Friday, 26 July 2013

Another Circuit of Thursley Common.

Yesterday I paid another visit to Thursley Common around mid morning on another hot, sunny day but with a fairly strong breeze and the chance of a shower or two. 

I decided on a slightly different route and kept away from the boardwalk and headed on a clockwise circuit that would take me through the heart of the bog on a little used path to see what wildlife was about. 

Bird wise it was fairly quiet apart from the 'yaffle' calls of a Green Woodpecker and a small party of Linnet, constantly chatting to one another, flitted from treetop to treetop and always staying one jump ahead of me!

The usual dragons were easily located including Keeled Skimmers and Four-spotted Chasers resting from their early morning activities.
Keeled Skimmer and Four-spotted Chaser.
Out in the middle of the bog I noticed the low cloud building up from the south-west and in a matter of minutes I was overtaken by a rain squall and took what shelter I could find from a large stand of Gorse. 
The cloud quickly moved through, the sun reappeared and the temperature rose bringing a few other species in sight of the lens. A male Azure Damselfly politely perched close by.

A little further along the path I noticed a tiny female 'blue' butterfly settling on the top of a flower and just managed one shot before it flew ahead of me. At first glimpse you might say "it's not blue" ... well the upper wings on females of a number of our blue species are in fact brown but it is the pattern on the under wings that often provide a clue to their identification.
This individual eventually resettled with her wings closed (see below) clearly showing that the black marginal spots on the hindwings are studded with silvery-blue centers, hence the name Silver-studded Blue.
Silver-studded Blue (Plebelus argus).

Just before the path heads into a stand of conifers where the ground was under water just a few weeks ago a female White-legged Damselfly (Platycnemis pennipes) decided to rest in the sunlight and allowed me to get a close up with my pocket Powershot.

My onward route took me across the open heath to a small field bordered by trees and around a area of brambles a few butterflies were found but only in single numbers,
[Clockwise from top left] Large Skipper, Small Copper, Ringlet and a male Gatekeeper.

Nearly at the end of my two hour walk I rejoined the boardwalk and had another chance at capturing a shot of a male Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa).

Further along the boardwalk a Common Lizard was sunning itself. Normally I would expect to see them every foot or so but this appeared to be the only individual brave enough to show itself or maybe they knew the weather was due to change again.

A Kestrel hovered high over the bog and I saw four Swallows perched on the overhead power lines but only caught the last one to depart! With the cloud base building up it was time to depart for home.

Wherever you are I hope you have a glorious wildlife watching weekend. We are expecting thunderstorms and a lot of rain!   FAB.


  1. Nice series of photos! I've always liked the delicate Damselflies!

  2. That Emerald Damselfly sooooo cool Frank. Glad you didn't drenched.

  3. Hi Frank...Where was your compact umbrella ?? ; )
    The Azure blue damsel is a lovely color, so delicate looking!!
    You have yourself a nice spot there to get some real nice photo's!!

  4. What a fun walk. That Emerald Damsel was so pretty!

  5. we have a large amount of Dragon flys this year. I thought they were some awful big bug until I found out. Lovely collection and nice walk.

  6. Looks a great area for insect life Frank. Nice to see some different damsels and dragons I don't see round here.

  7. Good morning
    It's amazing how much wildlife is about. It takes a keen and practiced eye to really see what's happening around you. Really good finds Frank,
    well spotted and captured. I'm really impressed that you know all the Dragonfly names:)

    Enjoy your weekend:)

  8. nature abounds over there in Summer Frank; you pick up such great shots

  9. The female Silver-studded was a good find Frank, not one I have seen so far.

  10. Frank,it looks like you had a pleasant walk? Jam packed with with wildlife...what could be better?...[;o)

  11. Lovely group of Butterflies and Dragonflies! Sadly one of the areas that draw these to our area...they actually mowed down all of the Cattails and other water reeds that housed them for years. Complaining to the city does no good either...

  12. The dragonflies are fantastic and cute capture of the lizard. Great series of photos from your outing! Happy weekend to you!

  13. Hi Frank Your 2 hour walk was very productive and you manged to capture great shots. Hoe you are no knee deep in rain now. Sun all the way here.

  14. It's good to see the variety you got on your walks. Thanks for taking us along.

  15. Hi Everyone. I'm delighted you enjoyed my wander around Thursley Common ... it's a great time of the year to ferret out all its varied wildlife.


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


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