Friday, 6 March 2009

6th March 2009

Having recently heard that a couple of Mealy Redpolls and several Lesser Redpolls had been seen at "Earlswood Lakes" (exact location unknown) during the last few days of February, I went there during the morning and left during the early afternoon. Eventually reaching Windmill Pool, I saw a redpoll in trees along the pool's western side, south of the sailing boat club premises. Continuing on to the scrubland south of Windmill Pool, I saw some more redpolls there and believe that I saw 5+ Lesser Redpolls (lifer!). I had a few reasonably good views of these birds, but often they were obscured by vegetation making it extra difficult for someone unfamiliar with redpolls (like me) to ID them properly. One redpoll I saw on its own had some white on its back but I couldn't be certain of the rump colour. I would really appreciate it if someone who knows their redpolls could visit Windmill Pool's western side and the area of scrubland to the south, as I have not found any other records of Mealy Redpoll at Earlswood and I have no idea whether the person(s) who saw the two will submit details and a description (required by WMBC for acceptance) to the county recorder, so that it can be confirmed that Mealy Redpoll have occurred at Earlswood. The redpolls weren't particularly difficult to locate.
Elsewhere at the the scrubland, I saw 2 Reed Buntings (haven't seen any at Earlswood in ages!), 2 Stock Doves, 1 Coal Tit and 1+ Bullfinch. Some other good birds were seen at the lakes. Most notable were 3 Ravens over Windmill Pool (a record count for Earlswood?). Also at Windmill Pool were 2 Herring Gulls, with 13 Siskins and 2 Pied Wagtails around the sides. At Terry's Pool, I saw 5 Goosanders, 3 Shovelers, 1 Pochard, 2 Cormorants and 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, with 2 Buzzards over, and 2 Treecreepers and 4 Bullfinches around the sides. I had a unusual encounter with a Kingfisher around Engine Pool, which I saw perched in a small tree at the bottom of someone's back garden before it noticed me and flew off over the pool!
M.P. Griffiths

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