Wednesday, 6 April 2011
Just before I entered the Legal & General playing field this morning to check whether or not the gorgious male Ring Ouzel was still present (which it was, after a half hour or so of waiting), I scanned Broad Field from the high ground. I picked up a Wheatear, then another . . . another . . . another . . . until there were nine! A guy came up and saw the Ouzel and told me he'd had a Wheatear at the other end of the farm, making an amazing ten birds!
I then went on to walk the farm for anything else that may have been present until Alex Bowes arrived. I escorted him up to the playing field but not ten minutes later I got a text from Colin Manville 'male Redstart' ring ring 'WHERE IS IT!?!?!' - upon hearing his instructions I pegged it down there, leaving poor wheezy Mr Bowes way behind. Colin told me there were two males but they weren't showing and he had to go, we settled down but he rang again a couple of minutes later saying he'd got onto one on the way back, short run and after an anxious wait the male Common Redstart flew out and into another tree. Bagged.
Alex returned to L&G where he eventually connected with the Ouzel. I staked out the path in hope of better views or perhaps even photos of the elusive Redstarts. Colin's brother, Paul, arrived and we located one of the males and found a female before too long and a small number of others also saw the birds. See record shot.
As well as the Wheatears and Redstarts, a fair few Willow Warblers had arrived overnight at Canons (I also had one singing early in the morning at Banstead High Street!).
I'm returning later in the day with Roy in hope of seeing this Barn Owl again (Paul had it the other night).
Canons Farm & Banstead Woods Year List 2011: 77 (as well as the Common Redstart I noticed that I missed out Grey Wagtail)