29th September

Three Stonechats on site included a pair in Hither Field and a female at Reads Bottom. A Grey Heron flew over Hither Field. A Sand Martin flew through Green Belt Field, where there was a Mistle Thrush. Five Chiffchaffs were counted at Banstead Woods and three Yellowhammers were present around Infront George Field. 36 Swallows and 54 House Martins passed through the recording area.

Stonechat, Reads Bottom, Qasim Syed
Duncan Jennings, Ian Magness, Qasim Syed and Ian Ward

28th September

The farm had three Meadow Pipits, four House Martins, four Chiffchaffs and eight Skylarks, plus a Yellowhammer and a Sparrowhawk. A gathering of 500+ Woodpigeons filled the fields. Seven Common Buzzards were counted across the recording area.

Geoff Barter

27th September

A Hobby and a Swallow flew over Banstead Woods.

Duncan Jennings

26th September

The male Stonechat continued its stay in Hither Field. Four House Martins flew over the farm and a Pied Wagtail was seen there.

A Red Admiral was the only butterfly.

Geoff Barter

24th September

The male Stonechat remained in Hither Field, where five Meadow Pipits were feeding. A Grey Heron, six Rooks, 30 House Martins, a Swallow and four Common Buzzards were seen over Banstead Woods. Ruffett Wood had a Blackcap.

Two Southern Hawkers patrolled Piddly Pond. Butterflies at Banstead Woods included a Small Copper and a Small Tortoiseshell.

Paul Goodman and Ian Ward

23rd September

Sightings at the farm included five Meadow Pipits, seven Chiffchaffs, 40 Swallows, a Yellowhammer, three Skylarks, two Little Owls, four Common Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel.

Paul Goodman, Duncan Jennings and Ian Magness

22nd September

A male Stonechat was found in Hither Field, where there were five Meadow Pipits. Also at Banstead Woods were 20 House Martins, three Chiffchaffs, two Bullfinches, a Hobby and three Common Buzzards.

Butterflies at Banstead Woods included two Commas, a Speckled Wood, two Small Coppers and three Brown Argus.

Duncan Jennings

21st September

A southbound Yellow Wagtail passed over and seven Meadow Pipits were seen, along with 40 Linnets, a Skylark, a Chiffchaff and 27 Swallows on site and five Common Gulls on the Legal & General sports field. 

Andy Downing and Ian Magness

20th September

At Banstead Woods, sightings included 10 House Martins, two each of Chiffchaff and Blackcap, plus Goldcrest and Common Buzzard.

Duncan Jennings

19th September

A loose gathering of chats at Reads Bottom comprised of a single Whinchat and three Stonechats. 25 Swallows, 16 Meadow Pipits, five Chiffchaffs, two Blackcaps and 1,100 Woodpigeons were also noted.

Steve Gale

18th September

A quick check around the vicinity of Canons Farmyard in the early hours, before the Banstead Country Fayre, revealed a Grasshopper Warbler creeping around at the base of the holly bush at the Watchpoint. Other sightings at the farm included a Grey Wagtail, a Siskin, 38 Meadow Pipits, two Rooks, 30+ House Martins, 56+ Swallows, a Blackcap and at least seven Chiffchaffs. From our Fayre stall in Holly Lane Meadow, we clocked nine Cormorants as they flew north (six and three) and a Hobby. A Willow Warbler was noted at The Scrub.

Stoney Nob hosted a Brown Hairstreak.

Thanks to Ian, Janice, Paul, Linda, Phil, Yvonne and Mike for their valuable help on the stall today.

David Campbell, Darragh Culley, Paul Goodman, Ian Pratley, Phil Wallace, Ian Ward et al

17th September

A Whinchat was seen at Skylark Field.

Darragh Culley

15th September

15+ House Martins flew over Banstead Woods, where five Common Buzzards, a Kestrel and two Chiffchaffs were also seen.

The Woods also held two Brown Hairstreaks, eight Brown Argus and two Small Coppers.

Duncan Jennings

13th September

A party of five Whinchats livened up Skylark Field and six Meadow Pipits at the farm were the first of the autumn. Eight House Martins and 100+ Swallows buzzed around overhead and Linnets built to 50. The Woods had a trio of Hobbies, including a juvenile, and 11 Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap were to be found across the recording area.

A report of a Common Lizard in Valley Meadows possibly represents our first record. Four Southern Hawkers and three Common Darters were at the Woods where a late Silver-washed Fritillary was on the wing, along with a set of other butterflies including a Painted Lady, two Small Coppers, 20 Brown Argus, three Small Heaths and a Brimstone.

Geoff Barter, Steve Gale and Duncan Jennings

Targets for the year

Ian Magness has combed through the year list, which stands on 96, and identified the glaring gaps to fill by the year's end. In a roughly descending order of likelihood, they are as follows:

Spotted Flycatcher (urgent, find one soon before it's too late!)
Reed Bunting
Golden Plover
Common Snipe
Barn Owl
Common Crossbill
Black Redstart
Marsh Tit
Mute Swan

And who knows what else might turn up? A healthy year list is on the cards. Golden Plover is particularly overdue, with no records for a couple of years.

