Sunday, 29 March 2009
Surrey 26th-27th March
Frithend Sand Pits- a strange place for any bird let alone a rare one!
A couple of days back at the old family ranch (well, bungalow) near Farnham. Managed a few hours in the field whilst I was there. Thursday afternoon at Frensham Little Pond yielded a House Martin amongst half a dozen Sand Martins brought in by a heavy squall, as well as Siskin, Redpoll and a couple of singing Woodlarks thereabouts. I nipped over to Frithend sand pits (or Grunton, as it's also known) at about 5pm to twitch the Ring-necked Duck that's been around all winter there. Very handsome it was too. What a mad place for a rare aythya to turn up! There are only about 15 Tufties there as it is. This part of Surrey seems to get almost as many Ring-necks as County Clare. Not that I'm suspiscious or anything.....!
A quick return to the Little Pond at dusk revealed no Bitterns. They were last seen on the 21st apparently. There have been up to 4 (!) here this month. I did however catch 26 Sand Martins passing through, a roost of about 60 Pied Wags (being bombed by a cracking male Sparrowhawk at one point) and a nice Kingfisher.
On Friday afternoon I had a quick squizz at Tice's Meadow (of Crag Martin fame). Nice habo going on. A flash on the meadow held 2 LRP's whilst the wash-out ponds had a Snipe, 2 Teal and 2 Shoveler. Skylarks were singing and a few Stock Doves were feeding in the grass.