Broad-Bodied Chaser

Broad-Bodied Chaser
Wing Mosaic (Broad-bodied Chaser): Winner, Nikon In-Frame Competition August 2010


Spoonbill: Birdguides Photo of the Year 2012 Runner-up

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Dawn in Surrey - 21st May

An early start on Saturday with a dash to get somewhere before dawn.  Didn't quite make it!  However, I wasn't too far behind as I arrived at Thursley Common at 5.30am.  The place looked quite beautiful and eerie as the mist blocked the early morning sun before it broke through from a cloudless sky.

A Curlew was calling in the mist, and a pair of Lapwings were the first to show.

A couple of hours walking produced a number of hoped-for species.   Both Tree Pipit and Woodlark were singing in their typical habitat, with Tree Pipits engaging in their flight song between two treetops.  A fox was surprised and made a run for it as it was mobbed by Crows and a noisy Curlew.

At least three pairs of Common Redstart were located all close to the public footpaths.

The reason for the visit was to catch the Hobbies that sometimes hunt close to the paths.  Despite a windy day which seemed to keep the dragonflies low near the water, only a couple were showing intermittendly and despite a couple of low sorties across the water seemed to be hunting away over the grass.  Only relatively distant overhead shots were possible of these agile birds.

I was able to call at the London Wetlands Centre on the return journey.  Most of the time was spent waiting for the Common Terns to do the rounds.  A couple of birds came close at times:

A terrific close Marsh Frog was surrounded by photographers on one of the boardwalks, waiting for it to call:

Having fallen asleep briefly in the long wait, I was poked awake as a Grass Snake made its way across the pond towards the frog.  It was seen diving down into the pond weed, then came up for air briefly before diving again:

After almost giving up, the Frog finally called and it was captured in typical pose:

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