Sunday, 13 April 2014

Somewhere in the Surrey Hills...

Sometimes you need to engineer a change to get your enthusiasm back, to recharge your batteries or to keep your mind sharp. So far this year my local birding has been, well, predictable. Last week saw me take part in - and enjoy -  an organised visible migration watch from Leith Hill Tower (see here).  This made me try something different this morning, so rather than head for the 'same old, same old',  I took an OS Map, my binoculars and headed for the outer Surrey Hills, to explore places that I only vaguely knew, or hadn't visited at all. It was just what the doctor ordered...

It was a glorious morning. The woodland ground flora is well advanced, with lots of Bluebells already in flower, with plenty of Wood Anemone, Greater Stitchwort, Cuckooflower and even a patch of Yellow Archangel colouring the scene. Around me were calling Cuckoos, singing Willow Warblers and Firecrests. Venturing out onto more open ground, a few hirundines were heading north, with Swallows and House Martins arrowing northwards while above them up to 20 Common Buzzards were wheeling, displaying and soaring. They were not the only raptors. 4 Sparrowhawks, a Red Kite and best of all both male and female Goshawks were recorded, the latter species showing particularly well, the female an enormous beast. An area of heathland held displaying Tree Pipits, singing Siskins and loafing Common Crossbills. Most agreeable.


  1. Nice work. I'm hoping to do a similar thing tomorrow, but most likely minus the Goshawks, Firecrests and Tree Pipits.

  2. Were you west of Guildford or somewhere around Holmbury Hill?

  3. I like trying new spots too. Especially ones where I suspect few or no records have been made to make my efforts worthwhile as well as explore new places. Tried a new road walk south of pretty Bickleigh late this afternoon in the sunshine and it paid off with a new hoverfly in Platycheirus splendidus.

    1. Andrew, the most rewarding moments are gathered this way.