I had planned to go to Thursley Common to hopefully photograph some 'dragons' with Tricia, a fellow wildlife watcher, but the weather changed overnight and when my taxi duly arrived this morning we decided to head initially to Farnham Heath a relatively new RSPB heathland reserve. The sky remained drab and with some minor irritation from a brief shower we spent nearly two hours following various paths and tracks checking out the different habitats. Sightings were desperately thin on the ground but Stonechat and Tree Pipit with youngsters were spotted plus a young Roe Deer buck. A short drive to Frensham with the acrid smell from the very recent and devastating heathland fire still strong in the air we stopped at the Great Pond to eat our packed lunch while watching Common Terns fishing, Great Crested Grebes, Coot, Mallard, Canada Geese plus Black-headed Gulls on the water.
Unperterbed by the overcast sky we spent the afternoon at Thursley Common and the first sightings along the boardwalk were a Black-tailed and a Keeled Skimmer plus a Blue-tailed Damselfly.
Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens).
A few Canada Geese were hiding amoungst the grasses.
Water levels now extremely low and the cooler temperatures meant that little else was initially flying around although a Grey Heron flew overhead (sky to grey for a photo!) plus a very brief view of a Woodlark with its distinctive short tail flying away from us.
Large Skipper (Ochlodes venata).
Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) always kept its wings closed.
A field of Ragwort was being dessimated by these hungry larvae of the Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae).
Other sightings included Great Spotted and Green Woodpecker, Stonechats and finally a male Common Redstart gave its presence away as it called then flew around together with at least three youngsters. Not the day we had planned but it was great to be out in the fresh air and in good company. FAB.