Thursday, 19 January 2017

Priest Hill social

One of 'my' Reed Buntings
A slow circuit of the Priest Hill meadows was made this morning, in a glorious, blinding sunlight. As anyone who has visited this blog over the past few weeks knows, I am ridiculously paternal towards the wintering Reed Buntings here. I rather pompously think of them as 'mine' and have taken on the role of their guardian. Needless to say, the locating of two flocks (8 and 5) had me happy all over... it doesn't take much for some people, does it...

And talking of people, it was my pleasure to bump into Belmont-based birder John Sewell. We had quite a natter about the local birding scene and he also had some kind words to say about this blog. Thanks John! I also spoke to one of the Surrey Wildlife Trust employees, who I cheekily asked about the proposed redundancies. Apparently the 14 rangers are having to apply for one of 10 restructured jobs - these being more specialised than their current 'jack-of-all-trades' roles. Hopefully those who want to stay will be able to find employment within the Trust, but these situations are never pleasant. The Trust has apparently suffered withering cuts in its funding.

Highlights from the visit included 2 Little Owl (heard calling from the line of fir trees between NESCOT farm and playing fields), 6 Meadow Pipit, 5 Fieldfare, 5 Redwing, 2 Stonechat, 5 Greenfinch and a minimum of 13 Reed Buntings. The thrush and finch numbers are still very low, but, in lieu of proper cold weather, I'd expect things to pick up next month when passage gets underway.


  1. It's so grey here you'd never spot a bird even if it was luminous orange!

    1. We'll send you up some of our sunshine Simon...