31st August

A vigil at the farm produced a four Sand Martins, around 10 House Martins, a Hobby and around 100 Swallows of particular note.

Geoff Barter and Duncan Jennings

Join our Autumn Migration Tour, Saturday 3rd September

Meet at Canons Farmhouse, led by Paul Goodman. Starts 09:00, ends 12:00. Possibility of Common Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, Wheatear, Whinchat, Yellow Wagtail and a variety of other migrants.

30th August

A good day of hirundine movement at the farm, with three Sand Martins, 25+ House Martins and 350+ Swallows. Two Rooks there are also worth mentioning. It was just local birds at Banstead Woods, with seven Common Buzzards, a Kestrel, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and two Bullfinches of interest.

A Clouded Yellow, two Brown Hairstreaks, three Small Heaths, Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone, Red Admiral and 26 Brown Argus, 2 Common Darters and a Southern Hawker were also logged among the butterflies and odonata.

Geoff Barter and Duncan Jennings

29th August

The highlight of a session at the Woods was a Great Black-backed Gull over Valley Meadows at 11:37. A Hobby was clocked as it circled high over Holly Lane Meadow, where a Collared Dove was noteworthy. A Rook flew over Hither Field and a Mistle Thrush was in Fames Rough while six Bullfinches were counted.

Four Brown Hairstreaks included two at The Nuttery and a male Chalkhill Blue was still out in Valley Meadows, representing the pick of the lepidoptera. Circle Field had a Common Darter.

Common Darter, Circle Field, Ian Ward
 Ian Ward

28th August

Green Belt Field had a Northern Wheatear and there were also two Swallows and a Common Whitethroat at the farm.

Single Brown Hairstreaks were spotted on the east side of Ruffett Wood and along Slangs. A female Common Darter was in Circle Field.

Ian Ward

27th August

60 Swallows fed at the farm. A Common Buzzard was seen at Fames Rough and there were two Bullfinches in The Scrub.

A Clouded Yellow frequented Hither Field and other Banstead Woods butterflies included two Silver-washed Fritillaries, 15 Speckled Woods, a Small Copper, a Holly Blue and 15 Brown Argus. At the farm, a Painted Lady was notable. A Migrant Hawker was also noted.

Holly Blue, The Nuttery, Ian Magness

Migrant Hawker, Perrotts by Wood, Ian Ward

Paul Goodman, Ian Magness, Ian Ward

26th August

A Red Kite flew over the farm where 55 Swallows and a Rook also headlined. One Black-headed Gull fed at Legal & General.

There were also 11 Speckled Woods there.

Duncan Jennings

25th August

Highlights at Banstead Woods included two Swallows, four Chiffchaffs, three Blackcaps and four Bullfinches.

Butterflies there included a Small Heath and six Brown Argus.

Paul Goodman

24th August

A Yellow Wagtail flew over Slangs and a Northern Wheatear frequented Reads Bottom. There were three Willow Warblers at the farm, too, plus a southwesterly movement of 62 Swallows and a Little Owl present. A Hobby was seen over Holly Lane Meadow and the Woods also held a Tawny Owl, a Sparrowhawk, two Common Buzzard, four Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap and a Bullfinch.

Two Clouded Yellows and a Brown Hairstreak were seen at the farm. Another Brown Hairstreak was at the Woods, as was a Silver-washed Fritillary, a Peacock, 15 Brown Argus, a Brimstone and a Common Darter among the insects.

Northern Wheatear at Reads Bottom (Ian Magness)

Geoff Barter, Steve Gale, Duncan Jennings, Ian Magness and Ian Ward

23rd August

A Rook was seen at Banstead Woods, along with five Swallows, two Chiffchaffs and a Kestrel. The farm had a Little Owl and a potentially interesting Chiffchaff.

A Clouded Yellow was notable in the butterfly department, as was a Purple Hairstreak, a Silver-washed Fritillary and two Brown Argus.

