A pair of Oystercatcher were there on 1st April. On 3rd 32 Tufted Duck, a pair of Pochard and 3 Shoveler were reported. Also a few Sand Martins, a Kingfisher and two Chiffchaffs. A family of Great-crested Grebe was seen on 8th. A Red Kite was seen in the area on the 14th (see also later). A Wheatear was there on 21st. The first Swifts were recorded on 25th April, by which time Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler had arrived. Cuckoo was calling at the lake on 3rd May but not reported subsequently. On 12th May 15 Black Terns and three Common Terns stayed for the day and two Common Terns were seen there on the 13th.
A pair of Oystercatcher bred successfully, rearing at least two young. However, attempts by Pochard and Shelduck failed broods of both species are thought to have been predated. Skylark, Lapwing and Redshank also bred. A Green Sandpiper and a pair of Teal were seen on 20th June. A pair of Reed Buntings was seen earlier in Spring but not later. A peak number of 26 calling Reed Warblers was counted. There were few sightings of Hobby this summer.
In late July passage birds were beginning to appear a Ringed Plover on 22nd, two Common Sandpiper on 28th, when a Little Egret was also present. A Little Ringed Plover was there on 31st. Spotted Redshank and Green Redshank were there on 18th August, 85 Teal were present on the 21st. In August there were sightings of more unusual geese an Egyptian Goose on 22nd and a Barnacle Goose and a Bar-headed x Greylag on 23rd.
In September on 5th a Dunlin, two Greenshank, two Ruff and a Temincks Stint were recorded. A Peregrine was hunting there on the 8th. In October an immature peregrine was seen on 17th and 73 Wigeon were present. On 28th four Grey Herons were resting on one of the recently cleared islands and a female Goldeneye, first seen a few days earlier, was still present. After a so far unexplained absence for several months there were a few Tufted Duck around. Also on the 28th, four Meadow Pipits, Ruddy Duck, nine Pochards and 12 Wigeon.
Members of the Worcestershire Recorders made recording visits in April and August.
Around 40 Snipe were flushed from an arable field on 8th April
A Red Kite was seen over Kemerton on 18th April. Barn Owl is thought to have attempted to breed in one of the estate barns.
For the first time in many years House Sparrows bred on the estate. Also a first: a Nuthatch bred in a trial nestbox, the first time in over 25 years that the author has had this species nesting in a box!
Twayblade Orchid appeared in a young plantation where the number of Broad-leaved Helleborines increased to 10. In another plantation a Polecat was seen with two kits.
A White Admiral Butterfly was recorded on 17th July only the second record for this species since 1983.
Chub, Perch and Brown Trout were recorded from a small stream on the estate.
A post-graduate student has carried out an estate-wide survey of small mammals, using Longworth traps. The survey took in examples of most wildlife habitats on the farm. The report is expected later in the year.
RECORDER, the database used by Kemerton Conservation Trust to store all wildlife records for the estate, has at last been brought up-to-date. All that remains now is to find ways of getting information out in a user-friendly form something that so far is proving difficult! Many thanks to Simon Wood at Worcestershire Biological Records Centre for his patience and support.
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