Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Wednesday 13th May 2009

Another day with only a quick evening visit , today in part caused by going to see the two Little Terns and Greenshank at Willen !

5 Barn Swallows , 8 Swifts and 4 House Martins were over the water , 9 Great crested Grebes were counted

Earlier Rob Hill had a 2nd Summer Herring Gull



Monday, 11 May 2009

Blast From the Past - DUNLIN

Dunlin - Furzton Lake , on the Sluice - 18th March 2003

Found by Simon Nichols

Photograph by Matt Slaymaker

Blast From the Past - Scandinavian ROCK PIPIT

Scandinavian Rock Pipit - Furzton lake , Nr Sluice - 18th and 19th March 2003

Found by Simon Nichols

Photograph by Matt Slaymaker

Blast From the Past - BRENT GOOSE

Brent Goose - Furzton Lake - 15th and 16th January 2006

Found by Simon Nichols

Photograph by Ashley Beolens

Monday 11th May 2009

15 Minutes Scan this morning again revealed high numbers of SWIFTS , 20+ over the Lake and housing estate , so presumed local breeders

6 Barn Swallows and 4 House Martins may also fit this mould

2 Herring Gulls milling around , 1 1st Summer and 1 Adult

7 Great Crested Grebes



*** Evening Visit ***

25 Barn Swallows had moved in , along with 6 House Martins , still 15+ SWIFTS knocking about.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Saturday 9th May 2009

a pair of STOCK DOVES back in their nest tree were a nice site this afternoon , Chiffchaff , Blackcap and 5 SWIFTS were also nice

7 Herring Gulls over

9 Great Crested Grebes



Friday 8th May 2009

2 Visits today

the first one early doors revealed a COMMON TERN , that like the rest of this years birds spent about a minute before heading off north

10 Great Crested Grebes were the best of the rest !

The evening showed a marked movement of SWIFTS , with 15+ feeding over the lake , 6 Barn Swallows , 4 Sand Martins and 3 House Martins were also noteworthy



Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Thursday 6th May 2009

Only had time for a very brief stop this evening

10 SWIFTS were feeding over the water , as were 4 Barn Swallows

Only 6 Great Crested Grebes were in evidence



Wednesday 5th May 2009

Not quite as exciting as last night !

SWIFTS had increased to 6 , 4 Barn Swallows and 2 House Martins were also over the lake , 1 COMMON SANDPIPER was by the Sluice.

Steve Holloway had 3 COMMON SANDPIPERS ( the record is 5 ) along the north eastern edge and a Chiffchaff.



Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Monday 4th May 2009

An early morning visit was not hugely productive

1 Chiffchaff , 1 TREECREEPER and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker in Small Wood , 9 Great Crested Grebes + 4 Nests , 1 Barn Swallow thru.

However the 15 minutes spent there this evening was more productive (!)

Upon arrival it was evident that a dump of Hirundines had taken place , with over 150+ birds feeding low over the water , 100+ Barn Swallows . 50+ House Martins were conservative counts , whilst 3 Sand Martins and 2 SWIFTS were much easier to count ! the latter only popped in to feed for about 2 mins before heading off north.

after about 5 mins of fruitless searching for Red Rumped Swallows and Crag martins , all the Swallows and Martins grouped together and headed skywards , i immediately started scanning for HOBBY and was pleased to see on heading East over the main lake , it hung around for about 2 mins and was the first of the year, as soon as it headed off over the bowl , all the Hirundines resumed feeding , and it was whilst scanning through again , I picked up a COMMON SANDPIPER flying across the lake , it landed on Wooden Island and started feeding , again another first for the year.

5 Lesser Black Backed Gulls and 2 Herring Gulls wer an unusual sight this late in the year , the latter were the regular pair of an Adult and a 3rd Summer , whilst the make up of the LBB's were 1 Adult , 2 1st Summers and 2 intermediate 3rd Summer/4th Winter types !



