16 March 2012

First spring migrants

It really didn't feel very spring-like in the dull cold conditions at Staines Moor early this morning, and a pair of Goosander on the Colne, 1 Water Pipit, 1+ Common Snipe, 60 Fieldfare, 5 Redwing and 5 Teal all added to the winter chill. But make no mistake, spring is definitely springing!

3 distant Sand Martins headed over west first thing, and a scan across the anthills revealed a male and a female Northern Wheatear hopping around together in the north-east corner of the moor (I've not heard of any females seen so far this year. Is this the first?). I absolutely adore Wheatears and these two birds really made my day! 3 Chiffchaff (2 heard), 1 Common Buzzard W and 2+ Redshank completed the day's passage migrants, but the moor is now alive with singing and displaying local breeders including 13 Lapwing, 9 Reed Bunting and lots of Skylark and Meadow Pipits.

Also seen were 1 Little Egret, 2 Little Grebe and 2 Egyptian Geese on the Colne, 4 Canada Geese over (a good patch bird, yes really!) and a Pheasant, and on adjacent Stanwell Moor 2 more Chiffchaff, 4 Shelduck over and 2 more Pied Wagtail.

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