Saturday, 20 May 2017

Mole Valley Bird Race, 20th May 2017

Yesterday, Christian C, Phil W and I (the Short-larked Toads a.k.a. The Nightingales of Laughter) emarked on campaign to seize the coveted Mole Valley Bird Race trophy on the event's fourth coming. We were out in the field non-stop between 4am and 8pm, finishing on 86 species, enough to put us in second place out of the four teams, not bad considering our local knowledge was a little patchy. Linnet to Win It came out on top with an incredible 92 species - what a total for one day in a single Surrey district!

We started just before dawn with heathland specialties at Leith Hill, quickly rattling off essentials with Nightjars churring, Woodcocks roding, Woodlarks fluting, Redstarts chiming, Tawny Owls hooting and Cuckoo... cuckoo-ing. Later on we ticked off Tree Pipit, Marsh Tit and Firecrest there. A visit to Buckland Sand Pit saw us find a Mole Valley mega as an adult Sandwich Tern patrolled the lake, slightly altering the other teams' schedules! Other highlights over the day included Spotted Flycatcher, Raven, Common Sandpiper, Common Tern, Little Egret, Hobby, Nightingale, Lesser Whitethroat, Yellowhammer, Peregrine and unseasonable Black-headed Gull.

Sandwich Tern at Buckland
Common Sandpiper at Buckland