Trip reports

Weekend Walk at Staines Moor 3rd April 2021

Male blackcap in hawthorn bush
Male blackcap (RSPB-Images)

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

The 2021 outdoor meetings recommenced as soon as Covid regulations allowed on Saturday 3rd. To comply with government guidance it was local (Staines Moor) and followed the rule of six. 15 members divided into 3 separate groups.

The spring migrants had begun to arrive. Many blackcaps and chiffchaffs were calling and seen. Swallows were seen at two locations. Just as we returned to the exit path the unmistakable scratchy song of a whitethroat was heard and eventually seen deep in brambles - my first of the year. The hoped for willow and sedge warblers did not make an appearance. Some remnants of winter were still clinging on in the form of fieldfares and a water pipit. Very much a time of changeover.

On the previous Monday a ring ouzel had been found on the Moor. These normally are 1 or 2 day birds. In the spring they are anxious to head north, establish a territory and get on with the serious business of breeding. Reports indicated that it had obligingly stayed for our trip. Needless to say it was top of everyone's target list. It was disappointing when the first group reported that it had shown well but photographers had got too close and flushed it. However after scouring the Moor everyone got good views.
Great to be able to get out as a group again.

Geoff Keen