Sunday, 15 February 2009

15th February 2009

Got my bicycle out for only the second time in recent years, to go birding on it at Earlswood for the first time and managed to cover much of the Earlswood area from the early morning to the early afternoon. My first good sighting of the day was a Meadow Pipit over Norton Lane near the Hungry Horse. Due to mud and the risk of a puncture, I didn't go all around the lakes but did see a distant male Goosander at Terry's Pool. Along Malthouse Lane, I saw 10 Greenfinches and 4+ Collared Doves, as well as a Raven at c. 9:25 am that I reckon was flying north or northeast over Windmill Pool again.
Earlswood Sewage Treatment Works was my next stop, a place which I suspect few, if any, birders are aware of and have visited. I myself have only ever visited this sewage works on one previous occasion (a few months ago), during which I only passed its southern side but still saw a Grey Wagtail in the vicinty; little of interest to the birder can be seen from the southern side. However, this time I looked at the site from its western side and was able to see its three filter beds. On and around these beds, I saw 2 Pied Wagtails, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Goldcrest and a few other birds, but nothing exceptional; definitely a site that I'll be keeping my eye on though. I also saw 2 Stock Doves and possibly another Goldcrest nearby.
Back up Malthouse Lane and having only just turned into Springbrook Lane, I saw what might've been a Raven fly over at c. 11:15 am, quite high up and silent. Also along Springbrook Lane, near its junction with Earlswood Common, I saw 13 Starlings and 19 Collared Doves (before today, I'd never seen more than two of this species together!). I eventually reached Waring's Green, an area of Earlswood that I've never birdwatched before, and saw 6 Rooks (an Earlswood tick for me!) in a field along Lime Kiln Lane.
Whilst cycling along Shutt Lane, I noticed a Rowan tree in someone's front garden with just a few berries left on it - I wonder if the birds that had eaten the berries were Waxwings, which have been recorded at Earlswood during past years. As the tree is no more than 400 metres away from the lakes, I really wish I'd known about this tree a few months ago (Argh!). Other birds observed in the Earlswood area included 6 Lapwings in a meadow and 40+ House Sparrows along various roads.
M.P. Griffiths

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