Wednesday 02 December. With lockdown over and a reasonable forecast I decided to leave Sussex and venture across the border into Surrey and go to Ockley Common to look for the wintering (we hope) Little and Rustic Buntings. I was enthused to do so by Matt Palmer who'd recently seen them and provided me with on-site directions. It was little over 40 miles away and most of it on the A283 so I really had no excuses not to. I arrived on site at about 08:45 and was encouraged that both birds had been seen although neither for a while. A few Reed Buntings were flitting around and within a couple of minutes I had a brief view of the Rustic Bunting and saw the Little Bunting equally briefly ten minutes later. It then took over an hour for another view of either but during the course of the morning I had some nice views and managed a few photographs. Also seen were 7 Goldcrests, a Stonechat, 5 Redpolls, 8 Crossbills (5 males), 6 Goldfinches and 3 Siskins. I was back at the car at 13:00 but decided to come straight home rather than calling in anywhere on the way back as it was rather dull and my feet were only just defrosting. It was my first Rustic Bunting since a very smart male found by Tony Wilson on West Hove Golf Course in spring 2002 and my first view of a UK Little Bunting lasting more than 5 seconds since 1994.
|Little Bunting on Ockley Common|
|Rustic Bunting on Ockley Common|