Monday, 13 February 2017

Sunday January 29th to Monday February 13th

Upcoming Walks 

The following guided walks are currently scheduled for the next few months:
  • Saturday 25th February - Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust walk. Meet at Pea Bridge at 10am. Non-members welcome. More details here.
  • Sunday 9th April - Guildford & District Local RSPB Group walk. Lead by Sean Foote. Meet in Aldershot Park at 9.30am. Non-members welcome. More details here


Late News

Saturday January 28th
Graham King reported a Water Rail, a Bullfinch, 8 Siskin, 2 Goshawk, 2 Peregrine, 2 Buzzard and a Kestrel today.


Sunday January 29th

John Hunt reported a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, a Snipe, 45 Lapwing,  a Water Rail, a Little Egret, 80+ Teal, 24 Wigeon, 44 Shoveler, 4 Pochard and a Buzzard this morning.

(c) John Hunt - Water Rail


Monday January 30th

No reports.


Tuesday January 31st

No reports.

 

Wednesday February 1st

Reports were received today of a trespasser on site shooting at wildlife. If you see anyone with a gun on site, please call 999 immediately.


Thursday February 2nd

No reports.


Friday February 3rd

No reports.


Saturday February 4th

Dave Baker reported a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, 200+ Lapwing, 2 Stonechat, a singing Skylark and "lots" of Pipits this morning.

In addition, "Eddie" reported a Water Rail, 100 Lapwing, 2 Pochard, 2 Gadwall, 6 Tufted Duck, 30 Mallard, 10 Shoveler, 2 Greylag Goose, 8 Siskin, 2 Coal Tit, 3 Bullfinch, 10 Song Thrush, 20 Robin and a Red Kite today.

This is the first reported sighting of Skylark on site this year. Skylark is the 83rd species recorded in 2017.

The count of 20 Robin is a new site record count.

Some members of the Tice's Meadow Bird Group helped put up bird boxes at the neighbouring Badshot Lea Village Pond today as part of a community volunteer work party. See here for more details.

(c) Dave Baker - Grey Heron
(c) Dave Baker - The View from Horton's Mound


Sunday February 5th

No reports.


Monday February 6th

Richard Horton reported a Woodcock this morning - the bird was flushed from the island between the old and new river channels, and flew into the Plant Yard.

This is only the 6th reported sighting of Woodcock on site - after none since June 2015, we've now had 3 sightings in the past fortnight.


Tuesday February 7th

Mark Elsoffer reported a Green Sandpiper, c1000 Lapwing today, 8 Wigeon, 52 Shoveler, 14 Tufted Duck, 20 Teal, 26 Mallard, 2 Egyptian Goose, 2 Stonechat, 2 Bullfinch, 24 Linnet, a Pheasant, a Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel and a Red Kite today.

This is the first reported sighting of Linnet on site this year. Linnet is the 84th species recorded in 2017.

The count of c1000 Lapwing is a new site record count.

A work party was held today clearing willow from the Reedbeds. 2 Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership Rangers and 17 volunteers (a mixture of the Blackwater Valley Tuesday Group and the Tice's Meadow Bird Group) cut and burnt predigious amounts of willow. With the BVCP's chainsaws, brushcutter and weedkiller we were able to clear a large area of willow, which will help the reeds spread and provide more excellent habitat for nesting Sedge & Reed Warblers, Reed Buntings etc... Thank you to all who attended.

A short write-up of the work party by the BVCP can be found here.

Hanson's fencing contractors were on site today erecting a pallisade fence infront of the land owned by one of our neighbours who has been trespassing, fly-grazing and committing various acts of petty vandalism on site for a number of years now.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteers Clearing Willow
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteers Clearing Willow
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteers Clearing Willow
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteers Clearing Willow


Wednesday February 8th

No reports.


Thursday February 9th

No reports.


Friday February 10th

No reports.


Saturday February 11th

John Hunt reported 2 Green Sandpiper, 2 Little Egret and a Water Rail this morning.

In addition, Grim Styles reported 2 Bullfinch today.

In addition, Richard Horton reported a Goshawk today.

