Tuesday 13 August – Chew Valley Lake Leader: Mike Landen

It was a very pleasant August morning with plenty of sunshine, not too hot for walking, with no rain forecast and so it was not surprising that 33 members met in the main car park at Chew Valley Lake. We did a bit of birding from the car park and then moved to the dam wall, seeing Little Egret, Grey Heron, Pied Wagtail, Black-headed Gull, Wren, House Martin, Swallow and Canada Geese. We then walked through fields to the north of the lake and added a number of common species – Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Jackdaw and Green Woodpecker. Further along, we saw, or heard, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Bullfinch and at our coffee break Long-tailed Tits were seen and Goldcrest heard. At the end of Dumpers Lane we stopped on the road bridge which crosses the River Chew and three Mistle Thrushes were spotted at the top of a nearby tree. As we followed the footpath towards Knowle Hill, Collared Dove, Swift and Goldfinch were seen and we also saw our first Buzzard of the day, quickly followed by three more. A Jay was seen briefly. As we walked back along the lake between the two car parks we added Mute Swan, Herring Gull, Coot, Moorhen, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Cormorant, Gadwall and Dunnock. It was an enjoyable walk with a total of 40 species. It is interesting to note that the last time we did it, in December 2017, we had 57 species, highlighting the difference in the numbers seen in the summer compared to the winter. On the plus side Red Admiral, Holly Blue, Comma, Small Copper and Meadow Brown butterflies were seen as well as the caterpillar of the Vapourer moth. Thanks to Nick for keeping a record of birds seen. (Thanks to Mike for leading.) Mike Landen