Sunday, 24 November 2013

Two-barred Crossbill finally bagged!!

Another Sunday was upon us and there was only one place to go Coldharbour Cricket Club Leith Hill Surrey. Would the Two-barred Crossbill grace me with its presence! This was to be my ninth visit and fourth full days stake out but would my efforts be rewarded!

The weather was cloudy and the wind was slight but chilly. As I walked past the pavilion a group of eleven crossbill flew towards me but changed direction on seeing me and disappeared out of sight. Oh no that was bad timing! As a result of the flock deviation I tucked myself well away from the pond and the now famous oak trees and hoped the flock would return!
(Two-barred Crossbill)
I waited for around an hour and fellow birder “Dougal” joined me in what was turning out to be a regular meet at this site. Within around fifteen minutes I saw a small group of Crossbill in the pine opposite the pond. I didn’t see them arrive but began checking each bird through my telescope. Then a female bird turned sideways and “Yes!!” there were two distinct white wing-bars. I got Dougal onto the bird and I then rattled off a heap of pictures trying to contain my excitement as I did so. The bird then dropped down towards the pond out of sight. The flock re-grouped and headed towards Dukes Warren with the Two-barred en tow.
(Two-barred Crossbill)
A few handshakes later and I said my farewells to “Dougal” who explained that he gained the nickname from the magic roundabout. Couldn’t see the likeness myself but we were both happy that this elusive bird had finally been bagged!
(Great Northern Diver)
My next port of call was Papercourt GP’s where a Great Northern Diver had been present for around two weeks. I had seen a few in Surrey but had heard this bird was quite obliging in front of the camera. I was not disappointed after a walk to the far end of the main pit the bird came within ten metres of the bank and once again the camera captured the moment.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Crossbill Crazy!!

These days birding time is limited and as predicted the Two-barred Crossbill was seen midweek and Saturday at Leith Hill Surrey. The weather forecast predicted fog early morning clearing by 10am then the remainder of the day would by almost wind free with low cloud.

I headed for the Cricket pavilion which seems to be the most regular spot for this bird. On arrival there was a flock of c25 Common Crossbill at the small pond a few had been caught in the mist nets set up at the location. Sam Bailey and Paul Stephenson were busy removing the birds from the nets. The birds were then taken and processed before release.
(Crossbill Male)
I was grateful to Sam and Paul for taking the time to explain the difficult process of ageing young Crossbill. The birds were measured, photographed and then released.  I would not have a better opportunity than this to photograph this species.
(Crossbill Female)
At this time there had been no news of the Two-barred Crossbill but it transpires the bird had been seen earlier on in the day. I returned to the pavilion to stake out the area for the remainder of the day.
(Common Crossbill)
There seemed to be more Crossbill in the area today, this may have been due to the weather conditions which were making it easier to locate the flocks. Two flocks were seen during the afternoon one containing 21 birds stopped off in the Oak trees above the pond. Another flock of 13+ birds flew across the open area behind the pavilion.

Circumstances had conspired against me once again. The hill was fog free early am and the Two barred did not return to the pavilion! However I saw the processing of net caught Crossbill and took some crippling pictures of birds in the hand! That was worth the trip alone. Roll on next weekend and favourable weather conditions!!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Anyone for Cricket!!

(Coldharbour Cricket Pitch)

The Two-barred Crossbill had been seen Saturday afternoon at Leith Hill Surrey. This bird is not easy to connect with having tried several times recently. But it still remains a Surrey VC tick for me therefore some more effort was required if I was going to add it to this list!

I got up at stupid o'clock to make it to Leigh Hill for dawn. The weather was going to be sunny with a brisk NW wind which was encouraging. There had been rain the day before which would mean plenty of puddles for thirsty Crossbill to drink from. Would this be the fly in the ointment with so many options open for them!

There was a surprising amount of Pheasant and a few Red legged Partridge along Coldharbour Lane. I later learn't there was a shoot and birds had been released for this purpose. No wonder they were keeping their heads low!
(Cricket Pavilion)
On arrival I staked out the area around the cricket pitch but only heard a couple of single Common Crossbill flying over. The wind was beginning to bite so I decided to go for a walk to warm up. I made my way through the gate and down towards post G on the green trail. As I did so I heard a Firecrest calling from the scrub. I went in search of this bird sneaking around only to realize it was a recording having come across a run of mist nets!! Back to the Crossbill hunt then!

