Friday, April 5, 2013


I haven't seen a Woodcock on Epsom Common for probably two years, and possibly nearer 5 years in my chosen square, so you can imagine my surprise and joy when I accidentally flushed TWO Woodcock from Epsom Common this afternoon. They shot off through the trees and out of sight, what a cracking (and unexpected) addition to the 1KSQ Challenge.

Blake's Pond has several Kerria growing in the woodland nearby, today I found one of them - mostly helped by the fact that it is coming into leaf so quite distinctive looking. Not much else happening though, so I wandered towards the Highest Point and unbelievably flushed my third Woodcock of the day...WTF??? This individual was nowhere near the previous sighting, I don't think it was one of the original pair from near Bramble Heath. Amazing!

I wandered through Horton Heath being very handsomely rewarded with a fly-by male Peregrine (they nest about a mile away so I was expecting a sighting at some point soon). I noted the patch of Italian Lords and Ladies has spread out of the pond margins and gone terrestrial which is a bit odd. To top off a bizarre walk I accidentally flushed...wait for it...yup, a FOURTH Woodcock!!!! No idea what's going on here. Thinking about it though, there is a fair possibility that the 3rd and 4th birds could in fact be the same individual, there's only a couple of hundred metres between sightings. Either which way I was pretty thrilled. Hopefully they're not all migrants and I'll see some roding action as the season progresses.

Looking back through my totals on this site I see that I accidentally skipped number 356 and then completely missed out 2 species I identified under the microscope on 26th March. Hence:

356 - Cylindroilus punctatus (a millipede) from 25th, identified on 26th March
357 - Geophilus easoni (a centipede) from 25th, identified on 26th March...

372 - Kerria japonica (garden shrub) - Blake's Pond, Epsom Common
373 - Woodcock - 3 or 4 birds accidentally flushed, various areas of Epsom Common (!!!)
374 - Peregrine - a male low over Horton Heath
375 - Brown-lipped Snail - finally found one alive rather than littered, broken shells

At this rate it should take me until about May to hit 400 species, lol. Bring on the warmth, I need some invert action!! :D

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