31st March

Weather: NE to E f2, sunny, dry and mild.

Canons Farm: 1 COMMON BUZZARD, 1 LITTLE OWL 6 SKYLARK, 2 PIED WAGTAIL, 5 YELLOWHAMMER

Observers: Paul Goodman

30th March

Weather: SW f2-3, sunny, dry. Cool.

Chiffchaff numbers continue to build in the woods. With plenty of migrants making landfall along the south coast today, some trickle through to our corner of Surrey would seem likely over the next couple of days.

Canons Farm: 4 MALLARD (Canons Residential), 2 PHEASANT, 2 COMMON BUZZARD, SPARROWHAWK, 2 KESTREL, 2 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET, 2 LITTLE OWL (Bog Field), GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, STOCK DOVE, 8 SKYLARK, 1 MEADOW PIPIT, 1 NORTHERN WHEATEAR ( Reeds Bottom), 4 JAY, 60+ LINNET (mainly Quail field), 5+ GOLDFINCH, 3 YELLOWHAMMER (including  singing Slangs).


Northern Wheatear, Reeds Bottom, 30/03/16 (Duncan Jennings)
House Sparrow, Canons Farm, 30/03/16 (Duncan Jennings)

Banstead Woods:  ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET, SONG THRUSH, 6 JAY, 6 CHIFFCHAFF (singing), BULLFINCH.

Observers: Geoff Barter, Duncan Jennings

29th March

Weather: SW f3-4, sunny spells, isolated showers. Cool.

Canons Farm is not renowned for ducks - until today, just three species had been recorded - but now Gadwall can be added to that list, when a drake was picked up by Steve Gale, (and seen by two other observers), as it flew low over The Slangs in a NW direction. This is the 143rd species to be recorded on site. The (presumed same) male Northern Wheatear remained faithful to the Reeds Bottom area, there was an increase in Chiffchaff numbers in the woods, and a small passage of Meadow Pipits was observed. Also there was a fine cross section of raptors to enjoy.

Canons Farm: 1 CORMORANT, 9 MALLARD (Canons Residential, bar one drake that tried to land on the flooded dip opposite Perrotts Farmhouse), 1 GADWALL (a drake NW over The Slangs at 10.45hrs - 75th species for the year), 2 PHEASANT, 3-4 RED KITE, 6 COMMON BUZZARD, 2 SPARROWHAWK, 1 PEREGRINE (Slangs), 2 KESTREL, 6 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET, 7 STOCK DOVE, 3 GREEN WOODPECKER, 1 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER (♀on feeders at Reeds Rest Cottages), 2 LITTLE OWL (Circle Field, Broadfield), 3 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, 100+ HERRING GULL, 15+ SKYLARK, 24 MEADOW PIPIT (a trickle North, plus a few grounded in Harrier Field), 1 PIED WAGTAIL, 1 NORTHERN WHEATEAR ( Reeds Bottom),1 STONECHAT (Horse Pasture), 1 CHIFFCHAFF (Pages Acre), 3 REDWING (Death Pit), 10 SONG THRUSH, 2 LONG-TAILED TIT, 115+ LINNET (Quail/Skylark Field), 10 GOLDFINCH (Pheasant Field), 6 YELLOWHAMMER (Broadfield).

Red Kite, Canons Farm, 29/03/16 (Duncan Jennings)
Northern Wheatear, Reeds Bottom, 29/03/16 (Duncan Jennings)
Northern Wheatear, Reeds Bottom, 29/03/16 (Duncan Jennings)
Banstead Woods: 1 GREY HERON, 9 COMMON BUZZARD, 1 SPARROWHAWK, 2 KESTREL, 2 GREEN WOODPECKER, 3 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, 1 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET, 2 STOCK DOVE, 3 CHIFFCHAFF, 1 SISKIN, 1 BULLFINCH

Observers: Geoff Barter, Steve Gale, Duncan Jennings

28th March

Weather: WSW to SW f6-8, heavy rain in early hours, drier by afternoon with reduction in wind strength. Cool.

Storm Katie roared into Surrey during the early hours, felling trees, fence panels and garden furniture in its wake. What the first Northern Wheatear of the year thought of it all, who knows?

