Kemerton Cuttings was a short update featuring biological news and records from the Trust which was produced from 2001 to 2009.
In October up to 14 Little Grebe were recorded. 30 Shoveler on
30 and 35 on 31st – along with 2 female Goosander. On 6th October c.100
Coot were present
Up to 180 Lapwing were present on occasions. Siskin and Redpoll
were also recorded with highest counts of 20 Siskin and 8 redpoll on
On 4th November 2 Jack Snipe had joined other Snipe –
highest counts of 6 Jack Snipe on 25th and 46 Snipe on 14th. A Green
sandpiper was seen on 25th
Regular sightings of Kingfisher throughout October and
November/December saw high counts of Wigeon peaking at 1080 on
10 Little Grebe on 10th December
December peak counts of 28 Tufted, Pochard, 650 Wigeon, 9 Teal, 10
Gadwall, 21 Mute Swan, 97 Greylag, 3 Shoveler, 45 Snipe, 4 Jack Snipe, 60 Siskin and 20
An immature female Peregrine was there on 10th
In January up to 14 Little Grebe were recorded, with numbers of duck
Raven regular visitor – 4 on 5th Jan. 3Jack Snipe on
13th, 11 Snipe on 16th
135 Coot were counted on 29th, with 228 Tufted Duck, 19
Pochard, 40 Mallard, 120 Wigeon, 22 Teal,16 Gadwall & 4 Lapwing.
On 23rd there were 102 Coot, 269 Wigeon, 20 Siskin, Mistle
Thrush, 3 Bullfinch and a Jack snipe
2 Great Black-backed gull on 22nd
First frog spawn reported on 2nd March and a large
frog/toad migration reported across the road towards the lake on 3rd
On 2nd March 2 Great-crested Grebe, 18 Redwing, 5 Shoveler
and 7 Lapwing were present
2 Sand Martins were there on 10th March – also 1 Jack
On 17th there were 42 Tufted Duck, 4 Gadwall, 2
prospecting Oystercatcher, 12 Pochard, 2 Great-crested Grebe, 65 Coot, 92 Wigeon, 14 Shoveler.
Water Rail calling. An early Comma butterfly. A female Sparrowhawk was seen to take a
On 19th March there were very large numbers of toad.
Small Tortoiseshell and Comma butterflies were seen
Elsewhere on the estate
A polecat was seen in or near Daffurns Orchard on 11th
25 Mallard on a pool near Westmancote on 23rd
20th November – a Marsh Tit and 2 Redpoll were reported
feeding at a bird table in Kinsham
A dead Water Shrew at Ivy Cottage on 21st
2nd February 2 Woodcock flushed from a dry ditch in
On 6th February c100 Fieldfare in Daffurns
16th February Brimstone Butterfly at Ivy
!5th March – Comma butterfly plus mating 7-spot ladybirds
at Ivy Cottage
19th March Chiffchaff calling in John Moore
On 21st March Orange Tip, Peacock and Brimstone
Butterflies on wing
22nd March saw this year’s first Swallow – in Stable
Around the area
A pair of Raven was watched displaying in and around a Cedar of
Lebanon in Kemerton
26th December – c.50 Golden Plover in arable field on
On 19th March 3 Wheatear and a Red Kite were seen on the
summit of Bredon Hill
Kemerton Conservation Trust is grateful to all contributors – in particular
Kemerton Cuttings – April – September
The new section of permissive path – open to ‘Friends’ of Kemerton was opened. A new
access track into the arboretum and woodlands has been laid.
1st April – first Swallow, 4 Gadwall, 20 Sand Martin, c.150 Common Gull
4th April – first Willow Warbler
10th April – Pair of Kingfisher prospecting
12th April – Wheatear, Common Sandpiper present and 50 Golden Plover flew
17th April – Oystercatcher on eggs, pair Pochard, c.50 Greylag, Mallard with 9
18th April – 3 pairs Pochard – later one pair raised 7 young, 2nd pair raised 2
19th – 2 male Garganey present and first Reed Warbler heard
20th April – 4 Common Scoter, Whimbrel & Common Tern
21st April – 2 Whimbrel, first Sedge Warbler heard
24th April and again on 28th - Little Ringed Plover
25th & 27 April - an Arctic Tern was present
27th April – Grasshopper Warbler heard
28th April – 50 Greylag, 10 Little Grebe, 2 Common Sandpiper, Dunlin, 8 Lapwing, first
29th April - a Hobby and 2 Black Tern were recorded. Also Snipe, Common Sandpiper,
Ruddy duck were present during early spring but ‘the men from the ministry’ culled
5th May – 3 Common Tern, Grey Heron tagged GA
6th May - 22 singing male Reed Warbler, 2 singing Sedge Warbler and a Reed
7th May – 2 Black Tern, 3 Common Tern, the tagged Grey Heron (ringed as a pullus
8th May – 7 Black Tern, 1 Woodcock
9th May - Black Tern
10th May – 30 singing Reed Warbler (max count 34), 5 singing Sedge Warbler, 2 singing
Reed Bunting, Kingfisher, 4 Grey heron
17th May - tagged Grey Heron still present
Sightings of Kingfisher were regular throughout the spring and summer
3 pairs of Little Grebe and 2 pairs of Great-crested Grebe bred. The Little Grebe are
thought to have reared at least 3 broods, the Great-crested Grebe also reared 3 broods.
