Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Around the Pond.

At the end of August there were at least 36 Canada Geese on the Great Pond at Epsom Common all busily preening out their unwanted feathers but today the water was virtually empty apart from a female Mallard with two growing youngsters and a single Moorhen. As usual one of the resident Grey Herons hid amongst the vegetation well away from the camera.
A lonesome Black-headed Gull rested on one of its favourite perches (a wooden statue of a dragonfly) until an interloper arrived and they chased each other around arguing about territory rights!
Just had time to catch a single shot as one of the gulls passed in front of me with the sun shining through its fanned tail feathers clearly showing its terminal band.

Other species seen or heard included Green and Great Spotted Woodpekers, Nutchatch, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Chiffchaff, Wren, Blackbird, Robin, Jay, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeons, plus two Stock Doves and a single Swallow passed through.
There were plenty of Speckled Wood butterflies on the wing plus a Small Heath and a Gatekeeper.
I also located a Bush Cricket with its extra long antennae (possibly a female) trying to soak up some of the limited sunshine.
A common sight when the sun shines is one of the 'Ninja' Turtles' (Red Eared Terrapin) basking around the fringes of the pond. These are not a natural species in the UK but have become very widespread following the release of imported pets. The final addition to todays limited bird list was a brief view of a Kingfisher as it wizzed across the Stew Pond and disappeared... a nice addition to this years patchlist as I haven't seen one here for at least 18 months.  FAB.


  1. Hi Frank, thank you, I have thoroughly enjoyed my visit. Your photos are marvelous! Your header photo is also magnificent.

  2. that flying gull shot is spectacular! and you know i love turtles too. :)

  3. Love the images, especially the gull in flight. Beautiful.

  4. Beautiful seagull photo with the light shining through the feathers!

  5. Frank,
    all your photos are lovely but the butterflies always take my breath away! Such detail!

  6. Hi Frank...hope you are all well>

    I love the Speckled Wood with the berries they make for such a lovely photo!!
    Good one of the gull in flight ..the light in the wings is very nice!!


  7. Brilliant aerial shot of the gull Frank. I understand that terrapins can be quite a problem in some areas.

  8. Great photos, especially the Turtle, it is fabulous.

  9. ....loved your "Ninja Turtle!" :-) You know me and turtles!

  10. Great images Frank, the Tern image is fabulous!! :)

  11. Hi Frank, What awesome shots. My favorite it the flying gull. WOW---that one is fabulous!!!!! Thanks!

  12. Splendid nature images, Frank! The in flight gull shot is exquisite. The Speckled Wood Butterfly photograph is so very beautiful. Always a pleasure to stop by your wonderful blog!

  13. Good indeed to find the Kingfisher Frank :-) Lets hope they've had a good breeding season this spring.

  14. Frank, good to see you back mate.
    That turtle is certainly posing for you.
    I like the angle of the Speckled Wood.

  15. The bush cricket is a fantastic creature!! Excellent post Frank and I guess you also start to see birds gathering for their migration. Yeh it was nice to get the Wilson's phalarope...

  16. Speckled Wood, what a lovely name for an equally lovely butterfly. Are those blackberries? Looks like you had an enjoyable walk around the pond. Love that turtle!

  17. Spectacular photo of the flying gull! Awesome capture, Frank!

  18. Hi Denise. Thanks for your visit and appreciative words.

    Hi Theresa. I thought you might take a liking to the 'turtle'.

    Thank you Lois.

    Thanks Mona.

    Hi Wilma. A lucky shot but I was pleased with the outcome.

    Hi Kay. I regret the cooler, wetter weather may put paid to any more butterfly pics!

    Hi Grace. We are bearing up ok at the moment. I need to remember to pick some berries the next time I see a good hoard.

    Hi John. You may well be right about the Terrapins ... a wide diet!

  19. Cheers Bob. It provided a photo opp when most of the birds were in hiding!

    Hi Kelly. Unfortunately I don't have the variety that you are able to watch.

    Thanks Angad. BTW the Tern was actually a Gull!

    Hi Betsy. Thanks very much.

    Hi Julie. Not quite the variety that you are able to show us but I try to find something worth posting.

    Hi Warren. Fingers crossed as it is definitely a patch rarity.

    Cheers Keith. The best of very few subjects at the moment!

    Hi Chris. Yes, a few waders appearing along the coasts now. Soon be looking out for the geese and ducks.

    Hi Mary. Yes, it was very aptly named. Yes, they are Blackberries but we need some more sunshine for them all to ripen and then the picking will begin.

    Thank you very much Hilke.


    How beautiful & rich the vegetation!
    How spectacular the feathered ones...!!!

    Here in Tuscany we are "suffering" a terribly dry period; the woods are suffering terribly!
    It didn't rain anymore since spring!

    So therefore I do appreciate even more your wonderful "wet & watery" nature spectacles...so magnificiently photographed!!

    ciao ciao Frank



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


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