Thursday, 20 December 2018


Of note this morning - fem Goldeneyeon W lake, 10+ Pochard, 6+ Gadwall, and Kingfisher that flew from W lake bay, under the bridge and along the shoreline of E lake.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018


Wildfowl today: fem Goldeneye W lake bay, pr Shoveler & 1 drake Wigeon W lake, 6+ Gadwall. c10 Pochard, and the usual c100 Tufties.
Negatives were: the Scaup seems to have done a bunk; 2 people walking a dog right through the conservation area; and late p.m. a guy with a large blue plastic sack full of old bread and what looked like bits of pizza, feeding the whole lot to the gulls and worse still the Mute Swans.
There needs to be a much more prominent notice asking people not to do this. The current laminated A4 sheet [if it's still there] goes unnoticed.

Monday, 17 December 2018


Had Christmas lunch at the cafe with my walk/coffee buddies and very nice it was, at just £11.99 for three courses.
The Scaup was still present on E lake and my friend Annie Irving saw the Hawfinch again, that she found yesterday in trees near the dragonfly pond.
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Friday, 14 December 2018


From Cosmeston this morning. The drake Scaup found by Graham Smith yesterday was on E lake with all the Tufties. A fem Goldeneye was in the middle of W lake, too distant for a decent photo. A couple of fem Reed Buntings were feeding next to the main boardwalk, and a flock of Goldfinch were feeding in Alder by the car park. One managed to get a beak full of whole Alder cone!


Tuesday, 27 November 2018


VERY wet walk this morning. The only birds of note were a Common Snipe which flushed from the fenced in 'snipe paddock', and c.30 Fieldfare which flew out from the canopy of Cogan Wood.

2 days ago there were 2 Heron, a Kingfisher seen briefly along the edge of E. lake from the main bridge, and a sprinkling of Redwing around the park.

Monday, 19 November 2018


8 Teal, 3 Pochard and 3 Shoveler on W lake. No show by Bittern and thrushes pretty low profile - poss due to the strong easterly.

PS Annie Irving GBC club member had a ringtail [i.e. fem or imm] Hen Harrier fly over W paddock at 1:38, heading towards Lavernock, a good record for the site.

Saturday, 17 November 2018


Of wildfowl interest, there were 16 Teal, a pair of Wigeon and a pair of Teal on W lake this morning. The huge number of Canadas were still present. Not so much thrush activity today although it as quite gusty.
Of great interest tho' was that 30 minutes after I had left, my friend Graham Smith came upon an Isabelline Shrike by the kissing gate that gives access to W. paddock! He managed to get some photos and then it vanished into thin air! I and quite a few others searched various locations until dusk with no luck. It is an eastern species which breeds in central Asia. There have been 27 accepted records to date, in Britain & Ireland.

Friday, 16 November 2018


First thing I noticed is that E. lake appears to have acquired the entire Canada Goose population of E Glam - I counted 280!

There were at least 100 Redwing around the park this morning, mainly in the trees around the bird table and the W. paddock hedgerow and the edge of Cogan Wood by the dragonfly pond. Also 30+ Fieldfare mainly in the latter location, plus 10+ Blackbird and a few Song Thrushes, all feeding on hawthorn. There were 2 Reed Bunts in the W paddock hedge and a Snipe flushed from the boggy area by the sunken copse behind the dragonfly pond. Around the 'T' junction of the path from the boardwalk and mile road [central path] there was a feeding flock mainly consisting of Long-t Tits [c.15], plus Gt Tit, Blue Tit and Coal Tit, plus 2 Nuthatch, a Treecreeper and a few Chaffinch. No sign of the Bittern but the rangers were doing some work behind the RH end of the W lake reed bed using a rotary cultivator. Tufties number about 50, 4 GCG, 1 Little Grebe and a Green 'Pecker in W paddock. Finally, a Water Rail ran under the main boardwalk as I was walking back.

