Wednesday, 24 July 2013

A stroll around Beddington

Yesterday, after a walk around Canons, I simply fancied a look around Beddington as I hadn't been birding there for a while. I have a key to this great place just up the road so why not use it now and again? It was an enjoyable session. A short stake out of the main lake in the company of Cliff Allan revealed the Ruddy Shelduck that had been around for a couple of days but I was even more pleased to pick out a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull. Peter Alfrey joined me on a tour of Hundred Acre where most of the beds were completely dry but the water level at Jim's Pit offered prime wader habitat. About fifteen Green Sandpipers flew around the pit as we appeared and we also startled two Common Sandpipers - nothing scarcer there but seeing these common passage waders and hearing their calls is always great, especially locally. A Swallow also flew over, apparently the first one in a while. Worryingly, the flock of thirteen Tree Sparrows on the side of the landfill apparently could have represented the entire site (therefore also Surrey and Greater London) population of these iconic birds. Also concerning was a report of a sick male Blackcap on the public footpath; we checked it out to find a long-dead adult male along with a sick juvenile so there were three dead or dying Blackcaps along the track... mysterious and disconcerting indeed. A Swallow flying over was unseasonal for the site.

juvenile Yellow-legged Gull
Ruddy Shelduck
Green Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper
Jim's Pit looking good...