Thursday, 12 July 2018

Thursley Common/NNR - Surrey birding at its best! 27th May 2018

Birding has been pretty dead for me this year with exceptions of the Greece trip and Duke of Edinburgh the weekend before. The only solitary moment of birding joy was hearing a Sedge Warbler singing at my school on the 25th in the morning only. Ridiculous I know.
The last time I went all out birding was Beddington Farmlands in the Beast from the East. So when I somehow convinced my parents that we could do with a walk in the morning and Thursley would be good, and they said yes, I was pretty pleased (though I did go too far with Oare Marshes and even Pagham!) 
I'd only been to Thursley once; that day in 2014 when the Short-toed Eagle made a visit. The most fortunate day of British birding for me. 
We arrived later than we wanted to at 10:30am, and unfortunately it was windy and overcast. We headed out from the Moat Car Park, towards the boardwalk. The very first 2 birds heard were Whitethroat and Woodlark -  a good sign. By 11am, after ambling along, the sun broke through and it became warmer. And the first Stonechats were about finally, along with tons of Lizards basking. An absolutely brilliant Raft Spider sat on the boardwalk as we passed. A decent start, though very few dragonflies were on the wing as of yet. 
We passed the boardwalk, reaching the other side, when I heard the first Dartford Warbler of the day singing momentarily. 
Another 3 pairs of Stonechat appeared, and I finally spotted the first m Redstart perched snoozing on a tree distantly. A pair was then located, just as my mum spotted the Hobby appearing for the hunt, along with a Buzzard. We walked towards the NNR, and I heard the Curlew calling. It was a pleasant sound, that I was thankful to hear as I actually thought they'd left these heath/moorlands. Being Thursley, as soon as the Curlews stopped another pair of Redstart started up and then a Tree Pipit sang for a few minutes distantly. I found the redstarts' nest, before we moved hoping for Colin the Cuckoo. Then I heard and saw the Dartford perched donkeys away, and then again slightly closer. And please enjoy the record shots!
Despite failing with Colin, as we headed back Willow Warblers were among 6 warblers in song at the time, and we watched the Hobby circle Pudmore at 1230ish as it picked up dragonflies. The final species seen were Reed Bunting (my sister found all of them,) some moths and a singing Treecreeper right by the car park. 
Total for the day included 4 Dartford Warbler, 1 Tree Pipit, 2 Curlew, 2 Hobby, 15+ Stonechat, 5-7 Redstart, 2 Willow Warbler min, 2 Treecreeper, 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 3 Reed Bunting, 6 Whitethroat, 2 Skylark, Woodlark heard only etc. 
A couple of moths seen included the one pictures below, and there were quite a few butterflies on the wing as well.
Speckled Yellow moth
Overall, despite only having 3 hours there rather than a day, it was a very pleasing day in the Surrey heaths - I only wish I could come more like when a bloody Red-backed Shrike is around :)
Here are pictures, mostly poor ones, taken from then.

Raft Spider

Raft Spider


 And the birds.

fail1: ad m Redstart in flight


ad m Redstart

Tree Pipit

Tree Pipit

RECORD SHOT; first pic of Dartford Warbler

RECORD SHOT; second picture of Dartford warbler

f Stony and Linnet

stare-off Stony

Hobby - always distant

m Reed Bunting

A mystery bug (for now!)
And Pudmore!


1 comment:

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