Anyway, this afternoon the lakes were quiet, with 1 Kingfisher seen at Windmill Pool and Terry's Pool (same bird?) and a Grey Wagtail at Engine Pool. My best sightings were at the Hungry Horse field, which after two hours observation produced 2 Ravens mobbing a Buzzard, 10 Stock Doves and an impressive 310+ Starlings (in two main flocks, birds on the ground moving in different directions and behind things, on wires, taking flight and just generally making things difficult for me to get a more precise count, but a wonderful sight and my best count for this species). As you'll see below, the recently ploughed fields along Norton Lane have been good for birds recently...
Addenda for September 2009:
27th: 1 Common Sandpiper at Windmill Pool.
26th (very good day!): A Little Owl seen during early morning (location withheld). A Shoveler at Windmill Pool; plus a Green Woodpecker in nearby field, and 2 Ravens and 2 Skylarks over scrubland to south. Total of 12 Meadow Pipits over lakes and surrounding area. At Hungry Horse field during early afternoon, saw a Wheatear (lifer!), a Kestrel and a Buzzard. Craig Reed had a Yellow-legged Gull in a different field along Norton Lane, which sadly I didn't see because I couldn't read his texts 'til my mobile had finished charging when it was too late. However, he's given me a good description and has seen the species before elsewhere, so I'm quite happy to add this species to the Earlswood list (just wish I could've seen a potential Earlswood first!). He also had 12 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 9 Herring Gulls, 106 Black-headed Gulls and c. 30 Stock Doves in the same field.
22nd: 1 Common Sandpiper at Windmill Pool. 1 Grey Wagtail and 1 Mute Swan (ringed) at Engine Pool. 2 Teals, 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Greylag Goose and 1 Kingfisher at Terry's Pool. Total of 10 Herring Gulls at lakes (hope one wasn't the Yellow-legged Gull!!!).
21st: Early morning visit, with birds seen from causeway including 23+ Meadow Pipits (vismig), 12+ Pied Wagtails, 2 Grey Wagtails, a Sparrowhawk and a Kingfisher, plus an American Mink. Mute Swan (ringed) at Engine Pool, and 2 Teals at Terry's Pool.
20th: Early morning visit to do WeBS counts, with 3+ Rooks over Fulford Heath. 3 Teals and 2 Kingfishers at Terry's Pool. 1 Grey Wagtail and 1 Mute Swan at Engine Pool, with a Coal Tit nearby along Valley Road. 2 Shovelers, an American Mink and a dead Mute Swan at Windmill Pool. Back at Terry's Pool during early afternoon, 1 Lapwing over plus possibly a second American Mink seen!
19th: Early morning visit, with 2 Rooks seen over Norton Lane. 1 Common Sandpiper and 3+ Grey Wagtails seen from causeway, as well as 70 House Martins and a Kestrel over. 2 Kingfishers and 1 Mute Swan at Engine Pool. 2 Teals and 3 Tufted Ducks at Terry's Pool.
P.S. Recent lifers away from Earlswood have included a Snow Bunting (below) and 2 Stonechats at the Malvern Hills, and an Aquatic Warbler and a Whinchat at another site in Warwickshire.
(© John Yardley)