20 November 2015

Woodcock return: 20 November

A couple of hours spotlighting this evening at Staines Moor found at least 2 (perhaps as many as 6) Eurasian Woodcock at the north end - the first birds of the winter. However, a waxing gibbous moon was throwing out a heck of a lot of light and so the birds could not be approached close enough for photos. I'll try again in a week or so. Also noted after dark were a possible Jack Snipe (east pool), 5(4H) Common Snipe, a Short-eared Owl, 3f Eurasian Teal (east pool) and 3(H) Redwing over, as well as c15 Rabbits (including a couple of black animals) - a much higher site count than usual.

A walk along the old railway this afternoon logged 2-3 Coal Tit (2 at the feeders and 1 in a tit flock), 3 Blackcap (2m, 1f), 1 Common Chiffchaff, 15 Goldcrest, 7 Chaffinch (2m, 5f - feeders). The open moor produced 2+ Water Pipit, 3 Little Grebe, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Little Egret, 2 Grey Heron, and 1 Pied Wagtail all along the Colne, and 9 Stonechat (6m, 3f), 1 Short-eared Owl, 1 Redwing, 36 Fieldfare, 1 Reed Bunting, 2+ Kestrel and 2 Egyptian Goose W.

1 of 15 Goldcrest along the old railway alone today

Passage overhead amounted to just 1 redpoll sp. SSW, 1 Grey Wagtail W, 1 Greenfinch SW, 3 Chaffinch (SW-S), several Linnet SW, 1 Red Kite W, 1 Common Buzzard and a Grey Wagtail W. A steady eastward movement of gulls off to roost near dusk consisted of mainly Lesser Black-backed, Black-headed and a few Common Gulls.

Staines Moor today, looking north-east towards King George VI Reservoir

11 November 2015

Coal Tits at the patch: 11 November

Concentrated on birding the old railway and Bonehead Woodland at Staines Moor today. Finally caught up with the Coal Tit(s) that has been visiting the feeders for a few weeks. From photos there was actually 2 Coal Tits at the feeders today along with several each of Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit and Ring-necked Parakeet, and 5+ (4f, 1m) Chaffinch.

Setting up a feeding station and keeping the feeders topped up on Staines Moor is no easy task and so Stephen Minhinnick must be thanked for his efforts as well as for getting me a patch tick.

Coal Tit - 1 of 3 birds present along the old railway today

Photos show 3 different Coal Tits on site today - the 2 right hand birds were visiting the feeders

Another Coal Tit a little further south along the old railway was my second record (identified as a third bird from photos), and a Eurasian Treecreeper around the feeders was my third patch record.

Eurasian Treecreeper along the old railway today - I love the white claws on these birds

Today's Eurasian Treecreeper

Other notables today were 1 Short-eared Owl at the north end at dusk that flew up from the grass and headed directly off north to Stanwell Moor, 2 (1f ,1m) Eurasian Bullfinch along the old railway, 26 Goldcrest, 1 Fieldfare (Bonehead Woodland), 1+ Water Pipit over the east side, 2 Little Egret, 3 (2m, 1f) Stonechat, 10 Stock Dove (over Bonehead Woodland) and 1+ Kestrel.

Vis mig was almost non-existent with 4 Fieldfare SW, 2(H) redpoll sp., 1 alba wagtail over W, and 1 pale Common Buzzard ENE (didn't look like the usual pale individual in a brief view) just south of the A30).

It's so mild still that Water Forget-me-not Myosotis scorpioides is still flowering along the Colne.

Weather: Overcast (8 oktas), mild, some very light drizzle at times, moderate SW wind.

1 November 2015

Birding the fog: 1 November

A few hours birding Staines Moor in the fog finally produced a Firecrest, albeit briefly, along Bonehead Woodland in the NE corner. The Goldcrest influx continues with 34 counted today setting another site record, but thrushes remain thin on the ground with just 1 Fieldfare, 5 Song Thrush and 7 Blackbird logged.

The fog didn't lift at all today so visibility remained poor. Vis mig amounted to just c.62 Woodpigeon SW, 11(1H) Linnet S and 9 Goldfinch S. On the ground, 1H Water Pipit, 1 Little Grebe (Colne), 2 (1m, 1f) Stonechat, 2 Grey Wagtail, 3+ Pied Wagtail, 2 Little Egret, 4 Skylark, 1 Meadow Pipit, 4H Cetti's Warbler (1 in the reeds along the Colne by the northern footbridge and 3 along Bonehead Ditch), 3(1H) Greenfinch, 1 Kestrel and a Common Snipe (heard overhead at dusk) were noted.

Goldcrest, Staines Moor, 1 November