26th February 2017

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
♂ Mallard

David Campbell (photos), Darragh Culley, Ian Magness, Tasha Preston and Ian Ward

25th February 2017

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.

David Campbell, Paul Goodman, Phil Jennings and Ian Ward

24th February 2017

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

23rd February 2017

Sightings at the farm included 100 Fieldfares, 30 Redwings and 200 Starlings.

Ian Magness

22nd February 2017

A Common Buzzard was still at Legal & General, where 31 Black-headed Gulls were feeding on the sports field.

Ian Pratley

21st February 2017

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.

Duncan Jennings

20th February 2017

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.

Ian Pratley

19th February 2017

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.

♂ Stonechat

David Campbell (photo), Paul Goodman, Ian Magness and Tasha Preston

18th February 2017

The female Stonechat continued its residence at Reads Bottom, two Little Owls around Stoney Nob, a Collared Dove was singing at Legal & General and a Meadow Pipit was in Horse Pasture. Other sightings in the CF sector included two Common Buzzards, a Common Gull, a Fieldfare, 40 Redwings, a Treecreeper, a Nuthatch, two Greenfinches, a Bullfinch and eight Yellowhammers.

Ian Magness, Tasha Preston and Ian Ward

17th February 2017

A fine spring(-like?) day saw a ♂ Reed Bunting pitch up briefly at Reads Bottom, where the ♀ Stonechat remained, and a Lapwing drop into Broadfield. A Tawny Owl was noted in Banstead Woods and three Little Owls were logged at the farm.

Otherwise, CF held a Pheasant, three Common Buzzards, a Kestrel, two Rooks, 10 Skylarks, 20 Fieldfares, 15 Redwings, six Meadow Pipits, three Bullfinches and three Yellowhammers. Also noted in the BW sector were four Bullfinches and two Treecreepers.

The sun tempted the first butterflies of the year out, with a Peacock by Canons Farmhouse and a Brimstone in the BW sector.

♀ Stonechat at Reads Bottom
Geoff Barter, Paul Goodman, Duncan Jennings and Ian Ward (photo)

16th February 2017

Two Red Kites drifted west over the farm in the afternoon and a female Stonechat was fresh-in, feeding in Owl Meadow before moving to the south side of Horse Pasture. A Little Owl was showing on the east side of Horse Pasture. Three Mallards over the farm included two that also crossed BW airspace. Counts of 50 Skylarks and 40 Linnets retained a wintery feel despite the warm weather and the first singing Yellowhammer of the year as part of a count of four. Five Meadow Pipits flew out of Owl Meadow and seven Rooks were feeding in Broadfield. Other sightings at the farm included a ♂ Pheasant, a Sparrowhawk, four Common Buzzards, three Common Gulls and a Kestrel.

The BW sector had three Lesser Redpolls, feeding in birches between Reads Rest Lane and Piddly Pond, as well as a Rook overhead.

♂ and ♀ Yellowhammers at Reads Bottom
adult Common Buzzard
juvenile Common Buzzard
♀ Stonechat at Reads Bottom
Goldcrest in Banstead Woods
♂ and ♀ Yellowhammers at Reads Bottom
juvenile Common Buzzard
♀ Stonechat at Reads Bottom

Magnus Andersson (photos 1-7), David Campbell, Christian Cogley, Steve Gale, Ian Magness (photo 8) and Ian Pratley

15th February 2017

Two Siskins and 40 Lesser Redpolls were at Banstead Woods, the latter a flock by the felled tree towards Holly Lane. A Pheasant, a Common Buzzard, a Common Gull, a Little Owl (singing at Stoney Nob), 16 Skylarks, 60 Fieldfares, 40 Redwings, 50 Linnets, three Bullfinches and two Yellowhammers were in the CF sector.

Geoff Barter

14th February 2017

A count of 14 Siskins in the BW sector included a feeding flock of 12 by the path running south from the high path between the Holly Lane car park and the Park Farm compound. A 50-strong flock of Lesser Redpolls was skittish around Piddly Pond but sometimes settled on the silver birches there. A Yellowhammer heard calling overhead was a good record for BW. A Red Kite drifted west over the woods and the female Stonechat was again on view in Holly Lane Meadow. Other BW sector sightings included a Common Buzzard, eight Treecreepers, 12 Nuthatches, eight Redwings and 10 Bullfinches.

Legal & General had a Common Gull and three Redwings of note, while a Common Buzzard was also seen at the farm.

Lesser Redpolls

David Campbell (photos), Linda Mount, Ian Pratley and Mark Stanley

13th February 2017

A Peregrine over the farm provided the day's headline bird. A ♂ Tawny Owl was hooting from Ruffett Wood before dusk and three Little Owls were noted, with two by Tart's Field and another at Stoney Nob. Other sightings in the CF sector included a Kestrel, a Rook, five Skylarks, four Fieldfares, 20 Redwings, three Meadow Pipits, a Greenfinch, seven Linnets, five Bullfinches and a Yellowhammer.

Geoff Barter and David Campbell

12th February 2017

A Red Kite flew over Banstead Woods at 14:05.

