Monday, 23 May 2022

Barn Owl Update

Barn Owl Update

Our Barn Owlet got a health check-up on Thursday from a schedule 1 licensed bird ringer. 

He was bang on the correct weight and development for an owlet his age. Dad is doing a great job bringing him up on his own, and is bringing back multiple meals every night.

The camera is now back online:

https://tices-meadow-barn-owls.click2stream.com/




Thursday, 12 May 2022

Barn Owl Update

Barn Owl Update

Sadly, the second oldest Barn Owlet died overnight, leaving just the eldest remaining.

We don't know what the cause was, and speculation won't achieve anything.

Worryingly, the female hasn't been seen since Monday morning. We don't know what has happened to her.

The male is continuing to feed the eldest who appears fine and is feeding regularly.

We have taken advice from various experts and will continue to monitor the situation. For the moment, we've turned the public streaming off - when/if things setlle down, we will turn it back on.

Please remember, we are privileged to watch these wild animals, but nature can be very cruel (to our eyes). If one Barn Owlet survives to fledge, then that would be a success.

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Friday 1st April to Saturday 30th April


Volunteer Work Parties

Our volunteer work party schedule for the next 5 months. Please do come and join us if you're free - a great way to spend a morning, helping nature, working with the local community, and having some fun at the same time.


Friday 1st April

Richard Horton: Little Ringed Plover & 4+ Mediterranean Gull.

(c) Colin Varndell - Song Thrush


Saturday 2nd April

Peter Brown: 3 Little Ringed Plover & Swallow.

Dina Burford: 9 Wigeon & 2 Mediterranean Gull.

Half of Badshot Lea turned out for the Badshot Lea Village Easter Trail this morning, which included a lap around site.

1st Ash Vale Beavers held a walk around site this afternoon.

(c) Dina Burford - Little Ringed Plover

(c) Dina Burford - Mediterranean Gulls


Sunday 3rd April

Mark Elsoffer: 3 Little Ringed Plover, Green Sandpiper, Snipe, Lapwing, Little Egret, 14 Wigeon, 2 Cetti's Warbler, Raven & Peregrine.

We had the pleasure of giving 7 members of Blackwater Valley Friends of the Earth a guided tour of site today.

(c) Dina Burford - Teal

(c) Colin Varndell - Kestrel

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Blackwater Valley Friends of the Earth Visit


Monday 4th April

Graham Sharples: Green Sandpiper & 3 Black-tailed Godwit.

(c) Graham Sharples - Black-tailed Godwit

(c) Colin Varndell - Goodbye Cows


Tuesday 5th April

Paul Bamford: Black-tailed Godwit.

Anon: 3 Little Ringed Plover, Kingfisher & Swallow. 

(c) Dina Burford - Black-tailed Godwit

(c) Dina Burford - Ray's New Fence


Wednesday 6th April

Don Lemmon: 4 Little Ringed Plover, Black-tailed Godwit & Swallow.

Colour-ringed Black-headed Gull "2RHV" spotted today by Colin Varndell. Ringed at Pitsea Landfill (Essex) on 2nd April 2016 by the North Thames Gull Group - it was already at least two years old when ringed. Previously sighted at Tice's Meadow: June 2018, May 2019 & June 2021.

(c) Colin Varndell - Blue Tit

(c) Colin Varndell - Little Grebe


Thursday 7th April

Kevin Duncan: Wheatear (first of year).

Mark Elsoffer: Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Sand Martin (first of year), Cetti's Warbler & Raven.

Three volunteers fixed the new speakers on the Sand Martin Bank this morning - just in time for the first returning Sand Martins!

(c) Colin Varndell - Great Spotted Woodpecker



Friday 8th April

Mark Elsoffer: Black-tailed Godwit, Snipe, 2 Water Pipit (25th site record), Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, 8+ Sand Martin, 12+ Swallow & 2 Raven

Anon: Green Sandpiper & 4 Little Ringed Plover.

(c) Dave Carlsson - Water Pipits

(c) Dina Burford - Little Ringed Plover


Saturday 9th April

Anon: Black-tailed Godwit, Green Sandpiper, 2 Little Ringed Plover, Snipe & 2 Cetti’s Warbler.

