'Conserving wildlife and ancient landscape'


Registered Charity Number: 702488 


Kemerton Cuttings was a short update featuring biological news and records from the Trust which was produced from 2001 to 2009.

Kemerton Cuttings – October 2008 – March 2009

Kemerton Lake

  • 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 31st

  • 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

  • November/December saw high counts of Wigeon peaking at 1080 on 29th November

  • 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 Redpoll

  • An immature female Peregrine was there on 10th December

  • In January up to 14 Little Grebe were recorded, with numbers of duck dropping sharply

  • 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 February

  • 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 Snipe

  • 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 Green Woodpecker

  • 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 October

  • 25 Mallard on a pool near Westmancote on 23rd October

  • 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 December

  • 2nd February 2 Woodcock flushed from a dry ditch in Kemerton.

  • On 6th February c100 Fieldfare in Daffurns Orchard

  • 16th February Brimstone Butterfly at Ivy Cottage

  • !5th March – Comma butterfly plus mating 7-spot ladybirds at Ivy Cottage

  • 19th March Chiffchaff calling in John Moore Reserve

  • On 21st March Orange Tip, Peacock and Brimstone Butterflies on wing

  • 22nd March saw this year’s first Swallow – in Stable Orchard

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 Bredon Hill

  • 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 Rob Prudden.

Kemerton Cuttings – April – September 2008 

Kemerton Lake 

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 overhead.

  • 4th April – first Willow Warbler

  • 10th April – Pair of Kingfisher prospecting

  • 12th April – Wheatear, Common Sandpiper present and 50 Golden Plover flew over.

  • 17th April – Oystercatcher on eggs, pair Pochard, c.50 Greylag, Mallard with 9 young

  • 18th April – 3 pairs Pochard – later one pair raised 7 young, 2nd pair raised 2 young

  • 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 Swifts (15)

  • 29th April - a Hobby and 2 Black Tern were recorded.  Also Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Lesser Whitethroat

Ruddy duck were present during early spring but ‘the men from the ministry’ culled them.

  • 5th May – 3 Common Tern, Grey Heron tagged GA

  • 6th May - 22 singing male Reed Warbler, 2 singing Sedge Warbler and a Reed Bunting.

  • 7th May – 2 Black Tern, 3 Common Tern, the tagged Grey Heron (ringed as a pullus Frampton)

  • 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

  • 26th May – 2 Hobby

  • 10th June – 3 adult Redshank, tagged Grey Heron

  • 16th June – c.30 Lapwing in post-fledging flock

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 Siskin

  • 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 Warbler heard.

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 Prudden.


Kemerton Cuttings – October 2007 – March 2008

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.


  • On 1st October – a male Pintail, 92 Greylag Goose, 274 Canada Goose, 215 Lapwing, 14 Shoveler

  • 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, Little Owl.

  • 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 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 2 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, 9 Snipe, 4 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 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.


  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 .

John Clarke


Kemerton Cuttings – September 2006 – February 2007

Kemerton Lake
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 birds counted. 

On 2nd November 2 Stonechat, 40 Fieldfare, 25 Wigeon and 8 Little Grebe were there. 

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 Jack Snipe.

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 Raven. 

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 February. 

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 ‘waxcap’ species.

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 Pipit. 

Nuthatch has been seen regularly on garden bird feeders in Kemerton and Overbury. 

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 and elsewhere.


Kemerton Cuttings – April 2006 – September 2006

Kemerton Lake
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 29th.

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 Kemerton.

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.

John Clarke


Kemerton Cuttings – October 2005 – March 2006

Kemerton Lake
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 present.

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 counted.

Maximun winter counts of Snipe were estimated to be <40.  A Jack Snipe was there on 23rd March.

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.

John Clarke


Kemerton Cuttings – April 2005 – October 2005

Kemerton Lake
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 31st.

Spotted Redshank and Green Redshank were there on 18th August, 85 Teal were present on the 21st.

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 since 1983.

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.

Other News
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.

John Clarke


Kemerton Cuttings – to October 2004

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 off-white colour.

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 bred.

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 JWM)


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 her!


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 juveniles.

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.


Kemerton Cuttings – November 2002 to February 2003


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 8th. 

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 at 22. 

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 date. 

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 Reserve.


A family group of 4 Roe Deer were regularly seen at Kemerton Lake Reserve throughout the winter. 

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        

Other News

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 October 2002


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 the plantations 

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 sites. 

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 Bullfinch. 

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 years.

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 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 – 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.

John Clark


Kemerton Cuttings – March 2002


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 half-feathered stage.


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 side!!

Other Records

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 2001

Foot and Mouth has severely restricted activities but there have been a few notable records: 

  • 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).