Surrey is fortunate to have a large number of heathland sites. Heathland is an often overlooked habitat, but is home to a number of species you won’t often find anywhere else.
In the last few years Dartford Warbler numbers have been on the increase, and you can now find them in four or five sites locally. They’re a species that for a long time had eluded me, but my luck finally changed and I had a memorable evening photographing them at Brentmoor Heath.
Thursley Common is the local jewel in the crown, and is best known in recent years for one bird in particular. ‘Colin the Cuckoo’ became a local celebrity, and people travelled from far and wide to see and photograph him. He’d become totally accustomed to humans and it was possible to get very close to him without causing any distress. Unfortunately Colin last visited in 2021, so it looks like he is no longer with us, but he certainly had a long run. It’s not just Cuckoos though, at Thursley you are also likely to see Redstarts, Stonechats, Chiffchaffs, Treecreepers and Hobbies, to name but a few.