Seething Wells Wildlife Walk 25.11.11

8 people, enjoying 12 sunny degrees, found 15 bird species during an hours stroll around the perimeter of the site. At this time of year we expect to see lapwings coming in to roost during the early evening (4pm). Unexpectedly, two birds were sitting on the dividing walls around lunchtime. In 1990-91, Surbiton and District Birdwatching Society undertook an annual survey of members local 'patches'within TQ16, the Winter Bird Count. Lapwings were present at 14% of sites which increased to 21% during the survey 1995-6. The population has decreased steadily so that they were present at only 6% of sites during the winter 2010-11. Flocks at Seething Wells can build up to 200 birds in winter. If you see a flock of birds skittishly flying over the Portsmouth Road at this location, check them out, don't assume they are starlings.

Herons are  a characteristic species of the site and Sim remembered seeing a total of 14 on the Filter beds in former years. They spend their time loafing in the sunshine or feeding on small mammals or amphibians that are found  in the grassland. Herons are regularly seen in  Hampton Court Park or 'Home' park on the other side of the river, where we were able to spot  football sized  globes of mistletoe in the boundary trees (now all the leaves are down).

green sandpiper
Green sandpipers are an uncommon winter visitor or passage migrant. Two birds were seen searching the muddy shallows in the newly created habitat during our visit. There are only four nearby sites where this bird is regularly recorded: Kempton NR, Walton reservoir, QE2 Reservoir and Island Barn Reservoir. In former years there have been winter records at the sewage outfall along the Hogsmill and the Sewage Works.Due to habitat changes this is no longer the case.

Little Grebe aka dabchick


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