Monday 3 September 2012

It's a Race! A long one.

I haven't been out much since I got back from holiday so I was looking forward to the bird race at Canons Farm, Banstead Woods. I picked David up at 6.20 and before 6.30 we were there. Weather not brilliant; a bit drizzly at first. However, David picked up the call of 2 yellow wagtails flying over, the first of several birds he located by call that day.

6 or 7 birdwatchers attended. I went round with David most of the time, Ian went with Steve, Paul did his own round, and Roy held the fort at the highest point on the site and skywatched.

David and I walked around the field near the houses to get the garden birds. Suddenly we heard an unfamiliar call just over our heads and a large wader headed North away from us. I followed it briefly with my bins before trying a photo. I couldn't get a shot because the drizzle had got onto the lens of my viewfinder and I couldn't see the bird! Luckily, David got some shots and confirmed his thought that it was a bar-tailed godwit, a very rare bird in those parts and a first for the site!

We picked up the usual suspects during the morning. After lunch I headed for the Legal & General playing fields where I knew there would be pied wagtails. I wasn't expecting the number I found; 29 in all.

I then spent a while photographing the whinchat which was being quite co-operative on a nearby fencepost. The male common redstart nearby wasn't quite so obliging, but stealth and patience paid off. I then went to find the female about 500m away. I was lucky again with good views of the female common redstart.

Late in the afternoon I joined up with David again for a visit to the scrub. I picked up lesser black-backed gull and treecreeper on the way, followed by nuthatch, bullfinch, willow warbler, whitethroat and blackcap at the scrub, bringing my total for the day to 54. Notable absences of fairly common birds were goldfinch, song thrush and the red-legged partridge. These latter two were seen by others in the day.

After over 12 hours on site carrying my camera, my shoulders were aching a little!!
Male common redstart
Female common redstart

1 comment:

  1. Cheers for coming along, you managed some brilliant pics



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