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Leach's Petrel, 7th Dec 06


This page contains a regularly updated log of bird news from Grafham Water. Please scroll down to view older news.

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2008


Saturday 23rd August 2008. Sunny, light SW.

A drake Common Scoter was off the dam in the morning before flying west. Also, a Grey Plover flew west. Two Shags were in the vicinity of Marlow in the morning. In the evening a Curlew and a Turnstone were on the dam and a Little Egret flew east at dusk.

Thursday 21st August 2008. Overcast, light SW.

The three juvenile Shags were still on the boom first thing and two were off the dam simultaneously. Two Black Terns were present, plus four Wheatears along the dam and three Little Egrets.

Wednesday 20th August 2008.

Three juvenile Shags were on the boom at Mander Car Park this evening. One was found late afternoon, before being joined by a second. Later, when I went to have a look, a third had joined them. Also present, a Turnstone and three Wheatears on the dam and two Black Terns off Mander.

Tuesday 12th August 2008. Fresh SW wind, heavy showers and sunny intervals.

A Bonxie was a fine surprise early evening. A large commotion among the gulls caused me to scan over the reservoir, to see if a Peregrine was harrying them. A large dark shape being dive-bombed by Lesser Black-backed Gulls showed there was a more unexpected presence at the reservoir. What I suspected to be a Bonxie, dropped on to the water and was lost to view in the haze.I shot down to Mander to find, to my relief, the Bonxie flying around. It stayed long enough to be twitched by a couple of the Grafham regulars, one of whom had been in Norfolk when the bird was found! Later, a Whimbrel flew past Mander along with a hunting Peregrine. The Bonxie was still circling over the res as dusk fell at 9.10pm. To see the status of Bonxie at Grafham Water, click here.

Monday 11th August 2008.

A Turnstone was on the dam this morning, with a Wheatear there later on. At least one Spotted Flycatcher was still present at the north end of the dam and an adult Mediterranean Gull was off the sailing club in the roost. Six Whimbrel flew over the lagoons in the evening.

Sunday 10th August 2008. Strong SW wind, changeable and cool.

A Pied Flycatcher was reported from the north end of the dam near Marlow mid-morning, but was sadly not relocated. Here though, were 2-3 Spotted Flycatchers the first at the site this year together with several Willow Warblers. Two Arctic Terns were with Common Terns off Mander early evening, including a juvenile. Three Little Egrets were in Plummer early morning and a Ruddy Duck in Littless.

Friday 25th July 2008. Hot and sunny all day.

Four moulting adult Black Terns off Mander in the afternoon were undoubtedly a product of this morning's easterly wind. Also present today, a juvenile Little Ringed Plover on the dam which later flew towards the lagoons, two Green Sandpipers in the lagoons and single Dunlin and Common Sandpiper on the dam.

Highlights - Tuesday 2nd July to Thursday 24th July

Mid-morning on 2nd July a Black Stork was seen by a passing birder, circling over Bicton Industrial Estate near Stow Longa, which can be seen just west of the west end of Grafham Water. It was likely that the bird could have been seen from Grafham Water and this was confirmed by a farmer who said he had seen a Stork in the morning circle up out of Savages Wood. To say we were all gutted is an understatement!

The Green-winged Teal was seen again in the northwest corner of the lagoons on 7th July during the evening. It had begun to moult and although will become unidentifiable, will no doubt be present for several weeks. It shared the pool with a female Mandarin and a female Shoveler with nine new chicks; a good breeding record for Grafham.

On the 3rd, a fine adult summer-plumaged Red-necked Grebe was found off Mander mid-morning. It was in Dudney Creek the following morning but was not seen subsequently. The same day a Black Tern and Greenshank were seen. On the 8th an Osprey was reported early afternoon. On 19th a bird thought to be a first summer Arctic Tern was found off Mander and it was still present next day when it's identity was confirmed, the same day as a Turnstone was on the dam. On the 21st, two adult Little Gulls were off Mander in the roost and the following night an adult Mediterranean Gull was seen, together with a Mandarin in Dudney and nine Yellow-legged Gulls. On the 24th two Little Egrets were in Valley Creek early morning and a Whimbrel flew south early evening.

Monday 1st July 2008. Hot and sunny all day.

A Shoveler with nine chicks was a nice surprise in the lagoons mid-evening, plus a Gadwall with three chicks on the reservoir nearby. Several Yellow-legged Gulls were in the roost. No sign of any Green-winged Teals still.

Sunday 30th June 2008. Sunny with cloud.

A first-summer Mediterranean Gull was on the island in front of the lagoon hide late afternoon. This is probably one of the scarcest plumage types at Grafham. A Little Ringed Plover had three chicks in the lagoons too.

Saturday 29th June 2008.

A drake Green-winged Teal was an excellent find by Colin Addington in the lagoons mid-afternoon. It showed well briefly and then disappeared into the thick vegetation but showed again later. This could potentially be the same drake which was present last summer in moult.

Tuesday 24th June 2008. East wind, sunny then overcast later.

A Black Tern was on J buoy at 4pm before flying around with Common Terns.

Monday 23rd June 2008.

A Curlew and four Black-tailed Godwits flew over mid-evening, whilst two Wigeon were in the lagoons.

Friday 20th June 2008.

A Crossbill flew west over Mander Car Park at 7.50am.

Saturday 14th June 2008. Sunny, mild, W wind

At least two Nightingales were singing near Lymage Hide early evening.

Friday 13th June 2008. Sunny, mild, W wind

A Red Kite was over the lagoons at 8am. 25 Common Terns were feeding in Plummer during the evening.

Thursday 12th June 2008. Cool, W wind

An Avocet was in the lagoons in front of the hide early evening. Also, 75 Tufted Duck.

Wednesday 4th June 2008. Sunny, mild, W wind

A European Storm Petrel was a collosal find by Colin Addington this afternoon. Colin saw the bird distantly off Mander CP around 4pm. Fortunately the petrel refound by Mark Hawkes who clinched the identification of this mega Cambs bird. Luckily there were not too many gulls or Peregrines about and the bird was still present early evening to the delight of birders returning from work. The bird showed a bit better off Hill Farm at 6.30pm being accidentally flushed by a boat. It was reported again off Mander CP at 7.30pm 100 metres east of the car park. Otherwise pretty quiet recently with a single Black Tern a couple of days ago the only recent bird of note. Well done Colin!!

Sunday 25th May 2008. Raining, fresh NE wind

On the dam this morning: two Sanderlings, a Ringed Plover, four Little Ringed Plovers, three Common Sandpipers and an Oystercatcher. Also large numbers of Swifts, Swallows and House Martins over the north side of the reservoir and along the dam.

Wednesday 21st May 2008. E wind

A better day! Ten Common Scoters were on the reservoir early afternoon and at least one was still around mid evening. On the dam a first summer Grey Plover lingered until 8pm at least despite the presence of fishermen and a cyclist (!) on the shore of the dam. Also, six Sanderlings were present plus two Little Ringed Plovers. Yesterday, a Black Tern was present.

Sunday 18th May 2008. Cool, sunny spells, E wind

An Osprey circled over the reservoir early afternoon and may have gone over my house, but sadly I was up to my elbows in dirty nappies so didn't get chance to look up! Later, a couple of Sanderlings, a Turnstone, two Little Ringed Plovers and an Oystercatcher were braving the hordes of fishermen on the dam.

Saturday 17th May 2008. Cool, overcast, cold NE wind

Three Sanderlings were on the dam this evening and a White-cheeked Pintail was hanging out in the lagoons. A couple of hundred Swifts were cruising around low over the south shore.

Thursday 15th May 2008. Cool, NE wind.

Two Arctic Terns were off the lagoons early evening.

Thursday 8th May 2008. Hot and sunny, light SE wind.

Whilst lots of birds were turning up across the UK, Grafham Water has been very quiet, enlivened today only by a fine Turnstone on the dam. Over the past couple of days only a small number of Black Terns have kept us going, along with two calling Grey Partridges in the fields between Littlehay Prison and Perry West Wood yesterday at dusk.

Monday 5th May 2008. Mild, light SE wind.

Two Black Terns were off the south end of the dam at 8am.

Sunday 4th May 2008. Warm with easterly wind.

With good birds turning up everywhere, Grafham was very disappointing, with only three Sanderlings, seven Common Sandpipers and a single Black Tern of note.

Friday 2nd May 2008. Mild, sunny SW wind.

An Osprey flew over Savages at 1.50pm but was not seen subsequently, though a raptor perched distantly in a dead tree mid-afternoon may have been the bird. Three Black-tailed Godwits were in the lagoons in the evening and a Dunlin flew east at dusk. The Grasshopper Warbler was reeling in the lagoons at dusk.

Thursday 1st May 2008. Warm and sunny with SW wind

The first Lapwing chicks hatched today. Very little else of note except the Grasshopper Warbler was again in the lagoons.

Wednesday 30th April 2008. Wet with SW wind.

A first summer Iceland Gull was in the roost off Mander CP at 8.15pm, along with c250 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 20 Herring Gulls and two Great Black-backed Gulls. Also, a Curlew flew east earlier, plus one Arctic Tern.

Tuesday 29th April 2008. Heavy showers and SE wind.

At 5pm I was along the dam watching the Black Tern which had moved to the east end of the reservoir and was showing well just off the shore at Plummer Car Park when suddenly to my surprise, a Fulmar flew past! The bird did a loop round the southeastern corner of the reservoir and flew north past the tower towards Marlow before heading west down the reservoir. As it headed into the distance it again went behind the water tower and I lost it. I shot down to Mander CP but was unable to relocate it. Three Little Ringed Plovers were along the dam along with a Common Sandpiper.

A Black Tern was off Mander CP with several Common Terns at 8am and a Dunlin dropped into the lagoons ahead of a heavy shower at 10am. Also, c250 Swifts gathered ahead of the same storm.

