Winter Waders.

Winter waders are starting to appear on the coast. Over the past week the bird life is changing on our Hampshire coast. Summer visitors have left and new old friends are turning up.

A Photo heavy blog while at Meon shore this morning.

REDSHANK. In Titchfield Harbour.

TURNSTONE. On the footpath by the harbour.

Little Egret. A passing Little Egret flying along the shoreline.

Sanderlings. Normally I spot the odd Sanderling arrival on the shore and in the coming weeks the numbers slowly increase however today was my 1st sanderling spot and their were already about 20 on the beach.

Dull start.

When I arrived at Swanwick lakes this morning it was dull and overcast and there was a lack of dragonflies. Then the sun came out and so did the dragonflies. 😀.

A lone Red Admiral Butterfly found the last remaining flowers of summer and was enjoying both the sun and the nectar.

As always Coots and duck were at the lakes. The Mallard bellow has acquired a taste for dragonflies and was catching them when they landed on the branch.

Return to Hatchet Pond.

Last time we visited Hatchet Pond in the New Forest was just after lockdown lifted. We did not stay as it was like a popular beach with hoards of people litter noise and ad hock encampments that go with too many people who just want to get outside for their own enjoyment regardless of their impact on the National Park and the natural environment.

Today with cooler weather and the schools open we were the only van in the car park most of the time and able to enjoy the nature around us.

More Fly agaric fungus these were more red that orange compared to the ones I spotted near my home.

There were 4 Mute Swans on the pond and most of the time they appear quite relaxed.

Until there was an issue between 2 of them I do not think it would be wise to get between them!

There are always a number of Moorhens at Hatchet Pond. Moorhens are medium-sized water birds that are members of the rail family, I find them a smart looking bird and always enjoy watching them both in and out of the water.

I was lucky enough to come a cross a Slow Worm on the path while walking around the rear of the pond. It was sunning itself on the grass path. Slow worms are actually a legless lizard, {not a worm or a snake} They are harmless to us. This was a good size reptile being just under 2 feet in length.

Small Copper Butterfly.

The adult butterflies often feed on nectar from yellow flowers like ragwort, fleabane and buttercups. The Caterpillar foods plant are Sorrels.

Sheep’s-bit {Jasione montana} Covers a area of the meadow where I watch insects, these plants attract many bees, hover-fly’s and butterflies. Although there were not many insects about today due to the colder weather a lone Small Copper Butterfly was taking nectar from the fluffy-looking, light blue flower heads.

The Small Coppers life cycle:- typically 2 or 3 generations of Butterflies each year. In good years there can be a 4th generations. The first adults appear from mid-April or early May depending with the last adults seen in October and occasionally, early November.

S is for Stinkhorn.


You can often smell a stinkhorn before you see it. This is what happened today in The New Forest. The smell of something dead was a smell I remembered from my childhood when I first tracked it down to this unusual mushroom.

Stinkhorns first appears as an egg partly submerged in the ground. The mushroom slowly bursts out and forms the very phallic looking fungi, its cap is covered in a sticky smelly substance, called a gleba which contains the the spores. Fly’s are very attracted to it, they devour the gleba and get covered in spores which then get distributed to other places where they can grow.

It is said some Victorians were so embarrassed by these fungi that they would destroy them if they found them to prevent impressionable young ladies from seeing them.

Within a few hours the fly’s clear the cap of the gleba.

Broken.

Some times you have a bad week. This happened with my Photographic equipment.😥😥 One of my Fuji XH1’s has been malfunctioning over the past few weeks. I thought I had fixed it by factory resetting and removing the power for a few hours. However it finally gave up the ghost and while out a few days ago it went into meltdown mode and the camera body just showed error messages and got stuck in trying to focus moving the motor in the lens in and out but failed to focus.

Then yesterday my old but trusty Fuji XT1 which I use for close up on the beach flew out of boot from the van onto the ground smashing it when I was unloading!

So is all lost? Well I am not starting crowd funding yet!

It is time to test the camera makers warranty as this camera is under a year old and still covered. So far so good they were very & helpful online and my camera was dispatched via the Royal mail for repair.

My smashed camera – I took out specialist insurance cover last year with Ensure. I have completed an online claim form and am waiting a contact. Hopefully I am covered for accidental damage.

“Watch this space!!!”

Fish Cam.

Another use for my Olympus Tough trail camera, earlier in the week it was in wasp camera mode today it became fish camera. The small streams leading from the river Itchen at Itchen Valley Country park we had noticed were good for little fish so putting the underwater camera on a pole the filming started. I think most of these small fish are Minnow, but there some other specifies within the shoal,