Saturday 12 May 2018

Wraysbury GP - 12th May 2018

We paid a visit to Wraysbury GP which we are monitoring different areas over the summer as part of a Whitethroat RAS, this being the fourth year.

We did manage two of the target species, both ringed, but only this year's re-traps. As expected at the start of breeding season it was fairly quiet and we managed thirteen birds, but surprisingly six were Garden Warblers, one a re-trap from September 2017.

Total : 9 (4)

Dunnock - 1
Robin - 0 (1)
Song Thrush - 1
Whitethroat - 0 (2)
Garden Warbler - 5 (1)
Blue Tit - 2

Italy - 1st to 8th May 2018

We were in Rome on 1st and 2nd May, and found the City relatively green, especially in some of the historical areas. Yellow-legged Gulls used the Roman ruins as inland cliffs, Italian Sparrows were common place, even in City cafes, Monk and Ring-necked Parakeets were fairly common. Blackcaps, Short-toed Treecreepers and Serins frequented the City pines, and the roman ruins on the 2nd May also produced Sardinian Warbler and Tree Sparrow

Italian Sparrow 

Immature Yellow-legged Gull 

 Hooded Crow

Monk Parakeet

From the 3rd onwards we stayed 40 km NW of the City at Cerveteri near to Santa Severa where the UK medieval combat team where competition in the 2018 Battle of the Nations, which had 33 teams competing from all over the world, where individual fighters won Gold, Silver and Bronze, with the UK 21 team winning Bronze. If anyone fancies watching the UK team fights and some of the individual fights they can be found at:

Birdwatching was a bit limited during the four days of the competition, but on the morning of the 8th we paid a visit to one reserve at Palude di Torre Flavia. We did find out why there may not be too many birdwatchers in Italy as three other local reserves we visited were all closed, except on Sundays, so if your are keen, and have time there are not a lot of midweek access for birders.

Great Crested Grebe 


Knapweed Fritillary 

 Mazarine Blue

Curlew Sandpiper 

Little Egret 

Wood Sandpiper 

Black-winged Stilt

Black Park - 24 & 26 April 2018

This was primarily a walk, which on both occasions produced a Raven, which are present again this year in a suitable breeding area. Mandarin Ducks were also present, with four males and female on 24th and seven males and female on 26th, plus a Grey Wagtail on 26th. On both days a pair of Egyptian Geese were present, the male was ringed, and was found to have been originally ringed at Walton on 27/6/2011, 7 years previous, and these two days turned out to be the first re-sighting of the bird since 2011.

 Egyptian Goose - 1420735
Mandarin Duck - male