Thursday, 27 April 2006

Bird news

Thursday 27th
  • Tipped off by Pete Carroll that a nightingale was showing well by the corrugated iron on the left of the path out to Biggleswade Common at lunchtime, I was lucky enough to watch it taking a bath in between bouts of subsong. Also 3 buzzards enjoying the sunshine in the area and a good showing by blackcap, garden warbler, whitethroat and willow warbler (Mark Ward)
  • Lunchtime: No hoped for Hobby, but a nice pair of displaying Sparrowhawks, and a pair of Kestrels from the quarry carpark. Also a couple of Common Terns feeding over Warren Villas (Jamie Wells.)
  • 2 Buzzards and 2 Sparrowhawks soaring high over house at 1245 Thursday (IKD, DFD)
  • 50 species for the year from my window up to this morning with the appearance of 3 swifts (Mark Ward)
  • Morning - 2 Swallows in front of main house (Maggie Lamberton)
Wednesday 26th
  • Evening: Swift over Lodge (DFD)
  • 1.45: cuckoo flying between and occasionally calling from several trees around the Plantation Pond at the bottom of the heath. Also, nightingale heard clearly and then seen very briefly by the corrugated iron along the old railway line. Lovely stuff! (Stephen Noble)
Tuesday 25th
  • A swift from my office window on Tues afternoon, outpacing a small party of sand martins (Paul Donald)
  • 1 singing Garden Warbler above Jack's Pond (Lars Lachmann, Zbig Karpowicz)
  • Female Sparrowhawk circling outside my window 0830, Tuesday (JOS)
Monday 24th
  • Evening: Biggleswade common (old railway): 2 nightingales singing(Matt Self) 0700-0830hrs. Amidst the cacophony of warbling, a singing Nightingale by the old railway track with another southwest of the Plateau. As I walked up the steps to the Plateau, four very agitated Jackdaws were mobbing a Tawny Owl- probably the closest daytime flying views I have had of the species (Darren Oakley-Martin)
Saturday 22nd
  • Male brambling on one of the hide feeders at 10.15am on Saturday (Sarah Kelly)
  • 1 grasshopper warbler reeling from a bramble patch on the bridleway 150m north of The Lodge Gatehouse, and a flock of 25 siskins by the gatehouse early Saturday morning. Reports of brambling and yellow wagtail near the hide later in the morning (Neil Renwick)
Friday 21st
  • Whilst watching the pair of Mandarin Duck on Jack's Pond on Friday (21st) lunchtime, had a kingfisher flew in low over my head and away again towards the West. Red Admiral and Brimstone in the woods E of library (Martin Davies)

Friday, 21 April 2006

Bird news

Friday 21st
  • Pair of Mandarin Ducks on Jack’s Pond, Friday lunchtime (Laura Nicholls)
Thursday 20th
  • Cuckoo heard just off Stratford Road side of reserve (Robin Wynde)
  • Three Buzzards over Lodge, Thursday lunchtime (IKD, DFD)
Wednesday 19th
  • Up to 4 buzzards (2 pairs) outside the window again (Mark Ward)
Tuesday 18th
  • Up to 70 siskins gathered in the pines in the south-west corner of the avocet car park c17.00-17.15 Tuesday evening (seen arriving in small groups from mine and Ellen's window).

Wednesday, 19 April 2006

Bird news

Wednesday 19th
  • Up to 4 buzzards at a time showcasing their flying skills just outside our window today after several days of 'no show'. Also regular house martins and swallows now (Mark Ward)
Tuesday 18th
  • 0840 biggleswade common; 1 yellow wagtail, feeding around cows; 2 nightingales, singing from old railway line (Ian Dickie)
Monday 17th
  • I found a wheatear at Sandy Heath Quarry but while I was there visitors reported a red kite over HQ, and one visitor took video of about 20 "baby" grass snakes at Jacks Pond. Another visitor reported nightingale & cuckoo from the old railway line area
  • Willow warbler singing at the top of steps to Jacks Pond (Neil Renwick)
Sunday 16th
  • Cuckoo just to the south of the reserve, buzzards displaying over Sandy Ridge woodland (NR).
Saturday 15th
  • C.60 siskins near the gatehouse
  • Male brambling reported at the hide (NR)
Friday 14th
  • 20 fieldfares + 2 redwings on sandy Ridge field, 10 siskins & 1 pale redpoll on north west edge of the heath (Neil Renwick)
Thursday 13th
  • 50-60 siskins, chaffinchs and at least one redpoll feeding in birch tops near Jack's pond, Thursday (13th April) 1.40 pm (Chris Magin)