Gloria Saunders

11th February 2017

Three Mallards flew over the farm, where a Sparrowhawk, 30 Redwings and two Mistle Thrushes were also seen. Hither Field had eight Meadow Pipits.

Ian Ward

10th February 2017

30 Redwings were in Chipstead Meadow and 25 Chaffinches congregated in Doric Field.

Paul Goodman

9th February 2017

A Red Kite drifted east over the farm, where a Common Buzzard, 80 FIeldfares, 400 Redwings, a Mistle Thrush, 25 Linnets and six Yellowhammers were also seen. The Banstead Woods sector had a pair of Stonechats in Hither Field and four Bullfinches of note.

18 Brown Hairstreak eggs were found on the east side of the Banstead Woods sector.

Steve Gale and Duncan Jennings

8th February 2017

A flock of 17 Lesser Redpolls was feeding in the southeast corner of Ruffett Wood. Singles of Cormorant, Grey Heron and Lesser Black-backed Gull flew over during the morning. Three Little Owls were calling, two from Stoney Nob and the other from the east side of Horse Pasture. 25 Meadow Pipits were in Owl Meadow and 150 Linnets busied themselves around Doric Field.  

Redwings numbered perhaps 400 at the farm, while there were around 70 Fieldfares and two Mistle Thrushes present. A count of six Treecreepers at the farm is worth mentioning. Two of the wintering juvenile Common Buzzards were seen at the farm, as were four Common Gulls, a Rook, four Greenfinches and 37 Goldfinches. Another Common Buzzard was seen in the Banstead Woods sector.

Fieldfares and Starlings
David Campbell and Duncan Jennings

7th February 2017

One of the increasingly elusive Barn Owls was seen and five Little Owls were vocal late in the day when 39 Skylarks and 29 Meadow Pipits flew around the farm. Other sightings at the farm this evening included 50 Fieldfares, 60 Redwings, two Mistle Thrushes, a Greenfinch, 80 Linnets and a Yellowhammer.
Barn Owl

David Campbell

6th February 2017

Greylag found its way onto the yearlist relatively early when two flew over early in the morning. Selected other reports, all from the CF sector, included a displaying pair of Sparrowhawks, three Common Buzzards, four Little Owls, a Kestrel, five Rooks, 40 Skylarks, 60 Fieldfares, 235 Redwings, 100 Linnets and a Yellowhammer.


Geoff Barter, David Campbell (photo), Steve Gale and Ian Magness

5th February 2017

A Canada Goose and two Cormorants flew over the farm, where there were 120 Linnets and two Collared Doves. Nine Lesser Redpolls were near Piddly Pond. Two adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls pitched down in Infront George West.

Other sightings included two Common Buzzards, four Common Gulls, a Kestrel, four Rooks, 10 Skylarks, 28 Fieldfares and 200 Redwings at CF.

Carrion Crow at CF
Cormorants over CF
adult Lesser Black-backed Gull in Infront George West
David Campbell (photos), Paul Goodman and Ian Ward

4th February 2017

An adult ♂ Peregrine dashed through Broadfield late afternoon. Later on, a Tawny Owl and at least five Little Owls were calling. Two Mallards and a Grey Heron flew over. Other sightings at the farm included two ♂ Pheasants, two Common Buzzards, an adult Common Gull, a Kestrel, four Skylarks, 11 Fieldfares, 50 Redwings, a Mistle Thrush, two Meadow Pipits and a Yellowhammer.

At Banstead Woods were 40 Lesser Redpolls in birches between posts 9 and 10, a Siskin and three Mistle Thrushes, while two Mallards and a Lesser Black-backed Gull flew over. Also there was a Sparrowhawk, a Common Buzzard, two Kestrels and four Bullfinches.

David Campbell and Ian Ward

3rd February 2017

It was fantastic to find that one of the Barn Owls was still at the farm, where two Mallards flew over. A Siskin and 25 Lesser Redpolls were seen in Banstead Woods.

Goldcrest at CF
♂ Kestrel at CF
Robin at CF
Other sightings in the CF sector included a Sparrowhawk, three Common Buzzards, a ♂ Kestrel, a Common Gull, 11 Skylarks, seven Fieldfares, 20 Redwings, 50 Linnets and three Yellowhammers. BW also had a Sparrowhawk and a Common Gull.

Geoff Barter, Duncan Jennings (photos) and Graham Harris

2017 tours programme!

Details of our 2017 tours are now available HERE. Please do join us for an informative stroll around Canons Farm and Banstead Woods!

2nd February 2017

Three additions to the year list came in quick succession this morning with two overflying Canada Geese followed by a Red Kite, which drifted west, then four Mallards. Eight Meadow Pipits and a Pied Wagtail were also noted. 
Red Kite
Redwings remained the dominant winter thrush, with roving groups making it difficult to come up with a precise total but it was certainly around 300, while Fieldfares numbered 50. Other sightings in the CF sector included a ♀ Sparrowhawk, two juvenile Common Buzzards, an adult Common Gull, a Kestrel, five Rooks, a Bullfinch, 40 Linnets and four Yellowhammers.

David Campbell