Itchen Valley Park.

A short walk in Itchen Valley Country Park. In part of the wood we came across some building remains. Having lived very locally for over 60 years I was surprised not to have seen anything about this ruin before. The remains are the remains of a pair of 3 flue scot brick kilns. Dated to the late 1800s,They were used to make bricks, tiles and drainage pipes made from local clay. The heavy wooded area around them was used for fuel. This kiln is quite rare and one of only two such sites that remain in Hampshire.

Some nature spots along the way. Ganoderma applanatum is a common perennial bracket fungus. The underside is creamy white and can be scratched with a sharp point to leave brown marks and over the years has been used to draw images on it hence the common name. Artist’s Fungus.

I am struggling to identify this bug possibly a Brown Shield Bug or a Dock Bug.

Another Nursery Web spider.

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.

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.

In the hover.

Macro flight.

Hoverflies. First the technical bit They belong to the family Syrphidae, a family within the order Diptera (true flies). Here in the UK there are 280 species of hoverflies. Many of the larger ones have yellow and black stripes and look very much like wasps and bees. Like Bees they are an important pollinators of flowering plants. 

A short walk yesterday on local farm land and mainly around thistles I took lots of photographs trying to capture some flies in the hover. Quite difficult to take – many shots of thistles no flies, many with out of focus – thank goodness for digital with no cost of buying film!

A week in the wild.

Jungle like woodland.

After a break using the trail cameras we set up some of the cameras in the ditch where we came across a deer family. a few weeks ago. (detail in link below).

We left the cameras set up in the ditch for a week. We collected them this morning and below is some of the best footage. A Buzzard drops in for a drink in the flooded ditch. (note the water level changes in the ditch). The Roe Deer and the Roebuck seem to be regular visitors using the ditch as a path.

Rainy day stroll.

Today I had planned to concentrate on insect pictures but “rain stopped play” and nothing much was on the wing.However we had a bonus dropping into a ditch we came face to face with twin Roe deer fawns. Camera in bags shielding them from the rain.Standing quietly they watch us from behind the brambles as the ate some young leaves. Then mum popped her head up and slowly moved her youngsters on. Another special few Minutes enjoying local nature.

Mum has at some time damaged her ear. The picture below shows her pointing 1 ear behind her and the other forward. The last picture of her she has both ears pointing forward and she is eyeing me up before walking off.

One picture of one of the fawn’s (not very good due to the low shutter speed) The fawn’s spots are starting to fade now.