23rd July 2017

Note there might not be any further updates until 2nd August, please continue to send your records in

Some hirundine movement was demonstrated by sightings of a Sand Martin over Tart's Field, one House Martin and 20 Swallows at CF, along with a Little Owl in Bog Field.

20 Gatekeepers and a Red Admiral were at the farm. Butterflies at the BW included 20 Chalkhill Blue, two Small Coppers, a Peacock, three Small Skippers, two Marbled Whites, 12 Common Blues and 35 Gatekeepers.

A Southern Hawker was at Park Farm.

Small Copper

Paul Goodman and Ian Ward (photo)

22nd July 2017

A few moments of great excitement today when a Curlew flew over the farm (NP). A Lesser Black-backed Gull flew over BW and four Swallows were over Fames Rough.

Ian Pratley and Natasha Preston

Late butterfly news, another site first

Belated reports of a WHITE ADMIRAL around the orchard 'last week'. This is, incredibly, yet another first for us. Here's hoping that it sticks around...

20th July 2017

Notable sightings included two Mistle Thrushes at Fames Rough and five Swifts over the farm.

Ian Pratley

18th July 2017

Swallow at the farm and two Kestrels along Chipstead Downs were the best sightings today. Two Bullfinches were also seen in BW...

 Butterfly news from BW: a Brown Argus, eight Chalkhill Blues, seven Silver-washed Fritillaries, 20 Marbled Whites, five Small/Essex Skippers, six Brimstones, a Green-veined White, a Small White, two Red Admirals, 47 Common Blues, three Small Coppers, four Speckled Woods and 169 Meadow Browns.

Duncan Jennings and Ian Pratley

16th July 2017

Two adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls were tempted down to follow a tractor at Perrotts-by-Wood.

After a period of silence, the Lesser Whitethroat between Hither Field and Hillwood Field found its voice again. Three Mistle Thrushes were seen in the Woods.

White-letter Hairstreaks are still on the go, with eight seen in the usual spot today. Other butterfly sightings in the BW sector included 13 Silver-washed Fritillaries, six Common Blues, a Small Heath, an Essex Skipper, a Large Skipper, six Small Skippers, a Peacock, four Red Admirals, 11 Marbled Whites, three Green-veined Whites, five Small Whites, five Large Whites, four Brimstones, 11 Commas, a Ringlet, nine Gatekeepers and good numbers of Meadow Browns.

Remember our upcoming butterfly tour, see here for further details.

In further reptile news (check back to yesterday for an item we forgot to include), a Slow-worm was spotted at the top of Fames Rough, an area which has produced sightings in the past.


Ian Pratley and Ian Ward (photos)

15th July 2017

A singing Yellowhammer in the hedge bordering the southern ends of Hither and Hillwood fields was quite random. Always a good record in the BW sector, this is the first singing bird there we've been aware of since the Group began recording in 2010. Overhead in the BW sector was a Swallow and 13 Swifts.

Chalkhill Blues had emerged, with three males spotted in Stagbury Field. Two Small Coppers, a Silver-washed Fritillary, four Common Blues, two Essex Skippers, eight Small Skippers, 15 Marbled Whites, a Red Admiral, a Large White, two Green-veined Whites, three Ringlets, 11 Gatekeepers and 200 Meadow Browns.

In a rare piece of reptile news, a Common Lizard was a noteworthy sighting in Holly Lane Meadow.

♂ Chalkhill Blue in Stagbury Field
Ian Ward

14th July 2017

Avian higlights at the farm included up to 43 Swallows, a Pied Wagtail and four Swifts. In BW, two further Swallows and 30 Stock Doves were noted.

20 Gatekeepers were counted at the farm.

Paul Goodman and Ian Pratley

Join our Butterfly Tour! 25 species possible on this outing, our overall butterfly list standing at 36. Details:

Butterfly Tour Saturday 29th July; meet at the Holly Lane car park. Starts 10:00, ends by 15:00. Led by Paul Goodman. Possibility of Silver-washed Fritillary, Dark Green Fritillary, Chalkhill Blue, Purple Hairstreak, Marbled White and more woodland and chalk downland species. Bring lunch if you like!

13th July 2017

Highlights at the farm included three Swallows and two Pied Wagtails. A good set of the usual species was noted at both CF and BW.

Ian Pratley

10th July 2017

The two Swallows were still by Perrotts Farmhouse and other CF bird sightings included two Pied Wagtails at Legal & General, a Buzzard and two Yellowhammers. In BW, usuals included two Whitethroats, a Bullfinch and 13 Stock Doves.

Ian Pratley


The grapevine system is out of order again - any urgent news will be posted via Twitter.

