30 December 2013

A crisp winter's day at the patch

A good but rather protracted session at the patch yesterday in very icy but bright conditions. An hour and half night-birding before dawn produced two good but brief views of a Woodcock on the ground near the iris channels in the north-west corner, as well as 7(5H) Common Snipe, 1 Skylark, 1 Grey Heron, 8 Redwing calling overhead and 3 Rabbits.

The first hour after dawn saw some good Woodpigeon movement with 1786 counted, mainly heading SW and in flocks up to 500 strong - smashing the previous site record of 520 over south on 23 Oct 2005. Other highlights were 4 Water Pipit with Meadow Pipits around the largely frozen floods at the south end, another 10+ Common Snipe, 2 Chiffchaff along Bonehead Ditch, 47 Linnet (including 42 leaving the roost just after dawn), 30 Meadow Pipit and 5+ Pied Wagtail feeding on the frozen pools, 2 (1m, 1f) Stonechat, 2+ Little Egret, 1 Red Kite N, 1 Common Buzzard S, 2+ Little Grebe, another Skylark, another Grey Heron and 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker.

One of four Water Pipits at the southern end of Staines Moor today

Water Pipit

Part of a strong south-westerly movement of Woodpigeon for an hour after dawn

Woodpigeons over south-west

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