Friday, May 21, 2010

Martin Down

Today I visited Martin Down with Mike. No wind, 20c+ early morning, the first real butterfly emerging late May day we've had. A lot of the butterflies we saw were obviously freshly out; Brown Argus, Marsh Fritillary, Common Blue, Small Blue, Small Heath.

List of species:

Brown Argus 20+
Small Copper 3
Small Heath 6
Dingy Skipper 10
Grizzled Skipper 3
Common Blue 10
Brimstone 12
Orange Tip 6
Green-veined White 3
Peacock 4
Speckled Wood 4
Green Hairstreak 4
Marsh Fritillary 4
Small Blue 6

Some photos:

Brown Argus

Dingy Skipper

Grizzled Skipper

Marsh Fritillary

Orange Tip

Small Blue

Small Copper

Distant Corn Bunting


Common Buzzard

Burnt tip Orchid

Saturday, May 15, 2010

New Forest Wildlife Park

We went to the New Forest Wildlife Park for the first time.

What an excellent place.

We were really taken by the thought that has gone into housing the animals and by the general cleanliness.

The butterfly house was superb. Some pictures of the butterflies:

The Otters are a big attraction here with 3 species: the North American River Otter, Eurasian Otter and many Asian Short-clawed Otters. The talk given by a member of staff at feeding time was excellent.

North American River Otters

Asian Short-clawed Otters

There are also several species of Owls. Here are some pictures of the Barn Owls, 1 of a female Snowy Owl and a Great Grey Owl.

The park has 4 species of Deer: Sika, Fallow, Muntjak and Red. The Sika deer are very tame.

Sika Deer

Fallow Deer

Also a family of Wild Boar

The Dad

The Mum

Some of the kids

Newly arrived are 3 Wolfs

And a Wallaby with a Joey

The park also has Lynx, Scottish Wildcat, Polecat, Mink, Ferret, Hedgehog and an excellent display of Harvest Mice.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Holiday 23/4 -> 03/05

Monday 3/5

We went to Liberty's nr. Ringwood (, the Owl, Rapter and Reptile centre.

Some photo's

Bald Eagle

Eagle Owl

Ferruginous Hawk

Tawny Eagle


Saker x Peregrine


Black Kite

Saker x Peregrine

Tawny Eagle

Harris Hawk

Siberian Eagle Owl

Sunday 2/5

A day at home chilling out and watching the T20 world cup.

Saturday 1/5

Visited Dad in Bristol

Friday 30/4

Visited Marwell Zoo for the day

Thursday 29/4

Spent 1.5 hours down at Titchfield Haven taking some photo's from the Meon Shore hide.


Summer plumaged Bar (left hand bird) and Black-tailed Godwit

Bar-tailed Godwit

Pair of Gadwall



Great Cresated Grebe that was on the sea

Wednesday 28/4

Today did a 9.5 mile walk with Julie around Martin Down. Started from the car park off the A354 and walked to Pentridge. Took the footpath up to Penbury Knoll then turned right along Pentridge ridge. Followed the track down Blackbush Down. Here had some great views of a dozen or so Hares most of which were just lying down in the fields. We crossed Toby's Bottom and joined the Cranborne to Tidpit road at Boveridge. Walked along towards Tidpit then took the track towards Kites Nest farm then crossed the field up Tidpit Common Down to the west end of Martin Down. We walked along the top and followed the Bokerley dyke and back to the car park.

Butterflies seen:

Orange Tip - 15
Small Tortoiseshell - 4
Brimstone - 20
Green-veined White - 4
Speckled Wood - 2
Peacock - 3
Green Hairstreak - 2

Birds of note: 4+ Corn Buntings all in Dorset mainly between Martin Down and Pentridge.

Tuesday 27/4

What a cracking day, blue skies with high whispy cloud until the afternoon when some high cloud came over for a bit.

Went to Martin Down for the best part of 5 hours. Started in the south section at around 9. Only the odd Grizzled Skipper was showing and also 1 Dingy Skipper.

After I went up to the car park off the A354 and walked around the north section. More butterflies were out as it was warmer notably Peacocks in the Bokerley Dyke. A few Brimstones also.

Not until Kitt's Wood after lunch did I see most of the butterflies. The Warbler I mentioned 2 days ago was still in Kitt's Wood. Starts off like a Chiffchaff and ends like a Willow Warbler.

A couple of army helicopters were buzzing around most of the time and at one time flushed 4 Wheatear by the Bokerley dyke. Two Grey Partridge were also flushed by a dog.

There are some corrigated lids left in a few places where Slow Worms can be seen. Under one there was 7. This pictures shows some of them.

Butterflies seen:
Small Tortoiseshell - 3
Grizzled Skipper - 10
Speckled Wood - 22
Dingy Skipper - 1
Peacock - 28
Orange Tip - 8
Brimstone - 45
Green-veined White - 2
Small White - 2
Holly Blue - 2
Comma - 2

Grizzled Skipper

another Grizzled Skipper

Monday 26/4

a late morning visit to Keyhaven to see the Long-tailed Duck. It was on the main Keyhaven lagoon but always distant

Long-tailed Duck

Also there several Little Terns were very active as were some Common Terns. A few Whimbrel on the marsh.

Only butterflies I saw were 8 Speckled Wood and 1 Peacock.
I did have my first odonata of the year, a teneral Large Red Damselfly

Some other pictures:

Common Tern

Common Whitethroat

Black-headed Gull


Sunday 25/4

Went to Martin Down southern section with Mike. Did hear Turtle Dove a few times purring up the hill on the west side and a brief Nightingale.
Later walked around the northern section and Kitt's Wood: 1 Cuckoo, 1 Garden Warbler and 4 Lesser Whitethroat. The only butterflies I saw were 14 Speckled Wood and 4 Peacock

An interesting Warbler was singing in Kitt's Wood. Starts off like a Chiffchaff then ends like a Willow Warbler.

Friday 23/4

Did BBS survey SU5909 - highlights were a calling flyover Yellow wagtail and 3 Wheatear, 2 of which were very smart males.

Then onto Titchfield Haven and a walk along the canal footpath. Looked for the Garganey again and again failed to see. Had several Swifts in with Swallows and House Martins over Posbook flood, Common Terns, Sandwich Terns and Whimbrel off the haven. Not many butterflies out: 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Comma and 1 Green-veined White

After lunch a walk in Whiteley Pastures: 1 Comma, 4 Peacock, 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Green-veined White, 5 Orange Tip, 12 Brimstone and 1 Large White