Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wood Warblers and Whimbrel

Long-tailed Tit (adult)

More pictures and less waffle will be the order of today's post...the thought was there at least...Good weekend with a variety of different birding opportunities. On Saturday morning I made an early visit to Staines Reservoir and lucked out on my first Whimbrel since returning home. As I soaked up this British tick, Common terns were mobbing Black-headed Gulls; that were sunbathing on the tern rafts, while Swifts were screaming only feet above my head.

Long-tailed Tit (juvenile)

Returning to Woking I took a walk around a part of my local patch to see what had arrived. New birds for my patch were: Cuckoo, Swallow, Blackcap and Garden Warbler. These African migrants were all in song, having only recently arrived. Whereas, some of our resident birds, such as Long-tailed Tit, have already got fully grown young.

Hiking in the Surrey Hills

After my patch birding fix; Lori, Nolan and I headed out to the Surrey Hills area for a hike in this area of 'outstanding beauty':) The woods were wonderful and cool on this hot afternoon and also full of birds! Most of the expected woodland species were present including a lifer for Lori: WOOD WARBLER! This trilling beauty was also my first for many years..

Reed Warbler habitat

On Sunday morning I was still hungry for some patch ticks after four new ones on Saturday. The towpath off Tannery Lane in Send produced my first a 07:15am: REED WARBLER! There unmistakable song was being belted from the reeds and bushes along the river; and though I got some really nice looks, I didn't manage any great photos. However, the one below pretty much shows my dilemma. 

Reed Warbler

Further up the river, near Papercourt Lock, I snagged a skulking Lesser Whitethroat and watched several Sedge Warblers performing there flight songs from small shrubs on the marsh.

Sedge Warbler

Papercourt meadows
Sedge Warblers breeding here

My final stop at Papercourt Lake produced Sand Martin and House Martin, bringing my total patch birds to 86 for this year.

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