It was such a lovely day yesterday I thought it would be a shame to waste it so I though I would get out and see a couple of places, as it happened I was enjoying myself so much I ended going to four places in both Surrey and Sussex.
My first visit was to Riverside Park in Horley, Surrey, which has a river running through it (I'm sure you guessed that already) which is a tributary of the River Mole, it has a pond in it which has been cleared up very well this year making it more inviting for wildlife and humans alike. It is made up of woodland with open clearings and has various footpaths/trails throughout the park making it an enjoyable place to wander.
There were two families of Canada Geese on the pond along with a few others with no young.
As soon as I stopped by the pond out came the youngsters in the hope of some food, how cute?
Their were plenty of Banded Demoiselle around which was lovely to see.
I also found this Dragonfly pond side resting in a tree, if anyone can name it I would be grateful.
Next port of call was The Priory Park in Reigate, Surrey where I was hoping to see the Stock Doves I had seen last time, on checking out a possible nesting site but alas they had decided against it, probably as is was right next to a picnic area so was too busy. As I was wandering around I saw and heard lots of Stock Doves in fact I was surprised how many I saw I had never really noticed before and had obviously just put them down as just pigeons before.
The park covers quite a large area and has a large open area along with a pond and then a hill runs the length of the park which is wooded and is open on the top and offers good views at the nearby North Downs. I just done a couple of laps of the pond and then decided to move on again.
The next place I went to was Earlswood Lakes in Surrey, which is another large park made up of mixed woodland, two lakes and plenty of open areas as well as a golf course. On arrival I went straight to where I had seen the nesting Great Crested Grebes last time I was there, to my dismay the nest was no where to be seen and my heart sunk assuming the worse. I was looking around the area carefully when i noticed a Grebe family in the tree which had fallen into the lake a while ago but had been left that way for the wildlife so I was relived they had survived.
I didn't notice at the time but as you can see one of the chicks has a small wound to the top of its head. As i looked on at the family the adults set about rebuilding a nest in the exact same spot as where the old one had been, so maybe they intend going for another brood even though they have one already?
One of the adults became quite agitated as a Coot came close by, there was lots of noise and the Coot backed off. Unlike this Coot which is a bit tougher and has been employed by the local council to guard one of its signs.
There was plenty of other birds to be heard singing away in the wooded areas but due to all the leaves I could not see any so i just enjoyed the sounds and then headed back to the car where I decided to visit Warnham nature reserve which is just outside Horsham in West Sussex.
Warnham is a reserve run and looked after by a group of local volunteers who have down a fantastic job in making it a enjoy to visit, parking is free there and it is free for kids and just £1 for adults. The reserve consists of a Mill pond, two hides, a nature trail with two boardwalks with a stream running through it plus 3 small ponds just there for nature to use, they are used a lot by Dragonflies but strangly I didn't see any yesterday which was a shame.First things first though can anyone tell me what this plant is as i have one the same growing under my feeders at home.
One of the many Herons seen around the pond, there is actually an established Heronary on the far side of the pond.
This handsome chap was obviously the #1 as when ever the other smaller male appeared in the feeder area it was promptly seen off.
Again due to all the foliage is was fairly quite visually but plenty could be heard but I did get some enjoyment watching a lovely Nuthatch.
And another handsome visitor to the feeder ended what had been a good time out with lots of places visited.
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Great report, you really made the most of a lovely day. Love that Coot on its nest, I wish the sign said 'Please respect the Coot' :) The dragonfly is Four-spotted Chaser, looks very freshly emerged so is not as dark as it will become. The flower is (I think) some kind of columbine: en.wikipedia.org/.../Aquilegia
psst, want to see my blog? http://mazzaswildside.blogspot.co.uk/
I will get on to the councils and ask for a change of sign, thanks for the IDs I had guessed at a possible chaser but was not sure which one. I wonder if the plant had come from seeds in the feeder mix, its a lovely looking flower wherever it came from.
Gorgeous set of shots! Love the humbugs especially!
"All weeds are flowers, once you get to know them" (Eeyore)
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Hi. I'm not 100% sure but I think your plant there is an Aquilegia.
A memorable day out by the sound of it and some lovely photos to keep.
A perfect day out Shane, with some lovely photos. The plant is an Aquilegia. They re-seed all over my garden and are very pretty. I just love those little humbugs and the coot's nest is brilliant! That last dragonfly shot is excellent.
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Columbine / Aquelegia , I have a purple variety in my garden.
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I never cease to be amazed at how much I didn't know I didn't know.
Well done Shane, loved reading the report and all cracking photos.
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Excellent trip out Shane and a very good report of your day in the sun. Looks like your new camera is working well (I assume that's what you were using) with some really nice crisp shots. Love the dragonfly and the little humbugs.
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A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. (Chinese proverb)
Wonderful Shane, good on ya great day. Love the coot on it's nest gaurding the sign lol and the marvelous and very beautiful D flies. Love the Nuthatch, great aren't they ! Altogether, smashing photographs and account of your day, thanks for sharing x
The truth is I'm mad. We are all mad and many are too mad to know the truth.
Thank you Marjus, they were my favourite of the day.
Thanks Suzy you and aiki say the same and the flowers on the site posted look spot on
Thanks Birdwoman :o)
Thanks Linda, your right they are lovely plants I will leave it to go to seed. Glad you liked the photos, i'm still getting used to it and I really need to spend more time doing marco shots