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.
The whole area used to look very much like the conifered (with apologies to the language scholars for 'conifered') area below
Next visit - during the week.