Monday 17 December 2018

Monday 3rd December to Monday 17th December

Quarry Life Award Win

We are delighted to anounce that we have won an International Quarrry Life Award (and a cheque for 10,000) for our Biodiversity Trail project.

Read more about it here.

Christmas Cards

We now have Tice’s Meadow Christmas Cards for sale. £5 for a pack of 10. All profits go towards our work on site. Please email us for details.

Monday 3rd December

Murray Nurse: 1 Redpoll, 1 Siskin & 1 Peregrine.

Peter Brown: 1 Dunlin, 5 Pochard & 1 Kestrel.

Richard Horton: 150 Lapwing.

Tuesday 4th December

No reports.

Wednesday 5th December

Around 20 members of the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust were given a guided tour of the site today as part of the Blackwater Valley Winter Birdwatching Day.

(c) Peter Brown - BVCT Walk
(c) Peter Brown - BVCT Walk

Thursday 6th December

No reports.

Friday 7th December

No reports.

Saturday 8th December

Dave Baker: 3 Goosander.

Mark Elsoffer: 1 Dunlin & 1 Green Sandpiper.

Len Winchcombe: 1 Yellowhammer.

This is only the 11th recorded sighting of Goosander on site, but the 2nd this year.

Yellowhammer is the 135th species of bird recorded on site this year.

Eleven volunteers spent the morning clearing the river, putting up our new noticeboard in the shelter and burning willow.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - An Award Winning Team
(c) Mark Elsoffer - New Noticeboard in the Shelter
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Willow Clearing in the Reed Beds

Sunday 9th December

Kevin Duncan: 1 Snipe.

Four volunteers met a Chez Horton this morning and cut up the scaffold pole for the new bench, which was then partly assembled using kee-klamps.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Cutting the Poles
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Just Like an Ikea Bench
(c) Mark Elsoffer - The Finished Frame

Monday 10th December

No reports.

Tuesday 11th December

Richard Seargent: 1 Yellow-legged Gull (adult).

Wednesday 12th December

No reports.

Thursday 13th December

Mark Elsoffer: 1 Green Sandpiper, 5 Snipe & 1 Peregrine.

Len Winchcombe: 1 Little Egret.

Six volunteers installed the new bench into the shelter this morning. We also planted 50 native hedge plants (Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Bird Cherry, Dog Rose, Field Maple & Hazel) around the shelter to help it blend into the environment, as well as providing food and shelter for the local wildlife.

(c) Geoff Barter - View from Horton's Mound
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bolting the Bench Frame in Place
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Digging the Ditch for the Hedge
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Planting the Hedge
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Planting the Hedge
(c) Mark Elsoffer - The Planted Hedge
(c) Mark Elsoffer - The Lord of Hurdles
(c) Mark Elsoffer - The Finished Bench
(c) Mark Elsoffer - A Good Day's Work

Friday 14th December

Richard Seargent: 4 Chiffchaff.

Saturday 15th December

No reports.

Sunday 16th December

No reports.

Monday 17th December

Dina Burford: Little Egret (colour-ringed BK).

(c) Dina Burford - Little Egret

International Quarry Life Award Win

Volunteers at Tice's Meadow Nature Reserve in Badshot Lea are celebrating having won a prestigious international conservation award and a cheque for 10,000.

Tice's Meadow Bird Group Chairman (Richard Horton) and Treasurer (Richard Seargent) were presented with their award in Brussels at the Heidelberg Cement 2018 International Quarry Life Awards Ceremony.

The Quarry Life Awards are a biennial competition run by Heidelberg Cement which showcases the best conservation, research and community projects conducted in their quarries around the world. Heidelberg Cement are the parent company of Hanson UK – the operators of the former Farnham Quarry in Badshot Lea, which has now been restored to a flourishing community nature reserve.

The Badshot Lea based volunteers beat off competition from 100 community groups and university research projects from 25 countries across the world, in the “Connecting Quarries and Communities” section of the competition.

