Saturday, 31 December 2016

Monday December 26th to Saturday December 31st

Happy New Year to all our blog visitors and friends of Tice's Meadow.

2016 in Numbers

2016 has been another amazing year at Tice's Meadow. A full review of the year will be published soon in our forthcoming 2016 Annual Report. For now, here's a brief look at the year in numbers:
  • 152 species of bird were recorded on site this year;
    • A new record, beating 2014's 150 species.
  • 4 new bird species for the site were recorded this year:
    • Common Crane, Nightjar, Whooper Swan & Yellow-browed Warbler.
    • This takes our overall bird list to 190 species.
  • 4,385 bird sightings were submitted and added into our database.
    • 46 different people reported bird sightings to us.
    • Sightings were received for 256 days of the year.
  • 24 record counts for bird species were broken this year:
    • Bar-tailed Godwit, Bearded Tit, Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Cormorant, Dunlin, Goldcrest, Greenfinch, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Magpie, Meadow Pipit, Mediterranean Gull, Raven, Sedge Warbler, Shoveler, Spoonbill, Teal, Wigeon, Willow Warbler, Wood Sandpiper & Yellow Wagtail.
  • 75 new species were added to our pan-species list;
    • Which now stands at 1,032 species.

Late News

Late news was received on December 27th from a local dog walker of a Barn Owl hunting in the north-west corner of the Meadow "2-3 weeks ago".

Barn Owl is the 152nd species recorded on site this year. This is the first recorded sighting of Barn Owl on site since October 28th 2014.


Monday December 26th

No reports.

 

Tuesday December 27th

Mark Elsoffer reported a Green Sandpiper, 4 Snipe, 120 Lapwing, 46 Shoveler, 56 Wigeon, 26 Teal, 44 Tufted Duck, 7 Pochard, 7 Gadwall, 3 Greylag Goose, 3 Stonechat, 50+ Siskin, 6 Bullfinch, 6 Goldcrest, 100 Fieldfare, 20 Redwing, 2500 Wood Pigeon, 3 Buzzard and a Kestrel today.

In addition, Richard Horton reported a Little Egret and a Goshawk today.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Goldcrest
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Goldcrest
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Goldcrest
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Goldcrest
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Siskin
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Siskin
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Siskin
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bullfinch
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bullfinch


Wednesday December 28th

No reports.

A dog walker informed Kev Campbell that they had seen an Otter swimming across the Plant Yard lake - if confirmed, this would be a first sighting for the site and a really exciting development.

(c) John Hunt - Kestrel
(c) John Hunt - Linnet
(c) Kev Campbell - Buzzard
(c) Kev Campbell - Buzzard
(c) Kev Campbell - Fieldfare
(c) Kev Campbell - Fieldfare
(c) Kev Campbell - Goldcrest
(c) Kev Campbell - Goldcrest
(c) Phil Fiddes - Kestrel
(c) Phil Fiddes - Mute Swan
(c) Phil Fiddes - Mute Swan
(c) Phil Fiddes - Wren


Thursday December 29th

No reports.


Friday December 30th

No reports.

Bernard Baverstock from the Surrey Mammals Group joined Richard Horton for an Otter hunt this morning. Unfortunately, no definitive signs of Otter were found.


Saturday December 31st

Richard Seargent reported a Green Sandpiper and 2 Little Egret this morning.

Richard also spent the morning investigating animal tracks on site.

(c) Richard Seargent - Richard Inspecting Tracks
(c) Richard Seargent - Animal Tracks
(c) Richard Seargent - Animal Tracks




Sunday, 25 December 2016

Monday December 5th - Sunday December 25th

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our blog visitors and friends of Tice's Meadow.


2017 Calendar

Our 2017 calendar has now sold out. Thank you to everyone who bought one - your continued support of Tice's Meadow is most welcome.


Badgers

We've long suspected we have Badgers on site, but not had any hard proof of the fact. A dog walker reported seeing a "possible" Badger in the Meadow in May 2015, and a probable latrine was found later that month. Several dead Badgers have also been seen on the A31 running along the southern boundary of the site.

In the week before Christmas, Richard Horton noticed a mound of freshly dug earth and a newly excavated animal hole. A number of smaller excavations were also found nearby. A juvenile Badger's skull was then found in the spoil, along with alot of Badger hair.

We are unsure if this represents an old Badger sett that has been re-opened by a Badger, an old Badger sett that has been re-opened by a Fox, or something else. Either way, it is hard proof that we have had, and probably still have, Badgers on site.

Subsequently, a freshly raided wasps' nest was also found - possibly raided by a Badger.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Spoil, Skull & Hole
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Badger Skull & Hair in Spoil
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Badger Skull
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Raided Wasps' Nest
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Wasps' Nest Detail


Monday December 5th

Richard Horton reported a Green Sandpiper, a Blackcap and a Kingfisher today.