A work party was held this morning, with 4 brave souls turning up in the snow to help clear the River Blackwater of brambles, cut around the Yew tree and clear along the top path.

(c) Dave Baker - Summer Plumage Black-headed Gull


Sunday February 12th

Richard Horton reported 3 Brent Goose (over) this morning.

In addition, Dave Baker reported a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Little Egret and 3 Red Kite this morning.

This is only the 6th reported sighting of Brent Goose on site, and the 2nd this year.


Monday February 13th

John Hunt reported a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, 200 Lapwing, a Little Egret, a Water Rail, a Stonechat, a Red Kite, 3 Buzzard and a Kestrel this morning.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

MPA Photo Competition 2017

The Mineral Products Association (the trade association for the quarrying and related industries) are running their prestigious biennial photo competition.

The competition is open to all volunteers at nature reserves which are former quarries. You don't strictly have to be a volunteer at Tice's Meadow to enter - we class all photographers who document the wildlife at Tice's Meadow as friends of the site.

Photos must be of flora, fauna and/or habitats and taken between January 1st 2016 and August 31st 2017. A maximum of 5 images may be entered by each photographer.

The competition is open until September 1st 2017.

First, second and third prizes will be vouchers for photographic equipment.

The Tice's Meadow Bird Group would love all the excellent photographers who visit Tice's Meadow to enter. Not only can you win some vouchers, it will also provide good publicity for Tice's Meadow.

If you do enter, please could you let us know and copy us in on your emailed entries (ticesmeadow@hotmail.co.uk).

Please see the attached poster for further information.




Willow Clearing Work Party

There's a work party this coming Tuesday 7th Feb at Tice's Meadow.

The Blackwater Valley "Tuesday Group" Volunteers will be on site as well as members of the Tice's Meadow Bird Group and the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership Rangers.

The plan is to blitz the willow in the Reedbeds. This is our final chance before the breeding season starts. There will be chainsaws and a chipper in use so hopefully we can make a real impact. We will also be painting weedkiller on the willow stumps.

Meet at 10am at the Pea Bridge. Tools, equipment, tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided.

The work party is an all day event, but volunteers are welcome to spend as long on site as they can.

All are welcome to join in. The more volunteers we can get, the more chance we have of clearing the willow and enhancing the habitat for nesting reedbed birds.

We'd also like to show the Blackwater Valley volunteers what a dedicated bunch we have on site and hopefully encourage them to revisit for further tasks.

Any questions, please let me know.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Monday January 16th to Saturday January 28th

Upcoming Walks

The following guided walks are currently scheduled for the next few months:
  • Saturday 25th February -  Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust walk. Meet at Pea Bridge at 10am. Non-members welcome. More details here.
  • Sunday 9th April - Guildford & District Local RSPB Group walk. Lead by Sean Foote. Meet in Aldershot Park at 9.30am. Non-members welcome. More details here.

Spring BioBlitz

Our Spring BioBlitz will be held over the bank holiday weekend of Friday 28th April to Sunday 30th April. Full details can be found here.


2015-16 Reptile Survey

The 2015-16 reptile survey at Tice's Meadow conducted by Andy Glencross can be downloaded here.


Lost & Found

A maroon coloured FitBit has been lost by a visitor at Tice's Meadow. If you find it, please can you hand it to a member of the Tice's Meadow Bird Group so we can return it to it's owner.



Monday January 16th

No reports.


Tuesday January 17th

No reports.


Wednesday January 18th

John Hunt reported a Little Egret, a Water Rail in the river by the Pea Bridge, a Chiffchaff, 2 Stonechat, some Siskin and a Kestrel this afternoon.

(c) John Hunt - Kestrel
(c) John Hunt - Redwing
(c) John Hunt - Water Rail
(c) John Hunt - Water Rail


Thursday January 19th

No reports.


Friday January 20th

No reports.


Saturday January 21st

Richard Seargent reported a Woodcock flushed from the Woods, a Little Egret, several Snipe, a Water Rail in the river by the Pea Bridge, 6 Stonechat and a Kingfisher this morning.

