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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Leith Hill, Beddington Farmlands and Canons Farm, 1-2nd May 2017

Having not been able to attend any of the recent Leith Hill Towerwatches, I was excited to convene with Matt P, Paul S and Stuart C yesterday morning. After huffing and puffing our way up from the Windy Gap car park, we yet again greeted by a scene swathed in a yucky, cold fog. There was very little moving and we were just about to go when a Hawfinch flew across our view to the north, a new bird for me at Leith Hill and my first in Surrey for a few years! Made up with the finch, I was content to leave when it started to rain quite heavily, having also noted four Crossbills, a Woodcock and a singing Firecrest around the tower, as well as hearing my first Cuckoo and two Garden Warblers of the year.

I took the rain as a signal to head to the hide at Beddington, where I joined Dodge, Koje and Swifty. Ringed Plover and Redshank on the main lake were the first I've seen locally this year and I picked out a 2cy Caspian Gull bearing the yellow German ring X242. There was also a Common Sandpiper and two Little Ringed Plovers knocking around but a Little Egret was more of a surprise.

2cy Caspian Gull 'X242' on Monday
Ringed Plover on Monday
Redshank on Monday
Planning on visiting Canons first this morning before heading to Beddington, I opted to do it the other way round when I saw how foggy it was outside, meaning it was bound to be a pea-souper at Canons. Starting with a walk around the south-east corner, I stopped for a quick look at the landfill site on the way and spotted the 2cy Caspian Gull X242 again. The walk was fairly uneventful in terms of migrants, save for two Yellow Wagtails flying over. There were several rather sweet Canada Goose broods being taken out by their parents and the local Lapwings were making their presence known. Back at the lake, I joined the same team as yesterday; the Redshank was still poking around the islands and a Common Sandpiper whirred to and fro. One or two Red Kites passed overhead, the first time I've seen a complete specimen at Beddington! I had a walk at Canons in the afternoon but saw little of note, failing to find Steve's Ring Ouzel from yesterday.

Sedge Warbler today
Little Egret today
Red Kite today
♂ Lapwing today
one of at least four Canada Goose broods today