Sunday 30 September 2012

Autumn birding and mothing

A couple of first-winter Yellow Wagtails on 100 acre 
A major passage of House Martins today with over 500 in an hour moving north west
An influx of Pied Wagtails with 18+ on site 
Barred Sallow 
Lunar Underwing (at last)
Johnny's gone AWOL at the moment so Beddington bird sightings are now here:

Saturday 29 September 2012

Quiet September day

Juvenile Kingfisher- Juvenile aged by dark breast band and dark on feet, the forth juvenile we have caught this autumn
Migrant Hawker 
Autumnal Rustic 
Beaded Chestnut

Migration has dropped off quite a bit. Very little on the deck and bushes- 4 Yellow Wagtails over, 100+ Swallow, 6 Green Sandpiper,1 Snipe and a few Chiffchaffs. About 7-8 Jays about including 5 moving south this morning.
A few moths last night including Autumnal Rustic (new one for me) and Beaded Chestnut.

Friday 28 September 2012

Vis Mig

4 Wigeon- new arrivals with 15+ Mallard 
Red Underwing 
Garden Tigers growing in the bugry tank
Plenty of vis mig today with 400+ Swallow, 100+ House Martin, 15+ Sand Martin, 15+ Chaffinch, 50+ Mipits, 2-3 Reed Bunting, (just remembered 2 Mistle Thrush a couple of days ago) and Nick had a Wheatear and Yellow Wag on the mound (Tank had a Whinchat yesterday).
4 Wigeon were a new arrival and looks like there has been an influx of Mallard too.
Had a Red Underwing in the trap last night. My Garden Tiger breeding programme is going well- I rounded them up today to have a count-about 25.
Had three meetings this week regarding various Beddington Farmlands issues and green improvements round here. A few signs of hope. The Mayor has sent back the ERF planning application saying it is not compliant with the London Plan and want issues such as loss of MOL and negative aspects to wildlife and the nature and country park addressed. Can't be a bad thing.

Thursday 27 September 2012

Bits and Bobs

Swift (yesterday) 
Meadow Pipit
I'm just hoping that something from all the passerine stuff on the east coast is going to make its way here. Been looking along the edges and on the mound but not a great deal. A Swift yesterday may well be the last of the year. A few Goldcrests, 10+ Chiffchaff, 20+ Long-tailed Tit and 1 Blackcap. A good Swallow passage with 300+ yesterday and 200+ today, 40+ Meadow Pipit on the mound today, 30 Linnet and 20 Goldfinch on the mound, 3 Skylark,  10 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, a passage of Cormorants with 15+ yesterday and 10 today, Hobby today and Hobby and Peg yesterday.
Very quiet in the moth trap in recent evenings- highlight was a Mallow but also the odd Garden Carpet and a few Setaceous Hebrew Character.

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Long-tailed Skua- ID Summary

Andy Stoddart has kindly summarised the identification features on this bird:
Overall slim and ‘slight’ structure
Body ‘deepest’ around the chest, not the belly
Long and slim ‘rear end’behind the wings
Wings very long and slender, narrow-based with a long ‘arm’ and very slim ‘hand’
Bill small and short
Projecting central tail feathers long and blunt
Overall ‘cold’ grey plumage hues with no ‘warmth’
Pale on the underparts concentrated on the central breast, contrasting with a darker upper breast band
Extensive barring on axillaries and undertail coverts
Minimal upperwing flash but extensive underwing flash
A first for Beddington and also a second for Surrey (if accepted).

Mega fly-by

Looked out the window of the 'obs' earlier today (like I often do as the gulls and corvids were making a bit of a commotion) and saw a skua shape coming towards me. I immediately went for my camera and machine gunned it as it flew over the top of my block and out of my view within a few seconds. I quickly called Johnny who was at the hide and told him to look out for it and then had a proper look at my photos. I still can't see why it's not Beddington's first Long-tailed Skua and also possibly the first record for Surrey (only one accepted dodgy record by the county's finest stringer but also a record of one over Fairoaks about three years ago (accepted as 'skua sp' by the rarities committee).

Monday 24 September 2012

The calm after the storm

Swallows (above and below) 

House Martin 
Sand Martin 
Not a lot today despite the perfect conditions. The Little Stint was still present and there was a Wheatear on the mound. About 100+ Swallows, 20+ House Martins and 4-5 Sand Martins being hunted by two Hobbies. Also a Common Sandpiper. Pretty quiet.

