Saturday, 8 October 2011

Thursley Common ~ 8th October~

The choice was between Dinton Pastures or Thursley common but I decided to go to Thursley hoping to see the previously reported Crossbills. On arrival in the car park there was a roaming tit flock including a Coal Tit, Goldcrest and Treecreeper. On the boardwalk we saw very little and there was no life at all on the pond which was a little surprising although soon after the board walk I heard the first Common Crossbills of the day. The flock of around 30 birds flew over a couple of times before landing in a set of trees around 40 metres away, I attempted to get closer but they simply flew even further away! I decided to give up and carry on walking! After this a pair of Stonechats gave rather rewarding views. About another 100 metres along the path I saw the first Woodlarks of the day, around 8 of them flew and landed low down in the heather. Usually being wary birds, I thought they would fly off instantly, however one rather bold juvenile allowed me to crawl within about 7-8 feet of it. Round by Shrike hill we also saw a large flock of Meadow Pipits and 5 Linnet, including 2 male. It had been around 30 minutes since I had seen anything of interest when the flock of crossbills suddenly flew over again, this time a lot closer, but still around 25-30 metres away and they were sticking right to the top of the tree. I managed to get another couple of record shots before they flew off again. The final bird of the day was a Hobby which put in a brief appearance towards the end of the walk.

Male Crossbill



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