27th June – post-fledging flock of c.120 Jackdaw
14th July first returning Wigeon, Kingfisher, c.150 Lapwing
21st July – first returning Wigeon
24th July – first 4 returning Shoveler
25th July – c.150 Lapwing
Little Egret - from 1-5 present frequently June to September
The pair of Oystercatcher failed to breed.
Water Rail heard calling regularly June/July
1st August – Teal, Shoveler, Common Sandpiper (regular around this time)
7th August – 2 juvenile Yellow Wagtail
2nd September – 9 Teal, 180 Lapwing, 14 Little Grebe, 285 Canada Goose, 101 Greylag, 12
Barnacle, 2 Red-crested Pochard.
10th September – first Snipe
15th September – 5 Shoveler, 10 Wigeon, Little Owl, Water Rail, late Sedge Warbler, 18
26th September –20 Shoveler, 16 Little Grebe, first Jack Snipe, late Reed Warbler, 2
Pintail, 3 Snipe
28th September – 2 Gadwall
There were several sightings of Barn Owl in the area but no breeding found.
In spring over 200 Southern Marsh Orchid, 285 Bee Orchid & 95 Pyramidal Orchid.
Campanula glomerata was found in several sites.
A hornet was seen on 26th September.
Mike Averill has been recording dragonflies and has now found 19 species at the lake
Elsewhere on the estate
7th April – 18 Snipe in a field of beans, first Swallow visiting local nest site.
Later at least 3 pairs bred there and on 31st July 34 on wires.
11th May – Wood Warbler seen and heard but did not stay
13th May – Male Whinchat near Kinsham
During surveys Whitethroat and Bullfinch were widespread and fairly common but few Willow
Around Bredon Hill area
3rd May – Red Kite over Conderton/Beckford
28th May – Red Kite over Kemerton
7th June – Burnet Rose found on hedge bank above Kemerton
9th June – Red Kite over Kemerton
12th July – Red Kite over Beckford
14th September – min. 12 Buzzard circling/displaying above Kemerton
The Carrant Catchment area is included in the Severn and Avon Wader Survey and away from
Kemerton Lake Reserve a part survey found 22 pairs Lapwing, 1 pair Curlew, 4 pairs Reed Warbler, 4 pairs
Sedge Warbler and 3 pairs Reed Bunting
Local volunteers carried out a survey of Glow-worm on Bredon Hill and the results can be seen at
Local donations paid for 15 bat boxes sited across the estate. They have not been checked
for occupancy although one is reported to have been used.
Kemerton Conservation Trust is grateful to all contributors – in particular Rob
Kemerton Cuttings – October 2007 – March 2008
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.
On 1st October – a male Pintail, 92 Greylag Goose, 274 Canada Goose, 215 Lapwing, 14
11th October – 11 Skylark, 4 Stonechat, Water Rail, Raven, 330 Canada Goose, 192 Greylag
Goose (apparently the highest ever count in Worcs), 14 Little Grebe.
The record number of Greylag Goose was beaten again on 14th with 195. Also a
Little Egret and 2 Swallow.
24th October – 269 Canada Goose, 189 Greylag Goose, 12 Shoveler, 2 Water Rail, 18 Snipe,
31st October – 61 Lapwing, Stonechat, 21 Teal, Kingfisher and 14 Shoveler.
2 Grey Wagtail 3rd November
8th November - c500 Canada Goose, c50 Greylag Goose, 120 Mallard, 6 Meadow Pipit and a
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 2 Water Rail calling.
This winter was good for Woodcock records with birds reported from more than 15 sites across the
4th - December - 60 Wigeon, 110 Greylag, 9 Snipe, 4 Jack Snipe, a Goosander and 24
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
2nd - January a male Smew and a male Red-crested Pochard were present. 80 Wigeon
A total of 11 Cormorant 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.