Geoff Barter, Duncan Jennings

20th August

Two Whinchats had arrived in Hither Field and the Woods sector also held a Common Whitethroat and a Kestrel. A group of 14 House Martins passed over the farm, where three Bullfinches and singles of Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard and Kestrel were noted.

Whinchat in Hither Field

Ian Ward

17th August

A Great Black-backed Gull flew northwest over the farm, where three Swallows were seen. Also at the farm, a Treecreeper was in Pages Acre and a Common Whitethroat was present along with two each of Chiffchaff and Blackcap, plus four Common Buzzards, a Pheasant, a Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk. 500+ Woodpigeons gathered in the stubble.

Two Holly Blues were the best of the butterflies.

Geoff Barter

16th August

The Woods held singles of Common Buzzard, Kestrel, Nuthatch and Bullfinch, while a Black-headed Gull flew over.

It was a great day for butterflies, headlined by a late Marbled White, two Silver-washed Fritillaries, eight Chalkhill Blues and 14 Brown Argus. Odonata included three Southern Hawkers and two Common Darters.

Duncan Jennings

15th August

A Peregrine flew northwest over Canons Farmhouse. A Willow Warbler and eight Swallows were also at the farm, along with a Pheasant, four Common Buzzards, two Kestrels, five Stock Doves, two Rooks, a Common Whitethroat, four Greenfinches, eight Goldfinches, five Linnets and two Bullfinches. At Banstead Woods, a Black-headed Gull flew over and two Green Woodpeckers, two Blackcaps and a Common Whitethroat were noted.

Among the butterfly sightings, two Holly Blues were seen at Canons Farm and three Speckled Woods were in Banstead Woods.

Geoff Barter

14th August

A Tree Pipit flew south over Valley Meadows at 17:07 and other birds in the Banstead Woods sector included a Pheasant, a Sparrowhawk, two Common Buzzards, a Kestrel, five Green Woodpeckers, two Great Spotted Woodpeckers, seven Chiffchaffs, four Blackcaps, a Common Whitethroat, a Song Thrush, three Nuthatches, seven Goldfinches and three Bullfinches.

Butterflies there included 10+ Chalkhill Blues, two Small Heaths, a Green-veined White, a Peacock and two Brown Argus.

Paul Goodman and Ian Ward

13th August

A Little Owl was noted by Poultry Field. Migrants over Banstead Woods comprised of a Common Swift and nine Swallows, while other birds there included a Pheasant, two Common Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk, a Pied Wagtail, two Chiffchaffs, four Blackcaps and three Bullfinches.

Among the butterflies in the Banstead Woods sector was a Painted Lady, two Brown Argus and a Small Copper. A Southern Hawker hunted along Woodpecker Meadow.

female Common Blue

Green-veined White

Brown Argus


Observations and photographs by Ian Ward

9th August

Birds at Canons Farm included a House Martin, nine Common Swifts, six Swallows, four Common Buzzards, a Kestrel and a Linnet. Another Kestrel was at Banstead Woods, where two Chiffchaffs and a Nuthatch were seen.

The Woods sector also had three Silver-washed Fritillaries, eight Chalkhill Blues, a Marbled White, two Small Coppers, a Brown Argus two Small Heaths among a healthy array of butterflies. Two Southern Hawkers patrolled Piddly Pond.

Duncan Jennings

8th August

Two Swallows, four Common Buzzards, two Yellowhammers, a Kestrel and a Little Owl represented the avian highlights at the farm.

Butterflies included three Red Admirals.

Observer: Geoff Barter

7th August

Three Willow Warblers were around Infront George Field and four Swallows flew south. A Little Owl was showing at Stoney Nob. Other birds at the farm included a Common Buzzard, three Chiffchaffs, two Yellowhammers and four Common Whitethroats.

Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Holly Lane Meadow, 24th July 2016 (Sophie Pettit)
Observer: Paul Goodman