Sunday, June 21, 2015

Thursley Common - Part 2

Had a great Fathers Day morning back on Thursley Common. To continue my heathland themed weekend I spent some very enjoyable hours watching the aerobatics of an amazing little hunter - the Eurasian Hobby. My first real encounter with this species was in 1995 while ringing at Elms Farm in Sussex. I remember seeing hundreds of Swallow, Sand Martin and House Martin swarming above the reed beds in August. The synchronicity of these hirundines was breathtaking and quite hypnotic to watch. That was until the Hobby's turned up. You could almost feel the atmosphere change as these avian masters sliced through masses, creating acrobatic chaos, not ever missing a beat - casually they would dispatch there quarry on the wing and then would disappear as quickly as they came. Amazing. In 1998, whilst monitoring birds out on Ockham Common, I got to ring a brood of these fantastic migrant falcons.

Today, however, is possibly the closest and best looks I've ever had. My day started with cracking views of Eurasian Curlew just off the boardwalk. Both male and female were present, flying, vocalizing and feeding, giving me good opportunities to practice my phone-scoping.

At about 10:40 the first Hobby arrived and I spent the next 2 hours filling up the memory on my amazing morning's birding. 

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