Monday, 27 March 2017

Tuesday March 14th - Monday March 27th

Reporting of Schedule 1 Breeding Birds

From March 19th no Schedule 1 species which may be breeding on site (or other species which we deem to be sensitive) shall be reported publicly. This is for the protection of the birds.

We will still be collecting and recording reports from observers, so if you have seen any please email us or let one of the regulars know in person.

We will still freely share information amongst visiting birders. It is the egg-collectors and the unproffessional photographers we are concerned about. So please do ask one of the regulars what's around when you visit.

More information about Schedule 1 birds can be read here. Guidance on photographing Schedule 1 birds can be read here.


Annual Report

The Tice's Meadow 2016 Annual Report can now be downloaded for free from this link:
https://1drv.ms/b/s!AuC9nX__kWIggSW-F4MUtWcsifGH

If you would like to buy a glossy, full colour, A4 hardcopy of the report for £15, please email us: ticesmeadow@hotmail.co.uk

All funds raised from the sale of our annual report are channelled back into projects on the nature reserve.



Spring BioBlitz

Our Spring 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.




Tuesday March 14th

Richard Seargent reported a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, a Little Ringed Plover, 28 Shoveler, 34 Herring Gull, 2 Stonechat, and a Grey Wagtail this afternoon.

In addition, Murray Nurse reported 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Bullfinch and 2 Kestrel today.

The Site Management Liasion Committee met today. The committee consists of representatives of the Tice's Meadow Bird Group, Hanson, the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership and the Badshot Lea Community Association.

The meeting was extremely productive and our representatives (Richard Horton and Richard Seargent) left with a positive feeling that progress towards completion of site restoration is being made.

Key points from the meeting include:
  • Hanson approved our plan to build a shelter on Horton's Mound made from a converted shipping container with a biodiverse roof (see this announcement for more info).
  • Hanson indicated that they are keen to emulate our shelter design for a bird watching hide on one of the spits in the Workings.
  • The designs and progress for the 2 new bridges over the River Blackwater were discussed and meet our requirements for disability access.
  • Hanson kindly agreed to pay for a new cover for our marquee for use at the forthcoming BioBlitz.
  • The official site opening has been moved back to April 2018, possibly in conjunction with the 2018 BioBlitz.


Wednesday March 15th

Andy Little reported a Green Sandpiper, a Redwing, a Fieldfare and 6 Reed Bunting today.

In addition, Andy reported 3 large bats and a small bat.

(c) Kevin Duncan - Coltsfoot

Thursday March 16th

Phil Hughes reported a Lapwing, 4 Mallard, 4 Gadwall, 8 Wigeon, 2 Tufted Duck, 10 Shoveler, 4 Redwing, a Chiffchaff and a Red Kite today.

Ian Exton kindly donated 2 Barn Owl boxes for use at Tice's Meadow today. Thank you Ian!


Friday March 17th

John Hunt reported 2 Lapwing, a Water Rail, a Wigeon, a Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 10 Teal, 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Red Kite, 4 Buzzard and a Kestrel this morning.

(c) John Hunt - Teal


Saturday March 18th

Mark Elsoffer reported a Common Sandpiper, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Lapwing, 2 Wigeon, 4 Shoveler, 6 Teal, 6 Gadwall, 8 Mallard, a Greylag Goose, a Redwing, 2 Red Kite, 3 Buzzard and a Kestrel today.

In addition, Trevor Birkett reported 3 Chiffchaff this afternoon.

In addition, Richard Seargent reported a Snipe this afternoon.

In addition, Andy Little reported a Water Rail and an Egyptian Goose today.

(c) Richard Seargent - Slow Worms
(c) Richard Seargent - Vole


Sunday March 19th

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

In addition, Richard Seargent reported a Common Sandpiper, 5 Little Ringed Plover, a Little Egret, 6 Shoveler, 2 Egyptian Goose, 2 Greylag Goose, 4 Raven and a Sparrowhawk this morning.

John also reported a Great Tit carrying nesting material to Nest Box #21.

Note: From today onwards, no possibly breeding Schedule 1 birds will be reported publicly.


Monday March 20th

Richard Horton reported a Shelduck today.

This is the first reported sighting of Shelduck on site since December 15th 2015.

Shelduck is the 91st species recorded on site this year.


Tuesday March 21st

No reports.


Wednesday March 22nd

No reports.


