Thursday, 25 February 2010

Patch Walk (Epsom and Ashtead Commons).

On Tuesday I made an early afternoon visit to one of my local patches at Epsom Common hoping to dodge the regular rain showers.
The fishing pond held two pairs of Mallard and the males drifted over to check out the intruder while the females kept well away.
The underfoot conditions were the worst I have seen for a long, long time. It was not possible to circumnavigate the small pond without wellies and the pathways around the Stew Pond were under water due to the high water table after so much continuous wet weather.
A Grey Heron took off just as I approached an open area to scan the water where I found a pair of Teal, one male Tufted Duck, a few more Mallard, Cormorant and Moorhen.
The sentry Cormorant didn't flinch a feather as a Moorhen, probably spoked by my presence, dashed past it. A little while later I caught a glimpse of a Kingfisher as it sped across the water and disappeared.
The mosses are loving this damp weather but it's not doing much for my birdwatching! I made a circuit of Ashstead Common and the most common sounds emenated from Blue and Great Tits.
Very little else was seen apart from quite a few Magpies (the one above allowed me to get just close enough for a quick shot before it moved away), Long-tailed Tits, Robin, Blackbird, Ring-necked Parakeet, Crow, Jay, Woodpigeon plus the flap, flap, glide of a Sparrowhawk (patch tick for 2010) as it gained height over the woodland and headed north. I just made it back to the car as the next rain front hovered overhead.  FAB


  1. You still had some good success, despite the wet weather!

  2. The Magpie is beautiful - and so different from what we call a magpie out here in Aus. Our weather has also been wet for most of the week but unlike yours it's also HOT - that means steamy and so humid.

  3. Hi Kerri. Thanks.

    Hi Mona. Not quite what I expected but enjoyed the stroll regardless.

    Hi mick. A bit of warmth with the rain would be good but not too keen on the humidity!

  4. This wet weather is becoming tiresome now isn't it Frank. I think the woods would agree too, judging by the ground.

  5. I enjoyed this stroll with you from my warm, dry seat before the woodstove! It's always so exciting for me to read your posts, and such a learning experience. I never knew there were grey herons, and I've never seen a magpie, as here in N.Am. they are much farther west than I've had the opportunity to travel. Lovely shots from beginning to end! Thanks, ks

  6. Hi Keith. Tiresome is an understatement...and more to come over the next few days. When will it end!

    Hi Karen. The conditions weren't particularly good for birding or photos so just glad to share something for you. Stay warm and cosy. FAB.


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


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