Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Wildlife on Thursley Common.

I made another outing to Thursley Common last Thursday to check out the wildlife. 

As usual I entered the common via the boardwalk and stopped by one of the acid pools to see if there was any Odonata activity. It soon became obvious that there were a number of Chasers skimming over the water so just a matter of waiting for one to settle somewhere.





While I waited a Large Red Damselfly perched close by for a photo call with several others in tandem seeking a place to settle whilst being harried by other uncoupled individuals.
Eventually a Four Spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) landed nearby to take a rest.

Nice to see them with their pristine wings before all the battles take a toll. The sexes are very much alike and their brown abdomen becomes much darker as they mature. They often fall prey to the Emperor Dragonfly which patrols the water at a similar height of 70cm.

As on a previous visit (please click the link to view earlier images) I saw at least four male Redstart but they were typically always singing from fairly high perches so I had to crop the images taken so that you can appreciate their stunning colours.


This male was singing with from the same location for some ten minutes in direct competition with another male not too far away.
You can listen to it's song here.


Further over on the heath I noticed at least two spotty looking young birds flitting about the track side foliage and eventually managed a quick photo as I wasn't sure of the species ID at the time.

Having now cropped the image and looked more closely at its markings; including the rufous rump; I'm now fairly sure that it is a juvenile Stonechat.

I was also hearing the calls of several Common Whitethroat and just my luck one male perched briefly enabling a shot through a gap in the young birch growth.

Other species seen included Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Mistle Thrush, Robin, Wren, Blackbird, Crow, Jackdaw, Magpie, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Canada Geese, Curlew, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Common Buzzard (6), Cuckoo and Skylark.

One of the many Common Lizards sunning itself on the boardwalk. I'll be going back when there are more species of Odonata on the wing and hopefully spend some time watching their predator, the Hobby.  FAB.

9 comments:

  1. Oh, my goodness, your pictures are so sharp and clear. I'm wowed!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Karen. The new lens is working overtime!

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  2. You've seen some wonderful wildlife Frank... stunning images.

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  3. Love the birds....two species I have never seen in the wild.
    Wonderful place to get in touch with nature.

    Lizards.....I love them. Also love snakes which freaks my daughter out as she is terrified of them !!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Cheryl.
      I never get tired of wandering around Thursley Common in any season ... always something to capture one's attention.

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  4. HI Frank Great variety in this post and of course, marvelous shots

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  5. Yes, I was thinking too, what a wonderful variety of wildlife. I'm hoping to see some redstarts here this summer. That common lizard doesn't look so common to me. What beautiful markings it has. Very nice set of photos. :)

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    Replies
    1. Gail. Thank you. I'll look forward to seeing your Redstarts later on. I lost count of the number of Lizards I could have photographed!

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  6. Cheers Andrew. It's good to be out in some decent sunlight at last.

    Thank you Margaret. It's a splendid location for many reasons.

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

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