25 April 2013

Early morning on the patch

A few hours from dawn at Staines Moor this morning produced a brief Barn Owl flying around the hawthorns in the northwest corner first thing, and some new spring migrants in the form of 4 Common Swifts over W and 2 Lesser Whitethroats in the hawthorns. 4(1H) Common Whitethroat and 1 Sedge Warbler were all singing but warbler numbers in general had dropped with just 2m Blackcap noted. 5 (3m, 2f) Northern Wheatear were around the anthills at the north end.

Overhead, a Common Snipe flew east, 4 Barn Swallow north and a Jackdaw (scarce here) went northwest. Also seen were 3+ Redshank, 4 Shelduck (oddly taking a liking to the Butts Mound - repeatedly flying off but frequently returning), 6+ Linnet, 4 Reed Bunting and 10 Black-headed Gull (mainly 1st summer birds) along the Colne.

On Stanwell Moor; 1 Cuckoo, 2+ Barn Swallow, 1(H) Lesser Whitethroat, 4(1H) Common Whitethroat, 3(2H) Sedge Warbler, but just 2 Chiffchaff. An Egyptian Goose flew west Stanwell Moor Village, where 1 Sparrowhawk was also logged.

Terrible record shot of the Barn Owl. Hopefully I'll get some better images next time.

A few more plants flowering including Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris and Cuckoo Flower Cardamine pratensis.

Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris

Cuckoo Flower Cardamine pratensis

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