11 members set off this morning to explore the Common's woodland, pasture, heath and small wetland; the Group's first winter walk here for several years.  Next to the busy Heather Farm car park, through morning mist, we saw coots, a moorhen, Canada geese and a little grebe on the water, parakeets and a song thrush in the trees and a wren and redwings on the path. Lots of birds were singing as we walked east through trees and along field margins towards McLaren Park. The several woodland species on view included a nuthatch, a coal tit singing very near to us and a very mobile treecreeper. On the McClaren Park boardwalk, some of the group spotted a lesser redpoll. Others enjoyed a close-up view of a greenfinch looking very handsome in the bright sunlight. In the Park, the only birds seen were an overflying heron, a distant buzzard and numerous black-headed gulls on the new lake near McClaren's Technology Centre. A winter skylark flock seen in the area on an earlier rece. did not appear for us or perhaps had dispersed. A final treat on this lovely sunny morning was looking at stonechats and 3 dartford warblers on the return walk across the heathland. Dartfords can be hard to see at Horsell Common and so provided a very enjoyable finale.


The final species total was 33.