Dogged once again by heavy and regular rain showers, I did make a bid for Middlebere on the western edge of Poole Harbour, but there was another snag - traffic! Neither a worker or a scholar I had forgotten about such things, but having taken a full 30 minutes to reach Bear Cross (2 miles away) it was a quick 'about turn' at the next roundabout. The rain was now becoming persistent and as I had to pass Parley anyway, decided to return and look in the moth trap.
LUNAR UNDERWING is another new species for the property, but I was a little confused that all there Moths bear the same pattern but not colouration. A little help from Paul Harris assured me that they were all the same species but distinctly different in colour.
It's not only Moths that are attracted to the 'murcury vapour' light, most insects would likely be curious but this morning the largest haul was of the tiniest Flies imaginable, 'thousands' of them. Maybe a dozen or so CADDIS FLIES were also trapped along with singles of
HOVERFLY Sp and
an unidentified BEETLE
which spent most of its time in the upside down position.
Finally, and almost overlooked was another addition, this LARGE YELLOW UNDERWING. With the sky clearing a little it was thought worth another sortie but this time in the opposite direction to
the NEW FOREST where PONIES of the same name abound.
Off the main road at Cadnam and past the ROYAL OAK at Fritham and to another of my favourite places
where all was tranquillity, few people, no dogs and a guarantee of birds at 'point blank' range if offered some incentive. Apples and cheese at the ready and camera poised, the idea was to photograph anything that moved - what a great place!
male and female CHAFFINCH were first to appear, but as soon as the 'snal' was scattered
GREAT TIT too made an entrance, but what was that 'steaming' across the pond?
One of only 3 MANDARINs seen today (unfortunately in Hampshire) but at very close quarters. Other birds included:-
a really scruffy GREAT TIT,
a really dapper MARSH TIT, that I just couldn't stop snapping,
and a very close call with a COLLARED DOVE.
Only 'one' ROBIN seen today
but most obliging and willing to pose like those around it.
NUTHATCH were also evident, but best show of all came when I threw a lump of cheese to the ground.
Most species gathered round, but particularly BLUE TITs which were prepared to fight to keep others at bay.
A couple of Chaffinch also joined in but seemed little impressed with what was on offer. As the cheese dwindled in size a cheeky Great Tit attempted to fly off with it, but found it too heavy,
unlike the male Blackbird who swooped in like lightning, returning just as quickly to the cover of the bushes with his prize.
Leaving Eyeworth, I was happy just to roam around the forest for a couple of hours where there is always something of interest to see.
Starting at the 'secret' Goshawk watch point and strolling the heath
young shoots of GORSE were visible
along with plenty of HEATHER.
Passing the LAMB INN at NOMANSLAND
the Forest opens up to 'common grazing' and where I found this fine looking herd of Cattle.
Not much of an idea as to species of this big fella,
but think this one might be a Hereford?
Passing the last of the cottages, I rejoined the main road and stopping only briefly at Blashford Lakes I was delighted to find Kieth from In Focus, the Optics Company, in the Tern Hide. A chance to catch up, but again the rain was setting in so a dash for the car
capturing this small flock of STARLINGs and
a pair of MALLARD on the way.
Finally, a little amusement from regular Blog Reader Willie Downs. In German, the sign says Please Do Not Lie On The Bed, hope you enjoy it as much as I did