It’s been a long time since a monthly
report was written about the birds of this internationally known and now
threatened patch of green nestled in urban west London. But the hope is that
over the next 12 months you will see a story unfolding. This story will feature
the day-to-day (or at least, visit-by-visit) avian goings-on at The Scrubs.
There will be mentions of interesting behavioural notes, estimates of flock
sizes, territories held and of course, inexplicable disappearances and
December 2014. With fewer regular observers than what we have had in many years
and consequently, fewer species being seen. We ended last year on around 82
species, our lowest year list in over 10 years. Of course, it’s not just about
the number of species we end up seeing, but with less active observers means
that there is more chance of missing scarce regulars like the legendary passage
Ring Ouzel. It remains to be seen how 2015 will pan out.
this year, please don’t forget to let us know what birds you encountered. It’s
always good to hear about other people’s birds – just don’t make them too rare!
source of information for the past 20 years or more. They are the guys that are
on The Scrubs everyday doing their work. But whilst they work they look up.
our early Wheatears show up and are the ones to tell us about all the Buzzards
and Peregrines we have missed. Last year, we recorded around four Red Kite
sightings. But according to these guys, there were a spate of Red Kite
sightings throughout the summer indicating that they are far more regular over
The Scrubs than what we realise.
Farrell, Nick Gibson, David Jeffreys, David Lindo, Des McKenzie, Roy Nuttall, Bob
Still, Paul Thomas et al.
grass within Lynford Christie Stadium on the 1st.
and became our earliest E-goose to be seen during a calendar year. We normally
expect to see these exotics flying over during the late summer.
over the grassland during the month often accompanied by attendant angry crows.
assembled crows on the pitches by the groundsmen in early January.
gull during the month. At their peak there were at least 200 birds mostly on
the sports pitches.
the 18th. It was a winter adult found in the afternoon with some
Black-headed Gull. It did the classic Med Gull thing of being slightly aloof. When
the flock it was associating with was flushed by dog walkers it flew south of
the prison whilst the other gulls simply circled around and landed a few metres
from where they were originally flushed.
feeding on the sports pitches.
visitor was c22 on the 2nd.
No doubt there were more birds floating overhead that were plainly missed. The
best count was around 20 on the 27th.
rather attractive larid. No count exceeded six birds.
month with around 40 birds being the norm.
after leaving their roost in Scrubs Lane Wood. Nearly 3,000 were watched coming
into roost on the 18th.
western end of the site throughout the month.
The Scrubs throughout January.
day-to-day peaking at around 16 roving birds on the 2nd.
over during the month.
threesomes were seen displaying to each other on the 18th. The best
count was around eight on the 27th.
for a least the past month. It was not always easy to catch sight of however,
despite being not particularly shy.
with at least two singers in full voice.
our Redwing sightings this month. At least six were located on the 17th.
real scarcity at The Scrubs. We normally expect to see the occasional family
party during the late summer. Two were seen on the 2nd.
to see this regal thrush in any numbers. On the 17th at least six
were with Redwings and an additional individual was seen later.
the month. The maximum number was 15 on the 17th.
The peak count was 10 on the 18th.
and 16 the following day.
never more that four birds.
found throughout the month.
count being around 25 birds found mostly on Braybrook Street.
sparrows are still very much a rarity on our patch. At least 10 birds were
found around the community centre and Braybrook Wood on the 16th and
in Central Copse and around the cottage in the western end. Four birds were in
Central Copse on the 27th.
month with eight being the most on the 17th.
mostly situated along Lester’s Embankment.
was found on the 17th.