Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Epsom & Ashstead Commons.

A brief stop on the way home this afternoon with the light fading fast to Epsom and Ashstead Commons which is to become a regular 'local patch' for me during 2009. No bins with me (shame) but I did see Moorhen, Mallard, Coot and Grey Heron on the Great Pond.

The commons are split into two separate reserves and incorporate a variety of habitats, mixed woodland, lowland heath and open grassland. However as this is a popular area I'm going to have to be 'The Early Birder' more often than not!
On Ashstead Common I will be keeping my eyes open for Little Owl and Woodcock plus, of course, all the migrant Warblers that will arrive throughout the spring to breed. One of the main features of Ashstead Common (200 hectares) is the collection of around 2000 ancient oak pollards. As we all know Oak trees harbour the highest numbers of species of mammal, bird and insects so there is every chance of a good mixture of sightings to come throughout the year.
Pollarded Oaks
A bad hair day!

On my way back to the car a Lesser-spotted Woodpecker flew over then landed somewhere high up in the trees and was constantly calling for over 5 minutes. Great another tick for 2009.
Finally, fingers in the sky?


  1. The Great Pond should provide good birding opportunities! Loved all the photos of the trees!

  2. Hope so Shelly although I believe sightings in recent years have been a bit thin on the ground.

  3. Don't know Ashtead and Epsom commons - methinks I must go see!! :D

    Like your tree pics Frank!

  4. Be delighted to show you around Tricia. Can e-mail links to both reserves if req'd.
    Yes, I love trees & have been known to hug a few!

  5. Yes please - and yes please :D

    aah - a fellow tree hugger.

  6. This post has brought back memories Frank. Epsom Common was one of my first birding patches as a teenager. This was before the large pond was recreated. In fact I helped to clear scrub in its planning stages.

  7. It sounds as if they were happy ones Steve? I bet there have been lots of changes - Do you fancy a revisit?

  8. Your're right Frank, changes a-plenty. I went back for a wander last summer and didn't recognise the place. It was sad really, although no doubt better for wildlife.

  9. Well Steve, despite living so close I have not previously paid the area much attention so it will be interesting to record what turns up throughout the year. As they say "watch this space".


I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.


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