Monday, 16 September 2019

September 16th

Astbury Mere
Meadow Pipit x 5
Song Thrush x 3
Swallow x 2
Buzzard x 4
Chiffchaff  good numbers.

September 15th

Astbury Mere
Meadow Pipit
Reed Warbler x 3
Collared Dove
Grey Heron
Reed Bunting
Jay x 3

Saturday, 14 September 2019

September 14th

Astbury Mere
Meadow Pipits x 30 (f/o)
Grey Wagtail
Goldfinch x 12
House Martin

Bent Lane
Tree Sparrow x 21
Grey Wagtail
Meadow Pipit

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

September 10th

Blackcap x 5
Reed Warbler x 2 separate broods
House Martin x 2
Chiffchaff X 8
Little Grebe
G S Woodpecker
Raven x 2
Coot x 91
Tufted Duck x 21.

Mow Cop
Stonechat still present. (DW).

Monday, 9 September 2019

September 9th

During the past week a pair of Raven , Kingfisher , twelve Chiffchaff , Snipe , Whitethroat , Tawny Owl , Teal ,  House Martin , Swallow , seven Blackcap and still an adult Reed Warbler feeding two fledglings.
Also three Common Darter and Southern Hawker.

Mow Cop 08/09/19
Wheatear x 6
Redstart x 1
Stonechat x 1
Tree Pipits x 2
Spotted Flycatcher x 1
Grey Wagtail x 1.......(AG).

Mow Cop 09/09/19

Child's  Lane 09/09/19
Sand Martin x 6

Thursday, 15 August 2019

August 15th

Common Sandpiper mid-morning on sailing club shore line. (AG)

Sunday, 11 August 2019

August 11th

Four Goosanders flew over early morning also Stock Dove , Willow Warbler , four Chiffchaff , four Goldcrest and single Sand Martin and Jay.

Flooded Field Child's Lane
133 Greylag Geese
62 Canada Geese

Child's Lane Flood August 9th
98 Lapwing
5 Teal
6 Mallard
2 Stock Dove
Large numbers of Greylags and Canada Geese.

Child's Lane Flood August 4th
Greenshank (flew off 7-10).
109 Canada Geese

 Late afternoon A Yellow Legged Gull was pick up by Mark and photographed by Tracey.
Yellow-legged Gull photo by T Stubbs.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

August 3rd

Eighteen Swift over early morning .

Flooded Field just south west of the Mere.
6 x Greylags
185 x Canada Geese
95 x Lapwing
100  x B H Gulls
18 x L B B Gulls.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Aug 2nd

Kingfisher again early morning. We now have our full complement of Butterflies with Small Copper being the last on the list. That's all nineteen that we get each year , not unless we are lucky enough to have another Clouded Yellow the last being 2015.

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

July 31st

Kingfisher early morning possibly due to the high water levels along the rivers. Twelve Swift this afternoon also Goldcrest , Sparrowhawk , four House Martin and Buzzard.

Barn Rd
Hobby over water treatment works @ 17-30 (RB).

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

July 30th

Congleton Barn Rd
Raven over at mid-day (RB).

Astbury Butterflies yesterday .
Holy Blue x3
Large White
Meadow Brown
Small Skipper
Large Skipper

Sunday, 28 July 2019

July 28th

Another excellent find by Mark this morning during the heavy rain when at 6-40 this morning he found eight Common Scoter at the mere. Unfortunately they were flying around and only landed briefly before flying off in a South Westerly direction. Just south of us in Staffordshire good numbers of Common Scoters were being found with!
Blithfield Res  x 108
Westport Lake x 18
Gailey Res x 4
Tucklesholme x 1
Branston GP x 1

Friday, 26 July 2019

July 26th

Still very quiet at the mere early morning Treecreeper , Goldcrest , Jay , Bullfinch and Chiffchaff . Below a couple of images from few days ago taken by Tracey Stubbs.
Meadow Brown by T Stubbs.
Gatekeeper by T Stubbs.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

July 24th

Sixteen Raven flew over at 5-20 this morning , along with twelve two days ago. Also this morning Holy and Common Blue and Brown Hawker and Migrant Hawker.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

July 21st

Tracey Stubbs found our first Emperor Dragonfly this afternoon at Astbury , possibly over looked but never been recorded before at the mere.Also good numbers of Gatekeeper and Small Skipper Butterflies.