(c) Colin Varndell - Black-tailed Godwit

(c) Colin Varndell - Fox

(c) Wild Cam - Bullfinch

(c) Beth Cook - Grey Heron


Sunday 10th April

Shaun Ferguson: Green Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Kingfisher, 2 Common Tern (first of year) & Willow Warbler (first of year).

Mark Elsoffer: 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Cetti's Warbler & 2nd Willow Warbler.

Anon: Goldeneye (escape) & Raven.

(c) Shaun Ferguson - Green Sandpiper

(c) Shaun Ferguson - Little Ringed Plover

(c) Colin Varndell - Foxes

(c) Simon Monk - Common Lizard

(c) Kelly Wright - Common Lizard


Monday 11th April

John Hunt: Green Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Little Ringed Plover, Kingfisher, 2 Cetti's Warbler & 2 Sand Martin.

Paul Bamford: 3 Swallow.

Colin Varndell: Nuthatch & Little Egret.

(c) John Hunt - Little Ringed Plover

(c) Gillian Bamford - Brimstone

(c) Colin Varndell - Nuthatch

(c) Colin Varndell - Speckled Wood

(c) Sarah Lee - Grass Snakes


Tuesday 12th April

Don Lemmon: 4 Sandwich Tern (10th for site, last recorded 18/08/17).

John Hunt: Black-tailed Godwit & 3 Common Tern.

Daniel Bridger: Cetti's Warbler, 2 Swallow & 2 House Martin.

Kevin Duncan: Oystercatcher (first of year).

Anon: 4 Little Ringed Plover.

(c) John Hunt - Sandwich Terns

(c) Kevin Duncan - Oystercatcher

(c) Alan David Taylor - Kestrel

(c) Alan David Taylor - Long-tailed Tit

(c) Colin Varndell - Sandwich Terns

(c) David Gosnell - Blue Tit in Nest Box


Wednesday 13th April

John Hunt: Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Common Tern, Little Egret, 2 Cetti's Warbler, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat (first of year) & Wheatear.

Colour-ringed Black Headed Gull: 29L9.

(c) John Hunt - Wheatear

(c) Colin Varndell - Little Egret

(c) Colin Varndell - Mallard

(c) Colin Varndell - Sparrowhawk

(c) Simon Monk - Grass Snake

(c) Simon Monk - Common Lizard


Thursday 14th April

John Hunt: Reed Warbler (first of year).

Colin Varndell: Linnet.

Mark Elsoffer: Green Sandpiper, 2 Little Ringed Plover, Snipe, Lapwing, 4 Common Tern, 12+ Blackcap, 3 Cetti’s Warbler, Swallow, 4 Sand Martin & Peregrine.

Anon: Willow Warbler.

Colour-ringed Black Headed Gull: 2RHV.

(c) Rebecca Haskell - Slow Worm, found by Ethan

(c) Keith Leman - Great Spotted Woodpecker

(c) Dina Burford - Whitethroat

(c) Colin Varndell - Blackcap

(c) Colin Varndell - Linnet


Friday 15th April

Mark Elsoffer: Green Sandpiper, 3 Little Ringed Plover, Snipe, 2 Lapwing, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Common Tern, 4 Sand Martin, 3 Cetti’s Warbler, 22 Blackcap, 4 Whitethroat, 4 Skylark & Peregrine. 

Anon: Reed Warbler.

Mallard with single duckling on the Bat Lake. 

Colour-ringed Black Headed Gull: 2RHV.

Melanie Nicholls: Median Wasp (Dolichovespula media) - new for site.

(c) Andy Glencross - Slow Worm

(c) Andy Glencross - Grass Snake

(c) Melanie Nicholls - Median Wasp

(c) Melanie Nicholls - Dark-edged Bee Fly



Saturday 16th April

Alan Wynde: Garden Warbler (first of year).

Mark Elsoffer: 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Lapwing, Little Egret, 5 Common Tern, 3 Cetti’s Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, 20+ Blackcap & 2 Swallow. 

Anon: Reed Warbler.

Si Soley: A Larder Beetle (Megatoma undata) & A Soft Winged Flower Beetle (Anthocomus fasciatus) - both new for site.

Richard Horton: Green-veined White - first of year.

Colour-ringed Black Headed Gulls: 2RHV & 29L9.

(c) Jon Hawkins - Fox

(c) Jon Hawkins - Grey Heron

(c) Jon Hawkins - Speckled Woods

(c) Conor Macleod - Blackcap



Sunday 17th April

John Hunt: Green Sandpiper & 2 Little Ringed Plover.