Sunday 27th April 2008. Warm and sunny, with a light southerly wind.

A Whimbrel was on the dam first thing along with a Dunlin and two Common Sandpipers.

Saturday 26th April 2008. Warm and sunny, with a light southerly wind.

Three single Whimbrels appeared at various times, including an obliging individual sitting in the lagoons mid-afternoon. The Grasshopper Warbler and Little Gull were both still present here too and three Arctic Terns were seen first thing. Lots of Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethroats and Reed Warblers have come in during the last few days and can be commonly seen around the site.

Friday 25th April 2008. Changeable with a westerly wind.

A reeling Grasshopper Warbler in the lagoons was a nice find by Colin Addington first thing and it was still present at dusk. Four Common Terns were resting in the lagoons plus the first summer Little Gull. Also, a Barn Owl flew over my house in broad daylight at 7.30pm.

Thursday 24th April 2008. Heavy showers, warm sunny spells. Westerly wind.

48 Arctic Terns flew east in a group at 11am, leaving 30 off Mander CP. At 1pm, only one remained off Mander with several Common Terns. At 4pm c20 Arctics had dropped in off Mander and by 5.30pm this had dwindled to 4. Also today, two Garden Warblers, three Nightingales and the Little Gull still in the lagoons.

Wednesday 23rd April 2008. Raining during the morning, clearing by early afternoon, with only light winds.

40 Arctic Terns flew east at 5.30pm and at least 22 were present off Mander CP at 7pm. A first summer Iceland Gull was in the roost together with c500 Lesser Black-backed Gulls during the evening. An adult Little Gull off the lagoons and the first summer Little Gull still in the lagoons. Also today, a Wood Warbler was reported west of Mander CP at 8.10am along with an Egyptian Goose.

Tuesday 22nd April 2008. Hazy sunshine, light northeasterly wind.

To end an enjoyable April day, three adult Little Gulls flew east off Mander CP at 7pm, preceded by a solitary Whimbrel also heading east at 4pm.

An Osprey was a fine sight circling over the west end of the reservoir at 9am. At one point it hovered over the mouth of Savages Creek and would have provided a great view from Savages Hide! It headed off north over the north shore. Arctic Terns were on the move this morning, with 2 east at 9am, followed by 14 east at 9.05am. Later, 16 flew east at 10.45am and a further two went east at 11.20am. Elsewhere, 11 Common Terns were around the boom at Mander and the west end, including a bird with a wholly black bill. Several Whitethroats were singing around the site.

A drake Garganey was a nice find by Mark Hawkes in the lagoons first thing. A Greenshank and Cuckoo were also present along with several Lesser Whitethroats and a Swift.

Monday 21st April 2008.

A Turtle Dove was in the lagoons mid-morning, plus a Whimbrel flew north. Also a Swift was overhead and the first summer Little Gull was still present. Late afternoon, a female Marsh Harrier was in the lagoons before flying northeast. Also, a Greenshank flew north over the dam.

Sunday 20th April 2008.

A Sanderling was on the dam during the morning, plus two Dunlins and four Little Ringed Plovers. 12 Whimbrel flew east and two Arctic Terns flew west during the morning too. Also a Lesser Whitethroat was singing near Marlow Car Park, where a Green Sandpiper flew over calling, and the first summer Little Gull was still in the lagoons.

Thursday 17th April 2008.

This afternoon a Sanderling appeared on the dam, and a flock of 20 Yellow Wagtails were feeding on the grass at Marlow, and roosting on the rocks on the shore of the reservoir. The group contained an individual showing mixed characters of Blue-headed x Yellow Wagtail.

Two Ring Ouzels were seen flying north over the lagoons towards Marlow at 10.50am. A second calendar-year Little Gull was on the lagoon in front of the hide late morning too. Earlier, a Whimbrel was seen flying north over Plummer and a Common Tern was off Mander CP.

Wednesday, 16th April 2008.

A cracking summer-plumaged Grey Plover flew east over the reservoir and off over the dam at 4.45pm. One White Wagtail was on the dam along with two Little Ringed Plovers. The first Common Tern of the year was off Mander CP at 5pm.

Monday, 14th April 2008.

A Reed Warbler was singing in the lagoons this morning and a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was recorded in Savages Wood.

Saturday, 12th April 2008. Fresh southwesterly wind, sunny spells, with heavy showers.

The birth of our daughter, Adelaide Lily at 10.53am, was the only new arrival of the day.

Friday, 11th April 2008. Fresh southerly wind, bright and clear, with heavy showers in the afternoon.

An adult Kittiwake was off the dam at 1.20pm, it subsequently settled off the lagoons. Two White Wagtails and six Yellow Wagtails were along the dam early afternoon. Several House Martins were feeding over the lagoons and a Fieldfare flew east first thing, and the Green Sandpiper was still in the lagoons. A first winter Little Gull was in the roost along with a third winter Iceland Gull.

Thursday, 10th April 2008. Mild and sunny, with a light ssw wind.

The Avocets were in the lagoons first thing. A male Marsh Harrier was a fine sight, heading north in the early morning sun over Mander CP at 8.10am. At least three Sedge Warblers were singing, with two male White Wagtails on the dam, plus at least six Yellow Wagtails and two Little Ringed Plovers. A Whimbrel was on the south end of the dam briefly at 8.15am, but flew north.

Wednesday, 9th April 2008. Clear, cool with a light southwesterly breeze.

A first-summer Glaucous Gull was off the lagoons early morning and had presumably roosted the previous night. Two Yellow Wagtails were still on the dam along with a Common Sandpiper and two Little Ringed Plovers. In the afternoon, a pair of Avocets arrived in the lagoons and were fortunately still present on my return from work at 5.30pm. Also present in the lagoons was at least one Green Sandpiper and three Little Ringed Plovers.

Tuesday, 8th April 2008.

A male Wheatear on the dam plus 150+ Sand Martins and three Swallows in the lagoons, were the only notable sightings this morning. In the evening an adult Kumlien's Gull was seen briefly in the roost.

Monday, 7th April 2008.

A Redwing was the only bird of note in a brief walk before work.

Sunday, 6th April 2008. Very cold, snowing and overcast with NW wind, followed by sunshine by 10am.

A male Merlin flew north in the afternoon.

A fine drake Red-breasted Merganser was a great find on a snowy WeBS count by Mark Hawkes. It stayed for at least an hour and a half and was displaying at times, in midwater between the lagoons - Marlow- Church Lane area. Also present on the count was the Rock Pipit and Wheatear on the dam and a Common Sandpiper and two Little Ringed Plovers at Marlow.

Marlow Car Park in the snow, 6th April 08

Snow at Marlow, 6th April 2008.

Red-breasted Merganser, 6th April 08

Red-breasted Merganser off Marlow, 6th April 2008.

Church Land in the snow, 6th April 08

The bottom of Church Lane, 6th April 2008.

5th April 2008. Cold NW wind, cloudy with sunny spells.

Following a mad dash to the south end of the dam I had the awesome view of two majestic Common Cranes heading southwest towards Great Staughton. These birds, the first to be seen at Grafham Water were seen heading over Paxton Pits earlier and had roosted at Woodwalton Fen the previous night.

Also around today were two Green Sandpipers, five Little Ringed Plovers and several Buzzards.

4th April 2008. Overcast and calm.

Three Blackcaps were singing in the lagoons and a Redpoll flew over Marlow late afternoon. In the evening, a first winter/summer Glaucous Gull was in the roost off Mander and a Kittiwake was off the lagoons.

3rd April 2008. Overcast, calm and mild.

One Curlew flew northwest over the lagoons calling at c7.30am. The first Sedge Warbler of the year was singing from a bramble patch in the southwest corner of the lagoons and a drake Ruddy Duck was present. On the dam, the Rock Pipit was still present early morning.

2nd April 2008.

A pair of Bramblings were in the lagoons including a singing male. Also present, a singing Blackcap and two Little Ringed Plovers.

1st April 2008. Sunny and warm with a light southwesterly wind.

Two Willow Warblers were in the lagoons this morning and three Little Ringed Plovers were on the scrape.

31st March 2008. Sunny and warm with a light southeasterly wind.

Best bird of the day was a littoralis Rock Pipit just north of the water tower on the dam, which was found late afternoon. The bird was still present early evening. Also present were two Little Ringed Plovers with a further pair still in the lagoons. c30 Fieldfares flew south, an unexpected direction at this time of year!

30th March 2008. Sunny and warm with a light southerly wind.

After a fruitless gull roost, a Ring-necked Parakeet was the last thing I was expecting! It shot over my head near Mander Car Park and landed in a nearby tree. Fortunately, it remained around the area allowing a couple of other birders who had been doing the roost to catch up with it. Two Wheatears were seen at Marlow at lunchtime.

Morning: A Willow Warbler near Savages was the first of the year. A wing-tagged Red Kite was over Littless mid-morning and around a dozen Common Buzzards were around the site, some of which were presumably migrants. A female and immature drake Goosander were in Littless Creek, plus a sunbathing Fox.

Dudney Creek, 30th March

Dudney Creek from the new hide, 30th March

29th March 2008. Sunny at first with cold SW wind.

Two Little Ringed Plovers were in the lagoons.

28th March 2008. Wet and windy.

A Little Ringed Plover was on the dam at 8am and an Oystercatcher flew east here at 5.30pm. Two Yellow-legged Gulls were in the roost and several Sand Martins were over the water.

27th March 2008. Cloudy, sunny spells, light winds.

Eight Common Scoters (five drakes) were off the lagoons first thing. They stayed all day and were later joined by a ninth. The Sanderling was present briefly on the dam at dawn before moving on. In the roost, a possible first-summer Kumlien's Gull was seen off the sailing club, along with a smart third-winter/summer Iceland Gull. Earlier, a second-winter/summer Glaucous Gull was seen from Mander Car Park mid-afternoon. An Oystercatcher landed on the Mander harbour boom just before dusk and a Little Ringed Plover was in the lagoons early morning.

