12th December 2017

The hard weather played into our hands with a Snipe and 24 Lapwings seen over the farm today.

Geoff Barter and Steve Gale

11th December 2017

The Red-legged Partridge pair resurfaced in Broadfield.

Red-legged Partridges

Ian Magness

9th December 2017

We enjoyed a beautiful, sunny, if a little chilly, Winter Tour this morning. The highlight was a Red Kite drifting low over Broadfield which evidently lingered in the area as it was later clocked over Round Meadow. Other sightings at CF included a Meadow Pipit, two Yellowhammers, 23 Fieldfares, 50 Redwings, 48 Skylarks, five Rooks, four Buzzards, a Kestrel, three Linnets and two Common Gulls. In the BW sector were 12 Redwings, a Buzzard and a Skylark of note.

Red Kite
Buzzard
Geoff Barter, David Campbell, Paul Goodman, Ian Magness, Linda Mount et al

8th December 2017

A female Stonechat was in Hither Field. Four Yellowhammers were at the farm and very small numbers of Fieldfare and Redwing were seen.

Geoff Barter

3rd December 2017

23 Lesser Redpolls were mainly in the Harholt Plantation and Hither Field held two Stonechats and nine Meadow Pipits. 50 Redwings were seen in the BW sector. Sightings at CF included a Lesser Black-backed Gull, two Mistle Thrushes, a Yellowhammer, 13 Fieldfares, two Redwings and a Buzzard.

Paul Goodman, Ian Magness and Ian Ward

2nd December 2017

A Grey Heron stood proudly in Chipstead Meadow and other CF sector sightings included 30 Linnets, three Redwings, two Skylarks, 15 Yellowhammers, three Greenfinches, three Fieldfares, a Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk.

Paul Goodman

1st December 2017

Two Hawfinches feeding at the west end of the Harholt Plantation were a real treat and a continuation of this year's invasion, while other sightings in the BW sector included a Mistle Thrush, 25 Redwings, six Fieldfares, 12 Lesser Redpolls and eight Bullfinches.

Paul Goodman

29th November 2017

A Snipe flushed from Hither Field was a significant record this late in the autumn for the east side of the patch. Also in Hither Field was a Stonechat.

Graham Harris

28th November 2017

Three Yellowhammers were in the unusual location of Chipstead Meadow, where there were also six Redwings.

Paul Goodman

25th November 2017

This morning saw a Hawfinch fly south over Legal & General (SG), the first in the CF sector during this autumn's invasion, while a Lapwing in Horse Pasture was actually a scarcer sight this year. 12 Fieldfares, two Mistle Thrushes, 10 Yellowhammers, 25 Skylarks, six Rooks and 220 Carrion Crows were also noted.

Steve Gale and Paul Goodman

20th November 2017

The farm had a Rook, two Meadow Pipits, a Pied Wagtail, three Common Gulls, 12 Skylarks, 80 Redwings, 50 Fieldfares, a Mistle Thrush, a Kestrel, a Buzzard, 18 Linnets, two Greenfinches and 30 Goldfinches.

David Campbell

19th November 2017

Two Little Owls, five Skylarks, three Fieldfares, 60 Redwings, a Mistle Thrush, three Greenfinches, a Common Gull, a Buzzard and a Kestrel were noted at the farm.

Ian Ward

18th November 2017

Highlights in the CF sector included two Bramblings, a Grey Heron, 240 Fieldfares, 126 Redwings, a Meadow Pipit, a Sparrowhawk, a Buzzard, five Skylarks, two Yellowhammers and five Greenfinches.

David Campbell

17th November 2017

Today we were treated to the rare sight of a migrant Short-eared Owl at a visible day roost (DKC), a safe enough distance from public footpaths to ensure it was left in peace. Several birders came along during the day to enjoy this fantastic bird which was very alert for the morning before eventually settling to sleep in the afternoon. It became more active and began to preen and stretch as dusk swept in before it took flight at around 16:45, circling the field and vanishing into the ether. The owl somewhat overshadowed a fly-over adult Great Black-backed Gull (DKC), our first in a while. A male Reed Bunting in Game Field (GB) added extra quality and other odds/sods at the farm included a Grey Heron, a Rook, 35 Skylarks, 34 Fieldfares, seven Redwings, 300 Starlings moving west, three Little Owls, a Tawny Owl, a Mistle Thrush, two Meadow Pipits, 19 Linnets and two Buzzards.

Short-eared Owl
Geoff Barter, David Campbell (photo), Darragh Culley, Steve Gale, Paul Goodman, Ian Jones, Ian Magness, Jamie McKenzie, Linda Mount, Robert Russell, Phil Wallace et al

16th November 2017

A Woodcock was seen at the farm.

Geoff Barter

12th November 2017

A female Stonechat was in Hither Field and other BW sector sightings included two Rooks, a Fieldfare, a Pied Wagtail, six Meadow Pipits in Hither Field, a Sparrowhawk and a Buzzard.

Ian Ward

11th November 2017

The only news for the day was of a Woodcock flying over Ruffett Meadow at 14:00, the first report of the autumn for the species.

Paul Goodman

10th November 2017

The pair of Red-legged Partridges were in Infront George East and other CF sightings included seven redpolls (including five confirmed Lessers), a Meadow Pipit, a Pied Wagtail, nine Fieldfares, 53 Redwings, 15 Skylarks, two Yellowhammers, 35 Linnets, a Greenfinch, 15 Chaffinches, three Buzzards, a Kestrel and two Common Gulls.

David Campbell, Paul Goodman and Linda Mount

9th November 2017

Four Little Owls and a Tawny Owl were vocal at CF at dusk, after which a few Redwings were heard as they progressed through the night sky. The two Red-legged Partridges (in Broadfield), Meadow Pipit, two Common Gulls and a Yellowhammer had been noted there earlier.

David Campbell and Ian Magness

7th November 2017

During a brief visit to the farm, five Lapwings flew south-east and a Brambling flew over. The former has been worryingly scarce this year! Other sightings in the CF sector included a redpoll, 59 Fieldfares, two Mistle Thrushes, 53 Redwings, a Pied Wagtail, three Meadow Pipits, a Grey Heron, 15 Black-headed Gulls, a Little Owl, two Buzzards, a Kestrel, 20 Skylarks, 260 Starlings and a Yellowhammer.

David Campbell

6th November 2017

Sightings at the farm included a flock of 42 Skylarks, four Meadow Pipits, 25 Linnets, the Tawny Owl in Lunch Wood, two Little Owls, a Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel, three Buzzards, a Yellowhammer and 30 Starlings.

Three Red Admirals were also seen in the sector.

Geoff Barter

5th November 2017

The highlight of the day came when two Hawfinches landed in the scrub just south of Parsons Land (IPW). Hither Field held a pair of Stonechats and just one Meadow Pipit. Two Siskins and three Skylarks flew over the BW sector and other sightings there included a Pheasant, three Buzzards and a Kestrel.

