Friday, 31 August 2012

30th August 2012

This news is late in coming mainly because I was visiting family and went to bed not feeling very well, but i have been down to Westport today but we'll start with the mornings news, thats no longer news for how late I'm posting this but still it is as follows: 

2x Shovelors one eclipse male and one female-type, 50+ House Martin and 47x Tufted Duck

Now then, onto my visit, which was a noisy one as i'll explain in this post. So as soon as i got onto the lake there was a Buzzard calling overhead, walking around the boating lake there were 12x Canada Geese and 2x Greylag Geese all being very noisy and squabbling over bread! Over to the main lake and no change in the Tufted Duck count still standing at 47, there were 6x Great Crested Grebe who were also giving a few calls, this including the two juveniles, haven't seen the other 2 juveniles for a while now so it's looking like that brood may have failed. 

Just 3x House Martin over the lake and 2x Swallow both species calling very frequently, and the Mute Swan family who didn't live up to their name as the two adults were calling to each other as they had been separated. I counted at least 250 Black Headed Gulls, 2 Lesser Black Backed gulls and a Juvenile Herring Gull turned up.

Into the reserve and straight away near the top pool there 7x Chiffchaff calling (that was just around the top pool) a group of tits which included 3x Long Tailed Tit, 2x Blue Tit and 4 x Great Tit, all of which calling, and a rare treat to hear a Willow Tit calling on the other side of the pool, first time i've heard it call for a few months, and i later caught up with it near the feeding tray by the top pool. Going down to the middle pool and i heard a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a further 5x Chiffchaff and a single Willow Warbler calling. A Bullfinch made a brief appearance before disappearing and down on the bottom pool there was 2x Moorehen. Back round on the railway side up towards the gasworks 2 Blackbirds alarmed and a red fox showing explained why. On the old gasworks there 2x Stock Dove both calling a Kestrel flew overhead towards the Main Road.

Finally, up onto the Sewage Works and this was the most fulfilling part of my trip with 2 sightings of Whitethroat ( A bird i never usually get to see) and 2 of the Blackcaps (one male, one female), Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Chaffinch could all be heard calling as well.  

No sign of the Shovelors when I got down, don't know where they disappeared to. 

But all in all a fantastic trip although no rarities an amazing 35 different species could be heard calling/singing around Westport today, (All of the above listed as calling + Magpie, Carrion Crow, Coot and Mallard, Robin and Wren)don't know where that ranks for other people for the time of year but I don't remember hearing that many species in one 2 hour trip outside of the singing season.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

29th August 2012

I couldn't get down today due to work commitments so the news comes from other people 

Peregrine Falcon first thing over top of main lake, Black-headed Gull c200 on the playing field, Tufted Duck x45, Great Crested Grebe x5 (Inc 2 juvs), Swift x23 over top of main lake, Willow Warbler one in small wood at back of the boating lake, House Martin c30 flying south, TreecreeperGreat Spotted Woodpecker,the Immature/Eclipse Male or Female-type Shoveler moving from the main lake to the bottom pool in reserve, Willow TitCommon Sandpiper on the boating lake. (CW) 

I'll be down tomorrow probably after about 1-ish so anybody who is curious as to who I am drop me an e-mail and we may just bump into each other.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

28th August 2012

News today comes in 2 parts, first part is not my sightings, second part is mine.

So Fem-Type or possibly immature/eclipse Male Shoveler on the Main Lake, 10+ Swift, 50+ House Martin, Kingfisher, on the Sewage Works 2x Jay, 2x Whitethroat, 5x Blackcap, and a few Chiffchaff's.

Here is a blown up picture of the Shoveler from Chris Waring 

Right then, onto my visit which took place between 14:30 and 16:30. I started on the main lake and there was c32x Tufted Duck.
I counted 79x Black Headed Gulls 2x Herring Gull and 2x Lesser Black Backed Gull. Further round on the canal side of the lake, the Great Crested Grebe family (2x Adults and 2x Juveniles) were Disturbed by another Great Crested Grebe, who got a little too close for the parents liking, and quickly gotten rid of. 

Into the reserve and to start off all seemed rather quite, but there were at least 7x Long Tailed Tits 3x Blue Tit and 3x Great tit, continuing in and onto the Top Pool just a single BlackBird and a single Chiffchaff with a few Robins singing and a single Moorhen on the pool. From there i went straight over to the Gas Works, passing a juvenile Moorhen on the Brook. On the Gas works was 1x  Stock Dove and although not rare at Westport a Kestrel flying round and perching on the power line provided a much needed year tick for me! 

So down towards the middle pool and a Willow Tit was on the lower branches of a tree, an elderly Gentleman stopped me in the reserve telling me there was a lesser spotted woodpecker on the dead trees, however i think he was mistaken because when i got there and looked a single Great Spotted Woodpecker was there, but maybe worth keeping an eye out for the lesser just in case he was right!

Back out onto the main lake and there was no sign of any House Martins, Sand Martins or Swifts, and only 2 Swallows.