26th March 2008. Overcast, light easterly wind.

A pair of Red-breasted Mergansers were seen mid-afternoon off the dam, but sadly could not be refound in the evening. Four Common Scoters were found off Mander and were still present in the evening, along with a Sanderling on the dam and a couple of Swallows. A first-winter Glaucous Gull was off Mander Car Park in the roost.

25th March 2008.

A Grey Partridge was in the field behind Mander Car Park at 7am and four Wheatears were at Marlow Car Park.

24th March 2008. Snow showers, sunny spells.

One Kittiwake was off the lagoons first thing. In the roost, five Kittiwakes flew west down the reservoir and a leucistic Black-headed Gull was off the lagoons.

23rd March 2008. Heavy snow first thing, clear by dusk.

Quite an incredible day, weather-wise, with heavy snow in the morning, which thawed by early afternoon. Further snow showers came in late afternoon, before clearing at dusk, to leave a beautiful still evening.

The Lagoons, 23rd March

The Lagoons, 23rd March

The Lagoons, 23rd March

Valley Creek, 23rd March

A first-winter Glaucous Gull came in to roost from the west at 6pm. Up to three male Wheatears showed well around the dam once the snow had stopped along with two Stonechats and large numbers of Meadow Pipits. Several Sand Martins were braving the snow mid-morning and several Chiffchaffs were around the site, and three Dunlin were in Valley Creek first thing. A dozen Fieldfares went north over Savages mid-afternoon and a few Redwings fed along the road verge near Plummer.

22nd March 2008. Strong northeasterly wind, snow, hail and rain showers.

An adult Kittiwake was flying around between the dam and Plummer at midday and the female Stonechat was on the fence at the foot of the dam.

21st March 2008. Strong northerly wind, showers.

A Swallow flying west across Sanctuary Bay at 5pm was a bit of a surprise amid sleety showers and howling northerlies! More expected was an adult Kittiwake in the roost, along with a third winter Caspian Gull and four Yellow-legged Gulls. The Goldeneye roost numbered 74 by 6.30pm along with four Goosanders. Two Dunlin were on the dam mid-afternoon and the female Stonechat was still on the fence at the bottom of the dam.

17th March 2008. Cool, northerly wind, cloudy.

The female Stonechat was along the dam fence first thing and the Green Sandpiper was still in the lagoons.

16th March 2008. Raining until early afternoon. Very strong northeasterly wind.

Three Yellow-legged Gulls in the roost and a couple of Chiffchaffs in the lagoons were the only birds of note.

15th March 2008.

A Bar-headed Goose was with Greylags off Plummer early afternoon. Seven Siskins flew east here too.

14th March 2008. Calm and mild.

An adult Iceland Gull was in the roost off Mander Car Park this evening.

13th March 2008.

The two Kittiwakes were refound off the dam first thing, but they shortly moved on.

12th March 2008. Very strong SW wind, dry.

Three Sand Martins were sheltering in Valley Creek first thing, plus two Goosander. Two Kittiwakes were found at 3.40pm, one of which was seen again just before 5pm and appeared to roost in front of Savages Hide. The first winter Glaucous Gull was flying around and finally settled with a small group of gulls in the field between Savages and Littless. Remarkably, the bird was joined by a first winter Iceland Gull at c5.30pm and at one point both were in the same field of view! The Sand Martins were still present keeping out of the wind in the lee of the bushes near the mouth of Dudney Creek.

10th March 2008. Strong SW wind, rain.

A fine adult Mediterranean Gull was off the lagoons in the roost again.

9th March 2008.

Three Sand Martins, a Ringed Plover and five Goosander were the highlights of a quiet WeBS count this morning. A small number of Chiffchaffs were seen in the lagoons and at Marlow. The Firecrest was seen again in the lagoons, on the west side.

8th March 2008.

A Lapland Bunting was reported from the bay at Marlow CP but could not be relocated. The wintering Common Sandpiper was still present at Marlow.

7th March 2008.

A fine adult Mediterranean Gull was off the lagoons in the roost.

2nd March 2008.

Three Knot were on Plummer Point briefly and the first winter Glaucous Gull came into roost.

29th February 2008.

A drake Pintail was at Marlow and a pair of Red-legged Partridges were in the field near Dudney Hide.

26th February 2008.

The first winter Glaucous Gull was in the roost again, plus a first winter Caspian Gull and a couple of Yellow-legged Gulls. A Green Sandpiper was in the lagoons mid-afternoon. A female Stonechat was at Marlow.

23rd February 2008. Dull, overcast.

A female Brambling was a nice surprise in the garden this morning.

8th February 2008. Clear, mild and sunny.

A drake Red-crested Pochard was in Gaynes Creek at midday. The Firecrest was still present on Wednesday at least, though was not seen in a quick search this lunchtime. A Pink-footed Goose is present with the Greylag flock and has been seen regularly. The drake Scaup is still present, being seen in the creeks at the west end.

26th January 2008. Cold and clear, light SW wind.

An adult Iceland Gull came in to roost at c4pm and landed distantly. Fortunately, it later moved much closer. The Firecrest was seen again early afternoon, and the female Smew moved from Gaynes to the dam and then down to Littless Creek. Two Yellow-legged Gulls were in the roost and the Black Swan remains in the lagoons, along with 25 Snipe.

25th January 2008. Cold and clear, clouding over mid-afternoon. SW wind.

The Smew was still in Gaynes Creek first thing, plus a Black-tailed Godwit with Redshank and a Green Sandpiper in the lagoons. A Peregine was also seen mid-morning. Two Yellow-legged Gulls were in the roost but no white-wingers were in evidence.

24th January 2008.

Three Iceland Gulls, an adult and two first winters were off Mander Car Park in the roost. This is the highest ever site and county count. Three Mandarin were in Dudney Creek.

A Barn Owl was in the field behind Mander CP at 8am and six Goosander were in Dudney Creek early morning.

23rd January 2008. Cold, wet.

A Smew was still in Gaynes Creek today and the first winter Glaucous Gull was again in the roost from Mander CP.

22nd January 2008. Cold, wet.

The Firecrest was seen again along the track near the lagoons, and an adult Mediterranean Gull was off the sailing club.

20th January 2008. Cold, blustery showers.

A first winter Iceland Gull was in the roost off Mander CP along with a first winter Glaucous Gull, which appeared to be the same bird as seen on 6-7th January. 33 Pintail flew south at dusk, probably birds flooded out of the Washes and a really impressive count for Grafham Water. The Mandarin were still present in Littless Creek, whilst three Redpolls flew south over Mander CP early morning. Nuthatches were vocal in Littless Wood during the morning.

19th January 2008. Raining.

At least one Smew was still present in Gaynes at lunchtime. A pair of Mandarin were in Littless Creek.

17th January 2008. Cold, blustery showers.

The Firecrest was seen again along the track by the lagoons.

A fine Red Kite was being harried by crows over Perry West Wood early morning. It headed off towards Littless Woods. A single Brambling was with other finches in the vicinity of Manor Farm early morning too, while three Goosander headed off west over Perry West Wood. A suspected pair of Tree Sparrows were again in a hedge near Manor Farm, but have yet to give themselves up.

13th January 2008. Overcast and strong SW wind.

Three female Smew were a good find in Gaynes Creek during the WeBS count this morning. They were still present mid-afternoon. 12 Goosander was the best count of the winter so far for this species and the Common Scoter was still present. Several Yellow-legged Gulls were in the roost at the west end late afternoon. 15 Siskin and 7 Redshank were in the lagoons.

12th January 2008. Sunny, cold, fresh SW wind.

A first winter drake Common Scoter was an unseasonal find off the dam early afternoon (photo on Grafham Photos 2008 page). Two first winter Caspian Gulls were in the roost and four or five Brambling were in the set-aside behind Savages Spinney.

9th January 2008.

An adult Mediterranean Gull was in the roost off Mander car park, along with a first winter Caspian Gull and four Yellow-legged Gulls.

7th January 2008.

The Glaucous Gull had moved into Valley Creek during the night to get out of the strong westerly wind, and showed well from the hide until 07.50 when it flew off west. The Scaup was present in the creek too.

6th January 2008.

A first winter Glaucous Gull was a fine sight in the roost off the lagoons. The bulky beast was visible at over a mile range from Savages Hide, though good views were obtained from the sailing club later. A drake Pintail was off Plummer mid-morning. and the Firecrest showed very well late morning in the usual spot, finally giving itself up to a couple of the Grafham regulars, including yours truly! Also present today was the Scaup and three Barnacle Geese with the Greylag flock.

4th January 2008.

Two Barn Owls were seen in the meadow by Perry Wood at dawn.

3rd January 2008.

The Firecrest was again seen in the hedge near the lagoons early afternoon, though was not seen first thing. It appears to be moving around with a Long-tailed Tit flock.

2nd January 2008.

Exciting news from the cycle track near the lagoons was of a Firecrest discovered the previous day by Ray Presley. The bird was showing in the hedge 25m down the track past the entrance to the lagoons. Hopefully it will still be present tomorrow!

A Barn Owl was in the meadow by Perry Wood at dawn.

1st January 2008.

The new year got off to a good start when the previous day's Brent Goose reappeared with the Greylag flock at Marlow Car Park. Sadly, new year's day dog walkers soon flushed the bird which later was seen at Paxton, before moving on to Bedfordshire.

The first-winter drake Scaup also remained in Littless Creek. Nearby, a common Sandpiper was on the shore near Dudney Creek, whilst in the lagoons a Green Sandpiper was present.


2007


31st December 2007.

So, 2007 ended with a Brent Goose at Marlow which later flew off. My total for the year came to 159, 8 short of last year. My biggest misses were the 2 or 3 Pomarine Skuas seen while I was in Argentina. The undoubted highlights were finding Cambridgeshire's second Laughing Gull in June, being second on the scene for Colin's fantastic Wilson's Phalarope and enjoying balmy April evenings in the company of Arctic Terns and Little Gulls.

