Tuesday, 9 January 2018

January 5th to 7th 2018

Jan 5th: Water rail (meadow trail), teal, sparrowhawk, at the Hayden hide,
              common gull on the river.

Long-tailed tit
Jan 6th: Squirrels, long-tailed tits, blue tits, great tits, wren, robin, blackbird,
              sparrow, hedgehog. (Polly Holday).

              As above plus dunnock, coot, moorhen, mallard, tufted duck, gadwall, wigeon,
              heron, cormorant, sparrowhawk, goldfinch, chaffinch, treecreeper, goldcrest,
              magpie, carrion crow, jay, wood pigeon, bh gull, lbb gull, mute swan,
              canada goose. (Sharon Williamson)

Jan 7th: Water rail x 2, Egyptian geese x 2, grey wagtail x 2, dunlin x 4, (Washout Pit)
              9 Whooper swans. (Diddington Pit.) (G.R.)


              Bh gulls x 180, teal x 20, tufted duck x 122, wigeon x 90, gadwall x 100,
              shoveller x 27, goldeneye x 9, red crested pochard, water rail, lapwing x 2,
              fieldfare x 2, redwing x 2, common gull x 3. (Terry Brown)

Sunday, 7 January 2018

December 27th to January 6th.

Happy New Year to you all.

The mild weather generally has continued, but the biggest change has been in water levels. With Southoe Brook flowing well and the river up, the Heronry Lakes are now the highest we have seen in a year. This has driven the shoreline back into the trees and making observations more difficult.
This heron was enjoying the low water level in December.
He's not there now and neither is the island behind him.
I strongly recommend  a visit to the wild bird cover mix in our arable fields where there are flocks of buntings and finches feeding, though it takes patience to see them amongst the crops. The starling roost over the meadow has grown to several thousand birds since Christmas.

Cormorants are well in to nesting now.
This one was photographed last month and
 isn't showing breeding plumage yet.
Dec 31st: Green woodpecker x 2, teal x 6, mute swan x 66, kingfisher, b.h. gulls x 120,
                 mallard x 28, gadwall x 110, shoveller x 44, wigeon x 21, green sandpiper x 3,
                 redwing x 2, goldeneye x 10, buzzard, tufted duck x 176, skylark x 26,
                 yellowhammer x 60, linnet x 4, grey wagtail. (Terry Brown)

                 Pigeon x 2, sparrow hawk x 2, coot x 2 (Alice Gooch)

                 Goldcrest, treecreeper, g.s. woodpecker, long tailed tits, blue tits,
                 great tits, swans, mallards, cormorants, hereon x 2, tufted ducks, wood pigeons,
                 robins, dunnocks, cola tit. (Nicole and Nigel Smith)

January 1st "Ice-breaker" event:
                 Two guided walks involved 59 people. 53 species were seen including
                 green sandpiper,  kingfisher, goldcrest, reed bunting and jay.
                 The walks raised £111 for the Friends to spend on the reserve.
                 Thanks to all 14 of the volunteers involved. (TG)

Jan 2nd:   Robins, blue tits, great tits, wren, tufted ducks, song thrush,
                 grey squirrels. (Jakey and Sharon)
Records of common birds are valuable.
Please keep them coming.
Jan 3rd:   Red crested pochard drake x 2, Kingfisher (all on Heronry South). (John Edwards)
                Green sandpiper x 3 on Island Pit. (Neal)

Jan 6th:   Green woodpecker, g.s.woodpecker x 2, jackdaws, reed buntings,
                kestrel x 2, bullfinches, teal, shoveller, wigeon, gadwall, tufted ducks,
                grey herons, cormorants, carrion crow, long-tailed tits, greylag geese, redwing,
                blackbird, b.h. gull. All on the Heronry Trail. (JAS)

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

December 12th to 26th.

There are regular reports of great white egret from the quarry.

