Wednesday 17 August 2011

Woohoo a local Hoopoe

Today's plans of a calm day of patching were smashed when news came through of a Blue-winged Teal at Thursley (though I did manage a pair of Tree Pipits before this). Johnny, who was with Dodge and Frank, very kindly altered his route to pick me up at Canons. Just before we set off, we heard that the duck had flown west. We pressed on anyway, in the hope of its return or relocation. After a bit of time spent at Thursley we checked Frensham Ponds (the first obvious waterbodies in a westerly direction) to no avail and headed back home.

I hadn't been back on the patch more than two or so hours when David Hayes texted 'Still there now, lft of rd as u approach car pk, half way up' - I knew exactly to what he was referring as, being a Farthing Downs regular, I asked him on Monday if he knew anything further on the report of a Hoopoe on his turf (which he didn't). I called Johnny who let other Surrey birders know and I pelted it over to the Banstead Woods car park to meet him (fatally injuring my 5th trolley in the process).

We arrived and had a bit of trouble finding David but we tracked him down in the end and were soon enjoying the Hoopoe. The site was quite busy with dog walkers and it got flushed a couple of times but this allowed a good excuse for a few flight shots. A splendid bird; only my second in Britain and my first in London/Surrey for which this counts for both.

What's more, this is an uber local area tick - yipee!