Paul Goodman, Ian Magness and Ian Ward

3rd November 2017

This morning's Hither Field vigil didn't yield quite the volume of birds as some recent days but was livened up by a Firecrest moving through the hedgerow bordering Hillwood Field, as well as three Hawfinches and two Bramblings overhead. We're not yet getting blasé about the Hawfinches, having only had three records this century prior to this autumn's invasion! A flock of 19 Greylags flew south along the valley early doors, as did a Grey Heron later on, and two Stonechats were in Hither Field. Further migrating passerines seen from Hither Field included 17 redpolls, nine Siskins, two Pied Wagtails, 35 Chaffinches, 130 Redwings, 55 Fieldfares, two Mistle Thrushes, 18 Skylarks and 200 Woodpigeons, while more surprising movers included three Yellowhammers and eight Bullfinches flying high. Gull counts came out as four Common Gulls, 140 Black-headed Gulls and 300 Herring Gulls. Two Sparrowhawks and three Buzzards were also around Hither, plus four Greenfinches, seven Meadow Pipits and 10 Song Thrushes.

A Red Admiral basked on a post at Hither Field.

Firecrest
Greylags

David Campbell (photos), Duncan Jennings and Linda Mount

1st November 2017

News from the BW sector concerned a Peregrine, the lingering Red Kite, a redpoll, 15 Meadow Pipits, 200 Redwings, eight Fieldfares and singles of Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Buzzard.

Ian Jones and Linda Mount

31st October 2017

This morning's skywatching session, over 3.75 hours from dawn, was made worthwhile by three individual Hawfinches and a mighty push of Redwings, totalling 2,550 birds making their way west/south-west. Also moving were 560 Fieldfares, 410 Starlings, a Mistle Thrush, 80 Chaffinches, nine redpolls, 13 Siskins, five Pied Wagtails, six Skylarks, 15 Meadow Pipits, 22 Goldfinches, two Grey Herons, eight Common Gulls, 170 Black-headed Gulls and 250 Herring Gulls. Also noted from Hither Field was a Red Kite, five Mallards and five Greenfinches; two Blackbirds and 15 Song Thrushes behaved as though they were migrants.

David Campbell

30th October 2017

A Hawfinch was seen from Hither Field and the CF sector held 72 Fieldfares, 27 Redwings, a Pied Wagtail, four Meadow Pipits, four Buzzards, a Kestrel, two Mistle Thrushes, 15 Skylarks, a Sparrowhawk, six Black-headed Gulls and two Little Owls.

Geoff Barter

29th October 2017

Another profitable 5-hour skywatching session from the top of Hither Field yielded 14 Hawfinches (including eight which flew out of The Nuttery), two Ravens north along the valley, 800 Redwings, 90 Fieldfares, a Red Kite, eight Siskins, 15 redpolls, five Pied Wagtails, 33 Meadow Pipits, eight Skylarks, 53 Chaffinches, 39 Goldfinches, six Greenfinches, seven Linnets, 170 Starlings, 50 Black-headed Gulls, five Lesser Black-backed Gulls, four Common Gulls and 600 Herring Gulls. Also seen from the position were singles of Tawny Owl, Rook and Kestrel, plus 10 Song Thrushes and six Buzzards. Another three redpolls were by Game Field.

Three Red Admirals flew through the BW sector.

Hawfinch

David Campbell (photo), Christian Cogley, Darragh Culley, Paul Goodman, Simon Suter and Phil/Lynne Wallace

28th October 2017

The BW sector continued to produce the goods today, with a Firecrest found at Perrotts Larches and the Hawfinch influx perpetuated by four birds which flew into the recording area from Park Downs and into the Estate. Further sightings in the sector included four Siskins, two Pied Wagtails, a Mistle Thrush, 15 Fieldfares, 15 Redwings, six Meadow Pipits, five Skylarks, 80 Starlings and six Black-headed Gulls. A noteworthy total of 10 Mistle Thrushes arrived at CF late in the day, where a redpoll flew over and a male Stonechat was seen in Poultry Field. Five Fieldfares, four Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel, 30 Linnets, two Yellowhammers, two Meadow Pipits and a Greenfinch were also at the farm, while a Common Gull, 110 Herring Gulls and six Black-headed Gulls flew over.

A Red Admiral was seen in BW.

David Campbell, Paul Goodman, Natasha Preston and Ian Ward

27th October 2017

A thoroughly enjoyable 5.5-hour visible migration session from the top of Hither Field was headlined by 14 Hawfinches (perhaps as many as 17) and a Ring Ouzel, with a strong supporting cast of 12 Siskins, seven redpolls, a Red Kite, a Peregrine, two Yellowhammers, 210 Fieldfares, four Mistle Thrushes, 90 Redwings, 375 Starlings, 15 Skylarks, a Cormorant, a Grey Heron, 19 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 75 Meadow Pipits, three Pied Wagtails, 130 Chaffinches, 38 Goldfinches, 10 Greenfinches, seven Linnets, 475 Woodpigeons, 550 Herring Gulls, a Common Gull and 20 Black-headed Gulls. Two Rooks, 11 Buzzards, two Sparrowhawks, a Kestrel and two Mallards were also noted from the position.

The farm received relatively light coverage but produced for it a further 20 Fieldfares, 20 Skylarks and two Little Owls.

Eight Red Admirals moved through the recording area today.

Geoff Barter, David Campbell, Paul Goodman, Ian Magness and Nick Tidmarsh

26th October 2017

An experimental visible migration session from the top end of the Harholt Plantation (perhaps an under-rated position for picking up movement?) came up trumps with a Hawfinch, two Bramblings (our 100th species this year), 145 Chaffinches, 40 Meadow Pipits, four Skylarks, a Mistle Thrush, 40 Redwings, 17 Song Thrushes and 10 Black-headed Gulls of note. Meanwhile, a flock of 22 Lesser Redpolls was feeding there, along with a late Chiffchaff. The only news from the farm concerned two Stonechats at Reads Bottom, plus a Peregrine and a Mistle Thrush.

Geoff Barter, David Campbell and Ian Magness

25th October 2017

The patch was not covered till late in the day but observations then kicked off with a Red Kite over Banstead Woods and a season-first was delivered when four Fieldfares dropped into a tree by Owl Meadow. 395 Black-headed Gulls, 63 Herring Gulls and a Common Gull flew towards their roost sites late on. The two Red-legged Partridges were located in the southwest corner of Broadfield East and a female Stonechat was feeding near Canons Farmyard. Also at the farm, four Pied Wagtails flew over, 42 Linnets bumbled around, a Mistle Thrush was in Lunch Wood and 15 Meadow Pipits, three Skylarks, three Yellowhammers, two Little Owls, 58 Rose-ringed Parakeets, four Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel and a Bullfinch were logged. Fames Rough attracted another Mistle Thrush. A frustrating sighting involved a would-be late departure date for either Swallow or House Martin as two silhouetted hirundines were seen motoring high and distantly south from behind and couldn't be confidently assigned to species.

