24 April 2014

First Whinchats pass through

Had the first Whinchats of the year at Staines Moor today with 3 superb males flitting around at the north end, including one 1st year male singing it's head off!

One of three male Whinchats at Staines Moor today, including one bird singing. Up to four pairs of Whinchat bred at Staines Moor
from the 1930s to 1966, with the last breeding attempt in 1967.

Other migrants today were very elusive 1f Common Redstart in the hawthorns at the north end, 2f Northern Wheatear on the west side, and a very late Fieldfare in the NE corner briefly along Bonehead Ditch. Overhead, the only migrants seen were 1 Barn Swallow and 5 Sand Martin heading north. 1 Common Cuckoo in the trees along Bonehead Ditch (also seen on Stanwell Moor), and 1(H) Reed Warbler in Butts Pond are new in for the summer, 1 of the Grasshopper Warblers was heard a few times and 3(1H) Sedge Warblers were noted.

Record shot of today's late fieldfare

Other notables include 4(1m, 3f) Pochard over NE (surprisingly scarce here, even overhead), 12+ Lapwing including a pair with a chick, 1+ Redshank, 2 Red Kite, 1 Common Buzzard, 2 Egyptian Goose SE, 3+ Common Tern fishing along the Colne, 2+ Little Egret, 4(3H) Lesser Whitethroat in the NW corner, 3(1H) Common Whitethroat, 1(H) Cetti's Warbler at Butts Pond still, 5 Blackcap, 4(H) Chiffchaff, 3+ Gadwall and a male Blackbird showing some 'progressive greying' (not partial albinism apparently) in it's plumage.

Noted my first Green-veined White butterfly today - although I must admit I've ignored the whites so far this year so I've probably been seeing them for weeks! Also, a major hatching of Hydropsyche contubernalis caddislfies today. Had a go at photographing the Upright Chickweed Moenchia erecta, but unfortunately it wasn't sunny enough to open the flowers.

Hydropsyche contubernalis caddislfies

Upright Chickweed Moenchia erecta on an anthill on the east side. Hopefully I'll catch it with the flowers open.

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