Great tit. Always reliable at the bird tables. 
15th: Chiffchaff x 2 (Hayling), water-rail (Cloudy), siskins x 2 (VC) (Neal)

18th: Grey squirrels, robin (HH) Goosander, goldeneye x 5, (Washout) (PC)
         Black squirrel, redwing and fieldfares on the river trail. ( Mags B)

20th: Wood pigeon, robin, goldfinch, blue tit, long-tailed tit,
          pied wagtail. (Chloe and Sharon)

21st: Squirrel x 5, blue tit and robin. (Lucy Thomson)

Third Thursday Walk: Blackbird, BH gull, blue tit, carrion crow, collared dove,
chaffinch, common gull, coot, cormorant, gs woodpecker, great tit, green sandpiper,
grey heron, greylag, jackdaw, kingfisher, lt tit, magpie, mallard, moorhen,
mute swan,redwing, robin, rook, shoveller, starling, stock dove, teal, tufted duck, widgeon, wood pigeon, goldeneye, goosander. (35 spp)

24th: G.s Woodpecker, mute swan, grey heron, moorhen, tufted duck. (Eileen)

Monday, 25 December 2017

Christmas 2017

Top Christmas Birding to you all. 

No starlings?
Grey, mild weather has been good for birds like kingfishers that stayed here but we need some harsh conditions to make the birds (and birders) gather together in havens like Paxton Pits.

We are on the look out for that classic winter duck the smew, but they are simply not here. A few goosanders pop in and out and there is a good range of dabblers to see; all in fine colour now as they enter their courtship phase.

Speaking of courtship, the cormorants are in their breeding dress (look for the white patch near the tail) and nest building is under way.

Collared dove. Always at the bird-table. 
It's always worth a look at the bird tables. Recent sightings have included redpolls and I expect to see a marsh tit every time I go to the Hayden Hide, but no luck yet. The bird tables attract a host of common birds.

Grey squirrel, always at the bird-table too. 
At dusk I like to take a turn round the Meadow Trail, hoping to hear a Cetti's warbler and see an evening gathering of starlings. There is a small murmuration that gathers over the meadow, but numbers are in the low hundreds. Still enough to attract a sparrow hawk every evening.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 14 December 2017

December 1st to 11th 2017

Wintering chiff chaff
1st:  Red crested pochard fm, grey wagtail (2), kestrel, goldeneyes, kingfisher (2+)
        Fox sunning: All at Heronry North. (LES) (A+AB)
        GS Woodpecker at Hayden Hide.

3rd:  Gadwall, goldeneye, bullfinch, greenfinch, chaffinch, goldfinch, 2 Firecrests?, 
        goldcrest, redwing,  Gt crested grebe, little grebe, shoveller,
        Egyptian geese. (J+B W)
4th:  Long-tailed tits, snipe. Goldeneye (5)(Kingfisher Hide)
        Ringed (red) Mute swan. c100 stock-doves in roost at 3pm (TG)

6th: Buzzard, kingfisher, kestrel, teal at Bill's Bench.
       Chiff-chaff, bullfinch, goldcrest (2), sparrow hawk on Meadow Trail. (JAS)

7th: 10 Egyptian geese on Heronry South (ES)
        Bluetits, redwings, chaffinches (MES Lenwood)

8th: Goldeneyes (5) Red-crested pochard (fm), jay (3)

9th: Green sandpiper on Heronry North shore,  2 foxes sunbathing. (JAS)

11th Male redpoll on feeder at the Visitor Centre.
       Small starling roost in the meadow/Cloudy Pit attracting a sparrowhawk at dusk.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

November 26th to December 1st 2017

The view from Bill's Bench.
Look out for kingfishers, grey wagtails, wildfowl and the fox.

26th: 10 Shoveller, 140 tufted duck, 140 gadwall, 95 wigeon, 4 teal, green sandpiper,
         10 goldeneye, water rail, kestrel, 4 pochard, 2 skylark, goldcrest, grey wagtail. 
         (Terry Brown)

          Green sandpiper, (SW corner of Island Pit) 2 kingfisher (Heronry lakes)
          4 drake goldeneyes (Heronry N.) 8 Egyptian geese (Heronry South)
          (A&G Williams)

Male bullfinch

27th:  Peregrine falcon, low over Heronry North (TG)

28th:  3 gadwall, 5 mallard at Bill's Bench. (L. Neverad)

1st:    Grey wagtail, bullfinch, fox, fieldfares, 4 goldeneye, green sandpiper on
          Heronry Lakes. (JS)

Sunday, 26 November 2017

November 18th to 25th 2017

November 20th: 14 Egyptian geese at the Hayden Hide. (JCC)

November 22nd: 2 Golden eye at far end of lake from Kingfisher Hide. (JCC)