Two Red Admirals were seen at the farm.

David Campbell and Ian Magness

24th October 2017

Banstead Woods provided a decent suite of migrants, topped by a Ring Ouzel calling deep within the yews at Fames Rough before it shot towards Perrotts Farm. Overhead passage in the sector involved eight Siskins, 27 redpolls, 10 Chaffinches, a Skylark, seven Meadow Pipits, three Mistle Thrushes, 115 Redwings, 16 Goldfinches and two Common Gulls. 27 Goldcrests were counted on a limited route. At the farm, there were three further Mistle Thrushes in Broadfield, a Pied Wagtail and two Meadow Pipits overhead, as well as four Skylarks, four Yellowhammers, a Kestrel and a Buzzard.

David Campbell and Ian Magness

23rd October 2017

Considering the mass inundation of Hawfinches into the country over the last couple of weeks, it is little surprise that coverage of Banstead Woods produced a party of three overflying birds this morning, just our third recent record. There should be more of these to come... Overhead passage in the sector also involved a Grey Wagtail, two Siskins, six redpolls, two Meadow Pipits and 15 Redwings. A Grey Heron flew from Park Farm and two Greenfinches were noted. Selected counts of commoner birds included 21 Goldcrests, 10 Song Thrushes and seven Treecreepers.

Three Skylarks and a Buzzard were noted at the farm.

David Campbell and Ian Ward

22nd October 2017

BW sightings included over-flying Siskin, Greenfinch, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail and Common Gull (all singletons), as well as three Stonechats in Hither Field, three Buzzards and a Kestrel.

A noticeable passage of Lesser Black-backed Gulls took place over the farm in the late afternoon, with 20 birds counted, along with nine Black-headed Gulls and 44 Herring Gulls. Birds in the CF sector included the Barn Owl, two male Stonechats, a late Chiffchaff, a Skylark, 120 Starlings, 50 Linnets, two Yellowhammers, a Sparrowhawk and three Buzzards.

One Red Admiral was noted at CF.

David Campbell, Paul Goodman, Phil Wallace and Ian Ward

15th October 2017

The first redpoll of the autumn flew over the Harholt Plantation and nearby two Stonechats were seen in Hither Field. Fly-overs at BW included four Redwings, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a Black-headed Gull, three Rooks, nine Meadow Pipits and a Pied Wagtail. Also present there were two Buzzards, a Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk. CF also had a Pied Wagtail, plus a Chiffchaff and a Bullfinch.

Two Red Admirals and a Peacock were logged in the CF sector. A Brown Hairstreak was seen in the Harholt Plantation, a Meadow Brown was in Hither Field and a Southern Hawker visited Piddly Pond.

Ian Ward

14th October 2017

The first 15 Redwings of the autumn were an overdue sighting at the farm, where a Mistle Thrush, a Chiffchaff, two male Stonechats, six Meadow Pipits, 80 Linnets, 10 Yellowhammers, eight Skylarks and a Lesser Black-backed Gull were among the other notables logged.

Andy Downing and Paul Goodman

8th October 2017

The CF sector produced three Stonechats, the two Red-legged Partridges, four Little Owls, six Meadow Pipits, 12 Skylarks and three Yellowhammers. Four Buzzards were noted.

Andy Harding and Ian Ward

7th October 2017

The two Red-legged Partridges were seen again at the farm, along with a Stonechat, four Buzzards, a Kestrel and a Yellowhammer.

Simon Hammond

12th October 2017

Four Stonechats, four House Martins and two Swallows were seen at the farm.

Stonechats at Reads Bottom

Ian Magness

6th October 2017

Sorry but this will be the last update for at least a couple of weeks due to DKC being away in Ethiopia... Do visit the farm in the meantime to keep up the coverage and, if/when there is wifi, the Twitter feed (@cfbwbirds) will be updated with any significant news. Thanks!

Overhead movement at the farm during the latter half of the morning involved a Snipe, a male Reed Bunting, seven Pied Wagtails and nine Meadow Pipits. 10 Skylarks and 40 Linnets were noted and a male Stonechat flicked along the east side of Horse Pasture, where a Little Owl announced itself. The adult male Peregrine returned and had a pop at some Feral Pigeons over Infront George. One Chiffchaff was by Canons Farmhouse. Four Buzzards, two Kestrels, three Yellowhammers and a Black-headed Gull were also in the sector.

adult ♂ Peregrine

David Campbell (photo) and Linda Mount

3rd October 2017

Overhead passage at the farm involved six Pied Wagtails, 20 Chaffinches and five Meadow Pipits. 20 Skylarks were on the deck. BW had two Wheatears and three Meadow Pipits in Hither Field, along with two Mistle Thrushes, a Sparrowhawk and two Buzzards in the sector.

A Clouded Yellow was at Fames Rough and other BW butterflies were a Common Blue, Brimstone, a Comma, five Red Admirals and five Meadow Browns. A Southern Hawker was at Fames Rough.

Clouded Yellow
♂ Common Blue

Steve Gale, Duncan Jennings (photos) and WoodChips Conservation Volunteers

2nd October 2017

CF had a Chiffchaff, three Skylarks, eight Buzzards, a Kestrel, a Sparrowhawk, a Little Owl and the regular Tawny Owl in Lunch Wood. Another Tawny Owl was vocal in BW, where a late Willow Warbler and 10 House Martins were noted, along with another Buzzard.

Geoff Barter and Linda Mount

1st October 2017

The two Red-legged Partridges were still in Broadfield and the Barn Owl was still at the farm, where two Mistle Thrushes, a Stonechat, 12 Meadow Pipits, a Pied Wagtail, a Little Owl, two Kestrels, five Buzzards, two Black-headed Gulls, 39 Herring Gulls, two Kestrels, three Rooks, eight Skylarks, two Chiffchaffs, 300 Linnets and three Yellowhammers were also recorded.

David Campbell and Steve Gale

29th September 2017

The CF sector provided two Red-legged Partridges, a Hobby, a Mistle Thrush, three Chiffchaffs, a Pied Wagtail, 13 Meadow Pipits, 100 Swallows, nine Skylarks, two Buzzards and six Yellowhammers. The Tawny Owl was on view in Lunch Wood.

A Brown Hairstreak was seen alongside Doric Field.

Geoff Barter and Ian Ward

28th September 2017

The Barn Owl, 250 Swallows, 75 Skylarks, a Blackcap, six Chiffchaffs, 250 Linnets and six Yellowhammers were logged at CF, along with a count of 20 Dunnocks.

Steve Gale

26th September 2017

The Barn Owl, a late Whitethroat, a Whinchat, five Stonechats, six Yellowhammers, 13 Skylarks, three Rooks, six Chiffchaffs, the Lunch Wood Tawny Owl, a Little Owl, four Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel were noted in the CF sector. BW had two Rooks and a Kestrel of note.