Canons Farm: 1 GREY HERON (flew S 10:00 over Bog Field), 2 KESTREL ( in Quail Field & Stoney Nob), c27 STOCK DOVE, 1 GREEN WOODPECKER, 2 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, c13 SKYLARK, 2 MEADOW PIPIT (Pipit Meadow and Broadfield), 2 PIED WAGTAIL, 1 NORTHERN WHEATEAR ( Broadfield - Horse Pasture, 74th species for the year),1 FIELDFARE, 3 REDWING, 4 SONG THRUSH, 2 TREECREEPER (Ruffett Wood), 1 NUTHATCH, 3 LONG-TAILED TIT, 1 COAL TIT (Pages Acre), 2 GOLDCREST, 5 GREENFINCH, 100+ LINNET (Quail/Skylark Field), c16 GOLDFINCH (including a charm of 11 in Pheasant Field), 3 SISKIN (2 Pages Acre, 1 Ruffett Wood),  10 YELLOWHAMMER (Infront George Field and Quail Field).


Northern Wheatear, 28/03/16 (Ian Magness)
Observers: Paul Goodman, Ian Magness, Ian Ward

27th March

Weather: SW f 3-5, frequent showers, heavy at times. Cool.

No reported sightings so far.

26th March

Weather: S f3-5, overcast, heavy drizzle, cool, 6-7°C

Two species were recorded for only the fourth time this morning, and both were found by Ian Ward. Firstly an Egyptian Goose, that flew SSW over the Scrub, followed by a singing Firecrest that performed between the Scout Camp and Orchard. Both events were captured by camera, albeit record shots that were not helped by a misty lens and the attendant heavy drizzle.

Canons Farm: 1 COMMON BUZZARD, 2 KESTREL, 24 STOCK DOVE, 175+ WOODPIGEON, 7 SKYLARK (various fields), 1 ROOK, 1 MEADOW PIPIT (Harrier Field), 50+ FIELDFARE (Quail Field), 75+ STARLING, 120+ LINNET (Quail Field), 9 YELLOWHAMMER (Broadfield).

Banstead Woods: 1 EGYPTIAN GOOSE (SSW over The Scrub at 08.45hrs, 72nd species for year), 1 COMMON BUZZARD, 1 SPARROWHAWK, 1 COLLARED DOVE, 8 REDWING, 1 CHIFFCHAFF, 1 FIRECREST (♂ singing between Scout Hut and Orchard at 10.07hrs, 73rd species for year).


Record shots in the murk - Egyptian Goose and Firecrest, 26/03/16 (Ian Ward)
Other wildlife: Wood Anemone in flower along banks opposite Lunch Wood, by roadside.

Observers: Andy Downing, Steve Gale, Ian Ward

25th March

Weather: NW to W f2-3, sunny, dry and mild, 12°C

The weather may have been spring-like (and the butterflies were certainly out in good number), but the migrants were noticeable by their absence. Highlight was a single Red-legged Partridge in Broadfield, just about hanging on to its status as a scarce annual visitor.

Canons Farm: 1 COMMON BUZZARD (Broadfield),  1 RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGE (Broadfield, North Horse Pasture area at 09.36hrs, 71st species recorded this year)7 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET (including nesting in a tree-hole in Tawny Wood), 6 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, 4 GREEN WOODPECKER, 8 SKYLARK (various fields), 3 PIED WAGTAIL, 1 MEADOW PIPIT (over Reads Bottom), 6 SONG THRUSH, 20+ REDWING (10+ Chipstead Meadow,10+ Legal & General), 30+ FIELDFARE (Broadfield), 1 MISTLE THRUSH (singing in Ruffett Wood), 1 NUTHATCH (Tawny Wood), 2 COAL TIT (both singing in Tawny Wood), 2 JAY, 1 BULLFINCH ( within the Legal & General complex), 6 GOLDFINCH, 2 SISKIN (1 Legal & General, 1 Ruffett Wood), 2 YELLOWHAMMER (1 North Horse Pasture (singing), 1 Reads Bottom).
Red-legged Partridge, Broadfield, 25/03/16 (Ian Ward)
Banstead Woods: 2 MALLARD (♂ ♀ Piddly Pond), 2 COMMON BUZZARD, 3 STOCK DOVE (singing), 7 GREEN WOODPECKER, 2 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, 1 TAWNY OWL (heard by Fames Rough), 2 MEADOW PIPIT (Hither Field), 3 TREECREEPER, 1 SISKIN (Estate side).