The volunteers' winning project was the Tice's Meadow Biodiversity Trail – a 1.5 mile long circular self-guided walk around the site, taking in a cross-section of habitats and conservation projects, to provide for both visitors to site and the site's wildlife. The project saw the volunteers raise and invest over £10,000 in site infrastructure in 2018.

The volunteers sourced and installed 16 waymarker posts, 6 benches, entrance signage, a site map, a community noticeboard and 6 interpretation panels along the trail route, educating and engaging visitors with the site's wildlife and history, whilst providing a waymarked route with places to stop and enjoy the site.

A Woodland Bird Feeding Station was built by the volunteers to provide vital supplementary food for the birds, whilst allowing visitors to sit and watch them at close quarters without causing disturbance. Another new addition to site was the innovative Swift Tower, with nesting spaces for 11 pairs of endangered Swifts, sited in the meadow on an 8m tall telegraph pole donated and erected by Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks.

The project was a real community effort: pupils from Badshot Lea Village Infants School displayed their artwork along the trail, bug hotels were built by cub scouts from 2nd Aldershot and 5th Farnborough, Duke of Edinburgh Award students from Badshot Lea helped build a hibernacula for hibernating reptiles, and residents and staff from Bells Piece Farnham cultivated a wild-flower meadow.

The project was funded with generous seed funding from Hanson, which attracted further grants from the National Lottery's Big Lottery Fund and the Surrey Bird Club. Logistical support and donations of materials were gratefully received from SSE Networks, P.C. Landscapes and Advanced Tree Services.

"The Tice's Meadow Biodiversity Trail makes it possible for anyone to learn about nature and get closer to wildlife while going for a walk around one of our former quarries,” said Martin Crow, National Sustainability Manager at Hanson UK. “It hosts an abundance of habitats and is considered to be one of the best inland sites to watch birds in South East England. It is testament to what quarry restoration can achieve in terms of connecting with local communities as well as educating and raising awareness about wildlife and ecology.” 

Tice's Meadow Bird Group Chairman Richard Horton said “the Biodiversity Trail has been a massive success, with increased numbers of visitors to site, increased visitor satisfaction recorded, more new habitats created for the site's wildlife and a welcome increase in the recording and reporting of site biodiversity. We believe we have succeeded in our mission of connecting the quarry with the local community, and crucially we have also attracted a number of new volunteers to our group”.

"We are so grateful to Hanson and Heidelberg Cement for inviting us to enter the Quarry Life Awards, and for recognising our volunteers' efforts with a generous award. I'd also like to thank the National Lottery players who have helped fund this project through their playing of the National Lottery. And finally, this project would never have happened without the sterling efforts of our volunteers who have achieved a massive amount of good work over the past year."

More exciting plans are afoot at Tice's Meadow in 2019. Hanson will be building a much anticipated waterside birdwatching hide, and the volunteers plan to build an artificial Sand Martin nesting bank as well as resurfacing one of the key paths into the site.

Sunday 2 December 2018

Sunday 18th November to Sunday 2nd December

Christmas Cards

We now have Tice’s Meadow Christmas Cards for sale. £5 for a pack of 10. All profits go towards our work on site. Please email us for details.

Sunday 18th November

John Hunt: 1 Snipe, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Stonechat, 3 Bullfinch, 2 Siskin & 3 Fieldfare.

Shaun Ferguson: 2 Peregrine.

(c) John Hunt - Great Spotted Woodpecker
(c) Shaun Ferguson - Bullfinch
(c) Shaun Ferguson - Feeding Station
(c) Shaun Ferguson - Meadow Pipit
(c) Shaun Ferguson - Peregrines
(c) Shaun Ferguson - Shelter
(c) Shaun Ferguson - Siskin
(c) Rustam Khan - Blue Tit
(c) Rustam Khan - Bullfinch
(c) Rustam Khan - Goldfinch
(c) Rustam Khan - Nuthatch

Monday 19th November

(c) Phil Fiddes - Bullfinch
(c) Phil Fiddes - Autumn Leaves
(c) Phil Fiddes - View from Horton's Mound
(c) Phil Fiddes - The Woods

Tuesday 20th November

No reports.