Also i received this Photo forwarded to me from Pete Lunt of 3 Peacock Butterflies.

Cheers for reading guys.

Monday, 27 August 2012

27th August 2012

I haven't been today I have plans for an early visit tomorrow.

News from Westport so far today includes:

Kingfisher, 48x Tufted Duck 12x Swift early morning rising to 30-40 by afternoon, House Martins and 8x Sand Martins.

Below is a picture of a Peregrine Falcon with a Feral Pigeon taken by Pete Lunt on Wednesday 22nd August 2012

Peregrine Falcon With Feral Pigeon By Pete Lunt

Sunday, 26 August 2012

26th August 2012

Hello there, i have been able to get to Westport today HURRAY, it was quite a nice evening bit breezy but sunny all the same, most of the paths were rather muddy so if you haven't already found out for yourselves,  wear walking boots or wellies! Visit from 5pm - 7:30 pm.

So i started off walking up along the canal, needless to say not much happening on there, i carried on towards the sewage works and other than a few Long Tailed Tits with a few Blue/Great Tits mixed in, rather dull. So around into the reserve and again it was rather quiet, although there must've been 1000 Robins singing to my thoughts, although its much more likely there were only around 20 that were moving about. Sitting by the top pool there was a Moorhen and a family of Mallards with Ducklings around 2 - 3 weeks old. To my disappointment no sign what so ever of the Reed Warblers, so there's a good chance they have left now. Continuing round there wasn't much to report, 20+ Chiffchaff and around 12 Willow Warblers were about as good as it got, other than when i bumped into Phil Jones who pointed out a Great Spotted Woodpecker on the bottom pool, not a Westport rarity but always nice to see.

So out on to the main lake, and the there were 4 Great Crested Grebes, with 2 Juveniles which are growing and doing very well, hopefully I'm not gonna put the kiss of death on them but its looking good for them at the moment. I also counted 32 Tufted Duck which is down on the mornings count of 46 and the female Pochard was still in with them.

Now I did see the Mute Swan pair however only 1 Cygnet with them, apparently one Cygnet is now in the RSPCA's care.

And thats about it to be honest, Cheers for reading

Also this morning there was a Common Sandpiper and a Kingfisher

Friday, 24 August 2012

Fundraising idea

As many of you know, the staffordshire wildlife trust have a conservation group at Westport lake, in which they practically help conservation by litter picking and Reed bed plantations. This blog gets an average of nearly 1000 page views per month and i thought that if i added the google affiliate links and adsense to the blog we may be able to help them and the RSPB, Who, by going about their cause not only help our wildlife but also help us get some good ticks against many rarer birds on our year and site lists, obviously all of what they do costs money. They rely on us to supply that to them, so i thought, if i could provide a service whereby relevant products were displayed, that anyone who visits this site could buy things they need such as books, reports, scopes and binoculars knowing that a healthy slice of what they pay for these items is headed straight back into the sites we all love to visit so much, so please do the poll on the right hand side, as this idea will take time on my part and i'd like to know if it's worth it before I invest in it.

Thanks guys.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

23rd August 2012

Looking forward to tomorrow when I can finally get down to Westport but luckily the news keeps flowing thanks to the twitter site:

20+ Swift, 30+ Swallow another increase to 51 Tufted Duck and for anyone who hasn't got a tick next to the Little Grebe on their Westport year list a juvenile was on the main lake this morning.

Also i'd like to thank everyone who has been viewing this blog daily, since i took it over the site has climbed over 100 places on the fatbirders top 1000 list, as you can see on the right.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

22nd August 2012

Friday will be my visit, need wait til payday to get some new bins because mine are broken, but westport news is as follows:

Female Pochard, another increase to 45x Tufted Duck 17x Swift 13+ Chiffchaff, 2x Willow Tit in the reserve, 3x Greenfinch with 2x Goldfinch

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

21st August 2012

Today's news for Westport Lake:

Female Pochard with 34x Tufted Duck 18x Swift and the Barnacle Goose Remains.

p.s. please comment any thoughts you have as this will improve the blogs search engine ranks and allow more people to view the birds and news from westport, as well as increasing traffic and ranks for the links listed on this site. I am happy for comments containing links to other birding websites to be left too, but they will be checked for relevance. Thankyou.

Monday, 20 August 2012

20th August 2012

No visit from me but the news is here again.

Female Pochard, 10x Swift, 41x Tufted Duck, 10x Chiffchaff 8x Great Crested Grebe inc 4x juveniles,,c20 Swallow,2x Coal Tit by boardwalk path, 2x Blackcap by boardwalk path, 3x Willow Tit by boardwalk path, 2x Stock Dove on old gas works, 2 Reed Warblers(one juvenile), and finally a count of 66 Black Headed Gulls

Thanks for reading guys.

19th August 2012

Another day in which I have been unable to visit but the news keeps coming, so here is a quick round up of the days "action".