A Clouded Yellow was at BW and other butterflies in the recording area included two Commas, two Peacocks, a Red Admiral, two Brimstones, three Small White, four Large Whites, two Small Heaths, six Meadow Browns and a Small Copper. A Common Darter was at BW and a Migrant Hawker at CF.

♀ Stonechat
Whinchat

Steve Gale (photos), Duncan Jennings, Ian Ward and WoodChips Conservation Volunteers


25th September 2017

A Spotted Flycatcher at the farm was a nice late record and other highlights there included two Whinchats, a Grey Wagtail, the Barn Owl and four Stonechats.

Steve Gale

24th September 2017

Highlights at the farm included a Grey Wagtail, two Whinchats, two Stonechats, a Willow Warbler, a Red Kite, two Peregrines and the Barn Owl. Among the other bits noted were three Chiffchaffs, five Meadow Pipits, two Common Gulls, 15 Swallows, a Little Owl, 40 Linnets, six Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk and two Kestrels.


A Clouded Yellow was at CF and other butterfly sightings on patch were four Red Admirals, three Speckled Woods, a Meadow Brown, three Large Whites, a Small White and two Brimstones. An Emperor, two Migrant Hawkers and a Common Darter were the odonata.

Geoff Barter and Natasha Preston

23rd September 2017

Sightings at CF included two Whinchats, a Peregrine, 30 Meadow Pipits, six Buzzards and a Kestrel. In the BW sector, a Stonechat was in Hither Field and other sightings included a Blackcap, two Chiffchaffs and two Swallows.

Butterflies in the BW sector included a Brown Hairstreak in Hither Field, two Red Admirals, a Peacock, a Large White and two Small Whites. A female Migrant Hawker patrolled Stagbury Field.

Natasha Preston and Ian Ward

22nd September 2017

The highlight of the morning was the first Reed Bunting of the autumn calling around Owl Meadow. A flock of six Cormorants made tracks south and a Yellow Wagtail zipped overhead. Light Meadow Pipit passage at the farm reached around 40 birds. More noticable was Pied Wagtail movement, with five over the farm. Three Wheatears were around Owl Meadow, five Stonechats were seen around Tart's Field, three Skylarks flying around Reads Rest seemed to be newly arrived and Linnets numbered around 200. Raptors at CF were represented by a Red Kite, a Hobby, 10 Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk and two Kestrels. Two Canada Geese and a drake Mallard flew over the sector. Migrant warblers at the farm comprised a Willow Warbler, six Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap. Work in Broadfield continued but only attracted two adult Common Gulls, four adult Black-headed Gulls and a Rook of note; a further 11 Black-headeds flew over. A Little Owl was calling on the east side of Horse Pasture, a Greenfinch flew over and three Yellowhammers were logged. After yesterday's frenzy, only 16 Swallows were noted at the farm, with a further eight over BW, which did log 100 House Martins, normally a reasonable count!

Butterflies at CF included six Red Admirals, three Speckled Woods, 12 Meadow Browns, a Comma, three Large Whites and a Small White. Odonata there were represented by two Common Darters and two Migrant Hawkers. In BW, a Comma, a Red Admiral, a Small White and a Southern Hawker were seen.

Geoff Barter, David Campbell, Duncan Jennings, Paul Mattos and WoodChips Conservation Volunteers

21st September 2017

The day count records for both House Martin and Swallow were smashed today with a quite spectacular hirundine movement over the farm. Swallows finished on 4,000 by 13:15 while House Martins reached the dizzying figure of 6,710 (SG et al). No other site in Surrey approached today's figures and the martin count may even be a county record. The patch seems to be prone to witnessing such movements occasionally. Indeed, the previous records for both species were quite respectable in themselves, made on the similar date of 17th September 2013, when 6,000 House Martins and 2,000 Swallows were logged.

Otherwise, notable sightings in the CF sector included a Yellow Wagtail and two Cormorants overhead, as well as a count of 220 Linnets. Just two Meadow Pipits were reported and singles of Chiffchaff, Little Owl and Skylark were also logged.

Geoff Barter, Andy Downing and Steve Gale

20th September 2017

The Barn Owl was still at the farm, where six Stonechats made for a respectable count. Meadow Pipits, House Martins and Swallows were moving through in fairly small numbers. A Rook and four Black-headed Gulls visited Broadfield. A Willow Warbler was at the farm, a Skylark was at Infront George and 40 Linnets were counted at the farm. A further 15 Black-headed Gulls flew over the Chipstead Valley, along with 100 Herring Gulls.

Butterflies seen in the CF sector were two Red Admirals and three Speckled Woods.

Geoff Barter, Ian Magness and Robert Russell

Check back to yesterday for extra news from the BW sector

19th September 2017

Sightings in the CF sector included two female Stonechats, 90 House Martins, 10 Swallows, seven Chiffchaffs, three Little Owls, a Peregrine, the Tawny Owl in Lunch Wood and 11 Buzzards.

An impressive total of 17 Mistle Thrushes were noted in the BW sector, along with two House Martins, three Chiffchaffs, four Blackcaps and 20 Goldfinches of note. Further BW sightings included a Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel and four Bullfinches.

BW butterflies included singles of Comma, Peacock and Speckled Wood, as well as five Small Heaths, four Meadow Browns and three Small Whites. A female Common Darter was also seen there.

Steve Gale, Duncan Jennings and Ian Magness

18th September 2017

Overhead passage at CF involved a Yellow Wagtail, 80 Meadow Pipits, two Pied Wagtails, nine House Martins and 14 Swallows. Two Common Gulls were attracted to activity in the fields along iwith nine Black-headed Gulls and two Canada Geese flew over. One of the female Stonechats was still in Tart's Field and a new bird, a male, was at Infront George. Linnet numbers at the farm built to 120. A Hobby made a brief appearance over Broadfield.

David Campbell

17th September 2017

The clear highlight today as a juvenile Sedge Warbler in the rough area by Reads Rest Cottages (DCu), just our fourth record of the species, and the first since 2014. Other sightings in the CF sector included our first Barn Owl of the season (one of our earlier autumn dates on record), a Peregrine, two female Stonechats in Tart's Field (presumably the same birds that arrived yesterday), three Chiffchaffs, 20 Meadow Pipits, four Swallows, 75 Linnets and four Buzzards. The first Common Gull of the autumn flew over.

Singles of Comma and Red Admiral were at Reads Rest Cottages.

