Saturday, 27 April 2013

Staines Moor - 26 April 2013

After a few days of warm weather, rain was forecast with the wind turning from the North West. There were reports of waders passing through at the local reservoirs so we decided to spend the late afternoon out, just in case we happened across something interesting.

We parked near Staines Moor, and walked the footpath checking the hedgerows for Redstarts and Flycatchers. We were only a few yards from the moor when a reeling Grasshopper Warbler was heard just ahead. Of course, it stopped as we advanced and although we spent a while looking for it, it was only as we set off again that it flew up from just a few feet away to disappear into a pile of dead wood and dried reeds. Although our glimpse lasted only a few seconds the broad tail and streaked body were seen clearly. On continuing on to the open moor area we worked along the river then across the grassy area. We were pleased to see a couple of Wheatear, but on closer inspection found 24 moving in a loose group across the moor  and 6 Whinchat. Continuing over the bridge there were a further 11 Wheatear on that side giving a total of 35. The only other birds seen were two Little Egret, some Linnet and a few Meadow Pipit. It was quite chilly by now and it seemed likely that birds would be staying out of sight, hunkered down in the centre of the bushes, keeping out of the wind. We heard the Gropper again briefly as we returned to the car but just couldn't see it. No Redstarts or flycatchers were anywhere in evidence.