Heather.

Heather is also known as ‘ling’ and is a common plant on heathland, moorland, and bogs. To do well it requires acidic or peat soils. It has delicate pink flowers that appear from August to October. Plants grow tightly packed together and can live for over 40 years

Walking on paths in the New Forest across Hatchet Moor several Wheatears were keeping just in front of us on the Heather.

These birds are female birds or juveniles. The male bird is a blue-grey above, with black wings and white below with an orange flush to the breast. It has a black cheek.

Hornet on the hunt.

Watching a Hornet and trying to get some photographs of it it appeared to get caught in a spider’s web. This turned out to be an error and what had actually happened was that the hornet was attacking the spider and making a meal of it. After killing the Garden Spider it flew off with its body.

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Sea fishing.

A solitary Little Egret quietly fishing as the tide comes in. This morning the rain arrived and the beach was almost empty of people I was able to sit down on the shingle and enjoy this egret going up and down and catching small fish.

Turnstones in August.

Turnstone on Meon Shore – The numbers of these little birds are increasing on our shores as they return from their arctic breeding ground to winter but they are present for most of the year in the UK as the non-breeding birds often stay through the summer. Birds from Northern Europe pass through in July and August and again in spring. Canadian and Greenland birds arrive in August and September and remain until April and May. Known in other countries as Ruddy Turnstone the “Ruddy” has been dropped here. Their colours are more muted in nonbreeding plumage. In the picture below the bird on the right shows breeding colours, the bird on the left colours has started to mute.

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Spoonbills.

Second sighting this year May adult birds were visiting Titchfield Haven.

Two juvenile Spoonbills at Titchfield Haven this morning. Although they bred in East Anglia during Medieval times, spoonbills had not bred in Britain for over 300 years until 2010,

Male and female are similar but the female is slightly smaller.

Juvenile spoonbills resemble adults in non-breeding plumage but their bills are pink and lack the yellow tip. black wingtips seen in flight also help identify them as juveniles.

They are quite a rare sight in the UK (50 to 70 ) and only appear in a few locations.

Length: 80 – 90 cm

Wingspan: 120 – 135 cm

Weight: 1.3 – 2 kg

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