Sunday, 3 May 2009

Sunday 3rd May 2009

another fleeting visit this evening , with nothing other then Great Crested Grebes to Report - 9 of them (+ the 4 sitters = 13 )

The Grey Heron Young are beginning to move farther from their nests now



Saturday 2nd May 2009

Again , another quick visit , this time on the bike

1 BARN SWALLOW , 14 Great Crested Grebes ( 4 Nests now ) , 1 Blackcap and 1 Chiffchaff the only birds of note



Friday 1st May 2009

Only a fleeting visit from myself today , but Rob H spent an hour onsite , doing a circuit of the lake

I had REED WARBLER and the Cettis still along the North Inlet , also Blackcap here , 1 SAND MARTIN thru south and 11 Great Crested Grebes

Rob fared a bit better , with the above Warblers plus a COMMON WHITETHROAT at the north Inlet, another REED WARBLER by Main bridge , TREECREEPER still singing in Small wood , along with GOLDCREST , Great Spotted and Green Woodpecker and 2 Chiffchaffs , a further 4 Blackcaps were heard around the lake

He also had 2 LBB Gulls fly over and 3 SAND MARTINS thru from Shenley Lodge

Thanks Rob !



PS Roy had a possible Meadow Pipit at the West end today as well

PPS Just outside the recording area , LESSER WHITETHROAT along Cressey Ave, Shenley Brook End and another LESSER WHITETHROAT along Hawkshead Drive, Emerson Valley.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Thursday 30th April 2009

Well another year without a Red Rumped Swallow re-appearing , maybe it is not coming back ;-)

Highlights of 3 visits today (!) 2 Barn Swallows and 12 Great Crested grebes.

Cant wait for May ............



Wednesday 29th April 2009

At last another new addition to the year list !

a SWIFT was keeping loose company with 2 House Martins and 2 Barn Swallows this evening , a lone COMMON TERN was seen just after 9am , did three circuits of the lake and headed off north west ! Why are Common Terns avoiding this place ..... does the corpse have more to tell us ;-)

9 Great Crested Grebes



Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Tuesday 28th April 2009

Roy had similar numbers of hirundines over the lake this morning , with estimates of 20+ Barn Swallows , 15+ House Martins and a few Sand Martins.

When I visited early evening ( 18:00) There were 14 Barn Swallows and 2 House Martins left , when I visited @ 19:15 , all the Hirundines had departed !

BLACKCAP was singing in small wood and 9 Great Crested Grebes were counted



Monday 27th April 2009

An extremely fleeting visit this morning showed there had been a dump of migrants overnight !

At least 60 Hirundines were feeding over the lake , mostly Barn Swallows and Sand Martins , with a few House martins thrown in for Good Measure , 2 COMMON TERNS made up the picture.

When Rob Hill visited later in the day , only one COMMON TERN remained



Sunday, 26 April 2009

Sunday 26th April 2009

Again , not much happening , 2 BARN SWALLOWS , 3 Herring Gulls and 11 Great Crested Grebes were the only birds of note !

A sad discovery this evening was the corpse of a freshly dead COMMON TERN , near the Inlet , it was in bushes (!) so was presumably moved there by person or animal unknown !



Saturday, 25 April 2009

Saturday 25th April 2009

an early morning visit from Roy (06:30 ) produced Probable ARCTIC TERN and Great Black Backed Gull , also 3 LONG TAILED TITS ( first of the year - although will have undoubtably been present since Jan 1st if anyone had bothered to look ;-) ) 1 BARN SWALLOW present also.

my first visit of the day ( 4 visits ) @ 08:30 produced 8 BARN SWALLOWS and 1 SAND MARTIN , best of all was a rather subdued REED WARBLER singing in the inlet (1st record of the year )

Best of the rest of the visits were a single COMMON TERN fishing in the afternoon , the 2 HERRING GULLS still knocking about wooden island and the long staying 1st Summer Black Headed Gull , BARN SWALLOWS in varying numbers and 1 HOUSE MARTIN were ever present on each visit

1 Cormorant and 1 Pied Wagtail also of note

minimum of 11 Great Crested Grebes present



Friday 24th April 2009

Very quiet today ! a COMMON BUZZARD entered Furzton airspace by virtue of flying over Oxley Park and SBE first ! the 3rd record this year (!) 9 Great Crested Grebes , 1 BARN SWALLOW and 1 1st Summer Black Headed Gull being the best of the rest.



Thursday, 23 April 2009

Thursday 23rd April 2009

2 ARCTIC TERNS spent a whole 1 minute on the lake today , before flying off west ! , 1st record of the year , also 2 BARN SWALLOWS south , 10 Great Crested Grebes , 1 1st Summer Black Headed Gull , 2 Blackcaps, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Sparrowhawks and the Cettis still

Evening Update - 1ST FOR FURZTON (!)

