Wednesday, 17 January 2018

The Stour Valley list for 2018 stands at 94 species so far.

January 17th

A nice blue sky at Grove Ferry this morning but a strong Westerly wind keeping most birds down. Just 1 Little Egret and 2 Lapwing at the ramp, 35 Gadwall, 4 Tufted duck and a few Teal and Mallard at Feast hide.1 Stonechat and 1 Marsh Harrier seen on the way to marsh hide where there was 1 Lapwing and 1 juvenile ? Redshank.   
(Bryan East)
Redshank - Bryan East

Sunday, 14 January 2018

The Stour Valley list for 2018 stands at 94 species so far.

January 14th

A morning at the Grove end of the reserve produced just one male Hen Harrier although, the second may have been seen at Stodmarsh by David Feast. Once again no sign of any Bewick's Swans, perhaps we need another cold snap. A Ban Owl was hunting near the Oxbow early doors before flying in the direction of the boat house at Stodmarsh. A Hawfinch flew south over the Ramp around 8.15 and luckily enough Marc Heath was able to connect as it passed over. There were 7 Marsh Harriers and streams of Cormorants, anywhere between 2500 and 300 birds. Two Little Egrets flew east out of the reserve early and there were another 5 with cattle near Collard's. The Great-white Egret flew in and dropped out of sight on the back pools. It then flew over on to the Ramp pool and that is where we left it. Other birds noted were 1 calling Ring-necked Parakeet, 2 male Stonechats, 1 Water Pipit at Marsh hide, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Bearded Tit, 1 Little Grebe. Little Grebe was new for the year seen yesterday by Marc Heath. Two drake Goldeneye remain on Collard's lake and a pair of Yellowhammers were in roadside bushes near the new house that used to be the Black Barn where Little Owl used to frequent. A Firecrest was new for the year seen in the Grove Ferry car park by Simon G as reported on Whats' App.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

The Stour Valley list for 2018 stands at 92 species so far.

January 13th

All very quiet at Stodmarsh this morning with just one, ringtail, Hen Harrier out of roost. No sign of the two males. Also 13 Marsh Harriers out and several hundred Fieldfare passing overhead towards the orchards. Cormorants passed over in large numbers, probably upwards of 2500 but, the lake had very few wildfowl. There were 2 Shoveler later joined by another 34, 3 flyover Gadwall, 1800 Teal and a fair few Mallards. The Alder Wood was very active with Finches, there were 20+ Goldfinch, 14 Siskin, 6+ Lesser Redpolls and one, possibly two Mealy Redpolls. There were 25 Corn Buntings around the farm in the village and a single male Greenfinch there was new for the year and 3 Little Egrets were with Cows at Collard's. At the Grove end Bryan East had the Great-white Egret fly up river and also at Grove Marc Heath saw a Bittern in flight heading towards Stodmarsh plus 1 Water Pipit, 3 Marsh Harriers and, also, new for the year a Redshank.

Grove Ferry 3.30-4.50pm, 2 male Hen Harriers, 1 roosted at Grove end, 5 Marsh Harrier, 3 Little Egret, 2 Common Buzzard, 2 Grey Heron, c1000 Fieldfare in area, c130 Lapwing, c120 Teal, 7 Snipe, 1 Yellowhammer, 2 Cetti's Warbler. Strangely no Woodcock at all. 
(Marc Heath)

Friday, 12 January 2018

The Stour Valley list for 2018 stands at 90 species so far.

January 12th

Jan 9th,had a quick visit to the ramp this morning and there was 1 Great white Egret, 2 Little Egret, 1 Kingfisher, 3 Reed Bunting, 1 Grey Heron, 200+ Teal, 40 Lapwing and 1 Common Buzzard. Not much to report from the Stodmarsh end mid week apart from a couple of Goldcrests. Today At the ramp this morning were 5 Shelduck, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Grey Heron, 6 Reed Bunting, 300+ Teal, 20 Lapwing and 2 Shoveller. At Feast hide just 30 Gadwall, 2 Tufted Duck and around 30 Teal. At Marsh hide there were 12 Lapwing, 1 male Stonechat, 2 Grey Heron 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 male Bullfinch. 

