The Land Of Lizards

On Saturday we spent an afternoon at Thursley Common and found a lot of very interesting animals.

As soon as we arrived, the first thing we saw was a Hobby catching and eating a dragonfly. It swerved around all over the place. What a perfect start to a wonderful afternoon at Thursley.

As we made our way across the boardwalks we kept our eyes to the ground. We were looking for lizards and goodness there were lots of them. Almost every 3 planks a lizard was lying in the sun. They were mainly common lizards. Stunning.

Next, we headed for Ockley Common, looking for the hen harrier. Ockley is small so there aren't many places for the hen harrier to hide but we still didn't catch a glimpse of it.

Whilst we were looking for the hen harrier we saw a dozen small birds darting across the heath. Linnets. The males had there beautiful pink chests out and the females sat on the tops of the trees. Awesome! 

About half way through Ockley Common there was a shout of "Snake". One of us had almost stepped on an Adder! You wouldn't want to step on an adder as they are the UK's only venomous snake and they could easily put you in hospital. 

We then entered the wood on the east side of Thursley Common and saw half a dozen woodpeckers flying and pecking. As we came out the other side of the wood we caught a glimpse of a Redstart. With a beautiful red chest and black head they are amazing to watch.

The next stop on our trip was "Shrike Hill" (named after the Great Grey Shrike that lives there). The hill was strangely inactive and nothing seemed to be around.

Finally, after a long walk we came back to the boardwalk. This time there were loads more lizards out basking in the sun. This time though, there were Sand Lizards! Sand Lizards are the UK's rarest species of lizard so seeing them was a real treat.

(left: Sand Lizard)

What a way to finish an amazing trip to Thursley Common. But it wasn't over yet...

As we were entering the car park we  heard the distinctive song of a Chiffchaff. Finding it wasn't exactly hard as it was perched in a tree above us.

Loads of species and a brilliant afternoon out, yet still no Ockley hen harrier.

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