16 August 2015

Staines Moor's forth Great White Egret: 16 August

My first visit to the patch in an age went rather well. 2 Whinchat associating with an early Stonechat and, bizarrely 2 Common Whitethroat, at the north end was a good start. I had only been on site an hour and was just despairing at how overgrown the moor is with Creeping and Spear Thistles, when I glanced up and noticed a Great White Egret heading low north. After dropping down onto Stanwell Moor, the bird returned an hour later where it proceeded to be harassed by the local Grey Herons while trying to fish in the Colne. After almost being chased off over KGVI Reservoir by a Grey Heron it returned and showed well beside the Colne where it managed to catch at least one fish. This is the forth record for Staines Moor following 1 on 10 November 2013.

A little vis mig overhead with 10+ Common Swift, 2 Sand Martin E, 1 House Martin E, 19 Barn Swallow (mainly SW, some E), 5 Northern Lapwing NW, 1 alba wagtail E and small numbers of Goldfinch SE. Also noted: c200 Goldfinch feeding on the abundance of thistles (mainly at the southern end), 1+ Little Egret, 2+ Linnet, 1 Common Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 4 Stock Dove, just 1-2 Skylark, 1 Meadow Pipit, 2 Grey Heron and 7 Canada Goose E. Lots of Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens, Meadow Brown and a few Small Heaths around today as well.

Stanwell Moor added 2 Hobby, c6 (5H) Chiffchaff and 1H Blackcap.

Staines Moor's forth Great White Egret, present on and off from 14:48 until 17:05 today and showing extremely well at times

Rather overshadowed by the egret was today's Stonechat - an early autumn passage record for Staines Moor

I've never seen Staines Moor so overgrown with thistles. The area north of the channel in the SW corner and the whole of the SE
corner is smothered (these are Creeping Thistle Cirsium arvense). I despair at the the so-called 'management' of the moor by
Spelthorne Borough Council.