Sunday, 19 October 2014

Ping Ping double tick Ping!!!

There was some heavy rain overnight with winds building up through the morning. I was undecided where to go but made the lucky decision to travel light and have a wander around the Farm. I met up with Nick “Pyro” Gardner and we both wandered down to the hide. Dodge was the only one there and his opening gambit was I’ve just heard a Bearded tit go over and it could be on the South lake.

Pyro and I walked along the side of the South lake listening out for the familiar ping call of this species. About twenty minutes later Dodge had heard the bird again on the island in front of the Sand Martin bank on the North Lake. A short dash back to the hide ensued!!
(Bearded Reedling)
There was a small tour visiting the Farm and everyone gathered on top of the Sand Martin bank. A bird was heard calling and was briefly seen by some. Last year I spent time at London Wetland Centre listening to pinging all afternoon but did not see the birds.
(Bearded Reedling)
Bearded Tit (Reedling) is a Surrey VC tick as well as a Beddington tick so my own rules state that I have to see the birds to be able to count them for either list. Was lightning going to strike again because it seemed like forever before I had my first glimpse of a male bird.
(Bearded Reedling)

Just as I was rattling off some shots Dodge called a Short-eared Owl which from the corner of my eye I could see it being mobbed by crows. Another Short-eared Owl later and it was apparent there was a pair of Bearded tit maybe even a third.
(Male left and Female right )
The pair began showing well at the front of the island and the conclusion was that there were only two birds present a male and female. I took some more shots and then had a small celebration. Another Surrey VC gap had been filled having missed a few in Surrey and this was the second VC tick, in a week woo hoo!!

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