Saturday, 20 April 2013

Relatives can be useful

A second theme this year, after going the day after a bird was around, is the number of birds seen on trips to relatives.This time it was to Martin in Guildford for his sons 8th birthday party!! WE combined it though with a visit first to Thursley Heath, which is only about 10 minutes away. Really spring-like and warm, and quite a few cars in the car park, but the place soaks up people.
Judith had never been here before so after a bit if orienting we set off down the boardwalk. Three people ahead of us were intently studying the sky, and it soon became obvious why. Tow or possibly three hobbies were already here, hunting quite high.  We carried on through the dragonfly glade and almost immediately got onto a lovely male redstart, a target for the day, singing from the bushes and trees. Bit far but we did get a few record shots. Apparently there were whinchats around as well, but i only got a few stonechats singing away from the top of the gorse.
On the way back to car park we came across a family staring into a pool. They'd spotted a number of common newts swimming just underneath the surface. Great spot and something you rarely see nowadays. Coincidentally Judith had asked of the pools were good for newts earlier on. They also put us onto a raft spider, which we'd never had seen otherwise as it was really well camouflaged on the surface of the pond. As we were about to move on, i saw a "hawk-like" bird settle in a tree a couple of hundred yards away. Thinking it was a hobby i got the 'scope onto it, and got my first cuckoo of the year!!! Year list 144....