Innocently I was listening to the TREECREEPER that was singing in small wood ( just south of the lake by the football pitch ) without realising that this was in fact a FIRST for the site (!) this is the first time I have been around the Woods and Stream section this year , hence another 1st for the year was also encountered , a smart singing GOLDCREST , 2 CHIFFCHAFFS and 2 BLACKCAPS were also singing in Small Wood. I also had only my 2nd ever COMMON BUZZARD over , this was flying South East , quite high.

3 Herring Gulls were present over the Lake , Ad, 1st Summer and 3rd Summer

The Furzton List now stands at 121 , with the 2009 List @ a healthy 64.

My own personal Furzton list stands at 108.



Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Wednesday 22nd April 2009

Dawn mist , that was pretty much all that was on offer this morning ;-)

The Cettis has moved even further away and was barely audible this morning ! , one of yesterdays fully populated Herons nests was empty this morning ! So I expect to see lots of Scraggy youngsters around soon !

2 1st Summer Black Headed Gulls were the pick of the rest !

Only 6 Great Crested Grebes noted , but there are def two sitters at the moment , so assume 8 !



Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Butterflies !

In recent days the following have been on the wing

Orange Tip
Speckled Wood



Tuesday 21st April 2009

My suspicions were wrong ! The CETTI'S WARBLER is still present this am , but has moved quite a distance from its original spot. Male Reed Bunting was the only movement by the bridge

Finished the Heron Census and the full totals below, really please with at least 7 Nests, at least 8 Adults round the site as well

Wooden Island ( so called by the strange wooden structures placed on it ! )

3 Nests

Wooden Island Nest 1) - 2 Well Grown youngsters
Wooden Island Nest 2) - 2 Well Grown youngsters
Wooden Island Nest 1) - 1 Well Grown youngster

Total young = 5

Island 2 ( so called as it has no distinguishing features amd there are 2 islands ! )

4 Nests

Island 2 Nest 1 ) - 4 Well Grown youngsters
Island 2 Nest 2) - 3 Nearly Fledged Youngsters
Island 2 Nest 3) - 2 Nearly Fledged Youngsters
Island 2 Nest 4) - 1 Well Grown youngster

Total young = 10

12 Great Crested Grebes (2 sitting on nests)

2 Chiffchaffs just outside recording area on the Bowl side , also 1 Blackcap. 1 1st Summer Black Headed Gull and 1 Herring Gull

I will be putting up some blasts from the past soon , as well as some old pictures and a full Furzton list , I am also working on a full database of sightings as well as an article for the Bird report



Monday, 20 April 2009

Monday 20th April 2009

I arrived after the mist had lifted ( RAC had 2 BARN SWALLOWS and a HOUSE MARTIN earlier) and had a very enjoyable 10 minutes doing a vis mig watch from the Star Monument

Pride of place goes to the 1st COMMON TERN of the year, that blasted thru high South , it had obviously been to Furzton before as it didnt fancy stopping ;-) , however the Warblers tried a come back , the car park held at least 2 Singing BLACKCAPS, 1 CHIFFCHAFF ( first of the year ) and best of all a rattling LESSER WHITETHROAT ( again 1st of the year ). A large female SPARROWHAWK also passed overhead and 1 BARN SWALLOW headed east.

A census of the visible Grey Herons Nests were as follows

Wooden Island Nest 1) - 2 Well Grown youngsters
Island 2 Nest 1 ) - 4 Well Grown youngsters
Island 2 Nest 2) - 2 Nearly Fledged Youngsters

I didnt check the other 2-3 nests , I will do that this afternoon.

After Saying how hard ROOK was to connect with yesterday , one flew over the lake today within 10 seconds of my arrival , did i mention how hard Purple Sandpipers and red Throated Divers are to find there ;-)

8 Great Crested Grebes, including 2 pairs displaying



Sunday, 19 April 2009

Sunday 19th April 2009

Again "Warbler Bridge" took the honours of birds of the day ! Yesterdays COMMON WHITETHROAT was still present mid morning per Roy C. However i could only manage a pair of BLACKCAPS ! Still 5 Warbler species in 2 days ain't bad !

No sound of the Cetti's Warbler , may have moved on ?

