The previous day a Short-toed Lark was found by Ed Stubbs on his local inland patch in Surrey. An amazing find and I believe its only the second for the county with the previous being in 1966. In normal circumstances I wouldve gone up the day it was found however I was away for my birthday with Sophie in Wiltshire.
We set off mid-morning and arrived on site for 11:30. Walking up from Chalk Lane we bumped into several birders who said the bird was showing well and giving nice views however when we got there it had done a disappearing act. The field adjacent to its normal field was being cut so all the birds had moved into there. The field was very difficult to view due to the rows of alfalfa which were put in lines by the farmer. We stayed on site for 2.5 hours and had no luck we did see five Red Kites, two Lapwings and lots of Skylarks and Meadow Pipits. Sophie was very bored by this point so I agreed to go home but said I would drive back up and try again.
It took around an hour to drive home and I was back on site by 5pm this turned out to be a very smart move as upon arrival the Short-toed Lark was back in its normal field. It was near motionless and didn't look in the best of health the whole time I was there until just before dusk when it started to move around and feed a little. Also noted was a female Merlin, I didn't realise this is a description species in Surrey and when Ed arrived he was very gripped off as he had never seen this species on his local patch. It was a lovely evening and it was great to see Ed and David as well as meet James Grundy.
|Short-toed Lark, Shackleford, Surrey|
|Female Merlin, Shackleford, Surrey|