22 April 2015

Thursley NNR: 22 April

A really pleasant day at Thursley Common in Surrey today (I couldn't face the prospect of seeing bugger all at the patch). My main aim was to look for reptiles and early dragonflies, but a cold fresh NE from mid-morning wind was far from ideal and I only managed one species of each - lots of Common Lizards Zootoca vivipara on the wooden boardwalks (both adults and young), and just a single female Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula.

Common Lizard Zootoca vivipara - the boardwalks at Thursley Common are a great place to see them

Common Lizard Zootoca vivipara - note how this one has flattened its body to maximise surface area facing the sun

Today's female Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula. The black legs help separate from Small Red Damselfly Ceriagrion
. Note the pterostigma is yellowish and not blackish - perhaps because newly emerged?

Some good birds seen today. Summer visitors noted were 2+ Hobby (hunting insects overhead), 2 Eurasian Curlew (presumably a pair on the peat bog), 1(H) Common Whitethroat (bog), 1m Common Redstart (singing around the Moat), 1 Tree Pipit (singing) and 1m Common Cuckoo. 5 Barn Swallow (mainly NW) constituted the only vis mig overhead.

Other species logged were 2 Woodlark (pair, with a male watched singing, in display flight and feeding on the fire breaks), 1m Yellowhammer (bog), 4(3m) Stonechat, Red Kite E, 2 Common Buzzard, several Linnet (a couple seen but mainly heard), 2 Tufted Duck (pair on the bog), 2+ Kestrel, 1(H) Dartford Warbler, 1(H) Siskin, Coal Tit (H), 2 Greylag Goose N, 1 Grey Heron (Moat) and a Canada/Barnacle Goose hybrid with a Canada Goose on the Moat pond.

Also, lots of Devil's Matchstick Cladonia floerkeana lichen growing on the sandy soil amongst the heather.

Devil's Matchstick Cladonia floerkeana

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