Other wildlife: Butterflies; 10 Brimstone, 4 Peacock, 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Comma. Mammals; Red Fox. Plants: Toothwort beginning to show at The Slangs.

Observers: Ian Magness, Ian Ward

24th March

Weather: SW f2-4, overcast and rain, 6°C

Canons Farm: 6 MALLARD (over north), 1 SPARROWHAWK (Lunch Wood), 1 male KESTREL (Broadfield), 180+ WOODPIGEON, 1 STOCK DOVE, 1 LITTLE OWL (Stoney Nob), 20+ REDWING, 60+ FIELDFARE (mostly Broadfield), 3 SONG THRUSH, 1 male STONECHAT (Read's Bottom - very smart Spring bird!), c35 LINNET (mostly Quail Field), 4 YELLOWHAMMER (Slangs, including singing male).

Banstead Woods: No reported sightings so far

Other wildlife: No reported sightings so far

Observers: Andy Downing


23rd March

Weather: variable f1-2, overcast with a chill, 7-8°C

Canons Farm: 1 GREY HERON (going NW at 11:10am), 2 MALLARD (Canons Residential), 2 COMMON BUZZARD,  2 COMMON BUZZARD, 1 SPARROWHAWK, 1 KESTREL ( - Harrier Field), 4 PHEASANT, 350+ HERRING GULL (mainly going N), LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL,  6+ STOCK DOVE, 2 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, GREEN WOODPECKER, 8 SKYLARK (various fields), 3 MEADOW PIPIT (over Poultry FIELD), 20+ REDWING (Buzzard f), 3 SONG THRUSH, 40+ FIELDFARE (Broadfield), GOLDCREST, 4 JAY, 6 GOLDFINCH, 5+ LINNET, 6 YELLOWHAMMER (Broadfield),

Pheasant, Pheasant Field, 23/03/16 (Duncan Jennings)
Banstead Woods: 50+ HERRING GULL, 2 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET, 2 GREEN WOODPECKER, 2 STOCK DOVE, 3 ROOK, SONG THRUSH, TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, 2 LONG-TAILED TIT, GOLDFINCH.

Other wildlife: Feral news - the cattle have returned to Hither Field and the electric fence switched back on, so take care!

Returning cattle to Hither Field, 23/03/16 (Duncan Jennings)
Observers: Duncan Jennings

22nd March

Weather: NW f1-2, sunny, dry and mild, 10-11°C

The first true 'summer' migrant of the year turned up today, albeit a little on the late side - a Chiffchaff in full song. Let the flood gates open!

Canons Farm: 7 COMMON BUZZARD, 1 SPARROWHAWK, 2 KESTREL, 20+ BLACK-HEADED GULL, 200+ HERRING GULL (mainly heading north in high flocks), 2 GREEN WOODPECKER, 2 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, 5 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET, 10 STOCK DOVE, 100+ WOOD PIGEON, 8 SKYLARK, 1 STONECHAT (male, Bog Field), 1 RAVEN (in from the north over Tattenham Meadow), 50+ LINNET (Quail Field), 50+ CHAFFINCH, 10 YELLOWHAMMER.

Banstead Woods: 2 GREEN WOODPECKER, 1 CHIFFCHAFF (70th species to be recorded this year), 2 COAL TIT, 4 LONG-TAILED TIT, 4 JAY.

Other wildlife: A medium-sized bat was active around the trees and hedgerows south of Canons Farmhouse for several minutes during mid-morning. Brimstones and Small Tortoiseshells were out in moderate numbers.


Wood Spurge can be seen most easily along the upper woodland edge at Fame's Rough. Plenty is now starting to show, and can also be found in Banstead Woods in discrete colonies. (Duncan Jennings)
Observers: Geoff Barter, Christian Cogley, Steve Gale, Jamie McKenzie