30th December 2007. Cold.

A first-winter Caspian Gull was in the roost tonight, along with an adult Mediterranean Gull. Yesterday, an adult Caspian Gull was in the roost. The drake Scaup is still around, plus a Green Sandpiper in the lagoons. On 26th, two Egyptian Geese were in the lagoons , a good record for Grafham.

22nd December 2007. Cold.

7 Goosander were the only birds of note today apart from a very "American-like" Herring Gull in the roost. This bird sported a very heavy set of head and breast streaking, which formed a very neat pectoral band on the lower breast. It had a white eye, and a pale bill with a tiny orange spot and a black mark near the tip. Sadly, the wing was not seen and the bill was probably a little too weedy. Yesterday, the drake Scaup was near Hill Farm and a Woodcock was flushed from between the deer exclosures in Savages Spinney.

14th December 2007. Variable with strong southerly wind. Some showers.

No sign of the two Red-necked Grebes or the female Smew this morning in Savages Creek. However, one female Red-crested Pochard was present along with the drake Scaup.

9th December 2007. Variable with strong southerly wind. Some showers.

Two Scaup, a female and a first winter male were present in Savages Creek along with a Lesser Scaup-like first winter hybrid this morning. 131 Goldeneye was a superb total and numbers of Coot and Tufted Duck continue to increase to around 1,500. 5 Goosander were present around the site too.

2nd December 2007. OVercast and cold.

The first winter drake Scaup was in Valley Creek mid-morning with about 500 Tufted Duck. A male Fox was stalking along the shore of Dudney Creek this morning and both Kingfisher and Little Egret were present.

1st December 2007. OVercast and cold.

A first winter Caspian Gull was in the roost off Mander, plus four Yellow-legged Gulls. Earlier, the Slavonian Grebe was still showing in Dudney Creek, two Little Egrets were around, and 14 Redshank flew in from the east and pitched in to the lagoons mid-morning. Hundreds of Redwings and Fieldfares are around, gorging on the crop of berries, whilst several Brambling and small flocks of Siskin are around. A Barn Owl has been showing occasionally on the fence by the dam too.

24th November 2007. OVercast and cold.

No sign of the Pomarine Skua this morning. New this morning was a flighty juvenile Common Scoter that could not seem to get settled, plus the Slavonian Grebe in Littless Creek, along with the drake Scaup and a Red Kite over Littless Woods mid-morning.

Break for Jono's trip to Argentina...

26th October 2007. OVercast and calm.

Finally caught up with the drake Scaup that Colin Addington found mid-week. It was roosting with Tufties in Valley Creek first thing this morning. In the lagoons, a Green Sandpiper in the company of at least a dozen Snipe. Otherwise, very quiet.

20th October 2007. Foggy at first, clear, sunny and still later.

The fog dumped a lot of ducks on the reservoir, including over 200 Wigeon which were sitting out on the middle of the water when the fog cleared. Over 60 Pochard were in Littless Creek late afternoon, which is a good count for Grafham. Lots of Lapwing and Golden Plover were flying around today and several Snipe were in the lagoons.

Five Little Gulls flew east along the reservoir late morning. Nearby, a first winter Arctic Tern was present, plus a good count of seven Red-crested Pochards at Gaynes. They later flew to the north end of the dam. A Rock Pipit was on the dam at midday.

19th October 2007. Foggy at first, clear, sunny and still later.

An adult Great Northern Diver was a nice surprise first thing. It came in over the north shore, circled the east end of the reservoir and then headed off west over Perry. A couple of Fieldfares were in the lagoons.

6th October 2007. Overcast, easterly wind.

Two Rock Pipits still on the dam. There had been three mid-week. A Wheatear was on the dam and a juvenile Arctic Tern and adult Yellow-legged Gull were in the lagoons. Little else of note during the week.

1st October 2007. Overcast with rain later and easterly wind.

Two Rock Pipits were on the south end of the dam late afternoon with a Yellow Wagtail. The three flew off high to the southeast at 6.40pm.

30th September 2007. Mild, sunny with high cloud and light easterly wind.

Seven Little Stints were on the dam with two Dunlin first thing. Nearby at least five Little Egrets were still around the reservoir, plus two Arctic and one Common Terns and a Little Gull. A male Stonechat was near Dudney. Five Buzzards were together over Perry West Wood mid-morning and a Kingfisher was in Littless Creek. c30 Redwings were in the lagoons first thing, plus a handful of Siskins and about ten Swallows. Lastly, a Green Sandpiper was enjoying the newly-landscaped and flooded lagoon in front of the hide, see photo below.

The above photo shows the lagoon in the process of being reprofiled.

22nd-29th September 2007.

Highlight of the week was undoubtedly a Bonxie which was seen late morning in Savages Creek on 28th, plus two Sandwich Terns the same day. A Whinchat had been present on the 22nd, 13 Arctic Terns on the 26th, and a Little Stint on the 25th.

21st September 2007. Cloudy, strong SW.

Both the Stonechat, Turnstone and Ruff were still present this morning. Three Little Egrets were present at Plummer.

20th September 2007. Overcast, strong SW.

A Turnstone appeared on the dam this morning and the Ruff and a small number of Dunlin and Ringed Plovers were still present. In the evening, a Stonechat was found on the fence at the foot of the dam.

19th September 2007.

A Sandwich Tern was over the dam at 6pm.

18th September 2007. Clear and cold, with NW wind.

Two juvenile Little Stints were on the dam first thing, along with a Dunlin and five Ringed Plovers. Sadly, they soon moved on. Two Little Egrets were sitting in trees near Plummer. In the evening, the Ruff was still at the south end of the dam, plus the Little Ringed Plover, two Dunlins and three Ringed Plovers.

17th September 2007. Overcast, with chilly NW wind.

The same selection of waders were still on the dam, with the only new bird being a juvenile Marsh Harrier over fields near Littless Wood at 1pm.

16th September 2007. Clear, mild and sunny with a fresh Southerly wind.

The Black-necked Grebe was relocated in Savages Creek by David Hollin during the WeBS count. It was still present mid-afternoon, though was mostly distant. The first Merlin of the autumn headed south mid-morning, plus two Pintail and a Golden Plover. The juvenile Sanderling and Ruff were on the dam, along with a handful of Dunlin and Ringed Plover. Two Green Sandpipers remained in the lagoons, which also held over 50 Teal. Up to 1,000 Coot are now on site and numbers of common ducks are increasing. At least five Little Egrets are still around. Savages Hide remains closed due to the presence of a rather stunning Hornet nest (see photo here).

15th September 2007.

A Raven was seen briefly and distantly by Mark Hawkes, from the sailing club as it headed over the north shore west of Littless Wood late afternoon. It sadly could not be relocated despite searching. If accepted, this would be the first record for Grafham Water.

The Sanderling and Ruff were on the dam all day, plus a juvenile Little Ringed Plover.

14th September 2007.

The highlight of the week was the year's first Black-necked Grebe which showed briefly off the dam on morning of the 13th. Also new for the year were two Red-crested Pochards in Gaynes the same day. There has been a sprinkling of waders along the dam all week, with a juvenile Ruff being present for a couple of days, a juvenile Knot this evening, plus a Sanderling, several Dunlin and Ringed Plover, a couple of Little Ringed Plovers and up to four Common Sandpipers. In the lagoons, heavy machinery has been carrying out major work, and consequently, there has been little going on, apart from c50 Teal, a couple of Green Sandpipers and Snipe and a late brood of four Ruddy Ducks. Four Little Gulls were present on the 12th, along with two Common Terns. Lastly, but certainly not least, the Osprey is still being seen, though remains elusive to the author!

5th September 2007. Mild.

A juvenile Little Gull was off Mander this evening.

2nd September 2007. Sunny, with SW breeze.

Today, 14 Little Egrets provided a fine spectacle in Savages Creek. Nearby, a Nuthatch was very vocal in Savages Spinney, along with several Marsh Tits. A juvenile Little Gull was off the dam early morning and the two Black Terns were still at the west end. Highlight of the morning, however, was a fine juvenile Marsh Harrier soaring over Littless Wood, together with a couple of Buzzards and a Red Kite.

After the excitement of the 22-23rd, it was a relatively quiet week, with the only birds of note being an Osprey seen a couple of times and a juvenile Marsh Harrier over west early on the 25th. Yesterday, a fresh northerly breeze brought more excitement in the shape of five Arctic Skuas. Mark Hawkes found one flying west across the reservoir mid-morning. I managed to shoot round to Mander just in time to see the bird circling over Dudney Creek. Amazingly, as it headed southwest, it joined a party of four more. They headed off overland. Other birds present during the day included two juvenile Peregrines, two juvenile Black Terns, two Green Sandpipers, four Curlew over, a first winter Mediterranean Gull at Plummer mid-afternoon, and a handful of Common Sandpipers. A Barn Owl Was present on the fence near the pumping station, late evening on the 29th.

23rd August 2007. Strong northerly wind, overcast, clearing later.

The two Bonxies were still present early morning. They were much more active and circled up high shortly after 8am, before departing. An adult Sandwich Tern was seen off the sailing club and then later at Mander CP. The two Black Terns were still present along with two first year Mediterranean Gulls.

22nd August 2007. Strong northerly wind, overcast with heavy rain at times.

Finally the terrible weather paid dividends, with Colin Addington finding first one and then two Great Skuas, both of which fortunately stayed until at least 7pm, allowing me to catch up with them after work. Also present in the stormy conditions were a drake Common Scoter, two Black Terns, a Peregrine, a Red Kite and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull. Yesterday a juvenile Little Gull was off Mander CP and a Grey Plover flew over.

