Godalming area birds

Godalming area birds

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

6th-12th July

Work has dictated time on patch recently, though this week I've got into a routine of an early sky-watch each morning. It's creeping towards the time of year when the thought of flyover waders justifies a 5 am alarm, but it's probably still too early (and definitely so for any other vis-mig), and this has been reflected in the results so far this week. Monday and Tuesday particularly were dead - today was much better, with the northerly wind certainly making it's presence felt after an afternoon and night of heavy rain.
Kingfisher at Mill Pond yesterday

After the pleasant weather of late, this inclement spell had the Swift and Hirundine feeding groups on the move. In an hour I had 78 Swifts and 14 House Martins all north-west, as well as 3 Herring and 1 Black-headed Gull in the same direction. It won't be too long until the Swifts are moving south in big numbers, and hopefully Gull numbers will continue to rise in the next few weeks. A Siskin over completed an enjoyable session, and pointed nicely towards autumn migration.

As mentioned, this is the time of year when Gulls begin to appear again on the patch, and the last week has seen both the aforementioned species, as well as a single Lesser Black-backed, over. At home the morning and evening commute of Gulls to and from the south London reservoirs has started up again, and it won't be long at all until the first juveniles are seen among the travelling birds.

Back on the patch, the best bird of the last 7 days was no doubt a Kingfisher that was present briefly at Mill Pond yesterday morning. Kingfishers are hard to pin down here, and this was only the 5th record of the year. Elsewhere, a further 2 Spotted Flycatcher territories have been found, bringing the number of sites up to 5.

Amur Falcon last Friday
Last Friday I managed to twitch the stunning Amur Falcon in Polgigga, Cornwall, with David C and Magnus A. The bird was found late the evening before, and we travelled down on no sleep in order to connect not long after dawn. Our decision turned out to be the right one - the bird departed at 11 that morning, and hasn't been seen since. The 1st-summer female, representing the first twitchable British bird and only the 15th Western Palearctic record, looked absolutely knackered while she slowly awoke to a crowd of at least 100 people.

I have wondered, what chance the bird is still about, keeping a low profile in a remote Cornish valley? She'd already managed to elude the earliest arriving twitchers, sitting under their noses for an hour before discovery...