21 April 2015

Catching up with spring at the patch: 21 April

A few underwhelming hours at the patch today - my first visit in over month after being chained to a computer and missing out on some good local spring migration. Unlike last week when I was away on a course, the weather conditions today were shite for migration or any falls, with a cool NE wind and clear sky.

Vis mig over Staines Moor amounted to, wait for it, 2 Sand Martin N (my first of the year - that's how much I've managed to get out birding this spring) and 2 Barn Swallow N. Staines Moor also produced 1 Hobby (hunting), 1+ Common Tern (fishing along the Colne), 1 Common Whitethroat, 2(2H) Sedge Warbler (mainly NE corner), 1m Blackcap, 4(3H) Chiffchaff, 2 Redshank (Colne) and 2 Northern Lapwing.

Also noted were 10+ Linnet, 3 Red Kite (presumably local wanderers), 1+ Common Buzzard (local bird), 1 Little Egret (Colne), 5(2m) Reed Bunting, 2 Pied Wagtail (Colne), 1 Eurasian Sparrowhawk, 2+ Kestrel, 9+ Meadow Pipit (several displaying) and 2 Egyptian Goose E.

One of the Long-tailed Tits nests found last month now has chicks, given away by the adults regularly bringing in flying insects and caterpillars and removing faecal sacks. One bird, presumably the female, would also occasionally spend a few minutes incubating between foraging.

Incubating Long-tailed Tit today

Lots of Cuckoo Flower Cardamine pratensis and some Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris are now in flower, and butterflies were out in force with many Holly Blue, Orange-tip, Green-veined White, Peacock, and a couple of Brimstone and Small Tortoiseshell seen.

Stanwell Moor produced 1H Cuckoo, 6(3m, 1f, 2H) Blackcap, 1H Sedge Warbler and 6(2H) Chiffchaff, 2(1m) Reed Bunting, 2(H) Cetti's Warbler, and at Stanwell Moor Village 4+ House Martin, 1 Barn Swallow and 1-2 Red Kite were noted.

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