Wildlife Walk – What Have You Spotted At The Pond?


Peter Hutchins, Basingstoke RSPB writes:

On Saturday 26th September 2009, I led a group of 22 wildlife watchers on a walk that covered the north-eastern /eastern side of the pond and the adjacent wood and heathland. A temperature in the high teens and the lack of wind, due primarily to the woodland cover, ensured a pleasant walk that lasted for a little over 1½ hours; the mid-afternoon sun being particularly obvious as the group lingered on the Boathouse jetty at the north-eastern corner of the pond towards the end of this time in the field.

For those of a listing nature, please find below the species that were recorded during the walk:

  1. Mute Swan Cygnus olor
  2. Canada Goose Branta canadensis
  3. Teal Anas crecca: three duck / eclipse drake were on the marsh below Sandhills Viewpoint
  4. Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
  5. Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus: 15 were active about the pond
  6. Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo: three were on wooden ‘platforms’ within the pond
  7. Grey Heron Ardea cinerea: one was heard
  8. Water Rail Rallus aquaticus: two were vocal in the marsh at Sandhills Viewpoint
  9. Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
  10. Coot Fulica atra
  11. Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus: three endlessly moved about the pond
  12. Herring Gull Larus argentatus: an adult was seen on the pond
  13. Woodpigeon Columba palumbus
  14. Green Woodpecker Picus viridis: at least two birds were seen with another being heard
  15. Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major: two were seen, albeit briefly, with at least another two being heard
  16. Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis: just two were noted moving overhead, both heard vocalising
  17. Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
  18. Robin Erithacus rubecula
  19. Blackbird Turdus merula
  20. Song Thrush Turdus philomelus
  21. Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita: a single bird was seen among a mixed feeding flock
  22. Goldcrest Regulus regulus
  23. Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
  24. Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus
  25. Great Tit Parus major
  26. Coal Tit Periparus ater
  27. Treecreeper Certhia familiaris: an all too elusive bird was heard
  28. Jay Garrulus glandarius: two were seen, one lingering in the open
  29. Magpie Pica pica
  30. Jackdaw Corvus monedula
  31. Carrion Crow Corvus corone
  32. Starling Sturnus vulgaris
  33. Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis: one preening in trees by the jetty remained vocal throughout its’ prolonged stay 
  34. Grey Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis: three were seen, all being fairly confiding
  35. Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas: one showed especially well as it sunned itself on low vegetation
  36. Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae: one was seen high in an Oak canopy
  37. Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria: at least four were seen, two showing very well as they rested on sunlit leaves / fencing 
  38. Vapourer Orgyia antique: a male was seen on the wing
  39. Southern Hawker Aeshna cyanea: one of these was seen over the marsh at Sandhills Viewpoint and then at least a further two were by the jetty
  40. Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum: at least eight were on the wing, including one pair in a ‘mating wheel’ 
  41. Wood Ant Formica rufa: several (!) were seen as a nest was disturbed 
  42. Common Wasp Vespa vulgaris: one was about the group at the end of the walk

Peter E. Hutchins

PS – Can you beat this? If you’ve made your own list, we’d love to hear from you!  


Photo credits: Michelle Salter

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