My daughter and grandson have gone away for a few days and I have the responsibility of looking after their dog. This means that I'm going to do a great deal of walking over the next four days and I'll either be very fit, or, fit to drop!
Today we headed of in the sunshine to a local area that I've never much explored. Having been there today, I wish I'd discovered Esher Common a long while ago. Esher Common joins several other commons/areas and all these are very good for wildlife.
The Small Copper butterfly which flies between May and September, can be found eating of Common Sorrel in the heathland area of the common. This area is immediately below a long line of pylons. Also Common Lizards can be found and, looking upwards, in five months during the summer Hobbies (Falco subbeteo) can also be spotted.
There is also Black Pond where, in the summer, can be found 24 species of Dragonfly; one of which the Brilliant Emerald, although scarce, can be seen around the Pond. Many "reedy" areas which attract Reed Warblers and Common Toads can also be found.
The common runs off a main road which splits two of Elmbridge County Council's natural areas. Esher Common has a very small car park at one of it's entrances, which takes about six cars. Immediately opposite on the other side of the road, there is a much larger car park, so parking shouldn't be a problem.
The small car park has ranch-style fencing between it and the wooded area; in this fence is a reasonable sized gap which allows pedestrians and wheel-chair users through. As quite a large area is firm underfoot, it is possible to travel some distance in a wheelchair. However today I was glad that I hadn't gone there with my mother (who uses a wheelchair) as we could not have got through the gap to get back into the car park. Why? Because some incredibly inconsiderate driver of a BMW 4by4 (I rest my case) had parked so close to the gap that even I and other pedestrians had to squeeze through. I am restraining myself considerably not too say more on this subject. Why oh why, do people not think of anyone other than themselves!!!
My canine charge and I must have walked about four miles and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. We went home for a welcome cuppa and drink of water (I'll leave you to sort out who had which!) and then I cut the grass.
I shall sleep soundly tonight; probably from about 7.00 p.m. onwards!
Can't wait for the summer now so I can go and find all these wonderful wildlife species! I know I'm going to visit this and the other areas often. Next one? Probably Arbrook Common in the hopes of seeing Goldcrests.
I consider myself very lucky to have such differing terrain so close to my home.
Birch and Conifer Woodland
My trusty companion
If this is your BMW- don't park like this again please!