David Campbell and Darragh Culley

16th September 2017

Coverage of the south side of CF produced at least one Golden Plover (heard but unseen high over Broadfield at 10:56, our first record of this formerly regular species since August 2013!), a Firecrest by the compost heap at Legal & General (our 13th record and the second this year) and further overhead passage involving 121 Meadow Pipits, 28 House Martins, 58 Swallows, five Black-headed Gulls and four Pied Wagtails. Two female Stonechats flitted around Owl Meadow and Horse Pasture. 10 Chiffchaffs and three Blackcaps were logged, along with three Little Owls, 30 Linnets, two Canada Geese, a Hobby, three Mistle Thrushes, a Rook and a Collared Dove. Additional local birds included four Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk, two Kestrels and three Yellowhammers.

Willow Warblers are thin on the ground now so one in the Harholt Plantation was a nice sighting. Other BW sector sightings included a further eight House Martins, six Swallows and five Chiffchaffs, along with singles of Meadow Pipit, Whitethroat and Blackcap, two Pheasants, a Buzzard and 17 Rose-ringed Parakeets.

Three Red Admirals in the sector seemed to be migrants. BW butterfly sightings involved two Small Heaths, a Peacock, a Speckled Wood, five Large Whites, a Small White, a Green-veined White and eight Meadow Browns. Piddly Pond sported a Southern Hawker.

David Campbell, Andy Downing and Ian Ward

14th September 2017

At the farm, two Yellow Wagtails, a Pied Wagtail and 31 Meadow Pipits passed over. Two male Peregrines, including the regular adult, were battling over pigeon-hunting rights over Broadfield. Other CF sightings included eight Black-headed Gulls, a Collared Dove, two Chiffchaffs and four Yellowhammers.

David Campbell

12th September 2017

In the BW sector, two Stonechats were seen in Hither Field. A touch of overhead passage included a Yellow Wagtail, three Cormorants and 16 Meadow Pipits at the farm. A Hobby and the regular adult male Peregrine shared the same airspace over Broadfield. 300 Swallows were counted with just one House Martin among them.

Geoff Barter, David Campbell and Graham Harris

10th September 2017

Coverage of the farm in the morning produced a Wheatear, two flyover Yellow Wagtails, two Peregrines (a female along with the regular adult male), 10 Meadow Pipits, 10 Swallows, three Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, two grounded Lesser Black-backed Gulls, the Lunch Wood Tawny Owl, two Little Owls around Reads Bottom, a Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel, four Buzzards, a Pied Wagtail, three Yellowhammers, etc.

Butterflies in CF included a Comma, two Red Admirals, a Peacock and four Speckled Woods.

Geoff Barter and Ian Magness

9th September 2017

It was another productive day with overhead passage at the farm involving a Grey Wagtail, two Sand Martins, two Yellow Wagtails, 24 Meadow Pipits, 20 House Martins, 280 Swallows and singles of Cormorant, Grey Heron and Lesser Black-backed Gull. Just north of Canons Farmyard, the female Stonechat remained. The adult male Peregrine was causing havoc among the pigeons around Broadfield again and four Canada Geese noisily toured the farm. A Willow Warbler and two Chiffchaffs were in the sector along with three Rooks, a Greenfinch and 20 Linnets. Local birds in CF included a Little Owl, a Sparrowhawk, two Buzzards, three Kestrels and four Yellowhammers. Sightings in the BW sector included two Blackcaps, a Whitethroat, a charm of 20 Goldfinches and five Buzzards.

A Brown Hairstreak was seen in Round Meadow and other butterflies at CF included a Red Admiral, a Green-veined White and a Small White. BW insects included a Brown Hairstreak at the Harholt Plantation, two Peacocks, two Commas, two Small Heaths, two Speckled Woods, 18 Meadow Browns, 17 Small Whites, two Large Whites, a Brimstone, two Southern Hawkers and two Common Darters.

Stonechat
David Campbell (photo), Andy Downing, Paul Goodman, Natasha Preston and Ian Ward

8th September 2017

Overcast conditions with showers were promising birding conditions but it was a long while till any decent level of light filtered its way through the clouds! However, the birding didn't take long to kick off with two vocal Ravens flying east at 07:20. At 08:42, an interesting raptor appeared over Broadfield with several corvids on its tail, quickly resolving into a juvenile Honey-buzzard! It was a fairly pale individual and represents our fourth record, following birds in 2012, 2013 and 2016. The corvids pushed it west before it double-backed and lost height behind Ruffett Wood. It seems very likely that the bird had roosted on site or very close-by.

Our first Stonechat of the autumn was found on the edge of Bog Field while a Whinchat was seen in Owl Meadow. Seven Meadow Pipits and 10 Swallows flew over the farm, along with 10 Black-headed Gulls. Three Rooks were amid the corvid swarm at Gunman's Shaw and the Tawny Owl was hooting again in Lunch Wood. Two Blackcaps, a Whitethroat, a Chiffchaff, two Sparrowhawks, three Buzzards and two Yellowhammers were also in the CF sector. The southwestern section of BW held a further four Blackcaps and three Chiffchaffs

A video of the Honey-buzzard can be seen here

David Campbell, Paul Goodman and Ian Jones

7th September 2017

A Hobby and 25 House Martins were seen over the BW sector and nine Swallows flew over CF.

Butterflies in BW included a late Chalkhill Blue, two Common Blues, six Speckled Woods, a Red Admiral, a Comma, two Large Whites, a Small White, a Green-veined White, 10 Small Heaths and 32 Meadow Browns. One Southern Hawker was noted.

Geoff Barter and Duncan Jennings

6th September 2017

A Raven flew south over Broadfield and three Whinchats were at the farm. Nine Canada Geese flew over and six Swallows flew over, too. In the BW sector, a Hobby was reported.

Geoff Barter and Graham Harris

5th September 2017

Two Red-legged Partridges resurfaced today in Broadfield and the adult male Peregrine showed up again.

Steve Gale

Late news for 2nd: A very notable and somewhat out-of-season flock of 28 Greylags hurled themselves across the patch recording area into CF at dusk - Ian Magness

4th September 2017

Two Whinchats were mobile around Owl Meadow in off-putting birding conditions in the early morning. A Grey Heron flew over. A Black-headed Gull and three Herring Gulls were feeding in Broadfield. Other sightings at the farm were pretty much limited to four Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, a Whitethroat, a Little Owl, two Yellowhammers and 19 Linnets.

Whinchat

David Campbell (photo), Andy Downing and Linda Mount

3rd September 2017

The best bird of the autumn so far was discovered mid-afternoon in Lunch Wood, a Pied Flycatcher. This is just our fourth record, following birds in 1977, 2012 and 2013. Unfortunately, the weather turned foul and the bird vanished. A flock of five Whinchats near Reads Rest Cottages was our first group of these charming migrants this autumn and the adult male Peregrine reappeared. The Tawny Owl was hooting in Lunch Wood, two Little Owls were noted and Linnet numbers climbed to 80. Four Buzzards, a Whitethroat and a Chiffchaff were also logged at the farm.