Thursday, 13 April 2006

Bird news

Thursday 13th
  • 1 goldfinch in front of the hide hopping around next to the pond and 2 nuthatches - 1 on the feeder and 1 collecting leaves and moss from next to the pond - 1.45pm (Ann Favell)
  • As well as the (female) firecrest this lunchtime in low cover and the yew just beyond gate at SE corner of the garden, also c20 noisy siskins still around in the area (Katie Fuller, Mark Ward)
  • 1030hrs. Pair of Sparrowhawks displaying in spectacular fashion in the wind over the Quarry were briefly joined by a third bird from the north- turf wars! (Darren Oakley-Martin)
Wednesday 12th
  • Four crossbills over the stable block @1423 (Chris Harbard)
  • 1030hrs. Crossbill over Osprey carpark calling and a mixed flock of some 40 Siskins and Redpolls later. 1530hrs. Four Buzzards over Ivel Valley and four Swallows through north (Darren Oakley-Martin & Richard James)
  • 6 lesser redpolls found during BBS, feeding in birch tops, in the wood west of the Lodge (David Agombar)
Tuesday 11th
  • 0710-0810hrs. Highlights of our Lodge BBS were a flock of 46 Siskins (the most either of us have ever seen around the reserve), three Lesser Redpolls, a singing Blackcap near The Gatehouse and a pair of Buzzards in the Bunkers Hill area. A single Swallow flew purposefully west as we arrived back at the Avocet carpark (Darren Oakley-Martin & Richard James)
  • Highlights of our breeding bird survey Tuesday morning near Deepdale/fuel depot: Kingfisher, 2 flying east together, presumably to Deepdale for some goldfish! Wheatear, 1 male near the entrance track to the quarry (Katie Fuller, Kate Hayes, Sarah Kelly)
Monday 10th
  • Single sand martin and male siskin from my window Monday. Another three siskins over near the hide and a nuthatch watched gathering nesting material from the ground by the pond in front of the hide (Mark Ward)

Friday, 7 April 2006

Bird news

Friday 7th
  • blackbird young fledged from nest outside the Shoot Room (Duncan McNiven)
  • 2 willow warblers on railway line; 2 sand martins west over heath; buzzard calling near Jack's Pond (Duncan McNiven/Debbie Pain)
  • Still male and female siskins visiting our feeder today and another appearance by the goldfinch - still a star Web Team window bird (unless it gets too regular)! (Mark Ward)
  • Midday. Grey Wagtail over Avocet Building; 2 Redpoll ssp. over Quarry (Darren Oakley-Martin & Steve Williams)
Thursday 6th
  • The Web Team feeder was visited by a pair of siskins on Wednesday and Thursday pm. (Mark Ward)
  • Thurs lunchtime: 3 Commas, 1 Red Admiral on Pieris in gardens (IKD, DFD)
  • Pleasant stroll around 0800- 0900hrs.Siskin- 19; Lesser Redpoll- 2; Crossbill- 3; Blackcap- 3 singing males; Chiffchaff- 4 singing males; Willow Warbler- 3 singing males towards Biggleswade Common; plenty of nesting material being carried hither and thither by resident species (Darren Oakley-Martin)
Tuesday 4th
  • Lunchtime - close views of a stoat hunting rabbits along Stratford Road (Peter Newbery)