In addition, Graham King reported a Green Sandpiper, 2 Redwing, 16 Fieldfare, 2 Bullfinch and 2 Kestrel today.

This is only the 4th reported sighting of Woodcock on site and the first since June 2015. It is thought that this is the first time one has been seen on the ground at Tice's Meadow - all other records have been flyovers.

(c) Richard Seargent - Kingfisher
(c) Richard Seargent - Kingfisher
(c) Richard Seargent - Kingfisher
(c) Richard Seargent - Redwing
(c) Richard Seargent - Stonechat
(c) Richard Seargent - Frosty Morning


Sunday January 22nd

John Hunt reported a Water Rail and 2 Snipe in the river by Pea Bridge first thing this morning.

25 people attended a Surrey Bird Club walk this morning and enjoyed good views of a Green Sandpiper, a Jack Snipe, 6 Snipe, a Water Rail in the river by Pea Bridge, a Little Egret, 3 Kingfisher on one small stretch of river, 20 Siskin, 4 Bullfinch, 2 Stonechat, 20 Fieldfare, 30 Redwing, a Kestrel, a Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk.

A visiting birder reported an additional 2 Water Rail in a stretch of the river near the Silt Ponds this morning, meaning there were at least 3 on site today.

Steve Minhinnick reported a Woodcock flushed from the island between the river and the old river channel, and a Chiffchaff this morning.

Hot on the heels of the Woodcock sighting yesterday, it looks like this is probably the same bird that has been present on site for at least the weekend, probably having been moved off of it's usual site due to the cold weather.

(c) Carey Lodge - Water Rail
(c) Carey Lodge - Water Rail
(c) Richard Seargent - Kestrel
(c) Richard Seargent - Redwing
(c) Richard Seargent - Redwing
(c) Denise Murray - Kingfisher
(c) Denise Murray - Kingfisher
(c) John Hunt - Buzzard
(c) John Hunt - Kingfisher
(c) John Hunt - Water Rail
(c) John Hunt - Water Rail
(c) Mike Walker - Frosty Morning
(c) Mike Walker - Frosty Morning
(c) Mike Walker - Frosty Morning
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Surrey Bird Club Walk
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Surrey Bird Club Walk


Monday January 23rd

No reports.


Tuesday January 24th

Oli Sackwood reported a Green Sandpiper, a Jack Snipe, 5 Snipe, 2 Water Rail, 40 Lapwing, 2 Stonechat, 7 Siskin, a Buzzard and a Kestrel today.

In addition, Richard Horton reported a Yellow-legged Gull, 60 Fieldfare, 2 Peregrine and a Red Kite today.


Wednesday January 25th

Phil Hughes reported a Water Rail in the river by the Pea Bridge this afternoon.

In addition, Oli Sackwood reported 5 Greylag Goose and 100+ Fieldfare today.

In addition, Richard Horton reported a Red Kite today.


Thursday January 26th

No reports.


Friday January 27th

Mark Elsoffer reported a Green Sandpiper, a Little Egret, a Water Rail, 40 Siskin, 2 Bullfinch, a Stonechat, a Chiffchaff, c200 Fieldfare, a Kestrel, a Buzzard and a Red Kite this afternoon.

A Roe Deer carcass in the Wheatear Field is regularly attracting feeding Buzzards and Red Kites.

Ray was once again single-handedly clearing invasive Willow from the Reedbeds.

Mark Elsoffer, Richard Horton and Richard Seargent held a productive meeting with Simon Elson from Surrey County Council on site this afternoon.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Stonechat
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Stonechat


Saturday January 28th

Dave Baker reported 3 Goshawk displaying outside the site boundaries today.

In addition, Kev Campbell reported a Kestrel today.

(c) Kev Campbell - Kestrel
(c) Kev Campbell - Kestrel
(c) Kev Campbell - Kestrel


Friday, 20 January 2017

2017 Spring BioBlitz

The Tice's Meadow Bird Group are delighted to announce that our popular and well-attended Spring BioBlitz is returning in 2017.

The BioBlitz will be held over the bank holiday weekend of Friday 28th April to Sunday 30th April.

