Sunday, 9 April 2017

Beddington Farm - WeBS and Tree Sparrows!

I have recently taken over the Beddington Farm WeBS count from Derek Coleman who has had me shadowing him for the last few months. I set out early starting my count at 0700hrs which would give me plenty of time to cover the Farm before the predicted 25c sunshine took effect.

I started with a brief look at the lakes before moving down to 100 Acre. The first shorebird I heard was a Green Sandpiper which was picked up in the binos whizzing low across the sludge beds towards Jim’s bed which is a small rectangular lake at the far N end of the Farm’s boundary with Mitcham Golf Course. This area can be quite hazardous for birders and wildfowl alike as many a stray golf ball finds its way into the water!
A Redshank was the next up taking a short flight from the back of Jim’s onto the main island. There were a mix of ducks, Canada Geese and a Mute Swan on this lake. A handful of Lapwing had taken residence on the mini mounds in this area.
The Farm’s small population of Shelduck were also present.They are usually noted on the North and South lakes.
After covering this area and the beds in front of the incinerator I moved to the North Lake where a male Pintail which arrived yesterday was associating with a Gadwall. There were still a variety of species of duck on the lake including, Teal, Shoveler, Tufted, Gadwall and Mallard.
I walked to the SE corner via the South Lake to complete the days count. I returned via the landfill to bump into a couple of Tree Sparrow sat in the fence at the top of this area. To think that only a few years ago the BFBG were collating just short of 1000 birds including pulli! The nest boxes were full of this species which has all but been wiped out on the Farm. Loss of habitat I believe is the main cause but no one takes responsibility for this and the matter is buried under the landfill carpet when the rapid decline is mentioned!!

A sky watch with Dodge rounded the day off nicely with a Little Egret on the North Lake. A return to the nets tomorrow for more thrills and spills at the Farm!

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