September and October 2015

This autumn has been quite mild so we might not expect to see many winter migrants yet, but quite a few have been reported, as have some summer migrants which are still with us. A lone Swift was reported at Hogsmill Sewage Works (18th September). Two days before, at the same place, there were 18 Sand Martin and on the 19th there were 8 of these in Home Park. All the Swallow records were in September, in quite a few places including Home Park, that had nearly 300 on the 19 th. Much the same goes for House Martin records, there were about 100 in Home Park and Rushett Farm on that date. On the other hand the winter thrush records were all in October and in smaller numbers. In the middle of the month some Fieldfare were recorded at Kempton Nature Reserve and Hogsmill Sewage Works. Redwing were recorded at the same time and place and also in a few other places around our area towards the end of the month.

No summer-only warblers were recorded. Chiffchaff in quite good numbers were found in many places but there was only one Blackcap found (September 10th Molesey Heath). Winter also increases Siskin records as it is mostly a winter-visiting finch. However they were found in quite a few parts of our square in both months. Goldcrest sightings are also much more common in winter and there were over 30 records scattered over our area and both months.

Other passerine records of note were: Rook (Surbiton 25th October), Wheatear (Rushett Farm 6th September), Grey Wagtail (Portsmouth Road Filter Beds 24th September), Tree Pipit (Bushy Park 29th September), 12 Linnet (Molesey Heath 15th October) and 6 Yellowhammer (Rushett Farm 19th September).

Raptor records include as usual some of Sparrowhawk in various places over our area and a few of Kestrel (only two in these two months). As usual there were also Common Buzzard records on the edge of our area including 4 birds at Rushett Farm (6th September). There were a few records ofHobby, a summer visitor, until mid-September. Three sightings of Peregrine were recorded from built-up areas of our square. There was also an unusual record of an Osprey at Hogsmill Sewage Works on 16th September. The owls found were Little Owl (8 in Home and Bushey Parks and one in Horton Country Park) and one Tawny Owl in Home Park (18th September).

Duck numbers seem to be increasing. The nine species included good numbers of Wigeon at Stain Hill Reservoir (56 birds on 17th October) and a single female or immature Pintail in Bushy Park on 29th October.

Other water bird records include a single Little Egret at Kempton Nature Reserve, Home Park and along the Thames and Hogsmill rivers and five species of wader. These were Common Snipe (Hogsmill Sewage Works 17th October), six Black-tailed Godwit (Kempton Nature Reserve 20th September), three Common Sandpiper (at Kempton and two parts of Hampton Filter Beds, all in the WeBS survey on 13th September), a single Greenshank was seen at Kempton 6th September and was heard at Island Barn Reservoir 20th September. Hampton and Hogsmill areas produced four records of Green Sandpiper in the period.

Many thanks to those who contributed to this report. They were: Abrahams D., Clark K., Dunne R., Gale J., Gibbs A., Gill G & E., Hannam J., Jackman N., Quinn A., Sherlock C., Skotnicki A., Spencer P., Tregenza P., Trim C., White M. and Woodall R.