Friday, 19 July 2019

July 19th

Common Sandpiper again early morning on the sailing club beach , also Reed Warbler calling.
Black-tailed Skimmer female.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

July 18th

Things still very quiet around the mere bird wise , the Reed Warbler can still be heard calling early mornings. Also a good selection of butterflies are now on the wing , we have already had eighteen out of the nineteen species that get recorded annually , the only one missing is Small Copper . So if anyone sees one please drop us a text or better still a photo.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

July 13th

Bird wise it's still very quiet at the mere with all the resident species feeding their offspring and staying mostly out of site. The Great Crested Grebe seems to have at least two chicks , as they were seen on mum's back this afternoon. Also around Swallow, House Martin , Swift , Buzzard , G S Woodpecker and Jay. Butterflies are still showing well with Large White , Small White , Small and Large Skipper , Gatekeeper (12) , Meadow Brown , Comma(3) and Ringlet . A female Black-tailed Skimmer and possibly a Southern Hawker along with plenty of Azure Blue Damselfly. Shaded-broad Bar and Six-spot Burnet were a couple of the day flying moths noted. All photos below courtesy of Tracey Stubbs.
Large Skipper by T Stubbs.
Ringlet by T Stubbs.
Large White by T Stubbs.
Comma by T Stubbs.
Shaded-broad Bar by T Stubbs.
Six-spot Burnet by T Stubbs.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

July 11th

Congleton Area
Bent Lane
Tree Sparrow
Pied Wagtails x 8
Oystercatcher f/o
Reed Bunting
Stock Dove

Congleton Town Centre
Raven x 2 f/o
Swift x 40

Astbury Mere
Meadow Brown
Small Whites x 3

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

July 10th

No sign of yesterday's Common Scoter's. A single juvenile Grey Wagtail on the sailing club beach , also noted Grey Heron , 25 Tufted Duck , Goldcrest , Pheasant , Chiffchaff , Jay , single Swift and Two House Martin's. Afternoon saw the first Gatekeeper of the year along with Small and Large Skipper , Meadow Brown , Ringlet , Green-veined White , Speckled Wood and Comma.
Ringlet photo by Tracey Stubbs.
Small Skipper photo by Tracey Stubbs.
Gatekeeper photo by Tracey Stubbs.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

July 9th

Excellent find by Mark Stubbs at 5-30 this morning , finally rewarded for all his hard work and effort. Five Common Scoter on the mere , four drakes and a single female. They were still present mid- morning but we're being pushed around by the sailing boats. They were always distant when on the water but did come closer when flying around.
Common Scoter.
Common Scoter.
Common Scoter.
Common Scoter.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

July 6th

Reed Warbler in full song and Oystercatcher over.

Monday, 1 July 2019

July 1st

July 1st
Congleton Park
Two juvenile Goosander
Juvenile Dipper.

Astbury Mere
Jay , Buzzard , Swift , Common Toad , Smooth Newt , Meadow Brown,
Ringlet and Wood Mouse.

June 30th
Bent Lane
Whitethroat x 2
Oystercatcher x 2

Astbury Mere 29th
Willow Warbler
Reed Warbler
G S Woodpecker
Coal Tit
House Martin

Astbury Mere 28th
Red Admiral
Painted Lady
House Martin

Astbury Mere 27th
Small Skipper
Large Skipper
Meadow Brown
Speckled Wood

Astbury Mere 26th
Common Sandpiper

Brereton Heath CP 25th
Black-tailed Skimmer
Common Blue
Meadow Brown x 5
Painted Lady

Friday, 21 June 2019

June 21st

Reed Warbler still this morning along with single Nuthatch , Bullfinch and Jay. Butterflies include seven Meadow Brown , one Common Blue and the first Large Skipper. Also Southern Marsh Orchids are now out. (MS).

