Friday, 22 February 2013

Stanwell Moor - 16 February 2013

On arriving at the site we found that there had been much heavy plant activity on the rear access road. Parts of the road had been in-filled with bricks and although suitable for heavy vehicles, the track was now more difficult to negotiate. Note to selves – next car needs to be a 4x4!  There was a great deal of surface water all over the site and the River Colne was running at the highest we had ever seen it.

The Colne - close to spilling over its banks.

We were excited to hear the familiar trilling of Waxwing just across the river, but the 9 birds were busy feeding and did not stray in our direction during the session having departed on our eventual return to the vehicle. Rather than risk serious damage to the car we transported the kit to the fallow field with the aid of the golf trolley in two trips.

The pool, newly replete from yet more recent rain was spilling onto previously dry areas, spreading yet further across the grasses. We decided to try for Water Pipit since a maximum count on the adjacent Staines Moor had totalled 8. There were also several Skylark. Initially the Linnet flock was nowhere in evidence, but they eventually appeared, again feeding along the weedy bank. We set up a single in addition to a double 60 at the closest end of the access track.

The seemingly ever expanding pool.

Double along the muddly track and weedy bank
where all the birds were caught.

For all our efforts we only managed to catch 5 birds.

After taking down we checked out some of the other areas where we ring, to find the reed bed even deeper under water which will make maintenance (particularly bring the height of the willows down) very awkward. The Spit bordered by bramble (always so promising in autumn) looks as though trimming back need only be minimal but the rest of the access track looks rougher than before and it may not be advisable to take the car all the way round. During the reconnaissance we were treated to another view of a Bittern.

Total: 3 (2)

Dunnock - 0 (1)
Goldcrest – 1
Long-tailed – 2 (1)