Saturday, 21 May 2011

Nail the Quail

In recent days I've had Quail in the back of my mind, remembering that happy yet stressful day when 'wet my lips' was repeatedly uttered from a linseed field at Canons Farm last August and how great it would be if it happened again.

I had checked most of the farm and, while scanning from Lunch Wood, Dodge rang to inform me of a flock of Crossbills that were heading in my general direction, I folded up my scope and headed for Banstead Woods in the hope that they might take a liking to the number of conifers there - I had barely taken a couple of steps when the Quail sensors on either side of my head stopped me in my tracks. As usual I had to hear it a couple more times to make sure I really was hearing what I thought I was and then I sent out a text. I didn't actually know where the bird was, it didn't sound too far away and I thought it may even be in the very bare Broadfield - I walked down to Reads Bottom to pin it down and it turned out the noise was coming from the adjacent grassy field known as Horse Pasture.


A steady stream of birders gave it a go, including Badgeman and his cousin Clifford, the Manville brothers, Posh, Factor, Pyro & Gripper. Almost everyone (myself included) had to make do with only hearing the bird (despite putting in many hours of searching) but jammy Phantom and a birder from Ripley enjoyed views of the bird's bust as it sang. A late Whinchat was a good supporting act.

I will visit early tomorrow and hope for some kind of view (a photo would be brilliant) but hearing it is good enough for a patch year tick for me so . . .

. . . Canons Farm & Banstead Woods Year List 2011: 94 (80 at this point last year)