Sunday, 29 October 2017

Banstead Woods, 29th October 2017

Finding the vismig business at Hither Field rather addictive, I met up with Darragh C and Christian C for another morning vigil. Our first highlight came when a pair of Ravens announced themselves by means of a single cronk from one bird as they headed north up the Chipstead Valley. News came through from Simon S who was birding nearby that a Hawfinch was in The Nuttery so we scanned the treetops but saw nothing. A few minutes later, however, a flock of seven flew from the little wood there, followed by a singleton perched up nicely and affording nice scope views. We had a further six of these mighty finches over the rest of the morning - this invasion truly is a remarkable event; what a turn-around from eight years of patching without a sniff of one!

The Redwing count for the morning reached a respectable 800, while Fieldfares numbered 90 and the Red Kite put in another appearance. Siskins and redpolls numbered eight and 15 respectively, while other bits included eight Skylarks, five Pied Wagtails and 170 Starlings, all migrants. A male Tawny Owl was heard hooting upon our arrival at dawn.