November and December 2016

Although this two month period is in winter and has birds typical of the period, three late Swallow were spotted flying south-westwards over Berrylands on the 7th November.

Many of the records were for water birds.  Sixteen duck species were spotted. The rarer species were: Shelduck (one on Hampton Filter Beds 18th December), Pintail (Walton Reservoir three on 8th November pair on 15th and one on 27th), six Red-crested Pochard (Home Park 17th December), Scaup (Island Barn Reservoir 27th November a male and a female, 2nd December a distant bird – a female or a hybrid), Goldeneye were present in small numbers (in both months on Stain Hill, Sunnyside and Walton Reservoirs), a drake Red-breasted Merganser (27th & 29th November Island Barn Reservoir), a drake Goosander (Walton Reservoir 28th December), female/immature Ruddy Duck (Walton Reservoir four on 22nd November and one on 28th December) and female Common Scoter (Island Barn Reservoir three 27th November one 27th November & 2nd December).

A Bittern was recorded several times in mid-November at Walton Reservoir.  Water Rail were seen or heard in small numbers in several places in November (Molesey Heath, Hogsmill Sewage Works, Kempton Nature Reserve and Walton Reservoirs).  A Dunlin was found at Walton Reservoir (8th November) and a few Green Sandpiper were found at Island Barn, Sunnyside and Stain Hill Reservoirs and Hogsmill Sewage Works in both months.  Five sites had Common Snipe in both months and three of them had Jack Snipe in November.  Island Barn Reservoir had a few

Redshank in both months.

The seven gull species recorded included the rarer Yellow-legged Gull (at Island Barn and Walton Reservoirs), Caspian Gull (the same sites) and an Iceland Gull at the end of November (Island Barn Reservoir).  On 29th December a Black Swan turned up on the river in central Kingston.

Records of Sparrowhawk came from five places and Buzzard from two.  A Kestrel was spotted in Home Park (14th December) and a Red Kite in Horton Country Park (11th December).  Walton Reservoir had a Hen Harrier (female/immature) 13th November. A Merlin was flushed from Kempton NR on 18th December. The only owl record was a Tawny Owl hooting in Esher on two nights at the end of December.

In winter we expect arctic thrushes to be seen: nine sites reported Redwing in numbers up to 100 from early November and two sites reported Fieldfare in numbers up to 120, also from early November.  Other winter visiting passerines are Siskin (about 40 Arbrook Common 20th November) and Lesser Redpoll (three flying over Walton Reservoir 15th November).  Linnet were seen (in five sites with flocks up to 30), Song Thrush (7 sites) and Mistle Thrush (7 sites).

Warblers were only seen occasionally and were the species that regularly overwinter here. Two sites had Chiffchaff, two had Blackcap and two the resident Cetti’s Warblers.  There were quite a few sightings of Nuthatch (6 sites), Treecreeper (4 sites) and Goldcrest (9 sites).  A single Firecrest was spotted at Stain Hill Reservoir on 18th December.

Many thanks to those who contributed to this report.  They were: Abrahams D., Avison G., Gale J., Gibbs A., Gill E., Gill G., Gilry A., Hannam J., Norman R., Quinn A., Sherlock B., Sherlock C., Spencer P., Stannard E., Tregenza P., Tregenza V., Trim C., Turner C., White M. & Wilkinson C.