Saturday, 13 February 2010

Stoke Meadows with Steve.

This morning I met up with Steve Chastell who was leading a Surrey Bird Club walk at Stoke Water Meadows. With just two other members present plus two newcomers we headed to the Wey Navigation picking up Fieldfare, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Parakeets and Goldfinch in the trees nearby. 
At the weir we scanned the water meadows and found plenty of Redwing feeding on the ground but no sign of any Water Pipits but did eventually locate one or two Meadow Pipits as they moved through the grass. Lots of Canada Geese, Teal and Wigeon way over on the field pools plus four species of Gulls (Black-headed, Common, Herring and Lesser Black-backed) with Mallard and Little Grebe on the river.
    Mr and Mrs Mallard out for their morning paddle.
On the main lake we added Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Gadwall and a Grey Heron with a very large swollen left knee (undoubtedly some form of infection) but it didn't prevent it from flying away and Cormorant flying overhead. On the lower marsh were a few Northern Shoveler.
Mallard on the lookout post!
Returning back along the river there were brief views of Treecreepers before Steve encouraged two of us who were suitably shod to accompany him out onto the marsh in search of any inhabitants. Just a single Common Snipe flew up and jinked away from us.
Very little left of the old boardwalk which hopefully will be repaired sometime soon. (An ideal spot to scan for Reed Buntings and Sedge Warblers in the Spring).
A Wren made a brief appearance before disappearing into the undergrowth. We continued to check out all likely locations for Water Pipits and Water Rail but without any success. Also no signs of any Siskin or Redpolls but plenty of Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits plus Robin and Blackbird.
Black-headed Gull.
A pair of Sparrowhawks displayed very high overhead and a Kestrel flew past. Towards the end of our walk we rescanned the fields adding Stock Dove, Crow, Rook, Jackdaw and Jay having already claimed a few Magpies, Woodpigeons and Great-spotted Woodpecker (heard only).
At the iron bridge I said my farewells and strolled a little further to Bowyers Lock but didn't add anything else to the morning tally of 40 species.  FAB.


  1. What a lovely walk you had today. So many different species of birds you have! I enjoyed accompanying you in your photo essay. Thanks for sharing. ~ks

  2. A good mornings tally Frank.
    I can imagine once the spring visitors begin to arrive, numbers will increase quite a bit.

  3. Very good number of species for a mornings walk!
    Nice photos, looks like a very nice area for birding.

  4. Hi Frank,
    You got a nice time and got some nice shots. The tree-creeper is so hard to get! I still did not manage to get nice pictures of it just as the goldcrest over here. I've seen 36 last week end, but not a chance to get on ncie picture!

  5. Very nice! Looks like you had a great walk. Love the photos, but really like the last shot of the bridge.

  6. Love the Tree Creeper Frank,very difficult bird to capture.

  7. ...a beautiful walk and a nice tally too! I love the photo of the wren perched on the branch. It has such a winter feel to it...peaceful too.

  8. My first thought is that I'm going to have to move to your part of the world! so many birds for this time of year (atleast here) Love the shot of the wren too...nice. Happy Valentine's Day!

  9. Looks like a real nice walk...besides the birds (obviously) I love that bridge shot. Nicely done. :o)

  10. Looks like you had a great day of good photo opportunities, and that Black-headed Gull photo is tremendous! Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours~

  11. That sneaky little Treecreeper again Frank.

  12. Hi ks. I'm glad you came along to share what wildlife is around me.

    Hi Keith. I'm looking forward to a healthy influx of Warblers.

    Hi Sharon. More pairs of eyes help to locate what might be around and if the waether had been better I'm sure the tally would have been bigger.

    Hi Chris. If I had waited I'm sure I could have got a better shot of the TC but the lure of the marsh took over!!

    Hi Mona. The bridge has been posted a few times and I'm sure it will feature again.

    Hi JRand Sue. Cheers John..I'll keep trying for a closer shot!!

    Hi Kelly. Thanks..the Wren was a chance shot as it didn't stop very long. It probably wanted to find some warmth somewhere!

    Hi Susan. You would be welcome anytime.

    Hi Jann. Thank you.

    Hi Mary. The light wasn't brilliant but one takes what is offered, especially as it wasn't raining!!

    Hi Roy. I'm going to have to stake one out..sometime.

  13. February 2010 at 18:06

    Lovely walk again Frank and thats a good day count. Treecreeper thats a hard bird to find in West Cornwall.

  14. GORGEOUS pictures...incredibly sympatic the mallart on his lookout post....FABULOUS!!!!

    ciao ciao elvira

  15. Thank you Elvira. Not the usual place you would expect Mrs Mallard to be standing!


I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.


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