Tuesday, 7 May 2019

2019 BioBlitz Review

Tice's Meadow 2019 BioBlitz Review

Our 5th annual BioBlitz was held over the recent Bank Holiday weekend, where we welcomed around 200 visitors to site to enjoy the nature reserve and learn about the wildlife on their doorstep.

Thursday May 2nd was set-up day. Thanks to our team of volunteers, the marquees and tents went up smoothly, and the ringing team began ringing birds in the woods and reed beds. The days sightings included: Black-tailed Godwit, Brent Goose, 2 Whinchat, 2 Yellow Wagtail & 40+ Swift.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - BioBlitz HQ

Friday May 3rd saw a day of informal bird watching, socialising and catching up with old and new friends. We were also delighted to host 100 pupils and staff from Badshot Lea Village Infants School for the afternoon, where they enjoyed a tour around site and the bird ringing demo.
(c) Mark Elsoffer - School Pupils Watching Bird Ringing
(c) Mark Elsoffer - School Pupils in the Marquee
(c) Mark Elsoffer - School Pupils on Horton's Mound
The days sightings included: Whinchat, Lesser Whitethroat, Black-tailed Godwit, 6+ Yellow Wagtail, 3 Hobby, Brent Goose, Common Sandpiper & 50+ Swifts.

(c) Richard Seargent - Whinchat
(c) Dina Burford - Lesser Whitethroat

Saturday May 4th saw a host of activities on site enjoyed by a steady stream of visitors. The bird ringing proved popular as always. There were guided small mammal trapping, amphibians & reptiles, bat and bird walks, as well as a pond dipping session and a children's Hungry Caterpillar activity.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Amphibians & Reptiles Walk
(c) Simon Monk - Wood Mouse
(c) BVCT - Small Mammal Trapping

Abi Jacob's skull and wing collection made for a fascinating exhibit, and includes birds and mammals found on site.

(c) Abi Jacobs - Abi's Skull & Wing Collection

The days sightings included: 2 Cranes, Black Tern, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpiper, Brent Goose, Raven, Peregrine, 3+ Hobby, Yellow Wagtail, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, 200+ House Martins, c100 Sand Martins and c100 Swifts.

(c) Kev Campbell - Swift
(c) Kev Campbell - Common Whitethroat

Sunday May 5th saw more bird ringing and another well attended bird watching walk. A dozen members of the Surbiton & District Bird Watching Society also enjoyed a tour of the site.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bird Ringing Demo
The days sightings included: Whinchat, Brent Goose, Common Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Mediterranean Gull & Yellow Wagtail.

(c) Dina Burford - Volunteers Fit the Swift Caller
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Visitors on Horton's Mound


Once again, our BioBlitz was held in conjunction with the Mineral Products Associations Quarrywatch initiative. Launched in 2017, with our BioBlitz as an inspiration, Quarrywatch aims to document the wildlife colonising restored quarries in the UK. We are happy to help the mineral products industry showcase their contribution to biodiversity.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Quarrywatch Display


87 species of bird were recorded during the BioBlitz, including our 2nd ever Common Cranes. Other highlights include a Brent Goose, Black Tern, Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Dunlin, 2 Whinchat and a number of Hobbies and Yellow Wagtails.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - The Final Bird List
111 birds of 20 different species were ringed during the BioBlitz, plus 31 re-traps. Ringing highlights included the first Whinchat ringed on site, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Reed Warbler returning to site for the fourth year (having been caught each year).

(c) Badshot Lea Village Infants School - Roger Enthralls the Children
29 Barn Owl pellets from site were dissected, containing 23 Field Voles, 3 Wood Mice, 4 Shrew species and 1 Brown Rat. 7 Kestrel pellets from site were dissected, containing 2 Field Voles.

Moth trapping was difficult due to poor weather conditions. The following moths were trapped:
Nut-tree Tussock, Brimstone, Common Wave, Red-brindled Dwarf, Southern Midget, Muslin, Pale Prominent, Hebrew Character, Double-striped Pug, Powdered Quaker, Brindled Beauty & Brindled Pug.

(c) Richard Seargent - Muslin
7 species of butterfly were recorded during the BioBlitz: Orange Tip, Peacock, Brimstone, Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Meadow Brown (first for the year) & Speckled Wood.

7 species of mammal were recorded during the BioBlitz: Fox, Grey Squirrel, Brown Rat, Roe Deer, Wood Mouse, Bank Vole & Soprano Pipistrelle.

3 species of odonata were recorded during the BioBlitz: Large Red Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle (first for the year) & Azure Damselfly (first for the year).

4 species of amphibians and reptiles were recorded during the BioBlitz: Common Frog, Common Toad, Slow Worm & Grass Snake.

