Saturday, 30 October 2010

Troy Mill Gravel Pit & Woodoaks Farm

A visit to Troy Mill G.P, West Hyde produced the following species of interest;
Little Grebe (4), Sparrowhawk (1), Pheasant (11 on ploughed field, West Hyde), Lapwing (1 over briefly), Herring Gull (40), Lesser Black-backed Gull (5), Meadow Pipit (1 over briefly), Jay (2).
I then spent an hour at Woodoaks Farm where the following species of interest were observed;
Common Buzzard (1), Common Gull (1), Collared Dove (c80 in old orchard), Pied Wagtail (22 on ploughed field), Meadow Pipit (5), Skylark (1), Jay (2 in old orchard), Jackdaw (6), House Sparrow (13), Linnet (c30 very mobile).

                                          Common Buzzard at Woodoaks Farm

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Woodoaks Farm

An afternoon visit to the farm produced the following species count;
Common Buzzard (2), Red Kite, Black-headed Gull (c150 following tractor), Common Gull,
Lesser Black-backed Gull, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon (88), Collared Dove (18), Green Woodpecker,
Pied Wagtail (4), Skylark (9), Robin, Blackbird, Fieldfare (5 flushed from apple tree),Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jay, Magpie (3), Jackdaw (60), Rook (5), Carrion Crow (11), Starling (c50 on pasture), House Sparrow (2), Chaffinch, Linnet (c50 feeding on thistles among pasture).

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Woodoaks Farm

An afternoon visit to Woodoaks Farm with improving weather conditions produced the following species;
Sparrowhawk (1), Collared Dove (c100 in old orchard), Little Owl (1 in old orchard), Green Woodpecker (1),
Pied Wagtail (14), Meadow Pipit (2), Skylark (4), Jay, Jackdaw (23 on ploughed field), Chaffinch (20 feeding along track leading to manure pile), Linnet (c50 very mobile), Yellowhammer (1).

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Lapland Bunting at Staines Reservoir

I made a brief trip away from Maple Cross to Staines Reservoir where for the second day a Lapland Bunting had been reported. The bird was present on railings on the East end of the causeway where I managed to capture a reasonable image through my scope. I also observed another saddle ringed Tufted Duck on the North basin of the reservoir.

                                          Lapland Bunting (immature) at Staines Reservoir.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Saddle ringed Tufted Duck at Lynsters Gravel Pit, update.

I have just received information from Alain Caizergues regarding the saddle ringed female Tufted Duck that I observed on the 15th October. Alain captured her on the 15/01/10 at Saint-Philbert-De-Grand-Lieu, south of Nantes. At the time of ringing she weighed 840g and was 2 years old.
Oddly enough I have observed colour ringed Cormorant's at Maple Lodge Nature Reserve in the past and they too have originated from this area in France, obviously an established migration route. 

Troy Mill Gravel Pit, Lynsters & Woodoaks Farm

I decided to make a late morning visit to Troy Mill G.P and was rewarded with excellent views of a female Goldeneye. This bird is almost certainly the same individual that I discovered over-summering at this site on several occasions earlier in the year. Overhead a single Red Kite was noted briefly as it made its way North with 5 Common, 22 Herring and 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull at rest on the lake. At North Troy G.P (officially Helicon G.P), a duck Wigeon was observed with several Tufted Duck. Making my way back towards Maple Cross I stopped briefly at Lynsters Farm where I noted a single Egyptian Goose at the muddy pool.
At Woodoaks Farm species of interest observed were as follows;
Red Kite (1), Lapwing (19 feeding on lower pasture), Little Owl (1 in old orchard), Linnet (mobile flock of c20), Meadow Pipit (7 at manure pile), Redwing (1 over calling).

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Woodoaks Farm

A quiet mid-afternoon visit to the farm with a single Little Owl at the old orchard and several Meadow Pipit at the manure pile the only birds worth a mention. While at the manure pile I did observe a Clouded Yellow Butterfly briefly my first and probably last of the year.


Saturday, 16 October 2010

Away day - Loftus Road Stadium - Urban Birding

Although my day was taken up watching QPR v Norwich City (not my choice) at Loftus Road, I did manage to see more than a few odd looking Canaries!
While struggling to find a parking space among the sprawl of terraced housing I observed a Common Buzzard being mobbed by 3 Carrion Crow as it circled overhead. And then later while in the football stadium a Sparrowhawk put in a brief appearance flushing a couple of Feral Pigeon from their roost.
It just goes to show that there is always something to see if you are prepared to look for it!
David Lindo, watch out! 