Thursday March 23rd

Mark Elsoffer reported a Green Sandpiper, a Lapwing, 4 Snipe, 8 Mallard, 3 Tufted Duck, 15 Gadwall, 2 Teal, 12 Shoveler, 2 Greylag Goose, a Chiffchaff, a Buzzard and a Kestrel this afternoon.


Friday March 24th

Mark Elsoffer reported a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, 11 Snipe, 9 Mallard, 8 Shoveler, 16 Gadwall, 3 Teal, 2 Greylag Goose, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Kestrel, a Sparrowhawk, 8 Buzzard and 3 Red Kite this morning.

Mark also reported a colour-ringed Cormorant today. The Cormorant was ringed on Puffin Island (Anglesey) on 25/06/16.

Today was a momentous day for the Tice's Meadow Bird Group with the delivery of the converted shipping container that we will be turning into a shelter on Horton's Mound - see this post for full details.

(c) Trevor Birkett - Song Thrush
(c) Trevor Birkett - Song Thrush
(c) Trevor Birkett - Blackbird
(c) Trevor Birkett - Robin
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Len Feeding the Cows
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Colour Ringed Cormorant
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Woodchips Kindly Donated by Advanced Tree Services
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Tawny Owl Box Kindly Built & Donated by Steve Minhinnick


Saturday March 25th

Dave Baker reported 2 Common Sandpiper and 3 Kestrel this morning.

In addition, John Hunt reported 5 Snipe this afternoon.

In addition, Mike Walker reported 2 Greylag Goose, 2 Chiffchaff, 4 Buzzard and 3 Red Kite today.

In addition, Andy Little reported a Lapwing, a Sparrowhawk and a Peregrine today.

Dave also reported the following butterflies: Peacock, Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Comma and a possible female Orange-tip.

Dave also reported seeing Slow Worms, Common Lizards and a Common Shrew.

(c) Dave Baker - Horton's Herd


Sunday March 26th

John Hunt reported a Common Sandpiper, 3 Greylag Goose, 3 Meadow Pipit, 3 Chiffchaff and a Skylark this morning.

John also reported a Blue Tit visiting Nest Box #10.


Monday March 27th

Richard Seargent reported 2 Yellowhammer this afternoon.

In addition, Phil Hughes reported a Redshank and a Chiffchaff this evening.

This is the first reported sighting of Yellowhammer this year.

Yellowhammer is the 92nd species recorded on site this year.

(c) Phil Hughes - Chiffchaff
(c) Phil Hughes - Redshank


Saturday, 25 March 2017

Operation McGregor

Over the past few months you may have heard whispered rumours of "Operation McGregor" and secret plans that have been in motion for Tice's Meadow.

Today we can announce what is hopefully going to be a landmark project for the Tice's Meadow Bird Group which will help meet our stated aims of improving the habitats on site and encouraging & educating visitors to the reserve.

We are building a shelter on top of Horton's Mound made from a converted second-hand shipping container. The shelter will have a state-of-the-art bio-diverse green roof, internal seating & noticeboards, and external invertebrate habitat panels & bird boxes. The shelter will have step-free access for wheelchairs/buggies.

We hope that the shelter will both improve the visitor experience at Tice's Meadow and provide a valuable new habitat for wildflowers, invertebrates and birds.

Some examples of similar shelters can be seen below:



Today we took delivery of our converted shipping container which has had one wall removed and a steel pillar fitted to support the roof. The container, conversion work and delivery was paid for with the money we raised from the Aviva Community Fund contest - thank you to everyone who voted!




Over the coming weeks and months we have alot of work to do.

The first task is to paint the container with green metal paint. We are holding a work party to do this on Satuday April 1st at 9am. If you would like to help out, please email us at ticesmeadow@hotmail.co.uk or speak to one of the members of the Tice's Meadow Bird Group for details.

If you would like to help us complete this ambitious project please keep an eye out for further announcements or get in touch.

Once again, thank you to everyone who voted for us in the Aviva Community Fund contest and thank you to everyone who has contributed to this project so far.


Monday, 13 March 2017

Tuesday February 28th - Monday March 13th

Annual Report

The Tice's Meadow 2016 Annual Report can now be downloaded for free from this link:
https://1drv.ms/b/s!AuC9nX__kWIggSW-F4MUtWcsifGH

If you would like to buy a glossy, full colour, A4 hardcopy of the report for £15, please email us: ticesmeadow@hotmail.co.uk

All funds raised from the sale of our annual report are channelled back into projects on the nature reserve.