Mark Elsoffer: 2 Lapwing, Little Egret, Reed Warbler, 3 Cetti's Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler, 4 Whitethroat, 20+ Blackcap, 20+ Chiffchaff, 2 Swallow, 6 Sand Martin, 8 House Martin & Rook (first of year).

Steve Simnett: 8 Common Tern & 2 Sedge Warbler (first of year).

Two volunteers spent this morning blocking all the cut-throughs to the area cleared by SSE's contractors.

Mark Elsoffer & Si Soley: Deer Vomit Fungus (Fusicolla merismoides) - new for site.

(c) John Hunt - Whitethroat

(c) Wild Cam - Roe Deer

(c) Phil Fiddes - Black-headed Gulls

(c) Jon Hawkins - Fox

(c) Jon Hawkins - Whitethroat


Monday 18th April

Mark Elsoffer: Green Sandpiper, 2 Little Ringed Plover, Little Egret, Mediterranean Gull, 5 Common Tern, 2 Garden Warbler, 2 Sedge Warbler, 4 Reed Warbler, 3 Cetti's Warbler, 4 Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, 20+ Chiffchaff, 20+ Blackcap & California Quail (escape).

Colour-ringed Black Headed Gulls: 2RHV & 29L9.

(c) Dina Burford - Mallard Family

(c) Dina Burford - Starling

(c) Mark Elsoffer - California Quail



Tuesday 19th April

Kevin Duncan: 3 Common Sandpiper (first of year) & 2 Egyptian Goose with 1 gosling - hatched on tern raft.

Mark Elsoffer: 4th Common Sandpiper, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Lapwing, 2 Little Egret, 7+ Common Tern, Kingfisher, 2 Wheatear, 5 Whitethroat, 3 Cetti's Warbler, 4+ Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler, 60+ Sand Martin, 20+ House Martin & 12 Swallow.

Dina Burford: Oystercatcher.

Colour-ringed Black Headed Gulls: 2RHV & 29L9.

(c) John Hunt - Oystercatcher

(c) John Hunt - Reed Bunting

(c) Colin Varndell - Kestrel

(c) Colin Varndell - Nuthatch


Wednesday 20th April

Mark Elsoffer: Green Sandpiper, 2 Common SandpiperLittle Ringed Plover, Lapwing, 2+ Kingfisher, 5 Mediterranean Gull, 7+ Common Tern, Yellow Wagtail (first of year), 3 Cetti's Warbler, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, 4+ Reed Warbler, 70+ Sand Martin, 25+ House Martin & 20+ Swallow.

Noel: 3 Shelduck (first of year).

Colour-ringed Black Headed Gull: 29L9.

(c) John Hunt - Cetti's Warbler

(c) John Hunt - Cetti's Warbler

(c) John Hunt - Cetti's Warbler

(c) John Hunt - Cetti's Warbler

(c) John Hunt - Cetti's Warbler

(c) John Hunt - Cetti's Warbler


Thursday 21st April

Mark Elsoffer: Common Sandpiper, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Lapwing, Little Egret, 5+ Common Tern, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Cetti's Warbler, 4 Whitethroat, 2 Reed Warbler, 12 Sand Martin, 10 House Martin & 15 Swallow.

John Hunt: Green SandpiperWhite Stork (reintroduced).

Peter Brown: Goldeneye (escape).

Anon: Garden Warbler.

(c) John Hunt - Bullfinch

(c) Mark Elsoffer - White Stork

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Fox


Friday 22nd April

Kevin Duncan: Dunlin (first of year) & Little Gull (first winter, 21st for site, last recorded 02/06/21).

Mark Elsoffer: Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, 2 Little Ringed Plover, Goldeneye (escape), Mediterranean Gull, 4 Common Tern, Redstart (11th for site, last recorded 21/08/21), 2 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Cetti's Warbler, 3 Reed Warbler, 4 Whitethroat, c100 Sand Martin, c50 House Martin, c20 Swallow & Peregrine. 

Colour-ringed Black Headed Gull: 2RHV.

Three volunteers spent the morning fitting a new battery to the Swift Tower and adjusting the caller on the new Sand Martin Bank.

