Godalming area birds

Godalming area birds


Monday, 14 October 2019

Wet and windy

Not much to shout about this weekend. Unfortunately, after a long week at work, the last few days have delivered much rain and breezy conditions. That said, I managed to visit each patch section, racking up 64 species between Saturday and Monday and on Sunday some decent vis-mig took place between the rain.

Cormorants, Bramley Park Lake, 14 October 2019.

Saturday was very damp indeed, with few highlights. A couple of Marsh Tits and five southbound House Martins over Winkworth were jotted down during an early stroll through the arboretum. The weather really closed in during the afternoon, when I met with the Hutley family for a highly productive conversation, during which they acknowledged the surrounding ‘ecological green desert’.

We discussed plans for wildflower meadows, a proper wetland site and hedgerow planting. Putatively, exciting times ahead … a single Swallow powered south as we sat in the hide at the White Stork enclosure; surely my last of the year and rather a late bird for here.

Sunday was slightly drier, but far breezier, with a strong southerly keeping things mild. From dawn, it was clear Redwings were on the move and flocks of around 40-50 moved steadily west during the morning – I hit a final tally of 805. House Martins too were moving west and I also scored a high-flying Yellowhammer over New Barn.

Limited opportunity to use the camera this weekend ... 

A Common Gull over Bramley was my first of the season, while the Red-crested Pochard was again on Snowdenham Mill Pond. When I put the recorder out an hour after dark, a Tawny Owl was calling on Allden’s Hill. The resultant nocturnal migration was a bit disappointing given the dramatic drop in wind, which had swung to south-east: 31 Redwings (thus probably many more) wasn’t too bad, though.

Abel and I had plans to work the patch this morning but heavy rain made us rethink. In the end, we checked out a few local waterbodies including Snowdenham Mill Pond, Tuesley Farm and Frensham Great Pond. We found little – a female Shoveler at the latter site and a few Grey Wagtails at Tuesley were questionable highlights, though four Little Egrets at the Lammas Lands, at Hell Ditch, was a decent count.

Later on, I snuck out again to the patch, logging Firecrest at Bramley Park Lake and one of the Little Owls at Bonhurst Farm. On the way back, I scanned the farmland at Loseley, counting 107 Black-headed Gulls (with a single Herring Gull), but little else. Thankfully tomorrow looks dry and calm!

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