Worcestershire Record No. 24 April 2008 p. 30


John Clarke

Kemerton Lake
Water levels remained high throughout this period and in late March work was carried out to improve the sealing of one of the pools to the west of the footpath. The permissive path to the East Hide is now open until October (no dogs allowed). Work is progressing towards the opening of a second path (for ‘Friends of Kemerton’) to the west and this small, circular route will pass through part of the Kemerton Arboretum, passing other parts of the ongoing Leaf Litter trials.

1st October – a male Pintail, 92 Greylag Goose, 274 Canada Geese, 215 Lapwing, 14 Shoveler.
11th October – 11 Skylark, 4 Stonechat, Water Rail, Raven, 330 Canada Geese, 192 Greylag Geese (apparently the highest ever count in Worcestershire), 14 Little Grebe. The record number of Greylag Geese was beaten again on 14th October with 195. Also a Little Egret and two Swallows.
24th October – 269 Canada Geese, 189 Greylag Geese, 12 Shoveler, two Water Rail, 18 Snipe, Little Owl.
31st October – 61 Lapwing, Stonechat, 21 Teal, Kingfisher and 14 Shoveler.
3rd November 2 Grey Wagtail
8th November - c500 Canada Goose, c50 Greylag Geese, 120 Mallard, six Meadow Pipit and a Woodcock.
14th November - Starling roost estimated at 1400 birds while 84 Reed Bunting came into roost near the observer. 10 Siskin in a nearby plantation. On the lake there was a Goldeneye, 42 Wigeon, 145 Mallard, 13 Shoveller and a Ruddy Duck with two Water Rail calling.
This winter was good for Woodcock records with birds reported from more than 15 sites across the estate.
4th December - 60 Wigeon, 110 Greylag, nine Snipe, four Jack Snipe, a Goosander and 24 Siskin.
By 10th December Siskin numbers had increased to 50 in the woodland with 13 Snipe, 5 Jack Snipe and Water Rail on the reserve.
13th December 39 Teal, 125 Wigeon, 11 Mute Swan. 12 swans on 12th and 25 Pochard. There were several sightings of Goldcrest and Treecreeper in nearby woodland.
There were 21 Snipe there on 18th.
21st December - 126 Coot, 50 Teal, 22 Shoveler, 48 Mallard, 15 Wigeon and 7 Little Grebe.
2nd January a male Smew and a male Red-crested Pochard were present. 80 Wigeon on 5th.
A total of 11 Cormorants were there on 9th January – also 85 Wigeon, 2 Gadwall, 36 Mallard, 23 Pochard, 39 Tufted Duck, 42 Snipe and 15 Jack Snipe.
On 8th February - 79 Tufted Duck, 21 Pochard, 46 Wigeon, 33 Teal, 5 Shoveler, 5 Gadwall and 80 Coot. Also there a pair of Red-crested Pochard, 40 Snipe and 3 Jack Snipe.
13th February 8 Shoveler.
17th February two Oystercatchers
19th February a Peregrine hunting.
21st February - 60 Wigeon.
26th February 39 Pochard
15th March 6 Sand Martin and 3 Curlew
A Siskin was seen in the nearby woods 30th March

Elsewhere around Kemerton
A few sightings of Stonechat throughout the winter. A flock of Lapwing – variously reported as 150-200 birds was reported occasionally in the Carrant Catchment area.
Possibly two reports of Short-eared Owl in the Bredon Hill area.
Regular sightings of Barn Owl across the estate with two found dead during the winter.
28 Brambling feeding under beech on Bredon Hill 26th November.
During January, February and March mixed flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing were feeding in an orchard and parkland at Kemerton – eg c.400 Fieldfare and c.200 Redwing 6th January, c.500 Redwing and c.200 Fieldfare on 23rd February.
A Goldfinch roost at Aston Under Hill, first reported last winter had increased to c100 birds.
A Lesser-spotted Woodpecker was feeding on peanuts in a Kemerton garden on 23rd January
Several groups of around 7-8 Bullfinch were recorded – usually in association with areas containing Blackthorn scrub.
A pair of Blackbirds began nest-building on 27th February – the nest was complete but empty on 19th March, female sitting on 26th.
First calling Chiffchaff reported on 6th March. Pair Brambling in woodland at Kemerton 12 March.
A Red Kite was seen in the Beckford area 18th March.
First Bumblebees reported 12 January – Bumblebees and Honey Bees active 20th January.
Grey Herons are scarce in our area and it was sad and somewhat macabre to see (26th March) a dead bird that was suspended by one foot trapped in the cleft of a branch high up in a poplar tree, close to a nest previously used by Buzzard.

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

News of a new local nature reserve – Beckford Nature Reserve (formerly owned by Huntsmans Quarries Ltd and unofficially managed by local people) is now owned by a local community trust.
They have started a wildlife recording system and will be grateful for any records, which can be left in the hide, at the local stores and post office or on their website www.beckford-village.org . This small reserve has pools, scrub, trees, grassy areas, a geological SSSI and is an important site for solitary bees.

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