The remainder of the morning was spent staking out various points in the area. There was a large movement of Wood Pigeon in the area along with several other regular species. I returned to the car having covered the area. At around mid-day a few more birders turned up...Had there been news!

Another wander around the area later it was time to depart empty handed! Well I didn't expect it to be easy as the area is vast and the regular points this bird is seen is all part of a bigger circuit for it! No doubt it will be seen in the week when I'm at work but hey thats birding for you!!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Needle in a Haystack!

Having spent the last couple of weekends completing the Laguna Blanca systematic list it was time to re visit the Farm and carry out a Timed Species Count. There was a SW blow today so I decided to start at the lakes. I got blown around, I then took shelter in the hide with Bulldog.
The only bird of note was a Pintail which was on the North Lake. Pyro joined us in the hide when news broke that the Two Barred Crossbill was present at Dukes Warren Leith Hill Surrey. Opportunities had been limited with this species and it would be another week before I could get out to look for this Surrey Vice County tick.
(Great Cormorant)
After the briefest of conversations and abandonment of the last two area counts, I was off to the car to try to connect with this bird.
(Leigh Hill)
I knew the odds were stacked against me, the area is vast but two areas near small pools had been identified as hotspots for this bird. It took around 50 minutes to drive to Coldharbour Cricket Club car-park. I checked the map and worked out my route having spoken to a couple of hikers who had been caught in a downpour. En route to Dukes Warren I spoke to a lady from the National Trust who gave me more precise directions to the area the Two Barred Crossbill had been seen.
(Leigh Hill)
Dukes Warren was approximately a 10 min walk from the car-park following the green trail in reverse through the metal gate down to post “G” and then turning right down the hill to the small pool.

I wandered around the area noting two Buzzard, a Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel and around 100 Wood Pigeon. I decided to stake out the small pool by one of the paths and within a few minutes heard two Common Crossbill. The pair landed adjacent to the pool and began feeding in the top of the swaying pine. I stuck around in case others were going to join them but there were no further additions.

As time was pressing on I made my way back to the car-park checking the environs of the cricket pitch before making my way home. 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

They are still here!!

Showery weather with a strong SW wind was the weather forecast for today. I did not fancy venturing out too far even though Hampshire had a few birds that held some interest.
(Tree Sparrow)
I arrived at Beddington Farm during a downpour and took refuge in the hide with Tank. The rain stopped and a  small group of Tree Sparrow made an appearance at the feeders. These were the first birds I had seen here for a while so I took the opportunity to take a few pictures.

There wasn’t much in the way of bird movements so Tank who was itching to go for a walk did exactly that. A Water Rail announced its presence by squealing from the margins in front of the hide. A Jack Snipe was the next bird of interest to come into view from the direction of the mound. This bird landed out of sight on one of the islands. It transpires that Tank had almost stepped on one in a channel close to the lagoons and off it flew into my view on the lake!

Tank had had two Stonechat on the mound before returning to the hide to keep watch over the lake. A hirundine appeared over the lake flying S over the hide. The bird looked brown with a brown collar. My initial identity was Sand Martin but this was late for a hirundine so I attempted to lock the camera on it but the auto focus had other ideas! Fortunately the bird returned to the lake and this time I saw the white rump and concluded this was in fact a juvenile House Martin which lacked the dark blue/black upper body associated with adults of this species.
News had reached the hide of a Wheatear in the area of the lagoons. I had not seen one this year having spent over three months in Paraguay over the spring period. Without much debate Tank and I set off to the lagoons locating the bird at the top of the splat of mud overlooking the lagoons.
Tank then scoped the lagoons noting two waders on the left hand lagoon. Looking through his scope I identified one as a Greenshank but we were not sure of the identity of the second bird the sunlight was not helping and before a decent look at the second wader could be obtained the bird flew up and dropped onto the lagoon behind. Time to go and investigate which was not in the plan but had to be done through thick mud in places!

The mystery of the second bird was soon solved a Green Sandpiper a regular feature at the farm. Back to the hide via parkside just in case a Coal Tit decided to grace me with its presence (A Beddington tick for me unbelievable!!).

On reaching the hide Derek appeared stating he had seen approximately eight Tree Sparrow on the feeders. I guess this was slightly good news as this species is low in numbers on the farm these days. Hopefully if these birds can survive the winter there is a small chance of some kind of a revival. Fingers Crossed!!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Its Ruff at the Farm!