2 Oystercatcher on 17th
19th - February a Peregrine was hunting.
21st February - 60 Wigeon.
There were 39 Pochard there on 26th.
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
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 c400 Fieldfare and c200 Redwing 6th January, c500 Redwing and c200
Fieldfare on 23rd February.
A Goldfinch roost at Aston Under Hill, first reported last winter had increased to c100
A Lesser-spotted Woodpecker was feeding on peanuts in a Kemerton garden on 23rd
Several groups of around 7-8 Bullfinch were recorded – usually in association with areas
containing Blackthorn scrub.
A pair of Blackbird 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
A Red Kite was seen in the Beckford area 18th March.
First Bumblebees reported 12 January – Bumblebees and Honey Bees active 20th January.
Grey Heron 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 .
After what seems like record rainfall, water levels at the lake finally reached maximum and the overflow was in
action for the first time in four years.
Presumably because there was so much standing water elsewhere – and the winter was so mild – the
lake was not as busy with birds compared with previous years.
On the 8th October 6 Grey Heron, 19 Wigeon, 33 Mallard 21 Tufted Duck and 128 Coot were amongst
On 2nd November 2 Stonechat, 40 Fieldfare, 25 Wigeon and 8 Little Grebe were
On 24th November 127 Teal and 26 Pochard were reported.
On 19th November there were 28 Wigeon, 36 Mallard, 11 Pochard, 20 Tufted Duck, 168 Coot and 2
127 Teal and 26 Pochard were reported on 24th November.
25 Pochard were there on 2nd December.
180 Coot, 3 Kestrel, 8 Skylark and 5 Meadow Pipit were seen on 16th December.
17th December saw 7 Jack Snipe and 10 Snipe.
On 17th December there were 4 Grey Heron, 31 Pochard, 24 Tufted Duck, 3 Ruddy Duck, 178 Coot, 7
Jack Snipe and 10 Snipe.
5th January saw 8 Cormorant and 1 Water Rail.
An observer noted Siskin on 7th January.
40 Tufted Duck were there on 19th January.
74 Pochard were counted on 20th January.
25th January found 9 Cormorant (inc. 1 in breeding plumage), 25 Shoveler, 40 Pochard and 2
On 27th January 108 Tufted Duck, 71 Pochard and 18 Shoveler were counted.
16 Shoveler, 18 Pochard, 6 Gadwall, 21 Teal and 1 Stonechat were there on 5th
On 9th February there were 26 Teal, 12 Shoveler, 8 Gadwall, a Jack Snipe and a Stonechat.
A Muntjac was also seen.
The 18th February saw 2 pairs of Ruddy Duck and 2 Sparrowhawk.
On the 19th a Little Egret, 22 Shoveler and 140 Lapwing were amongst those present
2 Oystercatcher were there on 20th February.
2 Oystercatcher, 36 Tufted Duck, 29 Pochard and 3 Roe Deer were seen on 26th.
The Starling roost attracted a number of visitors and this winter was estimated to contain
around 7,000 birds.
Very few reports came in from across the estate or from surrounding land. However, a visit from a
Worcestershire Recorder found 14 species of grassland fungi in a small meadow near the reserve, including 10
There were a few Snipe on a river meadow near Bredons Norton in October.
A Woodcock was flushed from a plantation near the lake on 14th November.
A count was made of birds using a game strip on Bredon Hill and despite the flock being
scattered by a Sparrowhawk the observer counted 50 Yellowhammer, 35 Chaffinch plus a few Linnet and Meadow
Nuthatch has been seen regularly on garden bird feeders in Kemerton and
One garden in Ashton-under-Hill has 18-28 (various counts) of Goldfinch feeding on niger
seed. When the birds were discovered roosting in a bay tree in the garden the owners did a roost count
and estimate 50.
Kemerton Conservation Trust is grateful to all who provide records of wildlife at the reserve
Kemerton Cuttings – April 2006 – September 2006
The water levels at the lake remained low after the dry winter and by autumn, large areas had dried out, together
with the lagoon. It is now more than four years since the lake filled to capacity
20 Pochard were present on 1st April. 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 1 Willow Warbler and 2
Shelduck were recorded on the 3rd. On the 4th 13 Shoveler, 5 Snipe and a Little Ringed Plover
were there. On the 7th, 6 Gadwall, a pair of Shelduck, 2 Shoveler, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Redshank and
