Sunday, 23 April 2017

Beddington Farmlands, 23rd April 2017

After seeing yesterday evening that there was a London Bird Club walk today at Beddington Farmlands, I was desperate to come. Other than last year, when I had watched the White Stork from the gate, I had never even got close to going in. My parents dropped me off at 9:20am, where I met all the other birders (around 15 in total) and Derek Coleman, who was leading the walk. At 9:40am, I entered the Farmlands for the first time. We started by going to the viewing platform on the North Lake, where Sedge, Reed and Cetti's Warblers were singing from the reeds. House Sparrows were everywhere, and a Song Thrush was singing. Although not too much was showing, the noise was incredibly, especially with the Gulls crying away in the distance. A few Shelduck swam distantly, and a pair of Great Tits darted around. 


Great Tit

On the South Lake, a very distant Common Sandpiper was wandering around on one of the islands. A Peregrine was spied near the incinerator, and a Sparrowhawk caused some mayhem on the North Lake.
Common Sandpiper

With news of a Ring Ouzel on 100 Acre, we trudged onwards. 
Whilst listening to the cacophony of gulls, a Sedge Warbler hurriedly announced itself, then proceeded with a mating flight, much to my joy. A new life tick! It then perched some way off, singing from the top of the reeds. 
Sedge Warbler

Sedge Warbler

Sedge Warbler

As we continued onwards, reaching the end of North Lake, a Lesser Whitethroat was heard, along with Cetti's Warbler and Whitethroat. On the way, we stopped to try and find a Wheatear (not successfully) but I did find another Whitethroat. 

When we approached the first lakes on 100 Acre, we paused to look for any waders. A Blackcap sang, and a few Lapwing whirled above but no other waders yet. A few Reed Bunting were also around.

While we started down a small side-path to see what might be around, a Little-Ringed Plover was found on a nearby island, starting by providing good views. 

Then it flew around an island, and I went ahead to find a further 2 LRPs. 

Then the call 'incoming waders,' and two birds zipped over, towards a different lake. Derek concluded Green Sandpipers. 
Green Sandpiper

We then stopped to think about how to try and approach our Ring Ouzel. Roger had gone ahead, and had said it was there but not easy to see. After discussion, 6 of us (who hadn't seen one before - myself included) went through nettles to another side-path to to try and find it, led by Roger. After a little while, several black-birds appeared but none our white-chested, silver-wing-panelled Ouzel. Unfortunately that was one bird that evaded us, so we carried on to try and find the Green Sandpipers. They didn't want to show clearly either, as they flew between several lakes. We eventually gave-up.
Small Tortoiseshell

Song Thrush

We carried back towards the entrance, where another Common Sandpiper was found and another 2 LRPs. A Kestrel hunted too, and there were 30 Starlings and c.50 House Sparrows. 4 Swallow were also around.
Common Sandpiper

f Teal (I think)

One of the company had been wandering nearby, when suddenly he gave the words I'd been waiting for. 
'I've got a Wheatear!'
It was quite a little way away, feeding on the ground and then bounded off when we got nearer but it gave us at least a minute to view it. Another first!

f Wheatear

f Wheatear

It was an incredible visit, and I'm so pleased I live so close to such an amazing place for nature. However, it is somewhere that it is under threat and really needs our help to make sure such an important place isn't lost. 
f Orange Tip

(No idea what's happened to this bird? It seems like a leucistic Blackbird?)


  1. Glad you got your Wheatear, saves a long trip north 😀

    1. Thanks!
      Hoping that I can tick the two owls this summer in Cornwall (hotel says 'if you have a BBQ beware of the Barn Owl!'

  2. .......... And sedge warbler, well done. 😉