Thursday 5 April 2018

Beddington Farmlands, Canons Farm, Banstead Woods and Chiphouse Wood

Despite being a low Beddington lister it's not often that I get a site tick! I gave a talk to the Banstead U3A Wildlife Group on bird migration last night so took the chance to visit first thing this morning. I joined Kojak and Dodge to walk through Beddington Park and get on site, hearing a singing Treecreeper in the process and thinking little of it. As we neared the Farmlands perimeter and I heard more Treecreeper calls, though, I knew I was quids in and we ended up with nice views of two just along the very edge of the recording area - a good start! After chatting with the guys near the hide for a bit, I took myself off to check the South Lake, the mound and the Southeast Corner. The first reward came with nice views of a summer-plumaged Water Pipit on the enclosed lagoons - possibly the first time I've seen the species in such attire in Britain. A Green Sandpiper was nearby and on the way back I had the surprise of a singing Sedge Warbler by the South Lake.

Scanning the North Lake before I exited, I picked up a 2CY Iceland Gull on the North Lake. Other birds noted during the visit included nine Mute Swans, three Shelducks, 18 Gadwall, 13 Teal, 25 Shovelers, three Pochards, 64 Tufted Ducks, a Cormorant, 15 Little Grebes, a Sparrowhawk, two Snipe, 10 Great Black-backed Gulls, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Cetti's Warbler, two Chiffchaffs, two Blackcaps, a Grey Wagtail, three Meadow Pipits, 12 Linnets and two Reed Buntings. Going back through Beddington Park, I heard a Nuthatch.

Water Pipit at Beddington Farmlands

2CY Iceland Gull at Beddington Farmlands

Having physically struggled to break out of Beddington, I met up with Geoff B outside Canons Farmhouse a bit later than planned. Our tour of the fields produced a Mallard, eight Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk, 15 Stock Doves, two Kestrels, three Skylarks, two Nuthatches and 50 Linnets. We strayed into Banstead Woods, adding a Pheasant, three more Buzzards, a Kestrel, two Treecreepers, a Nuthatch and four Linnets. We also took in a bit of Chiphouse Wood, noting two of the same Buzzards and another Nuthatch.