The year started with a dozen Red-Crested Pochard, but no partridge in a pear tree, up to 140 Wigeon and a redhead Smew. Wildfowl counts were relatively high. The spring held 28 Little Egrets at roost, warblers arriving in April, Cuckoos in May and a breeding Goldeneye on adjacent Springwell Lake.
 
June, July and August provided a variety of warblers and sightings of up to 3 red eared terrapins. Large numbers of black headed gulls and common terns suffered from predators, amongst them coots. August highlights were a Sparrowhawk breeding nearby and Muntjac on the reserve.
 
In September there was no early passage of migrants until on 21st when a mixed hirundine flock obliged. A stonechat and kestrel were at Stocker’s farm. October saw increased numbers of greylag and cormorant, flocking long-tailed tits and 4 cetti’s warblers along the river with redwing and 30 red-crested pochard on adjacent Bury Lake.
 
November was still relatively mild with working parties at the lake in full swing. A Peregrine flew over and the BBC Country File team was on the reserve. Small numbers of Siskin arrived with the odd redpoll. Goldeneye numbers were increasing (immature males) by mid-month along with an appearance of a Great White Egret, probably the long-staying Maple Lodge individual. At month's end Chiffchaff were calling along the Colne, Red crested pochard were up to 32 on Bury Lake, there was a single Goosander on Springwell and Siskins were increasing.
 
December started cold and was then mild with rain and gales. By mid-month a few fieldfare and redwing were around, goldeneye were increasing up to 8, along with a few Water Rail.
 
A full species by species report for the year follows below.
 
