My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Sunday, 25 July 2010

ID help needed and Esher Common

Before I dive in to today's post, my friend Pete (of The Quacks of Life fame) is trying to ID a grasshopper/cricket. Clicking HERE and HERE will take you to the wee beastie :D If anyone can help here it would be appreciated. :D

Right - today!

I'd had a fleeting visit to Black Pond on Esher Common yesterday and was delighted to see some new visitors. I normally only see Mallards and Grey Herons on this pond and was once treated to a (very speedy) fly past of a Kingfisher. I've also heard a Reed Warbler on a couple of occasions when the reeds were still abundant.,

Yesterday I only had 1/2 hour to spare as I was passing and dropped by. I saw about 15 Mallards which was good (usually only 3 or 4) and, right at the far end were 2 x adult and 2 x young Little Grebes. So this morning I revisted.

I don't like going on a Sunday. Every other person or group of people had a least one dog with them. At one time there were 11 dogs all going in and out of the water - with their owners throwing sticks and/or balls for them to chase. This makes my blood boil!! (It's also been a hot, humid and grey day so I wasn't in the best frame of mind either.) There's nothing to stop this happening but given this used to be a really good spot for dragon and damselflies I feel that this could have a damaging effect. I didn't see any today but, to be fair, there wasn't much sun either!

However, Elmbridge Council have been carrying out an ongoing plan to clear the area and return (some of) the heavily wooded parts back into Heathland. This has been happening over a few years now and is not looking quite a barren as it had been.

One of the latest areas is to clear all the reeds around the pond (or the vast majority of them). Whether this is the cause of the new visitors, I don't know.

Unfortunately, I could only find 1 adults and 1 young Little Grebe today. But in addition to the 12 or so Mallards was a Moorhen with one young and also a female Mandarin duck. Things are looking up. I shall be back there more often.

At the far left of this picture, is part of the path where all the dogs were jumping in and out of the water.

Note: the flat, light brown areas are where all the reeds have been cut back and the bare earth is now showing. There are signs of the reeds growing back however.

Looking then to the right is where the two Little Grebes were
and from the same spot over on the far bank.

The whole area used to look very much like the conifered (with apologies to the language scholars for 'conifered') area below

And now there are many more clearings like the one below.

Next visit - during the week.


Warren Baker said...

More ignorant dog owners, I read about them on most blogs!

Shame the Reeds had to go, I wonder if they were cleared during the nesting season ?

The Early Birder said...

It's a great shame that far too many dog owners fail to understand the damage their beloved pets can cause. The pond is going to need a few years for new growth around the edges to develop again, presuming they allow it to do so.

The Wessex Reiver said...

Hi Tricia, it's a field Grasshopper - Chorthippus brunneus the only other species which it could be is the mottled grasshopper but that's much smaller. Identified by kinked thorax markings and the male has a reddish abdomen. Hope that helps. Andrew

holdingmoments said...

Some people don't have the common sense they were born with unfortunately. It looks like it has great potential too.

Tricia said...

Warren - They were cleared before th nesting season fortunately!

Frank - agreed! I have a feeling that it won't go back to how it was!

Hi Andrew :D and thenks for the ID - I think we were close to that but now we know! And yes - your reasoning helps loads thanks!

Keith - Common sense doesn't happen to all folk unfortunately1!

Midmarsh John said...

Nice to see what I would term a more natural setting in the final shot. Conifers can be so unattractive with their close packed straight bare trunks. Fine a forest managed for timber but I am sure wildlife will flourish once the deciduous trees mature.

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