Whinchat
Steve Gale

2nd September 2017

It was a stunning day for our Autumn Migration Tour and 14 of us enjoyed a good variety of refuelling migrants. However, the best bird of the day, a Spotted Flycatcher, unfortunately only showed in the early morning around Canons Farmyard. Most notable during the Tour itself were three Sand Martins feeding among the Swallows over Broadfield, the latter species notching up a total of 130 in the end. The Garden Warbler was still present, seen in the holly bush at the hedge 'junction' of Bog, Can Hatch and Tart's fields. The adult male Peregrine was again seen as it had a brief go at pigeons over Broadfield and a Hobby was seen over the BW sector. A lone Wheatear was in the hedge between Broadfield and Horse Pasture then on the barns in Canons Farmyard. It was nice to see a September Swift as it passed high over Broadfield and four Meadow Pipits flew through the farm. Singles of Black-headed and Lesser Black-backed Gull also flew over. A Willow Warbler was seen along Reads Rest Lane between Canons Farmhouse and Reads Rest Cottages and farm warbler tallies include four Whitethroats, two Blackcaps and eight Chiffchaffs. Another three Whitethroats were in Holly Lane Meadow, plus two more Blackcaps in the BW sector. The day-hooting Tawny Owl proclaimed itself again in Lunch Wood, while two Little Owls and a Rook were at CF. Six Kestrels were counted across the entire recording area.

A Brown Hairstreak was seen in the hedgerow between Bog Field and Owl Meadow, and another was noted in Holly Lane Meadow. Two Red Admirals and a Comma were in the CF sector, plus two Speckled Woods. Further BW butterflies included a Small Copper in Hither Field and a late Chalkhill Blue. A Migrant Hawker, four Southern Hawkers and two Common Darters were also noted in BW.

Geoff Barter, David Campbell, Paul Goodman, Duncan Jennings, Ian Jones, Ian Magness, Linda Mount, Natasha Preston, Mark Stanley, Ian Ward et al

1st September 2017

A final call to join us for our Autumn Migration Tour tomorrow morning; see details here

The magic month had a fantastic start this morning with another day on which several uncommon visitors were encountered. The top-biller was a Firecrest which made a brief appearance with a tit flock near the Reads Rest Lane entrance to Banstead Woods (PGo, our 12th record of this species and the 94th species recorded on the patch this year). The first-winter male Redstart had stayed the night and was favouring the fallen tree between Bog Field and Owl Meadow again but today had the company of a Spotted Flycatcher, a Whinchat and a Garden Warbler, as well as the Lesser Whitethroat again. Another Whinchat was found near Reads Rest Cottages. At least three Wheatears were logged across the farm and the adult male Peregrine paid another visit as it terrorised the pigeon flock in Bog Field. A single Meadow Pipit was heard flying over Broadfield where a Rook was seen and 80 Swallows and 20 House Martins were feeding. Tallies of common migrant warblers at the farm included four Willow Warblers, 13 Chiffchaffs, four Whitethroats and a Blackcap. A Lesser Black-backed Gull flew over and further sightings in the CF sector included 10 Buzzards, two Sparrowhawks, three Kestrels, two Little Owls, 20 Linnets, a Skylark and two Yellowhammers. In BW, an extra Willow Warbler and another Blackcap were near the Reads Rest Lane entrance.

1cy ♂ Redstart
Spotted Flycatcher
Whinchat
Whinchat (second bird)


David Campbell (photos 1-3), Steve Gale and Paul Goodman (photo 4)

31st August 2017

CF sector birds: We enjoyed our first Redstart of the autumn, a male which spent its time feeding along McManic Way [between the Watchpoint and Broadfield], in the same area as an unusually showy Lesser Whitethroat. Two Wheatears were new in and found sufficient turf in the recently harvested Broadfield. A reasonable number of House Martins and Swallows arrived ahead of the afternoon rain, numbering 40 and 200 respectively and with a slightly tardy Swift in their midst. Both Peregrine and Hobby are on the log for the day, the former visiting Stoney Nob (seemingly the adult male from the other day) and the latter cruising high overhead during the morning. Four Meadow Pipits flew through, a Mallard was heard calling and 11 Black-headed Gulls flew over. 10 Chiffchaffs were scattered around the farm but only two Willow Warblers were to be found. Two Blackcaps and three Whitethroats were also seen. Three Pied Wagtails were noted at Legal & General and three Little Owls were calling around the farm. Skylarks have performed their usual late summer vanishing act recently but one was heard today. The Tawny Owl in Lunch Wood was hooting again and usual raptors included a male Kestrel, two Sparrowhawks and four Buzzards. 52 species in total.

CF sector butterflies: A Red Admiral was seen near Canons Farmhouse and a couple of Meadow Browns were seen.

1cy ♂ Redstart
Wheatears near Reads Rest Cottages
adult ♂ Peregrine on Stoney Nob

David Campbell (photo 1), Steve Gale (photos 2-3), Paul Goodman, Linda Mount, Ian Pratley et al

29th August 2017

Yet another Whinchat was found near Rest Rest Cottages. Other sightings at the farm included a Hobby, 10 Swallows, a Whitethroat, two Chiffchaffs, three Yellowhammers, a Sparrowhawk and three Buzzards.

Steve Gale

28th August 2017

The farm wasn't covered today but a Wheatear was found in the BW sector in Hither Field.

A Brown Hairstreak was located by the crosspaths between the Scouts camp and the housing estate in BW. Other butterflies in the sector included five Chalkhill Blues, 12 Small Heaths, a Small Copper, five Speckled Woods, eight Brimstones and three each of Red Admiral, Comma and Green-veined Whites. Common Blues, Small Whites and Meadow Browns were also on the wing.

Three Migrant and four Southern Hawkers were logged and a Slow-worm was encountered in the same area as the Brown Hairstreak!

1cy Wheatear in Hither Field
Slow-worm on the move

Ian Ward

27th August 2017

Things were a little quieter today but there were still some good highlights on offer in a few hours of coverage during the morning. A new Lesser Whitethroat was found at Reads Rest Cottages and fly-overs included three Yellow Wagtails, 20 House Martins, a Lesser Black-backed Gull, nine Black-headed Gulls and four Mallards. One Rook, nine Swallows, a Willow Warbler, two Whitethroats, a Blackcap, nine Chiffchaffs and a Greenfinch were also logged. A Little Owl was vocal from the east side of Horse Pasture.

Geoff Barter, David Campbell, Paul Goodman and Ian Jones

26th August 2017

Click here for details of our upcoming Autumn Migration Tour

Another cracking morning! Early on, a Tree Pipit delivered a couple of notes from high up as it headed south and a Whinchat popped up in the hedge between Ballards Field and Heathside Field. Three Yellow Wagtails passed over by mid-morning and a din around Bog Field drew attention to a male Peregrine under corvid bombardment in the half-dead ash. The falcon was no doubt drawn in by the hordes of pigeons feasting in the stubble fields. Three Red Kites flew over, one assaulted by some of the nine Buzzards counted today. The elusive Lesser Whitethroat was still tacking occasionally along Slangs, along with a Willow Warbler. Other warblers included four Whitethroats, two Blackcaps and five Chiffchaffs. A Mistle Thrush was by the Watchpoint briefly while a Lesser Black-backed Gull, 10 Black-headed Gulls, three Rooks and two Pied Wagtails flew over. Swallows numbered 40 and 22 Linnets were knocking around. Two Little Owls were calling and, more unusual (especially for the time of year) was a hooting Tawny Owl in Lunch Wood. Two Collared Doves were noted.

