Friday, 8 September 2017

Canons Farm, Banstead Woods and Beddington Farmlands, 8th September 2017

I spent a very enjoyable morning at Canons with Ian J but boy was it a lifeless start to the day, the carpet of cloud making it feel like the day the dinosaurs died. Before Ian arrived, I'd scored two Ravens as they cronked quite low east, by far my most satisfying encounter with this species on patch so far. I'm still waiting to see one or two on the deck here! Ian joined me from my sheltered skywatching position along the side of Broadfield and before long a large raptor appeared which immediately 'felt' different - getting the scope fixed, it was clear that we were looking at a fairly pale juvenile Honey-buzzard, just my second record at CFBW in eight years of patching! We enjoyed pretty good views of it for some eight minutes before it vanished behind some trees. It seemed likely that the bird had arrived yesterday and roosted overnight on site or nearby. We completed a walk covering the key areas of the farm and some of the southwestern end of Banstead Woods, featuring common migrant warblers such as Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff, plus a few Bullfinches. On the way back, it was pissing down but I couldn't help checking the 'corner post' in Owl Meadow - it was a good thing I did as it sported a lone Whinchat.

After heading home to dry off and have lunch, I headed back out into the field and scanned the lakes at Beddington, a fairly uneventul venture but for an adult Yellow-legged Gull, a Wigeon (my first locally of the autumn), a Cetti's Warbler and a rather eye-catching advanced 1cy Lesser Black-backed Gull.

adult Yellow-legged Gull at Beddington