Note: For those of you who bought one of our calendars, this is a week earlier than shown on the calendar.

Activities currently planned for the weekend include guided bird walks, moth trapping, guided bat walks and a weekend-long bird ringing demonstration (run by Roger Dickey).

Please keep an eye out for further announcements, including which other partner organisations will be attending this year.

Over 90 members of the public enjoyed last year's BioBlitz, with 86 species of bird recorded, and one well known birder called it "The highlight of the surrey birding year". We hope to see you all at the 2017 event.




Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Inauguration of Our New President

The Tice's Meadow Bird Group are delighted to announce that Lt. Col. Roger Dickey has graciously accepted our invitation to become the group's President.

Roger is a well known and well respected figure in British ornithology, so it is a real coup for the Tice's Meadow Bird Group to have him as our President.

A retired Royal Artillery officer, with 43 years' service, Roger is the current chairman of the Army Ornithological Society, and his premiership will allow us to build on our strong links with the British military community, which is apt for a nature reserve on the outskirts of Aldershot - “the Home of the British Army”.

Roger is also a Trustee of the British Trust for Ornithology, a member of the BTO Governing Council, and Chairman of the BTO Regional Network Committee.

In his home county of Somerset, Roger is Chairman, and former President of, the Somerset Ornithological Society, and Chairman of the Somerset Wildlife Trust's “Heart of the Levels Group”

An experienced bird ringer and surveyor, and holder of a BTO 'A' Permit, for the last 20 years Roger has been surveying seabirds on behalf of the Ascension Island Government, and in concert with the RSPB, as well as running projects in West Africa and Cyprus, and nearer to home on Cape Wrath and on the Defence Estate.

Roger has authored a number of scientific papers on South Atlantic seabirds and has appeared on the BBC's Countryfile.

We are grateful to Roger for all the work he has done previously ringing on site and promoting our nature reserve, and look forward to the group and reserve prospering in future under his premiership.

(c) Mark Elsoffer, Roger Ringing at Tice's Meadow, 25/04/15.
(c) Rich Mooney, Roger & Rich at Tice's Meadow, 30/04/16.
(c) Rich Mooney, Roger Ringing at Tice's Meadow, 30/04/16.
(c) Rich Mooney, Three Richards & One Roger, 05/11/16.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Sunday January 1st to Sunday January 15th

Aviva Community Fund Shelter Appeal

We are delighted to announce that our Aviva Community Fund Shelter Appeal has passed due diligence & we have been awarded the £1,000 grant.

Over the past month a number of exciting opportunities have arisen because we have won this money. At the moment we need to keep quiet on the exact details, but rest assured that the future looks exciting at Surrey's Best Birding Site.

A massive thank you to everyone who voted for us in the Aviva Community Fund competion. We couldn't have done it without your votes.



Upcoming Walks

The following guided walks are currently scheduled for the next few months:
  • Sunday 22nd January - Surrey Bird Club walk. Meet at Pea Bridge at 9am. Non-members welcome. More details here.
  • Saturday 25th February -  Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust walk. Meet at Pea Bridge at 10am. Non-members welcome. More details here.

Randon's Ramblings


Tice's Meadow has been honoured with a prestigious Randon's Ramblings Award, for 2016 Surrey Patch of the Year. Read more about this award on Neil Randon's excellent blog here.




Sunday January 1st

Richard Horton reported 12 Snipe, 300 Lapwing, 2 Little Egret, 2 Water Rail, a Little Grebe, a Great Black-backed Gull, a Yellow-legged Gull, a Kingfisher, 7 Bullfinch, 7 Siskin, a Chiffchaff, 2 Coal Tit, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 4 Stonechat, 5 Goldcrest, a Grey Wagtail, a Buzzard, a Kestrel, a Red Kite and a Peregrine this morning.

In addition, Richard Seargent reported a Common Sandpiper and a Green Sandpiper this morning.

In addition, Oliver Sackwood reported a Brent Goose this morning.

This is only the 5th recorded sighting of Brent Goose on site.


Monday January 2nd

John Hunt reported a Green Sandpiper (possibly 2) this morning.

