21 April 2016

Staines Moor: 21 April

A full day at the patch today produced some good spring passage but also proved very frustrating for photography, with few birds cooperating. A female Ring Ouzel in the NW corner briefly soon after dawn was a great start but unfortunately was only seen for a few seconds as it flew from the hawthorns near the Butts north onto Stanwell Moor. While trying to relocate it, 3 Barnacle Geese flew over south - probably feral birds.

A smart male Whinchat in the NW corner was the first patch record of the year, and other passage migrants included 2 Short-eared Owls, 2 Yellow Wagtail (1m around the horses and 1 over N), 1 Common Swift E, 1 Reed Warbler (Butts Pond), 1 Sedge Warbler (hawthorns NW corner), 3 (1H) Common Whitethroat, 4m Lesser Whitethroat, 7+ Common Tern (5E, 2+ fishing in the Colne), 3 House Martin (2N, 1 Colne), 11 Barn Swallow (mainly NE/N), 21+ Sand Martin (mainly NE/N), 11 Blackcap (8m, 2f, 1H), and 7 (3H) Common Chiffchaff.

Male Whinchat in the NW corner today - the first record on the patch this year

Presumed feral Barnacle Geese south over Staines Moor this morning

Also noted were 3 Shelduck E (2m, 1f), 2 Gadwall (1m, 1f), 1m Stonechat still at the south end (female incubating perhaps?), 5 Redshank (2 pairs and a single along the Colne), 2 Northern Lapwing (1N, 1SW), 3 Common Buzzard (including 1 pale phase), 5 Red Kite, 1f Eurasian Sparrowhawk, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Little Egret (Colne), 1-2 Coot (Colne), 26+ Linnet, lots of Skylark and Meadow Pipit, 8 Reed Bunting (6m , 2f), 1H Cett's Warbler (hedge east of Butts Pond), and a pair of Long-tailed Tit building a nest. Also plenty of Yellow Dung Flies Scathophaga stercorariasaw around today and saw my first Speckled Wood of the year.

1 of 5 Redshank on site today

A pair of Long-tailed Tits had almost finished this nest in one of the hawthorns in the NW corner today

3 horses and 34 cattle have now been put out to graze - I'd like to order a male Black-headed Wagtail please.

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