There was only one place to go today with more NE to E winds without so much cloud cover this time but the weather was still too good not to be there! The wind was much stronger but would it be enough to push a MEGA onto the Farm?!

The morning was moving along slowly with a few Swallow and a group of Cormorant flying in leaving and then returning to leave again without setting feet on the lake! Wigeon numbers were up slightly. The Farm does not normally hold many of this species.
A Buzzard flew E before a Ruff appeared completing a circuit of the lake before setting down on the exposed edges on the main island. The moorhens seemed to take exception to its arrival but the bird stood fast and took a welcome rest!

Next to appear was an Arctic Tern which was briefly seen from the hide before Nick and Tank had it quartering the S lake before it departed W. Pinpoint re-located the Pintail on 100 Acre whilst leading a group of Ramblers on a tour of the Farm.
(Ringed Plover)
Tank in his regular Sunday walk around the site had found three Ringed Plover on the lagoons. Pinpoint and I took a walk over the mound and walked the lagoons. A Wheatear that had showed well for the Ramblers could not be found.

The weather continues to look good for the coming week which means I could have a few nervous moments as my phone goes off whilst at work!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Life on hold!!

At certain times of the birding year life has to go on hold. Anyone who does not share the enthusiasm or understand this great hobby will never comprehend the reasons behind this. But at the end of the day it has to be done to fulfill a passion for our feathered friends!

Northeasterly to Easterly winds have continued and when I got up at stupid o’clock this morning there was a tiny bit of rain! Happy days the Farm has almost ideal conditions (The cloud could have been lower!).
Dodge was already on guard in the hide and the morning progressed with a few Wigeon and later some Swallow. The cloud lifted and the sun poked its head out intermittently. This was not good news!  But as the morning progressed the cloud closed in and a few spots of rain fell. The pager and rbnUK wasn’t helping morale with little movement of birds around the Thames area.

Sutton Utd were away at Whitehawk (Brighton) in the FA Cup and I decided to pack up and make tracks towards this match but then Pinpoint called a Ruff which was observed flying towards the lagoons then round towards 100 Acre. Uh oh change decision time! Phone calls were made as a Rock Pipit was seen by the small group in the hide flying N.

(Northern Pintail)
This was proving to be a bad decision as movements dried up and the sharp eyed in the hide headed home! I was determined to stick the day out and was joined by Derek in the hide. The weather was still looking good with rainclouds moving in.
(Northern Pintail)
The first contender in a small wave of movement was a Pintail that arrived out of nowhere and landed on the N lake. The bird joined some teal and made its way to the S lake where it remained. Derek departed leaving me as the last man standing with Pete keeping an eye out from the Observatory window (His flat!). A ringed Plover flew NE over the lake things were definitely looking promising!
(Common Redstart)
Pinpoint came up trumps from the Obs window finding a male Redstart in the communal garden which has been decorated with bird friendly shrubs and feeders. The Obs window has in the past produced two firsts for the Farm in the form of Common Crane and Long Tailed Skua! A Redstart was not in the same league as these two but what a fantastic bird to see.
(Common Snipe)
That was enough excitement from the Farm for one day with a clear divide between cloud and clear skies! Homeward bound to reflect on how to improve my digi-scoping skills and on a good days birding with six completed McMillan lists!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Easterly Blow..!

The weather forecast for the next few days is very Beddington Farm friendly. Easterly winds cloud and the possibility of some rain all combined with the end of September makes things very interesting indeed. I am glad the weather continues into the weekend! I always have one eye on my phone at this time of year. I use rbnUK news which can be linked into via a twitter account.

The Farm experienced a good passage of Meadow Pipit and Wigeon this morning and Buzzard started appearing from all directions. On my phone there were regular reports of Yellow Browed Warbler (YBW) in the country. I have seen a single YBW in Surrey at Blackwater Park on 7th March 2007 which flitted between the Hampshire and the Surrey border. I pondered the thought of one turning up at the Farm!
(Marsh Harrier)
Bird of the day a Marsh Harrier waited for the afternoon to show itself. It was greeted with the usual Crow welcome but did stick around for a short while before getting fed up with the attention it was getting and flying off NW.
(Marsh Harrier)
The E winds continue tomorrow which means more one eye phone watching and hopefully the weekend will bring a fall of birds at the Farm.!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

They All Count!

Beddington Farm is the only place I venture out to these days. Five minute journey no traffic jams to contend with and of course there is the distinct possibility of the unexpected especially at this time of year!