(c) Kevin Duncan - Little Gull

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Green Sandpiper



Saturday 23rd April

Mark Elsoffer: Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 6 Whimbrel (17th for site, last recorded 27/04/21), 3 Lapwing, Goldeneye (escape), 4 Common Tern, 3 Cetti's Warbler, 4 Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler, 5 Whitethroat, 50 Sand Martin, 20 House Martin & 12 Swallow.

Clare Dell: Hobby (first of year).

Colour-ringed Black Headed Gull: 2RHV.

We had a fantastic morning at the Farnham Blommin' Community Fair in Gostrey Meadow. Lots of networking and potential new volunteers and supporters met, plus some very generous donations.

(c) Clare Dell - Hobby

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bloomin' Volunteers Fair

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Dunlin

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Whimbrel



Sunday 24th April

Mark Elsoffer: Common Sandpiper, 2 Little Ringed Plover, Redshank, 3 Lapwing, Little Egret, Goldeneye (escape), 4 Common Tern, 3 Cetti’s Warbler, 4 Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler, 4 Whitethroat, 4 Yellow Wagtail & Swallow.

Anon: Green Sandpiper.

Rogey Dickey and two volunteers checked all of the nest boxes this morning.

(c) Jon Hawkins - Black-headed Gull

(c) Jon Hawkins - Mallard

(c) Roger Dickey - Great Tit's Nest

(c) Colin Varndell - Red Kite


Monday 25th April

Richard Seargent: Pochard (male) & Yellow Wagtail.

Anon: 2 Common Sandpiper.

Members of Ashtead U3A enjoyed a visit to site this morning.

(c) Colin Varndell - Ashtead U3A Walk



Tuesday 26th April

Anon: 2 Common Sandpiper.

(c) David Gosnell - Brimstone

(c) Jon Hawkins - Mallard Duckling

(c) Colin Varndell - Reed Warbler

(c) Colin Varndell - Coot Family


Wednesday 27th April

Gavin Everson: Mediterranean Gull, 2 Sand Martin & 6 Swallow.

John Hunt: 2 Common Sandpiper, 5 Little Ringed Plover, 4 Lapwing, Little Egret, 2 Common Tern, Yellow Wagtail, Cettis Warbler, Garden Warbler, 5 Reed Warbler, 5+ Whitethroat, 10+ Blackcap, 10+ Chiffchaff & 7+ House Martin.

Anon: Wheatear & Swift (first of year).

Colour-ringed Black Headed Gull: 2RHV.

(c) Colin Varndell - Common Tern


Thursday 28th April

Mark Elsoffer: 5 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Lapwing, Little Egret, Yellow Wagtail, 6 Reed Warbler, 2 Cetti’s Warbler, 15 Swallow & 6 Swift. 

John Hunt: 2 Common Sandpiper.

Colour-ringed Black Headed Gull: 2RHV.

(c) John Hunt - Common Sandpiper

(c) Keith Leman - Greenfinches

(c) Keith Leman - Colin the Robin

(c) Dina Burford - Common Sandpiper

(c) Colin Varndell - Starling



Friday 29th April

Mark Elsoffer: 5 Common Sandpiper, 6 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Lapwing, 5 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Cetti's Warbler, 6 Reed Warbler, 100+ Swallow, 50+ Sand Martin & 30+ House Martin.

Three volunteers spent the morning preparing for tomorrow's work party.

(c) Kyle Russell - Drone View of Site

(c) Colin Varndell - Cetti's Warbler

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Yellow Wagtail



Saturday 30th April

Mark Elsoffer: Common Sandpiper, 3 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Lapwing, 2 Cetti's Warbler, Ring-necked Parakeet (25th for site), Hobby & Peregrine.

Colin Varndell: Garden Warbler.

First odonata of the year - 3 Large Red Damselfly, Azure Damselfly & 10+ Common Blue Damselfly - found by Melanie Nicholls.

(c) Melanie Nicholls - Azure Damselfly

(c) Melanie Nicholls - Common Blue Damselfly

(c) Melanie Nicholls - Large Red Damselfly

A big thank you to the 38 volunteers who turned up for our work party this morning. We built a hibernacula (for reptiles) & stumpery (for stag beetles), and did some other jobs around site.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Work Party

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Work Party

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Work Party

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Work Party

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Work Party

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Work Party

(c) Dina Burford - Roe Deer

(c) Dina Burford - Volunteers working on Swift Tower

(c) Colin Varndell - Garden Warbler