Other Highlights include the first recorded ROOK of the year, again by Roy, as well as a 55+ Flock of Hirundines early morning , comprising of at least 25 BARN SWALLOWS , 20 SAND MARTINS and 10 HOUSE MARTINS , This had shrunk to 6 BARN SWALLOWS by late morning (RC)

8 Herring Gulls of assorted ages were high over the lake late afternoon , whilst the 2 Regulars were still on Wooden Island

At least 4 of the 5 Grey Heron nests have young in them !

A quick cycle round this evening produced 10 Coots and 13 Great Crested Grebes , including two nests of the former and 1 of the latter !

Again the question is where are the Commons !! I have normally had individuals of both the Sandpiper and the Tern variety by now .........

At least 8 Blackbirds defending territories around the lake

Just outside the catchment area , a BLACKCAP is singing on Shenley Brook End



Saturday, 18 April 2009

Saturday 18th April 2009 - Late evening

Not birds this time !

Whilst running round the lake this evening between 21:00 and 21:45 , i counted a minimum of 15 Pipistrelle type BATS, feeding along the lake edges and 2 Bigger ones feeding out over the lake ( Daubenton's or Noctule ? )

No sound of the Cetti's as i dashed ( well limped ) past !



***** MEGA MEGA MEGA *****

WOW ! if yesterday was the day of Hirundines , then today belongs to the mighty Warbler family !

CETTIS WARBLER !!!!! Yeah Baby !

Whilst taking the kids on a Duck feeding sortie , we decided to spend some time near the bridge on the north side , by the the car park. As i approached it , a burst of song erupted from the vegetation - a CETTIS ! , whilst i bundled kids back into car to search properly for it, 2 WILLOW WARBLERS (2nd and 3rd of the year) started singing , one in the Car Park Trees and one along the gardens on the north shore.

10 minutes went by , where all i had for company were 3 REED BUNTINGS ( 1 Ad Male , 1 1st Winter Male and a female ) and a newly arrived showy SEDGE WARBLER !!!! (1st of the year)

Just as I had all but given up and was walking back to the car park , the CETTIS showed itself about 15 yds away in full view for about a minute ! Fantastic, a new addition to the Furzton list and a mega for the patch !

Also ! as if that wasn't enough ! a new high count of Greylags (21) , 10 Great Crested Grebes , 1 BARN SWALLOW thru NE and 3 Herring Gulls over NE

Simply a fantastic 15 minutes of birding ! Still buzzing now !!!

Roy is on route !



Additional ****

I returned 30 minutes later , and sat in the car , the CETTI'S WARBLER was still singing , as was the SEDGE , as i scanned the bushes , a movement caught my eye , it was a male COMMON WHITETHROAT !!! Only my 4th at Furzton since 2000. I am sure its commoner, but this was still a welcome sight ! and 1st of the year obviously.

Met Roy , and we heard the CETTI'S , it was more distant then before , Dick and Val Bodily also connected during the afternoon.

The 2 semi resident Herring Gulls were loafing around Wooden island.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Friday 17th April 2009

All about the hirundines today !

31 BARN SWALLOWS and 3 HOUSE MARTINS were feeding and resting at Lunchtime , this had dwindled to 2 of each by 18:20 , we have to remember the 29th April 2002 at this time , when Bucks's first and only record of Red Rumped Swallow was found .... By me ;-) it was present from 19:00 til 20:15 before departing north , about 20 local birders connected , oh for there to be a mass twitch again at Furzton !!!

9 Great Crested Grebes and 10 Greylags were the best of the rest !



Thursday, 16 April 2009

Thursday 16th April 2009

A new record of Greylag for the lakes ! 17 this morning , also 2 SAND MARTINS and 2 BARN SWALLOWS , 7 Great Crested Grebes and the 2 Herring Gulls are Back



Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Wednesday 15th April 2009

Roy Cheetham took up the mammoth task of Furzton birding today ;-)

The Highlights of which were

6+ Grey Herons and the first Willow/Chiff of the year - I would err towards Chiffchaff as Willow Warblers are notoriously late in the Furzton Area.

Thanks Roy


Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Tuesday 14th April 2009

Slim Pickings this morning (!)

9 Great Crested Grebes and 2 Herring Gulls were the best/worst on offer

I am unable to visit the mighty Furze for 3 days now , if someone fancies their chances ! please do so , all I ask is that you dont find a Site first ( Little Gull , Brambling etc ! ) or something that I still need ! ( Oystercatcher , Red Kite etc ! )



Additional News

Roy Cheetham had a RED KITE over Furzton Shops heading west @ 13:00.