21st March

Weather: NW f2-3, mainly overcast, feeling milder, 6-8°C

There was more than a suggestion of Common Buzzards on the move, with 18 recorded across the site, some of which were displaying residents, but others high passing birds. Quail and Skylark fields continue to be the busiest areas on site, with the finch flock now boasting more Linnets than Chaffinches, and the winter thrushes still putting on a show.
Fieldfare, Skylark Field, 21/03/16 (Steve Gale)
Canons Farm: 1 GREY HERON , 9 CANADA GOOSE (6 SE at 8:35 & 3 SW at 9:05am), 3 GREYLAG GOOSE (with Canada then went SE at 9:05am), 6 COMMON BUZZARD, 1 KESTREL, 40+ BLACK-HEADED GULL, 120+ HERRING GULL, 2 GREEN WOODPECKER, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER (Lunch Wood - drumming), 3 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET, 15 STOCK DOVE, 200+ WOOD PIGEON, 8+ SKYLARK, 3 MEADOW PIPIT (2 Harrier Field, 1 Perrotts by Wood), 225+ FIELDFARE (mainly Quail and Skylark Fields), 100+ REDWING (mostly Legal & General), 4 LONG-TAILED TIT, 8 JAY (inc 7 Canons Wood), 4 ROOK, 70+ CHAFFINCH (Quail Field), 100+ LINNET (Quail Field), 2 GREENFINCH, 4 GOLDFINCH, 5 YELLOWHAMMER (Slangs and Broadfield).

Greylag Geese, Broadfield, 21/03/16 (Duncan Jennings)

Canada Goose, Broadfield, 21/03/16 (Duncan Jennings)
Banstead Woods: 12 COMMON BUZZARD (4 over Hither Field, 8 over orchard), 1 SPARROWHAWK (over Orchard with Buzzards), 100+ HERRING GULL, 2 GREEN WOODPECKER, 2 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, 2 STOCK DOVE, 6 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET, 1 MISTLE THRUSH, 1 REDWING, 2 NUTHATCH, 2 GOLDCREST, 2 LONG-TAILED TIT, 3 JAY, 6 ROOK (Outwood Lane rookery), 1 BULLFINCH.

Other wildlife: Greater Stitchwort starting to flower along roadside verge near to Reeds Rest Cottages.
Greater Stitchwort, Reeds Rest Lane, 21/03/16 (Steve Gale)

Observers: Steve Gale, Duncan Jennings

20th March

Weather: NNE to E f1-3, mainly overcast with the odd brighter spell, 6-8°C

The finch flock continues to break up and leave the farm, although an increase in thrush numbers saw to it that observers were kept busy scoping the southern fields. A thorough search of the woods during the morning revealed at least 2 Woodcock.

Canons Farm: 1 GREY HERON , 5 COMMON BUZZARD, 1 KESTREL, 4 COMMON GULL, 10 STOCK DOVE, 15+ SKYLARK, 400+ FIELDFARE (spread across Bunting, Tart's and Bog Fields, plus Legal & General), 120+ REDWING (mostly Bog Field), 1 MISTLE THRUSH, 125+ CHAFFINCH (Quail Field), 50+ LINNET (mostly Bunting Field), 1 YELLOWHAMMER (Watch Point)

Banstead Woods: 6 COMMON BUZZARD (4 over Hither Field, 2 in the Estate), 1 SPARROWHAWK (♀), 3 KESTREL (♀ Holly Lane Meadow Hither Field), 1 PHEASANT ( in Holly Lane Meadow), 2 WOODCOCK (Estate), 1 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, 6 GREEN WOODPECKER, 4 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER,13 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET, 6 STOCK DOVE, 1 SKYLARK (Hither Field), 9 NUTHATCH, 5 TREECREEPER, 1 LONG-TAILED TIT, 20+ REDWING, 1 MISTLE THRUSH, 3 JAY, 8 ROOK (Outwood Lane rookery), 6 SISKIN, 4 BULLFINCH,1 YELLOWHAMMER (over Piddly Pond).

Other wildlife: 1 Roe Deer (Sheep Brow), 1 Red Fox (Holly Lane Meadow)

Observers: Steve Gale, Ian Pratley, Ian Ward

19th March

Weather: NNE f2-4, remaining overcast and cold, 6-7°C

Greylag Geese, 19/03/16 (Ian Ward)
Canons Farm: 2 CORMORANT (NE over Canons residential at 10.34hrs), 2 GREYLAG GOOSE (E at 16.00hrs), 1 COMMON BUZZARD, 1 GREEN WOODPECKER, 1 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, 150+ FIELDFARE (Quail Field), 10+ REDWING ((Quail Field), 100+ CHAFFINCH (Quail Field), 20+ LINNET (Quail Field), 7 YELLOWHAMMER (Horse Pasture)

