Thursley Common: Spiders, Newts and Birds

Spring has finally arrived, so we set off to check out how Thursley Common was coping with the new abundance of life. And we were in for a treat. We started off around the side of Thursley, stopping by the Dartford Warbler area. Our odds weren't looking great at this point, with no good sightings.

We came across our first lizard a few minutes later, but it didn't take long for it to notice us and scamper off into the bushes. We followed the path, spotting only a couple of Canada Geese on the way. As we made our way around Shrike Hill, we stopped at the side of a boardwalk, after there was a cry of: "Newts". And sure enough there were two Palmate Newts, swimming about in the pool.

The best was to come though. Sitting unnoticed to the side of the newts was a Raft Spider, amazing arachnids, that have special hairs on their legs to help them float. This was a real treat.

It sat there for ages, soaking up the sun, whilst we stood there, admiring it, whilst Pond Skaters traveled around the pond, even mating around the spider.

Mating Pond Skaters
As we made our way back, we caught a glance of a pair of Redstarts, who must have just arrived back from their wintering grounds.

Female Redstart
All in all, it was a fantastic trip to a fantastic place, and well worth while.

To see a video of the Raft Spider, visit our YouTube page: The video should be up by Tuesday 23 April. Keep posted!!

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