Saturday, 14 August 2010

Treading the heathland again.

Just over a week ago I made another visit to Thursley Common, an area of lowland heath, and although conditions were not ideal, with overcast skies and a constant stiff breeze (so what's new), I tramped around for a few hours at my usual casual pace.
Keeled Skimmer resting on the boardwalk.
The main boardwalk out to Pine Island was being repaired by the warden and helpers so after a search for any other dragons I headed off in a different direction and went diagonally across the the heathland where the other boardwalk, usually under water in winter, is also looking a bit worse for wear. It was very quiet apart from the occasional calls from Stonechats and a brief distant sighting of a hawking Hobby.
Views around the reserve.
(Clockwise from top left - Gatekeeper, Grayling. Silver Y Moth (I think!) and Black Darter.
The Black Darter and the Grayling were nice finds and I'll post some other images in future posts. Hearing the sound of a woodie tapping away for a meal high in the pines I wondered if it would hang around long enough for a photocall......happily he did.
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopus major)
The forecast for the days ahead is not brilliant but I'm hoping at some stage to get to the coast and find something different to post.  FAB.


  1. Nice post, and I like the Woodpecker a lot! So different from ours here.

  2. I love your blog and the wildlife in UK.

  3. Hi Frank...hope things are better for you!!
    Your first photos is so nice it looks like a painting...this place looks like a great place to take your time and poke around !!
    Like the fat woodpecker too!! : }

  4. Hi the heath. It always looks so peaceful when everything starts to dry out. The colours are muted, giving a much softer look.

    I have woodpeckers in the garden, but as soon as I hold my camera up they take flight. I have always found birds difficult to photograph but will not give up.
    I had a merlin sitting on the shed roof the other day, not the first sighting. So exciting.....

    A lovely post as always.

    Thinking of you and your family at this time......

  5. That's a brilliant blog, lots in it. The Black-tailed Skimmer, Butterflies and the heathland.

  6. Thursley is one of my favourite places to visit .
    Your moth is indeed a Silver Y , but your Black-tailed Skimmer is in fact a male Keeled Skimmer , pale antehumeral stripes on thorax and no yellow markings on side of abdomen .
    Well done with the Grayling , they are hard to spot .

  7. HI Frank,
    I'll give anything for a shot of woodpecker. I've been very bad at that but you got it well... Very nice post you did, I love you little composition of several pictures!

  8. Wonderfull Skipper on the banner, great shot! And I really like the chubby, spotted woodpecker. I've never seen one. The collages of the preserve really give the flavor of the experience of being there. Nice work!

  9. Mona. Thanks, not the easiest species to get close to.

    Anonymous. Cheers.

    grammie g. Update today on PJB is not great and not unexpected.
    Yes, plenty of space to stroll unhindered. The woodie is not fat just hunched up!

    Cheryl. Late summer colours showing through now with the heather carpet regenerating after the last devastating fire.
    Believe me getting close to birds is harder than flutters.
    Merlin in the garden..whow, that would be a 'megga' here.

    Bob B. Cheers. BTW the BT Skimmer was actually a Keeled (see below).

    Anonymous. Thanks for the confirmation (moth) and correction for the Keeled Skimmer. I posted late p.m. and obviously wasn't concentrating..many other things on my mind.

    Chris. Nice to see you back and glad you liked the montage.

    Robin. Ta very much. We don't have many woodies over here so ID is pretty straiforward.

  10. I love the subdued palette of your pictures, Frank. It comes out particularly well when the sky is a bit overcast. It feels like fall.

  11. Hi Hilke. It may look like fall but today we are definitely back to summer...but I guess it won't last long.


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


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