Friday, 24 November 2006

Bird news

Friday, 24th November

  • The Borage Field (Compartment H1) at lunchtime: grey partridge 0, red-legged partridge 8, skylark 41, meadow pipit 0, chaffinch c.30, greenfinch c.25, brambling 0, redpoll 0. (Darren Oakley-Martin)

Thursday, 23rd November

  • A buzzard flew low over the trees parallel with the car park and osprey building. (Ian Hayward)
  • The Borage Field (Compartment H1) at lunchtime: grey partridge 5, skylark 35, meadow pipit 4, chaffinch 6, greenfinch 0, brambling 0, redpoll 0. (Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • 3 Red Admirals in the gardens at lunchtime; also one Common Darter still sunning itself on the House wall and a fine Red-green Carpet by the entrance to Osprey building (Martin Davies)
  • I heard a siskin flying over calling near the canteen today and there were 2 red admirals sunbathing on the wall at the eastern entrance to the memorial garden at lunchtime today (Mark Ward, Katie Fuller and Lucinda King)
  • We now have a regular male sparrowhawk patrolling the vicinity of the webcam feeder, first spotted by Sheena a couple of weeks ago sitting on top of the feeder! At the end of last week it was proudly perched atop the feeder once again just outside my window for a short while. (Mark Ward)

Wednesday, 22nd November

  • Common buzzard over the Quarry at 1045hrs. (Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • Red Admiral in the Courtyard at 10.45 (Margaret Walton)

Tuesday, 21st November

  • 2 muntjac (adult plus young?) seen from the quarry trail. Didn't seem bothered by us, unlike the fox that bolted from cover about 15 yards from them. Wonder what it was up to? (Tony Payne, Keith Blomerley, Dave Pons, Frank James, James Hall, Francis Denning
  • The Borage Field (Compartment H1) at lunchtime: skylark 47, meadow pipit 3, chaffinch c.50, greenfinch c.30, brambling 2, redpoll 2 over. (Darren Oakley-Martin)

Monday, 20th November

  • Single Red Admiral, Peacock and Common Darter, all on south wall of house at lunchtime (IKD, DFD)
  • Red Admiral & Peacock in the garden; Red-green Carpet at Osprey porch. There's a Stinkhorn colony living up to its name & attracting flies by the path at the bottom of the heath - includes freshly emerged fruit & 2 eggs (Nigel Willits)
  • Red Admiral in the Courtyard at 11.30 and another one seen near the hide at 13.00 (Trish Clegg)
  • Mistle thrush singing in the Quarry at 0850hrs. (Darren Oakley-Martin)

Friday, 17 November 2006

Bird news

Friday, 17th November

  • One or more siskins calling over Avocet carpark at 1330hrs. (Darren Oakley-Martin & Mark Ward)2 buzzards from my window this morning (Mark Ward)

Thursday, 16th November

  • Several siskins with greenfinches in the canopy of trees by the stable block at 1430hrs. (Darren Oakley-Martin)

Wednesday, 15th November

  • 1 Common Darter on walls (IKD, DFD)
  • 2 Red Admirals in the Courtyard at 0955 (Trish Clegg)
  • 3 common buzzards over the RSPB's Sandy Ridge woodland (Neil Renwick)
  • Many thanks to Ray Alami for alerting me to the presence of a large bird drifting over the garden this morning. My second raven of the week, drifting east at fairly low altitude. (Darren Oakley-Martin)

Tuesday, 14th November

  • Common toad out for a leg stretch - nice to know they are still around even if active at the wrong time of year (Conor Jameson)

Monday, 13th November

  • Still 4 Common Darters on the walls of the house at lunchtime (IKD, DFD)
  • Migrant Hawker by Avocet and Red Admiral by quarry (Martin Davies)

Sunday, 12th November

  • Green sandpiper still at The Lodge, Sunday afternoon (Neil Renwick)

Friday, 10th November

  • A single reed bunting calling over the Meadow at 1530hrs was my second of the autumn and only my third here in the last 18 months. (Darren Oakley-Martin)

