A rich array of wildlife in a small heathland setting
THE COMMON IS a relict of the once extensive heathland of Cannock Chase with an area covering around 100 acres. Bordering the busy A5, it is home to a wealth of wildlife including Red Deer, Common Lizard and Great Crested Newt. The habitat is managed by Walsall Borough Council. Conifer-thinning is ongoing and will allow more heathland to generate which, in turn, will improve the area’s biodiversity. One surprise find here was a superb Glossy Ibis, which took a liking to a small puddle in a muddy field. This allowed approach to a mere few metres which kept photographers happy for days. It flew away to nearby Chasewater. There is a good selection of breeding warblers, while Siskin and Lesser Redpolls find the pines to their liking. Formerly, Short-eared Owls were more regular, but today Tawny and Little Owls would be more realistic. Buzzards, Sparrowhawks, Kestrels and, increasingly Ravens, are also regular, so there’s plenty to see and do if you visit the area.
Siskin Tawny Owl