40 Sand Martin were seen.
10 Snipe and 34 Tufted Duck were there on 13th; 2 Cuckoo and a Yellow Wagtail on the 15th.
There were 3 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Common Tern on the 16th. Hirondelles were busy on the 19th with c60
Sand Martin, c40 House Martin and 25 Swallow present. Both Sedge and Reed Warbler were singing on
The 1st May saw Lesser Whitethroat, Cuckoo and more Reed Warblers – numbers of pairs estimated
at 43 this year. Reed Bunting rose to 8 Pairs. 4 Dunlin and a Common Sandpiper were recorded on
the 3rd. A pair of Shelduck were there on 5th May – no reports of young this year. Also on the
5th , 2 Curlew, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Dunlin and to great excitement, a Marsh Harrier which was also seen
by observers on the 6th and by another observer on 8th. Also on 6th there was a Peregrine and 2
Greenshank. The 8th saw another Yellow Wagtail, 4 Redshank, 5 Ruddy Duck, a Dunlin, and 2 Little
Ringed Plover. A Hobby was hunting on the 9th and on the 10th 2 Oystercatcher, 8 Little Grebe and a
Clouded Yellow butterfly were seen. On the 14th 2 Ringed Plover and a Little Ringed Plover were present
– also on that day, 4 Redshank (two pairs bred this year), 3 Shelduck and 5 Hobby. On the 22nd a
Pochard was seen with 5 young.
The Pochard still had 4 young on the 6th June and a Sparrowhawk was hunting. Pochard + 4
was again recorded on the 11th, 2 Little Ringed Plover were also present (did a pair attempt
breeding?). Attempts to ‘persuade’ Canada Goose not to breed at the lake were successful but Greylag
slipped through – there were 29 present on the 20th and see also July. Also on the 20th, a Pochard was
seen with 5 young (was this a second pair?), 2 Oystercatcher, c.75 Lapwing (thought to be the post-fledging
flock from the Carrant Catchment Area (including Kemerton Lake), Lesser Whitethroat, Coal Tit + 4 young, 2
Hobby, Little Grebe + 2 young, Ruddy duck pairs +4, +3 & + 1 young, Kestrel + 2 young and Redshank + 4
young. On the 25th 2 Hobby, 2 Teal and a Pochard + 5young were seen.
July 7th saw a pair of Redshank + 3, a Pochard + 3, 4 pairs of Greylag + 18 (!!), Little Grebe
pairs +3, and + 2. A juvenile Goosander was recorded on the 16th and a Little Egret on the 18th.
A Green Sandpiper and 90 Lapwing were noted on the 22nd. On the 27th recorders found a Black-tailed
Godwit, 3 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper and a pair of Oystercatcher with young.
On the 2nd August 5 Black-tailed Godwit were noted – also a Little Ringed Plover. On the
3rd 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Snipe and a Clouded Yellow Butterfly were seen. On the 4th a Muntjac with
fawn and a Stoat were recorded. By the 8th the Oystercatchers were down to 1 young, 3 Stock Dove and a
Common Tern were also seen. 2 Shoveler were there on the 18th. Around 90 Lapwing were there
on 6th, a Common Tern and a Common Sandpiper on the 9th. A Greenshank was there on the 13th, 2 Green
Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 5 Shoveler and 14 Teal on the 20th. On the 27th Garden Warbler, Willow
Warbler and Raven were present. Whinchat, Common Sandpiper, 15 Little Grebe and a Barnacle Goose were
recorded on the 31st
On the 6th September a Dunlin was feeding near a Pectoral Sandpiper. The latter stayed
overnight, despite a goose shoot that evening.
On the 7th there were 3 Ravens, now common visitors to the site and surrounding fields. 10 Black
Terns were feeding on the 14th while goose numbers had risen to c30 Greylag and c50 Canada Goose. On
the 21st a Hobby was hunting and 10 Wigeon were present.
Last record of wintering Hawfinch was of a pair on a bird table in a garden at Kemerton on 8th April. On 10th
a Buzzard was watched eating a large, white chicken in a field at Westmancote..
Swift bred in a nest-box in Kemerton. Barn Owl laid eggs but failed to hatch them at
On 3rd May a Red Kite was watched circling then landing in a tree at Kemerton. Later in
the year – on 21st September - a pair was seen for some time around fields near Bredons Norton.
A Water Shrew bred in a dry-stone wall in Kemerton.
Members of Worcestershire Biological Recording Group visited the lake twice, focussing on the
mining bee colonies. A report on the habitat trials and what has been found to date is expected in the
next six months. At various times Kemerton Conservation Trust invited local experts to carry out
specific surveys of plants, birds and dragonflies. Elsewhere, a local resident collected sightings of
Glow Worm above Westmancote. The Trust is grateful for all their help and expertise and wishes to thank
contributors to the logs in the hides.