Brererton Heath
Painted Lady Butterfly

Large Skipper photo by Tracey Stubbs.
Southern Marsh Orchid photo by Tracey Stubbs.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

June 20th

Congleton Area
 Bent Lane
Yellow Wagtail
Yellowhammer x2 (MS).

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

June 19th

First Painted Lady Butterfly seen this morning by B Hicks. also Azure and Common Damselflies.
Yesterday three Meadow Brown , Common Blue and three Azure Damselflies.

Congleton Area
River Dane Congleton Park
Two juvenile Goosander MS.

Lime Hawkmoth on the path yesterday.

Monday, 20 May 2019

May 20th

Still nothing happening at the mere very quiet. A single Greylag this morning , Chiffchaff , Blackcap , two House Martin's and a single Jay. Holy Blue Butterflies in conservation area , and eight Smooth Newts in pond.

Congleton Area
Mow Cop
Hobby over early afternoon.

Congleton Town Centre
Raven over .

Wood Warbler still performing well.
Spotted Flycatcher
No sign of Redstart

Sunday, 19 May 2019

May 19th

Very very quiet at the mere , two Greylags over , Buzzard , 12 x Sand Martin's , 4 x House Martin's , Reed Warbler , Goldcrest singing .
Congleton Area
Bent Lane
Red-Legged Partridge

Mow Cop
Red Kite

The Cloud
Wood Warbler
Tree Pipit

Wood Warbler (Tracey Stubbs).
Wood Warbler (Tracey Stubbs ).
Wood Warbler (Tracey Stubbs ).

Saturday, 11 May 2019

May 11th

Eighteen Swift over the water this morning along with around 70 Sand Martin and 8 Swallow. Also two Greylag Geese flew over and Buzzard and Sparrowhawk noted.
This afternoon two Shelduck dropped in briefly , Raven and Kestrel over. Also noted Reed Warbler , Willow Warbler , Chiffchaff , Blackcap and Swift.

Congleton Area
Mow Cop
Little Owl
Garden Warbler
Wheatear x 2...(AG)

The Cloud
Wood Warbler
Tree Pipit..(MS)
Graylag Goose.

Friday, 10 May 2019

May 10th

Early morning before work 200 plus Sand Martin , 2 Swift , 10 Swallow and several House Martins noted amongst them .
Sand Martin.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Black Tern's

Yesterday's Black Tern was a nice addition to the year list as they are not annual, its only the third record since 2006. . It's always nice to see these elegant marsh terns flycatching over the water wherever you are , and to see one at Astbury is extra special . There was a good passage throughout the Midlands yesterday and with the weather conditions being just right it was almost certain that we would get one sometime during the day. Rob Black called it right and decided to pay a quick visit at lunch time and was rewarded with this elegant bird along with three Arctic's which is only our third record at the site for this species. Two of the records coming this year as two weeks previous Mark Stubbs found two birds feeding over the water mid afternoon on 27th April.

May 9th

No Terns today but five Swift and three Lapwing over this morning. And this afternoon in the rain 300 plus Sand Martin's , 10 Swallow and 12 House Martin's. Also noted GS Woodpecker which is quite scarce at the site.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

May 8th

One Black Tern and three Arctic Terns at mid-day (R Black). Also 200 plus Sand Martin's , Kestrel and Garden Warbler. Mid-afternoon and  all four Terns are still present, along with nine Swift and a single Willow Warbler. Quiet an eventful day with eight Common Terns coming in this evening . With dull conditions and fading light the images below are the best I could do.
Black Tern.
Black Tern.
Black Tern, with three Commons.
Common Terms.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

May 7th

Common Sandpiper early morning and around 60 Sand Martin's.

Congleton Area
The Cloud
Wheatear x 3
Willow Warbler x 3
Linnet  x 4
Raven x 2
Mandarin drake
Northern Eggar Moth (MS).

Monday, 6 May 2019

May 6th

First Hobby sighting of the year this morning with a single bird over. Also Swift , two Willow Warbler , eighty Sand Martin's , single Swallow and two House Martin's . This afternoon Kestrel , two Coal Tits , two Willow Warbler , three Chiffchaff and three Blackcap. One hundred plus Sand Martin's and Oystercatcher over.

