12 April 2016

Staines Moor: 12 April

An excellent day for spring migrants at the patch. The day started off well with excellent views of a Grasshopper Warbler in the NW corner along the hedge bordering Stanwell Moor, watched at close range, even flying out into sedges on Staines Moor and heard to sing occasionally. 3 Common Redstart (a male and female in the hawthorns in the NW corner and a male in the hawthorns on the west side) is an excellent site day count, although they proved typically elusive, appearing in front of you one moment and vanishing the next.

Today's Grasshopper Warbler in the NW corner

A Lesser Whitethroat in the NW corner is the first patch record of the year, as were 7 (3H) Willow Warbler (including 1 on the ground around the anthills in the NW corner). Other grounded migrants included 4 (1m, 3f) Northern Wheatear on the west side, 10 (1H) Blackcap (inc. 8m, 1f) and 14 (6H) Chiffchaff (including a ringed bird along Bonehead Ditch).

Overhead, 13+ Sand Martin (NW to NE, with 9 pausing to feed over the Colne for a while), 1-2 barn Swallow N, 3 Linnet NW, 1 Skylark N, 2 Meadow Pipit N and 1 Peregrine N were noted moving, along with 6 Red Kite and 6 Common Buzzard.

Local breeders logged include 2 Redshank on the east pool (one bird displaying to the other by fanning its tail), 21+ Linnet (including a female collecting nest material in the NW corner), 9 (8m, 1f) Reed Bunting, 1 Greenfinch in display flight over the west hawthorns, a pair of Robin seen courtship feeding, and many Meadow Pipit and Skylark. Also found a discarded Blakcbird egg.

Discarded Blackbird egg

Also noted were 2 (1m, 1f) Stonechat still (south end east of Colne), 1 Little Egret (Colne), 1 Coot (Colne), 1 Grey Heron (Butts Pond), 2+ (1m, 1+f) Kestrel, 1+ Eurasian Sparrowhawk, 8 (6m, 2f) Mallard and 4 (2m torquatus, 1f, 1H) Common Pheasant (SE corner). A couple of Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris were in flower today and inverts seen include 3 Comma, 4m Brimstone and a Peacock.

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