Sunday, 27 January 2013

Cut above the rest!

This afternoon was spent walking a couple of Surrey Commons. The weather was windy with some sunny spells. Not an ideal scenario for watching resident birds on heathland, but if its peace and tranquility you seek then these locations are ideal!

First stop was Crooksbury Common which is always a pleasant walk but was almost devoid of birds. Puttenham Common was the next stop. Birds were showing in areas that were sheltered from the wind but still there were not many, Coal, Great and Blue Tits were the most regular species seen.

A walk over to Cut Mill Pond in search of Mandarin Duck was to save the day, not with the presence of this magnificent duck but in the form of two female Goosander. This species is often recorded here in the winter but had not entered my thought process as a possibility. I was pleased to able to get some pictures with the SLR.

The final stop was Thursley Common where the Great Grey Shrike had been seen yesterday. There were no reports of the bird today but conditions were unfavourable, with howling gusts of wind which would keep any self respecting bird low in the scrub. This species had once again eluded me but maybe it will reappear and I will be third time lucky!

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