East Ruston common

East Ruston Common (9 May 2015)

Western gorse

Blue sqill (?)


Lunch menu


Hawthorn blossom

Swan's nest

A dozen members managed to navigate to the car park of the Butcher's Arms pub in East Ruston; the plan was a walk on East Ruston common, to be followed by lunch in the pub. Before leaving the car park, we saw swifts flying overhead, and house martins visiting a nest site on a nearby house. But where was the common? Stephen led the way, across the road, through a gap in the tall hedge, and there it was, all yellow with blossom of broom and gorse, and that smell of coconut. Somewhere close by, we heard the descending trill of an invisible willow warbler; a little further on, we got good views of one. Generally, the birds kept a low profile, because of a strong wind; the weather was dry and bright but the sun did not get through.
A pair of mute swans were nesting, secure on the far side of a small lake; the pen was busily refurbishing the nest. A pair of tufted duck did not seem to be ready to nest yet. At the end of the lake, we crossed the Honing Road; through the hedge there was another body of water, surrounded by reeds, from which both reed warbler and Cetti's warbler sang; but over the reeds, we found the bird of the day; the first hobbies of the year were hawking for food, obviously with some success.
Returning to the other end of the common, some of us found a green woodpecker sitting on the overhead power lines, and on the heath, several mistle thrushes announced their presence by their rattling calls.
And finally, back through the hedge and into the Butcher's Arms for lunch.