Tuesday, 28 December 2010


The year started off with a cold spell and good numbers of winter refugees visited Beddington. The highlights included this Lapland Bunting.

Large numbers of thrushes were witnessed migrating overhead and many (including this Redwing) were seeking refuge and food in the streets of Hackbridge.

Red Kite and Short-eared Owl (photos by Roger Browne) were involved in the winter displacement.

Three Scaups visited the lake in late January.

The Hackbridge Community Action Group (HCAG) was formed in late January with the aim of facilitating the progress of the sustainable village and nature reserve project.

The winter bird migrations caught the attention of the local press.

In March the RSPB visited Beddington to discuss the development of the reserve.

Conservation works in the winter included the re-landscaping of the southern and northern lakes, the installation of Shelduck boxes and seeding of the islands.

In April and May Beddington took part in David Lindo's London wide migration survey, co-ordinating migration sightings from Tower 42 in Central London to other London migration watch points. Beddington was visible from the top of the tower and migrating large raptors were tracked across the city.

Peregrine from the tower.

It was a good spring migration and set the course for a record bird listing year at Beddington.
Red Kite (Roger Browne)
Kittiwake (Roger Browne)

In late April Johnny and I attended the Wandle Valley Regional Park Forum and talked about the development of the reserve and it's integration into the wider ecological environment.

Johnny, Roger and I teamed up with David Lindo to take part in the Oystercatcher bird race. An event organised by Natural England to publicise public transport accessibility to London's wildlife reserve network. Our team the Urban Beddington Birders came second.
Birding in Covent Garden (below).

The Urban Beddington Birders.

Back at the farm the good run of spring birds continued with an incredible few days in early May. Two first for Beddington were seen in as many days- a Pacific Golden Plover (photo by Roger Browne) was the first one in London for over a century.

A Common Crane was also a first for Beddington.

The LNHS botany group visited Beddington in summer to carry out a botany survey.

The Wandle Valley Festival was a highlight of early June. An event that co-ordinates ecological activites along the entire stretch of the River Wandle.
Bob Steel (my old geography teacher) doing what he does.

Mid summer Foxes at Beddington.

The bird breeding season was successful. Lapwings raised several young across the site.

Peregrines bred in nearby Sutton and the young were daily visitors to Beddington.

Warm dry spells through the summer months provided ideal conditions for lots of bugs and butterflies.

Black-tailed Godwit as usual is one of the earliest autumn specialities.

A first winter Wheatear.

It was an excellent Willow Warbler passage.

The autumn migration local community birding tour proved popular.

Habitat restoration continued. A new reed bed was planted up on the Southern lake.

Tufted Ducks are a late breeding bird- the young hatch as many other birds are already migrating south.

This Spotted Flycatcher is unfortunately a decreasing migrant.

Beddington featured in Birdwatch in September.

The Hackbridge Carnival was a great achievement by the Hackbridge Community Action Group. The Beddington Farmlands stall attracted lots of interest.

The autumn birding pace quickened through September and October. Highlights included these amazing trio of Gannets and also a fly over pair of Bearded Tits.

Beddington Farmlands dawn.

WINTER (again) 2010
The cold weather returned in December and brought with it some great birds and set the scene for some bird list record breaking. Johnny beat the Surrey Year List record : http://surreybirding.blogspot.com/ and it was also a record year at Beddington with 164 species.
Snow Bunting

Iceland Gull
The nation wide Waxwing invasion reached Beddington.

The proto-type of the Birds of Beddington was previewed in December. The release date for the book is any day now.
Adult Caspian Gull- a winter Beddington speciality.

A juvenile Common Crane paid a three day visit to the lake in mid December- an incredible sight and proved very popular for birders across the whole of London. Roger's video here:
More of Rogers photos here:

And BFBG Beddington Farmlands website:


StourbridgeRantBoy said...

Excellent review - thanks for sharing - it must have taken a bit of time. There is still 5 1/2 hours to go to make it 164..........

Peter Alfrey said...

We did it - 164 with Hen Harrier!

Cheers! Happy New Year :-)