Sunday, 19 May 2013

Two Rivers - Avril Lavigne

A casual remark over dinner at the East Close Hotel in the New Forest last Monday evening turned into something of a dream come true for me today. In the company of Janet's (mine host) brother Martin Wickham and his wife Lisa, who have recently taken possession of Home Farm at Hurn village here in Dorset, he simply stated he would like to know a little more about the birds that might be found on the property. Regular readers may remember my involvement with a 3 years dedicated Bird Survey at Parley Court Farm some years ago, but this was to be a far less detailed wander taking up all of the morning.
Starting in the stable yard, Lisa being a serious equestrian, the expected suspects including Barn Swallow, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Starling, Wood Pigeon, Wren etc were quickly logged
and how nice to see 'staddle stones' being used for the purpose intended. This isn't strictly true as this sturdy shed will eventually be converted into a play house for the grandchildren but they will keep the Rats and other vermin at bay.
Crossing Hay Meadow and
Horse Paddock, with the farm house in the background,
we arrived at the MOORS RIVER
which bisects the farm, With limited experience
I thought it was little more than a brook, only to find a fairly wide,
deep and clean watercourse.
Here too, Chiffchaff, Robin, Blue Tit, Siskin, Great Spotted and
Green Woodpeckers, Great Tit, Blackcap, Mallard, Pheasant, to
name but a few , were thought to be breeding along with
this young GREY WAGTAIL (one of 3 broods seen) being fed
by the parent birds. Over the style and onto
where Orange Tip and Peacock Butterflies were found

among Mighty Oaks, Whitethroat, Dunnock, Long-tailed Tit

and an unexpected flight of c3 SHELDUCK. Had the place been more familiar to me it would have been known that they are commonplace on the gravel pits obscured by the hedge.
This ancient cart track, not a million miles from Bournemouth International Airport (BIA), produced what was to be the highlight of the day but not before producing Greenfinch, Mistle Thrush, House Martin, Rook, Stock Dove, Goldcrest, Sedge Warbler, Kestrel and Nuthatch.
On our way we had been checking the many holes and cavities in the Oak trees but didn't expect to see this one, complete with 'droppings', feathers and other 'food' debris, with a
perched on the lip. Considering the time lag, this was thought to be a decent effort at a photograph, but if there is a return visit it will be 'fore-warned'.
Plenty more grassland and plenty of hay to come
if the weather is kind.

Martin pointed out this BEE'S NEST,
just crying out for a Honey Buzzard,
before finding this Blackbird's EGG, which looked predated
rather than hatched,
before wandering the final 'beat' of the river until later.
 It was time to cross the road onto more public property,
where we found this 'road-killed' male Blackcap, and entered
affording an all round view of the local countryside.
The 'white smudges' centre are BIA.
 An interesting 'flight pond' in the middle of the Heath which will
surely be visited again on subsequent visits here.
 Continuing around the rim, The Isle of Wight and
The Needles can be seen from here,
 while this 'white smudge is the Bournemouth
'Centre Point Shopping Complex'.
Here, we also added Coal Tit, Cuckoo and Buzzard to the list.
 Back onto Martin's land and we reached the
 Here too are lush meadows but badly effected by weeds which would make for 'poor' hay. These have been sympathetically sprayed to eradicate the unwanted plants while leaving wide margins of cover around the fields and all the SEDGES in tact.
 These 2 shots show the confluence of the
 Wind blown Oaks cross the Moors.
 The Paintball Range which is a little unsightly but far better
than neon signs and a hamburger parlour!
are starting to bloom

in the tranquil setting of the river valley.
A GREAT day for me personally being afforded a chance to discover another small corner of my favoured county and away from the public gaze. I should thank Martin and Lisa for this opportunity and look forward to accepting their 'open invitation' again in the near future.

No comments:

Post a Comment