Thursday, 8 November 2018


A very elusive Ring Ouzel has been present for a few days but is v difficult to find around the long hedge of W paddock. I've seen it once briefly in flight. Also the recently arrived Bittern in W lake reeds is not being very obliging. 5 Shoveler were present on W lake 2 days ago, and yesterday there were around 30 Redwing feeding at the far muddy end of E paddock.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018


There were 3 drake Pochard on W lake this morning, my first of this autumn/winter. A flock of c.100 Goldfinch was in W paddock and contained 3-4 Linnet, and a couple of Mipits. In trees in the snipe paddock there were 2 Chiffchaff and 2 Reed Bunting, and there was a fem Blackcap by W paddock. Finally there was a male Gt Spotted 'Pecker in a tree near the main boardwalk.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018


There was a Cetti's Warbler singing its head off on the RHS at the end of the main boardwalk before it goes under the trees, this morning. First I've heard there for quite some time. A Sparrowhawk had a go at a flock of c.50 Goldfinch near the dragonfly pond. Otherwise v quiet, although there was apparently some good vis mig at Lavernock earlier [per Jeff Curtis/Graham Smith]. There are apparently huge numbers of Linnet in the coastal fields, and this morning Graham found a morbid juv Common Rosefinch!! - which had been predated judging by its injuries.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018


The Hobby was still around this morning. I saw it briefly as it disappeared over Cogan Wood, having come from the W lake direction. It was seen yesterday afternoon hawking dragonflies over W lake, and has been seen over the children’s playground area. A flock of c. 50-60 Hirundines was over W lake and higher this morning, comprised of House Martins and Swallows. I had a brief Sparrowhawk yesterday and a couple of Chiffchaffs at the far end of E paddock, plus what I am sure were 3 Redwing. If they called I didn’t hear it, although that’s par for the course these days! but they flew over me in silhouette so no markings seen but the flight was typical Redwing and they dived into cover in a bank with lots of Hawthorn berries. I searched that for a while but couldn’t locate them. A pair of Stonechat are hanging out around the snipe paddock.

Sunday, 7 October 2018


A lot of hirundines in a mixed flock of c.100 at Cosmeston this morning - mainly Swallow and House Martin but a few Sand Martin as well. It may account for the Hobby that flew over the cafe heading towards Lavernock where it may still be - this was at around 1 p.m. Probably the bird that Graham Smith saw couple of days ago. Also a Sparrowhawk flew over. Male Stonechat by the snipe paddock.

Monday, 1 October 2018


No posts for a while - been away, then been busy!.
There were 3 Bearded Tits in the E lake reeds then in the W lake reeds on 29th Sep, found by Jeff Curtis. They apparently left yesterday - reported as flying off high late afternoon by Wayne Strong.

Today: Mass invasion! There were 140+ Canada Geese at Cosmeston this morning. Large movement of House Martins - v approx estimate of c100 feeding low and high over both lakes.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Cosmeston 29th Aug

From yesterday afternoon, the Whinchat that has been in the wild parsnip patch at the far end of W paddock [beyond the snipe paddock/enclosure] for a few days now.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018


Quite a productive day: a.m. E paddock just beyond playground - Blackcap (a pair), Willow Wblr 6+, Chiffchaff, Blue Tit 10+, Long-t Tit 10, Dunnock 2, Coal Tit 1, Green 'Pecker 1, Spotted Flycatcher 1. W. paddock far end - Whinchat 1
p.m. W paddock far end - Whinchat (same place as a.m.)m Tree Pipit 2; E paddock far end fenced area, Spotted Flycatcher 4 poss 5, Blackcap 1 fem, Willow Wblr c.6, Blue Tits.
Graham Smith also had fem Pied Fly and 2 Redstarts.

Sunday, 26 August 2018


A few photos from 2 days ago. Saw one of the juv Little Grebes on W lake with the adult in attendance. There were about 20 Sands Martins feeding over W lake. Took some distant shots of a juv Bullfinch feeding on blackberries at the far LH end of W paddock. In Sully Book by the wooden style bridge that crosses Sully Brook by the lower dovecote meadow, there was a twirling mass of Whirligig Beetles. Never seen that many together before.
Imm Little Grebe

Imm Bullfinch

Whirligig Beetles - a small section of the mass.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Cosmeston Sat 18th Aug

Couple of photos of a Spotted Flycatcher at Cosmeston yesterday morning, in bushes on the edge of the small field 50m to the left of the Med Village entrance. Also an obliging male Pied Wag on the decking at the back of the cafe and a juv LBB Gull ringed on Flat Holm this year. There were also c.30 Sand Martins over W lake, a few House Martins and Swallows again.

