Saturday, 19 December 2009

Ice, fire and a tick

Very cold weather has struck the south east, and we have all felt (including, it seems, the Staines Brown Shrike).

Couldn't really be bothered to go to Canon's Farm today, in the cold weather, and wanted photos of the Firecrests in the snow so I worked Banstead Downs for the late morning and early afternoon.

At Banstead Downs Golf Course I located 2 Firecrests, 1 of which showed well and I managed a handful of record shots, though nothing spectacular.

The highlight was a very pleasant surprise in the form of 6 Lapwings flying over. A Banstead Downs tick for me (72, and 69 for the site for 2009).

At the eastern part of the golf course I came across 4 Blackcaps, which was a nice surprise. This was 1 male on his own and a pair with another which was unsexed.

male Blackcap

Thrushes were much in evidence with roughly 30-40 Redwings, 2 Fieldfares and 10-20 Blackbirds. A Meadow Pipit called.

Blackbird (1st winter male)

Both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were seen and 2 Bullfinches showed for once.Bullfinch

Other bits and pieces included 2 Jays, 1 Coal Tit nearby, 1 Pied Wagtail over and a Common Gull over.Long-tailed Tit