Godalming area birds

Godalming area birds


Tuesday, 25 June 2019


It’s been a typically quiet couple of midsummer weeks. On Saturday I visited my grandparents in West Yorkshire, taking the opportunity to stop in the Peak District on the way up. Given it was late June I didn’t see much, though a few Red Grouse were novel, and a Surrey birder will never sniff at Willow Tit either, of which one was seen. Others bits included plenty of Curlews and Lapwings, as well as Golden Plovers and Whinchats.

Red Grouse, Stanage Edge, 22/6/2019.

Intensive grouse moor management and raptor persecution is heavily associated with the Peak District. Given the impressively wild vastness of the area, you can’t help but feel so many more birds should be present – surely there is room here for Black Grouse, Golden Eagle and plenty of other species that’d make the Peak District far more ecologically diverse and appealing to the eco-tourist/birder.

Golden Plover, Stanage Edge, 22/6/2019.

On patch, what will doubtless be the biggest surprise of June came on Saturday 15th, when a male Grey Partridge put in a typically brief and distant appearance between Wintershall Cottage and Broomy Down. With all four estates in the Thorncombe Street area confirming they don’t release the species, their on-off presence during the past three years is a bit of a mystery. In time a piece on Grey Partridges in the county will appear on the Surrey Bird Club website.

In other patch news, the Little Owl pairs have begun to perform a little better now that – presumably – young are out the nest. The Gatestreet Farm birds have been particularly showy during the last few weeks and the Bonhurst Farm pair similarly so, with Steve and I seeing one and hearing another of the latter duo yesterday. We also cashed in on the Painted Lady influx, with at least 10 knocking about.

Grey Partridge, Wintershall, 15/6/2019.

Spotted Flycatcher, Winkworth Arboretum, 23/6/2019.

On Sunday, I had my first Winkworth Spotted Flycatcher of the year. On 20th, a Crossbill flew over New Barn, while, on 16th, the male Yellowhammer was loitering around the Tisley Farm hedge he and a female were eyeing up during spring. Hopefully they’ve bred.

Elsewhere locally, Reed Warbler breeding at Unstead was confirmed last week, with a fledgling logged and an adult carrying food seen (there must be a minimum of two nests put quite possibly five or more). I walked the farmland and North Downs at Compton and Loseley on Sunday in a failed look for Quail, with 14 singing Skylarks acceptable consolation.

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