November 23rd:  11:45 Peregrine passed by Kingfisher hide, heading north. Popped up 2 teal,
                             but missed. Carried on north. (CB)
                             2:10 Red Kite, flew past V.C heading south. (A.Coles)

A couple of weeks ago: Reed warbler at least 100 greylags, tufted ducks (Kingfisher Hide),
                             great crested grebe, grey herons, 5 shovelers, widgeons,
                             cormorants, 6 squirrels (Haydn hide), chaffinches and rabbits. (TR)

Goosander duck

November 25th:  2 kingfishers, 4 goldeneye, 2 goosanders, teal, widgeon, Egyptian geese,
                            mallards, gadwall, redwings, fieldfares, stock doves, reed buntings,
                            robins, blackbirds, song thrush, sparrow hawk, buzzard, kestrel. (JAS).

Goosander drake.

Friday, 17 November 2017

November 13th to 17th 2017

November 13th: Hayling Lake: 3 widgeon, 1 tufted duck. (LN)

November 14th: Goldcrest, tree creeper, lapwing, little egret, Heronry Lakes (AB)

November 16th: Heronry North: Siskins, 2 jays, grey wagtail, blackcap,
                           green sandpiper. (Neal)
                           Pair of goldeneyes (Colin B)

Third Thursday Walk: blackbird, b.h. gull, blue tit, great tit, crow,
                           chaffinch, common gull, coot, cormorant, gadwall, g.c. grebe, heron,
                           greylag, herring gull, jackdaw, kingfisher, little egret, long tailed tit,
                           magpie, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, shoveler, stock dove, teal,
                           tufted duck, wigeon, wood pigeon, wren, Egyptian goose, Canada goose,
                           goldeneye = 32 spp. (D Wilson)
                           Jackdaw roost making a lot of noise, probably 5000 birds. (TG)

November 17th: Grey and pied wagtails on roof of weigh station at Lafarge plant.
                           2 lapwings (A. Harrold) Red admiral, common darter,
                           bumble bee. (Edwin Allured)

Red Admiral

November 1st to 12th 2017

November 1st:   Heronry South (Bill's Bench) snipe, shoveller, teal, widgeon,
                           mixed tit flock with treecreeper, bank vole. (J Knight)

November 2nd:  Flock of redwings over car-park.

November 6th:  Pochard, geese, shovellers and many more omn Heronry Lakes.

November 9th:  Green sandpiper, jay, green woodpecker, grey wagtail, common gull,
                          c 0 stock doves, c60 cormorants,  (TG)

November 12th: Blue tits and great tits on feeders. (SH)
                           170 bh gulls, 12 shoveller, 28 common gull, 59 mute swan, 210 gadwall,
                           190 widgeon, 116 tufted duck, 333 greylags, 8-0 woodpigeon, 6 pochard,
                            8 linnet, yellowhammer, grey wagtail, 200 jackdaws, water rail,
                            2 goldeneye, 6 teal, lapwing, little grebe. (Terry Brown)


Thursday, 2 November 2017

October 28th to November 1st 2017

October 30th:     Muntjac on path to Kingfisher hide. Egyptian geese. (MR & AN)
                           Reed buntings in arable field. (JH)

Female redd bunting in Peter's Field. (JH)

October 31st:     4 Egyptian geese, brambling. (Rosalind)
                           Merlin near Env. Ed centre. 2 grey wagtails, common sandpiper,
                           wigeon flying in. 3 foxes under heronry. Hayden Hide. (C. Burgh)
                           Field mouse near visitor centre. (L. Nevard)

November 1st:   Snipe, shoveller, teal, wigeon, bank vole, mixed tits
                           plus goldcrest and treecreeper at Bill's Bench. (J. Knight)

Friday, 27 October 2017

October 25th to 27th 2017

25th: Sparrow hawk caught a blue tit at the bird table.
         (James Knight)

Grey heron
26th: Squirrel, blue tit (3), great tit (2), l.t tit, marsh tit, sparrow,
          robin (Chloe and James)
         Blue tit, mute swans, grey squirrel, robin,
         wood pigeon, mallard and coot (Emily and Laura Athersmith)

27th: Kingfisher (3), grey wagtail, widgeon, shoveller etc at
         Bill's Bench. (DM)
         Water rail and kingfisher at Washout Pit, marsh harrier
         at Island Pit,
         Buzzards, red kite, sparrow hawk, fieldfare, redwing,
         stock dove, moorhen, coot, teal, gadwall, lapwings,
         mixed tit flocks, reed buntings, dunnocks,
         green woodpecker, g.s.woodpecker. (JS)

