New Forest lockdown.

Another walk in the New Forest a damp November day with heavy rain.

We entered our second COVID lockdown last week but this time we can travel a short distance for exercise. My exercise includes a camera and a pair of binoculars – mental exercise is as important as the physical bit.

The practice of pannage dates back to the time of William the Conqueror, who founded the New Forest in 1079. Pigs are released onto the forest to eat the fallen acorns, that are on the forest floor, which are poisonous to New Forest Ponies and cattle. Each year, there are around 600 pigs and piglets that are released around the New Forest to make their way through all of the acorns and nuts. It was recorded that in the 19th century some 6000 pigs were released into the forest for pannage. This year pannage has been extended due to a bumper crop of acorns from 14th September to late December.

We parked up at Eyworth Pound Fritham which gave a chance of some birdwatching.

There were some different ducks on the pond today about 12 Goosanders which are a diving fish eating duck were on the far side of the pond.

I often see the odd Mandarin duck at the pond but today there were 8 male ducks as well as slightly fewer females.

The Blue Tit gives a flash of colour on such a dull day.

The larger Great Tit also adds some colour but without being quite so bright.

I spotted just one Nuthatch today and like other visits here a Robin was never far away.

11 thoughts on “New Forest lockdown.

  1. Pfizer/BioNTech announced that their trial vaccine is 90% effective. They expect to produce one hundred million doses by the end of December and over one billion by early Fall 2021. The world will slowly, but surely emerge from lockdown. It’s actually remarkable when you consider that it normally takes 2-4 years for a vaccine to come to market. Imagine having to live in lockdown that long.

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  2. I didn’t know about the pigs eating acorns. It seems like a great tradition. I love goosanders. We have them up here too. Love their quiffs. That’s a huge amount of mandarin ducks too. What beauties.

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  3. Even a rainy day gives you nice shots Andy. I can’t imagine 600 pigs, let along the 6,000. Lockdown again – I fear we are headed that way soon as stats continue to soar. You are right – camera, binoculars and a trek help to keep you mentally sharp.

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      • You too Andy – I have misgivings about going out in crowds … today I’m going out to a few shoreline parks and my own park, and will dwell on next weekend. The leaves are down – not much is happening … three or four parks are off limits now due to construction, someone drove off a pier due to a medical emergency and next week is the Christmas parade through downtown – it is not virtual and dumb to hold it. I am staying away … glad we have our respite in nature to get away from it all.

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