Wednesday, 27 April 2011

26th April, Virginia Water

A mid-morning walk in mild conditions produced the following species;
Great-crested Grebe (20), Mute Swan (6 inc 2 nesting pairs), Canada Goose (8), Egyptian Goose (3), Mallard (6 inc duck with brood of young), Tufted Duck (pair), Mandarin (3 drake), Sparrowhawk (1), Red Kite (1), Pheasant (displaying male), Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Woodpigeon, Ring-necked Parakeet, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush (2 pairs), Reed Warbler (5 singing male), Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit (pair at nest), Blue Tit, Great Tit, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch.

                                          Drake Mandarin on water near Totem Pole 

                                          Mallard ducklings.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Wood Warbler at Ashridge Forest

Steve Carter and I headed off early morning to Ashridge Forest, Berkhamsted in search of a reported Wood Warbler that had been present the previous evening. On arrival we noted several Fallow Deer grazing the Beech trees as we drove up the drive leading towards the Duke of Bridgewater Monument.
Within minutes we could hear the distinctive call of the Wood Warbler and shortly after I had a new lifer to add to my list. The bird was located in birch adjacent the pond near the monument. Between singing and displaying the bird would occasionally glean a Caterpillar before continuing its rendition.

                                          Wood Warbler at Ashridge Forest

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Woodoaks Farm & Bottom Wood

I visited the farm in the late afternoon and then proceeded to Bottom Wood with species of note as follows;
Woodoaks Farm
Red Kite (2), Common Buzzard (3), Sparrowhawk (1), Little Owl (1 in old orchard), Ring-necked Parakeet (leaving nest hole in Ash at Ladywalk Wood), Common Whitethroat (1), Garden Warbler (1), Blackcap (3), Chiffchaff (2), Long-tailed Tit (pair at nest).
Bottom Wood
Tawny Owl (immature flushed from dense foliage), Green Woodpecker, Great-spotted Woodpecker.
Brimstone, Peacock, Orange-Tip, Holly Blue, Speckled Wood.

                                          Little Owl at Woodoaks Farm

                                          Orange-Tip butterflies mating.

                                          Holly Blue.

                                                     Long-tailed Tit nest at Ladywalk Wood.

                                                       Yellow Archangel at Bottom Wood

Black Redstart at Heathrow Airport

After finishing another long night shift I noted a singing male Black Redstart as I made my way to the staff car park adjacent Technical Block E. We usually have a couple of breeding pairs at this site and I have personally observed them here since 1987.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Staines Reservoir & Stanwell Moor

An early morning visit straight from work produced a few interesting species notably Great Northern Diver (1 on south basin), Slavonian Grebe (1 on south basin) thanks must go to Bob Warden for pointing out this bird and the use of his scope), Shelduck (pair on north basin), Black-headed Gull (c300), Common Tern (6), Oystercatcher (pair on north basin), Common Snipe (1 flushed from tern raft on north basin by gulls), Starling (c100 feeding on causeway).
I then made my way to Stanwell Moor where species of note included a single Great Northern Diver overhead briefly, a chorus of Warblers including Cetti's Warbler (1), Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat (2), Common Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap and Chiffchaff.
On the moor itself at least 3 Wheatear, 3 Lapwing and several pairs of Linnet showed well in the morning sunshine as a single Little Egret fished the river. Unfortunately my night shift began to catch up with me and I departed without noting the Ring Ouzel that was observed by other early morning birders.

                                          Great Northern Diver at Staines Reservoir

                                          Cormorants at Staines Reservoir

                                          Common Whitethroat at Stanwell Moor.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Grasshopper Warbler at Stockers Lake

While conducting a belated WeBS count early morning I noted a reeling Grasshopper Warbler on the overgrown field 200 yards south of TOC H field. Was still reeling at 07:15 when I departed.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Lodmoor R.S.P.B Reserve, Weymouth

I arrived early morning and began my search for the Long-billed Dowitcher, a new tick if sighted, with the following species observed;
Little Grebe (pair), Cormorant, Little Egret (3 over), Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Shelduck (5), Wigeon (pair), Gadwall (3 pair), Teal (4 pair), Mallard (pair), Tufted Duck, Sparrowhawk, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher (6 including pair), Little-ringed Plover (1), Ringed Plover (2), Dunlin (7), Lapwing, Long-billed Dowitcher (viewed from very close range), Bar-tailed Godwit (1), Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Cuckoo, Sand Martin (c30), Swallow (2), Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Cetti's Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling, Greenfinch, Linnet (9), Goldfinch.
Later a visit to Durlston C.P produced a singing male Lesser Whitethroat near the visitor centre.

                                          Long-billed Dowitcher at Lodmoor R.S.P.B Reserve.

                                          Shelduck at Lodmoor R.S.P.B Reserve.

                                          Black-headed Gull at Lodmoor R.S.P.B Reserve.

