Friday, 8 June 2018

Thursley Common - Residents and Migrants.

From late April into May I made several visits to Thursley Common NNR to check out both the resident and migrant species that inhabit this very important lowland site with its mix of heathland, acidic bog, pools and woodland.

A resident male Stonechat on sentry duty.

Over the years the population of Dartford Warbler (above) has ebbed and flowed due to the occasional severe winters and the devastating fires that have ruined their breeding habitats from time to time. Currently their numbers seem fairly stable and any opportunity to get a shot of an adult in its glorious breeding plumage is a bonus.

On one early morning visit I was fortunate to come across five Northern Wheatear (above) that had dropped in to refuel on their migratory northward journey from Africa. With the lack of cover I had to be content with a distant shot of just two individuals. 

Hearing the distinctive 'cour-lii' calls of a species that I frequently encounter on the south coast I turned my attention skywards to watch one of a pair of Curlew that regularly inhabit this site from April through to August. 

Moving further across the common to a stand of mixed woodland I found one of several male [Common] Redstart (below) that had just arrived from Africa and were setting up territories in preparation for the slightly later arrival of the females.

I spent some time in this spot watching the males chase one another and eventually grabbed a shot of one male that came a little closer, perching briefly, before continuing its aerial antics. 

Another Summer visitor from Africa is the Tree Pipit (above) typically vocalising from a high open perch.

Other species seen and or heard have included Blue, Great, Long-tailed and Coal Tits, Goldfinch, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Skylark, Woodlark, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Swallow, Kestrel, Common Buzzard, Hobby plus several views of single and pairs of Cuckoo. 

I often end any visit by returning to the boardwalk overlooking Pudmore Pond in order to catch a glimpse of one of any number of Hobby, (above) another migrant from Africa, hawking for their prey. I hope to share more images of this consummate aerial acrobat in a future post. 

Linking to:
Saturday's Critters
Nature Notes
Wild Bird Wednesday


  1. It amazes me when I read of all the species you see in your parks. I love the Curlew, really cool looking wings. Carol

  2. Thanks for the sharing these great pictures that you took. Hopefully the Dartford Warbler can get their numbers way back up. These winter seasons can be really hard on different species. Have a great weekend and thanks for giving us more knowledge on these birds.
    World of Animals

  3. Hello, Frank! Beautiful birds and awesome sightings. I would love to see the Curlew. Looks like a great place to visit and for birding. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend. PS, thank also for leaving a comment on my post.

  4. Super post Frank,most are my favourite birds,the Hobby and Dartford followed by the Redtsart,also Tree Pipit would make my Day,no, week.
    Great to see,many thanks for posting such delights.
    Best regards.

  5. Interesting and beautiful birds. Different than the ones in my neck of the woods.

  6. Gorgeous shots! That Stonechat and the Dartford Warbler are both so beautiful!

  7. All so terrific. Enjoyed reading your narration & viewing such beautiful birds!!

    Thanks for linking in this week!

  8. Super nice shots! I would love to see a Hobby. Beautiful in flight shot!

  9. What wonderful variety of birds and great photos of them as well. I really love the ones of the Curlew and Hobby in flight.

  10. WoW!! your birds are exquisite, most new to me, i see you are in the UK. it looks like you have a wonderful spot for birding, it is both beautiful and natural. wonderful flight images!!!

  11. I keep reading that warblers and other birds that migrate south are losing their overwintering sites and are decreasing which is very sad...Glad your warbler population is stable..Michelle

  12. Great images. I love the stonechats. We don't get them here.

  13. wow, you got some nice birds here. And beautiful places where to find them. I envy you :)

  14. My goodness these are stunning images! How great that you can find them so close.

  15. Some of these birds are new to me, like the Hobby. Thanks for sharing your expertise with us!


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


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