Further into the forest.

A return to the New Forest. We Parked up again at Eyeworth Pond – watching the pond with a cup of tea until the rain stopped before heading into the forest to the North-East following the track from the old Gunpowder Mills this road was built to allow the explosives to be transported away from the factory safely avoiding the small village of Fritham.

A little way along the track you pass a fenced spring. Known as “The Iron Wells” shown on maps dating back to the late-18th century. Marked on today’s Ordnance Survey maps as “Irons Well (Chalybeate)”. The water is impregnated with iron salts and is the colour of rust.

The waters are said to have curative properties particularly helpful for sore eyes, gout and other ailments, including leprosy. The spring was also known as Lepers’ Well, it is rumoured a house of rest for those suffering from leprosy was close to the well. Looking at the spring I decided not to take the waters on this visit!

No deer to see on our walk today.

.

Back at the pond lots of birds as always – but the Mandarin ducks steal the show with their bright colours there seemed to be 5 males and 3 females present again. – lots of photographs at the end of this post.

Male Blackbird.

Song Thrush.

Pied Wagtail.

A first for me today was a Brambling. Not the best picture of this female bird but given I have never seen one before I am happy with this attempt.

A Male House Sparrow.

On the way home, we spotted lots of Snow Drops an early sign of spring.