This week's talk: 12 November 2019 Heritage Trees of Britain by Jon Stokes

On 12 November our evening talk will be:


Jon’s previous talks were Wildlife in the Leaf Litter and The Natural Harvest available from hedgerows. Being from the Tree Council he is very well qualified to deliver this evening’s presentation.

The indoor meetings are held at The Lymington Centre (McLellan Hall) on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month and commence at 7.15pm. Visitors are always welcome for a small charge (adults £5, juniors £1).

Walk report: 03 November 2019 Keyhaven Bird Walk

Little Egret © Richard Coomber
After the high winds and driving rain of the previous day it took an act of faith to turn out for the walk along the sea wall at Keyhaven. But the weather was good, with even a hint of sun now and again and no rain to speak of. Thirteen of us set out from the car park to do the round circuit of sea wall and Ancient Highway.

Those of us who got there early got a glimpse of one of the Merlins that are around at the moment at the Keyhaven end. There was also a Migrant Hawker dragonfly, possibly the last we will see this year.

Along the sea wall we saw Linnets, Stonechats and Brent Geese. Out on the Solent there were rafts of Wigeon and a few Eiders, mostly females. The Peregrines and, briefly, a male Marsh Harrier showed themselves. On the marsh side we saw small flocks of both Skylark and Meadow Pipits.

We walked further along and saw more of the migrant ducks that we expected (Gadwall, Wigeon, Pintail, Shoveler, Shelduck and Common Teal). Out on the seaward side there were flocks of Dunlin and Turnstone, Grey Plover singletons and the odd Ringed Plover. Richard picked out one Golden Plover, hopefully the advance guard for the usual large flocks we usually get.

Roe Deer © Richard Coomber
On Fishtail we saw our first Ruff (a male with large amounts of white plumage), looking very much like several we saw last year. We took this as a cue to have the biscuit break.

At this point half the group headed back via the old tip, but some of us continued round Butts to the so-called ‘jetty’. On the Solent there was a pair of Eider, the male in full plumage – very handsome. On Butts Lagoon we saw Common Snipe. As we got our collective eyes in we saw more and more. There must have been at least twenty, but snipe being snipe, they were difficult to count with any degree of certainty.

As we turned left and headed towards the car park at Lower Pennington Lane we saw that on the flooded fields there were quite a lot of Lapwings and about half-a-dozen more Ruff.

Rock Pipit
© Chris Robinson
Heading down the Ancient Highway we saw two Roe Deer wandering about on the marsh and a Raven feasting on a dead goose. A Peacock butterfly flew over. As we got back to the cars a Rock Pipit obligingly wandered up and down the harbour wall were someone had deposited the remains of their lunch.

Collectively we saw 73 species which was quite respectable total for a leisurely stroll around a local ‘patch’, CR

Walk report: 17 October 2019 Pennington Shore Search

Geoff-in-boots with various seaweeds and shells © Glynis Payne

Some of the search results © Geoff & Sue Nuckley
Thirteen hardy souls braved a stormy morning for our shore search field meeting and although we were drenched on our walk out, spirits were not dampened and we set to work collecting and attempting to identify the specimens we found. Unfortunately, the water was stirred up and very murky so we just explored the intertidal zone where the storms had thrown up a great ridge of seaweed onto the beach. A good variety of both seaweeds and shells were collected and among those we identified were:
Shaggy Inkcap
© Glynis Payne
Seaweeds: Bladder Wrack, Serrated Wrack, Knotted Wrack, Sugar Kelp, Velvet Horn, Sea Lettuce and Bootlace.
Mollusc shells: Cockles and Mussels (not alive, alive-o), Razor Clams, Oyster, various Manila clams/tellins, Whelk, Dog Whelk, Netted Dog Whelk, Periwinkle, Flat Periwinkle, and Top Shells of various colours and sizes.
Others: Spider Crab shell, Mermaids Purse egg case, stone with hole bored by a Piddock and a notable curiosity was a largely intact clay smoking pipe.

The birders continued to keep one eye inland and spotted Marsh Harrier, Kingfisher and Meadow Pipits while we were rummaging on the beach where Oystercatcher and Turnstone were also evident.

Having parked at Keyhaven, the two Richards decide to return along the sea wall and reported seeing a good number of wildfowl including Pintail, c10 Brent Geese and 20 Shelduck. Best of all were 10 Swallows, 4-5 Chiffchaffs and a Wheatear as well as a Red Admiral and a very freshly emerged Comma on Ivy.

A clay pipe
© Glynis Payne
The main group had a third soaking on the return walk but still managed to see a good selection of birds notably Pintail, Shoveler, and Lapwing among the flocks of Canada Geese and a good variety of fungi including some fine examples of Shaggy Inkcap. We arrived back at the cars under blue skies with the sunshine even bringing out butterflies. On the ivy bushes we saw 3 fresh and bright Red Admirals, 2 Painted Ladies and a Speckled Wood. G&SN

Photos © Geoff & Sue Nuckley, Glynis Payne

This week's talk: 22 October 2019 South Africa Spectacular

On 22 October our evening talk will be:


A regular guest speaker, last time New Zealand and this evening we will have an insight into the wonderful flora and fauna of South Africa.

The indoor meetings are held at The Lymington Centre (McLellan Hall) on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month and commence at 7.15pm. Visitors are always welcome for a small charge (adults £5, juniors £1).