Records over the spring and summer
Thank you all for the continued submission of detailed bird and wildlife sightings so far this year. Our database for 2012 onwards is now nearing 30,000 records. As we enter the breeding season, we are going to be more selective about the records that we report on the blog for various reasons, instead focusing on reporting migrants, but we will continue to gratefully accept all records (breeding information being very important!) and store them in our database so that we can keep tabs our local bird populations and report on them at a later date. Thanks!

8th July 2017

A quiet day but two prospecting Swallows provided some entertainment, 14 Swifts flew over and in excess of 1,000 Woodpigeons in the fields. A family of Kestrels including recently fledged juveniles was around Canons Farmyard. Juvenile Treecreepers were noted by Poultry Field.

Eight White-letter Hairstreaks were in the usual place while five Silver-washed Fritillaries and two Holly Blues were around BW. Also there were two Brimstones, seven Marbled Whites, seven Small Whites, three Large Whites, 19 Commas, six Red Admirals, two Small Tortoiseshells, four Speckled Woods, 70 Meadow Browns, a Gatekeeper and 20 Ringlets.

Butterflies on the wing at the farm included Small Skipper, Marbled White, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White, Gatekeeper, Comma, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown and Ringlet.

Odonada at BW was represented by two Large Red Damselflies, 10 Azure Damselflies and a Southern Hawkers.

juvenile Kestrel
Red Admiral

David Campbell (photos 1-2), Ian Pratley and Ian Ward (photo 3)

7th July 2017

Counts in the BW sector included 12 Chiffchaffs, eight Blackcaps and two Bullfinches.

The main event, the White-letter Hairstreaks just west of the orchard, continue to provide good value. Six were seen today. Good numbers of Silver-washed Fritillaries are sustained, with nine seen today. The first 12 Gatekeepers of the year were seen. Also noted in the BW sector were eight Small/Essex Skippers, a Large Skipper, a Brimstone, 100 Marbled Whites, a Green-veined White, four Small Whites, three Commas, two Red Admirals, four Speckled Woods, 200 Meadow Browns and 60 Ringlets.

Two Southern Hawkers, a Large Red Damselfly and eight Azure Damselflies make up the day's odonata tally.

Paul Goodman

6th July 2017

A Great Black-backed Gull was a noteworthy fly-over at Banstead Woods, especially considering the time of year. A Grey Heron also flew over.

Three White-letter Hairstreaks were showing, while a Silver-washed Fritillary, two Brimstones, two Commas, two Small Whites, two Red Admirals and a Speckled Wood were also logged.

Duncan Jennings

4th July 2017

No unusual bird sightings but a Kestrel was seen in the BW sector, with a Chiffchaff, two Blackcaps and a Whitethroat also seen.

Five White-letter Hairstreaks were showing in the usual place. A Silver-washed Fritillary was logged. Four Small Skippers, a Large Skipper, four Marbled Whites, a Comma, 13 Meadow Browns and eight Ringlets were also noted.

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth flew through the White-letter Hairstreak area.

Duncan Jennings and WoodChips Conservation Volunteers

2nd July 2017

No bird news! However, the number of White-letter Hairstreaks showing just west of the orchard rose to six. A male Purple Emperor gave itself up at the Harholt Plantation early afternoon. Some 14 Silver-washed Fritillaries were counted, providing a decent support act. A Holly Blue was noteworthy, with other BW sector butterflies including 10 Small Skippers, two Large Skippers, a Brimstone, three Small Whites, two Large Whites, five Commas, five Red Admirals, two Small Tortoiseshells and three Speckled Woods. Good numbers of Marbled White, Meadow Brown and Ringlet were also on the wing.

A female Emperor was perched on a Horse Chestnut tree by Holly Lane and three Southern Hawkers were in the BW sector. Five Large Red Damselflies and 17 Azure Damselflies were counted at Piddly Pond. A Broad-bodied Chaser was also seen.

♂ Purple Emperor at the Harholt Plantation
Comma at BW
♀ Emperor by Holly Lane
Pyramidal Orchid in Barn Field
Orange Hawkweed in Barn Field

Steve Gale, Ian Magness (photos 5-6) and Ian Ward (photos 1-4)

1st July 2017

A somewhat random and very unseasonable Meadow Pipit was singing along the west side of Broadfield. Several Swifts and Swallows were over the farm, along with four Yellowhammers, four Skylarks, eight Linnets, a Kestrel, three Whitethroats, two Blackcaps and a Chiffchaff. In Banstead Woods, six Treecreepers, eight Goldcrests and two Bullfinches were noted among other usuals.

Four White-letter Hairstreaks were on show in the elms on the south side of the path just west of the orchard. A Red Admiral and a Comma were also seen in BW, while another Comma, a Small Tortoiseshell and 12 Marbled Whites were at CF.

Meadow Pipit by Broadfield

White-letter Hairstreak by the orchard

David Campbell (photos), Paul Goodman et al