Local Nature.

A day in and around Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve. After a gale force winds and rainy night – calm returned with daylight. With the promise of a bright day I made the most of what nature had to offer. Lots of good observation and a some new opportunities with a new macro lens to test out.

Part 1 “on the beach”.

A first at Meon Shore for me for a couple of years a Wheatear.(Juvenile) Wheatears arrive in the UK in early spring form Africa. Many breed in Europe but a few come all the way here. So I guess this young bird is getting ready for her 1st flight to Africa and will be heading off across Europe fairly soon.

Turnstone dominate the beach with small flocks moving along the shoreline turning seaweed and stones for small invertebrates.

Sporting their white winter colours 3 Sanderlings seem to be regularly on the shore over the past couple of weeks, their numbers should increase as we approach winter.

Today a lone Juvenile Ringed Plover was keeping close to the Sanderlings making a small flock for safety.

Part 2 “In the reserve”.

With it being so bright today the Redshank looked at their best with their red legs shining in sun.

The Water Rail is a bird that I have only seen a couple of times in my. life. They are fairly shy and spend a lot of time in dense undergrowth and reed edges. Today I was lucky to get my best view ever of this good looking bird, even better my camera was pointing the right way. So quite a few pictures posted today of this encounter.

A few dragonflies were about around the ponds. Migrant Hawker was the main species about today.

A small spider – possible “metellina segmentata”.

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.

Over the hill.

It was very clear from today’s visit to Titchfield Nature Reserve that our summer is nearer its to end than the beginning. Young birds have all moved from fledglings to juveniles many flowers and grasses are going into seed and the dragonfly numbers reducing and those about are looking tatty.

Scarce Chaser dragonfly.

Distant shot of Great-crested Grebe with youngster.

Black-backed Gull with a “little” chick.

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.

TAKE OFF!

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.