Sea & Haven

Some pictures taken earlier in the week at Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve and Meon Shore.

Common darter Dragonfly.

Migrant Hawker Dragonflies in flight. For every successful picture there are many misses!

Comma Butterfly.

Beach birds. A film of a collection of birds seen from the beach – a Cormorant taking off plus a Turnstone and Black-headed gulls.

A Juvenile Herring Gull standing proud watching the world go by. There seems to be a lot of young Herring Gulls around Meon Shore and Lee on the Solent this year I am not sure where they nest as I have not seen any nesting locally, they like cliffs or seaside buildings using their roofs – so I wonder if they nested across the water at one of the coastal town on the Isle of Wight.

A lone Turnstone on the waters edge.

Forest Views.

With the schools back lots of the holiday makers have gone home and the New Forest was noticeably quieter today. A walk at Cadman’s Pool to enjoy the views and some sunshine.

Plus some wildlife spotting.

A Common Darter Dragonfly enjoying the sun.

This year I have come across about 5 Toads one adult the others have been youngsters

Toad tadpoles look very similar to frog tadpoles except toad tadpoles have bulkier heads and shorter tails, young toads are known as toadlets. They leave their spawning pond in May and head off into the big wide world.

A very short Toadlet film.

Brimstone Butterfly. This is a male Butterfly being a sulphur yellow colour where the female is much paler.

Meadow Brown Butterfly on Heather.

Another local nature walk.

A Common Darter dragonfly

We found a number of slow worms. Slow worms are reptiles they are legless lizards (the are not worms or snakes) We placed old corrugated roof tin from one of the old farm building around the field – the tin warms up which attracts reptiles. In the past as well as slow worms I have found grass snakes and adders. I am always on the hunt for our resident snakes – one day!

More Wasp spiders.

A Crane fly as children we call these gangly insects “daddy longlegs”

Large Red Slug (Arion rufus) this one was about the size of my thumb!

Common Blue Butterfly

Speckled Wood Butterfly

A Four spotted orbweb spider (Araneus quadratus).

Unidentified spider with an interesting web.

Wet meadow stroll.

Walk in a local nature reserve through a wet meadow this am.

Pickerel weed by one of the ponds which is liked by many insects including these Common Darter Dragonflies.


Gatekeeper Butterfly, similar to the Meadow Brown Butterfly but the small white spots help with identification. (Happy to be corrected)

A tatty Ringlet Butterfly.

Spider trap! Possibly a labyrinth spiders (Agelena labyrinthica), a species common in uncut grasslands here in southern England. Their complicated hidden passages and chambers within their tunnels give them their common name. They feed on grasshoppers and crickets. Catching such insects requires a sturdy trap. They are harmless to humans.

Dirty ditch!

Monday is our pick up day for the trail cameras we have been leaving in a local farm ditch for a week at a time.

Less deer over the week but some interesting Fox footage. Mr Fox made his mark by defecating and cocking his leg to pee in the ditch. Raw unedited nature!. I do not think we trod in it when collecting the cameras.

We had 4 cameras out you may spot one in the video on the tree below you can see the fox spotted it, sometimes they make a slight tick when they are running.

Small Skipper Butterfly

A few small Cinnabar Moth caterpillars are starting to appear on their feed plant the Common Ragwort.

A spider with egg sack.


A sharp contrast today at Titchfield Haven Nature reserve. Head splitting with noise from the Black-headed Gull nest colony on the islands where the young gulls have become troubled teanagers! To the quiet of the back paths where insects are silent except the low hum of the bees.

THis Godwit decided it was too noisy near the gulls and decided to relocate.

A Comma Butterfly – They are a widespread species in southern England and their range is expanding northwards. The most widely used foodplant’s are Common Nettle and Willow tree leaves.

A new insect for me today was this Golden-bloomed grey longhorn beetle.

Black-tailed skimmer Dragonfly.

A spider eats a damselfly.

A pair of Damselflies.

Into “The Forest”.

The New Forest is 71,474acres of land of unenclosed pasture, heathland and forest in the South of England covering the southwest of Hampshire and southeast of Wiltshire. It was proclaimed a royal forest by William the Conqueror and is recorded in the Domesday Book.

After the death of William, and his predecessor Rufus, the rights of the common people were eventually restored in the 1217 Charter of the Forest rights of common pasture are still recognised today, being enforced by official verderers and agisters. In the 18th century, the New Forest became a source of timber for the Royal Navy.

On 1st March 2005 The Forest became a National Park.

From home it is about 30 miles to get into the New Forest so it is a popular easy destination for us to visit.

Today there were a number of Stonechats again.

Male Stonechat
Female Stonechat.
A bit shaky a female Stonechat singing!

A passing Sky Lark.

Silver-studded Blue Butterfly.

Keeled Skimmer (female)

Keeled Skimmer Dragonfly (male)

Large Red Damselfly.

Large Red Damselfly.

Meadow creatures.

Suddenly there are quite a few Butterflies in the meadows.


The Meadow Brown is the most abundant butterfly species in many habitats.Often overlooked for other more colourful Butterflies.

The Marbled White is a distinctive and attractive black and white butterfly, Seen on the wing from late June. They like areas of unimproved grassland and It shows a marked preference for purple flowers such as Field Scabious, thistles.

Skipper. Bright orange-brown wings held with forewings angled above hind wings.

The Painted Lady is a long-distance migrant, Every year they spread northwards from the desert fringes of North Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia, recolonising mainland Europe and reaching Britain and Ireland. 

Often confused for a butterfly the Cinnabar Moth is brightly coloured and an easy spot.

Comma Butterfly

Golden ringed dragonfly.

1st Butterflies of spring.

The Brimstone  is a large, pale yellow butterfly they have distinctive, leaf-shaped wings. Adults hibernate through cold weather. They are most common in the spring and normally the 1st butterfly I spot – true to form today there were lots on the wing in the local meadows.

last years butterflies. click above link ” brimstone” to see my old post.

In between time.

At Tichfield Haven today bird wise it is that in between time – the summer breeding birds have moved on and the winter visitors have not quite arrived yet.

The roar of a Spitfire’s Merlin engine filled the sky being quite poignant given this week is the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Back to nature, a Peacock Butterfly enjoying the sunshine.

Southern Hawker Dragonfly. A large lovely looking dragonfly, Similar in appearance to other Hawkers.