Wildlife at Frensham Little Pond

A nightjar, a rare ground-nesting bird, held by a ranger at night

Our pond and the surrounding grounds have become a haven for wildlife. We're home to a variety of water birds, tuneful birds and some rarer birds as well as reptiles and certain mammals.

On the heathland - tuneful birds

 
You should be able spot the linnet, which can be heard twittering throughout the summer months and the tree pipit.
 
The tree pipit is strikingly visible from mid-April when the male flies up steeply from a tree and parachutes down with its wings raised and tail spread. It also sings a song of far reaching repeated notes.
 
Although these are some of our more common birds, they’re still at risk due to their declining habitat.
On the heathland - rarer birds
 
Rare ground-nesting birds such as the woodlark and the nightjar breed on the common, as well as the stonechat and the redstart. On a warm summer’s evening (May to September) you may be lucky to hear the distinctive churring song of a nightjar.
 
The heathland also supports some rare winter visitors, the hen harrier and the great grey shrike.
 

On the pond - water birds

 
Our pond is home to many common breeding birds, such as the great crested grebe. It’s also important locally for wintering wildfowl - moorhens and mallards ducks as well as several pairs of greylag geese.
 
The reedbeds are used by reed warblers and water rails for breeding, and bitterns regularly spend the winter here too.
 
Ospreys can also be seen for a brief two weeks in March.
 

Spotlight on a few of our mammals

 
A wide range of mammals live secretly on the common, including badgers, rabbits, roe deer, foxes and, the less welcome mink which preys on young birds. Smaller bank voles and yellow-necked mice can be found too.
 
A recent outline survey of bats has revealed the possible presence of nine species at Frensham. This Includes the nathusius' pipistrelle and the daubenton, which are nationally scarce.
 

Butterflies and insects

 
Twenty-five species of butterflies have been recorded on the common, including the silver-studded blue and grayling. And 20 species of dragonfly and damselfly, including the hairy dragonfly and the downy emerald have been seen.
 

Reptiles - snakes and lizards

 
Frensham Common is one of only two sites in Surrey where you can find all six species of our native reptiles. These are the rare smooth snake, grass snake, adder, sand lizard, common lizard and the slow-worm.
 

Protect our ground - nesting birds

 
Walking your dog is a lovely past-time. If you’re out on the heath, from March to the end of September, please help protect our special ground-nesting birds by keeping your four legged friend under close control and out of the heather.
 

Help us look after our wildlife

 
During the dry weather our heathland is at great risk from fire. Please leave your barbecues at home and take care if smoking. Sadly, in July 2010 a fire burnt on the heath for ten days destroying 148 acres heathland and its residents too.
 

Tell us what you've seen

 
We’d love to know if you’ve spotted anything interesting on your visit. Why not drop us an email with your sightings or join in with us on Facebook?
 
Email us with your sightings