Parking up in Beddington Park with Jenny and Lee, visiting from Australia, we were instantly greeted to the sound of a Goldcrest singing in a conifer, which we managed a good look at, and Swifts circling overhead — a good start!
The first of the day's many singing Wrens gave amazing views as it belted it out from a song post in the shadow of the canopy. Rose-ringed Parakeets were hard to miss as they squawked and flew around!
As we entered Beddington Farmlands, a mixed flock of Long-tailed Tits, Chiffchaffs, Blue Tits and Great Tits appeared in the trees along the path.
The hide overlooking the southern lake was productive, offering glimpses of Cetti's Warbler and Reed Warbler, as well as views of Little Grebe, Tufted Duck and Grey Heron.
Continuing beyond the hide, a flurry of sightings included Lesser Whitethroat, Greenfinch, Whitethroat and Goldfinch, all giving nice views!
Reaching the North Lake, we added a series of wildfowl to the day list, with Shoveler, Gadwall and Teal all showing around the islands and a charming brood of Mute Swans passing us.
A Great Spotted Woodpecker could be heard in the trees behind us and keeping our eyes peeled eventually delivered a couple of brief views, though it was mostly keeping out of sight.
Viewing over the wet grassland, we had one small wader in mind as the main target. It wasn't long before we were watching a pair of Little Ringed Plovers pattering across the dried mud and even mating!
A female Lapwing was unforgiving towards any passing corvids..
... While Grey Herons lurked on the islands.
The highlight of the walk back along the track was a Red Kite which appeared in the distance before drifted right overhead — splendid!
Arriving at Canons Farm, we soon encountered Yellowhammer, Linnet and Buzzard, all new for the day.
The walk along the scenic lane also featured Skylarks and Chaffinches. At the end, we entered Banstead Woods, where a small flock of Goldfinches was taking mortar from a brick wall.
There was a busy Nuthatch in a large tree there, and a large mixed flock of tits nearby which contained a Garden Warbler.
Making our way towards a small pond in the woods, we encountered a brood of Goldcrests and heard a Treecreeper. When we reached the seats we waited to see if anything would come to the water's edge, and a Chiffchaff then arrived for a bathe. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was audible as it called behind us.
Checking some more open areas, we duly heard a Green Woodpecker 'yaffling' and, after a few minutes, it flew right past us before alighting in a distant tree. Thankfully, it stayed long enough for us to get the telescope on this striking bird — a male, with a red-centred moustachial stripe.
After only managing distant views of Yellowhammers earlier on, we encountered three in rapid succession on the route back, at much closer range!