We left home in heavy rain this morning and it looked like my walk into the New Forest may be a washout however the BBC weather forecast was correct and by 9.30 the sun was out and the Autumn colours were looking good.
Fallow Deer are the deer that most visitors to the New Forest see. Although not a native species, to the forest. The New Forest was William the Conqueror’s first hunting forest in England, and the hunting of fallow stags took place for over 900 years until it was outlawed in 1997.
I only saw one Stag but he was worth spotting and decided to sit down rather than move on!
This morning’s walk (Sunday) showed a marked change in the season with dew on the grass and the numerous spider’s webs were highlighted with moisture. Given the changeability of the seasons at the moment I am not sure if such mornings will be the norm for a while or if it was just a one-off for the time being.
Marbled Orbweb Spider. This one is yellow I saw some previously that were white.
Four-spotted orb weaver spider building a new web.
With our continued hot dry spell we decided to make an early start on Sunday morning to collect our trail camera footage. On the way, with the sun just up we spotted a good number of different mammals.
Roebuck. This deer is the regularly spotted buck in our local fields and woodland.
A Shrew. This tiny mammal crossed our path, while we crossed the field. I think this is a Common Shrew.
Common shrews are tricoloured: brown on the back, pale brown at the sides and whitish underneath. They have dense velvety fur, with a long pointed nose, tiny eyes, small ears and red teeth. Their lifespan is short they rarely live longer than a year.
Size: 48-80mm, tail 24-44mm; tail less than 3/4 length of head and body.
A bit shaky but a short film of this tiny mammal.
We spotted a fox on several occasions during our walk but he kept his distance.
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Another New Forest walk yesterday. Much cooler this morning- The recent heatwave has left its mark. Many of the streams have dried up along with some of the pools where we study Dragonflies. Much of the grass is baked brown the whole forest waits for some of the forecast rain and thunderstorms.
The cattle and ponies are staying close to or regularly drinking water places such as Cadnams Pool. Due to the lack of fresh grass, they are eating leaves from the trees.
BBQs and open fires are now banned in the New Forest due to the fire risk. Although there are a lot of green areas within the forest underfoot the grass and gorse is tinder dry.
Ponies cooling off. Note the cotton grass in a green area of none brown grass at the end of the film which warns of a boggy area.
We have survived a heatwave last 3 days the weather has caused a total meltdown here in the UK. Being obsessed with the weather we Brits have been totally preoccupied with what the temperature is and our infrastructure failings however we have short memories and in a few weeks, we will have forgotten what the effects of extreme heat are and climate changes are and we will return to our selfish ways.
A major fire swept through Hook nature reserve on Southampton Water near Washash.
We have been spending a lot of time during the heatwave by the sea at our usual spot on Meon Shore. The sea breeze helped cool the air and allow some comfort.
Probably the coolest place in the UK was on the water sailing in a yacht out in the Solent. These were sailing off Cowes on the Isle of Wight. Pictures were taken through a heavy heat haze from Meon Beach
Some people found other ways of keeping cool! Please note a hat is essential.
Some bird watching from the water’s edge. Despite the number of people on the beach birds were plentiful.
Herring Gull. (With attitude.)
A young tern thinks he has caught a big fish!
Work goes on for others whatever the weather.
Shipping leaving port.
Search and Rescue Helicopter on patrol.
Thunderstorms and cooler weather are now forecast.
Looking like a UFO or some structure from another world this mysterious-looking structure on Burry Port beach revealed itself in 2018, after a period of bad weather and storms which caused coastal erosion at the site of an old power station. It is actually the base of an experimental wind turbine left behind from the 1980s and 1990s.
The Dartford Warbler is found in a few localised places in the UK. Back in early1960’s following servere winters Dartford warblers numbers crashed and only10 pairs remained (They only eat insects and do not migrate for the winter, which means it is vulnerable to cold weather and prolonged snow cover ). On a positive note today, there are about 3,200 pairs nesting.
They are dependent on dry heath habitats, particularly on gorse in good condition. It is a ground-nesting bird, preferring to breed under the protective cover of dense heather or compact gorse. It makes a grassy, cup-shaped nest, in which it lays three to five eggs. It can have up to three broods from April to July.
A bird I only saw once in my childhood today I know of 4 places where they are doing well close to my home.