Banstead Woods: No reported sightings so far

Observers: Ian Ward

18th March

Weather: NNE f2-3, overcast and cold, 5-6°C

A bit of background to the large numbers of Chaffinches on site this week. As suggested on the 14th, it is highly likely that the flock built as passage birds, moving high overhead, were attracted down by their congeners who were taking advantage of a good feeding opportunity. SG had seen small flocks of 10-15 birds moving NE to N over Banstead and Epsom Downs that same morning, and a trawl of east Kent coastal data reveals Chaffinch movements of 1,100 E (Abbotscliffe) on 13th; 604 S (Sandwich Bay) and 270 NE (Abbotscliffe) on 16th; and 703 ESE (Sandwich Bay) and 1,190 E (Abbotscliffe) on 17th.

Canons Farm: 3 CANADA GOOSE, 1 TREECREEPER, 2 NUTHATCH, 3 SONG THRUSH, 170+ FIELDFARE (Broadfield), 100+ REDWING (mostly Broadfield), 150+ CHAFFINCH (Bog Field), 50+ LINNET (Bog Field), 2 YELLOWHAMMER (Reeds Rest Cottages)

Banstead Woods: 1 SPARROWHAWK, 1 COAL TIT, 4 GOLDCREST

Observers: Paul Goodman

17th March

Weather: N f2-3, sunny and dry, a little milder, 8-9°C

The finch flock, although smaller in number, is still a spectacle, and can be found in the Quail Field/ Heathside Filed area.

Canons Farm: 1 GREY HERON (NW at 08.22hrs), 6 COMMON BUZZARD, 2 RED KITE (together at 13.20hrs, one left north, the other south), 2 SPARROWHAWK, 2 KESTREL, 60 HERRING GULL, 3 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, 10 COMMON GULL, 12 BLACK-HEADED GULL, 1 LITTLE OWL (East side of Horse Pasture), 30 STOCK DOVE, 5 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET, 2 GREEN WOODPECKER, 8 SKYLARK (various fields), 1 MEADOW PIPIT (Horse Pasture), 2 MISTLE THRUSH, 55+ REDWING (Death Pit area), 15+ FIELDFARE, SONG THRUSH, 2 LONG-TAILED TIT, 2 NUTHATCH, 1 PIED WAGTAIL, 675 CHAFFINCH, 20+ LINNET, 2 BULLFINCH (Tawny Wood), 6 YELLOWHAMMER.

Banstead Woods: 4 COMMON BUZZARD, 3 SPARROWHAWK, 1 KESTREL (Hither Field), GREEN WOODPECKER, 1 SKYLARK (Hither Field), 2 LONG-TAILED TIT, 3 GOLDCREST, 1 SISKIN, 2 BULLFINCH

Other wildlife: Butterflies: 6+ Brimstone, 2 Small Tortoiseshell. At Fame's Rough at least 4 Fly Orchid rosettes, plenty of Wood Spurge starting to show and a fair amount of Hairy Violet in flower.

Fly Orchid rosette, Fame's Rough, 17/03/16 (Steve Gale)
Observers: Geoff Barter, Steve Gale, Duncan Jennings

16th March

Weather: NE f2-4, overcast and dry. Still cold in the wind.

Whilst scanning the mixed finch flock on Quail Field, Ian Magness was treated to a flypast by a Short-eared Owl (08.50hrs), which slowly made its way NW before going to ground close to Canons Farmhouse. Here it was picked up in flight by Duncan Jennings, who was able to obtain photographs before the bird was lost to sight (09.30hrs). Subsequent searching drew a blank. This is the fourth Canons Farm record. Also gracing the skies was a Red Kite, over Bog Field.The finches are still present in good numbers, with at least one Brambling still on show. 

