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.


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:

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.

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