MONDAY 13 JANUARY
A beautiful morning with a slight overnight frost followed by clear, bright conditions. The wind increased from the west during the day, with temperatures recovering to about 7 degrees C, with rain arriving from late afternoon.
At CHENIES BOTTOM BRIDGE first thing, an adult Sinensis Cormorant flew up valley, with a Little Egret showing well, SISKIN over, Common Buzzard, Wren, Grey Heron, GREY WAGTAIL, Robin, Jackdaw and Goldcrest noted.
BOIS MILL POND held the 3 Mute Swans and a single Coot whilst the LATIMER FIELDS, flooded extensively from the recent heavy rain, held 53 Atlantic Canada Geese, 2 Mute Swans and 23 Mallard. At LATIMER PLACE, 1-2 Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Blue Tit, Robin, Great Tit, Wren, Common Magpie (3), Red Kite, Goldfinch (12), Mistle Thrush and Greenfinch were all recorded, whilst the main event on LATIMER GREAT WATER was the exceptional number of SINENSIS CORMORANT present - a record five birds (an adult and 4 immatures). Other waterbirds included 30 Coot, just 7 Mute Swans (two first-years), 1 Moorhen, 2 Grey Heron and 2 Mallard and a host of roosting gulls, including a single adult Argenteus Herring, 3 adult Common and 133 Black-headed. Other species encountered included Woodpigeon, Stock Dove, Rook (2), Common Buzzard, Song Thrush (in full song) and Coal Tit. The section of the CHESS between NEPTUNES FALLS and LATIMER BRIDGE yielded an additional 3 adult Mute Swans, 4 Mallard, 5 Tufted Duck, 2 Moorhen, 4 Coot and 2 Wren.
The 5 Sinensis Cormorants - a Chess Valley record
Common Magpie having a preen
The Neptunes Falls
.....and its Mute Swans
No luck again with Little Owl at STOCKERS FARM - in fact not much to be found at all - 2 Meadow Pipits, Green Woodpecker, Mistle Thrush, 8 House Sparrows, just 1 Redwing, 13 Woodpigeon and 53 Black-headed Gulls.
Male and female House Sparrows
and a Mistle Thrush
At TROY MILL GP, peripheral species in and around the brook included Song Thrush, Wren, Common Blackbird, 3 Common Magpie, KINGFISHER and GREY WAGTAIL, with the main pit producing 3 Grey Heron, 83 Coot, 142 Tufted Duck, 33 Pochard and 14 Great Crested Grebe. On the county border at the RIVER COLNE, immediately north of BROADWATER SAILING CLUB, 2 SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFFS were performing well, as well as a single COMMON CHIFFCHAFF (found by Andrew Moon and seen shortly later by John Edwards and I).
Siberian Chiffchaffs on the Colne
Ring-necked Parakeet numbers continue to increase with 25 now visiting gardens on a regular basis.
Ring-necked Parakeets - a familiar sight at the bird feeders
At STAINES MOOR, a pair of COMMON STONECHAT, 4 Ring-necked Parakeet, 2 Goldfinch and 5 Carrion Crows were seen, whilst at STAINES RESERVOIRS, the South Basin held 2 BLACK-NECKED GREBE, 17 Great Crested Grebe, 25 Gadwall, 46 Shoveler, 96 Tufted Duck, 85 Pochard, 13 Goldeneye and 24 Coot, with Meadow Pipit and 47 Fieldfare feeding on the west bank. The North Basin held a further 8 Great Crested Grebe, a SLAVONIAN GREBE on the NE shore, 18 Teal, 32 Gadwall, 36 Shoveler, 184 Wigeon, another 72 Tufted Duck and 11 more Goldeneye.