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Bird watchers

It’s hard to imagine a nation with quirkier hobbies than the UK… That said, I saw a news piece once about a man in Belgium who dressed up and behaved as a penguin at weekends; but maybe that’s more a comment on the news than hobbies. I digress, what I’m trying to say is that there seems to be something distinctly characteristic about many popular British pastimes.

On a number of occasions I have found myself getting ribbed by friends calling me a ‘twitcher’. This is an accusation hard to deny when you own a pair of binoculars and frequently refer to them as ‘bins’! But the truth is, I just love nature, I love being out and experiencing wildlife, and Thursley Common is a truly awesome place to experience both in abundance!

The exciting mix of terrain at Thursley Common provides a rare opportunity to spot a great variety of wildlife. For me, what really stole the show were the common lizards unavailingly warming themselves on the board walks that sit just above the marshes.

There were plenty of hobbyists about too… Bird watchers, ramblers, cyclists, pond dippers and a noticeable number of photographers (always a turn off for me, but there you go). However the Hobby that caught nearly everyone’s eye, was actually a bird of prey flying overhead catching and eating dragonflies on the wing. In fact there were two Hobbies patrolling this territory giving breathtaking aerial displays. The speed and agility of these falcons is breathtaking, I guess when your main diet is dragonflies you’d have to be pretty agile, trying to photograph them is hard enough!

Throughout the walk my head was spinning in every direction: Lizards under foot, Hobbies over-head  and unique landscapes and plant life all around, with so much to take in and so much happening… If you do this walk, do your neck stretches before you set off!

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