With the spring equinox 3 days before, birds seen at Holmethorpe reflected the passing of seasons. For example, the 15 people on this walk saw winter thrushes but the small size of the flock (6 Fieldfares, 3 Redwings) near the Watercolour Lagoons was typical for late March. Signs of early Spring included a singing Blackcap and numerous (15+) singing Chiffchaffs.

 Spynes Mere, one of the disused sandpits in the area, proved more interesting than the much larger Mercers Lake (very few birds) or the nearby Mercers West (our first Little Egret at Holmethorpe and two beautiful Great Crested Grebes but little else). 4 Buzzards circled in the sky as we walked there. Spynes itself had a Cetti's Warbler, several Gadwall, Pochards, Little Grebes, Tufted Ducks, Greylags, Teal and Shovelers. Around 15 Cormorants were in water near the island or in its trees.We looked closely at the sand bank but saw no signs of Sand Martin activity despite recent reports of their arrival elsewhere in Surrey. Songbirds around Spynes Mere included most of the Chiffchaffs, some Greenfinches and a Song Thrush.

2 Egyptian Geese were on lagoons near the Watercolour Estate. 

The last bird of the morning was a Sparrowhawk, flying low close to the car park.

49 species were identified, of which 4 were only heard.


Fieldfare (A. Rines)