Tuesday December 6th

Carey Lodge reported a Common Sandpiper, some Siskin and a Chiffchaff this morning.

Siskin video here: pic.twitter.com/aFy3vkGxcZ



Wednesday December 7th

No reports.


Thursday December 8th

No reports.


Friday December 9th

Mark Elsoffer reported 200 Lapwing, a Water Rail (in the River Blackwater), 6 Pochard, 5 Gadwall, 20 Teal, 10 Shoveler, 30 Wigeon, 40 Tufted Duck, 8 Mallard, 70 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 150 Herring Gull, 16 Siskin, 2 Bullfinch, 2 Stonechat, 12 Fieldfare, 2000 Wood Pigeon, a Red Kite, 2 Buzzard, a Kestrel and a Peregrine this morning.

The count of 150 Herring Gull is a new site record count.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Siskin & Goldfinch
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Fieldfare & Starling


Saturday December 10th

Unfortunately, today's volunteer work party was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.

Richard Seargent reported a Common Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpiper, 26 Snipe, 70 Golden Plover (flocks of 22 and 48) and a Brent Goose (flew out of the Workings and east down the valley) this morning.

In addition, Graham King reported 10 Siskin, 20 Lesser Redpoll, 5 Coal Tit, 2 Bullfinch and a Kestrel today.

Brent Goose is the 151st species recorded on site this year - a new annual record total, taking us past 2014's total of 150.

This is only the 4th recorded sighting of Brent Goose on site. 

Richard also reported an excavated wasps' nest on Horton's Mound, possibly raided by a Badger.

(c) Richard Seargent - Excavated Wasps' Nest


Sunday December 11th

Mark Elsoffer reported 2 Stonechat, 40 Siskin, a Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel and a Peregrine today.

7 youths were removed from the Reedbed today, asked to stop vandalising the safety notices and replace the lifebelts they'd removed. If you see anyone trespassing on site, please call 101. The Reedbeds and Workings can be especially dangerous due to quicksand and deep/cold water.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Siskin
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Siskin
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Siskin
(c) Steve Minhinnick - Siskin
(c) Steve Minhinnick - Goldcrest

Monday December 12th

No reports.


Tuesday December 13th

No reports.
(c) Carey Lodge - Candlesnuff Fungus
(c) Corinne Edwards - Lisa's Wood


Wednesday December 14th

John Hunt reported 200+ Lapwing, a Little Egret, 28 Shoveler, 2 Stonechat and a Peregrine this morning.


Thursday December 15th

Mark Elsoffer reported 15 Golden Plover (touched down briefly before flying west), 150 Lapwing, 36 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 3 Pochard, 41 Shoveler, 44 Tufted Duck, 9 Gadwall, 11 Mallard, a Great Black-backed Gull, 2500 Wood Pigeon, 20 Siskin, a Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel and a Red Kite this afternoon.

Hanson's fencing contractor was installing extra barbed wire fencing along the A31 today.

An Environment Agency operative was working in the River Blackwater clearing the vegetation by Pea Bridge today.

Ray was also clearing vegetation from the River Blackwater along the northern boundary of the site - sterling work as usual Ray!

(c) Mark Elsoffer - River Blackwater cleared by Ray
(c) Mark Elsoffer - River Blackwater cleared by Environment Agency


Friday December 16th

No reports.


Saturday December 17th

Dave Baker reported a Water Rail (in the Silt Pond), 225+ Lapwing and 32 Fieldfare (roosting in the Reedbed) this afternoon.


Sunday December 18th

No reports.

A group of friends of Tice's Meadow met at the Kingfisher pub for a Christmas meal this afternoon - a good time was had by all.


Monday December 19th

Murray Nurse reported upto 10 Golden Plover, 40 Siskin, 8 Lesser Redpoll and 2 Raven today.


Tuesday December 20th

Richard Seargent reported 15 Siskin, a Chiffchaff and a Peregrine today.


Wednesday December 21st

Richard Seargent reported a Red Kite today.


Thursday December 22nd

No reports.


Friday December 23rd

No reports.


Saturday December 24th

Mark Elsoffer reported 2 Snipe, 150 Lapwing, 12 Mallard, 20 Teal, 24 Wigeon, 5 Gadwall, 7 Pochard, 25 Tufted Duck, 2 Bullfinch, 18 Siskin, 7 Redwing, 3 Fieldfare, 2 Red Kite and a Kestrel this morning.

In addition, Dave Baker reported 2 Green Sandpiper, 63 Shoveler and a Goshawk (displaying over Crooksbury Hill) this morning.

