Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Croxley Common Moor and Wilstone


I went for another cycle ride today in the direction of Chandlers Cross via Chipperfield were I saw 1 of the remaining 2 ♂Yellow Wagtails that I found yesterday, along with 1 Ring-necked Parakeet calling over Chipperfield Road.

male Yellow Wagtail

Next I stopped at Harrocks Wood (owned by the woodland trust), not much was of note.  However, I did see 5 Nuthatches, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Buzzard, 2 Goldcrests and occasional Jays and Swallows.  I then continued towards Croxley Common Moor were I found several species of Warbler including 3 singing Sedge Warblers performing display flights from the bushes along the River Gade.  In the western corner of the NR (near the train bridge) I saw 1 singing Garden Warbler followed by a second sighting of one east along the river and a 3rd singing in the hedgerow very close to the second, in total this added up to 3 Garden Warblers1 Kingfisher also shortly hovered over the river before plunging and a second sighting (of possibly the same bird ) was seen flying back upriver.  Dozens of Whitethroats and Reed Buntings were also distributed evenly around the NR together with occasional sightings of Willow Warblers, 4+ Reed Warblers (in the dense reed bed along the Gade) and 1 Green Woodpecker1 Buzzard also flew over the reserve being chased by 7 Herring Gulls and 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull.  Most of my day was spent chasing around the south-eastern part of the reserve trying to track down the Lesser Whitethroat that was occasionally calling from dense cover but refused to show itself, with two possible exceptions when I caught a short probable glimpse of the bird calling in flight.

1 of 3 Garden Warblers along the Gade River near the bridge
Reed Warbler

juvenile House Sparrow



Whilst I went to Croxley my brother chose to go in the opposite direction to Wilstone, as a result once I arrive home from Croxley we left straight away to pick him up.  I had a short 45 minute visit at Wilstone in which time I visited the hide, from which I saw 2 Hobbies hawking over the water, 2 Oystercatchers (resting on the spit in front of the hide), 1♂ Wigeon also along the vegetated edge of the spit and dozens of Common Terns were over the water.

1 of 2 Oystercatchers present on the spit

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