Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Friday March 30th to Sunday April 29th

2018 Spring BioBlitz

Friday May 4th to Sunday May 6th sees our third annual Spring BioBlitz. Please see the below poster for details. We hope to see you all there!




Quarry Life Awards

You can follow our progress in the Quarry Life Awards on our dedicated blog.


Reporting Breeding Schedule 1 Species

As we now approach breeding season, please remember that it is a criminal offence to intentionally disturb potentially breeding Schedule 1 Species on or near the nest.

From March 22nd, no more potentially breeding Schedule 1 Species should be reported publicly.

PLEASE do still report privately to us via email, Facebook message or Twitter direct message, so we can collate the records.

Our updated Bird Reporting Policy can be seen here.

These rules are in place for the interests of the birds.


Friday 30th March

Richard Seargent reported 30+ Wigeon, 25+ Shoveler, 30+ Teal, 16 Gadwall, 20+ Tufted Duck, 6 Chiffchaff and a Pheasant this morning.

(c) Shaun Ferguson - Mallard
(c) Shaun Ferguson - Robin
(c) Shaun Ferguson - Siskin
(c) Shaun Ferguson - Song Thrush Egg
(c) Ray Turner - Mallard
(c) Ray Turner - Siskin


Saturday 31st March

Mark Elsoffer reported 2 Green Sandpiper, 10 Shoveler, 11 Tufted Duck, 9 Gadwall, 12 Teal, 18 Wigeon, 6 Wheatear, 3 Chiffchaff, 70 Meadow Pipit, a Nuthatch, 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Buzzard and a Red Kite today.

Wheatear is the 102nd bird species reported on site this year.

Tice's Meadow was a stop on the Badshot Lea Community Easter Egg Hunt this morning. Circa 100 people followed the trail, with £500 raised for Chloe's & Sophies Special Ears Fund - a deserving local charity.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - The TMBG Greet the Locals
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Families Braving the Mud


Sunday 1st April

Mark Elsoffer reported a Green Sandpiper, 12 Teal, 12 Tufted Duck, 22 Wigeon, 8 Shoveler, 13 Gadwall, a Redwing, 8 Wheatear, 4 Chiffchaff, a Sparrowhawk, 2 Buzzard and a Red Kite today.

In addition, John Hunt reported 2 Mediterranean Gull this morning.

The count of 8 Wheatear is a new site record count.


Monday 2nd April

Dave Baker reported a Kingfisher, 4 Chiffchaff, 4 Sand Martin and 12 Redwing this morning.

In addition, Richard Seargent reported a Common Gull and a Siskin today.

In addition, Bob Waller reported a Swallow and 5 House Martin this evening.

Swallow is the 103rd bird species reported on site this year.

House Martin is the 104th bird species reported on site this year.


Tuesday 3rd April

Dudley Cox reported a Black-tailed Godwit this afternoon.

In addition, Kevin Duncan reported a Swallow today.

Black-tailed Godwit is the 105th bird species reported on site this year.


Wednesday 4th April

No reports.
(c) Daniel Cook - Roe Deer
(c) Daniel Cook - Roe Deer


Thursday 5th April

Mark Elsoffer reported a Green Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 10 Teal, 9 Shoveler, 4 Wigeon, 8 Gadwall, 7 Tufted Duck, a Mediterranean Gull, a Swallow, 6 Willow Warbler, 10 Chiffchaff, a Rook (outside), 2 Raven (outside), a Goshawk (outside), a Sparrowhawk, 3 Red Kite and 12+ Buzzard today.

Willow Warbler is the 106th bird species reported on site this year.

Hanson's contractor installed a new RADAR gate at the Estate Entrance today, and fenced off a desire-line over the ditch that was being used by motorbikes.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - The New RADAR Gate
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Mute Swan
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Ray Hard at Work
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Dunnock
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Collared Dove


Friday 6th April 

Richard Seargent reported a Green Sandpiper, 3 Wigeon, a Great Crested Grebe, a Redwing, 19 Wren, a Willow Warbler, 10+ Chiffchaff, 2 Red Kite and a Peregrine this morning.

