Posts Tagged ‘Marlow’

After a lovely Sunday morning breakfast at Cafe Fego in Marlow High Street (Highly recommended) we went for a walk along the Thames through Higginson Park to Bondig Bank NR.

Photo by Sue

Photo by Sue

Photo by Sue

Photo by Sue

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Only common species seen but a lovely Sunday morning walk

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As we came back through the wood there were a number of different Fungi on display

Photo by Sue

Photo by Sue

Photo by Sue

Photo by Sue

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

A weekend in Marlow and the opportunity to visit a couple of nature reserves that I haven’t visited before.

In the morning we visit the RSPB reserve at Otmoor, a large area of marshland and water meadows.

RSPB Otmoor

RSPB Otmoor

RSPB Otmoor Photo by Sue

RSPB Otmoor
Photo by Sue

It was reasonably quiet but we did see Red Kite and Kestrel.

Kestrel  Photo by sue

Kestrel
Photo by sue

On the walk back to the car park we saw two doves fly onto a fence. At first I thought they were collared Dove, but in the telescope it was clear that they were a pair of the much rarer Turtle Doves, a species which is becoming rarer in the UK. They are both juveniles, so lack the characteristic neck markings of the adult.

Turtle  Doves Photo by Sue

Turtle Doves
Photo by Sue

Turtle Dove Photo by Sue

Turtle Dove
Photo by Sue

We also saw a really pristine Comma butterfly which was unexpected for so late in the season

Comma  Photo by Sue

Comma
Photo by Sue

Our afternoon stop was Farmoor reservoir.

Farmoor

Farmoor

As we approached the reservoir there were a number of Pied Wagtails together with a Grey Wagtail.

Pied Wagtail

Pied Wagtail

Walking along the causeway between the two reservoirs we located Rock Pipit and Little Ringed Plover in addition to the large numbers of geese, ducks and Great Crested Grebes.

Photo by Sue

Photo by Sue

Returning to the car park I scanned the bottom of the southern basin and located one of the two Black-necked Grebes that have been present there for the last few days.

On the way back to Marlow we were passing Stokenchurch and there were 14 Red Kites in the air at the same time. Quite a sight!

We hadn’t got a large number of species during the day but we had some good sightings.

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Black-necked Grebe [sp] (Podiceps nigricollis)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
European Turtle Dove [sp] (Streptopelia turtur)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Eurasian Rock Pipit [sp] (Anthus petrosus)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album)

Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

Marlow

Posted: May 7, 2013 in Buckinghamshire, UK
Tags: ,

Marlow is an attractive Buckinghamshire town on the banks of the River Thames. It is situated half way between London and Oxford.

    History
    Marlow is recorded in the Domesday Book as Merlaue.[4]

    “The manor of Marlow, which had belonged to the Earls of Mercia, was given by William the Conqueror, to his Queen Matilda. Henry the First, bestowed it on his natural son, Robert de Melhent, afterwards Earl of Gloucester, from whom it passed, with that title, to the Clares and Despencers, and from the latter, by female heirs, to the Beauchamps and Nevilles, Earls of Warwick. It continued in the crown from the time of Richard III’s marriage with Anne Neville, until Queen Mary granted it to William Lord Paget, in whose family it continued more than a century; after which, it passed, by purchase, to Sir Humphrey Winch, in 1670; to Lord Falkland in 1686; to Sir James Etheridge in 1690; to Sir John Guise in 1718; and to Sir William Clayton in 1736. It is now the property of Sir William Clayton bart. a descendant of the last purchaser”.

    Marlow owed its importance to its location on the River Thames, where the road from Reading to High Wycombe crosses the river. It had its own market by 1227 (hence the name Chipping Marlow), although the market lapsed before 1600. From 1301 to 1307 the town had its own Member of Parliament, and it returned two members from 1624 to 1867.

    (From Wikipaeia)

Photo by Sue

Photo by Sue

Marlow gained its importance as one of the crossing points on the Thames and the current bridge was designed by William Tierney Clark.

Marlow Bridge

Marlow Bridge

Marlow was also the site of the Royal Military College before it relocated to Sandhurst in 1812.

