A late morning walk along the 'valley' between Ranmore and Polesden Lacey (above), with plenty of side ventures up into the woodland. These were made, of course, with the aim of locating Hawfinches. There may be some regular visitors to this blog who are mightily fed up with my posts being Hawfinch-heavy since the irruption began. I make no apologies. This is a once in a lifetime event and I just happen to live close to the area where the largest numbers seem to be - plus, I am lucky enough to have the time to go out, locate and count them. Soon enough they will be gone and I will once more bore you with moths and orchids.
Back to today. The bare numbers of 'the species whose name must not be mentioned' were: Dorking Wood (30), Chapelhill Wood (7), Freehold Wood (2), Ranmore Common (37). My visit being later in the morning than normal, there were no post-roost gatherings. A few feeding flocks were found (and heard) and a fair bit of chasing between pairs was observed. Soon the flocks with disperse and the search for breeding birds will start. I will be very surprised if we do not locate a few pairs.