So, spoke sternly to myself and decided I'd gotta eat, so headed off for Sainsbury's in Cobham. Mistake - today is the first day of Hampton Court Flower Show and at the time I left, the traffic was backed up around most main roads. Shopping done, home I came.
The weather had been intermittent sunshine but so far no rain and I needed to think. I think best, about "life" matters, when I'm walking so I decided to combine a walk with a trip back to Black Pond. Just before I got to the car park - the heavens opened and the rain fell. However, I stayed put for about 10 minutes until the rain stopped and off I went.
As the emphasis was on walking today, I taken my (new) 70-300 lens as being much lighter than the 100-400.
Having been encouraged by the sight of damselflies around my garden pond I wanted to see if any Dragons were about. There were - just a couple of them - as were blue Damselflies (flying too fast for an ID), but I believe they were Four Spotted Chasers - what I wanted to see (and what Pete and I missed out on last Sunday) - were Brilliant Emeralds; even more frustratingly they've been seen already - (see STOP PRESS at end of the post) but of course, there was no evidence of them at all again! One day perhaps.....
On Sunday we'd seen a Grey Heron - far away on the opposite side of the pond; and a small group of male Mallards - they were around today.
Spot the Heron...
Extract from the above picture....
One of the male Mallards in eclipse.
One of two small ponds that were empty of water last Sunday
Continuing my walk beyond Black Pond
A few bees about, enjoying the heather now coming into bloom and I heard my first cricket of the year.
Had a walk further on from the pond and not in a direction I'd been before. Came across the most enormous wooden seat where, next to it, were two wooden carved toadstools! I continued my walk without coming across anything particularly noteworthy.
On my way back....
I then crossed over the road and continued with my "thinking" walk in another part of Esher Common. One of my favourite routes is along the River Wey, through the woods and taking advantage of the board-walks.
Down by the river earlier on this year, I'd seen a Great-Spotted Woodpecker feeding two young still up in their nest in a tree. Obviously they'd gone now, but it was nice to be reminded of my first (and so far) only nest sighting. A bit further on, a wren, deep in the undergrowth and a Jay, somewhere up on the trees were sounding their respective alarm calls. A Robin joined them, chip, chipping away. Nothing around on the river today, but that is not unusual.
Then on up the North Steps to the Ledges at the top. Very few people about which was nice and those that were were mostly walking their dogs.
View from the top of the Ledges (much restricted picture as
no Landscape lens today).
Just got back to the car as the rain started once more and thence homewards.
A pleasant walk I think.
Rather frustrating really - I've just come across this information on the British Dragonfly Society's "hot news" section on their web page.
June 19thEven more frustratingly - as I can't be there.... grrrrr....
Esher Common - Black Pond, 3 to 4 Male Brilliant Emerald seen fighting for territory with the victor being photographed on patrol, despite the numerous dogs which often occupy and disturb the same stretch of water. This sighting maybe an encouraging sign for Don Tagg's BDS visit on July 13th, especially as I did not see any Brilliant Emerald dragonflies there last year!
Sunday 13th July 2008 Esher Common, Black Pond and Middle Pond, Surrey
Leader/Contact Don Tagg 01252 322793
Aim Looking for Brilliant Emerald (known to be there) and others.
Meet 10.30am at the car park on A307, 1.2 miles S of Esher. TQ 125627