Monday, 9 July 2012

Thursley Common.

After my recent morning session with the Silver-washed Fritillary's at Bookham Common I decided to head over to the acid lowland heath at Thursley Common and did a circuit of the boardwalk to check out the wildlife.
Avian activity around midday was very quiet apart from a distant perched Stonechat plus Mallard with chicks and a pair of Tufted Ducks on the pools.

 While searching the water I located an Emperor Dragonfly ovipositing amongst the vegetation.

Due to the warmer conditions a few of species were taking advantage of the boardwalk to rest and soak up some limited sunshine including a large number of Common Blue Damselflies .....

 .... and numerous male Black-tailed Skimmers (Orthetrum cancellatum). It is easy to get these confused with a Keeled Skimmer (see below) but the Black-tailed has a dark brown-black pterostigma.

I only managed to find one male Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens) perched above the water. Distinguished from the Black-tailed by the totally blue abdomen; the parallel light markings behind the head plus the obvious yellow pterostigma.

Numerous Common Lizards were also basking on the boardwalk and I'm always intrigued to see how close I can get by slowly creeping towards them before they scurry away into hiding.

Other sightings included Four-spotted Chasers, Blue-tailed Damsels, Great-spotted Woodpecker, a single Swallow, a few high flying Swifts and a pair of Hobbys made a brief foray over the pools.   FAB.


  1. Brings back great memories Frank.

    Love those shots of the Lizard. Not something I see very often.

  2. Great set of images Frank especially the ovipositing Emperor and those Common Lizards are just wonderful to see...[;o)

  3. What a beautiful series and that wood planked boardwalk is amazing. I love all of the dragons, especially the one among the vegetation and the little lizard, what a cute little guy, or gal. Have a marvelous week Frank~

  4. Oh, It looks like a great place for photo ops! LOVE your Lizards!!

  5. such a beautiful place to explore; love the windy boardwalk. Wow, that first dragonfly is fantastic! The lizard is beautiful too.....

  6. love the boardwalk w/ the leaning tree! and that emperor dragonfly shot is wonderful. love the lizards, too. so cute!

  7. Hi Frank!!!.. Great shots and beautiful place.. Greetings from Madrid.. :-)))

  8. Superb images.. :) Love the basking dragonfly image... :)

  9. Love the leaning tree and the way the boardwalk curves round it.
    Brilliant shots of the Emperor dragon and of the lizards

  10. I would love to take a walk on that boardwalk. Love these images. You really got some great ones on this venture. Carol

  11. Nice shots Frank! Nice to see the two different skimmers to be able to compare them. I don`t think we get the Keeled Skimmers around my neck of the woods, but I know what to look out for now! ;)
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

  12. Love this post. That Emperor Dragonfly photo is fabulous!!

  13. Hi Frank, Great set of pictures... I especially like the Emperor Dragonfly photo... Excellent!

  14. Hi Everyone. Thanks for all your lovely comments.

    This particular habitat (acid lowland heath and bog) is a fantastic location for a varied range of invertebrates and birds (as Keith will attest) ... we just need more sunshine to bring out the best in the wildlife.

    Another post from Thursley Common coming up very soon. Cheers FAB.


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


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