In addition, Mark Elsoffer reported a Little Egret, 3 Lapwing, 5 Teal, 8 Tufted Duck, 15 Gadwall, 8 Shoveler, 3 Pheasant, 7 Blackcap, 14 Swallow, a House Martin, 9 Sand Martin, a Raven (outside), a Kestrel and 10 Buzzard today.

The count of 19 Wren is a new site record count.

(c) Paul Mannering - Chiffchaff
(c) Paul Mannering - Mallard
(c) Paul Mannering - Mallards


Saturday 7th April

Richard Seargent reported 2 Shelduck, 15+ Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler, 13+ Blackcap, a Whitethroat, 19 Wren and 8 Redwing this morning.

In addition, Dave Baker reported a Common Tern, a Lesser Redpoll, 2 House Martin and 2 Ring-necked Parakeet this morning.

In addition, Mark Elsoffer reported 15+ Sand Martin and 10+ Swallow today.

Whitethroat is the 107th bird species reported on site this year.

Common Tern is the 108th bird species reported on site this year.

Ring-necked Parakeet is the 109th bird species reported on site this year.

This is only the 8th sighting of Ring-necked Parakeet on site.

(c) Richard Waters - Collared Dove
(c) Richard Waters - Greylag Geese
(c) Richard Waters - Mute Swan Over The Crew
(c) Anthony George - Buzzard
(c) Anthony George - Mallard
(c) Phil Fiddes - Comma
(c) Phil Fiddes - Dunnock
(c) Phil Fiddes - Magpie
(c) Phil Fiddes - Robin


Sunday 8th April

Richard Seargent reported 2 Lapwing, a Wigeon, a Great Black-backed Gull, a Garden Warbler, a Redwing and 4+ Blackcap this morning.

In addition, Richard Horton reported a 2nd Garden Warbler this morning.

Garden Warbler is the 110th bird species reported on site this year.

Blue Tits were seen carrying nesting material into nestbox 11.


Monday 9th April

Dave Baker reported a Little Egret, 15 Gadwall, 6 Shoveler, 6 Teal, 8 Tufted Duck, a Little Grebe, a Sedge Warbler, 4 Blackcap, a White Wagtail, a Fieldfare, 2 Redwing, a Pheasant, 2 House Martin, 5 Sand Martin, 8 Swallow, 2 Ring-necked Parakeet and a Buzzard today.

In addition, Richard Seargent reported a Willow Warbler this afternoon.

Sedge Warbler is the 111th bird species reported on site this year.

Little Grebe is the 112th bird species reported on site this year.

This is only the 9th sighting of Ring-necked Parakeet on site.


Tuesday 10th April

Peter Brown reported 2 Wigeon, a Great Crested Grebe, a Swallow and 2 Siskin this afternoon.

In addition, Richard Horton reported a Yellow Wagtail this afternoon.

Yellow Wagtail is the 113th bird species reported on site this year.


Wednesday 11th April

Rangers and volunteers from the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership began work today on the 2 new bridges over the River Blackwater. These bridges will allow easier access to the Estate Entrance and the "island" between the river's new and old courses.

(c) Richard Horton - BVCP Rangers Working Hard
(c) Richard Horton - BVCP Rangers Working Hard
(c) Richard Horton - BVCP Rangers Working Hard


Thursday 12th April

Mark Elsoffer reported 8 Tufted Duck, 14 Shoveler, 3 Teal, a Wigeon, 8 Gadwall, a Common Tern, a Pheasant, 5 Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler, 20 House Martin, 12 Sand Martin, 10 Swallow, a Buzzard, a Red Kite and a Peregrine this morning.

A work party was meant to be held this morning assisting the BVCP rangers and volunteers with bridge construction. However, plans changed at the last minute so we completed a few tasks on site - moving logs to the log pile, trimming trees overhanging the "arboretum" - before retiring to Richard Horton's house to work on the Swift Tower nest box.

