Monday, 6 March 2017

Banstead Woods and Beddington Farmlands, 6th March 2017

Looking set to be a fine, calm day I thought I'd start with a mooch around Banstead Woods in the hope of locating a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. I failed on that front but did spend a few minutes admiring a flock of 25 Lesser Redpolls, albeit sans a Mealy once again. I also had a terrific encounter with a ♀ Sparrowhawk at Piddly Pond as it flew from perch to perch; at first I thought it was part of a hunting behaviour but soon realised that, unless it was a particularly guileless predator, it was probably actually wanting to come in to bathe so left it in peace.

♀ Sparrowhawk at Banstead Woods
Lesser Redpoll at Banstead Woods
I spent most of the rest of the day at Beddington, at first with Peter A, Josh J and Dave S then with Paul M and John B later on. Two Tree Sparrows were my here first in ages, I heard my first Lapwing display calls of the year and other bits included two Shelducks, a Buzzard, two Cetti's Warblers, Water Rail, Stonechat. The regular dodgy wildfowl were present and correct, with the Tufted Duck x Pochard and the Black Swan seen. The Blackcap was still singing by the Mile Road bridge and 87 Tufted Ducks represented one of my higher site counts for the species. An obligatory portion of time was spent sifting through the gulls, producing the usual brutish juvenile Glaucous Gull, four Caspian Gulls (a 3cy and three 2cys) and a 5cy Yellow-legged Gull.

Tree Sparrow at Beddington
2cy ♂ Kestrel at Beddington
3cy Caspian Gull at Beddington
3cy Caspian Gull at Beddington
2cy Caspian Gull at Beddington
2cy Glaucous Gull at Beddington
Black Swan at Beddington