Sunday 22 July 2012

Another day recording...


Four Cormorants circled the 'workings' several times before deciding it was OK to land. They landed in the water and immediately started fishing. Working together as a team they dived many times in several areas in the western end of the workings. During the15 minutesor so they weren;t seen to bring and swallow any fish at the surface. They finally gave up and movrdto the gravel bank amongst the gulls to spread their wings to dry. After a short time they flew off. Cormorant should be present more over the coming months, using Tices Meadow to rest and preen after fishing sessions at Badshot Lea Ponds or Tongham GP.
Also new today was a juvenile Great-crested Grede, prehaps the result of successful breeding nearby. It fished in several areas whilst avoiding the resident Coot. It again was not seen to catch a fish. This is only the 22nd record over the past 6 years, first being seen on May 16th 2007 and not being seen since April 16th 2011. So looks no fish or very few survived after most of the water was pumped out during the restoration. Over the coming years there should return with eggs being brought in on the Geese/Ducks feathers.
The last returning winter migrant was a single Common Snipe seen in the meadow behind the 'Bike Pool'. Last seen in the Spring on  April 3rd.
Still some  BREEDING NEWS with a female Mallard with five small ducklings seen in the 'workings' and a pair of Moorhens feeding three small chicks along the River Blackwater.


With the temperature up to 25 degrees todays a few more Butterflies were on the wing. By far the most common Butterfly is still the Ringlet. Several Red Admirals were seen feeding on the Blackberry blossom and Large Whites were seen on the viewing bank with Large Skippers.


A Black & Yellow Longhorn Beetle Rutpela maculata  was seen today and is easy to identify. At least four species of lesser Water Boatmen and four species of Water Beetles were found in the pools but have yet to be identified.

to be continued.....

Sunday 15 July 2012

Longhorn Beetle

After some internet research this beetle was identified as a Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle (Agapanthia villosoviridescens)  A pair mating were seen on a Hogweed leaf near the 'Dragonfly Pool'
In the research it has been mostly reported above the Thames Valley and to the east.

Golen-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle Agapanthia villosoviridescens  ©Dluogs

Repoted to the national recorder of Longhorn Beetles Dr.Rejzek (Martin.Rejzek[AT]
His reply was "Agapanthia villosoviridescens seems to be expanding its range in the UK. I am getting increasing numbers of records from outside its traditional strongholds in East Anglia".
It also looks like it is the first time reported in the Blackwater Valley.

Thursday 28 June 2012

BHG's hatch two...

After sitting on a nest since the beginning of the month the pair of  Black-headed Gulls have hatched two chicks. There appears to be another pair still sitting on a nest.
                                                Black-headed Gull chicks            © putneymark

Wednesday 27 June 2012

2nd pair of Common Terns hatch three

The second pair of Common Terns have hatched 3 chicks. The first pair two chicks are growing fast.

Saturday 26 May 2012

Tices Meadow Wildlife Walk 26th May 2012

Twenty-six peple met local expert Richarh Horton on Pea bridge on a fine sunny morning. We set off to view the meadow. As we arrivied we just missed a flyover Hobby as it passed over the tree where the local Great-spotted Woodpeckers nest. Walking along the footpath that runs parallel with the meadow we could here are first Blackcap of the day   As we continued along the path a few male Orange Tip butterflies were seen. Reaching a gap in the hedge we viewed the flooded meadow for the first time. Due to the rainfall in the past two months it is nearly at winter levels, normally it would be dry at this time of year. The Wood Sandpiper ( 5th record) found earlier in the morning was still present along with a Ringed Plover. Further along the path a recently fledged Great Tit was found in the middle of the path. It was moved safely off the path  Moving on towards the viewing bank which overlooks the meadow, slit ponda and the workings a Chiffchaff was heard singing. During the restoration the water was pumped out of the working for health and safety reasons. Thankfully again after the recent rainfall the water level can now be seen from the viewing bank. Only another 15ft to go before it's full!! Along the recent created fenced path we stopped to view the Newt Pool. Several Newts were seen coming to the surface to gulp a quick breath of air.  Then a Grass Snake was spotted on the edge of the pool.

                              Grass Snake - Tices Meadow   © Sarah Sayer
It realised we were watching and quickly dissappeared. Also a male Broad bodied Chaser was seen on the edge of the pool. The first recorded this year.

                      Broad bodied Chaser - Tices Meadow    © Sarah Sayer

Back on the main path we followed the route of of the proposed re-route (marked by red posts) of the River Blackwater. Thie re-route will help alleviate possible flooding of the estate.
On the return route to Pea Bridge we heard and saw a Common Whitethroat singing from the top of a tree.
A great couple of hours of woldlife watching. Thankyou to Richard for leading the walk and the 26 participants for joining him.

Sunday 20 May 2012

A Red Kite day...

Red Kites are getting commoner over Tices Meadow as they spread further afield after the re-introduction program in the Chilterns during the early 1990's 

                                              Red Kite (photo by Pickersgill Reef)
Today one drifted over the bank, workings and continued over the A31.

The 3 Greenshank still remain feeding on the meadow for the third day. Whilst the Common Sandpiper is feeding around  the 'Bike Pool', A Hobby was seen high over the workings, (JSH)

Saturday 19 May 2012

Greenshank for the second day

The Greenshank remains feeding in the meadow for the second day (KPD).

Orange Tip on the wing...

With below average tempertures and dull conditions it is not the best year for Butterflies. But today there were at least three male Orange Tip Butterflies on the wing.

                                             Orange-tip Butterfly (male)      © KPDuncan

Tuesday 15 May 2012

A Greenshank finally....

A Greenshank was found today feeding in the meadow. (RTH)
                                          GREENSHANK (Photo by Sergey Yeliseev)
May 15th is the most popular day to find Greenshank at Tices Meadow. It has been seen in four of the last seven years on this date.

Friday 20 April 2012

Brent Goose still present...

The Brent Goose is still present for the second day feeding with the Canada Geese in the meadow. (KPD)

Thursday 19 April 2012

Brent Geese are getting like buses...

Brent Geese are getting like buses, you wait for ages for one then another comes quickly after! So just 19 days after the first site record another is found in the meadow. Like before it is associating with the Canada Geese.(GK)

Saturday 31 March 2012

Brent Goose - first site record

Today the first Brent Goose

                                             Brent Goose (Photo by Sean Byrne)