Friday, 16 April 2010

Thursley on Thursday.

On Thursday I paid a mid morning visit to Thursley Common and spent a few hours strolling around one of finest lowland heaths in Surrey. In July 2006 around 60% of the habitat was destroyed by fire but slowly nature is returning. Within half an hour I had my first sighting of Tree Pipit for this year and then listening intently with a strong breeze blowing I picked up the song and then located a male Redstart (another first for 2010). Regretfully neither species was in range of the camera.
Heading up onto higher ground I watched a Skylark burst from the ground and gaining height at a rapid rate whilst singing its heart out before eventually disappearing out of view...absolutley glorious. From within one of the stands of pine trees, slowly regenerating themselves, I heard the deliberate tap..tap..tap of a woodie escavating a hole and decided to investigate the possibility of some photos.
Slowly and carefully I threaded my way trying desperately not to make a sound; difficult when the floor consists of dried bracken, dead wood and fallen branches; but eventually got close enough for some reasonable shots. 
Every now and again the Great Spotted Woodpecker ceased hammering the wood and cleaned the dust from his feathers. He eventually decided he'd had enough and moved higher into the pine for a rest.
When I left the hole was just big enough for him to put his head inside so still a lot of hammering to be done! 

At the gate I stopped for a rest and saw two more male Redstarts.  A Peacock butterfly rested nearby while I listened to the calls of Willow Warblers, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Wren and Chaffinch. The latter part of my walk was very quiet apart from watching three Common Buzzards soaring effortlessly high over the common.
A little further on I managed a distant shot of a perched Woodlark (first for the year) .
I hope everyone has a good weekend.  FAB.


  1. Beautiful. Thank you.

    Lois in Cincinnati

  2. Great series. Love the Woodpecker shots.

  3. Absolutely lovely! Looks like a very peaceful place to walk around (except for birdsong of course!)

  4. Enjoyed this Frank. Reminded me of our visit last year. Soon be watching Hobbys riding the air.
    Good to see and capture the work in progress of the woodie too.

  5. Well done on the Woodlark Frank.

    I love heathland and it's wildlife, it's my favorite habitat - with all the best birds!

  6. Hi "Early Birders". I appreciate all your comments. This heathland is a special place; always good to see the specialist species and the next month or so will be well worth a revisit. Cheers FAB.

  7. Nice post Frank. I like the way you montage some of your shots together - _ may borrow this idea for a future post!!

  8. Beautiful picture groups. It is amazing how alike and different birds are from one country to another.

    One of these years I will return to England to do some birding. I was not a birder when I was there before.

  9. The Woodlark, thats a good one Frank. I have never seen one of those.

  10. Hi Frank,
    Simply superb!!! The set of pictures on the woodpecker is simply gorgeous!!!

  11. TonyC. Cheers. Not using any complicated software, just Picasa 3 for simple collages.

    Bill S. Thanks. That's what makes birding so interesting. Like day I hope to get back to the US.

    Roy. You'll have to come southwards to find one..but worth the effort.

    Chris. The location wasn't that accessible so I'm pleased with the outcome.

  12. Hi Frank thats a great piece of Heathland habitat and Tree Pipit, Woodlark and Redstart are birds we only see on passage down here and I've not had either so far this year. So well done.

  13. Hi Monty. Yes, a superb heathland habitat and the only missing species was Dartford Warbler!

  14. Hammering Woodpecker.....FANTASTIC photo...!
    It's colours are spectacular..!!!

    The little mosaic with the butterfly; the wooden fence; the couple of mallards; the little bird on the tree....GORGEOUS; I love it!!!!!

    I wish you a nice evening...!
    ciao ciao elvira


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


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