Worcestershire Record No. 23 November 2007 p. 41


John Clarke

Kemerton Lake:

After reporting in the last issue that it was now more than four years since the lake filled to capacity, the summer weather saw the lake overflow and indeed, the surrounding areas all subjected to major flooding.

Both Snipe and Jack Snipe were seen in April – the snipe record on 15th May being particularly late.

Of 10 Barnacle Goose reported 2nd April seven had darvic rings – traced to a ringing programme in East Anglia (ringed 24/7/05). A Peregrine was hunting there on the same date (far fewer records this year).

Very few Yellow Wagtails reported on passage. In late March/early April a pair of Red-crested Pochard were seen mating but did not stay to breed.

A pair of Oystercatcher reported on 6th April stayed and bred successfully at second attempt.

More than 40 Toads were rescued from a sluice on 18th.

A first summer Iceland Gull seen 21st April (with another sighting 17th May), a Cuckoo was calling on 22nd, 6 Swift, a male Wheatear and 3 Common Sandpiper on 23rd. By this date the first Lapwing clutches had been laid with up to 5 pairs attempting to breed but all failed due to predation by corvids and gulls.

In May a pair of Shelduck attempted to breed but were harassed by gulls. A brood of 9 Pochard ducklings were predated by gulls within 24 hours. The gull problem increased with up to 500 birds resting/bathing at times.

Other birds recorded on passage – a Whimbrel on 18th May, two Dunlin on 19th, a Turnstone on 23rd.

Highest counts of - Sedge Warbler five singing males, Reed Warbler 27 singing males and Reed Bunting three territories.

A Snipe is believed to have summered – only rare sightings of Redshank with no breeding attempt this year.

A pair of Great-crested Grebe fledged one – then two young. A post-fledging flock of c150 Lapwing in mid-July may have included birds from farther afield (although a part count found 20 pairs in the Carrant Catchment Area.

Six Ruddy Shelduck were seen on 12th August.

Hobby was a common visitor throughout the summer (final record 14th September) and Raven was reported regularly from the area.

10 Snipe arrived 4th Sept and as the month progressed other sightings included six Meadow Pipits, five Shoveler, Pochard, Wigeon and Teal. A late Reed Warbler was seen on 20th, when a Chiffchaff was calling. On 24th five juvenile Ruff dropped in briefly. Coot numbers rose rapidly in September, peaking at around 175.

Elsewhere around Kemerton:

There were several sightings of Slow-worms and numerous reports of Grass Snake this year.

The first Swallow arrived in territory 6th April (see also late breeding). A Cuckoo was calling at Bredons Norton Meadows on 21st.

On 8th May a pair of Water Shrews were watched as they collected nest material in Kemerton. On 12th a pair of Grey Wagtails were feeding three fledged young in Kemerton with a possible second pair in the area. Also in May, a Cetti’s Warbler was reported singing near Kemerton. During wider surveys of farmland birds in the area, Whitethroat, Linnet and Yellowhammer were very common. So too were Skylark (occasionally in high density) and Meadow Pipit. A pair of Wheatear bred successfully.

A Barn Owl chick was seen at one site 29th June.

A local volunteer carried out a trial survey of Glow-worms on Bredon Hill.

Late breeders - A song Thrush was feeding a young fledgling 21st August, a brood of 3 Swallows fledged 17th September and stayed around the nest area until 25th.

On 28th August a Red Kite was watched for some time as it drifted over farmland between Kemerton and the Lake.

A dead Water Shrew was found near the Lake 22nd September.

Kemerton Conservation Trust is particularly grateful for the records provided by contributors to the recording scheme.

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