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Woolston Eyes Nature Reserve

An S.S.S.I. Managed by Woolston Eyes Conservation Group

Woolston Eyes Monthly Sightings


A fine start to the day and Derek Britch, Les Jones and I carried out the first common bird survey of the year on the northern half of No.4 bed. Totals were ; 2 Great-spotted Woodpeckers, 4 Jays, 33 Chiffchaffs, 3 Linnets, 13 Crows, 15 Song Thrushes, 21 Robins, 15 Wood Pigeons, 4 Lapwings, 12 Wrens, 2 Stock Doves, 7 Great Tits, 6 Dunnocks, 3 Blue Tits, 10 Blackbirds, 5 Jackdaws, 3 Cetti’s Warblers, 1 Bullfinch, 8 Fieldfares, 2 Chaffinches, 1 Greenfinch and 1 Wheatear, our first of the year. Also 5 Black-necked grebes on the west cell and a Sand Martin prospecting the north bank of the river near to a suitable nest site.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett


A series of visits during the last three days produced the following; 2 Great Black-backed Gulls and a juvenile at the locks, 6 Oystercatchers and about 30 Lapwings on No.4 bed; about 6 Black-necked Grebes on No.3 bed, plus 4 Sand Martins, the male Marsh Harrier, and a single Pink-footed Goose. On No.1 bed were 9 singing Skylarks, a Little Ringed Plover and two probable Meadow Pipits. Reserve totals included 53 Chiffchaffs, 231 Tufted Duck, 141 Coot, 50 Shoveler, 161 Gadwall, 97 Canada Geese, 21 Greylag Geese and 52 Pochard. These counts do not include the river which was not covered. Today I saw my first butterflies of the year; 2 male Brimstones and 2 Commas.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett


It was cool and overcast today, with no sign of the early Black-necked Grebe which has been around for nearly two weeks. Plenty of variety, though, with: 1 male Stonechat, 2 Marsh Harriers, 1 Jack Snipe, 1 Brambling, 2 Common Snipe, 2 Wigeon, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 Redwings. 1 Raven and 200 Pink-footed Geese. Photo of the view from the South Screen from Thursday. Cheers David (with Dan Owen, Helen Wynn, Brian Baird, Sue Haddock and Kelly Ainsworth)

Submitted by: David Bowman


It was a pleasant, early spring morning, with a light north-easterly breeze feeling cool out of the sun. There was little evidence of movement, other than a few Redwings heading east, though it shouldn’t be long before the lone Black-necked Grebe on No.3 bed is joined by a few more, which often arrive on the same southerlies which bring in the first Sand Martins. So, it was a morning of counting the hundreds of water-birds on Nos.3 and 4 beds, with 360 Teal, 73 Pochard and 105 Coot notable. The 250 Black-headed Gulls at the colony also provided plenty of entertainment, being regularly panicked by hunting male and female Marsh Harriers and by May their numbers should have swelled to well over a thousand. There were plenty of seed-eaters around, too, with 80 Chaffinches, 75 Greenfinches, 20 Goldfinches, 14 Bullfinches and 10 Reed Buntings spread between the feeding stations and the seed crop and as ever attracting the attentions of a couple of Sparrowhawks. Photo of a Mallard Cheers David Bowman

Submitted by: David Bowman


A cold day with some light showers and sunny spells but plenty of wildfowl. I covered the whole reserve including No.4 bed which was walked yesterday afternoon. Highlights included 571 Tufted Duck, 137 Gadwall, 158 Shoveler, 150 Coot, 129 Mallard, 79 Pochard, 29 Mute Swan, and 24 Shelduck. Also 86 Canada Geese and 10 Greylag Geese. A Common Gull was at the locks, a Grey Wagtail and 14 Lapwing on No.4 bed, A male Pintail was on the Loop while on No.3 bed one of the resident Marsh Harriers brought the wildfowl out of cover. 2 Oystercatchers were on one of the rafts.

Submitted by: Dave Hackett