Thursday, 3 November 2016

Mudeford and the New Forest

We had a trip to Mudeford and the New Forest today.  The autumn colours are brilliant this year,  last year I don't think there was a lot of autumn colours because we had such awful wet and windy weather.  The golden colour of the Beach trees in the New Forest are looking fantastic.  There was plenty of fungus about which I will put in my next post.

Are you noticing the standard of driving on our roads today has deteriorated? or is it us?  The traffic on the road seems to have increased and the standard of driving is bad, people seem to be careless and appear to be always in a hurry, driving on some of our country roads that are narrow is quite hair raising and what concerns me is that these narrow country roads have sharp bends and there are often horse riders, dog walkers and cyclists on these roads, we are careful but an awful lot of drivers are not but are pig ignorant.  A van driver today was speeding along the narrow road through the New Forest, some elderly people on the side of the road indicated to him to slow down, he stopped, got out of his van and shouted at these poor elderly people not to tell him to slow down.  This road was very narrow and a lot of people walk in this area of the New Forest and there are the New Forest ponies roaming around freely, but this van driver did not like being told to slow down. 
House Sparrow (Mudeford)

 Starlings (Mudeford)

Pied Wagtail (Mudeford)

Wigeon (Mudeford)

A selection of pictures taken in the New Forest

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Camberwell Beauty butterfly

 Just a very quick short post, there has been several reports of the butterfly, Camberwell Beauty, has been spotted in UK recently, so folks keep your eyes peeled open when you are out and about with your cameras, you may spot one :-)

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Sad News about this Sparrowhawk

Very sad news of this sparrowhawk, we were pruning our jasmine today and my partner, Malcolm, said there is a dead sparrowhawk by the cherry tree, sadly it appears this sparrowhawk may have not been very successful in catching enough birds, because when I picked her up, I felt her breastbone and there was no meat, I could feel the breastbone and her ribs.  Sadly this poor bird was probably getting weaker when I took this picture, it would explain why she did not fly off when she saw us taking pictures of her.   I know we don't like sparrowhawks visiting our gardens but I did feel very sad when I picked her up, it shows that life can be tough for these birds.

Monday, 26 September 2016

A New Visitor, Not Quite so Welcomed :-\

 We have been getting regular visits from a Sparrowhawk, I think it is a juvenile female.  Sunday evening, just before I went for my shift at the hospital, she was on the ground just outside our lounge window.  I got my camera and took a few through the window and then we opened the window carefully and managed to get a few shots through the open window.  She was aware of us looking at her and did not seem to care.  As you see from the close-ups, she has some of her supper on her beak still.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

The Very Old

We went to Charmouth on Thursday, had a great day out.  We did a bit of fossil hunting on the beach and found this 200 million year old pyritised Echioceras ammonite on the beach (I am not being clever here, I got this information on the internet)  This find was a surprise because Charmouth beach is regularly combed by fossil hunters.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

The Weird and The Wonderful

 Hi Folks, I thought I would post some of the oddities that I have taken over the summer months. 

First oddity is this fungus called Chicken-of-the-Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus)  This was growing from a gatepost at Moreton, the village where Lawrence of Arabia is buriedIt is edible unless it is growing from a Yew tree because the toxins are absorbed by the fungi from the Yew.  The information I read says it tastes like chicken hence its name.

Pine Weevil, like most weevils it is a pest, but they are weird looking, could not make out where its eyes are at first.

 A micro moth, loads of these flying out of grass at Morden Bog.   ID-ing this one would be a bit of a headache I think as they are quite difficult.

There are three large ponds very hidden in some woodlands nr Edmondsham.  They are suppose to be for fishing but I don't think many people visit them as it is quite overgrown and wild now, we have not visited these ponds for eight years.   It is dragonfly and damselfly heaven these ponds, we also saw a Kingfisher flying up and down.   This I believe is the Migrant Hawker Dragonfly.

The middle pond of the three in the woodlands is quite shallow it seems which makes it easy to see the fish.  The pictures I have taken are not brilliant as you cannot get to the edge of the pond.

Not a brilliant picture but you can just about make out the fish and someone I am sure would be able to id them.

This was taken in August 2007, the same pond

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Meadows at Edmondsham

 Continuing on my theme of amazing meadows here in the South, there is one that we have been visiting each year for over twenty years, the meadow at Edmondsham which runs alongside of the woodland where we see the bluebells in the spring.   The meadow can vary depending on the weather, if the summer is a wet one, the grass is very dominant, the wildflowers prefer a nice dry summer as we all do.  These pictures I have taken over the years, I have put them order in which the wildflowers appear as the spring and summer progresses.

Common Spotted Orchids

Wild Carrot

The changing colour of this meadow, the first is the wildflower Betony making the meadow pink, the second is the Devil's-bit Scabious which appears after the Betony has finished and gone to seed, the meadow goes from pink to blue as you can see from these two pictures.

There is another field in Edmondsham which we walk through on our way back to the car, this field in early spring has dandelions which are increasing each year, then later the buttercups take over.  What I have noticed this year for the first time is a Common Spotted orchid, I hope this field will over time become more naturalised into a wildflower meadow.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Amazing Meadows

 We have some amazing meadows here in the South, I have to say South as some are in Wiltshire, Martin Down nature reserve, the others are in Dorset.  I have to put this in two parts as I have so many pictures of these meadows and taken at different times of the year, early spring, mid summer and late summer.  

Knapweed with Wild Carrot (Martin Down)

 Knapweek with Field Scabious and Devil's-bit Scabious (Martin Down)

Oxeye Daisy with Sainfoin (Durlston Country Park)

Wild Carrot (Durlston Country Park)

Oxeye Daisy with Hawksbit (Durlston Country Park)

Hawksbit with Linseed (Durlston Country Park)

Common Spotted Orchid with Buttercup (Durlston Country Park)

Cowslip (Durlston Country Park)

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Along the Trailway to Powerstock Village

We walked through Powerstock nature reserve along the trailway which leads to Powerstock and beyond.  It is a lovely walk, quite varied and includes the old bridges along the route.  There was plenty of butterflies and dragonflies out along this route.  The butterflies - Peacock, Red Admiral, Silverwashed Fritillary, Large White, Green-veined White, Gatekeeper, Tortoiseshell.  The dragonflies - Golden-ringed,  Migrant Hawker (male & female) Common Darter (male & female)  The wildflower, Hemp-agrimony at this time of year is a valuable source of food for the butterflies.  Powerstock is a lovely village, we stopped at the Three Horseshoe Inn for tea and coffee and then took a look at the Church.

 Peacock, not seen many of these this summer

Red Admiral, quite a few of these today

Silver-washed Fritillary, starting to look a little worn now

Gatekeeper, quite a lot of these today

View from the trailway

One of the bridges crossing over the trailway


St Mary's church, Powerstock

One of the windows in St Mary's

Sunday, 7 August 2016


We had a trip to Portland last Thursday, very windy making taking pictures of the butterflies a little difficult.   We kept our eyes open for the Little Owl and we were rewarded, it was my Partner, Malcolm, who spotted it.
 Little Owl, juvenile, nice to see that the Little Owls on Portland are breeding successfully

Chalkhill Blue butterfly

 A pair of Chalkhills mating

Common Blue butterfly

Migrant Hawker, male

Juvenile Starling taking a ride