Rainy beach visit.

A rainy day at the beach but always something to see.

Lesser Black-backed Gull slightly smaller than a herring gull, the lesser black-backed gull has a dark grey to black back and wings, yellow bill and yellow legs.

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Blackheaded Gulls, but as you can see from my pictures are more a chocolate-brown, once out of the breeding season and for most of the year their heads are mostly white.

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Cormorants are great fish catchers and have a primitive appearance.

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Coots are members of the rail family and are commonly seen in the UK.

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The Common Linnet is a small passerine bird of the finch family. Males, as pictured below, are attractively marked with crimson foreheads and breasts.

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Sunday drive.

A stone circle on the A272 near Hinton Ampner Winchester. Which is not as old as you may think.

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Local tradition tells stories about the circle – some say that it is as old as Stonehenge, others that it is the burial site of soldiers killed in the Civil War at the battle of Cheriton in 1644. Another account says it was constructed by Colonel George Greenwood. This is the most likely truth of this small circle of standing stones. Greenwood had an interest in geology, as well as local archaeology.  His grave at All Saints Church at Hinton Ampner is marked with a single recumbent sarsen stone, inscribed “COLONEL GEORGE GREENWOOD B. 1799 D. 1875”.

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Nearby flax fields we passed are starting to go to seed.

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Kestrels

This post I wrote over a number of weeks over lockdown to show the story on a family of local Kestrels and posted it yesterday once the young had flown the nest. However, somehow it appeared in my timeline back when written rather than when posted so have posted a link today so hopefully, no one following my nature blogs misses it.

follow the link below to see a Kestrels family story.

https://sealandair67140807.wordpress.com/2020/06/22/__trashed-6/

 

 

Garden Hedgehog.

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Garden Hedgehog. Privileged that a Hedgehog has taken up residence in my parents garden  –  today was enjoying the small wild Strawberries growing in the garden. They are a gardener’s friend, as they eat snails, slugs and insects. Sadly they a not doing well in the UK as people keep their gardens too tidy. Many are killed crossing roads.

An early start at the seaside.

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With a predicted very hot day today (Thursday 25th June). We decided to catch the low tide at Meon Shore. Low tide was about 08.00hrs this morning so we were parked up by the sea and having breakfast well before that. The light sea breeze was nice to enjoy after the hot humid night at home. Just one or two overnighters – people staying in their motorhomes and a couple of fishermen polluting the fresh air with wafts from their special herbal smoking matter!  I was soon on the beach.

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Spotted this dog enjoying his “walk”!

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Lugworms are a large marine worm. Its coiled castings are a familiar sight on a beach at low tide but the worm is rarely seen except by those who, dig the worm out of the sand. It is often dug by fishermen for bait.

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One of my favourite creatures on the beach are crabs. The Common Shore Crab – also known as Green Crab, or European Crab. This species of crab grows to a maximum size of around 8 to 9cm across the shell. Despite being known as the green crab the colour can be highly variable ranging from brown to green or red & orange. The front edge of the shell has a serrated edge they have eight legs and two claws. These crabs can be very aggressive when disturbed and the claws are capable of delivering a fairly painful nip.

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Lots of Oystercatchers about today. Because they eat cockles, the population is vulnerable if cockle beds are overexploited. They breed on almost all UK coasts.  Meon Shore has had an influx of Shellfish collecting since lockdown. But the authorities acted this week see link below.

https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/18535825.dozens-collecting-shellfish-detained-hill-head-beach/

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By late morning the tide was coming in covering the beach and its secrets and with lots of people were coming down to sit with their beach chairs windbreaks and disposable BBQs many unaware of what life is on our local beach it was time for us to go home. Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve remains closed to COVID 19 lockdown rules.

Subway or underpass.

The same but different – subway or underpass. M27 underpass.

“In the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Hong Kong and Commonwealth countries such as India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, a subway is normally an underpass for pedestrians and/or cyclists beneath a road or railway, allowing them to reach the other side in safety.” quote from Wikipedia

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