May and June 2016

In these two months, surveys of water birds were carried out by members.  They found young of swans and ducks but also some interesting water-bird records which are included in the list below.  A Slavonian Grebe in breeding plumage was seen on Walton Reservoir (Chelsea & Lambeth) on 14th May.  Island Barn Reservoir amazingly had two Black-winged Stilts on 4th May and a female Garganey was there on the 15th, with a drake, nearby at Chelsea & Lambeth Res the same day. This site also produced an adult Mediterranean Gull that day and also on the 22nd. Kempton Nature Reserve had a single Little Ringed Plover on four occasions in May and a Green Sandpiper 4th June.  Kempton Nature Reserve, Island Barn Reservoir and Hampton Filter Beds had Common Sandpiper in ones and twos in May.  At Island Barn Reservoir on 22nd May there were two Oystercatcher and singles at both the Walton Reservoirs in May (Knight & Bessborough) and June (Chelsea & Lambeth). At these two reservoirs there were Redshank on 4th May and Little Gull on 15th May and one of the reservoirs (Chelsea & Lambeth) had a Little Tern on 15th May and a week later an Arctic Tern. On 11th May Island Barn Reservoir had an Arctic Tern with a Black Tern.  There were the expected sightings of Common Tern on five occasions.

On the Hogsmill  River Kingfisher was spotted near Kingston Guildhall on 11th of June.  In winter there were several Short-eared Owls in Home Park and one was still there in the evening of 14th May. A group of three members went to Prince’s Coverts to search for Woodcock and they saw quite a lot roding (flying along the edge of their territories) and calculated that there must have been at least seven different birds.  Ham Lands turned up a Cuckoo on 5th May.

Sparrowhawk and Kestrel were seen around our square on several occasions as usual – the Kestrel at Hogsmill Sewage Works had young on the nest box being fed on 26th May.  Also there were four sightings of our summer visiting raptor, Hobby, around the square.  The breeding Peregrine in Epsom had young but there was only one sighting of a bird near Kingston College another breeding site.  At Home Park three raptor species were seen flying over on 26th May: Peregrine, Common Buzzard and Red Kite. Buzzard were also seen four other times in our square and Red Kite once, at Chessington.  At Kempton Nature Reserve a Marsh Harrier was spotted on 27th May.

Of course Swift and hirundines (Sand Martin, Swallow and House Martin) were seen in various places.

Warblers were much in evidence though there were only two records of Chiffchaff in May.  Blackcap and Garden Warbler were recorded in quite a few places.  Common Whitethroat were noted in five places but the less common Lesser Whitethroat only on Ham Lands and at Tolworth Court Farm.  Reed Warbler was found in three places: Esher Common and two places near Kempton.  Prince’s Coverts had Willow Warbler in early May (2 birds) and early June (1 bird). On 3rd May a Nightingale was recorded three times at Prince’s Coverts and on 13th May two were singing against each other there.

Other passerine records of interest were: Black Redstart (1st May Hogsmill Sewage Works), Stonechat with two young (22nd May Esher Common), Wheatear (4th May Island Barn Reservoir and 6th Kingston), Pied Flycatcher (7th May Kempton Nature Reserve), breeding Linnet (25th May Hampton) and two Yellowhammer (19th May Rushett Farm).

Many thanks to those who contributed to this report.  They were: Abrahams D., Chaffe M., Coulber E., Fure A., Gale J., Gibbs A., Gilry A., Hannam J., Hooker T., Kiddell D., Quinn A., Dunne R., Sherlock B., Sherlock C., Spencer P., Tregenza P., Trim C., Turner C ., White M and Wilkinson C.