"I've got binoculars, on top of Box Hill"*

* hat doffed to one J. Lydon Esq, Flowers of Romance, PiL

And that is exactly how I found myself at 06.20hrs this morning, ready for a morning of scintillating visible migration watching. By 08.20hrs I came to the belated conclusion that the birds had not read the script.

A force two westerly wind, with 7/8 cloud cover, was never going to be the recipe for a memorable movement, and this was not helped by a 0/8 sky just to the north. Four House Martins heading south and two Swallows west was it as far as 'true' movement went, a pitiful return. And here are the views that were on offer from my vantage point, a third of the way down from the peak, just west of the viewpoint.

Looking east, along the line of the North Downs. Gatwick Airport is out on that flat bit somewhere.
Looking due south across Dorking (cue guffaws from our American friends). The River Mole is just before the closest housing. The Greensand ridge is in the distance - and here be dragons the Leith Hill Tower.
Looking left, across the Mole Gap and towards the continuation of the North Downs at Denbigh's.
I made a run for it to Canons Farm, where there was some semblance of migration, the highlights being a Swift, 50 Swallow, a Yellow Wagtail, three Whinchat, three Wheatear, 10 Chiffchaff and a Reed Bunting.

Ed Stubbs, of Thornecombe Street fame, has just made a valiant stab at trying to explain the why's, wherefore's, maybe's and speculation surrounding why and how birds move through Surrey. Well worth a read here.


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