Sunday 23 September 2012

Eastern Promise

Great White Egret- the third record for Beddington 

Little Sint and Snipe 
Little Stint flying around the lake 
Swallows on the move- about 250+ today 
Sheltering from the storm
The promised rain and east winds arrived as did the hoped for payload. Highlights of the day (so far) include Beddington's third ever Great White Egret, the first Little Stint for the year, 250+ Swallow moving south east, 20+ House Martin, 1 Sand Martin, 17+ Yellow Wagtail south, 30+ Meadow Pipit south, 10+ Pied/alba Wagtail over, 1 Song Thrush over, 3 Skylark on the mound, 4 Goldcrest (including 2 in the nets), 40+ Linnet, 10+ Greenfinch, 10+ Goldfinch, 3 Little Egret, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 15 Lapwing, 10 Green Sandpiper, 140+ Teal, 60+ Shoveler, 6 Gadwall and that was about it.   

Saturday 22 September 2012

The calm before the storm?

Chiffchaff, Roger, Johnny and Mike's hand. A quiet day on the nets- a few migrants including a singing Willow Warbler 
Mompha sp (subbistrigella). The evenings are cool at the moment so very quiet on the moth front. This was the best thing last night. 
! Two weird ducks on 100 acre- a Yellow-billed Pintail/hybrid on the left and a female Chestnut Teal (?) on the right 
Too much plastic on the farm (and not just the rubbish bags that blow in from the tip) 
Tree and House Sparrows

Ok, despite the excitement about the winds (and all the great birding that everyone along the east coast was having) today at Beddington was basically rubbish. (A few migrants: 10+ Swallow, 15 Mipit, 2 Sand Martin, 8 Green Sand, 140+ Teal, 64 Shoveler, 5 Gadwall, 4 Sparrowhawk, 3 Grey Wagtail and a few Chiffys, one Blackcap and a Goldcrest in the garden this morning). A Common Lizard under the survey mats and a few more bug ticks.
Weather looks good for tomorrow so fingers crossed.

Friday 21 September 2012

Latest from the Bugry

Large Wainscot 
Two Dewick's Plusia last night (7 for the year now)- above and below 

Flower Crab Spider Misumena vatia (male above and female below)
A few bits and bobs on the bug front recently. The Flower Crab Spider was a new one and Dewick's Plusia and Large Wainscot are Beddington specialities.


We are all getting rather excited about the east winds coming this weekend. Check out the Met Office weather forecast for Monday..... I'm having a long weekend!

Thursday 20 September 2012

850th Species

Caloptilia semifascia
Caught one of these last night- my 850th Beddington species. My Beddington Pan Species List here:

Also a few Horse Chestnut Leaf Miners flying around now and just caught my 5th Dewick's Plusia for this year. A Little Owl was calling a few moments ago from Irrigation Bridge.

Easterlies are due on the weekend so hopefully this spell of prevailing winds will break and we get some more bird migrants.

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Birthday Local Patching

My 40th birthday today and Beddington supplied a surprise out of the blue with a juvenile Gannet yesterday evening and a new moth tick- a Red-green Carpet. The Gannet was the 9th record for Beddington (my 5th record and 7th individual but first one on the deck).
 Pics here on David's blog (I twitched it with no gear after Derek raised the alarm):

The Gannet twitch

Red-Green Carpet (rhs) and Burnished Brass 
Beddington Gulls

Spent today looking for migrants and ticks (for the pan-species list). Pretty quiet on the migrant front in these prevailing wind conditions. However a few bits an bobs- 50+ House Martin, 20+ Swallow, 5 Sand Martin, 10+ Meadow Pipit, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 6 Green Sandpiper and also 1 Peregrine. 40+ Stock Doves on the mound and also 20+ Linnet and 10+ Goldfinch on the edge.
Got a few bugs and beetles that I need to id too.

Sunday 16 September 2012

September Beddington Farmlands Nature Walk

Led a walk around the farmlands today. Not too many migrants about in these prevailing wind conditions but plenty of waterfowl on the Southern Lake, a few hirundines hawking over the North Lake and about 30 Grey Herons too. We had a look at the restoration and discussed some of the issues surrounding the Incinerator proposal. More on that here:

Teal and Shoveler- 150+ Teal and 50+ Shoveler on the Southern Lake 
Up to 2000 Starlings around recently. A flock here flying in front of the Shard.