Bird of the day turned up mid morning Pinpoint Pete Alfrey phoned me with news of his find a Grasshopper Warbler on the mound. Once again I was mid count and some distance away! The Gropper was only seen once skulking away as they do so well.  I decided to continue on with my counts waiting for further news!
(Blue Tit)
There was a good movement of Swallows today and the Starlings were also having a feast under the low cloud but there was little wind to encourage a stream of migrants. A Greenshank was seen on one of the sludge beds by 100 Acre. I think there must have been a Robin convention along the path though!
(Grey Heron)
I decided to sit the afternoon out in the hide and complete a McMillan count as well as mess around with digi-scoping. This method of photography I have neglected since buying a SLR but it can still pay dividends with birds seen at distance. Mid afternoon I saw a single wader flying high E but it was too high and did not call but it did inspire a walk over to the lagoons to see if the bird had dropped down onto this area.
The lagoons are an area of sludge beds in front of the works area which attract waders when the water levels are low enough in this area. Today they held a few Pied Wagtails but sadly no waders could be found.

A dozen Linnet and a Skylark (once common on the Farm) were the only birds that were seen on the mound on the trail to and from this area. 

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Windfall at the Farm!

The weather at Beddington Farm was looking pretty good NE to N wind overnight with the N wind continuing into a NW though the morning with low cloud and mizzle to heavy fine rain from 10am (the stuff you get soaked through within a couple of minutes!).

Today I was going to combine a Timed Species Count with a McMillan count on the lakes. I worked out that I should just about get back to the hide before the taps were turned on!
(Sedge Warbler)
There were new entries to the Lakes lists, Garganey, Whinchat , Sedge Warbler and Meadow Pipit. I still havn’t managed to photograph the Garganey or the Whinchat. This was not going to be a great day for the camera despite another lesson in photography from Dodge.

I was just approaching the home straight on the 100 Acre count when I noticed a larger bird with a couple of Green Sand in flight and surely enough a Greenshank landed on Jim’s Bed. I failed miserably to get a picture of the bird deciding not to go too close with the SLR. Pied Wagtail was the only other new bird to this areas list.

As if on cue with opening the gate the mizzle began. Damn it! It would take twenty minutes to walk the path to the hide so I might as well complete the third hour count! No new species were logged and my waterproofs saved me from a soaking!
(House Martin)
I missed a Marsh Harrier which flew SE and Wheatear which were picked up by Pinpoint, Dodge and Tank near the lagoons. Once back in the hide the taps were on full and the skies were very murky. A group of Golden Plover were picked up by Pinpoint flying off W. The local Hobby made an appearance later on.
A few species made the McMillan lists that were not on the Timed Count.. Swallow, House Martin, Linnet, Dunnock, Stock Dove and Tree Sparrow to name a few!
(Great Tit)
I even moved further into the 21st century tweeting sightings kojak020 is my twitter account name and I will tweet the latest from Beddington Farm when I’m there at the weekend!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Duck Fest!

Thursday 5th September

(Egyptian Goose)
The evenings are drawing in with darkness falling just after 8pm. This is a good time of year as duck numbers are on the increase and I do like ducks!! I took the oportunity to to complete an evening Timed Species Count. The trains were kind to me on Thursday so I took advantage of this and whizzed over to Beddington Farm.
(Eurasian Wigeon)
New species are still appearing in each of the three areas. Tonight was to be the highest species counts for the Lakes and 100 Acre. The path had its lowest number of species but I think this was due to it being the third area covered which ended at dusk. 
(Common Sandpiper)
The sludge beds on 100 Acre are looking more inviting to birds with small pools of water on many of them following the rain. This also disperses the waders which makes counting tricky as many birds move beds when you approach them. 

Sunday 8th September

(Eurasian Kestrel)
The weather this afternoon looked interesting with showers from 1pm. The wind for Beddington Farm was not ideal S to SW but there was always a chance of bumping into something good. I stuck with the McMillan twenty species lists and spent the majority of the afternoon at the lakes completing four lists.
(Common Buzzard)
There were good movement of Hirundines with double figure House Martin and Sand Martin. A Swallow was not noted until later on in the afternoon. Common Buzzard and a Hobby were seen prior to the showers.
(Tufted Duck)
I took a walk around the South lake in search of a Garganey but only found Teal a Wigeon and a small flock of Lapwing. A juvenile Garganey was later re located on the North lake.  A Whinchat had been seen on one of the islands earlier in the day. Common and Green Sandpiper made an appearance on the North lake.
(Dark skies ahead!!)
I took a walk around 100 Acre with Tank Green Sandpiper were the only species of note in this area. The skies were looking menacing at this point so it was time to make tracks back to the hide or get soaked. Strangely enough the main belt of rain missed the farm but Wallington and Croydon seemed to take the brunt of the downpour!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Bird with unusual features!!