Spring BioBlitz

Our Spring 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.






Tuesday February 28th

No reports.


Wednesday March 1st

No reports.

A massive thanks to Murray Nurse for donating lots of bill hooks and saws for our volunteers to use on site today.


Thursday March 2nd

Mark Elsoffer reported 2 Lapwing, 18 Mallard, 10 Tufted Duck, 5 Pochard, 6 Gadwall, 30 Teal, 40 Shoveler, 12 Fieldfare, a Red Kite, a Kestrel, a Peregrine and 5 Buzzard this afternoon.


Friday March 3rd

No reports.


Saturday March 4th

Mark Elsoffer reported a Common Sandpiper, 5 Lapwing, 12 Mallard, 20 Teal, 10 Tufted Duck, 7 Pochard, 6 Gadwall, 52 Shoveler, 24 Wigeon, a Red Kite, 2 Buzzard, a Sparrowhawk and 4 Kestrel today.


Sunday March 5th

Richard Horton reported a Common Sandpiper, 3 Bullfinch, 2 Red Kite and 2 Buzzard today.


Monday March 6th

A Barn Owl was reported flying along the site boundary this evening by a local resident called Dave.

Barn Owl is a rarely reported bird on site, with only 1 report in 2016, 1 in 2014 and a handful from the winters of 2012/13 and 2007/08. We know Barn Owls are roosting, and probably nesting, in the nest boxes at the Kiln, and are regularly seen in fields in Badshot Lea. They are probably under recorded on site due to no-one being around after dusk to see them.

Barn Owl is the 87th species recorded on site this year.


Tuesday March 7th

Kevin Duncan reported a Little Ringed Plover and 2 adult Mediterranean Gull today.

In addition, Murray Nurse reported 2 Chiffchaff today.

In addition, Richard Horton reported a Common Sandpiper and 2 Stonechat today.

This is the earliest recorded Little Ringed Plover on site (by 2 days) and the joint earliest ever in Surrey (shared with North Gatwick in 1987).

Tice's Meadow has now equalled the earliest and latest recorded Little Ringed Plovers in Surrey.

Little Ringed Plover is the 88th species recorded on site this year.

Kevin also reported seeing plenty of frog's spawn in the ponds today.


Wednesday March 8th

No reports.


Thursday March 9th

John Hunt reported a Common Sandpiper, a Little Ringed Plover, a Water Rail and a Red Kite this morning.

In addition, Mark Elsoffer reported a Lapwing, 9 Teal, 10 Gadwall, 8 Tufted Duck, 6 Mallard, a Pochard, 2 Wigeon, a Great Crested Grebe, a Redwing and 5 Buzzard this afternoon.

Mark Elsoffer reported 2 Brimstone and 6 Small Tortoiseshell butterflies on the wing around Horton's Mound today.

The Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership rangers spent the day on site today cutting and strimming the brambles around the hibernaculars and reptile monitoring sites, along the paths and around Horton's Mound.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Blackwater Valley Ranger Cutting Grass
(c) John Hunt - Little Ringed Plover
(c) Steve Minhinnick - Little Ringed Plover


Friday March 10th

Richard Seargent reported a Wigeon, 4 Greylag Goose and an adult Mediterranean Gull this afternoon.

Ray has again been on site clearing our the overgrown vegetation from in and around the River Blackwater and the Water Rail Ditch. Ray is a one-man work party, who can be found most days on site working away. We are extremely grateful for his hard work and dedication.

(c) Murray Nurse - Ray at Work


Saturday March 11th

Mark Elsoffer reported 7 Lapwing, 17 Snipe, a Little Egret, 9 Mallard, 13 Teal, 6 Gadwall, 5 Wigeon, 2 Pochard, 14 Tufted Duck, an Egyptian Goose, 8 Redwing, a Fieldfare, 5 Reed Bunting, 3 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel and a Peregrine today.

In addition, Dave Baker reported a Sand Martin, 2 Raven and a Siskin today.

In addition, Dave Baker and Mark Elsoffer jointly reported an adult Mediterranean Gull, 15+ Red Kite and 25+ Buzzard today.

In addition, Steve Minhinnick reported a Goshawk today (outside the site boundary).

Sand Martin is the 89th species recorded on site this year.

The count of 15+ Red Kite is a new site record count.

The count of 25+ Buzzard is a new site record count.

