Worcestershire Record No. 20 April 2007 p. 22


John Clarke

Kemerton Lake

335 Black-headed Gull were counted on 4th October. On the same date Kingfisher was seen for the only time this winter. 30 Shoveler were counted on 8th. On 11th of the month an immature Peregrine was present. In late October and early November Water Rail were calling from two areas. Up to 15 Skylarks were seen regularly on the rough ground - 38 were there on 2nd January and 40 on 6th.

In early December the Starling roost began to build up and eventually peaked at around 5,000 in January. The spectacle attracted a number of local people as the birds displayed before dropping in to roost in the reed beds. Not enough observers were available to count roosting Reed Bunting but based on counts at one reed bed and observations at others it is estimated that in excess of 300 were present.

This winter Canada Goose numbers were generally lower although for a short time in December up to 450 roosted there.

On 14th December 20 Wigeon were seen. Small groups of Pochard, Wigeon and Teal were present for most of the winter. Shelduck and Shoveler were also present.

Five Gadwall were reported on 26th.

On 20th December a pair of Scaup were present. Similar reports in January but in February (last report 25th) only a male was seen.

Five Grey Herons were seen roosting on an island on 8th February (and several other dates). On the same date a Woodcock was flushed from neighbouring woodland.

8-9 Gadwall were seen regularly in February – there were eight there on 5th March

On 20th February a Red Kite was watched circling above a neighbouring plantation.

On 26th February five Redpoll and c50 Siskin were seen in nearby Birch trees.

During feeding trials up to 50 Reed Bunting, 50 Linnet and two Tree Sparrow were counted.

Maximum winter counts of Snipe were estimated to be <40. A Jack Snipe was there on 23rd March.

Three resident Roe Deed are causing considerable damage to young trees in the area.


During the winter there were several records of Polecat across the estate, including three caught and released (phew!!) from a rabbit trap (cage) in a large Kemerton garden.

On 19th Two Woodcock were flushed from alongside a small stream. Two were seen in a plantation on 3rd December.

The mild weather in December produced some unusual records. A bees nest in an old Oak was very active on the 11th and two wasps was seen flying on 23rd. On February 9th both bumblebee and wasp were seen flying at Kemerton.

Siskins were feeding in a Kinsham Garden during December/January. A Lesser-spotted Woodpecker was seen at a garden feeder in Kemerton 2nd January.

On 6th January a Merlin killed a Blackbird in a garden on the edge of Kemerton village where it was watched as it fed.

On 21st January a Hawfinch was feeding at a bird table in Kemerton (on black sunflower seeds). Although there was never more than one bird present at any time both male and female birds were seen. The birds were still feeding there daily in late March.

The winter bird feeding trials began in December and soon attracted good numbers of finches, Linnet and Reed Bunting. Numbers of Reed Bunting and Linnet both peaked at around 50. Tree Sparrow was seen on a couple of occasions but monitoring was difficult – a field of rape next to the site attracted hundreds of Woodpigeon and a ‘gas gun’ scarer also disturbed the smaller birds. A neighbouring farm set up a similar feeding trial and was successful in attracting both Reed Bunting and Tree Sparrow. It also attracted c50 Yellowhammer. Back on Kemerton land – a large mixed flock of birds were reported feeding regularly in a game strip on Bredon Hill. On 6th February c30 Reed Bunting, c20 Yellowhammer and c20 chaffinch were estimated before a Sparrowhawk attack scattered the flock.

A Blackcap was singing in a Kemerton orchard on 6th February.

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