GREAT CRESTED GREBE - Good numbers bred nearly all year - up to 13 birds in winter juveniles present till December. 25 birds in November.
LITTLE GREBE - 2 pairs seen in March was the maximum count
CORMORANT  - up to 25 wintering birds; have bred; seen eating Pike and Tench.
LITTLE EGRET - highest count up to 28 birds roosting; good numbers of breeding birds
GREAT WHITE EGRET - one sighting of (probably) the Maple Lodge individual in November
GREY HERON - Heronry consisted of least 30 birds
MUTE SWAN - breeding pairs wintering in greater numbers on Bury Lake. 1 pair had 5 cygnets in May
GREYLAG GEESE - 25 birds seen on 14th September, 40 on 30th January.
CANADA GEESE - a common breeder in good numbers
EGYPTIAN GOOSE - a maximum of 9 birds of this increasing Goose.
BARNACLE GOOSE - one record - probable escape
WIGEON - highest count 140
MALLARD - wildfowl counts, i.e. 11 and 12, seem low for this common species.
GADWALL - 31 was the highest count of this common duck species
SHOVELER - this common dabbler feeds explosively in circles -  68 and 53 in Oct and Nov
COMMON TEAL - always low numbers of this species
MANDARIN - 1 bird Seen in April
RED-CRESTED POCHARD - averaging a dozen on Stocker’s; however 32 were present on adjacent Bury GP.
POCHARD - breeding in June; 1 female with 2 juvs; 8 wildfowl count
TUFTED DUCK - highest count of 74 birds in the Winter
GOLDENEYE - highest count up to 17 individuals. A female with 7 young once again on Springwell Lake
SMEW - 1 Redhead seen in January 
RED KITE - 5 birds seen in January
SPARROWHAWK - a regular species. Bred in Alder woodland on Bury Lake and seen hunting regularly.
BUZZARD  - 2 birds seen in Feb plus other singles
OSPREY - 1 sighting in May
KESTREL - a few records of this common species
HOBBY - 4 Sightings in the summer.
PEREGRINE - 2 Sightings in January and 1 in November when ‘BBC Country File’ was present.
MERLIN - a female seen from the kingfisher hide.
WATER RAIL - up to 3 birds seen over the winter
MOORHEN - 8 birds a maximum. Under recorded
COOT - 135 in October; numbers down on previous years.
OYSTERCATCHER - 2 Max; Spring thru Summer
LAPWING - up to at least 30 birds in the early winter
COMMON SANDPIPER - 3 Records for this year
GREEN SANDPIPER - 1 sighting in July
COMMON SNIPE - 1 record
JACK SNIPE - 1 February record
GREAT SKUA - 21st August by DB Hale
BLACKHEADED GULL - highest count 70 approx.  breeding regular on rafts designed for terns
COMMON GULL - highest count of 13
HERRING GULL - highest count of 6
LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL Up to 8 birds maximum
GREATER BLACK BACKED GULL Highest count of 17
YELLOW LEGGED GULL 1 on 12th January
COMMON TERN Common breeder on rafts provided heavily predated this year and displaced by black headed gulls.
BLACK TERN 1 on 9th May
WOODPIGEON - Common resident
CUCKOO - 2 Birds recorded in May
RING-NECKED PARAKEETS - Increasing population 13 max
LITTLE OWL - One individual on Stockers farm
SWIFT - Highest count of 40 in June
KINGFISHER - Highest daily count of 3; mostly along the Colne.
GREEN WOODPECKER - More heard than seen; opposite canal in Garrets Wood.
GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER - Commonest woodpecker seen regularly
LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER  1 in March, 2 in April
SAND MARTIN - A rare hirundine; 3 in July, 20 in September
SWALLOW - 1st on 30th March; up to a dozen bred at Stockers farm
HOUSE MARTIN - 50 in September
MEADOW PIPIT - Small flock of around 12 at the farm.
PIED WAGTAIL - under recorded
GREY WAGTAIL - few records mostly near canal
WREN - common breeding species
DUNNOCK - common resident
ROBIN - common resident
STONECHAT - one at Stockers farm
WHINCHAT - August and September records at the farm
BLACKBIRD - common breeder
FIELDFARE - lower numbers this year; a few along the Colne in Hawthorns
REDWING - more numbers; above 60 in February
SONG THRUSH - under recorded; a few records only
CETTI’S WARBLER - a maximum of 5 singing individuals
SEDGE WARBLER - 6 singing birds max.
REED WARBLER - common summer resident
GARDEN WARBLER - 5 Singing birds in May
LESSER WHITETHROAT - one April record
WHITETHROAT - a few records in May
BLACKCAP - a maximum of 8 birds in the summer
WILLOW WARBLER - up to 3 birds calling
NIGHTINGALE - 1 bird heard in May
CHIFFCHAFF - wintering along the Colne seen in December. Highest count was 6 in March
GOLDCREST - seen flocking with tits in Winter
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER - a single record
BLUE TIT - a common passerine seen at feeders
GREAT TIT - a common passerine
LONG TAILED TIT - seen in family parties in winter and summer.
NUTHATCH - breeding pairs calling and on feeders
TREECREEPER - a pair seen in March
STARLING - decreasing resident although seen roosting over Springwell reed bed
JAY - a number of birds seen in the Alder woodland
MAGPIE - a common breeding resident
RAVEN - a few sightings this year
CARRION CROW - a common resident
HOUSE SPARROW - always at Stockers House
CHAFFINCH - seen in Alders in Winter
SISKIN - big flocks of up to 80 in Winter
GOLDFINCH - flocking with Siskins; a common species
BULLFINCH - numbers improving recently; 3 birds in March (2 males and 1 female).
GREENFINCH - 1 record in March
LESSER REDPOLL - 1 Sighting in Alders with Goldfinch
LINNET - Small flock at Stockers Farm
REED BUNTING - Breeding bird; singing males in Spring
BLACK SWAN - Escapee 
 
Contributors:  W.Bishop, S.Knott, C.Ruiss R.Ness, G.Young, T.Hulls M.Barnett, J.Thompson, B.Harris, P.Ranger, C.Sharp, L.Evans,,S.Carter, G.Lapworth, J.Bailey, R.Hopkins, T.Hill, G.Clarke, A.Marrett, J.Gundersen, D.Neal, S.Keenen, J.Newson, and so many more. Friends of Stocker’s Lake, British Airways AC, Herts and Middx Trust, etc. Please forgive any missed records and Observers.
 
Steve Carter