Monday, 6 September 2010

Very Few Birds.

A late am stroll around Epsom Common Ponds and the surrounding area produced very little avian activity today with just the occasional insect feeding on the Water Mint (Mentha aquatica). Even some of the fishermen were fast asleep around the small pond! The margins around the Great Pond have been improved for wildlife over the past 5 years but it now appears that Crassula helmsii (New Zealand Pigmyweed introduced from Tasmania in 1911 and subsequently sold as a pond 'oxygenating' plant) has recently invaded the pond. It is doing major damage to many ponds and waterways around Britain and is difficult and very expensive to eradicate. Despite notices explaining that dogs should be kept on leads and out of the water I saw one individual had been let loose again today on the other side but too far away for my voice to have any effect on the owner!
The only species around the water was a resting Black-headed Gull in non breeding plumage, a juvenile Coot and a single Grey Heron who promptly decided to fly off as soon as I considered getting closer for a photocall!
The Common, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), covers some 175 hectares and includes areas of acid grassland, heath and woodland but a major portion has become overgrown by dense thorn and oak scrub since grazing ceased decades ago. Formal grazing was re-introduced in 1977 and again this year (from mid May to Autumn) there are some 30 animals grazing three specific areas. I noticed that the signs state that it is hoped that species such as the Silver-washed Fritillary and Grasshopper Warbler might return in the future ... well seing or even hearing the latter locally will be a red-letter day for me.
Heading out across the grassy areas I spotted Carrion Crow, Jackdaws and Jay plus one of the resident male Kestrels was flying around but well out of range of the lens. I also heard both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers plus Chiffchaff, Robin, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit and Goldfinches.  
As I fought my way through the lush green fern undergrowth the only movement was from Speckled Woods as they found a spot to rest either at eye level or on the ground.

With the sky darkening and spots of precipitation falling it was time to call it a day.  FAB.


  1. Hi Frank, I know what you mean about Grasshopper Warbler (Groppers) in birding slang (-: It's one of those birds that I can never guarantee to see during the year.

  2. Looks like another interesting day for you. Where have all the birds taken off to? My neighbor was just saying that so many of ours are missing in action as well~

  3. Hi Frank...hope you had a restful weekend !!
    It is unfortunate but there is always someone who thinks they are above the rules!!
    I love the sleeping fisherman..if the fish aren't biting might as well enjoy the great outdoors!!
    Here we are having a problem with a water weed in the lakes called Milfoil. It has become a real problem!! Boater are supposed to clean there boat bottoms and motors before entering another lake but......!!
    Sorry about that the mushroom photo!!!

  4. I enjoyed you blog and each and every photo.

  5. ...I saw very few birds today as well--probably the least birdy day of birding I've ever had! Thank goodness the butterflies were out.

  6. I think that fisherman has the right idea Frank. :) Some days it just seems as if there is nothing around to take pictures of then on others there is so much we are scared of missing something. :)

  7. Looks a great place to visit Frank. We have similar irresponsible dog owners on the footpaths through farmland here. I saw one dog a month or so ago chasing sheep. Fortunately it was soon brought under control. The owners moan and complain when the farmer reaches for his shotgun though it is really the owner they should be aiming at ;)

  8. Hi Jenny. I can't remember when I last saw one!!

    Hi Bob. Cheers.

    Hi Mary. Yes, fairly quiet all round although the garden visitors are still fairly active.

    Hi Grammie. Actually sleeping better now but still playing the waiting game for PJB.
    I'm amazed how much gear the fishermen carry around just to have a
    I agree invasive water plants are a worldwide problem.

    Hi Lisa. Cheers and hope you are feeling better.

  9. Hi Kelly. With the cooler temperatures the 'flutters' seem to have gone to sleep over here.

    Hi Joan. Well they certainly seem to take the relaxed approach!

    Hi John. It's just a 10 minute drive away and a dog walkers paradise!! As you say it's the owners that need training.

  10. Its so much fun to see an ecosystem and birds so different from what I'm familiar with. Still cold and windy here and the birds were well hunkered down out of sight.

  11. Birding has been slow all summer...I can't wait to begin seeing more soon.

  12. Late summer seems to be one of the slowest times for birds, although the return migration is starting to pick up. Another nice series of images.

  13. Hi troutbirder. Rain and much cooler here so still not much activity.

    Hi Mary. Yes, it's the usual pattern but I'm sure it will soon pick up for you.

    Hi Harold. Soon be time to head to the coast to find some real activity. Cheers.


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


Related Posts with Thumbnails