The permissive path and the East Hide will close on October 1st. It is expected to re-open
on April 1st as usual.
Kemerton Cuttings – October 2005 – March 2006
335 Black-headed Gull were counted on 4th October. On the same date Kingfisher was seen for the only time
this winter. 30 Shoveler were counted on 8th. On 11th of the month an immature Peregrine was present.
In late October and early November Water Rail were calling from two areas. Up to 15 Skylark were seen
regularly on the rough ground - 38 were there on 2nd January and 40 on 6th.
In early December the Starling roost began to build up and eventually peaked at around 5,000 in
January. The spectacle attracted a number of local people as the birds displayed before dropping in to
roost in the reed beds. Not enough observers were available to count roosting Reed Bunting but based on
counts at one reed bed and observations at others it is estimated that in excess of 300 were
This winter Canada Goose numbers were generally lower although for a short time in December up
to 450 roosted there.
On 14th December 20 Wigeon were seen. Small groups of Pochard, Wigeon and Teal were
present for most of the winter. Shelduck and Shoveller were also present.
5 Gadwall were reported on 26th.
On 20th December a pair of Scaup were present. Similar reports in January but in February
(last report 25th) only a male was seen.
5 Grey Heron were seen roosting on an island on 8th February (and several other dates). On
the same date a Woodcock was flushed from neighbouring woodland.
8-9 Gadwall were seen regularly in February – there were 8 there on 5th March
On 20th February a Red Kite was watched circling above a neighbouring plantation.
On 26th February 5 Redpoll and c50 Siskin were seen in nearby Birch trees.
During feeding trials up to 50 Reed Bunting, 50 Linnet and 2 Tree Sparrow were
Maximun winter counts of Snipe were estimated to be <40. A Jack Snipe was there on 23rd
3 resident Roe Deed are causing considerable damage to young trees in the area.
During the winter there were several records of Polecat across the estate, including three caught and released
(phew!!) from a rabbit trap (cage) in a large Kemerton garden.
On 19th 2 Woodcock were flushed from alongside a small stream. 2 were seen in a plantation
on 3rd December.
The mild weather in December produced some unusual records. A bees nest in an old Oak was
very active on the 11th and 2 wasps was seen flying on 23rd. On February 9th both bumblebee and wasp
were seen flying at Kemerton.
Siskins were feeding in a Kinsham Garden during December/January. A Lesser-spotted
Woodpecker was seen at a garden feeder in Kemerton 2nd January.
On 6th January a Merlin killed a Blackbird in a garden on the edge of Kemerton village where it
was watched as it fed.
On 21st January a Hawfinch was feeding at a bird table in Kemerton (on black sunflower
seeds). Although there was never more than one bird present at any time both male and female birds were
seen. The birds were still feeding there daily in late March.
The winter bird feeding trials began in December and soon attracted good numbers of finches,
Linnet and Reed Bunting. Numbers of Reed Bunting and Linnet both peaked at around 50. Tree
Sparrow was seen on a couple of occasions but monitoring was difficult – a field of rape next to the site
attracted hundreds of Woodpigeon and a ‘gas gun’ scarer also disturbed the smaller birds. A
neighbouring farm set up a similar feeding trial and was successful in attracting both Reed Bunting and Tree
Sparrow. It also attracted c50 Yellowhammer. Back on Kemerton land – a large mixed flock of birds
were reported feeding regularly in a game strip on Bredon Hill. On 6th February c30 Reed Bunting, c20
Yellowhammer and c20 chaffinch were estimated before a Sparrowhawk attack scattered the flock.
A Blackcap was singing in a Kemerton orchard on 6th February.
Access to the East Hide has been closed all winter. It is hoped that the permissive path
will be opened from early April until 1st October.
Kemerton Cuttings – April 2005 – October 2005
A pair of
Oystercatcher were there on 1st April. On 3rd 32 Tufted Duck, a pair of Pochard and 3 Shoveler were
reported. Also around, a few Sand Martin, a Kingfisher and 2 Chiffcahff. A family of Great-crested
Grebe was seen on 8th. A Red Kite was seen in the area on the 14th (see also later).
A Wheatear was there on 21st.
The first Swifts were recorded on 25th April, by which time Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler had
arrived. Cuckoo was calling at the lake on 3rd May but not reported subsequently.
On 12th May 15 Black Tern and 3 Common Tern stayed for the day and 2 Common Tern were seen there
on the 13th.
A pair of Oystercatchers bred successfully, rearing at least 2 young. However attempts by
Pochard and Shelduck failed – broods of both species are thought to have been predated. Skylark,
Lapwing and Redshank also bred. A Green Sandpiper and a pair of Teal were seen on 20th June.
