Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Weekend

On Saturday we managed to walk the dogs before the rain came. The rest of the day it tipped.This morning the sun was shining and we had a lovely stroll at Ashley walk.It was a bit windy but once we were in the shelter of the valley it was warm in the sun. The little stream was full and we even found a mini waterfall after yesterdays heavy rain. This afternoon i spent some time watching the birds They come so close and are easy to photograph I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow as they are supposed to come and replace the fence that wa damaged in the storms a couple of weeks ago.
Blogger has been very slow recently and tonight I found I couldn't comment on other blogger blogs. If you read this Jan I thought Frank was adorable.
fallow deer
Pony at Ashley walk

Little Waterfall
Missy and Raffles
Looking across the valley at Ashley walk

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Steamer Point

It was a beautiful day so we decided to go a little further a field. We drove down to Steamer Point in Dorset. There is a small nature reserve here and you walk along the cliffs to Highcliffe Castle. We had lunch at the castle and again it was warm enough to sit outside (although not as warm as on our last visit in Feb) After lunch we wandered back through the reserve before driving back to Blashford Lakes for a quick look at the redpolls.
Looking towards Steamer Point
Highcliffe castle
Pink Azaelea
Crow gathering nesting material

Mr and Mrs Redpoll

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Walk in Royden Woods

Royden Woods is an area within the New Forest managed by the Hampshire Wildlife Trust. This afternoon we decided to go and investigate. As soon as we got into the car it started to rain! We began our walk in drizzle, so none of us had our cameras ready when we saw several large stags just off the footpath. We saw and heard some green Woodpeckers and then we took a muddy side track down to a little stream. We soon joined another wider track leading down towards Royden Manor. Primroses were growing along the ditches on both sides. We came out of the woods onto heathland and by this time the sun was shining and we began to feel rather warm. Walking back into the woods we discovered a little waterfall and a hidden pond. It will be a great place to watch dragonflies a bit later on. It was a very pleasnt walk and we look forward to going back a bit later in the year as the woods are known to have a wide variety of plants and butterflies.
Entering Royden Woods

A tiny Waterfall

One of the Ponds

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hellebores (Christmas Rose or Lenten Lily)

Today i was dog sitting for a friend, who has a beautiful garden. between the heavy showers (Alas the snow did not extend this far south, although parts of England did get some), I took some photos.
Jean has a lovely collection of hellebores also known as the Christmas Rose or the Lenten Lily .

All the flowers here are hellebores.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter

It has been bitterly cold today, we even had a few flurries of snow when we walked the dogs this morning. I haven't seen any foals in the Forest yet but hopefully one will appear soon.
The Greater Spotted Woodpecker was taken at Blashford lakes on Wednesday. As we were walking back to the car we saw one on the feeder but he flew away before we could get a photo. We could hear the drumming and knew one was close and suddenly Karen spotted him high up in an oak tree. Although he was a long way off and I had to crop the photo to ge a good look at him i was pretty pleased with the result.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring at Blashford

We had a little bit of sunshine today so we went to Blashford . The wind has been very cold but all the birds were out and about. The siskins are really yellow at the moment

There were plenty of bramblings about and they were coming a little closer

I thought the bluetits looked good against the pussy willow.
The goldfinches were around too.
Finally a couple of red polls on the feeder.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Walk around the old Town in Southampton.

Yesterday we took a walk around the walls of Southampton. After the Norman Invasion in 1066 Southampton became on e of the main English ports for exporting wool. The town prospered from this trade until the 1500s The walls and other medieval building were built during this period. They were mainly built of limestone although other types of stone was also used. The stone was shipped in from Dorset the Isle of Wight and France.
This is Holyrood Church, which was one of five churches in the medieval town and only two of them have survived. Much of Holyrood was destroyed in WW2, it is now a memorialto the merchant Navy and also includes a Memorial to the crew of the Titanic
This brass Cross on the pavement outside Holyrood is said to commenmorate the spot where Phillip of Spain, on his way to marry mary Tudor knelt to give thanks for surviving the voyage from Spain in 1554
Memorial for the crew of the Titanic
The Red Lion was built in the 1500 and although it has been heavily restored it still retains the shape of a medieval house.

A Flower Anchor outside the wool house which now houses Southampton's Maritime Museum.
The Mayflower memorial. The mayflower and her sister ship the Speedwell left Southampton on August 15th 1620 but by the time they reached Plymouth the Speedwell was already leaking and was abandoned.
Tudor Merchants Hall used to stand in St Michaels square, but in 1634 it was dismantled and the timbers were used to construct this building

The arcades were built to protect the town and was built on the walls of early houses that had to be demolished so that the town could be protected. In Medieval times the sea would have come close to this side of the walls.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Back to Eyeworth Pond.

We went back to Eyeworth for an hour or so and witnessed the frisky ducks in the car park, the por female was being harassed by several drakes!
meanwhile the little blue tit was looking for a mate.

There are now 5 males and 4 female mandarin ducks and hopefully they are thinking about raising a family or two.

A couple of sparrows.
The little coal tit was having a quick snack.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Bad weather Stops Photography!

Its been rather dull this week. We woke up on Monday morning to find half the garden fence had blown away! They can't replace it until after Easter so the dogs have to be closely supervised in the garden. We have been out walking the dogs and did get a few photos but mostly the light was too bad. A visit to Eyeworth and Cadmans pond met with a joyful twittering from all the hungry birds and they gobbled up our goodies very quickly. All five mandarins are still around and we are hoping they will nest. Apparently they nest in holes in trees often several metres off the ground we will keep checking in to see if ducklings arrive. We had a quick trip up to Hatchetts pond but the carpark was closed for vegetation management!
Mandarin Duck


Thursday, March 06, 2008

More Birdwatching

On Tuesday and Wednesday we had a chance for some more birdwatching.
We walked the dogs at Cadmans Pond and naughty Mr Raffles found some bones, we put him on the lead for about a mile and then we let him off only to find he found a short cut through a bog back to the bones. I could not follow him and had to make a long detour . By this time he had dragged the bones back through the bog to Karen who was waiting with Missy and Taivas! Well I needed a rest when we got back to the car so we sat and watched the Nuthatches. They were very possessive of the seeds seeing the Robins and Tits off.
On Wednesday we went down to Eyeworth Pond. We saw three male and two female Mandarin Ducks , so hopefully they will nest and we will see some ducklings in a couple of months time. There were lots of Tits about but also a rather greedy crow who decided to gobble up all the food!
Pony in his winter coat.

Mandarin Ducks