17-04-11 Durlston Country Park

An early morning walk to Durlston Country Park via Townsend Nature Reserve & Jack Baisse Meadow produced the following species, Fulmar (3), Shag (5), Cormorant (6), Peregrine (female), Kestrel (male), Pheasant, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull (4), Kittiwake (2), Razorbill (6), Guillemot (c100), Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove (pair), Green Woodpecker, Skylark (3), Swallow (5), Meadow Pipit (4), Rock Pipit (3), Pied Wagtail(displaying male), Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Nightingale (singing male near Jack Baisse Meadow), Stonechat (male), Wheatear (pair), Blackbird, Song Thrush, Garden Warbler, Common Whitethroat (22 including pair), Chiffchaff (7), Willow Warbler (9), Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Linnet (17), Goldfinch (2), Yellowhammer (pair), Reed Bunting (female).
Later while at Swanage beach 4 Sandwich Tern were observed fishing off-shore.



                                          Common Whitethroat.

                                          Herring Gull.

                                          Shag and Guillemot.

                                          Blue Tit.

                                          Sandwich Tern.


                                                        Spider Orchid.

                                                        Early Purple Orchid.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Croxley Common Moor to Stockers & Bury Lake via The Witheybeds LNR

A morning and early afternoon birding with Steve Carter in glorious sunshine produced the following species;
Croxley Common Moor
Common Tern (3), Lesser Black-backed Gull (1), Cuckoo (singing male), Green Woodpecker (pair), Great-spotted Woodpecker (1), Blackcap (several singing male), Chiffchaff (singing male), Willlow Warbler (singing male), Common Whitethroat (4 singing male), Jay (3), Reed Bunting (2 singing male).

                                          Common Whitethroat in Hawthorn.

                                          Reed Bunting (male).

                                           Lesser Black-backed Gull.



                                          Orange Tip.

Witheybeds LNR
Lesser-spotted Woodpecker (male excavating nest hole), Great-spotted Woodpecker (drumming male), Chiffchaff (singing male).

                                          Lesser-spotted Woodpecker.

                                                        Green Alkanet.

Stockers Lake 
Reed Warbler (singing male from causeway), Sedge Warbler (singing male from causeway).
Bury Lake
Red-crested Pochard (2 pairs and 2 drake).

                                           Red-crested Pochard (drake).
                                                       Red-crested Pochard (duck).

                                           Mute Swan over causeway.

                                           Barn Swallow at Stockers Farm.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Truss's Island, River Thames near Staines.

While feeding the waterfowl at Truss's Island a pair of Egyptian Geese appeared with 8 well grown goslings.

Church Lammas Lakes and Lammas Park

A brief afternoon visit to Church Lammas Lakes near Wraysbury produced the following species;
Little Grebe (1), Great-crested Grebe (pair), Mute Swan (pair at nest), Canada Goose (2 nesting pairs), Mallard (7 inc pair), Tufted Duck (4 pairs), Moorhen (pair), Coot (8 inc 2 nesting pairs), Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon (5), Kingfisher (displaying pair), Green Woodpecker (1), Pied Wagtail (1 over), Wren (singing male), Dunnock (2 singing male), Robin (singing male), Blackbird (3 singing male), Blackcap (5 singing male plus pair), Chiffchaff (2 singing male), Long-tailed Tit (pair), Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch (2 pairs).
Orange Tip, Brimstone, Holly Blue.



On the river Thames at Lammas Park a pair of Egyptian Goose was briefly noted before being chased off by the resident Mute Swan.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Stockers Farm, Stockers Lake & Bury Lake

An early afternoon visit with Steve Carter in search of migrants produced the following species of interest;
Wheatear (male on flooded field at Stockers Farm), Swallow (3 around barns at Stockers Farm), Common Tern (10 flying around Stockers & Bury Lake), Reed Warbler (singing male on causeway at Stockers Lake).


                                          Marsh Marigold at Stockers Lake.

Broadwater Gravel Pit, Harefield

A morning visit produced the following species;
Little Grebe (2 pairs), Great-crested Grebe, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Egyptian Goose (pair with 2 remaining goslings plus another pair), Gadwall (3 pairs), Mallard, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye (7 inc pair), Common Buzzard (3), Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher (1), Black-headed Gull (c50), Common Gull (1), Lesser Black-backed Gull (1), Herring Gull (5), Stock Dove, Woodpigeon (14), Ring-necked Parakeet (2), Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker, Great-spotted Woodpecker (2 displaying pairs), Wren (65 singing male), Dunnock (4 singing male), Robin (8 singing male), Blackbird (12 singing male), Song Thrush (2 singing male), Blackcap (43 inc 41 singing male), Chiffchaff (24 singing male), Willow Warbler (6 singing male), Goldcrest (2 singing male), Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Common Treecreeper (displaying pair), Jay (displaying pair), Magpie, Jackdaw (25), Carrion Crow (pair), Chaffinch (13 singing male), Goldfinch, Bullfinch (pair), Reed Bunting (3 singing male).
Orange Tip, Comma, Large White, Green-veined White, Peacock, Brimstone, Holly Blue. 

                                           Black-headed Gull

                                          Egyptian Goose (pair with 2 remaining goslings).

                                          Greylag Goose

                                         Cormorant with young at nest.

                                          Great-crested Grebe



                                          Holly Blue.

                                          Orange Tip.

                                                        Garlic Mustard.
                                                        Cuckoo Flower.
                                                        Common Field Speedwell.
                                                        Field forget-me-not.


                                                          Ground Ivy.
                                          Grey Willow.
                                                        Green Alkanet.