Friday, 3 November 2017

Surrey Vice County - Headley Heath - Hawfinch Heaven!


Waves of Hawfinch are still being reported around the country and in the South they are regularly appearing at sites that are close to home. I attempted a stake-out at the Farm which has so far failed despite my efforts. The day six went through was a footie day and I was no-where to be seen within the gates. I think it’s called the law of Sod!

This had also sown a small seed that perhaps I had missed this torpedo like bird, amongst the early morning Farm movement. A conversation with Pete Alfrey during a watch had put my mind at rest on that one! He had the heavy artillery out that day too clock the first two after registering the call on his sound equipment. The other group of four were lower and closer so would have been well within my sightline. Pete has the eyes of a hawk I have stood next to him on occasions when he has been describing where a bird is flying and I could not see it even through my binos!
I took a trip to Headley Heath this afternoon to see a few birds in action. There were a few birders dotted around including Mr & Mrs Tank and Dibley from the Farm! The wait turned out to be a fairly long one but I spotted two Hawfinch fly into a tree on the opposite side of the valley to the Farmers!
Scopes were trained on the birds with a concerted effort to get Mrs Tank a decent view of what she had been hanging around for, for so long! In the mean time other Hawfinch had joined the pair. The next challenge was to get flight shots in conditions where the cloud had covered the sun and it was looking decidedly gloomy! Thanks Tank!!

Various numbers were being mentioned as to the amount of birds present. The largest flock I saw was eight birds. I have at least laid my doubts to rest. I have not seen any likely candidates during my Farm watch. This species I have seen plenty of but my patch has only had three records therefore there is no harm in a refresher course elsewhere!