Thursday, November 29, 2007

Swans and Gulls

This morning started off a little dull, but as we drove towards the forest we could see a little blue sky. after our walk at Pigbush we decided to drop in on HatchettsMute Pond. Two swans were there. These were young swans and not the pair who had cygnets there earlier in the year. I wonder how long they will stay? As usual there were plenty of gulls and in the distance we saw an egret and a heron.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A November day

Today it was rather grey and dull, but very mild for the time of year. We were going to walk at Kings Hat but the carpark was closed, so we drove on to Shatterford. They are working on the bridges here but we were able to complete a circular walk. The dogs enjoyed all the water and had a great time.
I was pleasesd to find some Candlesnuff fungi. (Xylaria hypoxylon) The tiny little white stems look like little candles

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunshine on a Winters Day

Today we had just the right weather for a walk, cold, sunny but very little wind. We went up to the Canadian Cross and down through the Inclosure. From here we walked along the little stream known as Highland Water. The trees are nearly bare now, although the odd one or two are still clinging to their leaves. Finally we came up Mogshade Hill to the pond and then just down the road back to the car.
A Pony takes a drink in Highland Water

Yellow Brain Fungi (Tremella mesenterica)

Reflections in Highland Water

John comes up Mogshade Hill

Pony at the Pond

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Cold Walk at Pigbush

It was a beautiful morning apart from the icy cold wind and we had a lovely walk at Pigbush The Beaulieu River was very high after all the recent rain which pleased Missy. She had a great time swimming whilst Raffles paddled and Miss Taivas tried not to get more than the tips of her paws in the water.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Trip to the Aquarium

Well the rain is back so after a walk in the forest we went to Portsmouth Aquarium, it was very difficult to take photos as the lighting was bad and much of the glass was dirty. They have some otters there and the smell was almost overpowering. I do not think they are cleaned properly. However it made a nice trip out.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Watching the Birds

Well the weekend was a complete wash out. It just rained from Saturday right through until this morning, when it was still raining! I managed to walk the dogs after the worst of the rain and to my surprise the skies were clearing as I came home. Although there was a very cold wind it was too good an opportunity to miss and I went down to see what was happening on the Lower test. Patience paid off and after about 40 minutes the Kingfisher arrived , he seemed to be very hungry as he was constantly diving and coming up with tasty morsels
Looking out of the window

Little Egret

has just swallowed his supper!

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Taste of Winter

Blashford lakes

We had a heavy Frost


The last couple of days have been very cold but Sunny. We have had frosty mornings and then sunshine but it then gets very cold midafternoon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Quick Visit to Hatchetts Pond.

It was rather dull when we took the dogs for a walk today and we didn't take any photos but as we got back to the car it brightened a little and we decided to pay a quick visit to Hatchetts pond.The swans have gone now but a family were feeding the ducks and Black headed Gulls. The Gulls are in their winter plumage now and haven't got their distinctive brown heads . We spent a few minutes trying to capture the gulls as they swooped around , before coming home.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Another visit to Blashford lakes

We went back to the lakes today, they opened two new hides over the weekend overlooking Ibsley Water, but my favourite hide is stilll the woodland hide where we see some of the common garden birds . I was thrilled to be able to get several shots of the goldfinch as he came very close.
Autmn leaves


Gold finch
green finch

Blue tit

Sunday, November 11, 2007

We Will Remember Them

For The Fallen by Lawrence Binyon

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Bird watching at the Woodland Hide Blashford lakes

We went back to Blashford lakes today and spent quite a bit of time in the woodland hide. Plenty to see and the Bluetits were certainly around flitting to and from the feeders.

This young fluffed out green finch posed for about 15 minutes before eventually flying off

Back views of a Great tit and a goldfinch on the feeder.

A pair of great Spotted Woodpeckers were also around for a time, had to take this photo through the glass as they mainly went to a feeder where the windows didn't open.

A chaffinch watches the feeders deciding whether or not to have a snack.
I like this hide as there is a great variety of birds visiting the feeders we also saw siskin, jays and a nuthatch. Rabbits , squirrels and a pheasant were snatching up the fallen seed from the ground.