There was a fault with the CFBW Grapevine text system last year and numbers were lost. The system has been back up and running for a little while, generally informing members of potentially twitchable sightings within our recording area. If you were previously on it and would like to be added again, please email New members can be added to the text-list if they have joined the CFBWBG.

Records over the spring and summer
Thank you all for the continued submission of detailed bird and wildlife sightings so far this year. Our database for 2012 onwards is now nearing 30,000 records. As we enter the breeding season, we are going to be more selective about the records that we report on the blog for various reasons, instead focusing on reporting migrants, but we will continue to gratefully accept all records (breeding information being very important!) and store them in our database so that we can keep tabs our local bird populations and report on them at a later date. Thanks!

20th June 2017

A quiet summer day on the patch produced the usuals, such as Yellowhammer, Kestrel, Whitethroat, Goldcrests, Nuthatches, Green Woodpecker and Song Thrushes.

Ian Pratley

13-18th June 2017

There have been few avian highlights since the last update, but a Red Kite did call in and check out Owl Meadow on 17th. Singing Lesser Whitethroat and Garden Warbler around Legal & General on 13th were unexpected, but regular Garden Warblers were still singing by the caravan site on 13th and at Harholt (two) to 15th. One of the established Lesser Whitethroats was rattling at Harholt on 16th. Three Lesser Black-backed Gulls over the farm on 16th and three Pied Wagtails, including a juvenile, at Legal & General on 18th are the pick of the other bird sightings. Family groups of Whitethroats are now appearing, the first being at Stagbury Field on 15th, while a juvenile Blackcap was caught (along with a male Whitethroat) at Harholt on 15th. Fledgling Jackdaws were noted around The Knoll on 15th.

The patch has been alive with butterflies, as we enter the peak few weeks for our specialist species. The biggest news was a sighting of two Small Blues in the Banstead Woods sector on 15th, a testament to the conservation work of the Woodchips group. Other news from the sector includes the first Dark Green Fritillary on 18th, with the first Marbled White being seen on 13th and counts of this stunning species rising to 50 on 18th. The first four Essex Skippers of the year were logged on 18th, three days after the first Small Skippers. Singles of both Dingy and Essex Skippers were noted on 18th and two Green Hairstreaks were seen on 15th. Four Large Skippers were counted on 15th. A lone Small Copper is down for 18th. Counts of commoner species in the BW sector include nine Ringlets on 18th (after the first five on 15th), 63 Meadow Browns on 15th, and two Commas on 18th; five Red Admirals on 18th, and eight Small Heaths and nine Speckled Woods on 15th.

Butterfly news in the CF sector includes the earliest date this year for Ringlet on the patch, pipping BW by a day with two on 14th, this species rising to 30 on 17th (when 40 Meadow Browns were counted). 14 Small Tortoiseshells was a stong total on 17th, when three Speckled Woods and three Commas were seen.

After a sighting of our first Southern Hawker of the summer on 13th, another busy session for odonata on 18th saw four Broad-bodied Chasers, 15 Azure Damselflies and five Large Red Damselflies, all being seen around Piddly Pond but for one of the chasers, which was at Park Farm.

Dark Green Fritillary at Fames Rough on 18th
♂ Green Woodpecker at Chipstead Downs on 13th
♂ Whitethroat at Harholt on 15th
juvenile Blackcap at Harholt on 15th
juvenile Blue Tit at Harholt on 15th
Broad-bodied Chaser in BW on 18th
Greater Yellow Rattle at Fames Rough on 16th
Yellow Bird's Nest in BW on 15th

David Campbell (photo 2), Josh Burch, Paul Goodman (photo 8), Duncan Jennings, Ian Magness (photo 7), Mark Stanley (photos 3-5), Ian Pratley, Ian Ward (photos 1 and 6) and Woodchips

11th June 2017

Seven Swifts were over BW and the Lesser Whitethroat at the Harholt Plantation was still singing.

Ian Pratley

Eds: We have updated the submission form to include dedicated fields for odonata.

10th June 2017

A quiet day for birds, the only significant news being the continued presence of a Lesser Whitethroat in The Knoll, a Greenfinch singing along Outwood Lane and a lone Swift over the farm.

We did enjoy a patch first, though, with a stunning male Beautiful Demoiselle seen along the edge of Banstead Woods at Perrotts-by-Wood (IGM). Piddly Pond provided further odonata interest, with no fewer than three Broad-bodied Chasers seen alongside five Azure Damselflies, three Large Red Damselflies and a Common Blue Damselfly.

Butterflies in the BW sector included a Dingy Skipper, two Large Skippers, two Green Hairstreaks, three Speckled Woods, three Small Heaths, four Common Blues, a Small Tortoiseshell, four Red Admirals, eight Brimstones and 30 Meadow Browns. Over in the CF sector, a Painted Lady and a Small Tortoiseshell were seen.

♂ Beautiful Demoiselle along the edge of Perrotts-by-Wood
Large Red Damselfly at Piddly Pond

Ian Magness (photo 1), Natasha Preston and Ian Ward (photo 2)

9th June 2017

Avian highlights at the farm included three Mallards, 25 Swifts, a Swallow and two Pied Wagtails. A further 18 Swifts were seen over BW and a Lesser Whitethroat was still singing at the Harholt Plantation.

A Painted Lady made an appearance at Stoney Nob, while two Small Tortoiseshells and five Meadow Browns were seen across the patch.

Painted Lady at Stoney Nob

David Campbell (photo), Paul Goodman and Ian Pratley

8th July 2017

Another quiet summer day on the patch, with a few resident birds seen in the BW sector, along with a Brown Argus of note.

Duncan Jennings and Woodchips

7th July 2017

Eight Swifts were seen over the BW sector and residents going about their business included a singing Yellowhammer at Lunch Wood.

Ian Pratley

5th June 2017

A Hobby flew over Perrotts Farm and two Lesser Whitethroats were singing in the Harholt Plantation this morning while a few Swifts moved overhead.

Geoff Barter

4th June 2017

A remarkable morning for raptors saw six Red Kites share the sky at the same time over CF. Also rather unexpected was a pair of Peregrines engaged in a food pass. A walk along Chipstead Downs revealed a Rook, a Greenfinch and seven Swifts, while a local male Kestrel was showing well.

It was probably a little drafty for most butterflies' liking but singles of Comma and Common Blue were noted, along with three Meadow Browns.

adult ♂ Kestrel at Chipstead Downs

David Campbell (photo) and Ian Jones

3rd June 2017

A Red Kite flew low over the A217 in the evening and two Mallards graced Piddly Pond. The Harholt Plantation again resounded with the rattling of a Lesser Whitethroat and two Swifts flew over the BW sector. The first fledgling Great Tits of the year were noted.

Odonata around Piddly Pond included four Azure Damselflies and singles of Large Red and Common Blue Damselflies. Butterflies in the sector were represented by a Dingy Skipper, three Large Skippers, an Orange-tip, a Green Hairstreak, six Small Heaths, 17 Common Blues, 12 Meadow Browns, three Speckled Woods, two Green-veined Whites, three Large Whites, two Small Whites, five Red Admirals and six Brimstones. A Cinnabar moth was also seen.

♀ Mallard on Piddly Pond
Large Skipper
 Ian Magness and Ian Ward (photos)