Back to Thursley

Yesterday, we returned to Thursley Common, to again try and capture some good images of the Dartford Warbler, and Thursley's other star species. 

We began to walk our usual route, heading for the usual spot where we see the Dartford Warbler. We approached carefully, making sure we didn't scare it away. But when we arrived, we couldn't see any movement or hear any birdsong. It was eerily quiet. In fact, we had barely seen any birds by this point, apart from a few crows flying over. It certainly wasn't looking promising.

We continued to walk along the stretch of gorse where we regularly see the Dartford Warbler, hoping to at least catch a glimpse of it. Suddenly, a small dark bird whizzed out from literally right beside us. The Dartford! It had been crouching in the gorse alongside us all along, but it had avoided our view until now. Unfortunately it flew off, and again went out of sight. We carried on along the gorse and, unbelievably, another one flew out, again from right next to us. This is a good sign, there are at least two Dartford Warblers on Thursley Common. Still no photos though.

After the two Dartford encounters, we made the decision to walk all the way around the Common, hoping to bump into a few more birds on the way. It was still very quiet though. We walked for the next 45 minutes or so, with our only sightings being of a few unidentifiable LBBs (Little Brown Birds). As we approached the forest on the far side, flashes of green and yellow caught my eye. Green Woodpeckers. Overall, there were about 4 of them, flying from tree to tree. This was a lovely sight, especially after the relative absence of life in the centre of the common.

We continued on our walk, seeing a few Stonechats hopping in the gorse every now and then, and patches of lichen dotted over the floor, in-between the heather. 

Lichen (to be identified)

Overall, our trip to Thursley provided views of many species, including the Dartford Warbler. Unfortunately, many of the birds didn't stay in one place long enough for us to take good pictures, but they showed themselves, showing that Thursley is still a haven for wildlife.


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