Wednesday, 5 April 2006

Bird news

Wednesday 5th
  • Swallow flew north over the quarry car park, 2.30 pm (Katie Fuller, Mark Ward)
  • Weds lunchtime, in gardens: 4, probably 5, Commas, 1 Red Admiral, male Brimstone, 4 Bee-flies and a mass hatch of Fever Flies (Dilophus) (IKD, DFD)
  • 2 Brimstones and a Comma on reserve and along Stratford Road, lunchtime (Lynn Giddings)
  • 2 willow warblers singing, old railway line. Brimstone nr Jack's Pond (Duncan McNiven)
  • Lunchtime: Long-tailed tit nest nearing completion near the steps down to the heath- being finished off with moss and feathers; Chiffchaff, 1 singing at the top of the steps; Willow warbler, 1 singing near track to Biggleswade Common; Sand martin, 1 flew east over the paddocks; Comma at the bottom of the steps; Red admiral on Biggleswade Common (Katie Fuller, Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • Along Biggleswade Common at lunch Weds: singing Blackcap, 2 singing Willow Warblers, 1+ Swallows, Sand Martin and Peacock Butterfly (Jamie Wells, Kat Balaam.)
  • Pair of swallows displaying amorous intentions over the meadow in front of the house Weds lunchtime.
  • From my window, the first goldfinch I've ever seen on the Web Team feeder and several appearances by buzzards today (another from the heath too) (Mark Ward)
  • Late morning, six Buzzards and two Sparrowhawks overhead- not one wingbeat between them and framed by a perfect azure sky. Blackcap in sub-song in SW corner of garden (Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • Buzzard over reserve Weds morning being mobbed by a single crow eventually sending it off towards Biggleswade Common 08:50 (John Kenyon)
  • Blackcap singing in Sandy heath Quarry this morning (Wednesday). Meadow pipits on Sandy Heath (not RSPB land) (Neil Renwick)
Tuesday 4th
  • 2 buzzards, 3 sparrowhawks and 6 siskins from the hide at lunchtime (including male and female of the latter coming to drink and bathe). Also collared dove calling at the front of the house and a cormorant high north-east. (Mark Ward and Katie Fuller)
  • A mini hirundine passage Tuesday lunchtime, viewed from the quarry car park - first a Swallow heading north @ 13:35, then c.20 Sand Martins north a few minutes later and then a single House Martin and Sand Martin feeding together over the quarry @ c.13:45. Also a distant Buzzard and 3 Siskins over (Jamie Wells)
  • 1245-1330hrs: Chiffchaff singing in House Garden; Raven- two birds again over The Quarry; ....and at last, the first Swallow high to the west (Darren Oakley-Martin & Alan Knight)
  • 1030hrs: Pair of Sparrowhawks over the Quarry. 1815 3 little egrets at E end of brook along the N side of Biggleswade Common (Ian Dickie)
Monday 3rd
  • Comma at Pieris in gardens, Monday lunchtime. (IKD, DFD). Again Tuesday
  • Pair of ravens from my window c16.15 to c16.20 Monday indulging in some nice pair-bonding acrobatics before they drifted off to the south-west. Also up to 6 buzzards and 2 swallows north early am. Male siskin at the gatehouse feeders when I drove in Monday am (Mark Ward)
  • Osprey was seen drifting NW over Osprey Building carpark(!) 1045hrs. Given RIB's sighting at 1009hrs, it may have been circling for some time (Darren Oakley-Martin)
Saturday 1st
  • Pair of mandarin ducks still at The Lodge, on Jack's Pond on Saturday afternoon (Neil Renwick)
Friday 31st
  • Fri 31 March, 5.30 pm - one of our pioneer pair of collared doves shot across courtyard and over Shoot Room with sparrowhawk hot on its tail. Didn't see the outcome. (Conor Jameson)
  • Sand martin flew westwards over Quarry car park at 3.15 pm, Friday. Red admiral near the memorial garden, Friday lunchtime. Buzzard over the quarry again Friday morning. (Katie Fuller)
Thursday 30th
  • 10 siskins and a chiffchaff in the birches above Jack's pond at lunch time Thursday. (Dave Agombar)
  • Undoubted highlight of our BBS Thursday morning was a party of five Crossbills; one confirmed male, two very pale, possibly juvenile birds. (Darren Oakley-Martin, Katie Fuller, Richard James)
Wednesday 29th
  • Pair of Mandarins on the pond evening of 29th (Mike Clarke)
  • Peregrine drifted SW over quarry car park at 3.57 pm (Katie Fuller).
  • Male brambling at the Gatehouse feeders on Wednesday morning 29th (Neil Renwick)
  • Was going to report a 'parakeet-type thing' seen at 18.15 in the Avocet car park, but now realise it's a cockatiel and has probably been observed by half of all Lodge-based staff. At the same time though I also saw a starling in the pine trees on the edge of the car park - I think it's the first time I've seen a starling here in 7BD years... is this unusual? Forgive my ignorance, but I work in marketing - it's almost in my contract to know nothing about birds ;-) (Stephen Noble)
Tuesday 28th
  • One male lesser redpoll (ringed on the left leg) and a paler female redpoll with pale mantle stripes at the hide pond, Wednesday lunchtime (Katie Fuller, Lucinda King, Ellen Collier)