|Dartford Warbler, Thursley Common, 3/11/2018.|
I do have a fondness of Thursley. I visited lots when I was younger, and also spent some memorable days there in more recent years while reconnecting with the Surrey scene. I feel like a lot gets missed there (I’m unaware of anyone who patches it or even works it regularly), but I’ve always been put off by its popularity; it can be heaving with families and dog-walkers in nice weather, and during the spring and summer an offensive amount of people come to photograph a Cuckoo that’s been tamed by years of meal worm feeding …
|Springhead Hill, 3/11/2018.|
|Hen Harrier, Wepham Down (The Burgh), 3/11/2018.|
Sunday was patch day, with the slightest hint of east in a southerly wind enough to tempt me into a pre-dawn vismig start. I was rewarded with comfortably my best watch of the season – 24 species in total, including a seriously high-flying Little Egret moving northeast, 33 Bramblings (including a single flock of 28), 6,369 Woodpigeons, 519 Redwings, 80 Fieldfares, 86 Starlings, two each of Yellowhammer and Skylark and 69 Chaffinches.
|Little Egret, Tilsey Farm, 4/11/2018.|
There is little to expect from the patch for the rest of the year, save the totally unexpected or perhaps an unusual duck. I thought I’d scored big in the latter department when I spotted a lone Eider on a private pond … unfortunately there was more than one, and indeed it transpired a rather extravagant collection is going on!
|Pet Eiders (!), southwest Surrey, 4/11/2018.|