Godalming area birds

Godalming area birds

Sunday, 21 May 2017

21st May

A very lengthy and enjoyable session on patch today, with a number of standout birds, in largely sunny and hot conditions. The highlight was probably a Curlew that flew SE over Hive Field at 09:45. The bird was less than 100 feet up, and certainly not on a set mission anywhere. Indeed, I actually suspect it was scouting out potential breeding areas - there is a large patchwork of hay meadows here, and it was probably drawn in by the Machair-esque landscape! Whatever its intentions, this is just the 3rd record of Curlew here, after one in April 2015 and an individual over Allden's Hill in February this year.
Just like North Uist

Other notable birds during the sky-watch (that lasted nearly 5 hours, a couple of which were spent in the company of Matt P) at Hive Field included 7 Herring Gulls S/E, 2 singing Skylarks, 1 Cuckoo and 5 species of raptor on the wing. Away from Hive, 2 Marsh Tits and a Spotted Flycatcher were at Scotsland Brook, and 2 Siskins were heard over Juniper Hill.

Yesterday, a brief look before competing in the Mole Valley bird race yielded the usual fare, and thus I've refrained from doing a log for that day. As for the race, my team Linnet To Win It retained our crown with a surprisingly comfortable 93 species (second-place had 86). It was great to bird with Wes A again, an extremely knowledgeable birder, who's found heaps of good stuff in the Capel area. The bird of the day was a somewhat late Sandwich Tern at Buckland sand pit - a typically fine David C find.

Highlights from today as follows:

08:45-14:50

Mill Pond: 5 Mute Swans, 2 Little Grebes and 4 Mandarins (♂♂♂♀, plus 4 ducklings).

Gatestreet Farm: 17 Greylag Geese and 2 Blackcaps.

Bonhurst Farm: 7 Greylag Geese, 12+ House Martins, 2 Linnets and 1 Blackcap.

Scotsland Brook to New Barn: 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Marsh Tits, 1 Garden Warbler, 2 Siskins, 2 Red-legged Partridges, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs and 4 Buzzards.

Hive Field (09:45-14:35): 1 CURLEW (SE at 09:45), 1 Cuckoo, 7 Herring Gulls (1 E 10:14, 2 S 12:20 & 4 SE 13:04), 2 Skylarks, 1 Garden Warbler, 4+ Swifts, 2 House Martins, 7 Swallows, 12+ Buzzards, 1 Sparrowhawk (♂), 2 Linnets, 4 Blackcaps and 2 Chiffchaffs.

Tilsey Farm: 1 Skylark, 1 Grey Wagtail (♂, Nobody's Pond), 1 Sparrowhawk (♂), 2 Linnets, 2 Blackcaps, 1 Chiffchaff, 5 House Martins and 20+ Swallows.