Friday 22 June 2018

Buckland Sand Pits

I teamed up with Ian M for another of our occasional checks of Park Pit this morning and it was a surprisingly fruitful visit, with 53 species recorded in 3 hours. The most interesting sighting was a flock of seven juvenile Grey Herons which circled the pit and briefly alighted in trees on the west side before moving off - roaming fledgers from Gatton Park perhaps? Or further? A Little Egret was feeding on the lagoon, where seven Egyptian Geese were loafing. A Sand Martin, two House Martins and six of both Swallow and Swift fed over the water but panic was stirred when a Hobby flew through. Singles of Red Kite, Peregrine and Kestrel were also logged. An adult Black-headed Gull dropped in and a Lesser Black-backed Gull flew over. A hormonal cob Mute Swan tried his best to break up a loitering group of 10 non-breeding birds, seemingly including the previous year's young. A Nuthatch, a Treecreeper, a Goldcrest and three Coal Tits (including a juvenile) were recorded and it was great to see and hear the male Reed Bunting still holding fort in the northwest corner. Two Little Grebes and six Great Crested Grebes busied themselves and four Linnets bombed around. Worryingly, the only young waterbirds seen were four Greylags and 17 Canada Geese - no chicks or juveniles of anything else! It was a delight to see my first Marbled Whites of the year, along with a handful of Small Heaths, and a good few Black-tailed Skimmers patrolled the margins. There was a pretty mighty lone Common Spotted Orchid specimen.

juvenile Grey Herons

Great Crested Grebes

Little Egret
Marbled White

Small Heath

Common Spotted Orchid