July and August 2016

Most of the records for these two months came from two water bird surveys, plus visits to Kempton Nature Reserve, Hogsmill Sewage Works reserve, Rushett Farm and Stain Hill Reservoir.

The water birds recorded included eight species of duck in larger numbers than early in the summer.   The number of adult and young Tufted Duck reached 198 at Stain Hill Reservoir on 20th August and there were also two Wigeon, a winter visitor in our area.   This visit also recorded 14 Little Grebe (including young) which was two less than on the previous visit (24th July).   The trip to Rushett Farm produced a count of 130 Canada Geese on 18th August with one Greylag Goose and two hybrids between these species.   Green Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper were counted in small numbers in several places on several dates.   An Oystercatcher was seen flying through (16th July Walton Reservoir) and next day two were spotted at Island Barn Reservoir.   Kempton Nature Reserve had good numbers of Lapwing (27 on 24th July & 19 on 20th August).  There were four sightings of Kingfisher at three sites.   Common Tern were found in small numbers (mostly single birds) over a wide range of water bodies in our square.   Hogsmill Sewage Works reserve produced a Common Gull, a frequent winter visitor in our area.

Raptor sightings included the more usual Kestrel and Sparrowhawk in leafy urban areas and Common Buzzard from less urban areas.   Hobby were seen twice at Kempton Nature Reserve and at Horton Country Park on 28th August an adult was seen regularly going to hidden young that were calling.  There were two unusual sightings: one of a Red Kite at Malden Rushett (7th August) and better still, an Osprey at Kempton Nature Reserve (23rd August).   There was only one record of an owl: a Tawny Owl calling from trees (Walton 23rd July).

Swift were seen in three places in July.  Two other non-passerine records are of interest.   A single Turtle Dove was recorded on 31st August on Molesey Heath.   Unfortunately, this species is decreasing and now very rare but that cannot be said of anther species – Ring-necked Parakeet, which were recorded in large numbers –  920 at Hogsmill Sewage Works (21st August).

Seven warbler species were noted.  Common Whitethroat were recorded on five occasions, Chiffchaff on only three occasions but in good numbers (20 at Hogsmill Sewage Works 21st August) and the rest (Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat) only on one or two occasions.

Large numbers of House Martin were seen in poor weather at Stain Hill Reservoir (about 200 on 20th August) with about 30 Swallow and a few Sand Martin.   The latter were seen in smaller numbers elsewhere in our square.   Hogsmill Sewage Works was visited on 24th July and 21st August and resulted in sightings ofcomparatively large numbers of common birds, especially on the July visit:  19 Robin, 36 House Sparrow, 122 Carrion Crow and 152 Jackdaw, but on the August visit there were more Starling (100).  The same site had 4 Goldcrest (July visit) and 4 Grey Wagtail (August visit).   Rushett Farm, in the more rural part of our square, produced a Yellowhammer (18th August).

Many thanks to those who contributed to this report.   They were: Abrahams D., Avison G., Chaffe M., Dawes A., Fitzgerald B., Fure A., Gale J., Gibbs M., Kallmer D.,  Quinn A., Sherlock B., Sherlock C., Skotnicki A., Spencer P., Tregenza P., Tregenza V., Trim C., Turner C., White M. and Wilkinson C.