Saturday, 17 September 2011
The birth of a bit of birding habitat
The poor photograph above (light against me, it was raining, photographer is pants, etc, etc) may not mean much to you or even hint at the excitement that it caused this particular blogger. I was on Walton and Banstead Heath this morning, primarily looking for fungi. Earlier in the spring I had stumbled across a recently created pond in the area and was keen to go back and have a look. As I approached it I was disappointed to find that it had been emptied of water and that the ground had been scraped by earthmovers and dumped nearby - so much for checking the populating vegetation. However, close by was a new earth bank complete with fencing and signs warning of deep water. Hello...
As I got closer the expanse of water that revealed itself got me very excited indeed. About the size of three football pitches, a quick scan revealed a Moorhen and three Little Grebes. Why such joy? This particular part of Surrey has very little open water apart from the odd pond. Away from Holmethorpe, Beddington and Epsom Stew Ponds there is next to none, so this represents quite a good bit of bird habitat. I'm not getting carried away, but I can see the odd bit of wildfowl dropping in and no doubt a wader or two. Such places do turn up the most unexpected species, so my visits to Walton Heath may well increase.