Friday, 24 March 2006

Bird news

Friday 24th
  • male crossbill singing near hide.(Duncan McNiven)
  • A big increase in 'siskin time/visits' at our feeder during the wet weather on Friday - perhaps linked to the 'closing up' of seed-bearing cones and catkins?(Mark Ward and Ellen Collier)

Thursday 23rd

  • Pair of buzzards displaying E of the heath.(Duncan McNiven)
  • Pair of siskin still at our feeder. Also the strange sight of 3 snipe flying around wasteland on Sunderland Road, Sandy as I drove in this morning.

Wednesday 22nd

  • As well as the superb mandarin surprise late pm down by the hide, a single redwing calling in trees there and a pair of siskins still visiting the Web team feeder.(Mark Ward)
  • Female mandarin flew low across the drive towards the hide at 5.15 Weds afternoon, making a strange, nasal call. A couple of minutes later male and female circled the ponds and flew off to the north.(Paul Donald)
  • A quick visit on Wednesday to the hide (1.20-1.35 pm). In the sunshine, many birds were coming to bathe, including a pair of Siskins and a very interesting male redpoll. Generally pale all over, it didn't give the impression of being tiny, like a Lesser, and had only a smudge of buff on its wingbar. Also two pale lines on its mantle, and a BTO-type ring on its left leg! Probably a Common [Mealy] but hard to say for sure on the brief view we had...(Katie Fuller and Mark Ward)
  • 10:45 Evidence today perhaps of a little passage. Two Grey Wagtails SW over Osprey Carpark and five Siskins over The Quarry. Yesterdays female Sparrowhawk again in the area. There are now three Great-crested Grebes on Warren Villas but the pair of Oystercatchers are down to one.
  • 13:30-14:00 A lunchtime stroll to Biggleswade Common was remarkable only for a remarkable absence of birds!(Darren Oakley-Martin & Richard James)
  • Two Collared Doves in the Yew Tree car park at about 11.30 am Wednesday, one singing.(Grahame Madge)

Tuesday 21st

  • 1315hrs. Female Sparrowhawk in undulating display flight over wooded area north of Osprey Building. Common Buzzard over House.
  • Biggleswade Common, 1330-1345hrs. Fieldfare- 112; Yellowhammer singing (Darren Oakley-Martin & Richard James)
  • Male and female siskin still visiting the Web Team feeder Monday and Tuesday, plus five feeding in birches behind the hide at lunchtime and a buzzard over the woodland opposite the house.(Mark Ward)

Saturday 18th

  • Two Buzzards over reserve Saturday am (Lynn Giddings)

Friday 17th

  • Two Little Egrets west of Warren Villas from The Plateau, Friday 1600hrs.(Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • Up to 6 male and a female siskin at/around the Web team feeder Thursday 16th pm and single male and female Friday, 17th. c20 siskins around the shop car park at lunchtime Friday 17th (Mark Ward)

Thursday, 16 March 2006

Bird news

Thursday 16th

  • 0835: 3 Gr Sp Woodpeckers drumming simultaneously on the reserve, all within 100yards of the gate at the bottom of the bridleway. (Ian Dickie)

Wednesday 15th

  • Flock of fieldfares, redwings & starlings still present on Sandy Heath Weds morning - moving between fields north and south of the Sandy-Potton road. One common buzzard, mobbed by carrion crows and a female stonechat was on brambles in the middle of the 'hobby field', to the north-west of The Lodge Gatehouse.
  • Siskins at the feeders at the Gatehouse, and bathing at the hide. 4 lesser redpolls bathing too, including three males (Neil Renwick)
  • Goldcrest outside reception, Weds morning (Maggie Lamberton)
  • Common lizard vanishing rapidly into leaf litter by the steps down to Jack's Pond at lunchtime Wednesday and 12 fieldfares flew over the heath. Also male and female siskin together at our feeder late morning and a cormorant past at c2 o' clock, which then dropped down to Warren Villas (Mark Ward)
  • Gibraltar had nothing on the Web Team window Wednesday morning. The 'flock of flycatching gulls' that caught my eye circling way to the west turned into a spectacular 9 buzzards 'kettling ' together at 11.40. Thereafter regular sightings of up to 4 at once in display as the flock broke up and pairs got down to pre-nuptials just outside the window.(Mark Ward)

Tuesday 14th

  • Rapid decline in number of visits to our feeder by siskins: 2 males Monday briefly and a single male once on Tuesday. This is in contrast to nuthatches which are constant visitors again - up to 3 present at any one time. 3 siskins coming to bathe at the pond Monday lunchtime and a male serenading a female in the new car park Tuesday lunchtime (Mark Ward)
  • Goldcrest, 6 feeding in leaf litter on The Plateau. The lone Oystercatcher has now been joined by a second at Warren Villas, Great-crested Grebe also here (viewable from The Plateau). 1530-1545hrs (Darren Oakley-Martin)

Monday 13th

  • Warren Villas. 1545hrs, Monday. Little Egret flew in high from the North, viewed from The Plateau at The Lodge. Also pair of Teal.(Darren Oakley-Martin)

Sunday 12th

  • The flock of fieldfares & redwings were in the same trees early on Sunday morning, but had moved south to the RSPB's Sandy Ridge field by 10am, where they had teamed up with a starling flock. Less disturbance for them on that field. Redwings in sub-song at both locations. Still got the flock of siskins at the feeders at the Gatehouse.
    A pair of buzzards were displaying on the cold wind over Hasells Hall (between Sandy & Everton)(Neil Renwick)

