When Calum told me that he was going to be in Banstead and wanted to go birding, my dad dropped us off at Canon's Farm.
We had a good few hours to wander around and have a look for some migrants. One of the first birds, other than a few Chiffchaff at the farmhouse, was a Yellow Wagtail that Calum picked up in Harrier Field.
|Map from their website here|
Walking down the road past the cottages produced our first Stonechat, with a minimum of 5-6 along the Slangs. One had a striking supercilium, but was still a Stonechat - I haven't seen a Whinchat for a long time so that was a shame to miss out on, as they'd been seen earlier in the week.
We went through lunch wood, where Skylark could be heard before being chased by a Kestrel. Just as we mentioned Hairstreaks a butterfly leapt off of a branch in front of us, and we'd both seen it well enough to identify it as a Brown Hairstreak.
At Perrots Farm there was little to be seen, although we had a look for roosting owls in vain. Large groups of Linnet were loitering among groups of Meadow Pipit (they seemed to be pretty much everywhere.)
After an encounter with a farmer with a gun, who kindly warned us to not go near his fields, we started to walk back towards the farmhouse so we could do a skywatch. Raptors were about, though there was nothing special. However, it was pleasing to meet birder Roy Weller, who I'd heard a lot about from our local area; it was nice to talk to him.
Our vismig started slowly, with Meadow Pipit the main birds with a continuous flow of them. A few Yellowhammer were knocking about and flying over as were the odd Chaffinch, while I saw a f Bullfinch briefly. The highlight came just after Calum had yelled an exasperated 'NO!' due to a YBW at his patch (which he subsequently dipped) in the form of a Hawfinch. It came in and went into a nearby bush, and after a Yellowhammer frustrated it it flew out calling its 'sip' call, before heading SW over Heathside Field. A decent bird for Canon's Farm, so not a vismig fail.
We spent a couple of hours there until deciding to have a walk about, where a few Stonechat put on a show as did an unidentified warbler that promptly disappeared.
A nice way to spend a weekend day, at a local site. I did get some nice pics of the Stonechat but I've managed to lose all those pics.