Worcestershire Record No. 17 November 2004 p.15


John Clarke


During last winter a flock of about 50 Redpolls were reported several times at Kinsham.

Roost counts at Kemerton Lake produced maximums of 20,000 Starling and 300 Reed Bunting. A flock of over 100 Siskin were feeding regularly in Alders there and later up to 50 were regular visitors to a garden in Kinsham..

Trials of winter feeding at the reserve drew in maximum counts of 40 Reed Bunting, 20 Yellowhammer, 20 Dunnock, 6 Tree Sparrows (first record for Kemerton Estate for 10 years), 25 Chaffinch, 15 Greenfinch and 1 Brambling.

Twelve pairs of Lapwing nested on the estate. A flock of about 80 birds (including about 26 juveniles) were at Kemerton Lake reserve at the end of the breeding season. This group is believed to represent the total Carrant Brook catchment area population – 27 breeding pairs were found. In late August, flocks of around 350 were recorded including one ‘albino’ individual, almost entirely off-white in colour.

Also of note breeding at the lake – one pair of Oystercatcher, four pairs of Redshank and three pairs of Skylark. Two pairs of Pochard bred successfully and it is possible that a pair of Shelduck attempted to breed. Up to 21 calling Reed Warbler were recorded and two pairs of Reed Bunting definitely bred.

Elsewhere on the estate, Barn owl and Nuthatch were both recorded regularly through the winter but no breeding was found.


A Barn Owl pellet from Kemerton Lake Reserve contained the skull of a House Mouse (per JWM)

Bryophytes and Lichens

Joy Ricketts, Tessa Carrick and Mark Lawley visited the lake reserve in February. Later, Joy came back on several visits to local orchards and found a couple of ‘firsts’ (lichens) for Worcestershire. It would be true to say that most of her records were new to Kemerton and to most of us accompanying her!


On 15th March there was a very large migration of Toads – seen by a local doctor returning home from an evening call. Several nearby residents turned out but dozens of Toads still became road casualties. Mysteriously, by morning not one corpse remained.


Slow Worm and Hornet, both found at Adrian Darby’s house, were the first records in the local area for many years.

Steven Falk visited the mining bee colonies at Kemerton Lake Reserve and stressed the importance of continuing the trial management of the colonies and of the monitoring by Geoff Trevis et al. He found 33 species of aculeate hymenoptera in the single visit and feels that the total may reach 100.

Elsewhere in the Bredon Hill area

A Kingfisher accompanied by at least one juvenile was seen regularly in late June/early July, along a small, local stream in Kemerton.

In Spring Harry Green received a report from Tony Herbert of several Stonechat “behaving territorially” on Bredon Hill. On 23 July two observers saw a pair at the same site with what they believed were two juveniles.

A Wryneck was reported as calling regularly in late May/June, from the edge of a Bredon Hill village. Later a bird was seen on dusk at several occasions – one evening it was sat on a house roof! Another report of a calling bird (heard once) was received from a second village.

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