I spent most of the weekend birding in Surrey VC. Saturday morning I joined Tank Tours at Beddington Farm with the tour guide delivering on all target species! Tank might have mentioned this once or twice since!! Two Jack Snipe were seen on top of one of the mounds and a Water Pipit was seen near the storm tanks. A Woodcock was also seen in the SE corner but only made the briefest of appearances and I missed it!
Sunday was bright and sunny and the wind did not seem as strong as predicted. This was a good opportunity to visit Thursley Common and seek out the Great Grey Shrike. I started out at the aptly named Shrike Hill but could not find the bird. There were a good few birders scattered about this area so I decided to walk over the hill and head towards the main sand track. I had spoken to a birder several times along the way and called him back to a point where I had heard and seen two Dartford Warbler. One of the birds showed a couple of times before we moved on.
|(Great Grey Shrike)|
As we reached the end of the fenced field I spied a silhouette of a shrike like bird on top of a dead tree. I had travelled light today with binoculars and camera so I pointed out the bird and id was confirmed through a scope. I moved further up the track using groups of trees to cover my approach. The bird was still some distance away but I managed to take a few shots of it.
I was glad to see the Shrike but was more excited about seeing the Dartford Warbler, a species I have not seen for many a year at Thursley Common. On my return to the car park I spoke to a couple of regular visitors to the common and this species has made a return which is fantastic news!
I drove through Guildford with a visit to Holmethorpe in mind but realized I would be passing very close to East Horsley where the Red breasted Merganser had been seen at Pennymead lake. News from Rarebirdalert was not positive but the bird had been absent Saturday morning and had flown in during the afternoon. Maybe the same would happen today?! I stopped at the small lake and the only prize was fourteen Goosander but I must say that was quite a sight on such a small lake.