15th December 2017 9:00 to 12:35
by Steve, Amanda and Terry
Again a good morning's birding with one more species than last month and 8 more species than the equivalent survey last year.
There were no warblers encountered again on the survey. The Cetti's appears to have gone AWOL.
Cold and clear with a slight wind.
Temperature 1°C to 3°C
Black-headed Gull 14
Blue Tit 20
Carrion Crow 7
Coal Tit 1
Great Tit 19
Grey Heron 4
33 Species in all
House Sparrow 15
Little Grebe 1
Long-tailed Tit 21
Mute Swan 3
Peregrine Falcon 1
Pied Wagtail 1
Reed Bunting 5
Song Thrush 4
- without a doubt the male Peregrine Falcon which was hunting over transect 7. As far as I know the first ever reported sighting over the Meadows of this magnificent raptor.
No Redwing were noted throughout the survey area this month as the hedgerows are now stripped bare of berries. Of particular note this month were the high numbers of Blue Tit (20); Great Tit (19) and Long-tailed Tit (21).
For the first time on a survey date a solitary Little Grebe was seen in transect 12 and although not a rarity a Pied Wagtail was noted in transect 2 on the old basketball court.
Two of our regular raptor species; Buzzard and Kestrel were again seen during this months survey. The Buzzards especially, are particularly evident this time of year in transect 9 the Kestrel a female was seen successfully hunting over several transects of the Meadows.
A Kingfisher was seen again flying close to Spittal Brook (transect 12).
Outside of the survey date the Willow Tit has been seen regularly in transect 2.
There have been sightings of Redpoll probably Lesser in transect 2; Grey Wagtail also in transects 2 and adjacent to the New Cut Canal near to Paddington Lock. For your info: the naming of the Redpoll species has been a minefield over the last few years, current best advice is I believe that there are now three Redpolls on the official British Bird List the Common Redpoll (Acanthis flammea); Lesser Redpoll (Acanthis cabaret) and Arctic Redpoll (Acanthis hornemanni)
In transect 12, Tufted Duck; Gadwall and Kingfisher have been regular sightings throughout the Month.
Again a report has been made of a Barn Owl being seen hunting over the Meadows at around 9.00 pm at night. NB I wrongly placed the Barn Owl on the Red List in last month's report; although locally rare, thankfully nationally, this is not the case.
Finally, on the 30th December 4 Raven were heard "procking" overhead and then seen to fly over transect 7 before perch on the pylon in transect 8 for a few minutes. They then proceeded to perform some breathtaking courtship display aerobatics; tumbling, stooping and flying upside down before flying off northwards.
Mammals and Butterflies
4 Grey Squirrels were logged during this month's survey.