Saturday, 6 July 2013

Stretching the legs.

 
Earlier in the week after an unsuccessful morning search for butterflies around the grassland meadows near home I decided to revisit Esher Common and take a walk to Black Pond. 

Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a very good sense of direction even in thick undergrowth! Anyway just to be sure of my route I snapped a picture of the map on the information board with my pocket camera. 

Now bearing in mind it was past midday my expectation of finding much bird life was fairly low but at least the walk would give my  legs a good workout.  

The muscles were put to good use climbing the steps that led up onto Round Hill where a Squirrel gave me a shifty look from its hiding place before scampering away deep into the woods.
My onward route across the wooded ridge was clearly signposted ... see I didn't need that map after all!

Apart from the constant rumbling noise of traffic speeding along the nearby A3 that borders the common I could just pick out the calls of a Robin, Jay and a Crow while my attention briefly turned to a resting Speckled Wood
Further along the ridge the view to my left reveals the expanse of  open heathland bordered by blocks of tall conifer plantations. Dropping down off the ridge I reach Five Ways and another helpful signpost and the first of many different styles of seating available for any weary walkers to rest their legs.


Anyway, no need to tarry, I continue along a track  past another bench and get a glimpse of the pond through the reed fringes where I hear the unmistakeable rhythmic song of a Reed Warbler. While attempting to photograph one of a number of very flighty blue damselflies I miss the opportunity to capture a Common Buzzard flying overhead that was mobbed by a Crow and promptly sought refuge in the closest stand of conifers.


300 years ago this area was a valley mire; a large swamp criss-crossed by a series of streams and ditches. During the 18th century a dam was built and Black Pond was created. I guess it got its name from the boggy, acid soil which colours the water and is inhospitable to all but a few adaptive plants such as the Round-leaved Sundew which feeds on digested insects. 

At the pond-side I spied a dragonfly patrolling its territory and heard a Little Grebe call from the far corner of the pond. The other inhabitants were a pair of Mallard, Coot, Moorhen and a pair of Mute Swans that paid me a visit.

I'm not sure why this Swan had one leg stretched out

A close up of that webbed foot being retracted.

Both the Swans came ashore and after a bit of head waggling decided to commence preening which provided a relaxed interlude for the watcher and his camera. I then undertook a full circuit of the pond but didn't find anything else of interest to post so it was time to retrace my steps back to the car park.
I did however make use of another bench to rest the legs and take in the view.   FAB.

16 comments:

  1. Great area to walk. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  2. those are some of the coolest benches ever! each one different! cool swan shots, too.

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  3. What a cool area for birding. I love the benches! The swans are pretty! Great shots, Frank!

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  4. Swans are so friendly and most I've seen don't shy from people which is amazing to me. Love those benches!

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  5. Looks like the perfect place to walk and photograph all kinds of wildlife. The bench with the oak leaf would have been my choice for a rest, clever to make each one unique.

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  6. A beautiful place for a walk. I love the swans.

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  7. It's so like my local woodlands Frank with all the carved benches.
    Many thanks for sharing.

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  8. another wonderful location to walk and photograph Frank. Loved the seating and the lay-back lounge style one and admired the beautiful swan

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  9. I love the unusual benches there! It looks like someone really cares about this lovely wildlife area.

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  10. That close-up of the swan's foot....wow! So impressive. Such a beautiful walk you've shared with us...the scenery, the pieces of art...the GREEN! ---perfect setting for a Sunday stroll!

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  11. Very nice place for a walk! Glad you didn't get lost, ha. Love the Swan shots.

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  12. A beautiful place! Great shots of the swan. I love the rustic benches.

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  13. Great shots, interesting places :)

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  14. o, what a nice place to visit. Rather open land, I love it. Never thought of take a shot of swan feet. Cool! :)

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  15. Beautiful surroundings, enhanced by the beautiful birds!

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  16. Hi Everyone.

    Delighted that you all enjoyed the wander around Black Pond. The varied forms of seating certainly make this an interesting area for a stroll and the obligatory rest!

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

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