Thursday, 6 April 2017

Beddington Farm - Tales of the Week!

My Beddington vigil has reached day nine I have been joined by Roger “Dodge” Browne, Frank “T Bros” Prater and "Why are you so grumpy?!" Swifty for the majority of the time which means we have at least one pair of very sharp eyes (Dodge) that can pick a dot out which seems closer to Mars that Earth! Sometimes this dot is out of range for the cameras which has resulted in a tern sp record being scrapped!
The weather has been fairly consistent with NW blows with a mix of sunshine and cloud. The cloudy days have been a bit nippy to say the least. We have been scrutinised by the patrolling male pheasant and a Kestrel who is keen to keep an eye on us. We also generate some odd looks from local people that are in shirt sleeve order when the group of coat wearing Yeti’s leave the site for their cars!

There have been numerous raptors frequenting the thermals that are created by the updraft from the mounds that have been created by the rubbish that we all discard. There have regularly been three Red Kite with an additional bird today. The job now is to sift through the photos and attempt to establish if these are “local birds” returning daily or a dispersal of younger birds from last year’s breeding grounds.

Both the male and female Peregrine visit the site from the Sutton nest site which has an abundance of eggs in the nest this year. It will be interesting to see how many survive.

Buzzard are almost getting too numerous to count with seven birds in the sky at one time earlier in the week. I remember not so long ago when this species was considered an uncommon visitor.

The combination of all the raptor activity has kept the gulls very active. They sometimes do not know what direction to flee in as their perceived foes close in on the landfill. We estimate around five thousand gulls on site including an Iceland and Glaucous Gull which are usually seen in flight heading in the direction of the landfill. It will be interesting to see what happens to gull numbers as a result of the separate food waste collection by Sutton Council. Most of which landed up on the street this morning as the bucket opening foxes set to work on them overnight? I had visions of foxes roaming the streets with can openers and screwdrivers! Fortunately I still use my composter for this type of waste!

Tomorrow is bird banding / ringing day with our A permit trainer Mike Netherwood. This will be a nice change from staring at the skies but a NW blow with cloud is forecast so who knows what will turn up!

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