Today was spent with Ed chasing Surrey Vice County birds. We meet up once a month for a full days birding and draw up a rough plan dependant on what birds we have not seen in the county for the year. Tices Meadow, Thundry Meadow and Thursley Common were the sites to be covered.
Tices Meadow Badshot Lea was our first port of call with Sanderling, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper present with Common Tern and Nightingale amongst regular species. After the first site Ed had a slender lead at 3 – 2 for new species for the Surrey yearlist.
The next stop was Thundry Meadow which is a site that I have not visited before. This site was a delightful mix of wet and dry woodland with the River Wey dissecting areas of open fields. Most of the water that feeds this area is supplied by natural springs. This relatively small area is part of Charles Hill Site of Special Interest.
We recorded forty four species in two hours which included Spotted Flycatcher, Nightingale, Garden Warbler, Marsh Tit, Cuckoo, Red Kite and Mandarin.
The sun made a prolonged appearance which transformed the area with bird song which made locating each species much easier. We left this rather reluctantly but there were more species to catch up with at Thursley Common.The Spot Fly was a new species for both of us 4 – 3 going into the half time break!
Thursley Common carried on where Thundry had left off. Birds were busy singing their hearts out! Anyone would think there had been a period of bad weather!! Hobby was the first raptor to put in an appearance followed by a harassed and rather dishevelled Red Kite. Redstart, Woodlark, Dartford Warbler and several Cuckoo were present. A Tree pipit was noted which pulled me level on new species at 4 – 4!
A return to Tices Meadow was our last stop of the day where we brought our day tally of species up to eighty five and Ed stole the victory with an injury time Sedge Warbler. Final score 5 – 4! We also missed Black Tern who were late visitors at the site!
Another great days birding without travelling miles visiting a range of habitats! A plan has already been drawn up for the next trip woo hoo!