Congleton Area
Bent Lane
Skylark x 2
Lesser Whitethroat
Common Whitethroat (MS).

Friday, 3 May 2019

May 3rd

Drake Shoveler early morning , our fist Swift of the year back this afternoon . Also noted Reed Warbler , Chiffchaff , Willow Warbler , Blackcap plus all the other regulars. And around 200 Sand Martin hawking insects over the water durig a rain storm . Mark had Oystercatcher later this afternoon.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

May 2nd

Our first Garden Warbler of the year is back on site and singing this morning. Oystercatcher on the fishermans shore briefly this afternoon.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

May 1st

Our first Reed Warbler back today along with another Common Sandpiper our third record this spring.

Congleton Area
 Bent Lane
Yellow Wagtail
Lesser Whitethroat
Common Whitethroat
Skylark in song....(MS)

Lamberts Lane
Lesser Whitethroat (JS)

Bridge 53
Lesser Whitethroat
Garden Warbler x 2 (JS)

Waggs Rd
Swift x 3 (NS)

Town Centre
Oystercatcher over calling (NS)

Mow Cop
Cuckoo by Ariel
Swift (AG).

Sunday, 28 April 2019

April 27th

No sign of yesterday's two Arctic Terns first thing this morning but two Sedge Warbler's found instead , these being the first records since May 2015. Also a Peregrine and two Sparrowhawk over , a drake Shoveler and a single Little Grebe. Sand Martin's , Swallow and House Martin's also noted.

Saturday, 27 April 2019


April 27th

I texted Mark from work this morning saying that there was a few Arctic Terns reported at reservoirs and lakes below us in Staffordshire and and a few above in Manchester. And within fifteen minutes he rang me back to say we had two at Astbury only our second ever record for the site. Conditions were absolutely appalling with heavy rain and strong winds , but with my camera already in the car I decided to go straight after work to try and get something on camera. Needless to say I got soaked as did Mark this morning but it was worth it. The images below are the best I could get in the conditions.

Friday, 26 April 2019

April 26th

A single Oystercatcher flew through this morning also a single Kestrel noted . During heavy showers mid afternoon a estimated 400+ Sand Martin along with 37 Swallow's and eight House Martin's.Earlier in the week on Wednesday an adult Common Gull dropped in breifly. A REQUEST FOR SIGHTINGS.......Birds that you see every day at other lakes , pools and reservoirs etc may not be common at Astbury Mere . Myself and Mark would rather receive all records of sightings no matter how common you might think they may be. If you have not got our mobile numbers which most of you have , use the email address on the right hand side of the blog. All e mails do get answered . So next time you have a wonder around drop us a line it will be much appreciated, for those that do please keep it up. It's not just birds we are interested in it's all aspects of wildlife , Butterflies , Dragonflies / Damseflies and if your into them Bees aswell. Just to show you what we mean the last Common Whitethroat record was 3 years ago and the last Sedge Warbler was May 2015, so come on help us get records into our database for the mere.

Congleton Area
Mow Cop
Ring Ouzel fem (AG)

Monday, 22 April 2019

April 22nd

Still very quiet at the mere nothing changed with nothing new in but a second hand report of a Red Kite over the mere yesterday. Quiet a bit happening nearby.

Congleton Area.
Tree Pipit (MS)

Canal (bridge 83)
Lesser Whitethroat (JS)

Mow Cop
Ring Ouzel
Wheatear x 2
Whitethroat x 2.

Ring Ouzel Mow Cop.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

April 20th

Still very quiet at the mere early morning three Shoveler two males and a female also 67 Tufted Duck. Blackcap , Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler all in song very little else of note.

Congleton Area.
The Cloud
Tree Pipit . (MS)

Mow Cop
Ring Ouzel male
Wheatear x 3 (AG)

Friday, 19 April 2019

April 19th

Common Sandpiper again at the mere early morning , along with good numbers of Blackcap , Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff. Also Sparrowhawk and Buzzard over.
Butterflies out in the sun today included.
Small White.
Small Tortoiseshell
Speckled Wood.
Green-veined White.