Friday, 15 October 2010

Saddle ringed Tufted Duck at Lynsters Gravel Pit.

While conducting a tour of Maple Lodge Nature Reserve I stopped off at Lynsters Hide that overlooks Lynsters Gravel Pit and began viewing the waterfowl present on the lake. It was here that I observed a Tufted Duck with a saddle ring on its upper bill. The ring was blue in colour and appeared to have a black inscription on it. After a brisk walk home to collect my spotting scope I eventually manged to decipher the inscription and take a couple of photo's through the scope. The inscription read A 94 or g4.
I have discovered that a ringing programme of this type was conducted in France and have contacted the ringer to identify this bird.  
Another odd looking Tufted Duck was observed showing an extensive white base to the bill. I know from experience that female Tufted Duck's can indeed have a whitish base to their bills but this was so much more obvious than usual. It's head was also more angular and after consulting my bird guide I have concluded that this was a Hybrid Scaup/Tufted Duck.
Other species of interest observed while at Maple Lodge Nature Reserve as follow;
Red Kite (4), Fieldfare (c100 moving north), Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail (immature at sluice).

                                          Saddle ringed Tufted Duck at Lynsters Gravel Pit.

                                          Scaup/Tufted Duck Hybrid at Lynsters Gravel Pit.

Maple Lodge Close

Another Autumnal day with overcast skies and a very light wind.
From my bedroom window I observed at least 10 Blackbird and 4 Song Thrush busily scoffing Rowan and Blackberries as nearby a single Jay was stocking up his cache ready for the Winter ahead.
On a large Holly several Woodpigeon gorged on the scarlet berries while 4 Goldfinch put in a brief appearance before being flushed by a noisy Carrion Crow.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Woodoaks Farm

A brief afternoon visit to Woodoaks Farm in Autumnal weather conditions produced the following species;
Common Buzzard (1), Red Kite (1), Feral Pigeon (20 feeding on ploughed field), Green Woodpecker, Meadow Pipit (25), Skylark (10), Starling (5), Jay (2), Linnet (c60), Yellowhammer.

Maple Lodge Nature Reserve & Lynsters Farm

An early afternoon visit to Maple Lodge Nature Reserve produced the following species count;
Little Grebe (12), Cormorant (2), Grey Heron (1), Gadwall (2), Teal (7), Mallard (17), Shoveler Duck (3),
Pochard (1), Tufted Duck (8), Sparrowhawk (1), Kestrel (male), Red Kite (1), Water Rail (2 calling birds from Phragmites reed bed), Moorhen (16), Coot (55), Black-headed Gull (3),
Common Gull (1), Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Ring-necked Parakeet (4), Kingfisher (2), Green Woodpecker, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail (male at sluice), Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush (3), Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow,
Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Linnet.
Species of note observed at Lynsters Farm as follows;
Greylag Goose (1), Canada Goose (50), Egyptian Goose (2), Jackdaw (c100).

                                        Cormorant at Maple Lodge Nature Reserve.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Woodoaks Farm

Another afternoon visit with similar weather conditions to yesterday produced the following species;
Grey Heron (1 over briefly), Common Buzzard (2), Red Kite (2), Pied Wagtail (12), Meadow Pipit (2), Skylark (6), Linnet (c80 feeding on stubble field below Ladywalk Wood, very mobile).  

                                        Meadow Pipit at the manure pile. 

Monday, 11 October 2010

Woodoaks Farm

A brief but productive afternoon visit to Woodoaks Farm in glorious sunshine with a stiff North Easterly wind produced the following;
Sparrowhawk (1), Buzzard (4), Red Kite (1), Little Owl (1 in old orchard), Pied Wagtail (12 on ploughed field)), Meadow Pipit (several on ploughed field), Nuthatch (1 observed heading into Lime trees at farm entrance), Linnet (29 flushed by Sparrowhawk). On returning home I noted another Red Kite circling low above houses at Maple Lodge Close.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Peregrine at Stockers Lake

An immature Peregrine was reported to be at Stockers Lake this afternoon and was observed briefly harassing the Black-headed Gull roost before moving off towards Stockers Farm.
This may have been the bird that I briefly observed at Woodoaks Farm on the 7th.