Wednesday 21st November

Richard Horton: 1 Little Stint.

Peter Brown: 5 Pochard, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Kestrel, 1 Red Kite & 1 Peregrine.

Note: There has been some confusion over the identification of the Little Stint. The majority of observers agreed on Little Stint, though some thought Temminck's Stint. The poor viewing conditions and distance, plus the presence of a Dunlin, did not help. A rare bird report has been submitted to the Tice's Meadow Records Committee and the Surrey Bird Club Records Committee.

If approved, Little Stint is the 134th species of bird recorded on site this year.

If approved, this is only the 5th sighting of Little Stint on site, and the first since September 20th 2014.

Our friends from Bells Piece planted 3 hop plants behind our new shelter today. The hop plants were generously donated by the Hogs Back Brewery.

(c) Grim Styles - Bells Piece Residents Planting Hops

Thursday 22nd November

Mark Elsoffer: 1 Little Stint, 1 Green Sandpiper, 98 Lapwing, 4 Snipe, 2 Jack Snipe, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 6 Stonechat, 5 Redwing, 3 Fieldfare, 1 Kestrel, 2 Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk & 1 Red Kite.

Friday 23rd November

Richard Seargent: 1 Little Stint.

Steve Chastell: 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 1 Little Egret, 1 Domestic Mallard, 7 Pochard, 32 Teal, 22 Wigeon, 12 Mallard, 3 Shoveler, 22 Tufted Duck, 3 Reed Bunting, 2 Siskin, 3 Fieldfare, 112 Redwing & 1 Kestrel.

(c) Paul Mannering - Goldfinches
(c) Paul Mannering - Siskin

Saturday 24th November

Richard Seargent: 1 Little Stint, 2 Green Sandpiper, 3 Golden Plover, 2 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, 13 Mute Swan, 9 Pochard, 73 Tufted Duck, 6 Wigeon, 12 Shoveler, 8 Gadwall, 16 Mallard, 83 Teal & 1 Peregrine.

The Tice's Meadow Bird Group joined with the Badshot Lea Bloomers and the Waverley Borough Council Ranger for the Badshot Lea Pond Big Volunteer Day this morning. Vegetation was cleared, litter picked, nest boxes cleared out & 2 new nest boxes added. Great team work by the Badshot Lea community.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteers at Work
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteers at Work
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteers Having a Well Earned Break
(c) Mark Elsoffer - The Newly Cleared Viewpoint

Sunday 25th November

Mark Elsoffer: 1 Little Stint, 1 Green Sandpiper, 9 Snipe & 1 Little Egret.

Ed Stubbs: 1 Yellow-legged Gull (2nd winter).

Colour-ringed Little Egret "BK" returned to site today. Originally ringed in North Cotes, Lincolnshire, in June 2013, a map of his recorded movements can be seen below.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Little Egret "BK" Sightings
(c) Richard Seargent - Little Egret
(c) Richard Seargent - Little Egret

Monday 26th November

Peter Brown: 1 Dunlin & 1 Little Grebe.

Steve Chastell: 1 Green Sandpiper.

Tuesday 27th November

There was an amazing turn-out of around 50 visitors for the Badshot Lea Village Infants School night-time walk this evening. Despite the weather, they all enjoyed their walk and hot chocolate in the new shelter.

(c) Badshot Lea Infants School - Night-time Visitors

Wednesday 28th November

No reports.

Thursday 29th November

No reports.

