Best of Marston stw 2013

Best birds of mstw 2013 Part 2.

The summertime was predictably quiet, but on 11th July one of the best birds of the year was seen (infact one of the best ever). Spadge saw a common crane flying low along the river. Despite an intensive search it couldn’t be re-found.

A tree sparrow with a youngster was a good sign and up to seven green sandpipers were logged. Green sand is one of the iconic birds of Marston, being seen in every month this year, along with cetti’s warbler (though mostly heard, rather than seen).


In August lots of gulls were in the area, and on the 13th a super gathering of 1,000+ lesser black-backed gulls settled on the same turf field that held the whoopers earlier in the year. A good scan revealed ten adult or near adult yellow-legged gulls.

Into September and a nuthatch at the car park was a site rarity. I saw spotted flycatchers on one date only. In keeping with national trends, this has been the first year I’ve failed to see turtle dove, though a pair was seen regularly in the village, and I think Graham W saw a couple drinking at the scrape one day.

In early October a leucistic greylag was around for a couple of weeks.

leucistic greylag

On a walk round with Spadge on the 17th Oct, we discovered a yellow-browed warbler, along Mill lane. This was just minutes after discussing the possibility/probability of finding one here! Top moment!

yellow-browed warbler (the true meaning of a bum shot!)

November saw a bit of a starling roost, with up to 5,000 birds. Six whoopers (a family party) dropped in on the 23rd.

whoopers at dusk

On the 1st of Dec a stonechat appeared, but wasn’t seen again after the 4th. A juvenile hen harrier was a cracking bird, seen three or four days running from the 11th. This was obviously a different bird to the previous winter’s ringtail.

Marston hen harrier
Hen Harrier
Hen David Morison

Brambling was spotted on one date and lesser redpolls were now being seen regularly.

little egret, now very regular
Water Rail
Water Rail, a mstw regular, photo Joe Stockil
grey wag regular throughout the colder David morison


wheatear,regular on passage

Over 120 species recorded through the year, wonder what2014 has in store for us?

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