FRIDAY 13 MAY
So far so good. No rain for six hours at least, although it did rain all night. Quite warm too, and occasionally sunny
SPRINGFIELD FARM QUARRY, BEACONSFIELD (SOUTH BUCKS)
Finally got a chance to check out Springfield Quarry, where Peter Stevens, Dave Cleal, Mike & Rose Collard and David Ferguson had all seen the WHINCHAT in the past two days. Yesterday's rain had worked in my favour and the bird - a very heavily moulted male and presumably a failed breeder - was still showing well on the great selection of weeds and wild flowers growing alongside the former footpath running across the site, just east of Lillyfee's Studio. An unusual midsummer record, although this site annually produces passage Whinchats in double figures.
I was also very pleased to see 2 juvenile COMMON RAVENS around the site, as well as a single flock of 63 STOCK DOVES, 1 moulting adult Lapwing, breeding Linnets and a family party of Common Whitethroats. Also several hundred Meadow Brown butterflies and a few Small Skippers and Small Heaths.
Drastic though was the collapse in numbers of nesting Sand Martins - from a colony last year of several hundred to just 9 active nests this year.
ALSO JUST OUTSIDE THE COUNTY IN HAYES...........
A gorgeous adult male RED-BACKED SHRIKE continues for a third day at Lake Farm Country Park, keeping faithful to a small area of bushes about 100 yards east of the car park. Park by the A437 at TQ 087 804. This is a bird rich haven surrounded by Heathrow development harbouring over 30 breeding pairs of Common Whitethroats, 6 pairs of Meadow Pipit and 5 pairs of Reed Bunting