RSPB Farnham Heath 21 May 2023

Twenty two members met at the Rural Life Centre. Walking out onto the reserve we soon began to hear numerous Willow Warblers and Blackcaps. We then heard a Garden Warbler and eventually a few people in the group did see the bird. The distinctive song of a male Redstart followed and after a while we tracked it down to a group of pine trees for good views.  A distant Cuckoo was heard but unfortunately not seen. Soon it was the song of a Tree Pipit and Woodlark slightly further along the heathland path that alerted us to the birds perching characteristically from bare branches and the tops of trees.  The Tree Pipit did a couple of parachuting display flights for us as we watched.  Stonechats were busy feeding their young and there were brief views of one distant Dartford Warbler.  At one point a pair of Raven flew over in the distance. Through the more wooded areas, we saw a Treecreeper and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Linnets were flying down to the path to feed at one point and we were finally able to have good views of two singing Willow Warblers.

Back at the car park we had one last look back into the reserve in an area where a Spotted Flycatcher had been seen by some other birders.  Sure enough we had some fleeting views of the said Flycatcher through the tree canopy and decided to walk back into the trees but sadly it did not re-appear.  However, we added a Greenfinch to the sightings list plus a Hobby that appeared high above the trees and a Red Kite flying past. In the course of a really pleasant walk in the spring sunshine we identified 32 species of bird. We also saw a couple of dragonflies, some Holly Blues, Small Coppers and a couple of Red Admirals.

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