Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Deer and Kingfishers

This morning we went for an early morning walk to see if we could spot the Fallow deer rutting. We were very lucky and saw half a dozen bucks. A few were roaring but the rut does seem to be late this year. They still do not seem to be in full Rut mode yet. It was a beautiful autumnal morning. It was quite cold when we started at 8am but really warm when we got back to the car at11am later in the afternoon we went down to the nature reserve and once again we saw the kingfisher. He came and sat on the perching pole with a fish for his supper. On our way home we visited the other two viewing areas and saw him again . Just after I took this photo he dived and flew of with another fish for his supper. I am finding him easier to spot now and look forward to seeing him on our visits/
Its not a smear on the lens thats his breath in the cold Morning air!

This Buck was sunbathing

This ones got his girl

I think he's spotted us!

The kingfisher was a little to far away but he had a big fish in his beak

Monday, October 29, 2007

After the Rain the Sun

Finally the leaves are changing and the colours really showed in todays sun, so different from the dreary rain yesterday

This afternoon we walked at Shatterford and checked out the work that had been going on there. Sadly i found that they had chopped down the little tree that grew in the swamp area.

This pony looked magnificent as his coat glowed in the sun

It took me a while to identify these, they are Spectacular Rustgill ((Gymnophilus spectabilus) They are poisonous and may cause hallucinations!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Weekend

We walked at South Bentley on Saturday, here the dogs are looking for deer, we did see several small groups on our walk

The leaves ar still mostly on the trees and green

We saw these two young bucks......they are too young for this years rut! But maybe next year?

At least it finally stopped raining on Sunday in time to see the Moon. Oh and the clocks went back so now it will be dark by 5pm!

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Day in the Life.....

Catherine and Stephen came to stay overnight as Catherine wanted to look round Southampton University Campus and see if she might want to apply for next year. So first we walked the dogs at Busketts and then drove into Southampton.
After dropping Catherine at the University we walked around part of the walls of Southampton. This is the Tudor Merchants House and part of the City walls.

Then we went onto the Quay and had a good view of the Cruise Ship the Navigator of the Sea, She is enormous. Apparently amongst other things she has a Rock climbing wall, Ice Rink, 9 hole mini golf course and a whole parade of shops.
We then picked Catherine up and had lunch before they set off for home.

We took the dogs for another walk in the Forest at Fritham. We saw this Buck and we heard several others calling

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Magical Walk in Dorset

Today we had a beautiful walk around Arne in Dorset.
We were lucky enough to hear the Sika Stags whistling and we had so many views of these beautiful deer. At times they were so close. it was just magical!
Sika deer are native to islands of Japan and Taiwan and were first introduced into deer parks and private collections in the UK in 1860, from where they subsequently escaped or were released. The colour of their coat varies but it is generally chestnut brown and spotted in summer and almost pure grey in winter. They have a characteristic white patch of fur, outlined in black, beneath their short white tail. Stags have relatively simple antlers which generally have four points on each antler. The antlers are cast each year in April or May.

Sika deer are mostly solitary and are most active at dusk. They seem sensitive to human disturbance and only venture into more open areas at night. Sika can cause damage to commercial forests when they gouge deep, vertical grooves into the trunks of mature trees, which they do to mark their territory.

They mate from late August to October and give birth to one young, 8 months later in May or June. The young become independent after 6–10 months.

Mainly grasses, sedges and heather but also fungi and bark.

Deer tracks:
It can be difficult to distinguish between sika and other deer tracks. Their prints are generally 5–6cm long.

Sika deer prefer woodland with damp ground with dense undergrowth and heathland.

Predators & threats:
Many young do not survive their first winter because of exposure and starvation. Adults have no natural predators but are culled by man.

Status & distribution:
There are large populations of sika deer in Scotland and Ireland and more localised, patchy populations along the south coast of England, in Hampshire and Dorset as well as in the Lake District and Lancashire. No populations are thought to be established in Wales.

Sika deer are very vocal animals and during the mating season, males make a sharp whistling call, which can be heard up to 1km away!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Lower Test Nature Reserve

We had another trip to the nature reserve this afternoon. When we arrived a Heron , Little Egret and a couple of Black tailed godwits were present. In the shrubs near the hide there were some long tailed tits. The Kingfisher teased us for about an hour. We could see him in the reeds and occasionally flitting across the water, but eventually he came and settled on the perching rail right in front of us. He was worth the wait.
Blacktailed Godwit



Little Egret

heron catching his supper

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The moon is out tonight.

The moon is out tonight.
Originally uploaded by Missy2004.

My first attempt at taking a moon shot.

Autumn walk at Fritham

This Buck was resting in the trees, he is preparing for the rut.

It was a beautiful Autumnal day today. We went for a walk at Fritham. The sun was shining , the sky was blue.
The Ponies were drining from a small pond and we could see a Fallow Buck in the distance, they are not roaring yet and it looks as if the rut will be lat this year. Later we saw this Buck in the trees, alas I chopped his antlers off.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Beautiful Autumn days

We have had a couple of cold nights, with a light ground frost, but the days have been beautiful. Cold but sunny. This afternoon we met a couple of very friendly donkeys at Cadmans pond They kept following us around and nuzzling us.

Mary gets "Mugged"

mary gets "mugged"
Originally uploaded by sure2talk.

The Donkeys really liked me.....Taken by Karen

We met some very friendly Donkeys

A chaffinch snacks on the seed someone has left for the birds.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Lower Test Nature Reserve

Karen and I spent a couple of hours down on our local reserve today. Once again the Kingfisher perched just on the far range of the camera lens. We also saw a Heron and A little Egret. In the distance we could see swans flying.We saw a few green Sandpipers, Lapwing and a Black tailed Godwit and just as we were leaving a Black Swan.
There seemed to be a lot of Dragonflies, mostly skimmers darting about.
It was a busy day on the reserve, usually karen and I don't see anyone but today the hide was nearly full.
Little Egret


Blacktailed Godwit


Little Egret