Friday, 17 August 2018


A Kingfisher flew along the far shore of E lake this morning. There were c.20 Sand Martins and a House Martin over W lake and plenty of Swallows around.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Cosmeston a.m.

There were 2 Grey Herons on W lake this morning - 1 imm and 1 ad. At the far LH end of W paddock there were a good number of Willow Warblers feeding in the tree boundary, plus a fem or imm Common Whitethroat and a fem Blackcap. There was another fem Blackcap in the trees along Sully Brook by the lower dovecote field, and more Willow Warblers in the trees by the small wooden bridge there. An un-ID'd pipit flew up from the long grass in that field too.
Willow Warbler

Willow Warbler

Thursday, 9 August 2018


Was pleased this morning to see that the Little Grebe chicks I saw about a week ago are still OK. Haven’t seen them for a while and thought they might have been predated. There were 2 imm Grey Herons present, 1 on W lake and 1 at the dragonfly pond [see photo]. At the near end of the long sloping narrow meadow that follows Sully Brook [just after the small wooden bridge below the dovecote field] there were about 10 Willow Warblers in a feeding flock with some Blue Tits.
Ad Little Grebe and chick

imm Grey Heron

Willow Warbler

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Cosmeston a.m.

Some cropped shots of a Spotted Flycatcher behind the dragonfly pond at Cossie this morning - big thx to Annie Irving for the heads up. A crow did spook it off but when I was at the bench seat afterwards I'm pretty sure it came back again. The penultimate shot is just before it coughed up a pellet. The final pic shows the pellet just before ejection but it's a bit blurred. Didn't have the cam on motor drive so missed the final event!

Monday, 6 August 2018

Cosmeston a.m.

There was a 3rd cal yr Yellow-legged Gull on E lake this morning - see photo. Graham Smith had a Spot Fly and Garden Warbler near the N entrance to Cogan Wood but I couldn't find them, although a pr of Bullfinch were feeding on blackberries there. Also the Med Village/dipping pond boardwalk is now fenced off due to work commencing to create an education area and new pond. See photo of plan which has been pinned upon the fencing. In the plan the carpark end is at the top.

Monday, 23 July 2018


Kingfisher showed briefly this morning, perched in the overhanging tree on W lake opp the bridge for a short while. 2 Jays were foraging by the Mile Road, and 2 Water Voles showed well at the dipping pond. I was disappointed, but perhaps not entirely surprised, to be told that yesterday a couple of adults allowed their kids to climb on the new nature carving so they could take photos. Personally I think there shd at least be a keep off sign although I expect that would have no effect whatsoever. The best deterrent would be a circular metal fence with outwardly facing spikes at the top.

Friday, 20 July 2018


Saw 2 Kingfishers on W lake yesterday and 1 this morning flew under the bridge into W lake. Black-headed Gulls reached a count of 2 2 days ago with at least 2 first year immatures.
A couple of quick pix from this morning - a snatched one of a Water Vole at the dipping pond who appeared suddenly then disappeared again just as suddenly. Also a fully grown GC Grebe.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Cosmeston - last 2 days

The Water Vole was showing nicely yesterday and today mornings, and there was a sub ad Little Grebe in W lake bay this morning. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2018


Today there were 9 Black-headed Gulls on W lake posts including 2 of this years juvs. The Canada Goose pair have lost 1 of their 3 goslings but the remaining 2 are quite large now. Silver ‘Y’ moths seen this a.m. plus Comma. 2 Days ago there were 20 or so each of House and Sand Martin feeding over the upper dovecote field, plus a few Swift. Here’s a few recent photos - the un-captioned dragons are all 4-Spot Chasers:

Emperor ovipositing

The adult seems to have caught a damselfly


Saturday, 30 June 2018


Just for good measure here's another photo of this morning's Cuckoo in a slightly different pose.


Surprise this morning was a nice Cuckoo on the fence posts of the 'snipe paddock'. Took lots of shots as I tried to carefully stalk it using the opposite hedge as something to creep along close to without breaking the sky line. This is the best of the shots I got when I was as close as I dared without flushing it. It's still quite a crop as you can see compared to the original below it. Also present a fem Mallard with 8 very small ducklings on W lake and 7 Black-headed Gulls, the first since the winter. An ad Grey Heron was in a tree by the main bridge.