We started off with a talk from the reserve manager where we learnt that Lymington was built on salt (not literally of course, because that would be foolish and unsustainable and besides, in heavy rain the houses would all melt, although I suppose you'd never have a problem with ice on driveways again.....). It was built on the proceeds of a Vast Salt Industry. Copious quantities of sea salt were produced in the marshes every year and the money was used to build big smart houses, until rock salt was discovered and the whole industry stopped.
I do like a Spot Of Nice Architecture, but given the choice I'd rather be photographing Wild Things, and one of the benefits of doing this with a group of people who are also interested in them is that you don't get teased for taking pictures of, say, pieces of grass, generally tutted at or harried to Hurry Up, as I often do at the weekends.
Herewith then, the results of Todays Camera Offerings.....
|Artificial Lagoon, created forty years ago to provide a Brackish Environment for Brackish Creatures. Also has Terns trying to nest on it, when the foxes allow.....|
|Black-Tailed Godwits, listed as a Vulnerable Species. Why has this sentence turned green?|
|More Black Tailed Godwits and a Shell Duck Sitting Down for Good Measure|
|A group of Cold And Wind-Blown Ecology Students.. Leaning Into The Wind is their normal stance.|
|More Created Lagoons|
|An Oystercatcher Striding Forth...|
|Another One, striding forth the other way...|
|A Meander through the Mudflats|
|More mudflats looking out to the Isle of Wight|
|A Skylark- apols for poor pic quality, but it was some distance away, and how often do you get to see them on the ground anyway?|
I think the next four shots may be Small Eggar Caterpillars found among the Hawthorn, which is their food plant. Small Eggars are a type of moth, and if these are their pillars we saw lots of them. I didn't appreciate the significance until I came home and id'd them (Caroline (RR) or Martin, if you think I'm wrong please shout). They are a nationally scarce species that were once widespread and now they only breed in selective areas. Their decline has been put down to hedge removal. I'm not a hundred percent on this one because I can't find a reference to them at Keyhaven anywhere, so I will try and find out and confirm later.
UPDATE- Thanks once more to Dave, who has confirmed that these pillars are in fact Brown-tail moths, who are pure white and fluffy when adults and have (no surprises here) a brown tail :-)
Moving on, I spied these chaps who turned out to be Juvenile Redshanks (thanks to Dave for the id).
|Spotted Redshank catching lunch|
Also this Meadow Pipit (never seen on of those before either). Thanks to Des for the id on that one....
There were several Small Moth Folk fluttering about. One obliged by landing and remaining still long enough for me to get this shot. Using my excellent Small Moth Bible as given to me by Clever Husband for Crimble, I reckon it is either a) Incurvaria pectinea or b) Incurvaria masculella. My money is on masculella, simply because of the yellowish head.... If any of you moth experts out there know different feel free to shout. LOVE the antennae.
I'm in need for an id for this please, if anyone knows? I'm pretty sure it was on an Oak...
UPDATE: thanks once more to Dave- these are oak apple galls made by a very small wasp called Biorhiza pallida.
|Oak Gall pretending to be a potato|
And the apple blossom along the path was glorious....
Not to mention all the other flowers and seed heads which were also Worthy Of Documenting....
|Horsetail or Equisetum,called a 'living fossil' because it is the only living genus of its entire class still remaining|
|Purple-Ramping Fumitory (it was decided, after much protracted discussion, scratching of heads, staring at the ground and thumbing through various id books while studying leaf and flower size, shape and texture...)|
All in all a Great Day Out and one in which I learnt many things, not least of which was NEVER EVER get in the back of a minibus again if Stuart is driving..... Roll on Miss Marple, eh Des?
I'll finish by saying that the blog is teetering on the brink of getting its 50,000th page view, which seems like a Good Time to say a BIG THANK YOU to all of you for reading/ commenting on it over the past year or so. Bless you all :-)
I'll leave you with my Two Intrepid Explorer Friends working out exactly what kind of Sow Thistle this is.....
Have a Great Night All,