14 February 2015

Jack Snipe encounters and patch ticks: 14 February

The highlight of an afternoon and evening session at the patch today was 7 Jack Snipe on Staines Moor, one bird in particular giving incredibly close views! Fascinating to watch their behaviour and take in the detail.

1 of at least 7 Jack Snipe seen today - I watched this bird for 45 minutes at a range of about a metre

Typical crouching behaviour

Views were ridiculous today - I even managed to photobomb this pic (check out the reflection in the eye - click to enlarge)

Also noted on Staines Moor: 2 (1m, 1f) Goosander over NW before dropping onto Wraysbury Reservoir, 2(1H) Water Pipit along the Colne, 3(1+m, 2f) Stonechat, 1 Cetti's Warbler (seen very poorly along Bonehead Ditch), 1 Little Egret, 5 Fieldfare, 3 Little Grebe, 7 Meadow Pipit, 1 Sparrowhawk, 11 Linnet, 10 Pied Wagtail over N at dusk going to roost, and 2 Common Teal.

A few hours night-birding finally produced 1-2 very vocal Tawny Owl along Bonehead Ditch (sadly heard only) - a patch tick and just the 4th record for Staines Moor, 3+ Eurasian Woodcock (NE corner and east side), 1 Little Owl around the anthills in the NE corner, 11(9H) Common Snipe, 1 Jack Snipe (probably one the same birds as earlier), and a surprise Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus in the NE corner (patch tick).

Stanwell Moor added another Tawny Owl (heard) at night and a Water Rail heard from Bonehead Ditch.

12 February 2015

A3 sightings

A couple of barely worthy notebook entries from the week, both from the car to and from work - a (quite possibly plastic) Barnacle Goose (or perhaps Barnaclexsomething hydrid?) flying south over the A3 just north of the Esher junction at 0835 on 10 February, and a Tawny Owl west over the A3 also around Esher this evening (12 February) at 1720.

3 February 2015

Lamping by moonlight at the patch: 3 February

A visit to the patch this afternoon/evening produced the following at Staines Moor: 2+ Water Pipit, 1+ Little Egret, 1 Grey Wagtail and 4 Little Grebe all along the Colne, 2 Water Rail showing fairly well along Bonehead Ditch, 1 Cetti's Warbler along Bonehead Ditch, 5 (3m, 2f) Stonechat, 3 Common Snipe (including 1 along Bonehead Ditch), 9 Pied Wagtail (including 8 over N at dusk presumably heading to roost), 16 Meadow Pipit, 1 Eurasian Sparrowhawk failing to catch a Song Thrush, 2+ Kestrel, 1 Common Buzzard (landing on the moor), 6 Song Thrush, 8 Fieldfare, 2 (1 ad., 1 imm.) Grey Heron and 3 Common Teal that flew onto the moor at dusk.

A full moon after dark made night-birding very difficult with birds taking flight before any could be approached, but 2 Eurasian Woodcock were seen at the north end and 1 Little Owl was on the anthills in the NE corner.

Stanwell Moor added a Kingfisher in Stanwell Moor Village perched along the stream, 18 Song Thrush, 10 Blackbird, 1 Little Egret over N, 3+ Pied Wagtail, 21 Goldfinch, 5 (2m, 3f) Gadwall, 4 Common Teal, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Coot, and 2 Mallard.

A full moon in the east shortly after dark did nothing to help the night-birding, although it made those hazardous anthills easier to see.
The night sky was made more spectacular this evening with Jupiter situated very close the moon, though with all the light pollution
from Heathrow and the M25, Staines Moor really isn't that good for astronomy.

Weather: Cloudy with sunny periods, becoming clearer after dark, light but cold northerly wind, moon phase: full.