The count of 63 Shoveler is a new site record count.

Mark Elsoffer also reported 3 Roe Deer in the Woods.


Sunday December 25th

No reports.




Sunday, 4 December 2016

Monday November 14th - Sunday December 4th

Shelter Funding Appeal

The Tice's Meadow Bird Group applied for £1,000 funding from the Aviva Community Fund to build a shelter on Horton's Mound.

Voting closed on November 18th and we received an amazing 1,602 votes. We were successful in becoming finalists and are now undergoing the due dilgence process. Watch this space for news.

A massive thank you to everyone who voted for us!


2017 Calendar

Our 2017 calendar has arrived from the printers. If you pre-ordered a copy, we will be in contact with you soon to arrange payment and delivery.

We have a very limited supply of spare calendars. If you'd like one, costing £8, please get in touch.




Monday November 14th

No reports.


Tuesday November 15th

Carey Lodge reported c80 Golden Plover (over, heading West) this morning.


Wednesday November 16th

Steve Minhinnick reported a Peregrine this afternoon.


Thursday November 17th

Mark Elsoffer reported a Snipe, 182 Lapwing, 2 Pochard, 8 Mallard, 30 Teal, 50 Wigeon, 40 Tufted Duck, 8 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall, a Greylag Goose, 2 Egyptian Goose, 3 Kestrel and a Buzzard today.


Friday November 18th

No reports.


Saturday November 19th

Mark Elsoffer reported a Snipe, 125 Lapwing, 10 Mallard, 18 Teal, 24 Wigeon, 30 Tufted Duck, 6 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall, a Greylag Goose, 2 Chinese Goose, a Stonechat, 3 Kestrel, 3 Buzzard, 2 Red Kite and 2 Peregrine (1 adult, 1 juvenile) this morning.

NB: Chinese Geese are a local favourite (we used to have a resident trio which were released on site), but all records are obviously escapees from a wildfowl collection.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Peregrine


Sunday November 20th

Richard Seargent reported a Yellow-legged Gull (adult) this afternoon.


Monday November 21st

Richard Horton reported 14 Snipe, a Jack Snipe, a Water Rail and 3 Yellow-legged Gull today.


Tuesday November 22nd

Carey Lodge reported a Green Sandpiper, a Yellow-legged Gull and a Red Kite today.


Wednesday November 23rd

No reports.


Thursday November 24th

Mark Elsoffer reported a Green Sandpiper, 150 Lapwing, 6 Pochard, 12 Mallard, 18 Teal, 23 Wigeon, 40 Tufted Duck, 16 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall, a Greylag Goose, a Yellow-legged Gull, 30 Fieldfare, 2 Bullfinch, a Stonechat, a Raven, a Buzzard, a Red Kite, a Kestrel and a Peregrine today.


Friday November 25th

John Hunt reported a Common Sandpiper and a Peregrine this morning.

(c) John Hunt - Gadwall
(c) John Hunt - Gadwall


Saturday November 26th

No reports.


Sunday November 27th

Richard Seargent reported a Common Sandpiper and a Grey Wagtail this morning.

In addition, Graham King reported 2 Snipe, 60 Lapwing, 40 Wigeon, 6 Shoveler, 8 Gadwall, a Siskin, 20 Lesser Redpoll and a Kestrel today.

(c) Richard Seargent - The Woods


Monday November 28th

John Hunt reported a Common Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpiper, 2 Stonechat, a Kestrel, a Red Kite and a Peregrine this morning.


Tuesday November 29th

Richard Horton reported a Common Sandpiper, 12 Snipe, a Jack Snipe, 2 Grey Wagtail, a White Wagtail, 8 Goldcrest, 10 Siskin, 12 Lesser Redpoll, 7 Reed Bunting, 2 Brambling, 6 Bullfinch, 14 Redwing, 17 Fieldfare and a Buzzard today.

This is the first recorded sighting of Brambling this winter. The count of 2 Brambling equals the site record.

The count of 8 Goldcrest is a new site record.

NB: White Wagtail is not considered a separate species from Pied Wagtail by the BOU.


Wednesday November 30th

No reports.


Thursday December 1st

No reports.


Friday December 2nd

No reports.


Saturday December 3rd

No reports.


Sunday December 4th

John Hunt reported 2 Green Sandpiper, 3 Snipe and a Red Kite this morning.

(c) John Hunt - Frosty Morning

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Thursday November 3rd to Saturday November 13th

Shelter Funding Appeal

The Tice's Meadow Bird Group have applied for £1,000 funding from the Aviva Community Fund to build a shelter on Horton's Mound.

To win this funding we need as many votes as possible.

So do you have a spare 5 minutes? Would you like to make a difference?

