Sunday 3 April 2011

Oodles of Ouzels (and more!)

1st summer male(?) Ring Ouzel (the new bird)

Co-patcher Ian "Eagle" was utterly gutted yesterday when he couldn't make it for the Ring Ouzels until too late in the day, and we held out little hope for connection this morning. We did stake out Legal & General, though. Ian was going to give up but I got him to stay on. It was a wise choice as not too much longer he was in tears of delight (no, really, he was) when the male Ring Ouzel showed where it did yesterday (I was relieved too, I didn't want to be going around with a misery guts all day). The male was seen several times by several observers throughout the day but the female was not seen, surprisingly. It seems it may have moved on, alone.

female/immature Black Redstart

Ian was still waxing lyrical about the Ouzel when I picked up a female/immature Black Redstart at Reads Bottom. I heard a collection of noises from right next to me that sounded like someone might have been just a bit happy, I'm not sure though (Ian was just about the only person who didn't catch up with any last year). This was twitched by about ten people including Johnny "Badgeman" Allan and Dave "Dakky" Dak. A pair of displaying Lapwings over Broad Field provided an overdue patch year tick.

Kojak, Ian, Paul Manville and I teamed up for a little while before Kojak departed. The rest of us continued into Banstead Woods where it was a delight to finally get the first CFBW Willow Warbler of the year, singing away at The Scrub. Paul crashed away into the undergrowth to answer the call of nature and came back with a line I won't forget in a while 'In there I've 'ad a Woodcock . . . and a Treecreeper . . . 'n' I ain't even 'ad a slash yet!'.

Later on, back at the farm, Roy rang me and got us all onto a Peregrine flying north east. Amazingly, a new Ring Ouzel flew in and fed in Broad Field for a while, I'm not an expert on accurate Rouzel ageing/sexing but I think it's either a well marked female or a 1st summer male? I stuck it out for another hour or two then headed home.

It was a very, very enjoyable day spent in great company (both human and avian). I look forward to many more similar days!

Canons Farm & Banstead Woods Year List 2011: 75