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Sunday, 15 September 2013

Banstead Countryside Day

It was one of the big days of the year for the Canons Farm and Banstead Woods Bird Group today, with the Banstead Countryside Day coming around once more. I intended to get up early and do at least two hours of birding around the farm before setting up the stall but somehow slept through the alarm for the second day running. Still, I had a very quick whizz round between 8.00am and 9.00am in which time I had a Yellow Wagtail fly over and, much more importantly, successfully twitched a Reed Warbler that P-Go found by the Watchpoint. This is the second record of Reed Warbler for CFBW, following one in autumn 2011 and goes very well on the year list alongside the recent Sedgie.

It took just over an hour to set up the stall at the fair, which is hosted on the patch, in Holly Lane Meadow (on the edge of Banstead Woods). The weather was okay to begin with but set in over the course of the day and the wind and rain saw visitors off and made manning the stand uncomfortable towards the end. The conditions meant fewer people and less success in terms of selling our fundraising merchandise than last year, however it was still very worthwhile in that we spoke to many people, some previously unaware of the birds to be found locally and the group's activities, as well as some familiar faces. There was a noticeable push of House Martins today, with at least sixty heading south over the stall, plus a small number of Swallows, one of which (a juvenile) seemed very tired and landed on nearby stalls.

CFBWBG members/volunteers. Left to right: Me, Phil Wallace, Linda Mount, Ian Pratley, Mark Stanley, Tom Searle and Paul Goodman

This tired juvenile Swallow was dropped in and rested on the gazebos in between feeding sessions. Photo by Phil Wallace