Marlow and the surrounding area is also famous for it’s river based sports such as rowing and sailing and for the wide selection of good quality dining venues including The Hand & Flowers, the first gastro-pub to hold two Michelin stars.

Our destination for today is Burnham Beeches NNR just north of Slough. This is an ancient woodland. During our walk we see a number of common woodland birds and hear both Green and Greater Spotted Woodpeckers.

Photo by Sue

Photo by Sue

photo by Sue

photo by Sue

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Photo by Sue

Photo by Sue

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But at last we see some butterflies and by the end of the walk have seen five different species. The only one on the ground was a Peacock which refused to open its wings so I could photograph it

Peacock Butterfly

Peacock Butterfly

We also found an ants nest which was fascinating to watch as they went backwards and forwards carrying things into the nest

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On the way back home we stoped off at my mother in laws house and record a 6th butterfly species for the day as there is a Holly Blue in her garden.

Bird List
Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Eurasian Treecreeper [sp] (Certhia familiaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)

Butterfly list
Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Green-veined White [sp] (Artogeia napi)
Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)
Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io)

This morning we went to Spade Oak LNR in Bourne End just outside Marlow. these are lakes made form old gravel pits.

Spode Oak LNR  photo by Sue

Spode Oak LNR
photo by Sue

There are breeding Grey Herons and Cormorants here. There are good numbers of ducks, geese and Gulls on the Islands in the lake. The first Common Swift of the year flies overhead and we get some good views of a Sedge Warbler in the reeds.

Nesting Herons photo by Sue

Nesting Herons
photo by Sue

Nesting Cormorants Photo by Sue

Nesting Cormorants
Photo by Sue

In Marlow in the afternoon we see a Eurasian Sparrowhawk which is spiraling with the Red Kites.

Bird List
Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

This morning we went for a walk in Higginson Park in Marlow. The park consists of a formal park which is adjacent to the Town bridge and runs alongside the River Thames and beyond that a wildlife area which is fenced off and can only be viewed from the paths that surround it and cross it.

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Early on into our walk we hear the call of a distant Common Cuckoo but we are not lucky enough to see it. This is an excellent site and would repay a longer visit but we are booked on a boat trip down the River to Temple Lock. We find a Mandarin duck close to the mooring in Marlow and there are a good number of Great Crested Grebes on the river.

Temple Lock

Temple Lock

Temple Lock

Temple Lock

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photo by Sue

photo by Sue

photo by Sue

photo by Sue

In the Afternoon we visit Aston Rowant NNR which is on the chalk downs, not far from the original release point for the re-introduced Red Kites. Hope to find some butterflies but am disappointed not to see any. Begin to wonder if this is going to be a bad year for butterflies?

Bird list
Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Common Cuckoo [sp] (Cuculus canorus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Eurasian Treecreeper [sp] (Certhia familiaris)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Meadow Pipit [sp] (Anthus pratensis)

Sue and I are spending a long weekend in Marlow in Buckinghamshire. Marlow is on the River Thames about halfway between London and Oxford. We arrived mid-afternoon and were immediately greeted by a Red Kite flying low over the car park.

Red Kite 3a

Photo by Tony Hisgett (http://www.flickr.com/people/hisgett/)

Red kites were nearly driven to extinction in the United Kingdom by human persecution. A small population survived in Wales and I remember traveling up to the Aberystwyth area in order to see one of the handful of birds left in the wild. In the 1990s Bird from Europe were released in the Chiltern hills between London and Oxford and they bred for the first time in 1992. There are now reckoned to be over 600 pairs in the Chilterns with a population of between 1500 and 2000 birds. The re-introduction was so successful that by 2000 birds were being taken from nests in the Chilterns to be re-introduced into other areas of the UK.

And so as we walked down the main street of Marlow we can see 6-8 birds flying over the street. Truly this is Red Kite central and an easy place to see these once rare beautiful birds.

In the evening we walk down to the River Thames and are accompanied by a flock of Swallows,Sand martins and a few House Martins all feeding on the evening insect swarm.

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photo by Sue

photo by Sue

photo by Sue

photo by Sue

Bird List
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)