22 May 2016

Staines Moor: 22 May

Not quite sure what happened to spring, but just like that it is now summer, with a few very quiet hours at Staines Moor today producing naff all passage migrants.

A Lesser Whitethroat flicking between bushes in the SE corner (my first ever on this part of the moor), 1 Red Kite over N, 1 Common Swift E and a Barn Swallow W could all have possibly be moving through rather than local birds, but no other movement was evident.

Other 'highlights' were 2 Gadwall (flew onto the Colne), c.200 Eurasian Starling (mainly adults but some juveniles in tow, with many towards the southern end of Bonehead woodland, around the livestock and in NW corner), 2 (1m, 1f) Common Shelduck E, 2 Egyptian Geese W, 2 Redshank (Colne and east pool), 1+ Hobby, 1 Common Buzzard (local bird), 3 Common Tern (Colne), 1+ Little Egret (Colne), 5 Sedge Warbler (2 pairs and a lone ringed male in the swamp - see below), 5H Common Whitethroat, 2H Common Chiffchaff, 2 (1m, 1H) Blackcap, c12 Common Pheasant (1 very tame male torquatus, and 1 female with c.10 very young chicks in the swamp, a couple of which I almost trod on!), 7 Reed Bunting (6m, 1f), 1 Grey Heron, several Linnet and lots of Meadow Pipit and Skylark.

No sign of the Grasshopper Warbler or the pair of Stonechat, and still no Common Cuckoo - the first year of absence that I can remember and I really hope we haven't lost them as a regular breeding species.

Ringed and unpaired male Sedge Warbler singing in the swamp today (coordinates/grid reference of recovery: 51.442805,
-0.512438/TQ 03482 72584). I think I've managed to piece together the ring number from photos - 3N46271, and the pic bottom
right seems to say MADRID and the word AVES above it, so perhaps this bird was ringed in Spain by the San Sebastian/Aranzadi
(Spain) ESA scheme. Hopefully I'll find out some history soon. Many thanks to the Lakes and Pennines, the BTO and Lee Barber
on Twitter for their feedback (right-click on image and open in a new tab to enlarge).

A Roe Deer spooked in Bonehead woodland was my first daylight sighting at the patch, 1 Downlooker Snipe-fly Rhagio scolopacea was my first this year, and plenty of Yellow Iris Iris pseudacorus are now in flower. 12 horses are now out to graze.

1 of about 10 Common Pheasant chicks with a hen, encountered in long grass in the swamp today. This bird and another were frozen
to the spot right by my feet.

Downlooker Snipe-fly Rhagio scolopacea in the swamp today (taken with a Samsung Note 4)

Weather: Sunny (2 oktas in morning) becoming cloudy early afternoon (4 oktas by 13:00 and 8 oktas by 14:00), very light SW wind, damp early morning.

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