(c) Mike Walker - A Sea of Mud
(c) Mike Walker - A Sea of Mud
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bridge Work
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Swift Tower Nest Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Swift Tower Nest Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Swift Tower Nest Box


Friday 13th April 

Richard Seargent reported a Green Sandpiper, a Little Egret and a Wigeon this afternoon.

Leonard Winchcombe reported a Budgerigar (escaped) today!

A pair of Moorhens are nesting in the Dragonfly Pond.

We received the great news that planning permission has been granted for our Swift Tower today. Look out for more developments soon.

(c) Tim - The Muddy Track
(c) Tim - The Muddy Footpath
(c) Tim - The Muddy Track
(c) Stuart Croft - Bridge Work
(c) Stuart Croft - Bridge Work
(c) Stuart Croft - Bridge Work


Saturday 14th April

Mark Elsoffer reported a Great Crested Grebe, 2 Common Tern, a Pheasant, a Yellow Wagtail, 3 House Martin, 2 Sand Martin, a Swallow, 4 Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel, c25 Buzzard and c12 Red Kite this morning.

In addition, Richard Seargent reported a Sedge Warbler, 5 Blackcap and 6 Chiffchaff this morning.

In addition, Dave Baker reported a Wigeon, a 2nd Yellow Wagtail, a Lesser Whitethroat, a 2nd Sedge Warbler and a Saker Falcon (escaped) this morning.

Lesser Whitethroat is the 114th bird species reported on site this year.

13 volunteers met on site for a work party today. We put up the National Lottery plaques, cleaned all the feeders, attended to the grass in the Bells Piece Wildflower Meadow and burnt a number of piles of willow cleared from the river.

(c) Dave Baker - Peacock Butterfly
(c) Kev Campbell - Chiffchaff
(c) Kev Campbell - Pheasant
(c) Kev Campbell - Starling
(c) Paul Mannering - Song Thrush
(c) Paul Mannering - Eyes to the Sky
(c) Paul Mannering - Yellow Brain Fungi
(c) Anthony George - Lesser Black-backed Gull
(c) Anthony George - Pheasant
(c) Anthony George - Red Kite
(c) Anthony George - Small Tortoiseshells
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Lottery Funded Bench
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Lottery Funded Waymarker Post
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Jim Trying to Burn the Ruts
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Lottery Funded Viewing Screen


Sunday 15th April

Richard Seargent reported a Common Sandpiper, a Wigeon, 2 Great Crested Grebe, a Common Tern, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, a Sedge Warbler, a Yellow Wagtail and a Peregrine this morning.

(c) Steve Minhinnick - Bullfinch
(c) Steve Minhinnick - Bullfinch
(c) Steve Minhinnick - Bullfinch
(c) Kev Campbell - Bullfinch
(c) Kev Campbell - Blackcap
(c) Kev Campbell - Bullfinches
(c) Kev Campbell - Bullfinch
(c) Kev Campbell - Stock Dove


Monday 16th April

Richard Horton reported an Oystercatcher this morning.

In addition, Kevin Duncan reported a Whimbrel this evening.

Oystercatcher is the 115th bird species reported on site this year.

This is only the 29th sighting of Oystercatcher on site.

Whimbrel is the 116th bird species reported on site this year.

This is only the 12th sighting of Whimbrel on site.


Tuesday 17th April

Murray Nurse reported 2 Black-tailed Godwit this morning.

Murray also reported a Large Red Damselfly this morning - the first odonata of the year.

(c) Paul Mannering - Tufted Ducks
(c) Paul Mannering - Wren


Wednesday 18th April

Richard Horton reported a Whitethroat and a Wheatear this afternoon.

This morning we received a cheque for £226 from Waitrose after we took part in their Community Matters scheme in their Fleet store. This money will be spent on much needed tools & equipment for our volunteers. Thank you Waitrose and all of your customers who voted for us.


Thursday 19th April

Mark Elsoffer reported a Lapwing, 4 Shoveler, a Wigeon, 9 Tufted Duck, a Shelduck, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Common Tern, 3 Wheatear, 12 Chiffchaff, 10 Blackcap, a Willow Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat and 5 House Martin today.