BW sightings included three Sparrowhawks, a Whitethroat, three Blackcaps and seven Chiffchaffs.

A Migrant Hawker was hawking by Ruffett Wood and butterflies logged at the farm included Red Admiral, Comma and Speckled Wood.

A nice insect find came in the form of a Clouded Yellow at Coneyboro Hill. Also in the BW sector, five Brown Hairstreaks were seen in various locations, a Silver-washed Fritillary was at Fames Rough and other butterflies included seven Chalkhill Blues, two Brown Argus, 30 Common Blues, seven Small Heaths, 80 Meadow Browns, six Speckled Woods, a Red Admiral, a Peacock, 30 Small Whites, three Large Whites, five Brimstones. Seven Common Darters were on the west side of Holly Lane Meadow, two Southern Hawkers were at Piddly Pond and the sector had six Migrant Hawkers.

Peregrine
Whinchat
Common Darter at Holly Lane Meadow
Speckled Wood at BW

David Campbell (photos 1-2), Nigel Jackman, Linda Mount, Natasha Preston and Ian Ward (photos 3-4)

25th August 2017

It was a class early autumn morning thanks to a decent suite of uncommon migrants. Best of all was a Spotted Flycatcher which spent a few minutes on the wires by Reads Rest Cottages, closely followed by a Whinchat at Reads Bottom, an elusive Lesser Whitethroat along Slangs and a flurry of eight Yellow Wagtails which flew southwest. From the heavens a Wheatear dropped into a tree by Doric Field and what was presumably the same unsettled bird was spotted as it flew high southwest later on. Two Black-headed Gulls and singles of Swift, Meadow Pipit and Lesser Black-backed Gull also flew over, while on the ground seven Willow Warblers was a decent count. 35 Swallows, eight Whitethroats, six Blackcaps and four Chiffchaffs were also noted. No fewer than 19 Buzzards were logged and, in the 'latterly notable' category, a singing Collared Dove at L&G and three overflying Greenfinches are worth a mention. Two Little Owls were heard calling.

Spotted Flycatcher by Reads Rest Cottages

David Campbell (photo) and Paul Goodman

24th August 2017

Coverage was limited to a hurried circuit of Owl Meadow but rewarded by a Whinchat in the hedge alongside Broadfield, three Yellow Wagtails heading southwest together, a Willow Warbler in Canons Farmyard and 13 Swallows of note.


David Campbell

23rd August 2017

A couple of hours spent on the south side of the farm this morning produced some quality fly-overs. First up, a Yellow Wagtail headed south at 07:53 and was followed 30-minutes later by two Tree Pipits buzzing as they flew ENE. More surprising later on was a flock of three Snipe which flew high north at 10:27. Other fly-overs included our first four Black-headed Gulls of the autumn (overdue!), a Grey Heron and 18 Swallows, with seven more of the latter involving the breeding pair at Perrotts Farmhouse and their five offspring. Two Little Owls, a Rook, three Whitethroats, two Blackcaps and a Greenfinch were among the other birds noted.

In the dull conditions, butterfly sightings were limited to small numbers of Speckled Woods and Meadow Browns.

David Campbell

22nd August 2017

A male Wheatear was found in Hither Field. Four Whitethroats were seen in the BW sector, where 10 Nuthatches were also counted. Six Swallows and two Chiffchaffs were logged at the farm, along with two Kestrels.

Graham Harris and Ian Pratley

21st August 2017

The southern section of the farm was covered, revealing grounded migrants by way of lone Meadow Pipit and Willow Warbler. Four Blackcaps, four Chiffchaffs and six Whitethroats will still involve some local birds. A Rook flew around and 16 Swallows counted included three freshly fledged juveniles by Perrotts Farmhouse. 13  Swifts loitered around Canons Farmhouse. Two Little Owls were calling around Stoney Nob.

Swallow family by Perrotts Farmhouse

David Campbell and Ian Magness (photo)

20th August 2017

Bird sightings in the BW sector were limited to 10 Chiffchaffs, three Blackcaps and two Buzzards.

Singles of both Brown and Purple Hairstreak were noted (the former being seen at the Harholt Plantation), along with 10 Chalkhill Blues, 10 Common Blues, a Small Copper, a Small Heath, six Gatekeepers, 30 Meadow Browns, a Speckled Wood, a Large White and six Small Whites.

Brown Hairstreak
Paul Goodman

19th August 2017

A Swift flew west and other birds at the farm included three Kestrels and two Buzzards.

Two Brown Hairstreaks were seen at the farm: one in the northwest corner of Holly Wood and another along the hedgerow between Broadfield and Owl Meadow. Other butterflies in the sector included a Brown Argus, 14 Speckled Woods, a Small Tortoiseshell, three Commas, a Brimstones, seven Large Whites, 13 Small Whites, five Meadow Browns and a Gatekeeper.

Odonata at CF were represented by two Southern Hawkers, a Migrant Hawker and a Common Darter.

Small Tortoiseshell
Ian Ward

18th August 2017

A Red Kite flew over Round Meadow and two Swallows were over Bog Field. A Willow Warbler was in Lunch Wood and other warblers in the CF sector included singles of Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff.

At BW, a Mistle Thrush, a Whitethroat and seven Chiffchaffs were logged.

A Holly Blue, four Speckled Woods, a Small Tortoiseshell, eight Small Whites and 10 Meadow Browns were noted at CF, as was a Southern Hawker. In BW there were six Chalkhill Blues, a Brown Argus, four Common Blues, a Small Heath, a Gatekeeper, 17 Meadow Browns, a Speckled Wood, two Red Admirals, a Comma and a Green-veined White. A Common Darter was also in the sector.

Paul Goodman, Duncan Jennings and Ian Pratley

17th August 2017

Few highlights in the BW sector but 25 Goldfinches at Park Farm is worth a mention.

Duncan Jennings

16th August 2017

Highlights included a Willow Warbler at Parsons Land, a Pied Wagtail at Legal & General and six Swallows at the farm. Three Kestrels, two Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk and three Bullfinches were also seen across the patch.

Ian Pratley

10-15th August 2017

I've been away again so here's another quick roundup of events since our last update. 11th saw a Reed Warbler, our third record and found by PGo, turn up at Canons Farmyard. The same day, a Garden Warbler, a scarce autumn bird for us, was found in Round Meadow with three Willow Warblers. 14 Chiffchaffs were also in the CF sector that day, along with three Blackcaps and two Whitethroats. A nice little fall!

