Wormwood Scrubs > June 2012 Scrubs Report
June 2012 Sightings at Wormwood Scrubs
The Big Snooze
This should have been a report exalting the joys of the summer: hot sunny days, lazy days and birds busily raising their families. Instead, we received the continuation of the appalling weather that seemed to be stuck over the British Isles since May; namely rain, dull grey skies, ever present wind and below average temperatures. Ideal conditions for great birding — not!
Despite the dire weather our breeding birds seemed to have had little effect on their efforts. Perhaps there are lesser numbers of certain species like Common Whitethroat but juveniles of various species were seen with relative abundance. In the Meadow Pipit's case, it is believed that the persistent rain may have put off many of the people who would have otherwise tramped through the grassland potentially destroying their nests.
Bird of the month was the Hobby that whizzed through early month and our first Common Tern of the season made its presence known as well. As ever, there were a host of records broken including our highest Swift total for two years and our first June Mistle Thrush for two years too!
Finally, aside from the discovery of a dead Red Fox in the park, two Common Lizards were seen on the log pile in Chats Paddock on the 15th. Of local interest was the Little Egret seen from a local Scrubber's kitchen window heading east towards The Scrubs on the 12th.
July sees the start of the autumn. Will the birds that we see reflect that?
Wood Pigeon (R. F. Spencer)
Contributors: Rob Ayers, Mathew Bournat, Charlie Farrell, David Jeffreys, Huw Jones, David Lindo, Roy Nuttall, Bob Still, Paul Thomas et al.
The bird that flew over on the 20th was the only one reported for the month.
The largest count was of around 16 birds heading over on the 4th.
A couple were seen on the 20th and another pair went over the defunct Channel Tunnel depot on the 26th.
A female was seen sporadically during the month.
A singleton was briefly seen twice sweeping through our airspace on the 5th.
A moulting adult headed west fairly high on the 26th. It was our first returning bird since the last ones left during April.
At least 20 were observed on the 5th. The peak count was made on the 20th when at least 60 were thermalling distantly to the southeast. The infamous ‘SH1T’ individual that confused us all last month made a brief reappearance on the same day when it was seen winging its way low northeast over Braybrook Street at 06:40.
Around six was the average count during the month.
Our first for the year flew over calling on the 4th. This was quite a late date as over the years the first spring sightings were in April or at a push in May. Incidentally, our latest spring migrant was recorded on 31st July 2009. This was not reflective of the late arrival of these birds to their nearby reservoir breeding grounds; rather, a lack of Scrubbers looking up!
The usual low numbers of this unobtrusive pigeon were recorded during the month. However, 30 on the 5th certainly bucked the trend. They were predominately on the sports pitches and on the mown stadium grass. At least seven remained in the area on the 8th.
At least 50 were counted on the 26th.
Good numbers continued to be observed during July with the month starting with at least 18 in the air over The Scrubs. This number rose sharply to in excess of 100 on the 8th and 15th — our highest June counts since 2008 when the total hit at least 150 birds.
An incredible 4,835 were counted coming to roost in Central Copse on the 30th as part of the ongoing survey by Imperial College.
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Birds were seen on most visits. On the 5th a juvenile was glimpsed in the oaks opposite the play area close to Martin Bell's Wood.
A lone bird passed through on the 14th and another went through low over the grassland heading southeast on the 26th. This bird brought our spring total to around 209 birds.
The summer residing birds continued to persist in the grassland. Perhaps three pairs may have been raising young as adults were frequently seen with food.
One was on the pitches on the 8th. Two headed west over the grassland on the 20th and at least one of them was a juvenile. On the 26th a female was seen strolling the pavement on Braybrook Street in the company of several juvenile Starlings.
Four were counted on the 26th.
Around three birds were seen on the 26th.
At least five were noticed on the 26th.
Around five were counted on the 26th.
An adult flew in low from the north on the 26th and landed on a tree in the western edge of the site. It was our first June record since 2010.
The peak count was roughly 20 birds on the 26th.
Low numbers were noticed due to birds keeping their heads down as they raised their families.
Around five were seen on the 5th including a bird in the grassland. Indeed, a male was seen on a couple of occasions in the grassland near or on the Magic Bush. It may have been nesting in the vicinity.
At least 15 were counted on the 26th.
Following on from a good showing in May a good count of three singing birds was had on the 4th. It was the best ever number of birds for June since our records began in 1992.
Few were seen during the month.
At least six were noticed on the 26th.
A nice count of up to 14 birds including juveniles was made on the 4th.
At least nine including fledglings were encountered on the 4th.
At least 15 were around during the month.
Seven birds were seen in total on the 5th.
At least 150 were at large including juveniles on the 26th.
A high count of around 80 was made on the 5th. This was nothing compared to the 200 plus that frequented the grassland in June 2011.
Around 20 were counted on the 26th.
A female was watched gleaning insects in an oak near the play area on the 5th. A male was heard singing from Central Copse on the 26th.
Around 10 were in the grassland on the 5th.
A paltry four birds were discovered in the oaks by the play area on the 5th and two juveniles were in the grassland on the 26th.
At least 10 were found on the 5th.
The usual male was occasionally seen in the grassland throughout the month. Both he and the female were seen on the 14th.
2012 Year List
- Little Egret
- Grey Heron
- Mute Swan
- Canada Goose
- Egyptian Goose
- Red Kite
- Common Buzzard
- Golden Plover
- Common Sandpiper
- Black-headed Gull
- Common Gull
- Mediterranean Gull
- Herring Gull
- Lesser Black-back
- Great Black-back
- Common Tern
- Feral Pigeon
- Stock Dove
- Wood Pigeon
- Collared Dove
- Short-eared Owl
- Rose-ringed Parakeet
- Green Woodpecker
- Great Spotted Woodpecker
- Sand Martin
- House Martin
- Meadow Pipit
- Pied Wagtail
- Yellow Wagtail
- Grey Wagtail
- Common Redstart
- Northern Wheatear
- Song Thrush
- Mistle Thrush
- Ring Ouzel
- Garden Warbler
- Lesser Whitethroat
- Common Whitethroat
- Sedge Warbler
- Reed Warbler
- Willow Warbler
- Spotted Flycatcher
- Great Tit
- Blue Tit
- Long-tailed Tit
- Carrion Crow
- House Sparrow
- Lesser Redpoll
- Reed Bunting
87 species thus far (87 species in June 2011 & 76 in June 2010)