Thursday, 7 May 2009

Wood Sands at Beddington

I missed another good bird at the farm on Tuesday- this time two Wood Sandpipers which flew off from the lake at around 0700. Interestingly two Wood Sandpipers were seen flying into Brent in North London at 0935. If these were the same birds- that is is a flight speed of 3.5 mph (I could walk faster). The London Wetland Centre, Hyde Park and Regents Park lie in between Beddington and Brent so perhaps they stopped off there for a bit too. Of course they might not be the same birds.

Also it comes to light that the Lea Valley is pretty poor for Wood Sandpipers (only two in 20 years) and a record at the EIDB would warrant a flag flying for Paul Hyland- so perhaps the small number of Wood Sands that pass through London generally follow the Beddington to Brent line. There are only two records from Regents Park (August 1969 and 1977) so obviously not a favoured stop over site on the (hypothetical) flight line.

That small number of London Wood Sands may well be on the decrease as at Beddington (a key site), since the landfill operations, the status has changed from five to six records of up to two to three annually to, for example, no records in 2003 and only one in 2005. On August 14th 1999 there were ten on the farm- since then the sludge beds have decreased in number to make way for landfill.

Information sourced from The Birds of Beddington Farm (unpublished), and London Birders Yahoo Group Thanks to Des Mckenzie, Dave Lambert, John Archer and Paul Hyland.


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Peter Alfrey said...

I'll take that as a compliment.