Friday, 25 February 2011


The redpoll flock at Banstead Woods has been a real bugger. You are walking through the woods and suddenly you realise you've flushed the flock that would have been on full view for you had you taken more care. Most of the time they will completely clear off, sometimes they will land again nearby but very shortly get jittery and go entirely. I have had the flock over a radius of at least one mile and, as there is a scattering of birch all over the patch, they can be anywhere.

Yesterday I finally nailed a Mealy. The flock was on show in good light near the pond and after scanning through a few dozen I came across a strikingly pale and grey bird with white wing bars etc, the lot, and got a couple of views of its rump. A video is included.

While I was watching the flock a male Tawny Owl started to sing, confirming that it is regular at the spot that Roy and I heard it recently.

Today I had a male Brambling again with about two hundred Chaffinches. I teamed up with Kojak and, when we were looking for the Tawny Owl, a Woodcock emerged from under our feet. All five known current Little Owls were noted today, two pairs and a single that may or may not have a mate. Frustrating was a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker that I heard at Pages Acre but just couldn't get on; there were three Great Spotted Woodpeckers in the immediate area and they may have moved it on.