Comma photo by Brian Hicks.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

April 16th

Willow Warbler's were in good voice this morning with four birds in full song . Also several Blackcap and eleven Chiffchaff. Two Shelduck flew around the mere but didn't land heading off north west . Also present 8 Brambling , single Buzzard , Greylag Goose over and Great Spotted Woodpecker. Eight Swallow were hawking insects over the water .
Shelduck over the mere.

Monday, 15 April 2019

April 15th

Still four singing Willow Warbler this morning also good numbers of Chiffchaff and Blackcap . At least 14 Brambling still scattered around the mere also noted Sparrowhawk , Buzzard , Mistle Thrush , 18 Sand Martin's , 5 Swallows and 6 House Martin. Butterflies seen.
Green-veined White
Small Tortoiseshell

Sunday, 14 April 2019

April 14th

We have had a increase in migrants during the night with ,4 x Willow Warbler , 10 x Chiffchaff and 9 x Blackcap now all singing away. Also noted 39 x Sand Martin's , 12 x Brambling , Sparrowhawk and 44 x Tufted Duck.

Congleton Area
Newsbank Pool
Shelduck x 2
Oystercatcher x 2

Friday, 12 April 2019

April 12th

Very quiet at the mere last few days seven Chiffchaff six Blackcap and a single Willow Warbler . Sand Martin numbers have dropped with around thirty birds and six Swallow , no House Martin's seen for last couple of days. Butterflies include Comma , Peacock , Small Tortoiseshell , Orange-tip and Green-veined White. Still Sandpit Mining Bee along with Tawny , Clarke's and Gwynne's.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

April 10th

Very quiet at the mere today just handful of Brambling left , ten Sand Martin's , usual Chiffchaff and Blackcap and a single Willow Warbler. Also Buzzard , Nuthatch and Mistle Thrush.

Monday, 8 April 2019

April 8th

A Common Sandpiper was along the fisherman's shoreline early morning , also noted around 30 Brambling still . A single Cormorant , Buzzard , 6 x singing Blackcap and 5 x Chiffchaff. Two new Bee species located this morning with Ashy Mining Bee which was seen again this afternoon and Early Nomad Bee . Mid-afternoon fifteen Sand Martin's.
Butterflies today were Orange-tip , Brimstone , Holy Blue , Small Tortoiseshell , Green-veined White , Comma and Peacock.

Congleton Area
Barn Road
Willow Warbler....RB.

Ashy Mining Bee .

Sunday, 7 April 2019

April 7th

Still around Fifty plus Brambling along the east side between the steps and the raised bench area. Also a single Willow Warbler , 6 x Blackcap , 7 x Chiffchaff and two male Reed Buntings.

Congleton Area
Newsbank Pool
Shelduck x 2
Oystercatcher x 4
Lapwing x 2

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Apr 6th

Early morning (6-30 / 7-30) around 150 Sand Martins , nine Swallow , seven Chiffchaff and four Blackcap .Also noted Buzzard , Sparrowhawk , Meadow Pipit , Bullfinch and Goldcrest. This afternoon a pair of Shoveler , still Brambling around , Willow Warbler , Blackcap , Chiffchaff and Sparrowhawk. Two new Butterflies seen today Speckled Wood and Green-veined White, also Brimstone , Small Tortoiseshell , Orange-tip and Peacock.
Tawny Mining Bee by Tracey Stubbs.

Friday, 5 April 2019

April 5th

Excellent find by Mark Stubbs an adult Little Gull on the Mere for just 30 minutes this afternoon , the last record was a 2nd winter bird in 2013 . Was always distant so photography virtually impossible . The bird kept going up high then coming back down flycatching over the water before finally going up and disappeared out of site. Around 300 Sand Martin , nine Swallows and a single House Martin. Also the Brambling flock still present but far less birds ,and one singing Willow Warbler , four singing Blackcap.
Little Gull.
Little Gull.
Blackcap male taken this morning by David Collis.