Local Wildlife Sightings

Hampton Court Paddocks Mammal Survey.

A number of different traps were set up as follows:

  • 50 Longworth and Sherman traps;
  • 10 Footprint tunnel traps;
  • 3 camera traps; as well as
  • a number of refugia and reptile tins.

camera trap
Setting up the tunnel traps

Mink raft

Footprint tunnel trap

Species were as follows:
Wood mice
Short tailed voles

Mouse prints
Mink prints

Castle Hill Wood 28.8.14
Female brown hairstreak flying around the meadow (second record for Chessington in last couple of years).

Chessington Wood 7.8.14

A group of us undertook a transect survey through the woodland and found brown long-eared bats foraging around a woodland glade. This species doesn't usually travel far from it's roost site, indicating it is using the oak trees at this location. BLE's are recorded at Chessington World of Adventures and Jubilee Wood.

Chessington Wood 29.7.14

The area where a gas pipeline was installed  about twenty years ago has led to a wet meadow with Deschampsia grassland as well as knapweed and vetches. With many butterflies including skippers, speckled wood and the white admiral, which is a species which likes honeysuckle. Stone parsley (left) is one of the  specialities  of Chessington Woodland.

Corky-fruited water dropwort (left) is a rarity found only at the Fishponds, Ewell Road, Surbiton where it has been recorded since 1996 (but only rediscovered by accident). There are two sites in the borough where orchids are recorded. Three bee orchids (right) near to the Hogsmill as well as one pyramidal orchid at a site in Chessington.

Kingston University Bioblitz 5.5.12
Getting many heads together is an excellent method of recording the species on your site, especially when a wonderful lunch is provided!

Redwings 10.2.12
This morning a large passage of redwings flew over the garden. This was probably a result from the overnight snowfall. Some of them settled briefly in my garden. These birds are winter migrants and whilst we see them regularly in the countryside at this time of year, they are not regular garden visitors, only appearing during cold spells.

Baby seal
See Surrey Comet 30.12.11 for details of a Baby seal along the Thames in Kingston
Apparently, large crowds gathered to watch it loll on the banks of the Thames on both Boxing Day and Tuesday, December 27.

Peregrine Falcons and Black Redstart 3.12.11Whilst watching the peregrines feeding on a certain historic building in Kingston today.........
feeding on a variety of birds including duck, corvids, blackbirds and the occasional pigeon.

(Even better in sunshine!)
A female black redstart was seen feeding around the car park!

Brown Hairstreak butterfly Kingston, J. Eborall
What a turn up for Kingston during a group walk in the Chessington Countryside. The late Ian Menzies had found plenty of pin-head sized eggs on blackthorn along the Hogsmill river during recent years, so the adults must be there.The best photograph of a local Brown Hairstreak at Bookham Common is on the front cover of the LNHS magazine (A. Prowse).
Find more info on this nationally rare species and the importance of ash trees see:

Brown Hairstreak habits and lifecycle
The butterflies are a national priority for conservation. They spend a lot of time in tree canopies and are often hard to spot. From late August female Brown hairstreaks will descend to hedgerows to lay their eggs on young blackthorn. The eggs remain on the blackthorn throughout the winter months and hatch in early May.
The caterpillars feed on the blackthorn leaves before descending to the ground to pupate. They emerge as butterflies in July to feed on the honeydew secreted by aphids.

Sand lizards
During September 2011, around 500 captive-bred Sand Lizards will be released at seven different sites in England and Wales as part of a long-term conservation project to restore the species' status and historic range. The lizards will be released at specially prepared nature reserves which includes us in Surrey.

In the UK, Sand Lizards only live on two rare habitats: sand-dune; and lowland dry heath. Due to losses and fragmentation of these habitats because of building development and changes in land use, the species has been lost from North and West Wales; Cheshire; Kent; Sussex; Berkshire; Hampshire; Devon; and Cornwall. Native populations now only remain in Merseyside, Surrey, and Dorset - though even here, losses of 97%, 95% and 90% have occurred respectively.

There are currently ten captive breeding centres for Sand Lizards, including Chester Zoo, Marwell Zoo, the New Forest Reptile Centre, and Avon Heath Country Park.The captive-bred juveniles are released at the re-introduction site in early September, to allow the animals to gradually get used to the re-introduction site before their hibernation begins in October.


  1. We demand more information on ants!

  2. Good idea I will write up the myrmecology of Seething Wells!

  3. Do you have any photos of the Sherman Traps in use? We would love to feature some of your work on our social media!


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