A walk up to the Rising Sun this afternoon was my first visit there since before the school summer holidays. Kids on holiday again by the looks of it and with dog walkers everywhere i didn't linger too long anywhere around the park. I did find time however to rescue a Common Darter from one of the ponds. While i was enjoying the sunshine and the company of another of the species my eye was drawn to movement and there was the poor creature flailing about in vain trying to escape the clutches of the water. I found a branch from a tree and it clambered aboard and rested on my hand while it started to dry out. It was fascinating watching it at such close quarters as it preened its head and eyes with its front legs as a cat would do. Having enjoyed close views for 3 or 4 minutes i popped it on the timber platform where it rested for another 5 minutes while fluttering its wings then lifting off.
Common Darter drying out.
Moving on i didn't bother with either the hide or the screen overlooking Swallow Pond but instead took a walk out to Scaffold Farm to see if the Tree Sparrows were still about. On the way i did see some nice fungi but was disappointed to find a couple of large bracket fungi which i have admired on a dead Birch for some time had been torn down by some mindless moron. A nice Song Thrush, a couple of flocks of Starlings and a number of Robins were birds i came across while on the way to the farm where i did find the Tree Sparrows along with some House Sparrows and a Goldfinch. I want to capture an image of a Tree and House Sparrow together but, as in the past, they were too distant. I decided to head back home via Dukes Pond and as i circled the pond the previously sighted Jack Snipe lifted and flew low about 8 metres from under my feet to the reeds further on. I took a wide berth as i continued around the pond and got close to the spot where i thought it had landed but it lifted again and went back to the area it had been originally flushed. Further on i found myself in amongst a mixed flock of tits on either side of the waggonway close to the Organic Farm. The majority of these birds looked to be Long-tailed Tits so in fading light i tried to capture an image. Not very successful, as you'll see.