Welcome to my blog. If you live in Surrey and birding is your obsession (to get out of bed at some ridiculously early time of the morning, no matter what the weather, to go and look at birds isn't normal behaviour, believe me) and you're still a bit of a novice (like me) then, hopefully, this blog is for you.

Friday 2 April 2010


An inauspicious start to my blogging career. As soon as I opened the front door the rain started to come down. Then the wind picked up. And it rained even heavier. And it got colder, wetter and windier.

So much for Good Friday, then. Nothing much good about it as far as I can tell.

I began the day up at Spynes Mere, my birding patch, firstly to feed the gypsy ponies in the field to the north of lake (a regular event that began last summer when my wife Annie became attached to them, and then, after much reluctance, I became attached too). I had to go on my own this morning as Annie was busy. I couldn't have picked a worse time of the day. The rain was horizontal and bitterly cold. Where's spring gone?

Anyway, after leaving the ponies with a bale of haylage I decided to try and see a few things, although I didn't expect much. The two Shelducks were still present - they've been at Spynes Mere for quite a few weeks now - but there wasn't anything else to get excited about.

After that, I travelled over to the Holmethorpe Lagoons, where I saw the two Black Redstarts last week and also a Little Ringed Plover on the Mound, which I came across by accident when I was counting a group of Pied Wagtails.

Only yesterday I saw the Little Egret fly over into the Moors but there wasn't much happening here today, just a few Great Crested Grebes.

I nearly decided to call it a day, but walked over to Mercer's Lake, where at least 40 Sand Martins were skipping across the water with a couple of Swallows - there may have been more, but I couldn't tell as my binoculars kept getting wet and steaming up, and I couldn't stop my hands shaking from the cold.

So that was it. I only live a couple of minutes away off Frenches Road, so the Holmethorpe Complex is a perfect spot for me.

Just down the road, as you head towards Redhill, Frenches Pond has a few interesting ducks that appear to be permanent fixtures, including a Mandarin Duck, a Wood Duck, a Pintail and six Red Crested Pochards (five male and one female). Worth going over to have a look if you are in the area.

So that was the start of my Easter break. I've just looked out of the window and the sun has reappeared. Typical.

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