A pair of Reed Bunting was seen earlier in Spring but not later. A peak of 26 calling Reed
Warblers was counted.
There were few sightings of Hobby this summer.
In late July passage birds were beginning to appear – a Ringed Plover on 22nd, 2 Common
Sandpiper on 28th, when a Little Egret was also present. A Little Ringed Plover was there on
Spotted Redshank and Green Redshank were there on 18th August, 85 Teal were present on the
In August there were sightings of more unusual geese – an Egyptian Goose on 22nd and a Barnacle
Goose and a Bar-headed X Greylag on 23rd.
In September – on 5th – a Dunlin, 2 Greenshank, 2 Ruff and a Temincks Stint were recorded.
A Peregrine was hunting there on the 8th.
In October an immature peregrine was seen, on 17th and 73 Wigeon were present. On 28th 4
Grey heron were resting on one of the recently cleared islands and a female Goldeneye, first seen a few days
earlier, was still present. After a so-far unexplained absence of several months there were a few
Tufted Duck around. Also on the 28th, 4 Meadow Pipit, Ruddy Duck, 9 Pochard and 12 Wigeon.
Members of the WBRG made recording visits in April and August.
Around 40 Snipe were flushed from an arable field on 8th April
A Red Kite was seen over Kemerton on 18th April. Barn Owl is thought to have attempted to
breed in one of the estate barns.
For the first time in many years House Sparrows bred on the estate. Also a first -
Nuthatch bred in a trial nestbox – the first time in over 25 years that the author has had this species
nesting in a box!
Twayblade Orchid appeared in a young plantation where the number of Broad-leaved Helleborines
increased to 10. In another plantation a Polecat was seen with two kits.
A White Admiral Butterfly was recorded on 17th July – only the second record for this species
Chub, Perch and Brown Trout were recorded from a small stream on the estate.
A post-graduate student has carried out an estate-wide survey of small mammals, using Longworth
traps. The survey took in examples of most wildlife habitats on the farm. The report is expected
later in the year.
Recorder, the database used by Kemerton Conservation Trust to store all wildlife records for the
estate, has at last been brought up-to-date. All that remains now is to find ways of getting
information out in a user-friendly form – something that so far is proving difficult! Many thanks to
Simon Wood for his patience and support.
Kemerton Conservation Trust (KCT) has been awarded a grant from English Nature (EN) with money from the Agregates
Levy Sustainability Fund. The money, spread over two years, will enable KCT to continue to develop the former
sands and gravels quarry as a nature reserve whilst providing training for a local person and an education facility
for the wider public.
During last winter a flock of C50 Redpoll were reported several times at Kinsham.
Roost counts at Kemerton Lake produced maximums of 20,000 Starling and 300 Reed Bunting. A
flock of over 100 Siskin were feeding regularly in Alders there and later up to 50 were regular visitors to a
garden in Kinsham..
Trials of winter feeding at the reserve drew in maximum counts of 40 Reed Bunting, 20
Yellowhammer, 20 Dunnock, 6 Tree Sparrows (first record for Kemerton Estate for 10 years), 25 Chaffinch, 15
Greenfinch and 1 Brambling.
Twelve pairs of Lapwing nested on the estate. A flock of about 80 birds (including c.26
juveniles) were at Kemerton Lake reserve at the end of the breeding season. This group is believed to
represent the total Carrant catchment area population – 27 breeding pairs were found. In late August,
flocks of around 350 were recorded – including one ‘albino’ individual, which was almost entirely an
Also of note breeding at the lake – 1 pair of Oystercatcher, 4 pairs of Redshank and 3 pairs of
Skylark. 2 pairs of Pochard bred successfully and it is possible that a pair of Shelduck attempted to
breed. Up to 21 calling Reed Warbler were recorded and two pairs of Reed Bunting definitely
Elsewhere on the estate, Barn owl and Nuthatch were both recorded regularly through the winter
but no breeding was found.
A Barn Owl pellet from Kemerton Lake Reserve contained the skull of a House Mouse (per
Joy Ricketts, Tessa Carrick and Mark Lawley visited the lake reserve in February. Later,
Joy came back on several visits to local orchards and found a couple of ‘firsts’ for Worcestershire. It
would be true to say that most of her records were new to Kemerton and to most of us accompanying
On 15th March there was a very large migration of Toads – seen by a local doctor returning home
from an evening call. Several nearby residents turned out but dozens of Toads still became road
casualties. Mysteriously, by morning not one corpse remained.
Slow Worm and Hornet, both found at Adrian Darby’s house, were the first records in the local
area for many years.
