Carol had put the bird food out as usual , and as usual , within seconds of coming back indoors , the path was covered with Finches . There were many more Chaffinches than usual , probably 40/50 , plus Greenfinch and Goldfinch . At one stage , I looked down the path and amongst the Chaffinches was a much smaller bird . I grabbed the binoculars and sure enough , the small bird turned out to be a Redpoll . I dashed up to the back bedroom window and confirmed the identification from above . Almost immediately , something spooked everything from the ground , including the Redpoll . A few minutes later , whilst watching a second Fieldfare on the Cotoneaster next door , I caught sight of the Redpoll again in the Laburnum on the other side , sitting in the sunshine . I reached for the camera and as I focused , it was gone again . Although I gave it a good hour , the Redpoll did not return to the garden .
I had to make do with watching 4 of the 5 Turdus family members , having two private battles . The 2 Fieldfares were waring next door with 3 Redwings , whilst on the rockery in our garden a Song and Mistle Thrush were arguing over feeding rights to the berries on a Berberis . Size seemed to dominate in both battles , as the Fieldfares and the Mistle Thrush seemed to be winning . Only other thing of interest was a Collared Dove in the garden collecting nesting materials and flying off to their favoured nesting area , a line of conifers .
With no sign of the Redpoll returning , I set off for a walk over the Common . Just as I arrived at the edge of the Common , I noticed a small flock of birds flying over high and showing mainly white . Gulls of some sort I thought as they approached , but then the wings showed too broad for Gulls , and with the binoculars , identified 8 Lapwings , nothing to shout about out in the country , but the first I have seen locally for many a year . On West Wickham Common , it was much as usual birdwise , until I came across a flock of 17 Long Tailed Tits and just 2 Blue Tits , feeding frenziedly .
Over on Hayes Common , I found 2 Redwing and heard at least 2 Bullfinch and 1 Nuthatch . I found another smaller flock of 5 Longtailed Tits , together with a Gt. Spotted Woodpecker and a Nuthatch , feeding together on a dead tree . As I was leaving the Common heading back home , I stopped to check on the Purple Hairstreak eggs on the Oaks in the Glade . I didn't hang about too long , but did find a few on the now mostly leafless trees . No doubt , the Tit flocks will have taken many of them whilst foraging .
Then came the bad part of the day . When I got home , I was taking off my belt with the camera bag , when my camera fell out of the bag , and onto the ground . Having checked it out , some parts still work , but the Command dial , which operates several functions , doesn't . The camera is going in for repair tomorrow , meaning that any posts for the next couple of weeks , will be text only .
Whilst writing this , I have had a phone call from another enthusiast , saying he had 10 Lapwings over Salt Box Hill / Biggin Hill this morning too , probably some were the same birds .