Thursday, 3 August 2017

Priest Hill v Thorncombe Street

Priest Hill - the eastern end of Bunting Field
There seems to be a bit of a renaissance in patch watching across the county of Surrey, with several birders (and sites) being added to the mix over the past couple of years, and the awakening of other patches that have been lying dormant. It all makes for a healthy, vibrant scene. Not all of these places are particularly birdy, with 'dry' sites increasingly being worked, these normally occurring on 'higher ground'. What they lack in water (and the attendant wildfowl and waders) they compensate for in many other ways. One site that is on a bit of a roll is Thorncombe Street, being heavily (and successfully) covered by Ed Stubbs. Click on the link to find out more. He has, so far in 2017, recorded two Cattle Egrets, a Common Rosefinch and sizeable flocks of Black-tailed Godwit and Whimbrel - plus a lot more besides. Putting the rest of us to shame, he is...

Ed and I are both fascinated by the migration that we witness over and across our patches. My time being spent at Priest Hill is still in its infancy, and I have no idea what normally occurs there. This Spring was encouraging in what did turn up, and I am hopeful for the coming autumn. We have both entered into a little challenge - to see who can record the most individual migrants. Only those birds passing over, or through, will count. It's a bit of fun, and one that will keep us incentivised during the quiet spells that are bound to occur. So a single Cattle Egret will be worth the same as a Meadow Pipit. I wouldn't mind betting that it will be a big Woodpigeon or Redwing day that will be the difference between who wins, and who loses. But we will both be winners - the next few months is bound to throw up plenty of surprises, and studying bird migration is one of life's pleasures.

There is a page (underneath blog title) dedicated to this challenge, showing a breakdown of the dates covered, plus the species and numbers involved.

4 comments:

  1. Brilliant idea, do you BirdTrack your sightings? Dead easy and quick. Not to mention useful.

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  2. Great to see people getting so much enjoyment from a local patch and even setting challenges - well done.

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    1. Thank you Derek - why travel miles when it's on your doorstep?

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