Saturday 11th

  • Song thrush singing at the Deepdale end of the Long Riding bridleway, which runs from The Lodge to the north of Sandy Mast, then at least 250 fieldfares & redwings in a couple of mature oaks about half way along the bridleway - the redwings were singing.Siskins still singing & visiting the feeders on the shop lawn at The Lodge. Today's tree-planting work party was checked out by an optimistic great spotted woodpecker. The "trunks" are about the thickness of a standard pencil. Coal, great & blue tits singing round about, and green woodpeckers yaffling. (Neil Renwick)

Friday 10th

  • A great day for siskin watching. 2 males on the gatehouse feeders as I drove past, 3 males and a female at the Web team feeder regularly and perhaps as many as 20 visiting the ponds and feeders in front of the hide at lunchtime (up to eight at any one time), including a partially-albino female. Also jay and redwing from the hide. Up to 4 buzzards (2 pairs) together, riding the wind outside my window in the morning.(Mark Ward)

Thursday 9th

  • As well as the regular male and female at the feeder again today, 12 siskins flew past outside my window pm (Mark Ward).
  • 1035hrs: An immaculate male Sparrowhawk sped past the Avocet Building, no more than 8 feet away from me and away over The Quarry. Kestrel also over Quarry. 1040hrs: A pair of Great-crested Grebes in 'head-shaking' display on Warren Villas. 1325hrs: Pair of Common Buzzards over Quarry, calling constantly. 1535-1545hrs: Oystercatcher and Ringed Plover, Warren Villas (viewed from Plateau).(Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • Pair of buzzards on and off from the window Thursday, showing really well at times. Female siskin still coming to the feeder and a few golden plovers north this morning. Also 2 skylarks flew west at 2 o' clock - a first for the Web Team windows!(Mark Ward)

Wednesday, 8 March 2006

Bird news

Wednesday 8th
  • Female siskin still visiting our feeder regularly Wednesday and pair of buzzards together from the window, joined briefly by a male sparrowhawk, Weds am (Mark Ward)
    1100hrs: Common Buzzard calling over Quarry. Pair of Shelduck on Warren Villas viewable from The Plateau (Darren Oakley-Martin)

Tuesday 7th

  • Not much to report Tuesday, but the female siskin that first appeared outside my window yesterday has now taken the place of the males and is visiting the Web Team feeder regularly (Mark Ward)

Monday 6th

  • 3 buzzards showing from the bottom of the heath at lunchtime Monday, including one perched on a pylon. Also 5 fieldfares in the field at the bottom. A few siskins around the reserve, with 3 - 2 males - now visiting our feeder. One is still singing strongly at times from the hazel in the corner of the Avocet car park when not at the feeder (Mark Ward)
  • 3 Common Buzzards, including one very pale individual over Biggleswade Common 1300hrs Monday (Darren Oakley-Martin & Katie Fuller)

Sunday 5th

  • Siskins & goldfinches on the seed feeders at The Lodge shop, Sunday, and a buzzard soaring over the woodland to the east of the mature heath (Neil Renwick)

Friday 3rd

  • 23 Siskins flew over the house and settled in a birch to the south of the garden at 1600hrs Friday. Barn Owl seen again briefly at Warren Villas, 1725hrs (Darren Oakley-Martin)

Friday, 3 March 2006

Bird news

Friday 3rd
  • A female sparrowhawk 'switchback' displaying in the sunshine from our window Friday morning(Ellen Collier and Mark Ward)

Thursday 2nd

  • I saw two Tawny Owls flying around and sitting in the trees around the gatehouse at around 7.30pm (Lars Lachmann)
  • Web Team window highlights, Thursday: 2 male siskins at the feeders and buzzard. Lunchtime down by the heath: viewing of finch flock much trickier today as the birds were feeding at the back of the field and spending long periods hidden in the weedy field. One male mealy redpoll and c3 lesser redpolls showed well enough to be identified, but there were several other brief/poorly seen redpolls that could have been either! Also a female brambling with the flock today and c40 fieldfares, a song thrush and 3 mistle thrushes in a mixed flock there (Mark Ward)
  • Sparrowhawk in undulating display-flight over the quarry Thursday at 10:30. (Darren Oakley-Martin)

Wednesday 1st

  • Now 2 male siskins visiting the feeder outside my window. c8 mealy redpolls in the finch flock frequenting the trees at the bottom of the heath and feeding in the weedy field at lunchtime. Also a female siskin with the flock and a buzzard over.(Mark Ward)

Tuesday 28th Feb

  • Male, female and immature siskins at Gatehouse feeder. Green woodpecker, fieldfares and redwings foraging on open field south of The Heath(Chris Magin / Alex Hipkiss)
  • c30 lapwings south-east from our window Tuesday am (Mark Ward and Ellen Collier). The male siskin again visiting the feeder outside my window Monday morning - and holding his own very nicely against the other birds! Also a tatty buzzard (with badly damaged couple of primaries and secondaries) in its right wing low west over the garden and away over Avocet at 1.15. Up to 34 redwings in the Yew Tree car park/memorial garden area. Two more (different) buzzards in partial display from my window early-mid pm and a few lesser black-backs on the move today.(Mark Ward)
  • Quiet from my window last week, with only the regular nuthatches, the female great spotted woodpecker and the male siskin visiting the feeder to provide distractions.(Mark Ward)

Wednesday 22nd

  • A flock of c.50 skylarks near the weighbridge, Sandy Heath Quarry(Neil Renwick)