(c) Simon Monk - Slow Worm
7 new species for the site were identified during the BioBlitz (more may be identified at a late date):
  • A Rust Fungus (Puccinia urticata) - Carey Lodge.
  • Corn Spurry (Spergula arvensis) - Sean Foote & Abi Jacobs.
  • Beaked Hawk's-beard (Crepis vesicaria) - Carey Lodge.
  • Raft Spider (Dolomedes fimbriatus) - Sean Foote & Abi Jacobs.
  • Southern Midget (Phyllonorycter dubitella) - Sean Foote & Abi Jacobs.
  • A Leaf Beetle (Donacia simplex) - Sean Foote & Abi Jacobs.
  • Brindled Beauty (Lycia hirtaria) - Dave Baker.
These new additions take the site's pan species list to 1,265.

(c) Carey Lodge - Corn Spurry
(c) Carey Lodge - Puccinia urticata
(c) Sean Foote - Raft Spider

Thank You

The Tice's Meadow Bird Group are grateful for the support of the following individuals and organisations for suppporting our BioBlitz:

Wednesday April 24th to Tuesday May 7th

Farnham Walking Festival

On Wednesday May 29th, local historian Maurice Hewins is leading a walk entitled "Badshot Lea 1851 to the Present Day" as part of the Farnham Walking Festival. More information, and booking details, here.

School Nest Boxes

We're delighted to hear that Blue Tits are using the nest boxes in Ethan's & Frazer's gardens - just 2 of the 100 nest boxes we built and donated to the pupils of Badshot Lea Village Infants School.

Frazer's Nest Box

Volunteer Work Parties

Our volunteer work party schedule for the next few months can be seen here.

If you have some spare time, do come and help us make Tice's Meadow the best nature reserve in Surrey.

Please note the work party on May 11th has been cancelled.

Wednesday April 24th

Richard Horton: 3 Common Sandpiper & 2 Bar-tailed Godwit.

(c) Dina Burford - Speckled Wood
(c) Kyle Russell - Aerial View of Workings (taken from outside site)

Thursday April 25th

Mark Elsoffer: Common Sandpiper, Bar-tailed Godwit, Snipe, 3 Lapwing, Brent Goose, Yellow Wagtail, Stonechat, Sedge Warbler, 20 House Martin, 50 Sand Martin, 20 Swallow, Kestrel, 3 Buzzard & Red Kite.

The Mallard family have 8 young.

Friday April 26th

Jon Jordan: Swift (first of year).

Mark Elsoffer: Common Sandpiper, Lapwing, Snipe, Little Egret, Brent Goose, 16 Common Tern, 3+ Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, 30+ House Martin, 20+ Swallow, 6+ Swift & 2 Peregrine.

Martin Wright: Lesser Whitethroat.

Dave Baker: 2 Pheasant & Rook.

Richard Horton: Raven.

Swift is the 118th species of bird recorded on site this year.

The first Coots have fledged 8 young in the Eastern Silt Pond.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Coots

Saturday April 27th

Kevin Duncan: Black-tailed Godwit.

Richard Horton: Hobby.

Black-tailed Godwit is the 119th species of bird recorded on site this year.

Sunday April 28th

Mark Elsoffer: Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Brent Goose, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Garden Warbler & 6+ Swift.

The first Canada Geese have fledged 7 young.

Murray Nurse reported a Large Red Damselfly.

Thanks to the 9 volunteers who joined our work party this morning. We removed the anti-Starling baffle from, and straightened, the Swift Tower, and finished the fence around the shelter.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Straightening the Swift Tower

Monday April 29th

Richard Horton: Bar-tailed Godwit & Black-tailed Godwit.

Shaun Ferguson: Brent Goose & Barnacle Goose (escape).

9th site record of Bar-tailed Godwit, but second this month.

(c) Rustam Khan - Chiffchaff
(c) Rustam Khan - Dunnock
(c) Rustam Khan - Jay
(c) Rustam Khan - Song Thrush
(c) Rustam Khan - Whitethroat
(c) Rustam Khan - Wren
(c) Shaun Ferguson - Barnacle Goose
(c) Shaun Ferguson - Black-tailed Godwit

Tuesday April 30th

Richard Seargent: Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Lapwing & Brent Goose.

Mike Huddie: Green Sandpiper, 5 Sand Martin, 10 Swallow & 40 Swift.

Kevin Duncan: Wood Sandpiper.

Wood Sandpiper is the 120th species of bird recorded on site this year.
21st site record of Wood Sandpiper, first since 08/08/16.

Murray Nurse reported the following butterflies: Holly Blue 2, Orange Tip 3, Brimstone 5, Peacock 6, Small White 1 & Speckled Wood 2.