In addition, Mark Elsoffer reported 2 Snipe, 170 Lapwing, 9 Golden Plover, a Little Egret, a Greylag Goose, 4 Mallard, 10 Teal, 20 Wigeon, 5 Pochard, 65 Shoveler, 5 Gadwall, 12 Tufted Duck, a Blackcap, 10 Siskin, 4 Stonechat, 60 Fieldfare, 2 Buzzard, a Sparrowhawk and a Peregrine this afternoon.

(c) Kev Campbell - Black-headed Gull
(c) Kev Campbell - Cormorant
(c) Kev Campbell - Cormorant
(c) Kev Campbell - Gadwall
(c) Kev Campbell - Goldcrest
(c) Kev Campbell - Goldfinch
(c) Kev Campbell - Goldfinch
(c) Kev Campbell - Grey Heron
(c) Kev Campbell - Robin
(c) Kev Campbell - Siskin
(c) Kev Campbell - Mute Swan
(c) Richard Seargent - Black-headed Gull


Tuesday January 3rd

Richard Seargent reported a Yellow-legged Gull (adult) and a Chiffchaff this morning.

In addition, Richard Horton reported a Coal Tit and a Peregrine today.

(c) Richard Seargent - Frosty Morning
(c) Richard Seargent - Mute Swans


Wednesday January 4th

No reports.


Thursday January 5th

No reports.


Friday January 6th

No reports.


Saturday January 7th

Mark Elsoffer reported a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, 7 Snipe, 200 Lapwing, a Little Egret, a Water Rail, 12 Mallard, 10 Tufted Duck, 40 Wigeon, 56 Shoveler, 20 Teal, 3 Pochard, a Caspian Gull (3rd wtr), 24 Siskin, 2 Bullfinch, 70 Fieldfare, 24 Redwing, a Kestrel and a Buzzard this afternoon.

In addition, Graham King reported a Chiffchaff this afternoon.

This is only the 5th recorded sighting of Caspian Gull on site.

The Little Egret was colour-ringed: Left leg: Orange ring, black "L". Right leg: Green ring, white "D". This is a new ringed bird for the site. We are awaiting details of the bird's history.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Little Egret (Ringed)


Sunday January 8th

John Hunt reported a Little Egret, a Water Rail and 20+ Siskin this morning.

(c) John Hunt - Green Sandpiper
(c) John Hunt - Peregrine
(c) John Hunt - Water Rail
(c) John Hunt - Water Rail


Monday January 9th

No reports.

Tuesday January 10th

John Hunt reported a Green Sandpiper, a Little Egret, 100+ Lapwing, 40+ Shoveler, a Bullfinch and 2 Red Kite this morning.

(c) John Hunt - Bullfinch
(c) John Hunt - Teal


Wednesday January 11th

No reports.


Thursday January 12th

Richard Horton reported a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Water Rail and 7 Bullfinch today.


Friday January 13th

No reports.


Saturday January 14th

11 volunteers gave up their Saturday morning to attend a work party on site today. Nest boxes in the Woods were cleaned out, refurbished and new ones erected. The small pond by the Pea Bridge entrance was also cleared of invasive Willow. Thank you to everyone who attended.

Mark Elsoffer spent the day on site and reported a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, 3 Snipe, 175 Lapwing, a Little Egret, 8 Mallard, 28 Tufted Duck, 32 Wigeon, 39 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 30 Teal, 4 Pochard, a Bullfinch, a Chiffchaff, 26 Siskin, 2 Stonechat, 60 Fieldfare, 50 Redwing, a Grey Wagtail, a Raven, 2 Kestrel, 2 Buzzard, 3 Red Kite and a Peregrine.

In addition, Richard Seargent reported a Sparrowhawk this morning.

In addition, Richard Horton reported a Rook this morning.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Repairing Nest Boxes
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Putting Up Nest Boxes
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Cleaning Out Nest Boxes
(c) Richard Seargent - Kestrel
(c) Richard Seargent - Red Kite
(c) Richard Seargent - Red Kite
(c) Richard Seargent - Red Kite


Sunday January 15th

No reports.