Friday, 8 October 2010

Woodoaks Farm

An early afternoon tour of Woodoaks Farm with glorious sunshine and a light breeze produced a fantastic raptor fest! Above the old orchard 4 Common Buzzard lazily glided around while nearby below Ladywalk Wood a Red Kite put in a brief appearance before being mobbed by the resident Jackdaws.
A pair of Kestrel busily hawked insects above the fallow field as a female Sparrowhawk attempted to catch a startled Skylark but was unsuccessful.
Other species of interest noted as follows;
Black-headed Gull (c400 following plough), Stock Dove (4 on ploughed field), Collared Dove (60 in old orchard), Pied Wagtail (14), Meadow Pipit (c60 on ploughed field), Skylark (12), Chiffchaff (1), Linnet (11 very mobile), Goldfinch (3 feeding on thistle in old orchard).  

                                     Red Kite at Woodoaks Farm.


Thursday, 7 October 2010

Woodoaks Farm

A brief visit to Woodoaks Farm in the early afternoon with Geoff Lapworth produced the following species;
Kestrel (1), Common Buzzard (3), Red Kite (2), Little Owl (1 in Old Orchard), House Martin (c12), Grey Wagtail (1), Pied Wagtail (c30 on ploughed field), Meadow Pipit (c20), Skylark (3), Linnet (6 on ploughed field though mobile).
Just before leaving I briefly observed a raptor in flight rapidly moving across the field behind the Old Orchard that spooked the Gull's following the plough and was possibly Peregrine?

                                Common Buzzard at Woodoaks Farm.

Maple Lodge Nature Reserve & Lynsters Farm

Another glorious morning spent at the reserve with plenty of sunshine and a light breeze.
Species of interest observed as follows;
Little Grebe (13), Cormorant (1 flying onto clubhouse Lake), Grey Heron (1), Gadwall (3), Kestrel (1 briefly over Long Hedge), Water Rail (1 calling from Phragmites reed bed below the Double Decker Hide), Stock Dove (2), Ring-necked Parakeet (2), Green Woodpecker (1), Great-spotted Woodpecker (2), Chiffchaff (1 calling near Rotunda Hide), Goldcrest (4), Treecreeper (1 calling near Teal Hide), Reed Bunting (male calling from Phragmites reed bed).
Species observed at Lynsters Farm from Lynsters Hide as follows;
Canada Goose (42), Egyptian Goose (2), Red Kite (1).
At Lynsters G.P 2 pairs of Great-crested Grebe were observed feeding well grown broods of young.
Grey Squirrel (4).

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Woodoaks Farm

I made a late afternoon visit to Woodoaks Farm where I met the music man who accompanied me on my tour of the site. Weather conditions were favorable for raptors with glorious sunshine and a stiff breeze evident. The following species were observed;
Sparrowhawk (1 flushed Skylark's from field above manure pile), Common Buzzard (2), Red Kite (3 including feeding bird on field above manure pile), Kestrel (1 observed by the music man), Black-headed Gull (c20 following plough), Little Owl (2 in the Old Orchard), Swallow (2 over briefly), Pied Wagtail (c20), Skylark (10), Meadow Pipit (c40 on ploughed field), Mistle Thrush (1 in paddock below Old Orchard), Linnet (6 on ploughed field, very mobile), Yellowhammer (6).  

Maple Lodge Nature Reserve & Lynsters Farm

A morning visit with improving weather conditions produced the following species count,
Little Grebe (8), Great-crested Grebe (2 pairs at Lynsters G.P), Cormorant (3 at Lynsters G.P),
Grey Heron (1), Mute Swan (2), Greylag Goose (6 Lynsters Farm), Canada Goose (14 Lynsters Farm),
Egyptian Goose (3 Lynsters Farm), Teal (17), Mallard (15), Shoveler Duck (2), Pochard (1),
Tufted Duck (3), Kestrel (female on Cricket Pitch), Pheasant (3 immature on Cricket Pitch), Moorhen (16), Coot (45), Black-headed Gull (7), Lesser Black-backed Gull (1 over), Stock Dove (4 Lynsters Farm),
Woodpigeon, Ring-necked Parakeet (2), Green Woodpecker (1), Great-spotted Woodpecker (adult male at Clubhouse Hide feeding station), Pied Wagtail (1 over), Skylark (2 over briefly), Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff (1 in Long Hedge), Goldcrest (6), Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit,
Great Tit, Jay (2), Magpie, Jackdaw (51 Lynsters Farm), Carrion Crow, Starling (1 over), Chaffinch, Goldfinch (15 in flooded Alder Plantation).
Fox (flushed from Long Hedge), Rabbit (2), Grey Squirrel (4).
Comma, Speckled Wood.

Great-spotted Woodpecker (adult male) at Clubhouse Feeding Station.