Curlew.

Curlew bird observation and facts. Today’s bird watching walk up the Hamble River gave some really good views of some Curlews. It is an easily recognizable bird by its size and downcurved bill.

The Curlew is a large wader (in fact it is the largest European wader). It is about the size of a female pheasant. They are ground-nesting birds on wet grasslands, farmland, heath and moors this can be miles away from the coast.

Some 140,000 birds winter in the UK with about 66,000 breeding pairs

I have added the call of a Curlew over the sound on my short film.

A walk around my city.

A walk around Southampton this morning. The Town of Southampton became a city in 1964.

Parking up at Mayflower Park a short walk takes you into the old part of the town.

The view from the park is a great place to watch ship movement in and out of the port.

Just outside the park by the city wall is the Mayflower Memorial It commemorates the sailing of the Pilgrim Fathers to America in the Mayflower and Speedwell in 1620. The monument is a 50 ft high column of Portland Stone, surmounted by a cupola and a copper model of the Mayflower.

The old customs house and the Wool House which is is a medieval building which was built to serve the wool trade

Westgate from Westgate Street (inside the town wall looking out).

Old houses by the Westgate.

The Duke of Wellington pub in Bugle Street is a historic building with some old beams dating back to 1220.

Said to be Southampton’s most important historic building, Tudor House is now a museum. The timber-framed building in St Michael’s Square was built in the late 15th Century. King John’s Palace, an adjacent Norman house is accessible from Tudor House Garden, it dates back a further 300 years. 

Opposite Tudur House is St. Michael the Archangel Church it is said to be the oldest building still in use in the city. The spire was first built in the 15th century and then reconstructed in 1732. In 1887, to make it a better landmark for shipping, a further 9 ft was added to the blunt shape, It is now 165 ft.

Much of Southampton was devastated by the German bombing in WW2. Although the other churches in the central town, Holy Rood and All Saints, were both destroyed in 1940, St. Michael’s escaped with only minor damage. It is said the spire was used by the German bombers as a landmark and their pilots were ordered not to hit it.

The remains of Holy Rood Church now a merchant navy memorial

The church around 1900 before its destruction during the Blitz.

A victorian view of the city – note the church spires

Within the walls of Southampton was a castle but the site today is built on and only parts of the outer wall remain.

The Bargate is another gate to the old town.

Lions guard the gate into the old old town.
The Bargate (inside the town looking back).

Views from the old walls. In the sea in the past came up to the walls but the land now is reclaimed. The views included some nice Victorian House on the walls and the modern shopping centre.

Further away from the old town is an old Gasometer a listed structure but is under threat as the city wants the old gas works land to be redeveloped. A victorian structure to store coal gas. These structures once common in the UK are disappearing from the skyline quickly. These large containers in which coal gas was stored near atmospheric pressure at ambient temperatures. The volume of the container follows the quantity of stored gas, with pressure coming from the weight of a movable cap. As a child they fascinated me how the cap would move up and down. During the Blitz they were kept low due to the risks from bombing if they were hit when full.

An early picture of Gasmeter when full.

Before leaving my walk around the historic parts of the city I had to check if the Parrots were about and they were.

An afternoon at the Beach.

Thursday I spent some time on the beach and filmed the flock of Sanderlings enjoying the afternoon’s sun.

This post is a movie only, Please note it runs for a little over 8 minutes. Is best viewed on a phone screen & the sound is only the beach and wind so best watched on low volume or off.

After storm 3!

Another stormy night as the 3rd storm lashes the UK in as many days. Many trees are down on local roads and places closed. Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve remains closed since the end of last week as authorities need to check the trees are safe.

The Red Funnel Isle of Wight ferry was having a choppy crossing this morning. Some services were cancelled over the weekend.

A workforce was out repairing the seawall at Titchfield Harbour.

On the shore, Sanderlings were feeding at the water’s edge and out of the wind. Sitting down on the beach using one of the groynes as a windbreak I was able to take some pictures as the feed today clams seem to be on the menu.

The ringed bird is a regular bird that I see on Meon Shore.

Storms.

The morning before we were due to be hit by Storm Dudley and Eunice. A red weather warning of 90mph winds in some parts has been forecast.

After a very windy night this morning (Saturday 19/02/22) it was time to come out from our cover following the passing of Storm Eunice through the south of the UK.

We did not come out unscathed a brick gate post had been forced over and a fence had broken off!

News reports are giving reports of many trees down with buildings and cars damaged. Early reports are saying 3 or 4 people have been killed.

With high tides and the wind still strong the seas remain rough.

A short trip to collect some trail cameras left in local woodland the cameras were safe despite the destruction in the woods.

Although it was late morning we spotted a Badger out in daylight – he was running across the field towards us he had not seen us until he was very close, once spotted he changed direction. I nearly did not bring a telephoto lens out with me today but I have been caught out before! This encounter brightened up the day.