15th August 2007. Fresh westerly wind, sunny with occasional showers.

No sign of the Pied Fly, but at least one Spotted Flycatcher still present. Highlight of the morning goes to a Wood Sandpiper in the lagoons mid-morning, with a Greenshank. The sandpiper departed north over Marlow later. On the dam, a Wheatear was the first of the return passage, whilst two Sandwich Terns flew west at 8am. Off Mander, the juvenile Black and Arctic Terns were still loafing around the boom.

15th August 2007. Stormy, with strong westerly wind.

A Pied Flycatcher was an excellent find by David Hollins at the north end of the dam in the scrub mid afternoon, together with three Spotted Flycatchers.

7th August 2007. Light southerly wind, cloudy with sunny spells.

Two Black Terns (an adult and a juvenile) and two juvenile Arctic Terns were off Mander CP mid-morning, whilst a Greenshank was in the lagoons along with a Little Ringed Plover and two Common Sandpipers. Yesterday, three Common Scoters were off Mander CP.

7th August 2007. Sunny, warm with moderate westerly.

A juvenile Mediterranean Gull was in the roost this evening, plus at least 12 Yellow-legged Gulls and over 300 Lesser Black-backed Gulls by 8pm. Two adult Dunlin were on the dam and two Redshank flew west at 7.45pm.

6th August 2007. Sunny, warm with moderate westerly.

A female Scaup was an unexpected, but not unprecedented find in Gaynes during the evening of the 3rd August, but had moved on by the next morning. On 6th August, a juvenile female Peregrine was over the dam and a Snipe was present in the lagoons, the first I have seen this autumn. Large numbers of gulls are coming in to roost now, including several hundred Lesser Black-backed and many Yellow-leggeds.

29th July 2007. Sunny, warm with moderate westerly.

Two Sanderling were on the dam mid-evening, along with three Dunlin, a Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper. At Plummer a Green Sandpiper was present with a Little Egret. In the lagoons, three Green Sandpipers.

24th July 2007. Sunny, warm with light southwesterly.

Four Sanderling were on the dam first thing, but three departed leaving a single with a Dunlin and a Common Sandpiper.

23rd July 2007. Overcast and cool, with sunny breaks in evening.

The Green-winged Teal was still present mid-evening in the lagoons.

22nd July 2007. Sunny, warm with light southwesterly.

Find of the day goes to Mark Hawkes, who standing next to me at the lagoons, casually said, "I've got a Green-winged Teal"! Sure enough, the third for Grafham was swimming nonchalantly around in front of us with half a dozen Teal. The bird had started moulting and had replaced the white flank stripe on the left hand side with a neat column of brown feathers, with only one white feather visible when the bird stood up. On the left side, the white flank stripe was still obvious. The wing bar was distinctly buffy and the grey body feathers appeared dark. The head pattern was indistinguishable as it was in moult. A great find!

Other birds today included three Black-tailed Godwits on the lagoons until they departed mid-morning, a Sanderling and a Dunlin on the dam, plus three more Dunlins earlier. At least one Green Sandpiper was in the lagoons and a Red Kite was over Littless Wood. A single Black Tern was still showing off Mander Car Park late morning.

21st July 2007. Wet and cool.

Eight Black Terns dropped in ahead of a downpour early evening, with one staying until dark. Earlier, a Knot and two Turnstones had been seen, plus a Curlew over, and a Sanderling on the dam.

18th July 2007. Overcast, cool with light southwesterly wind.

Two adult Dunlins were on the dam first thing and a Spotted Flycatcher was showing well near Mander Car Park mid evening.

17th July 2007. Cool with fresh southwesterly wind.

Eleven Whimbrel were a fine sight at 7.30 this morning, heading south low over Mander Car Park.

16th July 2007. Muggy and warm.

Three adult Dunlins were in the lagoons in the evening, plus four Little Ringed Plovers and a couple of Yellow-legged Gulls.

15th July 2007. Warm and sunny.

A Little Egret was at Plummer Car Park, a kingfisher was in the lagoons and a Hobby was perched in a dead oak near Littless Wood mid morning. Several Yellow-legged Gulls and a single Great Black-backed Gull were loafing on the reservoir.

14th July 2007. Warm and sunny.

A Turnstone had replaced yesterday's Sanderling on the dam in the morning. In the evening, the bird had gone, being replaced by single adult and early juvenile Dunlin.

13th July 2007.

A Sanderling was on the dam.

11th July 2007. Cloudy, cool.

Grafham continued it's run of mid-summer Manx Shearwater records, with a fine individual being found by Chris Orders mid morning. The bird eluded observers all day until I refound it this evening sitting in the middle of the reservoir off Hill Farm. This is the first record since one that stayed for over a week from the 21st July last year. A Common Sandpiper in the bay near Hill Farm was the only other bird of note in a quick look.

8th July 2007. Warm and sunny. Westerly wind.

Little Ringed Plovers have successfully fledged three young on the lagoons. A second summer Yellow-legged Gull, three Common Gulls and 50 Black-headed Gulls pre-roosted in the lagoons this evening. Little else of note, except for a Kingfisher in Gaynes this morning.

3rd July 2007. Sunny spells and huge thundery downpours. Light westerly wind.

Little of note since the excitement of the 24th June until today when a drake Common Scoter turned up at the east end. It was still present in the evening, hanging out of Plummer with the local Coots and Tufties. Along the dam were two Common Sandpipers with a Black-tailed Godwit in the lagoons.

24th June 2007. Overcast with a bit of rain.

After a very quiet couple of weeks, with a pair of Grey Partridges the only birds of note, and a report of a Hoopoe received two weeks after the sighting, today Grafham came back to form. As I walked along the south end of the dam, I flushed a handful of gulls off the dam wall, two of which flew past me. One bird was a Black-headed and the other had slate grey and black wings, black hood and a black bill; a stonking second summer Laughing Gull! It cruised low over the water tower and round on to the northern section of the dam where it appeared to land. I put the news out and then spent the next hour or so watching it feed on a dead trout. Occasionally it would have a fly around, and a couple of times it came close over head. It departed at 10.30 and hasn't been seen since. If accepted this will be the second record for Cambridgeshire and Grafham Water. The bird was in adult-like plumage, but had worn brown inner primaries and some dark marks on the tail, indicative of second summer. After the first record last November, this bird showed much better and presented another opportunity to get this species on to personal Cambridgeshire lists.

Later, a Red Kite finally got itself on my garden list, flying lazily over mid-afternoon, while two or three Green Sandpipers in the lagoons (thanks Mark) were my first of the year.

12th June 2007. Muggy and warm, moderate westerly wind, hazy cloud with sunny intervals.

Last night's two Black Terns had moved on. Among the large flock of Greylag and Canada Geese at Marlow were single Bar-headed, Pink-footed and Barnacle Geese. Yesterday, a Spotted Flycatcher was on the northern edge of Littless Wood, where three young Tawny Owls were calling a few days ago. Three Yellow-legged Gulls were loafing around the reservoir mid-afternoon.

13th May to 5th June 2007.

Two weeks in Scotland is the reason for the lack of news. The beginning of June has brought a small flurry of Aythya ducks on to the lagoons, with approximately 30 Tufted Ducks and a small number of Pochards. Among these a fine drake Scaup was a surprise find for Mark Hawkes on the 3rd (still present today) and a drake Lesser Scaup look-alike hybrid. The rarer species, which would have been a first for Grafham Water was excluded on size, amount of black on the bill and the mantle, which was too dark and finely vermiculated. The main highlights during the last couple of weeks of Maywere two Sandwich Terns, a Black Tern and a small number of Turnstones and Sanderlings.

12th May 2007. Breezy (SW) and changeable.

A Sanderling was on the dam with two Dunlin. Two or three Arctic Terns were around the site at lunchtime.

11th May 2007.

26 Dunlin were on the dam early morning, one of the largest flocks of waders I have seen there, along with three Common Sandpipers.

10th May 2007. Breezy (SW) and changeable.

A Turnstone was on the dam in the morning, but had gone by mid-afternoon. The Wilson's Phalarope had finally departed and was remarkably refound later on the Nene Washes, near Peterborough.

8th May 2007. Windy (SW) cloudy with showers and sunny spells.

The adult female Wilson's Phalarope was still in the lagoons.

A Sanderling appeared on the dam late afternoon and was still present in the evening. Little else of note.

7th May 2007. Overcast and raining (at last), SW wind.

The adult female Wilson's Phalarope was still in the lagoons.

Mid-afternoon, Mark Hawkes and myself had a good look round the reservoir and Mark pulled out a Little Tern among four or five Arctic Terns off Mander CP, my first ever at Grafham Water, and the first at the site for two years. Unfortunately, the bird headed straight down the reservoir and was lost heading east. Otherwise, quite quiet, with a Hobby over Littless and three Great Black-backed Gulls, the only other birds of note.

6th May 2007. Mild, SW wind.

All change on the wind direction at last! The adult female Wilson's Phalarope was still in the lagoons all day, but was a bit more mobile and had moved to the next lagoon back by early evening. Other birds today included at least one Arctic Tern still over the reservoir, and a smattering of common waders including Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Common Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover. Turtle Doves seem to be slightly commoner this year, with at least four in the lagoons, one by the Perry playing fields and a couple at Marlow. A Hobby over Perry mid afternoon was the only other notable bird.

5th May 2007. Cool, overcast, light NE wind.

The adult female Wilson's Phalarope was still in the lagoons. Two Whimbrel flew over Mander CP mid morning and the Wheatear and Ringed Plover were on the dam. Three Arctic Terns showed well near Church Lane late morning.

4th May 2007. Cold at first, sunny spells later. NE wind.

