It was then up to my homelands to lead the annual Autumn Migration Tour for the Canons Farm & Banstead Woods Bird Group. Given the weather, it was yet another particularly challenging walk, though the participants seemed to enjoy it well enough. The best bird, a Hobby, was unfortunately too fast for most people to get a view of, and a Yellow Wagtail was merely heard as it flew over. Other stuff included four Yellowhammers, 35 Swallows, a Meadow Pipit and two Kestrels. A Sparrowhawk tussled with two of the five Buzzards seen.
Banstead Woods offered a Bullfinch, a Treecreeper, and a few Nuthatches and Goldcrests.
In the afternoon, I took my old friends from school, Panos and Francis, who wanted to get a taste of some birding, to Oare Marshes KWT. Happily, this resulted in me finding an adult American Golden Plover among the Golden Plovers on the East Flood! A very elegant and beautifully marked bird, it was still in about 75% breeding plumage and had attitude, occasionally charging at its European companions! It conveniently stayed mostly at the front edge of the flock and wasn't too distant, providing a great opportunity to study just my third individual in Britain. This bird represents the eighth record all-time for Kent. Two juvenile Curlew Sandpipers, a few Ruff, Knot and Avocet, and a couple of Snipe were some of the other waders present. Water Rail, Yellow Wagtail and Cetti's Warbler were heard.
|adult American Golden Plover (centre) with Golden Plovers at Oare Marshes KWT|