Thursday, 19 May 2011

New Forest + Keyhaven - 15.5.11

Can anyone help ID this caterpillar?!

As it was my weekend to have my son he was dragged along aswell as my mum for the Watford RSPB coach trip. On the journey 2 Red Kites were seen from the coach near Dummer and a male Mandarin flew past near the A337 turn off. Shatterford Bottom was our destination in the New Forest and although I missed Dartford Warbler and there were no Woodlark or Tree Pipit I was fortunate enough to add 4 year ticks to my list. Stonechat was the first with a couple of pairs present. Next was a male Resdstart which did it's best to avoid being seen by staying in the canopy, fortunately another was showing slightly better nearby. A Wood Warbler was singing and this made up for missing the Ashridge bird twice! Finally a brief Spotted Flycatcher was a nice surprise. The highlight for most was the family party of Treecreepers that I found. 1 of the young decided to fall outof the tree so I picked it up and was going to move it somewhere a bit safer when it decided to creep up my jacket and onto my face!! It then sat on the collar of my jacket where people got photos before I lent on a tree to which it then climbed onto! I also saw my first ever Pearl-Bordered Frittilary which was nice.

In the afternoon we visited Keyhaven Marshes where there was a distinct lack of waders (though low tide and evaporation of the inland pools doesn't help!). 3 late Dark Bellied-Brent Geese were seen aswell as 3 Mediterranean Gulls, 3 Little Egrets, 2 Sandwich Terns a late Wigeon, LRP, 130+ Dunlin and a Greenshank. 21 Eider offshore were a year tick. My first Painted Lady of the year was a surprise given the cool weather and strong wind.

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