This morning appeared to be quite slow with 2x Swift, Whitethroat and 15x Chiffchaff heard

However the afternoon perked up a bit by the looks of things with 4x ChiffchaffFamily of 6x Bullfinch - back of boating lake Buzzard - overhead, Barnacle Goose4x Mute Swan inc 2 cygnets33x Tufted Duck, 6x Great Crested Grebe inc 2 juvenilesWillow Warbler - middle of reserve, Willow Tit2x Red-eared Terrapin - bottom pool, Kingfisher - bottom pool, 4x Stock Dove - old gas works, 14x Swallow 

Thanks for the news guys.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

18th August 2012

I'd like to start this post by asking anyone who follows this blog to be patient with me, i'm still learning as far as bird watching goes, I'm only 20 and only started really doing it about a year ago, even though I've had a huge interest in it from when i was 12. So I will wrongly identify birds from time to time, but i took over this blog because I really enjoy it and Westport Lake is my favourite place to go. If anybody has any tips for me please share them, as with most people the last thing i want is to be wrong! 

So News for the day is:

Barnacle goose, 20x Swift 15x House Martin 35x Tufted Duck 2x Willow Warbler 15+ Chiffchaff, Also a friend of mine said he went and sat beside the top pool for 15 - 20 minutes mid afternoon and there was no sign of the Reed Warblers, whether they have now left or if they were just hiding away I don't know, so if someone could let me know that would be great.

I've also updated my with a piece on mammals focusing mainly on how to help Hedgehogs if anybody is interested.


Friday, 17 August 2012

17th August 2012

Due to work being kind enough to give me an 8 day stretch its gonna be a view days before i can get down to the lake, so again just a relay of Nick's sightings as listed on Twitter


A rainy morning for Nick but slightly better than yesterday birds wise with 1x Common Sandpiper 15+ House Martin, 20x Swift, The Tufted Duck steadily increasing with a count of 38, and the Barnacle Goose remains.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

16th August 2012

I haven't been able to get to the lake today so just a quick relay of Nick's sightings as listed on Twitter which most of you will have already seen.


Nick described his visit as disappointing and quiet with 18 Swift 39 Tufted Duck and the Barnacle Goose.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

14th August

My visit today was a rather late one from 6:30pm - 9:00pm, and this made any rarities rather unlikely, especially given the high visitor numbers. However it was a beautiful evening and i thought why not have a look. 

So I started by walking in along the canal, where there was very little happening except for a Blackbird feeding a single juvenile. On the main lake there was 6 Great Crested Grebes including 2 juveniles, 17 Black Headed Gulls including 4 juveniles, 29+ Lesser Black Backed Gulls, including 3 juveniles. Also a good count of 21 Tufted Duck were sat in the middle if the main lake. Just 2 Mute Swans and 2 Cygnets around the reserve side of the lake.

So into the reserve and on the top pool 2 Reed Warblers were singing, as well as there being at least 2 others around. A juvenile Moorhen was using the Lilly Pads as stepping stones across the pool and a family of Mallards swam across with young that were 2 days old at the most. Continuing around the reserve 2 Nuthatch were in the trees near the Sewage Works, as well as a Willow Warbler and a Willow Tit. There was also a Treecreeper calling in the reserve but I couldn't locate it.

That pretty much sums it up, Thanks for reading guys. 

Just as an unrelated side note, i also run a blog called giving back to nature, . At the moment it only has 3, quickly cut and pasted articles on there from the RSPB just to give it some content but that will also get updated with original stuff when I can.

Monday, 13 August 2012


Hello there guys, my name is Dominic and I will be taking over this blog from Chris who has kindly given me his permission to do so. I do hope that I can keep the same quality of posts up as him.

So a little bit about me and why I want to do this blog.

I've lived just up the road from Westport lake most of my life and it holds quite a special place to me, it's where i first really got into birds and nature, courtesy of my dad who took me up there when I was just 12 to show me the nests of birds, and i was hooked. Since then I have visited the lake relatively frequently and seen what a haven it is for wildlife, even if it is surrounded by factory's, shops and roads. Given it's large visitor numbers you wouldn't expect such a diverse range of birds, insects, wild flowers, trees and mammals.

Anyway this post holds no sightings like Chris' were it was just me introducing myself, but in future they will be full of news from the lake so long as i continue to have the times to visit it.

Thankyou guys, hope i don't disappoint


Friday, 3 August 2012

A Massive Thank You

I have decided to retire the Westport blog after nearly three years of blogs, it's really to concentrate on the Staffs Bird News blog which as you know I run with Russell Toon and Nick Smith.

The blog has really taken off recently and even more so now that we have the Twitter site up and running, and with more stuff happening on the blog over the coming months plus extra work commitments I've decided I really cannot do this blog justice anymore.

So a massive thank you for all your support, for your sightings and your photo's, I know you all follow the Staffs Bird News blog so it's not goodbye just "see you on the other channel".

And please remember to follow Westport on Twitter at @WestportLake1 (apart from this week as Nick's on holiday) but any biggies will be on the Staffs blog anyway.

Bye & Thanks