Friday, 10 November 2006

Bird news

Friday, 10th November
  • I saw the Green Sandpiper at the hide this lunchtime. (Katy Stevenson)
  • 4 redpolls flew over the Gatehouse at about 9.40, heading for HQ (Neil Renwick)
Thursday, 9th November
  • Newly emerged Speckled Wood early afternoon in foyer at south end of Avocet, with empty pupal case nearby (Katie Fuller)
  • Still 2 red admirals on valerian by the canteen yesterday to add to the newly-emerged speckled wood in the south end of the avocet building (Mark Ward)
  • A brambling flew into the birch in the former wildlife garden at 1330hrs. (Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • Kingfisher flew in to swimming pool perch @1250. Also 2 Peacocks, 1 or 2 Red Admirals, 1 Comma and 2+ Common Darters (IKD, DFD)
  • Four Red Admirals in the Courtyard this morning. (Trish Clegg)
Wednesday, 8th November
  • A migrant hawker outside the eastern entrance to the Avocet Building at lunchtime today - the latest I have ever seen.
  • Also a buzzard from my window and c40 redwings south. (Mark Ward)
  • Around 60 fieldfare across the drive at 1315hrs today. (Katie Fuller & Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • Common Darter round the back of the Quarry (1pm - ish). (Trish Clegg)
  • Kingfisher at swimming pool, late am (IKD, DFD)
  • Masses of finches around the car parks this morning. Highlight of my coffee break were eight siskin north over The Meadow and one or two bramblings calling overhead. (Darren Oakley-Martin)
Tuesday, 7th November
  • A very vocal green sandpiper (presumably the long-stayer) over the Meadow and House at 1530hrs. (Darren Oakley-Martin, Richard James, Katherine Stevenson)
  • Single Brambling calling in the trees in the car park opposite Osprey building earlier on. Also a Cormorant circled the swimming pool around 9:30 ( I suspect looking for wrecked Little Auks to eat...!) (Steve Blain)
Monday, 6th November
  • Kingfisher back at the east end of the swimming pool @1440 for well over an hour (Phil Burfield, IKD)
  • lunchtime: 3 Peacocks, 2 Red Admirals, 1 Comma and a minimum of 10 Common Darters (IKD, DFD)
  • Green-brindled Crescent on Snipe north wall; 2 Peacock & a Comma in the garden. (Nigel Willits)
  • We had a Red Admiral in the Courtyard (Margaret Walton, Trish Clegg)
  • Calling siskin outside the north entrance to the Osprey Building. (Mark Ward)
  • After fishing the little auk out of the swimming pool, the bird was taken to Bedford Museum, where it will be mounted and displayed. (Darren Oakley-Martin et al.)
Sunday, 5th November
  • Drowned Little Auk in swimming pool. (Neil Renwick) [There has been a major influx along east coast in last few days]
  • Little owl flushed during Sunday morning's fungus foray, in the open woodland to the north of the Hide. Late in the afternoon, a little owl was calling from the south-east corner of the heath
  • A female tawny owl was calling along the Long Riding bridleway across Sandy heath, and then seen to fly out of an oak, as the skies all around were lit with distant fireworks
  • A Leucoagaricus ionidicolor was found under the yew hedge at the Gatehouse - the same site as it was discovered last year, and it is still the only known site in Bedfordshire for this fungus. Over 120 fungus species were recorded on Sunday's fungus forays (Neil Renwick)
Saturday, 4th November
  • Red admirals and small whites seen in sunny spots (Neil Renwick)

Friday, 3 November 2006

Bird news

Friday, 3rd November
  • Green sandpiper still on natterjack ponds at 1600hrs. A few meadow pipits heard over the Meadow. (Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • Kestrel, sparrowhawk, common buzzard and little owl at Sandy Heath Quarry. 1250-1320hrs. (Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • Kingfisher again at swimming pool in morning (Phil Burfield et al.); and late afternoon (Rob Hume et al.)
  • Comma, Red Admiral, 2 Peacocks and 5 Common Darters at lunchtime (IKD, DFD)
  • 2 Red Admirals along Stratford Road extension below heath (Lynn Giddings)
  • Red Admiral by Central Services in morning sun (Margaret Walton)
Thursday, 2nd November
  • Kingfisher at swimming pool again late afternoon (IKD)
  • Grey Wagtail on the ponds by the hide at 12.30 today. Perched on the stick with the feeders hanging from it, and then flew down, caught a dragonfly from the back pond before spending a few minutes bashing it about, de-winging and eating it. (Gareth Fisher)
  • A couple (or more) siskins flew calling over Osprey carpark at 0845hrs. (Darren Oakley-Martin)
Wednesday, 1st November
  • Green sandpiper still on natterjack ponds at 1105hrs. (Darren Oakley-Martin)
Tuesday, 31st October
  • Green sandpiper on the natterjack ponds at 1410hrs. (Darren Oakley-Martin & Steve Blain)
Monday, 30th October
  • 32 fieldfare north west over the Heath at 0815hrs, along with around ten meadow pipits and a similar number of redwing. Sparrowhawk over main house a little later and a skylark over. (Katie Fuller & Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • 44 redwing and one fieldfare south over Osprey carpark at 0845hrs (Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • Another two groups of 22 and eleven redwings west over Osprey carpark and three sparrowhawks over the Quarry at 1050hrs. (Darren Oakley-Martin)
  • 56 fieldfare, 20 redwing, 14 meadow pipit west over Sandy Heath Quarry, with a further seven of the latter on the deck. Probable rock pipit over, but too high and too windy to be sure. A little owl calling nearby between 1250-1320hrs. (Darren Oakley-Martin)