If the answer is yes, then please vote for the Tice's Meadow Bird Group's Shelter Appeal at:
https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/vot…/project/view/16-1811

Remember, you get 10 votes to cast, we'd love all 10!

Voting closes noon Friday November 18th.

Thank you for your support.



2017 Calendar

Our 2017 calendar is available for pre-order now. See here for details.

Thursday November 3rd

Richard Horton reported a Ring-necked Parakeet over the Workings this morning.

This is only the 5th recorded sighting of Ring-necked Parakeet on site, but the 2nd this year.


Friday November 4th

Mark Elsoffer reported a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 15 Lapwing, a Little Egret, 3 Pochard, a Kingfisher, a Pheasant, 4 Stonechat, 40 Siskin, a Redwing, a Bullfinch, a Kestrel and a Buzzard this morning.

As part of the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership's AGM, a large group of local councillors were given a tour around the site today by Richard Horton (Tice's Bird Group), Steve Bailey (BVCP) and Andy Duncan (Hanson). This was a good opportunity to inform them of the hard work being conducted at Tice's Meadow by all the stakeholders.

The BVCP Rangers team were hard at work in the River Blackwater clearing out some of the overgrown vegetation.

Mark Elsoffer reported a new species for Tice's Meadow: Common Earthball (Scleroderma citrinum).

(c) Murray Nurse - Local Councillors Visit Tice's
(c) Murray Nurse - Local Councillors Visit Tice's
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Local Councillors Visit Tice's
(c) Mark Elsoffer - BVCP Rangers Hard at Work

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Common Earthball

 

Saturday November 5th

Mark Elsoffer reported a Common Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpiper, a Little Egret, 12 Fieldfare, a Raven, 2 Peregrine, 2 Kestrel, 3 Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk today.

In addition, Dave Baker reported a Yellow-legged Gull.

Today we held a suprise party on site for Richard Horton's 70th birthday. 26 friends of Tice's Meadow enjoyed a day of bbq, tea and cake, birding and banter. A good time was had by all, and it was deemed a fitting way to thank Richard for all the hard work he does on site as our leader and focal point.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Richard Holding Court
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Richard and His Gift from the Bird Group
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Keeping Warm Around the Fire
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Catering by Steve Minhinnick
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Hungry Partygoers
(c) Mark Elsoffer - The Birthday Boy
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Richard's Cake
(c) Roger Dickey - We Couldn't Afford 70 Candles!
(c) Richard Seargent - Richard's Card
(c) Richard Seargent - Richard's Card
(c) Richard Seargent - Richard and His LRP Painting
(c) Rich Mooney - Cold Partygoers
(c) Rich Mooney - Handshakes and Hugs All Round
(c) Rich Mooney -Handshakes and Hugs All Round
(c) Rich Mooney -Present Time
(c) Rich Mooney - Richard Seargent the MC
(c) Rich Mooney -The Friends of Tice's Meadow
(c) Rich Mooney -Army Birders Selfie


Sunday November 6th

John Hunt reported 3 Green Sandpiper, 3 Chiffchaff and a Stonechat this morning.

(c) John Hunt - View From Horton's Mound
(c) John Hunt - Stonechat


Monday November 7th

No reports.


Tuesday November 8th

Oli Sackwood reported 2 Whooper Swan on the Workings this morning.

Whooper Swan is a new species for Tice's Meadow, the 190th bird species recorded on site. Whooper Swan is the 150th bird species recorded on site this year.


Wednesday November 9th

No reports.


Thursday November 10th

Mark Elsoffer reported a Snipe, 24 Lapwing, 2 Pochard, a Greylag Goose, 4 Stonechat, 13 Redwing, 2 Kestrel, 2 Buzzard, a Peregrine and a Red Kite this afternoon.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - A Newly Wet Meadow

Friday November 11th

No reports.


Saturday November 12th

This morning's planned work party was sadly cancelled due to the heavy rain. Thanks to everyone who had planned to attend.

Richard Seargent reported a new species for Tice's Meadow: Orange Peel Fungus (Aleuria aurantia).

(c) Richard Seargent - Orange Peel Fungus


Sunday November 13th

Dave Baker reported a Little Egret, 61 Cormorant, 52 Greylag Geese (20 over) and a Peregrine this morning.

The count of 61 Cormorants is a new site record count. It has been noticeable recently that Cormorant numbers are increasing. Where as they used to fish at the nearby Badshot Lea Ponds and only come to Tice's Meadow to loaf and preen, they are now being seen regularly fishing on site. This is possibly due to the very low water levels corralling the fish into small areas of deep water between the islands.

Dave also reported a Water Shrew under one of the tin refugia on Horton's Mound.

(c) Dave Baker - Meadow Pipits on Grim's Bender