Godalming area birds

Godalming area birds


Saturday, 18 August 2018


Shpeez. Shpeeeez.

The shpeez of a flyover Tree Pipit is probably my favourite migration call. For a vis-mig devotee, such a ranking is quite the decision. The tseep of a Redwing is good, and the sweeup of a Yellow Wagtail offers the closest challenge, but there's something about an early autumn Tree Pipit, boldly propelling over my slice of Surrey countryside, that does it for me.

It's not like they can't be found fairly close to Thorncombe Street either. Winterfold Heath and the south-west commons hold healthy populations. They're still in the rare category here though - I've never had one on the deck, and there are still less than 10 records. The latter figure won't last long though, with the ever revolutionary noc-mig turning up a third of all historical records over the last two evenings.

Regardless, the sharp sound of a migrant Tree Pipit, not long after dawn on crisp late August or early September morning, is one that puts a smile on my face. Maybe it's a symbol of the realisation that summer is really coming to an end? Maybe it's just one of the particularly special qualities of vis-mig? Whatever the case, I hope to hear a couple more during the summer twilight zone, as we claw and grasp onto the last remnants of noisy beer gardens, green-leafed and life-filled woodlands, and ajar bedroom windows as we sleep.