Town Hares.

15 model hares are being displayed in my home city of Southampton as part of an interactive art trail. They have been in the city since June but are off towards the end of August. Each sculpture is 6ft tall and features its own unique design painted by artists in collaboration with Wild in Art. Today I found 10 of them.

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New paint job.

One of 6 murals which have been painted across Hampshire, all depicting sea creatures.

As well as this lobster on the harbour master’s office at Warsash on the River Hamble other sea creatures are at Hythe Pier, & Ocean Village in Southampton and others on the Isle of Wight.

A Castle on the hill.

Kidwelly Castle is an imposing Norman castle overlooking the River Gwendraeth and the town of Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire, Wales. This ruin is in the care of Cadw (historic Wales). Although it saw much conflict the castle is in fairly good condition Kidwelly began in the early 12th century as a Norman ‘ringwork’ castle made of wood and protected only by an earthen bank and ditch.

Under constant attack by Welsh princes, it was captured by Lord Rhys in 1159. Decades later the Normans were in charge and by the 1280s it had been transformed into the stone castle we see today.

The first scene of Monty Python and the Holy Grail was filmed on the walls of Kidwelly.

Mediterranean Gulls.

I had posted some distant pictures of Mediterranean gulls taken at Titchfield Haven earlier in the year. Today on the beach at Calshot I spotted 3 of these good looking gulls within a flock of Black-headed gulls. These birds were quite happy to come fairly close so I took the opportunity to grab some pictures. The Mediterranean gull is slightly larger than a black-headed gull, with an all-black head in the breeding season. Their beaks and legs are orange.

A very rare UK bird until the 1950s, Its numbers have increased and today recorded numbers published by the RSPB are UK breeding:600-630 pairs UK wintering:1,800 birds compare this to the Black-headed gull numbers UK breeding:140,000 pairs UK wintering:2.2 million birds.

Comparison shot of Mediterranean gull and Black headed gull.

Brighton

Royal Pavilion.

By 1780, the development of the Georgian development of Brighton was underway with the development of grand Georgian terraces – the fashionable resort was regularly frequented by the Prince Regent later King George IV. Spending much of his leisure time here he constructed the Royal Pavilion. with the coming of the Railways and only 47miles from London Brighton continued to develop and became a popular Victorian holiday resort.

Palace Pier.

Brighton had 2 piers the West Pier was constructed during a boom in pleasure pier building in the 1860s, it was designed to attract tourists to the town. The West Pier was developed further in 1893, and a concert hall was added in 1916. It complimented the first pier the Royal Suspension Chain Pier which was built in 1823. It was replaced by the Palace Pier in 1889.

Today only the Palace Pier remains the West Pier was closed to the public in 1975 and fell into disrepair and gradually collapsed. After a number of fires, the pier is now just a frame.

 

The seafront has all the trimmings of a British seaside destination.

Just a tree!

English Elm trees dominated the British landscape, especially in Southern England, but were ravaged by Dutch elm disease in the1960s. Today it is only found occasionally in hedgerows or woodland. This rare tree has a small number of mature trees in Brighton. They are carefully managed by the council. I can not recall seeing an Elm Tree so one off the bucket list on our visit to Brighton.

Morrell.

Dungeness Lifeboat Station has a Shannon class lifeboat. The Morrell was named on 31 May 2014 by HRH Princess Royal. In 1940, the Dungeness lifeboat was one of 19 that took part in the evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk in northern France. We were lucky to see the lifeboat out of the lifeboat house when we visited as she had just had a wash and was drying in the sunshine.

EDIT.

I have edited and added the launching tractor of a Shannon class lifeboat at Hastings just along the coast I filmed in 2018

Around a lake

Over the water – on the water – and under the water. A few hours at Swanick lakes, once a clay pit for Bursledon brickworks. Today the area is a nature reserve with a mixture of woodland, lakes and meadows. The site is managed by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wifelife Trust and is spread over 35-hectares.

Dragonflies and Danselflies

Downy Emerald Dragonfly. This one is a male as it has the bulging tip

Common Blue Damselflies.
Female Emperor.
Female Emperor egg-laying.
Four-spotted Chaser.

Coot.

Fish. I have never fished and I do not know which species of fish this is. They are large about 2 feet long.

Ashlett Creek.

View towards Southampton Water.

Ashlett Creek is a tidal inlet on the New Forest side of Southampton Water near Fawley. The creek is only accessible at high tide. There has been a mill on the site dating back to medieval times. The mill is a Grade II listed building that was built in 1816 and milled corn until it closed around 1910. Ashlett mill was a tidal mill – a mill driven by tidal rise and fall. The tide comes in, it enters the mill pond through a one-way gate, and this gate closes automatically when the tide begins to fall. When the tide is low enough, the stored water can be released to turn the mill wheel. Flat bottomed sailing barges were used to load and unload grain, salt and other supplies. A Victorian Quay was built in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.

The Mill.
Mill pond.

The Jolly Sailor, a 160-year-old pub is an old smuggler’s inn near the mill.

Birds in the Mill pond.

Up the Hamble.

(Part 2 Birdwatching). More from a walk today from Warsash up the river Hamble to Bursledon. Today’s birdwatching observations on a rather dark and gloomy day

Brent Goose. These small geese are a similar size to a mallard. They have a black head and neck and greyish back, with either a pale or dark belly, depending on the race, most of the birds I see. local to me have a dark belly. I always find them difficult to get a decent photograph of them due to their dark colour on the mud, their eyes seem to disappear! I was quite pleased with these 2 shots despite the dull conditions.

A Meadow Pipit.

Little Egret. This bird was fishing alongside the footpath.

A Curlew;

Redshank.

Many of the birds were a long way off on the mud, a large flock of Dunlin a couple of Shelduck and some gulls.

A male Wigeon.