A Grey Wagtail heard overhead this morning was the first of the year. Pied Wagtail has been very scarce lately so it was great to see four feeding at Legal & General. Four Mallards flew over the farm. Three Lesser Redpolls were along Slangs and two Stonechats (♂ and ♀) were around Owl Meadow while four Mistle Thrushes were seen towards the northwest end of the farm. A flock of 140 Linnets was buzzing around Doric Field. Other sightings in the CF sector included a Collared Dove singing in Holly Wood, a Common Buzzard, a Common Gull, two Kestrels, two Rooks, four Nuthatches, two Treecreepers, 200 Fieldfares, 350 Redwings, seven Skylarks, a Bullfinch, a Greenfinch and eight Yellowhammers. A Sparrowhawk was over BW.
♂ Pied Wagtail at Legal & General
David Campbell (photos), Darragh Culley, Ian Magness, Tasha Preston and Ian Ward
A Reed Bunting calling at Reads Bottom was the third bird of the year, a good early run. Three Stonechats were in the hedge at the north side of Horse Pasture. Nine Lesser Redpolls flew over the Harholt Plantation. Back at CF, further sightings there included a Pheasant, a Common Buzzard, 63 Black-headed Gulls on the Legal & General sports field, three Common Gulls, a Little Owl, a Kestrel, two Rooks, 70 Fieldfares, 160 Redwings, two Meadow Pipits, four Linnets and two Yellowhammers. Three Common Buzzards were over the BW sector.
The Stonechat passage continued, with seven counted across the site including four in Hither Field and three at Reads Bottom. Four Siskins and 10 redpolls were seen at BW. Six Meadow Pipits and a Linnet bouncing over Hillwood Field, where five Fieldfares dropped in and four Redwings were seen. 16 Bullfinches were counted in the BW sector and a Rook was at The Nuttery. Other BW sightings included a Pheasant, four Common Buzzards, 14 Goldcrests, 14 Nuthatches, five Treecreepers and a Greenfinch. A Common Gull was on the Legal & General sports field and a Fieldfare and 10 Redwings were also seen in the CF sector.
♂ Stonechat in Hither Field
David Campbell (photo), Paul Goodman and Ian Pratley
Significant late news concerned a drumming Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at The Knoll on Saturday (Andy Keay). This species now stands in a very precarious position with regard to its status at CFBW, please report any further sightings within, or around, the recording area this winter/spring. Birds should remain vocal over the next month or so.
The day's sightings in the BW sector included a Sparrowhawk, a Common Buzzard and a Treecreeper.
Two ♂ Stonechats lingered along Reads Rest Lane and a juvenile Common Buzzard was nonchalantly parading around the grass by Legal & General. Three Common Buzzards and a Kestrel were in the Banstead Woods sector.
A fall of at least five Stonechats at the farm added extra cheer to proceedings but was not the only sign of spring movement, with a count of nine Common Buzzards possibly including five migrant birds. Two Little Owls were calling in the evening, from Horse Pasture and Stoney Nob, and other sightings at the farm included two Pheasants, a Sparrowhawk, a Collared Dove, 20 Fieldfares, 40 Redwings, two Rooks, two Meadow Pipits and a Yellowhammer.
David Campbell (photo), Paul Goodman, Ian Magness and Tasha Preston