Holly Blue, Speckled Wood, Large White & Orange-tip, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Peacock, Red Admiral and Brimstone butterflies were reported today.


(c) Mark Elsoffer - Worryingly Rutted Main Track
(c) Mark Elsoffer - New Bridge Takes Shape
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Swift Tower Nest Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Swift Tower Nest Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Swift Tower Nest Box


Friday 20th April

Richard Seargent reported a Dunlin, 2 Common Tern, a Wigeon, a Sedge Warbler, 6 Reed Warbler and 3 Whitethroat this morning.

In addition, a visiting birder reported 3 Wheatear this morning.

Kevin Duncan reported a female Mallard with 12 young today and that 5 pairs of Long-tailed Tits have been seen nesting on site.

Reed Warbler is the 117th bird species reported on site this year.

Orange-tip, Brimstone, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood and Holly Blue butterflies were reported today.

The BVCP rangers and volunteers finished building the two new bridges today. They've done a great job in difficult conditions. The western bridge has been named "Pegasus" and the eastern bridge "Arnhem".

(c) Richard Seargent - Blackbird
(c) Richard Seargent - Bullfinch
(c) Paul Mannering - Blackcap
(c) Paul Mannering - Grass Snake
(c) Kev Campbell - Birders in Summer Plumage
(c) Kev Campbell - Green Woodpecker
(c) Kev Campbell - Roe Deer


Saturday 21st April

Dave Baker reported 2 Little Egret, 2 Teal and a Wigeon this morning.

In addition, Richard Seargent reported 4 Whitethroat, 2 Reed Warbler and 3 Red Kite this morning.

In addition, Mark Elsoffer reported 2 Lawping, 2 Shoveler, 9 Tufted Duck, a Little Gull, 8 Common Tern, 5 Wheatear, 8 Chiffchaff, 10 Blackcap, 2 Willow Warbler and a Ring-necked Parakeet today.

Little Gull is the 118th bird species reported on site this year.

This is only the 15th sighting of Little Gull on site.

This is only the 10th sighting of Ring-necked Parakeet on site.

A number of members of the Farnham Weyside Rotary Club were given a guided tour of the nature reserve this morning. We are grateful for the support they have provided us.

After being told no ramps were going to be installed at the new bridges before the BioBlitz, 6 volunteers held an impromptu work part this morning, and with the welcome help of Anthony George and his mini-digger, built two ramps at Pegasus Bridge, and flattened out the ruts in the track.

(c) Richard Seargent - Magpie
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Construction of Bridge Ramps
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Construction of Bridge Ramps
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Construction of Bridge Ramps
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Construction of Bridge Ramps
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Construction of Bridge Ramps
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Phil Testing the New Ramps
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Phil Stuck in the Mud


Sunday 22nd April

John Hunt reported an Oystercatcher, a Little Egret, 8 Egyptian Goose and 4 Swift this morning.

In addition, Mark Elsoffer reported 3 Lapwing, a Wigeon, 4 Shoveler, 6 Tufted Duck, 2 Great Crested Grebe, a Little Grebe, 6 Common Tern, 4 Reed Warbler, 2 Sedge Warbler, 7 Chiffchaff, 8 Blackcap and 2 Whitethroat this afternoon.

In addition, Peter Brown reported a Sand Martin and a Swallow this afternoon.

Swift is the 119th bird species reported on site this year.

This is only the 30th sighting of Oystercatcher on site.

A Green-veined White butterfly was reported by 2 visitors today - the first of the year.

(c) John Hunt - Oystercatcher
(c) David Glew - Speckled Wood
(c) David Glew - Brimstone
(c) David Glew - Greenfinch
(c) Kev Campbell - Red Kite
(c) Kev Campbell - Robin
(c) Kev Campbell - Whitethroat
(c) Anthony George - Blackbird
(c) Anthony George - Chaffinch
(c) Anthony George - Holly Blue
(c) Anthony George - Jay
(c) Anthony George - Speckled Wood
(c) Anthony George - Grey Squirrel
(c) Anthony George -Wren
(c) Phil Fiddes - Great Spotted Woodpecker
(c) Phil Fiddes - Great Spotted Woodpecker
(c) Phil Fiddes - Red Kite Being Mobbed by Jackdaws
(c) Phil Fiddes - Red Kite Being Mobbed by Jackdaws
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Arnhem Bridge


Monday 23rd April

Dave Baker reported 3 Swift this morning.