Short-eared Owl, near Canons Farmhouse, 16/03/16 (Duncan Jennings)

Canons Farm: 1 GREY HERON (going E at 9:30am), 6 MALLARD (Canons Res), RED KITE (over Bog Field at 11:22am), 2 COMMON BUZZARD, 1 KESTREL (), 6 BLACK-HEADED GULL (Legal & General), 5 COMMON GULL (Legal & General), 1 SHORT-EARED OWL (over Quail Field, heading N at 09.50hrs. 69th species recorded this year), 2 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET, GREEN WOODPECKER, 15 STOCK DOVE (Tart's Field), 8+ SKYLARK, 3 LONG-TAILED TIT, PIED WAGTAIL, 50+STARLING (Legal & General), 75+ REDWING (mostly Chipstead Meadow), SONG THRUSH, 10 FIELDFARE (Legal & General), 2 MISTLE THRUSH (Legal & General), 3 ROOK (Infront George Field),1 GREENFINCH (Quail Field), 5+ GOLDFINCH, 80+ LINNET (most in Quail Field), 1 BRAMBLING ( - Quail Field), 500+ CHAFFINCH (Quail Field), 20+ YELLOWHAMMER (Broadfield / Reeds Rest Bottom)

Observers: Geoff Barter, Paul Goodman, Duncan Jennings, Ian Magness

15th March

Weather: NE f2-3, overcast and dry. Still cold in the wind.

The finch flock was still frequenting Quail Field, quite often moving en masse to Heathside Field. The Chaffinches in particular will spend some time up in the taller trees that grow alongside Copt Hill Lane. The neighbouring gardens are also attractive to them. With a little time (and a bit of patience), scanning of the flock should reveal a Brambling (or two).

Canons Farm: 1 KESTREL, 30 STOCK DOVE (Tart's Field), 6 SKYLARK (various fields), 30+ FIELDFARE, 2 SONG THRUSH, 5 REDWING, 1,000+ CHAFFINCH, 2 BRAMBLING, 10 GOLDFINCH, 175+ LINNET


Observers: Steve Gale, Paul Goodman

14th March

Weather: NE f4-5, sunny and dry. Bitter in the wind, warm out of it! 6-7°C

Today belonged to the humble Chaffinch. Recent days has seen the Quail Field flock stabilise at 100 birds, most welcome after the depressed numbers present this winter. Then this morning it had suddenly swollen to 400, no doubt augmented by passing migrants (an overhead passage was noted locally). By mid-morning this had increased to 700 and then peaked mid-afternoon at an impressive 1,100 - this is the highest local count since early 2008. The birds were not alone, as 3 Brambling (2♂ and a ♀) and 150 Linnets were also taking advantage of the foraging on offer in the Quail Field area. Some birds were peeling off and using Heathside Field and neighbouring gardens in Copt Hill Lane. It was just as well that this avian spectacle was on show, as it was slim pickings elsewhere.
Chaffinches, Quail Field, 14/03/16 (Duncan Jennings). All the birds were feeding in this spaced-out formation, meaning that the flock were scattered over a large area of the field.

Canons Farm: 2 COMMON BUZZARD, 1 KESTREL (♂), 40 STOCK DOVE (Tart's Field), 6 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET, 2 GREEN WOODPECKER, 3 COMMON GULL, 4 BLACK-HEADED GULL, 12 SKYLARK (various fields), 2 MEADOW PIPIT (Stoney Knob), 2 MISTLE THRUSH, 30+ FIELDFARE, SONG THRUSH, 6 ROOK (infront George Field), 1 NUTHATCH, 1 PIED WAGTAIL (Quail Field), 1,100 CHAFFINCH, 3 BRAMBLING, 20 GOLDFINCH, 150+ LINNET, 9 YELLOWHAMMER (Infront George Field, Bog Field).

Banstead Woods: 1 RED KITE (low over Scrub going E at 12:40pm), 3 COMMON BUZZARD, 2 KESTREL (Hither Field), 2 STOCK DOVE, 4 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET, GREEN WOODPECKER, 3 GOLDCREST, LONG-TAILED TIT, 2 NUTHATCH, GOLDFINCH, 2+ BULLFINCH, 2 LINNET,

Other wildlife: Out of the wind, along the Holly Lane border of Green Belt Field were at least 4 Small Tortoiseshells. A number of Bluebells are already flowering, very early for such a showing.

Small Tortoiseshell, Green Belt Field, 14/03/16 (Steve Gale)
Observers: Geoff Barter, Steve Gale, Duncan Jennings, Jamie McKenzie, Linda Mount

13th March

Weather: Wind E f2-4, sunny and dry, 8-10°C.

The first Bramblings recorded this year were found in the Chaffinch flock, that seems to be finding the Quail Field to their liking.