Friday 30th November

Mark Elsoffer: 1 Dunlin, 1 Green Sandpiper, 110 Lapwing, 1 Little Egret ("BK"), 1 Domestic Duck, 3 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 1 Red Kite, 3 Buzzard & 2 Peregrine.

Peter Brown: 1 Little Grebe.

Andy Little: 2 Chiffchaff.

Saturday 1st December

Richard Seargent: 1 Dunlin.

Sunday 2nd December

Mark Elsoffer: 1 Dunlin, 76 Lapwing, 2 Snipe, 1 Raven, 1 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk & 1 Red Kite.

Len Winchcombe: 2 Green Sandpiper.

Richard Seargent: 1 Yellow-legged Gull.

Richard Horton: 1 Little Grebe.

(c) Steve Minhinnick / Susan Renaud - Busy Morning in the Obs

Saturday 17 November 2018

Monday 5th November to Saturday 17th November

Aviva Community Fund

Please vote for us in the Aviva Community Fund to help us raise £1,000 to buy BioBlitz equipment.

2019 Calendars

The Tice's Meadow Nature Reserve 2019 calendars are now available to pre-order. Full details here.

Christmas Cards

We now have Tice’s Meadow Christmas Cards for sale. £5 for a pack of 10. All profits go towards our work on site. Please email us for details.

Monday 5th November

No reports.

Tuesday 6th November

(c) Richard Seargent - Herb Robert
(c) Richard Seargent - Wood Avens

Wednesday 7th November

No reports.

Thursday 8th November

Andy Little: a Barn Owl.

Peter Brown: a Pochard, a Little Grebe, 2 Buzzard, a Red Kite & a Kestrel.

Friday 9th November

(c) Susan Renaud - Autumnal Colour
(c) Susan Renaud - Autumnal Colour
(c) Susan Renaud - Autumnal Colour

Saturday 10th November

Trevor Birkett: 2 Green Sandpiper.

Huge thank you to the 11 volunteers who braved the rain to attend our work party this morning. We cut and piled a decent amount of willow in the reed beds, and also installed the ground drain for our new shelter.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Well Deserved Tea Break
(c) Mark Elsoffer - The Drain
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Dave Working Hard

Sunday 11th November

John Hunt: 72 Lapwing, 32 Teal, 25 Wigeon, 7 Shoveler, 2 Pochard , 82 Greylag Goose, 2 Egyptian Goose, 75 Black-headed Gull, 55 Herring Gull, 11 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 9 Meadow Pipit , 19 Collared Dove, a Red Kite, a Buzzard & a Kestrel.

(c) John Hunt - Common Darter
(c) John Hunt - Stock Dove
(c) John Hunt - The Meadow

Monday 12th November

(c) Gillian Stokes - Bullfinch

Tuesday 13th November

No reports.

Wednesday 14th November

Richard Horton: a Dartford Warbler.

R Jackson: a Great White Egret.

This is only the 9th recorded sighting of Dartford Warbler on site, and the 2nd this year.

This is only the 7th recorded sighting of Great White Egret on site, and the 3rd in the past 17 days.

Thursday 15th November

Richard Horton: a Yellow-legged Gull.

Mark Elsoffer: a Pochard, 3 Stonechat, a Kestrel, 3 Buzzard, a Red Kite, a Sparrowhawk & a Peregrine.

Yellow-legged Gull is the 133rd species of bird recorded on site this year.

Richard Horton & Leonard Winchcombe have been busy over the past 2 days cladding the door end of our new shelter.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Lord Len Applies the Finishing Touches

Friday 16th November

Richard Horton: 6 Dunlin & a Golden Plover.

Richard Seargent: a Green Sandpiper & 2 Redshank.

Andy Little lead a work party of 5 volunteers this morning clearing willow from the Silt Ponds.

(c) Gillian Stokes - Golden Plover

Saturday 17th November

Mark Elsoffer: 2 Stonechat, a Kestrel, 3 Buzzard, a Red Kite & a Sparrowhawk.