John Clarke


During the first part of March Kemerton Lake (formerly Kinsham Lake) produced a Peregrine, the first Sand Martins (9th), 27 Snipe on the scrapes, nine Little Grebes, and a peak of 26 Gadwall. Later in the month four Little Gulls were recorded (adults, two juvs. on 18th), two Little-ringed Plovers arrived on 23rd, a Black-tailed Godwit was there on 23rd, and 6 House martins passed through on 30th.

Elsewhere a Goshawk was seen over a plantation on 14th and c.20 Redpolls stayed all month around the plantations

In April Kemerton Lake had records of the first Willow Warbler and two Egyptian Geese on 3rd; Common Sandpiper, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail and Swallow on 15th, a Cuckoo on 18th, first Whitethroat on 21st, first Reed Warbler - plus Bar-tailed Godwait and a Wheatear 0n 24th. On the 28th an Osprey was hunting and 29th saw Whinchat, Sedge Warbler in song and Lesser Whitethtroat.

Elsewhere, on the 4th five Redpolls were still present and a Nuthatch was watched nest building. A Grasshopper Warbler was singing on the 23rd and 29th. Little Owl nests were found at three sites.

In May at Kemerton Lake three Whimbrel and one Swift were present on 1st. A pair of Greylag hatched 4 young on 4th, and a Common Tern was there on 6th. two Turnstone, one Dunlin and two Ringed Plover turned up on the 8th. There were 4 Common Terns and a Sanderling present on the 13th. A single Garganey and a Wheatear were there on 15th, four Common Terns, one Arctic Tern, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Hobby were there on 19th. On the 21st a pair of Oystercatchers had two chicks and the 3-4 pairs of Lapwings had chicks whilst a pair of Skylark fledged at least two chicks. On the 30th a Red Kite landed briefly before being mobbed by other birds.

In June at Kemerton Lake a Honey Buzzard flew over on the 2nd, Peregrine and Hobby were seen on 4th In June . Common Terns were seen displaying and mating on nesting platforms at Kemerton Lake on 14th. There was a yellow-legged gull there on 21st.

The autumn passage began with Common Sandpiper,, Greenshank, Dunlin and Redstart on 29th July. On the 30th a Turtle Dove flew over and Sedge warbler was foraging in the reeds. August was busy with a steady trickle of Yellow Wagtails and Common Sandpipers through Kemerton Lake Reserve. Green Sandpipers were there until end October. There was a Hobby there on 15th and 20th, five Barnacle Geese were there on 20th and numbers peaked at 14. two Grasshopper Warblers were seen foraging in Juncus on 20th..

There were three sightings of Ruff in mid-September, a Spotted Flycatcher was there on 13th and three Garganey on 18th. Later in the month large numbers of Snipe, pipits, Skylark and wagtails were moving through. A late Hobby was reported on 26th. On 5th October a Golden Plover was seen. On 15th an adult Little Gull stayed briefly, six Little Gulls and 5 Rock Pipits were there on 31st.

Elsewhere on the estate - the monitoring scheme recorded further increases in populations of Skylark, Yellowhammer, Song Thrush, Linnet, Whitethroat and Bullfinch.

Two Hobbys were hunting over Beggarboys on the 15thMay, the first Spotted Flycatcher was seen on the 16th, and Swifts were displaying around the church tower on 19th. A Barn Owl was found to be regularly roosting in a barn on the estate and later a nest was found in a nearby tree - the first breeding record at Kemerton for many years. A Turtle Dove was seen at a former breeding site. The Nuthatches brought at least two young to a garden bird table in Kemerton . On 25th September Siskin and Redpoll were moving through the estate woodlands. Crossbill were also heard there. By the 30th flocks of up to 50 Siskin were seen and groups of Siskin and Redpoll have been regularly recorded since then.

Large numbers of Holly Blues and Orange tips were seen across the estate throughout March-June. Although a number of other species seemed to be down in numbers the monitoring scheme found increased numbers of several 'brown' species along new grass margins. In one field, where Skippers had rarely been previously recorded, 50+ 'Small Skippers' were counted on one walk. An injured individual was captured and later found to be an Essex Skipper! This species and Brown Argus were also recorded at Kinsham Lake this summer.

Kemerton Lake Reserve produced Bee Orchid, Common Spotted Orchid and Pyramidal Orchid and over 50 spikes of Common Broomrape.

Elsewhere, 95 Pyramidal Orchid flower spikes were counted along Westmancote track

John Day visited Kemerton to discuss a number of queries on botanical records since 1983 and efforts will be made to confirm any still considered to be 'doubtful'. The visiting botanists recorded several new species including Echium plantagineum (Purple Vipers Bugloss) at Kinsham Lake

During cutting operations in autumn large numbers of Harvest Mouse nests were found at Beggarboys wetland reserve.

A Polecat was caught in a rabbit trap and released unharmed.

John Day, Harry Green, Roger Maskew, John Meiklejohn, John Partridge, Bill Thompson and Geoff Trevis all made visits. Kemerton Conservation Trust is grateful for the great interest shown. The mining bee colony at the lake remains the focus of great interest. A full survey of the various colonies on 19th April found 40,000 holes - though a violent hailstorm on the 18th had obliterated some of the holes!
Buzzard food
With reference to the saga of. 'What do Buzzards eat?' Overbury estate reported that one morning in late June a Buzzard had been noticed feeding for some time on a 'kill'. On further investigation it turned out to be a Grey squirrel which was still warm - so it is assumed that the bird killed it.

We are still trying to get Recorder 2000 up and running - once this is achieved, updated discussions will take place with John Partridge about the transfer of data onto the Worcestershire Biological Records data base.


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