Canons Farm: 1 COMMON BUZZARD, 20+ STOCK DOVE, 6+ SKYLARK, 100+ CHAFFINCH (SW and NE side of Quail Field), 2 BRAMBLING (in with Chaffinch flock), 20+ LINNET, 4+ YELLOWHAMMER

Observers: David Skeels

12th March

Weather: E f1-2, foggy start, sunny and mild, 8-10°C

Canons Farm: 4 COMMON BUZZARD, SPARROWHAWK, 1 KESTREL (♂ Harrier Field), 100 WOODPIGEON, 5 STOCK DOVE (Tart's Field), 6 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET, 2 LITTLE OWL (Stoney Knob), GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, 2 GREEN WOODPECKER, 2 JAY, 6 SKYLARK (various fields), 1 GREY WAGTAIL (Perrott's Farmhouse), 1 MEADOW PIPIT (Poultry Field), 4 LONG-TAILED TIT, 10+ REDWING, 3 SONG THRUSH, PIED WAGTAIL (Bog Field), 1 SISKIN (Green Belt Field), GREENFINCH, 8 GOLDFINCH, 4 LINNET, 6 YELLOWHAMMER.

Banstead Woods: 1 PHEASANT (Hither Field), 2 COMMON BUZZARD, 2 KESTREL (♀ - Hither Field), 1 TAWNY OWL (calling by trail post 11), GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, 7 GREEN WOODPECKER, 3 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET, 3 SONG THRUSH, 3 REDWING, 4 ROOKS (Nuttery), 4 JAY, 4 GOLDCREST, 4 TREECREEPER, 3 NUTHATCH, 1 COAL TIT,  2 LONG-TAILED TIT, 1 SISKIN (The Scrub), 1 GREENFINCH, 1 BULLFINCH. 

Observers: Geoff Barter, David Skeels, Ian Ward

11th March

Weather: E f1-2, sunny and mild, 8-10°C


Common Buzzard, Quail Field, 11/03/16 (Duncan Jennings)
Canons Farm: 2 MALLARD, 3 COMMON BUZZARD, SPARROWHAWK, KESTREL (♂ Harrier Field), 8 STOCK DOVE (Tart's Field), 6 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET, 3 LITTLE OWL (2 Horse Pasture, 1 Pheasant Field), GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, 2 GREEN WOODPECKER, 2 JAY, 12 SKYLARK (inc 4 singing at various fields), 3 LONG-TAILED TIT, TREECREEPER (Pages Acre), MISTLE THRUSH, 16+ REDWING (Pipit Meadow), 3 SONG THRUSH, 10+ FIELDFARE (Quail Field),  PIED WAGTAIL (Bog Field), GREENFINCH, 3+ GOLDFINCH, 30+ LINNET (mainly Quail Field), 4 YELLOWHAMMER.

Banstead Woods: 2 KESTREL (♂+♀ - Hither Field), GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER,  GREEN WOODPECKER, 2 STOCK DOVE (Piddly Pond), 3 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET, 4 GOLDCREST, 2 TREECREEPER, 2 NUTHATCH 2 LONG-TAILED TIT, 1♂ BULLFINCH. 

Other wildlife: Butterflies: 1 BRIMSTONE 

Observers: Paul Goodman, Duncan Jennings

10th March

Weather: Calm, then NE 1-2, drizzle in morning, then dry, 6-7°C

The grey skies could not stop a 'spring-like' feel to the morning's birding, with much song across the farm, including a fine chorus of sub-song (and even full song) from some of the Redwings. Thrush and finch numbers have increased. Undoubted passage birds were the three female Stonechats, that remained faithful to their chosen haunts throughout the morning.

Canons Farm: 9 MALLARD (over Heathside Field), 250+ HERRING GULL (moving north), 65+ STOCK DOVE, 700 WOODPIGEON, 12 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET, 4 LITTLE OWL (all indulging in a bout of calling in the Stoney Knob / Broad Field area), 3 GREEN WOODPECKER, 2 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, 2 ROOK, 125 CARRION CROW, 25 SKYLARK (widely scattered, much display), 1 NUTHATCH (Lunch Wood), 15+ BLACKBIRD, 7 SONG THRUSH, 175 REDWING (mainly in Circle Field/Death Pit area), 200 FIELDFARE (Death Pit, then Quail/Skylark Fields), 3 STONECHAT (all females, Bog Field, Harrier Field, Reeds Rest Bottom, duplication eliminated), 1 GREY WAGTAIL (Canons Farmhouse), 2 PIED WAGTAIL, 5 MEADOW PIPIT (Broadfield), 100+ CHAFFINCH (mainly along southern edge of Heathside Field), 7 GOLDFINCH, 40+ LINNET (well scattered), 6 YELLOWHAMMER (Reeds Rest Cottages).