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

The Stour Valley list for 2018 stands at 90 species so far.

January 9th

On a dull and misty morning, I spent a couple of mainly fruitless hours birding although the Great White Egret did turn up on the Ramp Pool to join a Little Egret and Grey Heron for 10 minutes before disappearing again into the murk!! Little else of note seen.
(Ron Dubbins)

Richard Collins added Little Owl to the year list on the 7th

Saturday, 6 January 2018

The Stour Valley list for 2018 stands at 89 species so far.

January 6th

After a week of heavy rain falls there is now very high water levels at Stodmarsh and Grove Ferry which, not only reduced the duck numbers but also pushed out the Harriers. There was no sign of any Hen Harriers today and only 6 Marsh Harriers were seen. A Barn Owl was quartering the reeds in front of the Ramp early morning before moving to the Water Meadows, the Great-white Egret dropped into the Ramp pool and later moved to the back pools while 12 Linnets were in the Ramp bushes. Moving on to Stodmarsh where the water is almost breaching the Lampen Wall we had a group of 18 Goldfinch and 12 Siskin in the Alder Wood that also included 2 Lesser Redpolls and a very smart Mealy Redpoll. In the Orchard above Stodmarsh there were 450 plus Fieldfare and a dozen Redwings as well as 100 odd Chaffinches and 2 Bramblings.
Today (7th) we added the 'dodgy' Barnacle Goose to The year list and Pintail, with two pairs dropping on to Stodmarsh lake mid morning. The two male Hen Harriers came out of roost at Stodmarsh this morning with 17 Marsh Harriers and the Mealy Redpoll was still present in the company of 5 Lesser Redpolls.
Brendan was talking to a chap at Grove Ferry who had seen a Bittern (very scarce this winter) and Phil Smith had 7 White-fronted Geese east over Stodmarsh this afternoon.

Monday, 1 January 2018

The Stour Valley list for 2018 stands at 82 species so far.

January 1st

A tour around the Stour Valley on this first day of the new year to see haw many species we could muster was cut a little short by the onset of heavy rain falls late morning. However, Sue, Dave and Mark 'Chiddy' Chidwick managed to rack up 73 by visiting some of the less visited areas within the valley listing area. Mark adding both Tawny and Barn Owl before meeting at the Grove Ferry entrance gate. Last year we had 68 species on the 2nd and this year we missed out on Water Rail, Woodcock, Skylark and Chiffchaff but, we had Great-white Egret, Pheasant, Red-legged Partridge, Green Sandpiper, Peregrine Falcon, Barn Owl and Coal Tit that we didn't get last year. The usual birds around the lakes at both ends, the 2 male Hen Harriers showing well early doors, 5 Water Pipits present and a pair of Stonechats along Harrison's. The Hawfinch whisperer Mr Chiddy not content with 5 birds on the last day of 2017, picked up another bird south over the Ramp at 08.10 today as well. The Alder Wood had Siskin and Treecreeper and around the Pub and bridge at Grove there was Mistle Thrush, Collared Dove, House Sparrow and 1 Grey Wagtail. Another 2 Grey Wagtails were at Cow Corner along with many of the Chaffinches we encountered. The 2 Coal Tits were here as well plus several Goldfinch. On Collard's we added Goldeneye, Wigeon and Great-crested Grebe. A full list of birds seen is at the link above.

Brian East added Shelduck at the Stodmarsh end on Jan 2nd while Marc Heath also had Shelduck and added Water Rail and Woodcock and Linnet, with a flock of 20 out of roost. 
Brendan Ryan had yet another Hawfinch at Collard's on the 2nd making this winter an exceptional year for this monster finch with the only other sighting over the Lampen Wall on 25/102013. Brendan also added Chiffchaff, Yellowhammer and Corn Bunting. Bring the years total to 79, a very good start.
On the 5th January Brendan added Common Gull and Redwing to the year list total.