Two buzzards

Saturday, 21 October 2017

19th October 2017

Third Thursday Walk: The Heronry Lakes

Mute swan, greylag, Canada goose, wigeon, gadwall, teal, mallard, shoveller, tufted duck, great crested grebe, cormorant, little egret,  grey heron, pheasant, moorhen, coot, lapwing, buzzard, b.h.gull, woodpigeon, collared dove, kingfisher, dunnock, robin, blackbird, redwing, goldcrest, l-t tit, great tit, blue tit, magpie, jackdaw, crow, house sparrow, chaffinch, goldfinch, bullfinch, linnet.
(David Wilson)

Also, after the walk, reed buntings in Peter's Field, stock doves, sparrow hawk and a red admiral butterfly.  (Jim Stevenson)

Some of  the Third Thursday Walkers.

Monday, 16 October 2017

October 7th to 15th 2017

Golden Plovers
October 7th:    Sparrow hawk on bird table at the Visitor Centre.
October 9th:    Chiff chaff near Rudd Pit, 3 goldcrests at River Viewpoint,
                        Buzzard over Cobham hide. (AH) Great Egret.
                        Red admiral and muntjac buck at Kingfisher Hide (JS)
October 12th:  Redwings near Hayden Hide.
October 13th:  Flock of c. 15 Golden Plovers over Heronry North. (JS)
                        Kingfisher and grey wagtail at Bills Bench
October 15th:  Great white egret, 2 little egrets, chiff chaff, Cetti's warbler, redpoll,
                        52 mute swans, 160 b.h. gulls, 120 gadwall, 12 teal, 8 shoveller,
                        89 wigeon, yellowhammer, 8 linnets, 2 little grebes.

Notes:             Great White Egrets. It seems we have two on the site,
                       one with a dark bill and one with a yellow bill.
                       A drake Scaup was in the quarry this week. Look out for more of them please.

Monday, 2 October 2017

23rd September to October 2nd 2017

23rd September: Hobby over Visitor Centre.

27th September: 3 Buzzards, hornet, carder bees, ivy bees, speckled wood,
                            common darter, grass snake at Cobham Hide.
                            Juv Marsh Harrier, 10 mistle thrushes, Cetti's warbler,
                            3 kingfishers, common sandpiper. (Quarry)

30th September: Buzzard, little egret, great egret, greylags and Canada geese,
                            mallard, gadwall, wigeon,  shoveller, teal. (Hayden Hide)
                           Water rail, moorhen, coot. (Kingfsher Hide)
                            Stock doves, kingfisher, bh gulls, green woodpecker, wren, goldcrest,
                            blue tits, great tit, l-t tits, black bird.  (Ian Langdon) Robin

31st September: Water rail heard, peregrine.

2nd October:      2 hobbies over Rudd Pit, plus another over Cloudy Pit,
                           2 swallows, 2 jays, song thrush, buzzard, shoveller, wigeon, gadwall,
                           mallard, teal, gc grebes, little egret, great egret, wren, small copper,
                           red admiral, common hawker ovipositing in the Hayling Pit, common darters, fox,
                           terrapin (Riverbank). Badger latrine at the beach.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Friday 22nd September 2017

Hobby over the Cobham Hide

Today was an absolute treat. Autumn colours starting to show, water levels just right and still some insects on the wing. Work on the Kingfisher Hide bridge completed. It is now open for use. 

Cobham Hide: Otter sighting at lunchtime. Hobby overhead (it flew behind a tree hence the poor photo.)

Heronry South: Great white egret, little egret x 2, little grebe x 4, great crested grebes, moorhens, coots, shovellers, widgeon, pochard, gadwall, mallard, tufted duck, greylag, Canada geese, mute swans,  b.h.gulls, grey herons, cormorants, stock doves.

Hayden Hide: Ivy bee colony in gravel, common darter, migrant hawker and brown hawker, speckled wood, small white, red admiral. Brown rat and grey squirrel. Wood pigeon and collared dove, great tit and blue tit, robin, dunnock, blackbird, long-tailed tit.  Buzzard x 2.

Brown rat at the Hayden Hide.
Car park: Adult male peregrine at 19:30, hunting edge of Weedy pit. Great views, but no camera handy.