Stonechat, Bog Field, 10/03/16 (Steve Gale)
Stonechat, Reeds Rest Bottom, 10/03/16 (Steve Gale)
Observers: Andy Downing, Steve Gale

9th March

Weather: Wind SE then NE f1-2, overnight rain, overcast with showers, 6-7°C

Canons Farm: 1 COMMON BUZZARD (Death Pit), 23 HERRING GULL, 2 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET (Reeds Rest Cottages), 1,000 WOOD PIGEON (Quail Field), 30 STOCK DOVE (Quail Field), 6 SKYLARK (4 Broad Field, 2 Quail Field), 50 REDWING (Lunch Wood), 8 YELLOWHAMMER (Infront George Field/Reeds Rest Cottages).

Banstead Woods: GREEN WOODPECKER, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, 2 TREECREEPER, 4 NUTHATCH, 6GREAT TIT (Scrub).

Observers: Geoff Barter 

No apologies needed for posting yet another image of Monday's Dartford Warbler, this one courtesy of Phil Wallace.

8th March

Weather: Wind SW f1-2, overcast and dry apart from the odd snow flake, 2-4°C

Canada Geese, Canons Farm, 08/03/16 (Duncan Jennings)
The southern-most fields were playing host to a good number of feeding birds, mostly pigeons and finches. The Dartford Warbler appears to have moved on.

Canons Farm: 7 CANADA GOOSE (skein heading south at 08.30hrs), 1 COMMON BUZZARD, 1 KESTREL, 1 PHEASANT (Tart's Field), 2 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, 3 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET, 900 WOODPIGEON (mostly on Quail Field), 85 STOCK DOVE (Quail Field then moving onto Bog Field), 26 SKYLARK (including a flock of 25 on Quail Field), 1 MEADOW PIPIT, 1 MISTLE THRUSH, 4 SONG THRUSH, 25+ FIELDFARE, 3 ROOK, 140 CHAFFINCH (Quail Field, edge along Copt Hill Lane), 50 LINNET, (mostly Quail Field, but at least three territories being set up on farm), 10 GOLDFINCH, 1 YELLOWHAMMER (Slangs).

Observers: Steve Gale, Duncan Jennings

7th March

Weather: Wind N f3, sunny spells, dry, cold in the wind (2-3°C)

The undoubted highlight was Geoff Barter's discovery of a female Dartford Warbler, which spent a couple of hours frequenting vegetation either side of the road between Lunch Wood and Perrott's Farmhouse. It frequently perched on fence posts and barbed wire, allowing close views. Those observers who live nearby (and were not otherwise detained) were able to share in Geoff's good fortune, including David Campbell, who was on his way to Dungeness to take up the position of DBO assistant warden - a well deserved parting gift! This is the first record for the site and is the 142nd species to be recorded here. Luckily the cameras came out and a gallery of this delightful warbler follows.

Canons Farm: 1 PHEASANT, 1 LITTLE OWL (Greenbelt Field), 1 KESTREL, 1 GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL1 GREY WAGTAIL, 1 MEADOW PIPIT, 1DARTFORD WARBLER (between Lunch Wood and Perrott's Farmhouse), 8 LINNET


Dartford Warbler, Canons Farm, 07/03/16 (Geoff Barter)
Dartford Warbler, Canons Farm, 07/03/16 (Geoff Barter)
Dartford Warbler, Canons Farm, 07/03/16 (Duncan Jennings)
Dartford Warbler, Canons Farm, 07/03/16 (Duncan Jennings)
Dartford Warbler, Canons Farm, 07/03/16 (Duncan Jennings)
Dartford Warbler, Canons Farm, 07/03/16 (Duncan Jennings)

Observers: Geoff Barter, David Campbell, Steve Gale, Duncan Jennings, Phil Wallace