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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, 10 February 2012

TWO DIPS, TWO TICKS

Well, I went for the Tundra Bean Goose at Thorpe this afternoon. I fully expected to turn up, see the goose and leave. In short, and using Jonathan Lethbridge's words, a 'filthy' twitch.

It didn't cross my mind that it wouldn't be there, but as soon as I arrived along Mill Lane I knew it had left the scene. Four other birders were already loitering by the fence and none of them was looking intensely at a flock of Greylag and Canada Geese plus a solitary Tundra Bean Goose. They had all flown off sometime after 11.30pm. The geese returned later - at about 4.30pm - but I didn't have time to wait.

A flock of at least 40 Siskin were a distraction of sorts in the surrounding trees, but after about 20 minutes I headed home. I contemplated dropping in at Papercourt for a Short-eared Owl fix to make up for the disappointing dip, but a message flashed up on my phone from Johnny Allan. Eight Waxwings had been seen in trees by the Derby Arms car park on Epsom Downs.

I took a detour to Epsom. John Benham was there when I arrived, but we could find no sign of the Waxwings, just plenty of Redwings. Dip two of the day. One bonus, however, was a female Blackcap (102) close by, perched in some ivy. Another Surrey tick.


Earlier, I paid a brief visit to Holmethorpe. Looking along the brook by the Fordbridge, a flash of flourescent blue stood out against the snow. A Kingfisher (103) perched momentarily on a branch before flying low upstream. Tick two of the day.

On the other side of the road towards Mercers Lake I flushed two Water Rail that were close by the wooden bridge. One flew over the road to the brook on the Moors side - seeing one in flight, with its legs dangling, was a first for me. Over at the lake, I saw four redhead Smew.

I'm out all day tomorrow, so no doubt a whole host of patch megas will turn up at once. If they do, hopefully they will stay put for at least another 24 hours.

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