A Greenshank in the lagoons was my first of the year. I quickly headed over to the dam to see a Whimbrel that Colin Addington had just found. Colin headed over to the lagoons and not only saw the Greenshank, but also found a stonking adult female Wilson's Phalarope! This is only the second ever record for Grafham and one of only a handful ever in the county. Five more Whimbrel flew north over the reservoir at 2.30pm, followed by a Bar-tailed Godwit half an hour later. On the dam the Wheatear was still present along with a Common Sandpiper whilst on the water was my first Barnacle Goose of the year. Up in the woods the Early Purple Orchids which appeared for the first time last year, were flowering nicely in Savages Wood and nearby in Littless, several Adder's Tongue Ferns (see photo below) were showing on the edge of the ride. Both species have appeared in response to the excellent management work by Wildlife Trust warden, Matt Hamilton, and his volunteers.

3rd May 2007. Cold, with a chilly northeasterly wind. Overcast.

A Wheatear was on the dam this evening, possibly the same bird that was seen yesterday. Three Arctic Terns showed well off Marlow this evening too.

1st May 2007. Sunny all day with a fresh easterly wind.

A Spotted Redshank was an excellent find by Mark Hawkes in the lagoons this morning together with a Bar-tailed Godwit. In the evening, the male and female Blue-headed Wagtails were still on the dam, plus a male Wheatear.

25th April - 30th April, 2007. Generally warm and sunny with NE - E wind.

On the 30th a male Blue-headed Wagtail was on the dam in the evening.

4 Arctic Terns were seen on the 29th along with a single Golden Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit and a female Blue-headed Wagtail.

On the 28th, 50 Swifts were the only birds noted.

30 Common Terns were fishing along the dam early evening on the 27th, otherwise very quiet.

A female Wheatear was reported on the dam on the 25th, along with two Common Sandpipers> and an Oystercatcher>.

24th April 2007. Overcast, light rain, southery wind.

A fine adult Little Gull was with Common Terns off Plummer early morning. My first Whitethroat of the year was in the lagoons too and the Cuckoo was still present.

23rd April 2007. Overcast, light southwesterly wind.

Two Arctic Terns were among several Common Terns off the dam late afternoon, plus a Cuckoo and a late Snipe in the lagoons.

22nd April 2007. Cooler, light southwesterly wind.

A Marsh Harrier flew north mid-morning, but there was no sign of yesterday's Ring Ouzels. Four Little Gulls and a couple of Arctic Terns were over the reservoir, with a singing Reed Warbler and three Garden Warblers in the lagoons, and a Nightingale at Savages Spinney.

21st April 2007. Warm, light southerly wind.

Two Ring Ouzels were present near Marlow Car Park today. A fine male was found by Ray Presley mid-morning and then whilst a small group of us were watching this bird, I noticed a female hop out of the same hedge on to the grass! Several Swifts overhead were the first of the year, whilst a Garden Warbler in the lagoons, a Whitethroat at Church Lane and a singing Nightingale at the Dragonfly Pond were also the first records of the year. Other birds of note included two Arctic Terns late afternoon, and single Dunlin and Little Ringed Plover in the lagoons.

20th April 2007. Low cloud at first, lifting to reveal a warm sunny afternoon.

A single Dunlin on the dam early morning.

19th April 2007. Warm, light westerly wind.

A Common Sandpiper was on the dam this morning. Two Common Scoters were a nice surprise at the west end early evening. They were last seen at 8.10pm drifting towards Marlow. Still lots of gulls in the roost, but nothing of interest, except a couple of Yellow-legged Gulls.

17th April 2007. Cooler, cloudy early on then clearing. Fresh northerly wind.

A single Arctic Tern showed well during the evening on the north shore near Church Lane, along with three Little Gulls, which included one adult and two first summers. Later, three terns were seen distantly which could all have been Arctics. Also, a couple of Common Terns around plus two Yellow-legged Gull and a Cuckoo was heard briefly near Grafham by David Hollins.

16th April 2007. Hot all day with a light northerly wind.

Three Common Terns first thing. The pair of Oystercatchers reappeared in the lagoons and there are now several Sedge Warblers and plenty of Lesser Whitethroats around the site.

15th April 2007. Foggy at first clearing late morning to reveal a hot, sunny day with a light easterly wind.

Five Common Terns were the first of the year for me, whilst a single Goldeneye in Littless and a Redwing near Dudney were remnants of the winter.

14th April 2007. Foggy at first clearing late morning to reveal a hot, sunny day with a light easterly wind.

Well, after a quiet morning, I went out this evening and was delighted to see a group of 12 Little Gulls heading east along the reservoir (c6.40pm). They appeared to be mostly adults with at least a couple of first summers. They disappeared off over Marlow car park. A little later at c7.10pm, a dark shape flying across the reservoir caused some consternation among the gulls, and on closer inspection I was amazed to see a dark phase adult Arctic Skua chasing a Black-headed Gull! The skua soon gave up the chase, circled over the water at the east end of the reservoir and then headed off east northeast. Fantastic - my first spring record at Grafham! Little else of note, apart from seven Snipe in the lagoons, along with the resident Yellow-legged Gull with his Lesser Black-backed partner.

Morning: Two Lesser Whitethroats, three Sedge Warblers and two House Martins were around the reservoir, but despite lots of migrants elsewhere, little else of note was found.

10th April 2007. Cloudy with sunny spells and a light westerly wind, dying out at dusk.

The first White Wagtail of the year was on the dam this morning and the pair of Oystercatchers were still in the lagoons mid evening.

9th April 2007. Sunny and warm, with cloud setting in about teatime, with a light westerly wind.

First thing this morning, I was amazed to find a Glaucous Gull sitting among the gulls off Mander. This was rather unexpected as they have been thin on the ground this winter, and on a warm April morning was hardly what I thought I might see! Unfortunately, the bird was sat at quite a distance, but it remained until 9.30 allowing the Grafham regulars to see it. It then flew off, but was relocated in the ploughed field where it showed until mid-afternoon. This is the first Glauc at Grafham for a couple of years.

For me however, the best was yet to come, as whilst watching the Glauc, I heard a call I had last heard on Fair Isle last October, and looked up to see a Tree Pipit flying over head! A scarce bird in Cambridgeshire, this is a Grafham and a Cambs tick for me.

Other sightings around the reservoir today included the first two Yellow Wagtails of the spring, on the dam, plus a Little Ringed Plover and a Redshank there early evening, whilst in the lagoons a pair of Oystercatchers arrived late afternoon. The male Yellow-legged Gull was loafing on the boom early evening, protecting his female Lesser Black-back. More Willow Warblers were in evidence with at least a dozen singing around the site.

8th April 2007. Sunny and warm, with little wind.

Several Willow Warblers around the site today, but little else of note.

7th April 2007. Cloudy at first, with sun later and a light NE wind.

At last, the first Willow Warbler of the year was singing in the Wildlife Garden this morning, with several Blackcaps around the site, plus six Sand Martins in the lagoons and the wing-tagged Red Kite over Littless mid-morning,

6th April 2007. Warm and sunny.

A Curlew was present in the lagoons early morning, along with a single Swallow near Plummer and two Redwings and a Redpoll.

5th April 2007. Cold, with light northeasterly wind and sunny spells.

A Red Kite was seen over Savages late afternoon.

4th April 2007. Cold, with northeasterrly wind and sunny spells.

A drake Scaup was seen off the north end of the dam and then in Gaynes on Sunday 1st, but not since. Yesterday evening, a smart adult Yellow-legged Gull was loafing in the lagoons. Today, two Little Ringed Plovers were on the south end of the dam. Otherwise, this northerly wind seems to be blocking most summer migrants.

29th March 2007. Cold, with northeasterrly wind and sunny spells.

The Little Ringed Plover was still on the dam today, along with an Oystercatcher.

29th March 2007. Cold, with slight northerly wind and showers.

A summer-plumaged adult Red-throated Diver was a great find for Colin Addington off Marlow at 12.15pm. The bird was watched on the calm reservoir, before it flew off west. It was last seen heading past the sailing club. Despite searching, it could not be refound and it was assumed it must have departed. A Little Ringed Plover on the dam was the first of the year, and a fine adult summer plumage Mediterranean Gull was in the roost.

27th March 2007. Fog at first, warm and sunny with a light SW breeze later.

Despite the good spring weather, no new spring migrants were in evidence in a quick look round before and after work. A Herring Gull eating a large toad (?) in the lagoons was the only notable sighting.

25th March 2007. Sunny and warm.

A Merlin flew over Marlow and then off towards Grafham village mid-morning. There was no sign of yesterday's Fulmar.

24th March 2007. Cold, overcast with strong northerly wind.

A Fulmar was present on the reservoir this morning, presumably a result of the strong northerly winds over the last few days. As usual, it was frequently harrassed by the local gulls, which made it quite easy to relocate. Colin Addington reported eight Black-tailed Godwits flying over the lagoons at 9am.

18th March 2007.

Grafham's fourth (including the adult Kumlien's) Iceland Gull, a second winter/summer was in the roost from c5.10pm. Five Sand Martins were over the lagoon shore. The WeBS count was very poor, with less than 1000 birds recorded.

17th March 2007. Still, cool, sunny early, quickly becoming cloudy and misty.

The first Sand Martin of the year was at Gaynes Cove yesterday afternoon. In Littless Wood this morning, several Chiffchaffs were in full song plus two Siskins, a Nuthatch and several Bullfinches.

15th March 2007. Still, cool, sunny early, quickly becoming cloudy and misty.

Single Dunlin and Ringed Plover in the lagoons and two singing Chiffchaffs were the only birds of note on a misty March morning.

A Little Owl was calling early morning near Manor Farm.

Some common birds around the reservoir at the moment.

Above left, a pair of Shelducks, above right a group of Ruddy Ducks, below left a female Gadwall and below right, a male Shoveler.

13th March 2007. Still, sunny.

A Swallow over Manor Farm early afternoon, was my earliest spring record ever.

A Curlew flew east at 7am, whilst a Blackcap was in full song in my neighbour's garden in Perry. Little of note on the reservoir, apart from a loafing second-summer Yellow-legged Gull.