I had two trips to Beddington Farm this weekend. The first was Friday evening where I carried out my sixth Timed Species Count. I finally got Shoveler onto the grid on the lakes and 100 Acre. The areas seemed busier with birds. 100 Acre was the only area down on the previous counts. I did however photograph a bird on 100 Acre in a small tree at the edge of a dense reed-bed which has caused some interest with the regulars.
The characteristics that have caused interest is the brown on the crown and the complete eye-ring and consensus is that the bird is a Phylloscopus. The bird was Chiffchaff sized but the aforementioned features had me raising my camera and taking a couple of shots. Unfortunately the bird did not call which I’m sure would have solved the intrigue!......EXPERT VERDICT = Blackcap with odd features!
(Mistnet run with a Dodgy geezer!)
Sunday is the only day the refuse tip is not in operation and a variety of activities take place on the Farm including ringing. Dodge had created some new runs on the area known as the triangle. This area is adjacent to the permissible footpath! News headline "Man seen rummaging around in scrub!" came to mind...only thing to do is call the Police!!
(Ringing a juv Blackbird)
I was going to test the McMillan Bird Census Method on the lake. This method involves recording birds up to twenty species in length then a new list is created until twenty species is reached. The second and subsequent lists can have species contained in previous lists as long as the same birds are not counted. There is no time limit placed on completing the lists allowing more time to record species visiting the lakes. The list lengths can be adjusted but I thought I would try out the recommended number! The more lists a species appears on the more abundant it is.

The tricky part to this method was not re-counting the same birds that were using the lakes. A few birds used both the path and the lakes as feeding areas. A plus point was recording counts of all species and their activity on the area.

The path along the side of the lakes was alive with birds but fell short of a complete list. The lakes however produced three lists in just over three hours. 100 Acre was not tested as species numbers were similar to the lakes.
(Eurasian Sparrowhawk)
A lone Wigeon, 2 Gadwall, a Yellow Wagtail, 2-3 Common Buzzards, and 2 Sparrowhawk were new additions to species lists (considering previous timed Species Counts). I left the Farm thinking that the list lengths would have to be modified if I am going to compare the three areas for species richness using this method.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Beddington at its Best!

No matter what happens to Beddington Farm when the weather is right the Farm has a fall of birds. Many are fly-overs or birds that stop off until the weather clears. The passage of birds started in the rain Saturday afternoon with Turnstone and Oystercatcher stopping briefly during heavy rain. I was watching Sutton Utd getting beat 1- 2 by Bishops Stortford but had a note to self moment to visit the Farm the next day!
(North Lake)
The weather overnight was perfect, cloudy with rain and NE wind to take us into the morning. I was up and out early doors arriving at 6.30am. Dodge and Mike were already there setting up the ringing nets in the swamp which was now the high water level on the North lake.

I decided to do another Timed Species Count but may have been a bit too hasty starting on the lakes in the rain. The count was over in a flash with nothing out of the ordinary on the species list. I returned to the hide and within twenty minutes the action started with a flock of Ringed Plover that made their way over the mound towards the Lagoons. Snipe were next... then...
(Marsh Harrier)
I saw a raptor coming in from the NW. At the farm you have to be quick on the draw with id but all I could see was a silhouette and  got as far as “Whats this...” before I had finished my sentence Dodge as sharp as ever exclaimed Marsh Harrier!... This was the first record at the Farm this year..Nice!!
(Tufted Duck)
Excitement was growing in the hide as bird news beeped up on phones and pagers... Sabine’s Gull, Gannet, Black Tern all heading along the Thames the former stopping off at Rainham RSPB . I missed the last record of Sabine’s Gull at the Farm due to being on Scilly Isles. Would they join a group of gulls that would pass by the site by in the next few days!
(Part of a flock of Shoveler)
I still had two areas to cover in my counts. Two species that have been sadly lacking on the lists were Teal and Shoveler. There are not large numbers on the site at the moment but why did I keep missing them during the counts! True to form both species were again seen outside the count time.