Steven Falk visited the mining bee colonies at Kemerton Lake Reserve and stressed the importance
of continuing the trial management of the colonies and of the monitoring by Geoff Trevis et al. He
found 33 species of aculeates in the single visit and feels that the total may reach 100.
Elsewhere in the Bredon Hill area
A Kingfisher accompanied by at least one juvenile was seen regularly in late June/early July,
along a small, local stream in Kemerton.
In Spring, Harry Green received a report of several Stonechat “behaving territorially” on Bredon
Hill. On 23 July two observers saw a pair at the same site, with what they believe were two
A Wryneck was reported as calling regularly in late May/June, from the edge of a Bredon Hill
village. Later a bird was seen on dusk at several occasions – one evening it was sat on a house
roof! Another report of a calling bird (heard once) was received from a second village.
During November Kemerton Lake was fairly quiet with up to 60 Pochard, 30 Teal, 13 Shoveller, 40+
Mallard, 21 Tufted Duck, 116 Coot and 12 Mute Swan recorded. Of note – on the 2nd Water Pipit, Jack
Snipe, Water Rail, Brambling & Green Sandpiper were seen. A female goosander was seen on the
For the first time the reed beds attracted Starlings to roost – along with Reed Bunting, Pied
Wagtail and Meadow Pipit.
On the 7th December an adult Yellow-legged Gull was seen amongst a large roost of Lesser
Black-backed Gull and Herring Gull. On the 10th 10 Gadwall and 21 Common Gull were present. On
the 12th a male Pintail and a female Goosander were recorded. On the 24th the Shoveller numbers peaked
Throughout December wintering thrushes, Siskins and Redpoll were commonly seen in the
surrounding woodlands, whilst earlier in the month at least 3 Crossbills were seen feeding.
A Jack Snipe was recorded at Kemerton Lake on 5th January. On the 16th, during a guided
walk a large flock c400 Lapwing together with a small, group of unidentified waders took off when a Peregrine
passed through. When they settled again, the other waders were identified as 27 Knot and this was
confirmed by good views through telescopes. There were 2 Jack Snipe there on that
February was rather quiet. However, Snipe was common with up to 27 recorded. On
sunny days at least 6 pairs of Lapwing, a pair of Oystercatchers and several pairs of Redshank were
displaying. A maximum of 10 Skylarks and 16 Dunlin were counted.
Elsewhere on the estate, Barn Owl sightings have increased and pellets have been found at three
sites across the estate. Observers feel that up to three territories may have been established.
Fifteen pellets were collected from one site and from them John Meiklejohn identified the remains of 14 Field
Vole, 9 Wood Mouse and 1 Common Shrew.
Song Thrush was in full song by the end of December and there were several reported sightings of
Treecreeper in Kemerton gardens during the month. Blackcap was common at garden feeding statons.
Small flocks of Skylark were seen in the fields during December-February.
Treecreeper and Goldcrest were also seen/heard in several small woodlands during February.
A pair of Mandarin was at Beggarboys on 3rd February – and a small group of Redpolls were seen in a
plantation at Bredon. On 7th February a Lesser-spotted Woodpecker was seen near Kemerton Lake
A family group of 4 Roe Deer were regularly seen at Kemerton Lake Reserve throughout the
Within the past 6 months JC has collected 6 records of Polecat within 200 metres of his
house. The type of record indicates that these were different individuals.
|On 26th February, whilst tree planting FH dug up a considerable number of Common
Newt which were hibernating underground – presumably in old Mole or mouse runs.
Hibernating Common Newts
|The Earth Star Geastrum pectinatum was discovered in rough ground outside
a disused barn and well over 80 were counted on the 6th December.
Earth Star Fungus
Kemerton Estate has purchased Brookfield Farm at Bredons Norton. The 200 acres includes
some 40 acres of flood meadow on the River Avon. Wintering birds noted during February include flocks
of Redwing and Fieldfare and a small flock of Mute Swan.
The estate has now installed Recorder 2002 and is receiving much-needed advice from Simon
Wood. Once Kemerton is running and up-to date it will be possible to transfer many of the 45,000
records onto Worcs. BRC computer.
