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Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch

Not only talking birds, seeing birds too!

Whenever we travel to give a talk we always try and include some birdwatching along with the talking. We were down in Surrey giving our "The Biggest Twitch" talk to the Guildford & District RSPB Group. Our friends Paul and Shirley had very kindly offered to look after us during our visit, a huge thank you to them for their wonderful hospitality. They had also arranged some birding for us the next morning at Thursley Common National Nature Reserve. We were joined by local experts Doug and Penny and we set off on to the heath.

View Thursley

It was great to hear all about the birds of the heath and the changes in the distribution of species over the years. Up to 74 pairs of Dartford Warbler formerly bred here but a huge fire more or less wiped out the birds. But as so often a habitat change can benefit another species and Wood Larks have increased since the fire and we were thrilled to catch up with this species here. It was great to see Green Woodpeckers doing well here and their laughing calls echoed across the heath.

Looking Thursley

A Great Grey Shrike is wintering on the heath and we all scanned hard to locate this rare visitor. Luckily the shrike popped into view, first seen hovering over an area of open heather. The Great Grey Shrike then flew towards us and landed on a dead pine and showed off in the morning sun. Brilliant views through the Leica scope but a little distant for photos.

GG Shrike Thursley

As we enjoyed a lovely walk across this huge area we also encountered two Common Crossbills, Stonechats, singing Skylarks, and a pair of Curlew - a great record this far south and almost certainly the only breeding birds in Surrey.

Curlew Thursley

We had really enjoyed our first visit to Thursley Common and celebrated with a lovely pub lunch nearby. A huge thank you to Paul, Shirley, Doug, Penny and everyone at the Guildford and District RSPB Group for making our visit to Surrey so much fun!

Group Thursley


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