9th March 2007. Moderate Westerly wind, sunny and mild.

A classic Grafham day! A Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was calling at 06.30 near Manor Farm in Perry, but could not be found despite searching. Shortly, Colin Addington found 14 Brent Geese on the same patch of water near the dam where I saw a pair back in January. Whilst watching the geese, three Avocets flew in low over the reservoir. They flew around for a while before landing out on the reservoir! This is something I have never witnessed before. Later, Colin relocated them in the lagoons.

7th March 2007. Moderate SW wind, sunny.

A Chiffchaff in the lagoons was my first sighting of the year, and two Red-legged Partridges in the field over the road from Perry skatepark was also. Still quiet around the reservoir, with three three Yellow-legged Gulls among a large gull flock harrying the feeding Cormorants of note. The Common Sandpiper was present yesterday near the harbour.

1st March 2007. Moderate SW wind, sunny.

Still very quiet, with two second winter/summer Yellow-legged Gulls around the dam the only birds of note in a quick look round before work.

20th Febuary 2007. Mild, still and overcast.

Two adult Mediterranean Gulls were in a large gull roost off the sailing club this afternoon. One bird had 2/3 of a black hood, the other just a dark ear patch.

19th Febuary 2007.

Three Red-crested Pochards were present near the sailing club today, plus a Black Swan.

18th Febuary 2007. Mild and still first thing, with sunny breaks.

An adult Kumlien's Gull was a great find by Mark Hawkes in the roost off Mander this afternoon. Although distant, the breeding plumage adult had pale grey bars on the closed primaries and a suggestion of a dark eye, although this was difficult to prove. Two Curlew were flying around calling too.

181 Black-tailed Godwits flew east at c10am and were later found at Paxton Pits. This is potentially the highest count at Grafham Water. Earlier, a Curlew flew east over Church Lane. The morning's WeBS count was slightly up on last month, with 2,100 birds counted (1700 last month). Counts included 332 Great Crested Grebes, 192 Wigeon, 139 Teal, 245 Mallard and 35 Snipe. Also of note was a single Water Rail in the lagoons, a Nuthatch in Savages and three Redpoll. Plenty of birds are now singing/drumming, including Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Stock Dove, Dunnock, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit and Reed Bunting.

16th Febuary 2007.

A Barn Owl was over the road near Perry West Wood at 6pm.

10-11th Febuary 2007. Raining on 10th with SE wind, sunny and mild on 11th with SW wind.

Very little of note. A large gull roost was present but very distant and with poor light. The only birds of note have been a couple of Yellow-legged Gulls and two leucistic Black-headed Gulls.

8th Febuary 2007.

Two Grey Plovers were reported flying northeast this afternoon (Mark Hawkes). Yesterday, a Little Egret was in Gaynes first thing, three Pintail were present along with a fine count of 16 Goosander (Mark Hawkes).

5th Febuary 2007.

Still at least two Pintail on the reservoir, plus up to five Goosander and a couple of presumably Lesser Redpoll over Mander CP first thing.

4th Febuary 2007.

3 pairs Mandarin, 15 Pintail, 4 Goosander, 30 Ruddy Duck (Mark Hawkes).

3rd February 2007.

30 Pink-footed Geese flew northwest and 2 Caspian Gulls were in the roost (Richard Patient).

28th January 2007. Mild, cloudy, northwesterly wind.

A Little Egret which had been seen in Gaynes Creek by Colin Addington on Friday was present at midday in Dudney Creek. Here also were three male Mandarin and a male Goosander. Between 50 and 100 Golden Plover and c500 Lapwing were feeding in winter wheat to the north of Littless Wood, with 215 Lapwing seen flying northwest over the reservoir mid-morning, presumably heading towards those fields. Two Yellow-legged Gulls, nine Shelduck in the lagoons and 14 Linnet on the north shore near Church Lane, were the only other birds of note.

27th January 2007. Mild, westerly wind.

Two Pintail were in Gaynes Creek mid-morning and nearby a Yellow-legged Gull was loafing around. Otherwise quiet. A Grey Plover was a good find for Mark Hawkes on 23 January.

22nd January 2007. Northerly wind, sleet showers and sunny spells, cold.

Two Dark-bellied Brent Geese were a nice surprise when I looked across the water from the north end of the dam this morning. The last record was of a single, also early morning in January, on 30th. David Hollin arrived a little later to look for the Brents, but instead of the geese, he found 12 Whooper Swans, an even rarer visitor to Grafham Water. These too soon departed.

21st January 2007. Sunny, with fresh SW wind. Becoming cloudy mid-morning.

Who stole our swans? A very quiet WeBS count revealed not a single Mute Swan on the reservoir, the first time this has occurred in many years. The few highlights include a good count of over 70 Snipe in the lagoons and seven Goosander. Duck numbers were very low with only 132 Tufted Duck (cf 951 on January WeBS last year), 394 Coot (785 last January), 206 Mallard (491 last January) and 139 Teal (469 last January).

20th January 2007. Sunny, with fresh SW wind.

A drake Goosander off Gaynes Point, plus a first winter Caspian Gull and a second winter Yellow-legged Gull off Mander CP first thing, were the only birds of note in a quick scoot round this morning. Later, two Caspian Gulls, 18+ Pintail and a report of a Red-throated Diver from Savages Creek were present in the afternoon.

19th January 2007. Sunny, with fresh SW wind.

39 Black-tailed Godwits flew northwest mid-morning.

15th January 2007. Cold, sunny with little wind.

The adult Iceland Gull was in the roost distantly from Mander Car Park. Also present were a second winter Caspian Gull and a couple of Yellow-legged Gulls. Elsewhere, a Long-eared Owl was seen at dusk in Littless Wood.

14th January 2007. Colder, with clear skies and sunshine. Light SW wind.

Three Mediterranean Gulls, two adults and a first winter were in the roost off Gaynes Point, along with a first winter Caspian Gull and three Yellow-legged Gulls. Six Redshank were in the lagoons.

13th January 2007. Mild. Moderate SW wind.

Very quiet, with little reported from the roost.

12th January 2007. Mild. Strong SW wind.

The adult Iceland Gull came in to roost at about 4.30pm.

11th January 2007. Overcast at first, with heavy rain, followed by sun from mid-afternoon. Strong SW wind.

An Iceland Gull came in to roost in front of Valley Creek hide. Also of note, one first-winter Caspian Gull, a couple of Yellow-legged Gulls and a very dark first-winter gull, which I think may have been a very dark argentatus Herring Gull. Following a report of some Tree Sparrows near the feeding station, I staked it out for a couple of hours without success. However, plenty of House Sparrows, Greenfinches, Chaffinches, Great Tits, Blue Tits and Coal Tits were around the feeders.

10 January 2007. Overcast at first, then clear, with strong SW wind.

Two Caspian Gulls, a first winter and a second winter, were seen by Mark Hawkes in the roost, along with three Yellow-legged Gulls.

7 January 2007. Overcast at first, then sunny spells, with showers later. SW wind.

Two adult Mediterranean Gulls were in the roost, plus a couple of Yellow-legged Gulls. 38 Lapwing and 115 Great Black-backed Gulls were counted.

6 January 2007. Raining all day, little wind.

The highlight of a thoroughly wet day was finding a fine first winter Iceland Gull in the roost. The bird arrived early and was present for a time with only about a dozen gulls. Earlier, a couple of Mandarin were still in Littless Creek and the over-wintering Common Sandpiper gave itself up for my yearlist near Marlow Car Park.

5 January 2007. Mild and cloudy with sunny spells. Light SW wind.

Two Mediterranean Gulls (an adult and a first winter) in the roost, plus a couple of Yellow-legged Gulls were the only birds of note today.

4 January 2007. Cloudy with sunny spells. Strong NW wind.

The roost of large gulls was huge this evening with several thousand birds close in to the western end of the reservoir. Although the roost started well, the light became bad by about 4pm and with the wind swinging more to the northwest, viewing was difficult. We only managed a handful of Yellow-legged Gulls from the masses. Nearby a couple of Mandarin were in Littless Creek.

3 January 2007. Overcast. Strong SW wind.

A fine first winter Caspian Gull showed well in the roost from Mander Car Park (see photo here), plus a first winter Mediterranean Gull and four Yellow-legged Gulls. Two adult gulls appeared in the roost at 4.20pm, bother resembling Iceland Gulls. The first seemed to have some grey on the primaries, whilst the second had pure white wing tips. However, due to the poor views in the fading light, I could not conclusively identify them.

5 Goosanders off Mander CP, 4 Ruddy Duck in Littless Creek, plus c50 Redwings in the scrub between Valley Creek and Dudney Hide were the only birds of note this morning.

2 January 2007. Sunny with cloud. Strong SW wind.

5 Goosanders were in the harbour first thing, comprising three females and two males, so there is probably at least six birds around at the moment. An escaped and very vocal Cockatiel flew over Mander Car Park early morning too, heading west. A Weasel by the gate at the harbour was my first sighting of this species at Grafham Water.

1 January 2007. Sunny and bright. SW wind.

5 Goosanders was the biggest count of the winter so far. In the lagoons, two Water Rails and ten Fieldfare were of note.


2006


29 December 2006. Overcast, with rain. SW wind.

Four Goosander is the highest count of this second winter period. The reservoir has been very quiet of late, with a handful of Pintail, one lingering Common Sandpiper and a Merlin being among the birds of note.

8 December 2006. Light southerly wind, sunny.

An Egyptian Goose arrived as predicted from Paxton Pits and was showing well near Plummer mid-morning. This species is rare at Grafham Water. Two adult Caspian Gulls, nine Yellow-legged Gulls and an adult Mediterranean Gull were in the roost. There was no sign of the Great Northern Diver today.

