More Spring


For me, ornithological Spring starts with the late-February passage of Stonechats. The downs close to where I live is a good place to observe this, with Priest Hill, Canons Farm and Epsom Downs being within walking distance from home. These charismatic birds continue to dribble through into early-April. This morning's visit to Canons Farm found three (two males and a female) present in the Reeds Rest Bottom area, so they could conceivably be birds left over from the five seen two days a go. The 'normal' fences and hedgerows were shunned for the open fields, with all three birds spending most of the time that I was observing them up to their vents in the grass (above).

Another sign of Spring was the north-westerly passage of Meadow Pipits. Of the 70+ birds that I counted, most of these went overhead in small flocks, although a group of 40 were flushed from Stoney Knob and then moved on - possibly a resting flock.

Other highlights included 12 Skylark, 35 Fieldfare, 175 Linnet and just a solitary Yellowhammer (below).

Comments

John said…
Steve, a number of Stonechats have been over Banstead Downs for the past couple of weeks. I love to watch them "flitter" between perches.
Steve Gale said…
That’s good to know John. I visited Banstead Downs, one afternoon last week, with the prime objective being to see if there were any Stonechats. I drew a blank.

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