Monday, 4 January 2021

 The Stour Valley list for 2021 stands at 160 species so far.

Please send your sightings to martynwilson@talktalk.net




May 9th


There have been 29 additions to the species list since the last update on March 2nd Spotted Flycatcher added today seen by Mel and Janice Fagg and Steve Ashton. There have been a record 6 Whinchats discovered on the 7th of May and some highlights include White Stork, Common Crane and a female Red-footed Falcon. There was an elusive Purple Heron at Westbere for a couple of weeks where up to 6 Wood Sandpipers were also seen. Other notable birds included Goshawk, 4 Redstarts, Ring Ouzels, Wheatears, Whimbrel, Little-ringed Plovers and Golden Plover. Plus the return of Hobbies, Common Terns, Reed and Sedge Warblers, Swifts and Hirundines. The ultimate highlight though, has to be a second calendar year White-tailed Eagle discovered on the 21st March, first picked up from the viewing ramp at Grove in the distance at Stodmarsh. A tense short drive around to the other end of the reserve and after a little wait the White-tailed Eagle was again seen and performed well for the rest of the day. With superb views obtained by several birders with high quality telescope and some very good photographs taken the bird was seen to bear no rings or any satellite paraphernalia and after contacting the Roy Denis Foundation it proved that our bird was NOT from one of the Isle of White re-introduction schemes and was most probably a wild continental bird. However, this excellent sighting has since been somewhat tarnished by at least 6 sightings of four IoW birds that are wholly untickable and rather spoils the enjoyment of the first bird.
A White-tailed Eagle was also seen by Mark Mullen last week drifting towards Sandwich he also had a Red Kite and, 2 Cattle Egrets over the Ramp.


May 7th


After being off-line for several months and not having a working computer I am now able to post sightings as and when they come in.
Hopefully I will be able to a summary of all the sightings since the beginning of March to get us up to date








March 2nd


Very foggy at the reserve this morning but it started to clear by 9.30 so it turned out to be a good mornings birding with 1 Great White Egret and 2 Avocet's at the ramp along with 4 Shelduck, ( 8 ) yesterday and 1 Redshank. There were 2 Egyptian geese, 72 Russian White-fronted geese and 5 Barnacle geese at Middle drove and 1 Ring tail Hen Harrier. A few Skylark's calling and Lapwing's displaying.A couple of Bittern's were heard booming over the weekend and a Red Kite seen.. Yesterday March 1st i had a look inside the new Marsh hide while Steve and Ben were finishing off the path and screening and it is huge ,the new Reed bed hide is even bigger hopefully they will open early May all being well. were 10 Siskin's in the alder wood yesterday as well as some fresh Beaver gnawing's.
(Bryan East)
Beaver handiwork - Bryan East

Avocet - Bryan East

Barnacle and White-fronted Geese - Bryan East



February 28th


New additions to the Valley list in the last few days of February included Curlew, Ring-necked Parakeet, Red Kite, Oystercatcher (a pair) and Red-legged Partridge putting the years total to date at 115. Other notable sightings over the weekend include 7 Great-white Egrets five of which flew over the Ramp directly over three lucky observers, and carried on out towards Sarre/Minster. Also 3 Hen Harriers included a grey male, 3 Sparrowhawks, 1 Peregrine Falcon, 4 Shelduck, 13+ Water Pipits, 3 Woodcock,13 Common Buzzards, 5 Egyptian Geese, 11 Marsh Harriers and 3 Little Egrets. Also the second Mediterranean Gull of the year, another adult and a lone Canada Goose (quite scarce in the alley these days.


February 14th


In addition to the current 29 Pintail seen recently at Collard's and Westbere marshes and, the 4 Egyptian Geese that are hanging around, recent additions have included a stunning adult Mediterranean Gull and an adult Yellow-legged Gull as well as our first winter Spotted Redshank, a Merlin Chasing what may have been a Meadow Pipit and a Jack Snipe that was seen/flushed along the path between the Ramp and Feast hide. The year list has now reached 110.

February 10th


New for the year in the last couple of days are Little Grebe on the 9th seen by Brendan on Westbere floods plus a nice count of 29 Pintail on Collard's. Also on the 9th Mark Chidwick had 3 Ringed Plovers from the Ramp and today (10th) Richards Collins had 4 Grey Partridges at Collard's, bringing the total 105


February 8th


A few more additions to the year list over th past week have included a Glossy Ibis seen by a visiting birder on the 3rd, a Redshank on Friday, a very early?/Over wintering drake Garganey and a Blackcap on Saturday (the later in a Westbere garden, 2 Dunlin seen flying past the Feast hide towards the Ramp on Sunday and, today (8th) a Pintail on Westbere lake taking our total to 102 for the year.

February 4th


There were 4 Egyptian Geese with the Grey lag's in the field next to the carpark this morning,t wo of them a courting pair. On the 2nd Feb there was a pair of courting Kingfisher's by the new pool near the old boathouse.
(Bryan East)

Egyptian Geese - Bryan East


February 1st


A good start to a new month at Stodmarsh this afternoon. The roosting Tawny Owl that Martyn discovered a few year's ago was very obligingly facing out of one of it's favourite roosting holes. The nature trail was opened this morning and the new board walk looks great, it will look even better when the vegetation grow's back, the lad's from Pilcher's have done an excellent job. The water level in the lake is the highest it has been all winter ,another 6" or so and it will be over the Lampen Wall. There were approx 400 + Shoveller and 100 + Teal on the lake also seen were 1 Kingfisher,1 Sparrow Hawk, 2 Marsh Harrier's and a pair of Tufted Duck. 
(Bryan East) 
Tawny Owl - Bryan East



January 30th


A few sighting's from the last week.  On the 27th a male and ringtail Hen Harrier, middle drove/marsh hide area, on the 28th 25 Linnet's in the tree's going into the car park and on the 22nd 1 Dartford Warbler in the usual place  seen by Richard. I was on the steps of the Tower hide on the 28th when i saw a large clump of reed's detach from the far side of the lake and with the very strong Westerly wind it ended up in the Willow's next to the Tower hide.  
(Bryan East)
Mobile Reed bed - Bryan East


January 29th


I had an hour and a half at Stod this morning, a bit quiet, but lots of Teal ( ca 550) and Shoveler (c350), as well as five Marsh harriers and six Cetti's Warblers.  Best of the lot was a pair of Egyptian Geese seen flying across the road at Grove Hill and heading down into the valley in the area of the Marsh Hide.
(Norman McCanch)


January 25th


I did the circuit this morning, very knackering with all that mud, and it was fairly quiet . I did see a stunning male Hen Harrier at the Marsh hide area which made the morning worth while. 
(Bryan East)

Hen Harrier - Bryan East


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.


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