8 December 2006. Calm, overcast.

9 Little Gulls came into roost, an excellent count for December. A Great Northern Diver was seen from the dam and then near the sailing club, but could not be relocated later.

7 December 2006. Very strong westerly winds still.

Three Leach's Petrels were found at Grafham today. I found the first near Church Lane at 8.15. It seemed healthy, flying around and attempting to feed. However, 45 minutes later it became exhausted and I rescued it from the shore in the bay west of Church Lane. Whilst doing this, Mark Hawkes and Colin Addington found a second bird nearby. This too was washed up on the shore. Both birds sadly soon died. At death, one weighed 34g the other 38g. Both appeared to be adults in active primary moult. One had a distinct bar down the centre of the white rump patch, the other had a pure white rump with black feather shaft streaks. Amazingly, a third bird was found by Owen and Monica Marks also near Church Lane. This bird was last seen near Savages Creek, late morning.

Also present today was a ringtail Hen Harrier, a very scarce bird at Grafham Water and a great find by Colin Addington. Also, a single adult Kittiwake was present and a juvenile male Peregrine flew past mid-morning.

6 December 2006. Very strong westerly winds still.

A drake Goosander has been the only bird of note from several early morning vigils in the hope of jamming in on a Leach's Petrel. There has been stacks along the west coast and a few turned up inland today...

3 December 2006. Very strong westerly winds, with heavy rain overnight.

In the roost, an adult Kittiwake, two Caspian Gulls, an adult and a first winter, plus one or two adult and two first winter Meditarranean Gulls and nine Yellow-legged Gulls. No sign of the melanistic Black-headed Gulls this evening. Mark Hawkes reported a drake Pintail earlier.

2 December 2006.

Two Arctic Skuas were a great find by Mark Hawkes at 12.30. They didn't hang around but I managed to get on to them before they disappeared WSW. This is only the third December record, the previous being in 1991 and 1985. In the roost, two Caspian Gulls showed well off the harbour, plus two melanistic Black-headed Gulls, an adult Meditarranean Gull and five Yellow-legged Gulls (three adults, a second winter and a first winter).

25 November 2006. Strong southerly wind, heavy rain overnight.

Despite extensive searching, the Laughing Gull was not seen again during the week. Scrutiny of the gull roost did reveal a number of Mediterranean Gulls, a third winter Caspian Gull and a small number of Yellow-legged Gulls. A drake Red-crested Pochard arrived towards the end of the week and was present in Valley Creek this morning. Several Redshank are around the shoreline, plus a Common Sandpiper on the dam. A Mistle Thrush was heard singing this morning in Mander car park, which was slightly unseasonal!

19 November 2006.

A quiet WeBS count revealed only a fourth winter Caspian Gull on the boom off the harbour.

Later, I wandered down to the harbour again, to do the gull roost. To my amazement, a few minutes later I was watching an adult Laughing Gull, which, if accepted, will be the first for Grafham and the first for the county. I got the news out and about a dozen birders managed to see if before dusk.

12 November 2006.

An adult Kittiwake was present first thing, before drifting off. A Curlew also flew over. Otherwise, very quiet.

28-9 October 2006.

29th- Mediterranean Gull - 1 2nd winter off the dam early morning

Red-crested Pochard, 1 imm male still in Gaynes

Goldeneye, 2 females in Valley Creek

Snipe, 2 in the lagoons

Yellow Wagtail - late first winter, possibly a Blue-headed, still on the dam. 28th - Scaup imm drake in the lagoons.

18 October 2006.

The most interesting report in the last two weeks was a Rock Pipit, the first for the year, on the dam. Otherwise, little of note has been recorded.

Today, a late Turtle Dove was seen in the lagoons. The water level has been raised in the lagoon in front of the hide which will hopefully benefit the ducks in the coming months.

4 October 2006. Sunny, becoming overcast later, with showers and west wind.

A Stonechat was moving between the fence at the foot of the dam and the dam wall,at lunchtime, plus a Turnstone nearby on the shore. In Gaynes Cove, an eclipse male Red-crested Pochard was dam showing well, plus two Ruff and the lingering Black-tailed Godwit. Elsewhere, a Hobby was seen drifting along the north shore and several House Martins and Swallows were still present. Four Dunlin were the only other birds of note.

3 October 2006. Sunny, light westerly wind.

Colin Addington reported a probable Slavonian Grebe in the mouth of Savages Creek, although it was not seen later.

1 October 2006. Heavy thundery showers, plus sunny intervals and a strong southerly wind.

A Sandwich Tern and six Common Terns arrived mid-afternoon ahead of a large squall. A probable Slavonian Grebe was seen distantly from the Fishing Lodge, mid-afternoon. Despite searching, it could not be relocated from Hill Farm on the north shore, possibly due to the unfavourable light. Yesterday's Caspian Gull was still lingering, along with a couple of Yellow-legged Gull.

30 September 2006.

A Honey Buzzard was reported by Mark Hawkes flying west at 10.30am. In addition, a fourth winter Caspian Gull was also seen and the Scaup and Curlew Sandpiper was still present.

28 September 2006. Cool and overcast, 19 degrees, Light SW wind. 8.30-9am

A Stonechat was found by Colin mid-afternoon on the stone jetty near Marlow CP. This species is scarce at Grafham. Nearby, the male Scaup was present.

Colin Addington reported a Tree Pipit calling at Plummer CP at 8.30am. Nearby, in the Gaynes-Plummer Point area, one Curlew Sandpiper, one Black-tailed Godwit, two Ruff and a Redshank. Five Dunlin flew by and appeared to land over at Marlow, near the north end of the dam.

27 September 2006. Mild and sunny, Moderate SW wind. 6pm

A juvenile male Scaup was a good find by Colin Addington on the reservoir near the stone jetty at Marlow CP. See photo here. Over at Plummer, the Black-tailed Godwit was still present, along with the juvenile Curlew Sandpiper and 2 Ruff. A Black Tern had been seen earlier too.

26 September 2006. Sunny, but cool, with a light westerly wind. 6pm

A juvenile Little Gull was feeding around the east end of the reservoir early evening. Two Dunlin on the shore at Marlow but no sign of any Little Stints. Nearby, over 200 Canada Geese was a huge count for Grafham Water. The flock contained one Barnacle Goose and three hybrid young. At Plummer, a juvenile Black-tailed Godwit, the juvenile Curlew Sandpiper and a Ruff.

25 September 2006. Wet, calm. 6pm

Two Black Terns were flying around off Mander CP. At Plummer, three juvenile Little Stints, plus a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper and a Ruff. One Common Sandpiper was on the dam.

24 September 2006. Sunny and warm with a southeast wind.

Three Curlew Sandpipers were present today (two still on the shore near Dudney and one new bird flew from Mander and was found later on Plummer Point). Four Little Stints still at Marlow, with 4 Dunlin. Also around, 9 Redshank, including a party of 8, plus 5 Ringed Plover, a Common Sandpiper and a Hobby.

23 September 2006. Sunny, easterly wind, becoming misty mid-morning.

Highlight of the day was the autumns first Merlin, a male, which shot over Perry at dusk, heading east. During the day, four Little Stints were still near the north end of the dam, plus five Dunlin at Marlow and two Blackcaps in nearby bushes.

19 September 2006. Warm and sunny with a brisk westerly wind.

A Spotted Flycatcher was noted feeding from waterside bushes on the approach to Dudney this evening.

18 September 2006. Overcast at first, clearing by mid-morning, southwesterly wind.

The Pectoral Sandpiper was still present around Valley Creek, along with two juvenile Curlew Sandpipers, which are the first for Grafham this autumn. At the other end of the reservoir, four juvenile Little Stints were also new in, feeding along the shore at the north end of the dam. Also seen today, one juvenile Black Tern , a first winter Spotted Flycatcher at Marlow, seven Dunlin, two Ringed Plovers, a Common Sandpiper, up to 10 Yellow-legged Gulls and a probably first summer Caspian Gull.

17 September 2006. Misty at first, then clear and warm, light southwest wind

The Pectoral Sandpiper was still present on the shore near Dudney Hide. An adult Black-necked Grebe was in the mouth of Dudney Creek early evening.

14 September 2006. Moderate SW wind.

A juvenile Marsh Harrier was seen flying over the north shore early evening. One Black Tern was the only other bird of note.

12 September 2006. Overcast, spitting, slight southeast wind

19 Black Terns was a good count, brought in by the southeast wind. In addition, four Common Terns were present, plus two Common Sandpipers, and four Wigeon. A Weasel was seen at Marlow.

11 September 2006. Mild and sunny, Moderate SW wind. 6pm

The Pectoral Sandpiper was still showing well, on the shore between Dudney Hide and Valley Creek. Also seen today, 360 Great Crested Grebes, a Black Tern, a female Pintail, 6 Wigeon, at least 6 Buzzards, two Hobbys, two Dunlin, a probable first summer Caspian Gull and over 6 Yellow-legged Gulls. At Hill Farm, a Weasel was present on the cycle path.

9 September 2006. Hot, sunny, 26 degrees. Light SE wind.

The Osprey was seen first thing with a fish heading west.

The hard work finally paid off today when whilst watching two Sandwich Terns from Marlow, a wader flew in over Mark Hawkes and myself, calling. I identified it as a Pectoral Sandpiper. The bird was lost as it headed over the reservoir, but I refound it an hour or so later on the shore near the mouth of Dudney Creek. It showed well with a Ringed Plover until dusk. This is the ninth record for Grafham Water and the first since 1991. See photos here.

Also present today, a single juvenile Arctic Tern, a juvenile Black Tern, five Dunlin and a Greenshank.

8 September 2006. Mild and sunny, Moderate SW wind. 6pm

The Osprey showed in the morning at 10.00 and then again in the afternoon at 3.40. Also seen was a juvenile Marsh Harrier, up to 6 Buzzards, two Nuthatches, several Jays and two Greenshank.


All material on this website is copyright Jono Leadley 2007