.    PS  there were a pair of common Pochard near them and the differences were very notable..
(Bryan East)

Ferruginous Duck? - Bryan East

January 7th

Hi Mine and my daughters sightings at Stodmarsh today where.
1 robin, 1 Greylag goose, 4 mute swan's, 2 Marsh harriers, 2 grey heron, Shoveler ducks, Gadwall's, 1 Ferruginous Duck, 1 male and female Stonechat
(Mark and Daisy)
I did the circuit this morning and while counting the Shoveler's ( 408 ) i noticed a Bittern emerge from the reed edge opposite the Tower hide, i managed to get a shot before it flew back into the reed bed .There were also 6 Pochard on the lake. Not one goose in the field's at Middle drove but there were a few White fronts and a Pink foot earlier in the week. Another birder had a Raven this morning. 
(Bryan East)
Bittern - Bryan East

January 1st, 2nd and 3rd

A  good three day start to a new year of birding in the Stour Valley with two firsts. This year is the first year we have recorded both Raven and Dartford Warbler on the 1st January and, considering that Dartford Warbler was only recorded in the valley in 2017 with a single bird first at Marsh hide then later by the metal bridge  between Harrison's and Middle droves, it was something quite special when we recorded three together in December last year with two birds still present as I type. Some of the other highlights of the first three days were, 2 Hen Harriers including a smart grey male, 4 Cattle Egrets with one showing signs of summer plumage sporting a nice orange crown, 12 Russian White-fronted Geese, 1 Pink-footed Goose, 3 Nuthatches a once very scarce - non existent bird, 2 Lesser-spotted Woodpeckers, Firecrest and Grey Wagtails. Other bits included Tawny and Barn Owl, Goldeneye, Peregrine, 38 Corn Buntings a dozen Yellowhammers a Bittern and at least 4 Kingfishers. Last year we ended the month on 99 species, it would be nice to get 100 or more by the end of this January, only 10 species to go but could be extremeley hard without a good freeze up. The full 3 day list can be viewed in the link at the top.