Dave also reported 10 Mallard young on the eastern Silt Pond this morning.

Kevin Duncan reported a new species for Tice's Meadow today: Cuckooflower (Cardamine pratensis).

(c) Kevin Duncan - Cuckooflower
(c) Alex Potts - Whitethroat


Tuesday 24th April

Dave Smith reported an Oystercatcher, 4 Egyptian Goose, a Swift and 2 Red Kite this morning.

(c) Alex Potts - Green Veined White
(c) Alex Potts - Orange Tip
(c) Alex Potts - Orange Tips
(c) Alex Potts - Speckled Wood


Wednesday 25th April

No reports.


Thursday 26th April

Steve Minhinnick reported 4 Common Tern and 5 Swift today.

7 volunteers met on site today and used a power auger to drill all of the holes for our new signage. We also erected the 3 secondary entrance signs and the main gate sign. Finally, we erected the last 3 waymarker posts for our Biodiversity Trail.

Hanson's contractor erected a set of wooden ramps at Arnhem Bridge today -  a pleasant suprise as we had been told it wouldn't be happening.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Cutting the Sign Poles to Length
(c) Mark Elsoffer - The New Gate Sign
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Augering the Post Holes
(c) Mark Elsoffer - New Sign at Pea Bridge
(c) Mark Elsoffer - New Sign at Estate Entrance
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Arnhem Bridge's New Ramps


Friday 27th April

Richard Seargent reported 2 Lapwing, 11 Mute Swan, 4 Common Tern, a Garden Warbler and 2 Swift this morning.


Saturday 28th April

Mark Elsoffer reported 2 Lapwing, 2 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, 8 Tufted Duck, 4 Common Tern, 6 Wheatear, 10 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat, 5 Reed Warbler, a Sedge Warbler, 12 House Martin, 60 Sand Martin, 8 Swallow, 2 Red Kite and 4 Buzzard this morning.

In addition, Jort Brough reported 9 Yellow Wagtail this morning.

In addition, Steve Minhinnick reported 3 Swift this morning.

In addition, Richard Seargent reported a Common Sandpiper, a Great Crested Grebe and 3 Garden Warbler this morning.

Mark Elsoffer reported the following breeding activity:
Female Mallard with 4 young.
Moorhens nesting in the Dragonfly Pond.
At least 3 pairs of Canada Geese nesting in the Workings.
At least 1 pair of Coot nesting in the Workings.
A pair of Long-tailed Tits feeding young in a nest near Pegasus Bridge.

16 volunteers attended this morning's work party, where we prepared the telegraph poles for the Swift Tower and Barn Owl boxes, laid temporary flooring on the muddy footpaths and bridge ramps, picked litter, spread woodchips and burnt a big pile of cut willow.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Post Hole Digging
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Lifting the Telegraph Poles
(c) Mark Elsoffer - A Welcome Lunch
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteers Taking a Break
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Temporary Flooring on Pegasus Bridge


Sunday 29th April

Richard Seargent reported a Little Grebe, 3 Wheatear and a Garden Warbler this morning.

Richard also reported nest box 13 is occupied by nesting Blue Tits.


Monday 30th April

Kevin Duncan reported 2 Whimbrel and a Hobby this evening.

Hobby is the 120th bird species recorded on site this year.

This is only the 13th sighting of Whimbrel on site.

Richard Horton and Anthony Seargent lead a group of scouts from 2nd Aldershot Scout Group around site this evening. The scouts are developing a close relationship with the nature reserve, and are building bug hotels for the site during our forthcoming BioBlitz.

(c) Anthony George - 2nd Aldershot Scouts on Pegasus Bridge

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