Another Garden Warbler was seen in the Harholt Plantation on 10th, when four Willow Warblers were across the patch, a Meadow Pipit was noted near Perrotts Farmhouse and four House Martins flew over Broadfield. Three Willow Warblers were on the patch on 14th. As well as the odd migrant Swallow, we are pleased to announce a confirmed breeding attempt underway.  A Cormorant was a notable fly-over at BW on 11th. One of the local Little Owls was noted along Slangs on 10th and six Swifts flew over the farm the next day. Two Rooks were in the BW sector on 14th.

The first Brown Hairstreak of the year was logged on the east side of Ruffett Wood on 10th. The same day, the BW sector had two Silver-washed Fritillaries, five Chalkhill Blues and five Brown Argus. In BW again, three Brown Hairstreaks were recorded on 15th, along with four Silver-washed Fritillaries, two Purple Hairstreaks, 10 Brown Argus, seven Chalkhill Blues, two Small Coppers and eight Small Heaths.

Common Darters were seen mating by Canons Farmhouse on 13th and another two were noted in BW on 15th. A Southern Hawker was at the farm on 11th, as was a Migrant Hawker on 10th.

our breeding Swallows!





Geoff Barter, Paul Goodman (photo 2), Ian Magness (photo 1), Ian Pratley, Ian Ward and WoodChips Conservation Volunteers

8th August 2017

In the BW sector, a Willow Warbler, three Whitethroats, a Sparrowhawk family were the most noteworthy avian sightings, along with a flock of 30 Goldfinches in Holly Lane Meadow.

Seven Swifts were seen at the farm, as well as four Swallows, two Whitethroats and a Kestrel.

juvenile Robin
Ian Pratley and Ian Ward (photo)

7th August 2017

Incredibly, a 'cream-crown' Marsh Harrier flew over the farm again today, this time heading WNW before departing to the north and in view between 09:40 and 09:45. It's tempting to speculate that it could be yesterday's individual returning, having lingered in the wider local area overnight. The southern side of the farm was scoured for grounded migrants but a Willow Warbler feeding in the bean crop in Broadfield was the only obvious example. A number of dispersing juvenile Chiffchaffs were in evidence too, with seven counted. Six Whitethroats and a Blackcap were also logged. Overhead, 11 House Martins and 32 Swifts pushed through, along with six Swallows. Three Greenfinches are also worth mentioning.

A Common Blue was in Canons Farmyard. Other butterflies included a Speckled Wood, a Gatekeeper and two Small Whites.

A Large Red Damselfly was noted in the CF sector.

Marsh Harrier, a little lower this time

David Campbell and Natasha Preston

6th August 2017

Our first in three years, and our sixth record in all, a high-flying female/immature Marsh Harrier stole the show over the farm early in the afternoon as it casually circled at great altitude. Grounded migrants were hoped for but were few and far between, although a single Wheatear, our first of the autumn, represented some 'quality'. Swifts pushed into the WSW wind, with 63 seen in total over the patch. 10 House Martins flew over the BW sector.

Resident birds included a Little Owl flying along the edge of Horse Pasture and fledglings of both Buzzard and Sparrowhawk on site.

In the BW sector, a Clouded Yellow was of course the best of the butterflies, while other species seen included five Silver-washed Fritillaries (one of which being a valesina morph), some 50 Chalkhill Blues, three Small Coppers, 14 Brown Argus, six Small Heaths, a Holly Blue, 120 Common Blues, two Commas, five Peacocks, six Speckled Woods, 30 Gatekeepers, 230 Meadow Browns, 15 Brimstones, three Large Whites, eight Small Whites and three Green-veined Whites.

Butterflies at CF included a Holly Blue, three Common Blues, a Comma, three Red Admirals, two Brown Argus, three Speckled Woods, six Small Whites and four Large Whites.

Odonata were represented by six Southern and five Migrant Hawkers in BW, with another of the latter seen by Legal & General.
♀/immature Marsh Harrier high over the farm

valesina morph Silver-washed Fritillary at Fames Rough

David Campbell (photo 1), Paul Goodman, Ian Pratley and Ian Ward (photo 2)

25th July-3rd August 2017

Thanks for bearing with me while I've been away. It's fantastic to have received over 500 records from CFBW during my time in Scotland/Finland. Here's an attempt at a meaningul roundup, please forgive any inadvertent omissions of notable records.

CF birds
The most significant event of the last couple of weeks was the successful breeding of Red-legged Partridge, something which would have been a bookies' favourite were odds to be offered on the next 'new' breeding bird at the patch (although it is possible they bred in the days before the Group). The appearance of Willow Warblers away from breeding territories in mid-summer (or early autumn, depending on how you view things!) is always an exciting indication of the spell of migration to come. The farm received two individuals during the period, with singles on 28th and 30th. Further movement was evident as House Martins began to trickle through, including starting with 11 on 28th then followed by 10 on 30th and three on 3rd. Swifts began their more hurried exodus, with movements of 26 on 25th, 20 on 29th, 19 on 1st and 20 on 3rd. Swallows included a count of 40 on 30th. Notable fly-overs included two Red Kites and a Grey Heron, all on 28th.

BW birds
We don't tend to get many escapees on the patch but a Canary added itself to our very short avian absconders list on 1st. Sightings of 'proper' birds were limited, with a Grey Heron on 30th, plus six Swallows and a Mistle Thrush on 25th about the best on offer.

CF butterflies
A Common Blue on 3rd was noteworthy for the sector. A Holly Blue was noted on 3rd.

BW butterflies
Clouded Yellows, always a fantastic spot locally, were reported on 29th and 1st. Another migrant, a Painted Lady, was seen on 3rd. Purple Hairstreaks appeared on 25th, when five were counted, and four were noted on 1st. Some 12 Silver-washed Fritillaries, including a valesina morph, were logged on 25th. Selected other records include 20 Chalkhill Blues counted on both 25th and 29th, five Small Coppers on 29th and nine Brown Argus on 1st. A Holly Blue was seen on 3rd.

BW odonata
Southern Hawkers continue to patrol the footpaths.  

Brown Argus, BW on 25th
Chalkhill Blues, BW on 25th
valesina Silver-washed Fritillary, BW on 25th
Abia sericea, BW on 29th
Clouded Yellow, BW on 29th
Dwarf Thistle, BW on 29th
Marsh Thistle, BW on 29th
Prickly Sowthistle, BW on 29th
Six-spot Burnet, BW on 29th
Canary, BW on 1st
Clouded Yellow, BW on 1st

Paul Goodman, Duncan Jennings (photos 10-11), Ian Magness (photos 4-9) Ian Pratley, Ian Ward, Stephen Ward (photos 1-3) and Woodchip Conservation Volunteers et al