Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon

I have been watching the birds on the Hampton’s Estate since its inception in 2007. I watch the pools and the scrubland regularly – usually three times a week. During 2012, I made 130 visits and recorded 68 species in the area either flying over or present in the bushes, scrub, reeds or on the water.

Highlights were Wigeon, Lapwing, Peregrine, Buzzard, Red Kite and Water Rail.

Included here is a summary for each season: Winter 1 (January to end of March), Spring (April to end of June), Summer (July to end of September), Autumn (October and November), Winter 2 (December)


Winter 1



On the pools there were the regular Coots (maximum 10), Moorhen (maximum 12), Mallard (maximum 23), and a pair of Mute swans. Little Grebes were first seen on Jan 11th but seemed to have disappeared until 23rd February when a pair were heard trilling. Gadwall were present on the pools until 1st march with a maximum of 4. A female Wigeon was unusual from February 8th to February 13th coinciding with a period of cold weather (from Jan 31st until February 10th most of the pools were frozen). Lapwings put in an appearance during this period with 10 on 5th February and 22 on February 10th. On the latter date a Peregrine frightened the Lapwings. Gulls were regular on the pools including Black-Headed (an albino bird was seen on 5th February), Common and Lesser Black-Backed.

Linnets were regular on the rough ground around the pools with a maximum of 30 in February.

In the scrub besides the pools Greenfinch reached a maximum of 10, Goldfinch 20, and Reed Bunting 4. Redwing were regular here and also flying over with a maximum of 200 on February 8th. 200 Fieldfares flew over on this day. Occasional visitors included Goldcrest and Bullfinch.



Swan Cob

Cob swan

By the beginning of April there were four pairs each of Little Grebes, Mallard and Coot and five pairs of Moorhen resident on the pools. The pair of Mute Swan were already brooding their nest. On April 13th a pair of Coots had four small young. A new species for the area was a Shelduck that flew off the pools on May 6th.

By May 9th the Swans had nine cygnets. A pair of Canada Geese attempted to take up residence on the pools but were harassed by the swans, although they eventually produced one gosling. On May 18th there were three Tufted Ducks. By the end of June there were only two pairs of Little Grebes that had one young and five young respectively. Moorhens had seven young, Coots sixteen young, Mute Swan four cygnets and eight Mallard ducklings.

The first Reed Warbler had arrived by May 3rd and subsequently four pairs bred. A Sedge Warbler was singing on May 2nd but did not remain. There were two territories each of Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Whitethroat around in the scrub. One pair of Reed Buntings were also present. A pair of Linnets nested between the channel and the main pool.





A Cormorant appeared regularly on the main pool from July 4th until 9 August. Moorhens and Coots continued to raise young and by the end of the summer I estimated that twenty-three young Coots and thirteen young Moorhens had been hatched. Not all of these survived of course.

Swallows nested in barns in the stables and they were feeding over the pools from August 2nd. Interestingly they produced a second brood that was still around in early October. The last Reed Warbler was seen on September 5th. A Peregrine falcon flew over on September 7th.






It was generally quiet on the pools. By October 12th the Mute Swans had one remaining cygnet. Coot, Moorhen and Mallard numbers were fairly constant with maximum of twenty Moorhen, four Coot and eighteen Mallard. One Little Grebe remained in the channel until late October.

There was some movement west of Redwings and Fieldfares on October 27th with 270 Fieldfares and 105 Redwings. In the scrub during the period there were up to 20 Goldfinches and Greenfinches and the occasional Redpoll. A Peregrine flew over on October 15th. Unusually a Red Kite flew over east on October 27th.


Winter 2

Reed Bunting

Reed Bunting

Again generally quiet on the pools with the usual Mallards, Moorhens and Coots and a single cygnet (the adults had departed for a while). For a period in mid December the pools were frozen over.

On December 11th a Water Rail was seen briefly. Mallard numbers increased from about 10 to 38 on December 29th. In the scrub there were up to 50 Greenfinches, 5 Reed Buntings, and 15 Redwings.











Species List for 2012

The recording area includes the pools, shrubbery west side of pools and scrub north end of pools and birds flying over (F):


  • Blackbird
  • Blackcap
  • Black-Headed Gull
  • Blue Tit
  • Bullfinch
  • Buzzard(F)
  • Canada Goose
  • Carrion Crow
  • Chaffinch
  • Chiffchaff
  • Collared Dove
  • Common Gull
  • Coot
  • Cormorant
  • Dunnock
  • Feral Pigeon(F)
  • Fieldfare
  • Gadwall
  • Goldcrest
  • Goldfinch
  • Great Black-Backed Gull(F)
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • Great Tit
  • Green Woodpecker
  • Greenfinch
  • Grey Heron
  • Grey Wagtail
  • Herring Gull(F)
  • House Martin(F)
  • House Sparrow
  • Jackdaw (F)
  • Jay
  • Kestrel
  • Lapwing
  • Lesser Black-Backed Gull
  • Linnet
  • Little Grebe
  • Long-Tailed Tit
  • Magpie
  • Mallard
  • Meadow Pipit
  • Mistle Thrush(F)
  • Moorhen
  • Mute swan
  • Peregrine
  • Pied Wagtail
  • Red Kite(F)
  • Redpoll
  • Redwing
  • Reed Bunting
  • Reed Warbler
  • Robin
  • Rose-Ringed Parakeet(F)
  • Sand Martin
  • Sedge Warbler
  • Shelduck
  • Skylark(F)
  • Song Thrush
  • Sparrow Hawk
  • Starling
  • Stock Dove(F)
  • Swallow
  • Swift(F)
  • Tufted Duck
  • Water Rail
  • Whitethroat
  • Wigeon
  • Wood Pigeon
  • Wren