A large species of bat was seen flying over the Workings for a while this afternoon - possibly a Daubenton's Bat.

Mark Elsoffer reported 5 Small Tortoiseshell butterflies on the wing today.

18 volunteers met on site this morning and completed the following tasks:
- Strimmed the ringing rides in the Reedbed ready for the BioBlitz.
- Relocated a disused metal gate from the Plant Yard to the fence infront of the Reedbeds, allowing safe and secure access for ringing and reedbed management.
- Fixed the steps down to the stepping stones.
- Put up a new Tawny Owl nesting box kindly built and donated by Steve Minhinnick.
- Cleared up and burnt the piles of cut willow, brambles and vegetation from the river.

A massive thank you to everyone who attended. Tice's Meadow relies on volunteers generously donating their free time to continue managing the site for the wildlife and visitors.

(c) Richard Seargent - Trevor & Mark Digging New Post Holes
(c) Richard Seargent - Burning Willow
(c) Steve Minhinnick - Frog's Spawn
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteers Taking a Well Earned Break
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Steve & Trevor Digging a New Post Hole
(c) Trevor Birkett - The Newly Installed Gate


Sunday March 12th

Dave Baker reported a Common Sandpiper, a Little Ringed Plover, a Redshank, 3 Egyptian Goose, 42 Herring Gull, 6 Sand Martin, singing Chiffchaff, singing Redwing and a singing Siskin.

In addition, Richard Seargent reported 2 adult Mediterranean Gull (over), 7 Reed Bunting, 2 Chiffchaff and 2 Stonechat this afternoon.

Richard Seargent reported Blue Tits nesting in nestbox 41 and Great Tits nesting in nestbox 28.
 
Redshank is the 90th species recorded on site this year.

(c) Richard Seargent - Slow Worm


Monday March 13th

Simon Hill reported a Green Sandpiper and a Little Ringed Plover today.





Sunday, 12 March 2017

Blackwater Valley Swift Project

The Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust's 2017 project is all about saving our Swifts, and the Tice's Meadow Bird Group will be joining in to support the project in any way we can.

Please see their website for more information:
http://www.bvct.org.uk/blackwater-valley-swift-project

If you go birding in the Blackwater Valley you can help by recording your sightings. You can also help by looking for nesting sites and building swift boxes.

The project has a Facebook page where you can find out the latest information:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/409672666044613/

Colin Wilson of the BVCT will be giving an illustrated talk about Swifts and how we can help them on April 26th at 7:30pm at the Basingstoke Canal Centre - full details available here:
http://www.bvct.org.uk/events


(c) Kev Campbell - Swift over Tice's - 03/08/14.
(c) Kev Campbell - Swift over Tice's - 09/08/14.


Monday, 27 February 2017

Tuesday February 14th - Monday February 27th

Annual Report

The Tice's Meadow 2016 Annual Report can now be downloaded for free from this link:
https://1drv.ms/b/s!AuC9nX__kWIggSW-F4MUtWcsifGH

If you would like to buy a glossy, full colour, A4 hardcopy of the report for £15, please email us: ticesmeadow@hotmail.co.uk

All funds raised from the sale of our annual report are channelled back into projects on the nature reserve.








Spring BioBlitz

Our Spring 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.



Late News

A juvenile Glaucous Gull was seen in the Workings on Monday February 13th by Richard Horton and Oli Sackwood. Initially there was some confusion as Richard positively identified the bird and Oli took a photo. Subsequent viewing of the photo showed it contained a juvenile Great Black-backed Gull, but it then transpired that in his haste Oli had photographed the wrong bird.

Glaucous Gull is a new species for Tice's Meadow - the 191st species of bird recorded on site and the 85th species recorded in 2017.


Tuesday February 14th

No reports.


Wednesday February 15th

No reports.


Thursday February 16th

Dave Carlsson reported a Green Sandpiper today.

Oli Sackwood recorded 2 new species for Tice's Meadow today:
Orange Waxcap (Hygrocybe aurantiosplendens).
Witches Butter (Exidia glandulosa).

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Orange Waxcap - taken Feb 17th
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Orange Waxcap - taken Feb 17th
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Witches Butter - taken Feb 17th


Friday February 17th

Mark Elsoffer reported a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, a Little Egret, 450 Lapwing, 58 Shoveler, 3 Pochard, 6 Mallard, 36 Teal, 20 Tufted Duck, 29 Wigeon, 2 Gadwall, 2 Stonechat, 6 Siskin, 2 Buzzard, a Kestrel, a Red Kite and a Sparrowhawk today.

