Since my last post it has been a case of having 'one eye on the sky' in the hope of a bit of visible migration passing overhead. This has partially paid off. Yesterday started off in the darkness at Box Hill. The early start was due to a bout of misguided anticipation - the change to a south-westerly airflow (after days of it being between north and easterly) did not prompt the sudden movement I had hoped. In fact, Box Hill was dreadfully quiet. I had digitally linked up with fellow Surrey migration watchers Wes Attridge and Ed Stubbs, who were both able to confirm a similar lack of action at Leith Hill and Thorncombe Street.
I cut my losses and took the short journey to the wonderfully named Dick Focks Common (I'm sure he doesn't). My hope for a few Hawfinches was not realised, although the expected Crossbills did put in a performance, with up to 20 being recorded, including an unseen bird which called with a most distinctive deep 'chup'. I'm not claiming it as a Parrot, but that cannot be dismissed out of hand either. Also present were 50+ Siskin, a Redpoll and a group of 100 House Martins that moved off southwards. This prompted me to decamp to the nearby hillside at Denbies, which looks out due south towards Leith Hill.
This proved to be a good move, as House Martins were coming out of, and along, the western flank of the Mole Gap, heading south-westwards in front of me. They came in fits and starts, but a tidy total of 400+ moved through in two hours. Also on the move were ten Swallows, 9 Meadow Pipits, 28 Siskins and a Redpoll.
This morning I was not up early, and only went out due to a What'sApp alert from Wes Attridge, regarding a sudden movement of House Martins at Leith Hill after clearing rain. With time of the essence I took a five-minute drive to Epsom Downs, where a commanding northward view rewarded me instantly with moving hirundines! It was a short, but sweet movement, 840 moving west in a twenty minute period.
So, dawn beckons, with a position to be taken up in the garden. This modest venue has paid off handsomely in the past. Once again, I live in hope.