2 September 2015

Barred Warbler at Staines Moor: 2 September

What a day! After several hours thoroughly searching the patch for a Pied Flycatcher or Wryneck, it was mid afternoon before I reached the scrub in the north-west corner. Scanning from a distance, I noticed a large pale warbler crashing about in the hawthorns. Immediately an alarm went off - that really looks like a ******* Barred Warbler! But it can't be, this is Surrey! Approaching slowly, increasingly closer views eventually clinched it as Staines Moor's first Barred Warbler, and one of very few London records. A fantastic bird that showed very well eating blackberries and catching flies, and even sunbathing for about 15 minutes at close range! Many thanks to Peter Alfrey and Darryl Spittle for help with the ID and providing a much needed sanity check.

1st winter Barred Warbler, Staines Moor, 2 September 2015

1st winter Barred Warbler, Staines Moor, 2 September 2015

The bird spent a fair amount of time gorging itself on blackberries

A couple of videos - best watched in full screen with HD selected (click on the play icon and then the cog icon).

Other grounded migrants included 1m Whinchat (SE corner), 2 Northern Wheatear (east side), 1 Sedge Warbler (SE corner), 2 Common Whitethroat, 5 (2m, 3f) Blackcap, and 1 Willow Warbler and a Goldcrest in with a large Long-tailed Tit flock along the old railway. Noted overhead were 1 Grey Wagtail (over high W), 1H Yellow Wagtail, 9 Sand Martin (mainly S) and 33 Barn Swallow.

Also logged were 4 Hobby, 1 Eurasian Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel (including 1 catching dragonflies), 1-2 Common Buzzard, 1 Bullfinch (west side), 3 Little Egret, c300 Goldfinch (feeding on the thistles at the south end), 1 Grey Heron, 3 Reed Bunting, 40+ Eurasian Starling, and just 1 each of Skylark and Meadow Pipit. To top this lot off, 2 Barn Owl showed very well hunting over the east side at dusk.

Stanwell Moor added 2 Little Owl (first horse paddock from Stanwell Moor Village), 1 Kingfisher (over the first horse paddock), 1 Red Kite, 22 Northern Lapwing, 1 Kestrel, several Chiffchaff (H) and 1H Cetti's Warbler, and 1 Red Kite and 4 Barn Swallow were noted at Stanwell Moor village.

Other bits that made it into the notebook today were a small colony of Least (Small) Water-pepper Persicaria minor around the edge of the round pond in the NW corner (many thanks to Rob Innes for the heads-up), 1 Red Fox, 1m Banded Demoiselle, 2 Comma, 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Small Heath and a Meadow Brown on Staines Moor, and 1 Red Admiral and a Speckled Wood on Stanwell Moor.

Least (Small) Water-pepper Persicaria minor, Staines Moor, 2 September 2015

Good to see the bulrush clearance we carried out in this pond last November has paid off with a nice colony of Redshank Persicaria
maculosa growing in its place


  1. Not only a great inland find, but cracking photos as well - patch birding at its best, nice one Lee.

  2. An excellent discovery, wonderful photos - just what "patch watching" is all about - enjoy the moment, they don't come round that often! - Dylan

  3. Great find and great bird Dinger. Well deserved mate.