Another morning for walking Boo, but it was rather overcast with occasional sunny spells.
I decided to explore Fairmile Common which is home to the Silver-Studded Blue butterfly and other specialised invertebrates of heathland.
Regrettably Fairmile Common ,as with parts of the Esher Commons, are now split by the very busy and noisy A3. I started off on the south side and had a wander. Quite scrubby and came across a large oval-shaped tarmacked area. No obvious vehicular access so I'm still puzzled as to why it's there and what it's for.
There is a bridge that crosses the A3 to get to the North side of the common. However, by then I really didn't want any more intrusive traffic noise so we headed back to the car and went on to Esher Common. I shall explore the north side of the common on another day.
My objective was to find out whether there were any other paths that kept you close to the perimeter Black Pond which, in the summer, should be home to many different Dragonflies. Only the west side of the pond gives a view, the other sides being either too boggy in woodland or deep areas of reed beds. However, I was rewarded with the sound of Reed Warbler (having checked the RSPB site for it's song, I'm positive that's what is was). Couldn't see it unfortunately.
We then crossed the road and went up onto The Ledges of the other side of Esher Common. The Ledges is an ancient woodland which, on the lower side, runs parallel to the River Mole.
You can, if you wish, continue walking and eventually pass through West End Common with it's two ponds. The bigger of these is the Prince of Wales Pond (where swans are nesting); no doubt the pond is named after the pub opposite! However, today I wanted to walk along the riverside.
Along the walk are various seats and I like what Esher Borough Council's done providing any additions in keeping with the wooded areas. Seats are provided along the way and this are in the main of interesting shapes and, I would imagine, come from local wood.
Having climbed gradually to the top of The Ledges, we then took the North Steps down to river level. A couple of workers were repairing the rails of the steep South steps.
I like Esher Common generally and this spot in particular; a gentle amble along partly board-walked footpaths with views of the twisting River Mole. It was very quiet and not much on the river until I came across a pair of Mandarin Ducks - which was quite a surprise.
And.. if you go down, you have to come up. Having been walking for about 2 hours I think we were both in need of a drink, so home we went. A good morning's exercise.
Irises alongside the Black Pond on Esher Common
Walking along the top of The Ledges
The South Steps down to the River Mole
A pair of Mandarins swimming away
and back up again to return to the car.
Part 2: Winners and Losers - passerines
5 hours ago