Mark also reported a Red Admiral butterfly on the wing.

Carey Lodge reported a new species for Tice's Meadow today: Peniophora quercina - a wood decay fungus.

Ray spent the day cutting and clearing the overgrown brambles from the Water Rail Ditch - stellar work as always Ray!

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Peniophora quercina - taken Feb 18th
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Peniophora quercina - taken Feb 18th
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Peniophora quercina - taken Feb 18th
(c) Trevor Birkett - Greenfinch
(c) Richard Seargent - Afternoon Sun
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Morning on Horton's Mound


Saturday February 18th

Mark Elsoffer reported a Snipe, 250 Lapwing, 48 Shoveler, 12 Mallard, 2 Gadwall, 24 Teal, 4 Wigeon, 14 Tufted Duck, 5 Pochard, 2 Stonechat, a Goshawk (outside the recording area), c20 Buzzard, 3 Kestrel, 3 Red Kite and a Sparrowhawk today.

Richard, Oli, Dave & Jim spent the morning burning the piles of cleared brambles and litter picking along the Water Rail Ditch.

(c) Dave Baker - A Rare Sighting of Mickey Mouse Over Tice's Meadow
(c) Phil Hughes - Not Much Room on Horton's Mound Today


Sunday February 19th

John Hunt reported a Common Sandpiper and a Water Rail this morning.

In addition, Richard Seargent reported the welcome return, after an absence of a number of weeks, of a pair of Great Crested Grebe today.

In addition, Dave Baker reported a pair of Lapwing displaying over the Meadow.

In addition, Murray Nurse reported a Peregrine today.

Richard Seargent reported early evidence of courtship and nest building today - a pair of Reed Buntings holding territory and 2 pairs of Long-tailed Tits carrying nesting material.

Birders arriving on site early this morning had a suprise when they discovered an empty tent on the summit of Horton's Mound!

(c) Dave Baker - Abandoned Tent
(c) John Hunt - Reed Bunting
(c) Richard Seargent - Kestrel
(c) Richard Seargent - Long-tailed Tit
(c) Richard Seargent -Magpie
(c) Richard Seargent - Song Thrush
(c) Richard Seargent - Viva El Presidente


Monday February 20th

No reports.

Tuesday February 21st

No reports.

Wednesday February 22nd

Whilst litter-picking on site today, Oli Sackwood lifted up an old car number plate and found 20+ Newts underneath.

(c) Oli Sackwood - Newts

Thursday February 23rd

No reports.


Friday February 24th

(c) Kev Campbell - Meadow Pipit
(c) Kev Campbell - Stonechat
(c) Kev Campbell - Stonechat


Saturday February 25th

Around 30 people enjoyed a guided walk for the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership on site this morning. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. £155 was raised for the Tice's Meadow Bird Group through sales of our Annual Report and generous donations.

Mark Elsoffer reported a Common Sandpiper, 12 Snipe, a Little Egret, 8 Lapwing, 18 Mallard, 7 Gadwall, 30 Shoveler, 25 Teal, 20 Tufted Duck, 2 Wigeon, 9 Pochard, 2 Stonechat, a Grey Wagtail, 5 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk this morning.

In addition, Steve Minhinnick reported a Mediterranean Gull this morning.

In addition, Carey Lodge reported a Water Rail this morning.

Mediterranean Gull is the 86th species recorded on site this year.

Mark Elsoffer and Carey Lodge reported a new species for Tice's Meadow today: Split Gill fungus (Schizophyllum commune).

Oli Sackwood reported a new species for Tice's Meadow today: Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus).

(c) Mark Elsoffer - BVCT Guided Walk
(c) Mark Elsoffer - BVCT Guided Walk
(c) Mark Elsoffer - BVCT Guided Walk
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Oyster Mushroom
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Little Egret
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Split Gill


Sunday February 26th

John Hunt reported a Snipe, a Water Rail, a Little Egret, 50 Shoveler, a 1st-winter Great Black-backed Gull, an adult Yellow-legged Gull, 3 Stonechat and a Kestrel this morning.

(c) John Hunt - The Meadow
(c) John Hunt - Stonechat
(c) John Hunt - Stonechat
(c) John Hunt - Stonechat


Monday February 27th

No reports.