After a long lay in I desperately needed to exercise the legs and test the aching back. So with the sun shining I chanced a short car journey over to Bookham Common around lunch time. I know it's not the ideal time for birdwatching but standing and walking is far more comfortable than sitting down! For the first hour trudging along muddy paths there was little activity except the songs of Chiffchaff, Blackbird and Song Thrush plus the ever present Jays and Magpies. Despite a thorough search I didn't hear or see any Willow Warblers.
While taking a rest at the main pond a Peacock butterfly (first sighting this year) rested nearby and very high overhead 3 Common Buzzard circled for a moment and then moved northwards over the woods.
On one of the smaller ponds I stood and watched a pair of Mallard practicing their synchronised swimming routine.
Interesting to see the female paddling like mad to stay upside down!
For the first time since I don't know how long a Jay actually sat still long enough for a photocall.
Heading uphill through the quiet woodland glades I watched a number of Comma butterflies, another first for the year. Brimstones and Whites were also flitting around but never settled.
While listening and then locating a male Blackcap in full song inside a blackthorn bush I then heard my first Cuckoo for 2010 calling way over on Banks Common. (I will need to make an early morning visit to stand a chance to capture this species with the camera!)
As I started my homewaard journey a male Chaffinch perched on the roadside hedge which I noted has been cut or more correctly slashed with the 'mower method'. With the back pain much reduced I may risk a longer trip out tomorrow. FAB.