This is the third sighting since the first site record was recorded on 27th Feb 2009, also by Roy , he also saw it on the 3rd March .

Hopefully this is sticking in the area.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Monday 13th April 2009

It was all about the Gulls today.

A Loafing flock of 20 birds was made up of the following

Lesser Black Backed Gulls - 9, 3 1st Summers, 2 2nd Summers and 4 Adults
Herring Gull - 10, 4 1st Summers, 2 3rd Summers and 4 Adults,
Yellow Legged Gull - 1 , Advanced 1st Summer - only the 2nd Record for Furzton , following an adult last year.
a 1st Summer Black Headed Gull also joined the mix

Also present were a minimum of 9 Grey Herons (plus at least 4 young in nest still ) , 8 Great Crested Grebes and 4 Coots.

Still 3 Cormorants



Sunday, 12 April 2009

Sunday 12th April 2009

Only 2 visits so far today ;-)

Highlights were 6 HOUSE MARTINS (first for the year) and 3 Swallows , 3 Herring Gulls, 8 Greaylag Geese ( largest count this year ) , 7 Great Crested Grebes and 4 Coots



Saturday 11th April 2009

Even by my standards , 4 visits today was a tad excessive !

Highlight of the visits were the pair of TUFTED DUCKS , that graced the middle of the lake , looking bewildered ! they had gone by visit 2

4 Herring Gulls inc 1st Winter were evident on visit 2 , and the single BARN SWALLOW had increased to 3 by Visit 4 and only 2 Herring Gulls remained

6 Greylags were noteworthy , At least 2 newly hatched Grey Herons were evident in one of the nests on wooden island

8 Great Crested Grebes was the largest number i was able to record , maybe some are on nests already



Saturday, 11 April 2009

Friday 10th April 2009

two very quick visits today , the highlight of the first @ 14:30 was the 2 Herring gulls , while 8 Great crested Grebes and 7 BARN SWALLOWS were the highlight of the 2nd rain swept visit @ 16:30



Thursday, 9 April 2009

Thursday 9th April 2009

A Quick visit this afternon revealed the prescence of a 5th Grey Heron Nest on Island 2 and a pair of GREY WAGTAILS on the Sluice. Otherwise , 1 1st Summer BH Gull and only 7 Great Crested Grebes in evidence today.



*** Evening Update ***

My euphoria at seeing 4 SWALLOWS and 3 SAND MARTINS this evening, were somewhat overshadowed by the fact that I rang Rob Hill at the exact moment he had found an Osprey flying over Manor Farm !!! despite that grip off , I was able to salvage 9 Great Crested Grebes to cheer me up ......... ;-)

Wednesday 8th April 2009

An unusual visit ..... I left the car , i walked the northern edge in the hopes of wagtails and pipits , in the normal style ..... there were none , but there was .... 15 Great Crested Grebes , mostly paired up , but still a loafing loose flock of 5

Minimum of 7 Grey Herons onsite , the 4 attending the nest and 3 Adults having a scrap near the sluice , one drew blood !

Otherwise , 5 Black Headed Gulls , 10+ Moorhen , 3 Coot. 2 Ad Herring Gulls on Wooden Island



Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Tuesday 7th April 2009

Hello , And welcome to the Furzton Blog , this is really just a holding place for all my thoughts and enthusiasm about birding @ Furzton lake , I hope to populate it with quite a few pictures and accounts of former glories (!) Yes they have been a few ..... Well 7 at least ! I have been watching furzton since the early 1990's but with a passion since 1999 when i moved there , i now live just round the corner in Shenley brook End , and its about 1 minute 45 seconds if i hit the roundabouts right, door to lake

I try and visit at least once a day , that normally involves parking in front of the Hotel and looking from the car ! I will also try and publish a full site list in due course

But first the reports from yesterday ..... Now brace yourselves ....

14 Great Crested Grebes , all the 4 Heron nests in the smallest heronry in the world are all accounted for with a few of the sitting birds standing up now , so hopefully the eggs have hatched , this is the first year that I have been aware of them nesting on the two islands , but they have probably been doing it for years ;-)

That's pretty much it ! Oh an increase to 6 Greylags was noteworthy (!)

3 Sand Martins thru earlier in the week were first of the year.