Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Canon's Farm with Calum Mckellar, 29th September 2018

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. 


  1. Hi, enjoyed reading this. I'm trying to get into nature watching but the problem is I live in Peckham and my associates won't appreciate me looking at nature. Are there any good places in South London besides morden hall park?

  2. You should have got a picture of the farmer with the gun, ngl

  3. Hi there
    I recently heard something with an "Oi come ere" call
    I was wondering if you could help me identify
    Thanks in advance!