Thursday, 2 November 2006

Bird news

Thursday, 2nd November
  • Holly Blue (same female) still flying around Wisteria by House Meeting Room. Also 4 Red Admirals, 2 Commas, 2 Peacocks, 7 Common Darters; and Grey Wagtail heard calling (IKD, DFD)
  • Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail at Swimming Pool at lunchtime (Katie Fuller)
  • Kingfisher on swimming pool at east end on post. Flew off towards hide at 12.50 (Judith Emmerson)
  • c50 Fieldfares west over the plateau from my window early am.
  • Despite the first overnight frost, still 4 species of butterfly at large around the borders: holly blue, comma, red admiral and peacock. Also a couple of common darters still and a grey wagtail commuting between the Swimming Pool, the top of the House and the Memorial Garden. (Mark Ward)
Wednesday, 1st November
  • Kingfisher fishing (successfully) in swimming pool, 1540 on, for at least 20 minutes (Aniol Esteban et al.)
  • Red Admiral still in Courtyard by canteen at 1350. Peacock on wall of library by terrace. (Got photos!) Common Darter near there and another by entrance to hide. Green Sandpiper on 2nd pool from hide. (Trish Clegg)
  • Approx 100 Fieldfare west over the heath, Wednesday @ 13:30. Also Mistle Thrush over the meadow. (Kat Balaam/Jamie Wells)
  • Lunchtime: 7 Red Admirals, 3 Commas, 2 Peacocks and a female Holly Blue, all in Memorial Garden or along south side of House. The Holly Blue (presumed same as Martin saw yesterday) landed on Debra’s leg and sat there for the best part of five minutes, before flying off over main border!
  • Also 9 Common Darters sunning themselves on walls (IKD, DFD, Martin Davies)
  • Good arrival of Fieldfares with the switch to northerly winds today. An impressive flock of 300+ swept low west/north-west over the canteen at 11.25 this morning and another c80 in the same direction over the meadow soon after.
  • Green Sandpiper on the Natterjack Pool late am.
  • Peacock, 6+ Red Admirals and several Common Darters still at large this am. (Mark Ward)
  • Red Admiral in courtyard in morning sun (Trish Clegg)
Tuesday, 31st October
  • Migrant hawker outside my window. 2 Buzzards from my window. (Mark Ward)
  • Female Holly Blue on ivy in Memorial Garden; also 6 Red Admirals, Painted Lady, Comma and 2 Peacocks (Martin Davies)
Monday, 30th October
  • Great sighting this afternoon, Sparrowhawk being mobbed by mixed flock of small birds, most aggressive were the fieldfares, along the osprey car park and dived into the quarry seeking cover. (Ian Hayward)
Sunday, 29th October
  • Green sandpiper at the hide pools again, red admirals in several places, 8 buzzards over the heath. (Neil Renwick)
Saturday, 28th October
  • Green sandpiper at the hide pools and a redwing in the ringers' nets to entertain Feed The Birds Day visitors, plus a male goldcrest that had been ringed at The Lodge in December 2005. (Neil Renwick)
Friday, 27th October
  • 29 sheep sent back to Minsmere, 6 staying on the reserve for the winter. (Neil Renwick)
  • Saw a Red Admiral in the Courtyard mid morning today. (Trish Clegg)

Wednesday, 1 November 2006


Finally got to see the Green Sandpiper that's been hanging around for a little while now. Fortunately, I was able to make use of a 10-minute window of opportunity while I was waiting for something to happen to walk up to the hide and get a few record shots.

I'm sure if Steve goes, he'll make a better job of it, but time was short!

If you look at the reports from the Olden Days, Green Sandpipers used to be quite frequent around The Lake, but now that's gone. This one was strutting around the edge of the little natterjack pool and seemed quite at home. Perhaps it'll hang around for winter?