Once the rain had cleared Dodge and I walked the mound and had a Yellow Wagtail and a Whinchat on the borders of the South Lake. A visit to the lagoons produced the group of Ringed Plover with a Dunlin.
Today hi-lighted a disadvantage of this survey method on the area of the lakes as other sightings that did not make the list were Hobby, Kingfisher, Cormorant, Swallow, Sand Martin and Kestrel. These species were seen over a few hours therefore all would not have made the count!

I have learnt to leave the hide when there is a combination of sharp eyed birders and ideal weather conditions is just not the done thing! I delayed my counts in the other two areas until the hide had cleared and the weather had improved for walking in.
(Birds at rest Jim's Bed)
I set out with Derek to cover 100 Acre which had a flock of Teal on Jim’s bed and Snipe on one of the sludge beds opposite. At last Teal on one of the lists! During my walk in this area Bulldog phoned me with news of juvenile Ruff on the Lagoons. Hmm I can’t abandon the count so carried on which was to prove costly as I returned to the lagoons and all the waders had gone!
(Willow Warbler)
I covered the path from 100 Acre back to Mile Road the most notable sightings were Willow Warbler one which was having a scrap with a Chiffchaff which gave a good comparison between the two species.

I left the site at around 4.30pm bumping into Pete Alfrey who had already taken a tour around the Farm had a spell in the hide gone home and returned to have a look at the Ruff. I was the bearer of bad news but Pete suggested they might have moved to 100 Acre. I had spent time there and was tired so stupidly decided not to walk back there with him. Big mistake! I received news that Pete had had a juvenile Garganey on 100 Acre.

But this just showed what kind of day it was at the Farm birds dropping in all day long. The weather is looking good for tomorrow as well....!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Beddingtons Fate is sealed!!

Beddington Farms fate was finally sealed today by Boris’s approval of an incinerator that will be built on land put aside for development of a nature reserve. The Farmlands have been chipped away at for many a year now and there is not a great deal left to support in particular Tree Sparrows who have all but disappeared from the site! Nature will reclaim everything in the end as we seal our own fate by destroying all that supports our existence!!

I started my Timed Species Count on the Permissible Footpath which seemed quieter today. The days weather sunny 24c 40% cloud 8mph W wind may have played a big part in this. Fourteen species were recorded -2 on my last count. A skulking Lesser Whitethroat was the most interesting find in this hour.
(Reed Warbler)
100 Acre was next up twenty three species were seen +1 on the last count.  4 Green Sandpiper, 10 Lapwing and a family party of Reed Warbler in the dense reed-bed were the most notable species in this area.
(Archive photo of Tree Sparrow)

Light was slowly slipping away by the time I reached the Lakes. The usual suspects were there in numbers including 112 Canada Geese. 2 Swift were seen over the North Lake and 4 Tree Sparrow near the cage were the most notable finds. This could be the only surviving tree Sparrow group on the Farmlands! To think there were nearly a thousand birds a couple of years ago!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Evening Counts!!

Friday 9th August 2013

I took a walk around Beddington Farm taking the opportunity to carry out my first evening count of species along , The Permissible Footpath , 100 Acre and finally The Lakes. The weather was good 22C Sunny with 50% high cloud and a 10-13mph WNW wind. 
A Whitethroat was the first bird to attract my attention in the scrub just over the bridge. There seemed to be alot more activity along the path today. A Calling Willow Warbler was to be the most notable bird to be recorded along the path. A total of 16 species were noted +4 on my last count.
(100 Acre Jim's Bed)
100 Acre was next with the usual mad scribbling noting the species on Jim’s bed which is the biggest area of water in this area. Green Sandpipers were split between here and the Mitigation scrape. Numbers of this species are down on what I would expect at this time of year. A total of 22 species were noted +3 on my last count.
(Green Sandpiper)
I then scurried through to the North Lake to view some very usual suspects indeed. A Peregrine caused panic in the small starling flock as it sped across the lake in pursuit of a meal. A single Kestrel was not going to be allowed to hunt the margins in peace as a couple of crows mobbed it in flight. A pair of Egyptian Goose arrived on the North lake as light was beginning to fade. A total of 26 species were noted +2 on my last count.
(North Lake)
All three areas were in the + zone this evening which is always good. I still have not recorded any Tree Sparrows around the North lake having completed three counts. Not good!!

I have produced some charts on word but cannot download them into the right format to put onto this blog. Any suggestions gratefully received??