Sunday, 11 December 2016
Misty farmland hop
I arrived at Mogador in brilliant sunshine, but almost immediately a sudden fog descended, rendering the binoculars pointless. However, it was most atmospheric, with sound coming to the fore: the low roar of the M25 fancifully becoming the rumble of distant waves; church bells sending me back to the drowsy Sundays of childhood; lone Fieldfare and Meadow Pipit calling above the gloom, searching for those below the blanket of mist. The sun was trying very hard to burn the meteorological interloper off (above) and within twenty minutes had succeeded.
Mogador is an area of open farmland just north of the North Downs scarp at Colley Hill, sandwiched between Banstead Heath and the A217. It is (for Surrey) on high ground and characterised by large fields with scant hedges and tiny stunted copses. I have long considered it to be full of promise, but there again when did I ever look at a parcel of land and think otherwise? I can expect chats in the spring and autumn, and dream of better, rarer things.
A Common Buzzard, 12 Skylark, 2 Meadow Pipit (below), 6 Fieldfare, a Redwing, 2 Redpoll and 3 Yellowhammer were my accompanying comrades (anthropomorphic alert!). I was wrapped up in clothing beyond what was necessary on this very mild December day - a persistent throat infection and head cold just will not budge, even with the dosing of cough medicine, Strepsils, paracetamol and mugs of tea. It's getting to be a nuisance.