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.

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