12th September

Highlights at the farm included a Willow Warbler, five House Martins, 50 Swallows, two Black-headed Gulls, Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Skylark, Pied Wagtail and six Linnets. Four Chiffchaffs were in Banstead Woods, plus two Nuthatches.

Geoff Barter

11th September

A Northern Wheatear paraded around Hither Field, where four Linnets were seen. The farm had four Rooks, a Pheasant and a Sparrowhawk.

Northern Wheatear, Hither Field, Josh Burch

Northern Wheatear, Hither Field, Ian Magness
 Josh Burch and Ian Magness

10th September

An incredible record came in the form of 25 Bar-tailed Godwits which were seen from Hither Field as they flew southwest at 07:30. This represents the second record for the area, following one over the farm in September 2012. Three Sand Martins flew over Hither Field, where there was a Blackcap and two Chiffchaffs. A Yellow Wagtail, 15 Swallows and seven more Chiffchaffs were at the farm. Four Pied Wagtails and 60 Linnets were seen on the Legal & General grounds. The CFBW Year List now stands on 96.

A Comma and three Red Admirals were noted at the farm.

Seven of the Bar-tailed Godwits (Darragh Culley)
Darragh Culley and Ian Ward

9th September

Bird of the day was a Sand Martin over the farm, where two House Martins, 50 Swallows, two Chiffchaffs and a Common Whitethroat were also migrants. 30 Linnets and two each of Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawk were noted there, too.

Butterflies were represented by two Speckled Woods, a Red Admiral and two Small Whites.

Geoff Barter, Paul Goodman and Duncan Jennings

8th September

An excellent day of southwesterly movement at the farm included six Yellow Wagtails, two Common Swifts, 80 House Martins and 420 Swallows. A northbound flock of seven Cormorants, a visit by a Northern Lapwing and the sight of a juvenile Peregrine terrorising the Woodpigeon flocks added further interest, confounded by a count of six Common Buzzards. Grounded passerine migrants across the recording area comprised of nine Chiffchaffs, a Common Whitethroat and two Blackcaps.

Three Brown Hairstreaks were reported, as were two Small Coppers, 13 Brown Argus, 10 Small Heaths, 17 Meadow Browns, 16 Speckled Woods, a Comma and a Red Admiral.

Steve Gale and Duncan Jennings

7th September

Hither Field attracted a Whinchat and the rest of the Woods sector offered four Chiffchaffs and two Blackcaps, plus two Bullfinches and three Common Buzzards.

Insects included two Migrant Hawkers, four Southern Hawkers, a Common Darter, five Brown Argus, two Red Admirals, two Common Blues, 20+ Meadow Browns, two Brimstones, 18+ Speckled Woods and a Small Tortoiseshell.

Ian Ward

6th September

A dark morph juvenile Honey-buzzard represented the third patch record. Other migrants at the farm included a Willow Warbler, two Chiffchaffs, 60 Swallows, two Common Whitethroats and a Blackcap. Seven Mallards flew over while a Yellowhammer and 21 Linnets were noted.

Geoff Barter

4th September

A Grey Wagtail and a Common Swift were notable at the farm, where two Willow Warblers were migrants, along with 42 Swallows and a House Martin. Also present were two Common Buzzards, a Common Whitethroat, eight Blackcaps, up to 14 Chiffchaffs and four Bullfinches.

A Brown Hairstreak was seen in Circle Field. 10 Speckled Woods were also out, as were four Meadow Browns and a Green-veined White.

Steve Gale and Ian Ward

3rd September

A September record of Common Swift is always notable, so five being seen during our Autumn Migration Tour was pretty special. Other highlights included two Northern Wheatears in Poultry Field and, overhead, minima of 20 House Martins and 100 Swallows. Six Common Buzzards were logged across the patch.

Paul Goodman et al

2nd September

Six House Martins flew south over Fames Rough and a Swallow was also noted over the Woods, where there were four Blackcaps, two Common Whitethroats, three Bullfinches, a Kestrel and a Common Buzzard.

A Brown Hairstreak, six Brown Argus, Small Copper and two Small Heaths were among the butterflies.

Duncan Jennings

1st September

It was a great early autumn day at the farm, with a first-winter male Common Redstart, a Yellow Wagtail and a Red Kite backed up by 10 Common Buzzards, two Hobbies, four Sparrowhawks, two Little Owls, 200 Swallows, 12 House Martins, three Common Whitethroats, three Blackcaps, 15 Blackcaps, a Willow Warbler, 50 Linnets and three Yellowhammers.

The edge of Pages Acre played host to a Purple Hairstreak and eight Speckled Woods were counted. A Silver-washed Fritillary was at Banstead Woods.

Geoff Barter, Steve Gale and Paul Goodman