30 March 2014

Spoonbill over Staines Moor: 30 March

A very pleasant afternoon at the patch today in hazy sun and a warm southerly wind, produced a really fantastic start to the spring. Even lady luck cracked a smile for once. Minutes after replacing my dead camera battery with a spare, an adult Eurasian Spoonbill flapped over the Moor heading east-south-east. I fired off a whole load of shots as it passed over, veering south slightly over the Moor before turning back east-south-east over KGVI. A few minutes after the bird had disappeared in the distance, the spare battery died! I'd often hoped for a fly-over Spoonbill so this bird has made my spring already! This is the third record for Staines Moor, following one from 27-28 September 1973 and one on 18 April 1997.

Eurasian Spoonbill over Staines Moor at 15:17, 30 March 2014 - the 3rd record for the Moor

Also recorded my first common summer migrants of the spring with 4 Sand Martin feeding over the Colne for an hour mid afternoon, 1 Green Sandpiper dropping onto the Colne early evening, 1 male Northern Wheatear around the anthills in the north-west corner this evening, 17(6H) Chiffchaff and 3(2H) Blackcap. Also logged were 1+ Redshank, 20 Northern Lapwing (including at least 4 displaying), 1+ Water Pipit (in summer plumage), 15-18 Common Snipe, 2 Red Kite (1 NE and 1 N), 2H Cetti's Warbler (1 Butts Pond, 1 NE corner), 7+ Linnet, 3 Reed Bunting, 1 Kingfisher along the Colne, 3 Little Egret, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1+ Grey Heron, lots of displaying Meadow Pipit, several Skylark, 3 Coot back on the Colne (they disappear from Staines Moor in the winter), 8 Stock Dove and lots of Mallard (up to 35).

Four Sand Martins around the Colne for an hour mid afternoon were my first of the year

Some lepidoptera now out - 3 Comma, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 2-4 Peacock, and 1 Brindled Flat-body Agonopterix arenella. Also some Cuckoo Flower Cardamine pratensis is now flowering.

Also noted were 2 Shelduck west over Stanwell Moor.

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