...John Clarke and Fergus Henderson
Kemerton Cuttings – March to end
During the first part of March Kemerton Lake (formerly Kinsham Lake) produced a Peregrine, the
first Sand Martins (9th), 27 Snipe on the scrapes, 9 Little Grebe, and a peak of 26 Gadwall. Later in
the month 4 Little Gull were recorded (adults, 2 juvs. on 18th), 2 L.R. Plover arrived on 23rd, a
Black-tailed Godwit was there 0n 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
In April Kemerton Lake recorded the first Willow Warbler and 2 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 5 Redpolls were still present and a Nuthatch was watched nest building. A
Grasshopper Warbler was calling on the 23rd and 29th. Little Owl nests were found at three
In May at Kemerton Lake 3 Whimbrel and 1 Swift were present on 1st. A pair of Greylag hatched 4
young on 4th, and a Common Tern was there on 6th. 2 Turnstone, 1 Dunlin and 2 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, 4 Common Terns, 1 Arctic Tern, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Hobby were
there on 19th. On the 21st a pair of Oystercatchers had 2 chicks and the 3-4 pairs of Lapwings had
chicks whilst a pair of Skylark fledged at least 2 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 Wagtail and Common Sandpiper through Kemerton
Lake Reserve. Green Sandpipers were there until end October. There was a Hobby there on 15th and 20th,
5 Barnacle Geese were there on 20th and numbers peaked at 14. 2 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
3 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, 6
Little Gull 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
2 Hobby 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
A Turtle Dove was seen at a former breeding site. The Nuthatches brought at
least 2 young to a garden bird table in Kemerton.
Yellowhammer Nest © J Clarke
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 Blue and Orange tip 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
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 – even though a violent hailstorm on the 18th had obliterated some
of the holes.
Ref. ‘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.
KCT is still trying to get Recorder 2000 up and running – once this is achieved and updated
discussions will take place with John Partridge about the transfer of data onto the Worcestershire Biological
Records data base.
Kemerton Cuttings – March
Kinsham Lake produced some interesting sightings – a juvenile Black Tern 1/10, 5 Greenshank
4/10, a Merlin 6/10, a first winter Grey Phalarope 9/10. 4 Whooper Swans were present 3/12 and a
Yellow-legged Gull was seen 13/12. In nearby fields the size of the Golden Plover flock increased
steadily from about 350 30/11 to 800+ 9/12 before dispersing. During February, significant numbers of Gadwall
(12 5/2), Pochard (129+ 14/2) and Shoveller (20+ 5/2) were seen at the Lake. After an absence of about
ten years a minimum of three Nuthatch were heard and seen in Kemerton from early September. They have
been present at garden feeding stations throughout the winter. During the winter parties of Siskin and
Redpoll have been seen in the young plantations and two Reed Bunting roosts were found at Kinsham Lake. On
29/9 6 Barn Owls were seen in a barn on nearby farmland.
Nestboxes – during cleaning work it was discovered that record numbers of tit boxes had
been occupied. However, in some sites, there was evidence of an unusually high rate of failure at the
Harvest Mouse nests were found during clearing work in a wetland site. In another area,
during the past six months Otter spraint has been reported by three separate observers. In Kemerton
village a Polecat was trapped and released unharmed.
John Day visited and discussed queries on botanical records collected by Kemerton staff and
visitors since 1983. He also advised on other species to look out for and on name changes
etc. Kemerton will check records and draw up a list of comments for circulation.
The only ‘new’ plant recorded for 2001 turned out to be cannabis growing on a stream
During an inspection of the large mining bee breeding site at Kinsham Lake it was discovered
that a Mole had been intensively working just beneath the soil surface. As the soil used to build the
bank was ‘subsoil’ and contains few invertebrates it seems most likely that the Mole is feeding on the mining
bee larvae and their cells.
40-50 Common Newts were found hibernating under a small log at a wetland site.
Kemerton Cuttings - 29th August
Foot and Mouth has severely restricted activities but there have been a few notable
Quail was heard calling from one site – a first for Kemerton Estate.
A small colony of Purple Hairstreak has been found – I believe that the nearest known
colony is at Tiddesley (about 8 kilometres away).
A large mining bee ‘colony’ was discovered in 2000. This year we checked again and
at one stage estimated 20,000 holes present in late April. The colony then went quiet but was
quite busy again in late July. John Meiklejohn, Geoff Trevis and his contacts have been
providing identifications of the few samples so far collected. The most notable species to date
is Andrena flavipes – apparently a first record for Worcestershire. Once later specimens have
been identified we will give more details. Hopefully, we can arrange visits by Worcestershire
Biological Records experts in 2002. Meanwhile urgent management works are being undertaken to
prevent the rapid spread of vegetation.
Kemerton Conservation Trust has negotiated a five-year agreement with a farmer in the
area – to help conserve the rich arable flora on his land. Trust staff made three visits this
year – some of the headlands were yellow with Corn Buttercup, there was quite a lot of Shepherds
Needle, both Fluellens and in one field – carpets of Blue Pimpernel (ssp foemina).