Wednesday May 1st

Richard Seargent: Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Lapwing & Brent Goose.

Murray Nurse: Ringed Plover, 5 Pochard, 3 Gadwall & Garden Warbler.

Our Secretary Mark Elsoffer was honoured to received the 'Volunteer of the Year' award this evening at the Hampshire County Council Countryside Service's 2019 Volunteers Awards Ceremony at Winchester Great Hall. The award is a testament to the hard work of all of our volunteers.

(c) Dina Burford - Coot Family
(c) Dina Burford - Jay
(c) Mark Elsoffer - The Awards Ceremony
(c) Richard Horton - Mark & His Award

Thursday May 2nd

BioBlitz Day 1 - Set Up - A full write up of our BioBlitz will be published separately.

Richard Seargent: Black-tailed Godwit, Brent Goose & 40+ Swift.

Mark Elsoffer: 2 Yellow Wagtail.

Dave Baker: 2 Whinchat.

Whinchat is the 121st species of bird recorded on site this year.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - BioBlitz Basecamp

Friday May 3rd 

BioBlitz Day 2 - A full write up of our BioBlitz will be published separately.

Richard Seargent: Black-tailed Godwit, Brent Goose, Sedge Warbler & Hobby.

John Hunt: Whinchat.

Roger Dickey: Lesser Whitethroat.

Mark Elsoffer: Common Sandpiper & 50+ Swift.

Various: 6+ Yellow Wagtail.

100 pupils from Badshot Lea Village Infants School visited site today as part of our BioBlitz.

(c) John Hunt - Whinchat
(c) Richard Seargent - Whinchat
(c) Kyle Russell - Goldfinches
(c) Dina Burford - Blackcap
(c) Dina Burford - Lesser Whitethroat
(c) Dina Burford - Reed Warbler
(c) Dina Burford - Yellow Wagtail
(c) Mark Elsoffer - School Pupils Enjoying Bird Ringing Demo
(c) Badshot Lea Village Infants School - Pupils Enjoying the Feeding Station

Saturday May 4th

BioBlitz Day 3 - A full write up of our BioBlitz will be published separately.

Richard Horton: 2 Common Crane & Raven.

Murray Nurse: Black Tern.

Richard Seargent: Black-tailed Godwit, Brent Goose, Yellow Wagtail & Tawny Owl.

Sean Foote: Dunlin & 2 Mediterranean Gull.

Mark Elsoffer: 2 Common Sandpiper.

Kev Campbell: Peregrine.

Various: 3+ Hobby, 200+ House Martin, 100 Sand Martin & 100 Swift.

Black Tern is the 122nd species of bird recorded on site this year.
7th site record of Black Tern, first since 05/05/17.

Common Crane is the 123rd species of bird recorded on site this year.
2nd site record of Common Crane, first since 22/03/16.

(c) Simon Monk - Blackbird
(c) Simon Monk - Slow Worm
(c) Simon Monk - Wood Mouse
(c) Dina Burford - Mute Swans Fly Over Carey
(c) BVCT - Small Mammal Trapping Walk
(c) Kev Campbell - Cormorant
(c) Kev Campbell - House Martin
(c) Kev Campbell - Peregrine
(c) Kev Campbell - Reed Bunting
(c) Kev Campbell - Stonechat
(c) Kev Campbell - Swift
(c) Kev Campbell -Whitethroat

Sunday May 5th

BioBlitz Day 4 - A full write up of our BioBlitz will be published separately.

Sean Foote: 2 Dunlin & Mediterranean Gull.

Richard Seargent: Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Brent Goose & Whinchat.

Mark Elsoffer: Yellow Wagtail.

We fitted the Swift caller to the Swift Tower this morning - thanks to Trevor Birkett for donating the parts, designing and building it.

Twelve members of the Surbiton & District Bird Watching Society enjoyed a walk around the site this morning.

At least 4 pairs of Canada Geese have now fledged their young. The Mute Swan pair continue to sit on their nest in the Workings.

(c) Dina Burford - Reed Bunting
(c) Dina Burford - Volunteers Fitting the Swift Caller
(c) Dina Burford - Goldfinch
(c) Trevor Birkett - The Cow Caller in Action
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Visitors on Horton's Mound

Monday May 6th

John Hunt: 3 Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit & Brent Goose.

John Jordan: Barnacle Goose (escape) & Wheatear.

Richard Seargent: Sedge Warbler.

(c) Richard Seargent - Three-cornered Leek
(c) John Hunt - Whitethroat
(c) Dina Burford - Juvenile Blackbirds

Tuesday May 7th

No reports.

(c) Dina Burford - Juvenile Coots
(c) Dina Burford - Skylarks