Next week's walk: 20 Sept Nomansland

Marge and Sandra are leading next week's general interest walk at Nomansland (SU253172). Meet at the layby opposite Lamb Inn, setting off at 10:00

Walk report: 06 September 2018 Rans Wood

© Richard Coomber

20 members on a lovely sunny morning set off with Pam in a northerly direction to Wort’s Gutter. Following the left hand track, which is a damp grassy area many species of wild flower were seen: Marsh Ragwort, Water Mint, Devil's-bit Scabious, Sneezewort, Common Fleabane, Common Centaury, Tormentil, Knapweed, Lesser Spearwort, Marsh Thistle, Creeping Cinquefoil, Cat’s- ear and Ling. Hard and Male Fern were seen along the banks of the gutter, while small shoals of Minnows darted around in the water. A very obliging juvenile male Stonechat posed for the photographers in the group, while the occasional Swallow and a few House Martins passed overhead and, there were plenty of Field Mushrooms along the way.

© Richard Coomber
Moving away from the gutter and turning onto the uphill track leading to Moon Hill a mixed flock of small birds kept us busy as they flitted in and out of the trees, these were Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit and Chiffchaff. This area is more open and dry and with stands of conifers. Turning onto the cycle track where the ground had been disturbed by the Forestry Commission, we came across a very unusual plant which Richard immediately identified as a Thorn Apple. This plant originates from South America and is thought to have come over as a contaminate of birdseed. The whole plant is poisonous and, in this country is occasionally found in gardens, along roadsides and on wasteland. Its appearance is weather dependant as it prefers a warmer climate than ours.
Grey Spotted Amanita
© Chris Robinson

 Common Frog
© Mary Mawdsley
The final part of the walk took us through a beautiful Beech and Oak woodland. Here we found False Chanterelle, Sulphur Tuft and excellent specimens of Grey Spotted Amanita. Then following the track down to the ford we came across areas of Marsh Pennywort, some Coral- necklace and a solitary Common Frog. When crossing the bridge a Grey Wagtail was seen as we finally walked back to the carpark.
Common Darter
© Chris Robinson

Other birds seen or heard were Robin, Nuthatch, Pied Wagtail, Buzzard, Stock Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Wood Pigeon. Butterflies were Speckled Woods with just one Small Heath. Flowers were Fairy Flax, Eyebright, and Bell Heather. There was also Common Polypody Fern, Pond Skaters and   several sightings of Common Darter. PP

Lymington-Keyhaven Reserve Open Day Sunday 16th September 2018 11 am - 4 pm

Just a reminder that the Open Day is this coming Sunday.

Unfortunately we don't have a stand this year - staff shortages!

It is still a very well worthwhile event with lots to see and enjoy for there will be birdwalks and the bird hide overlooking Normandy Lagoon will be open in addition to the display and sales stands of local interest.

Further details can be found at sites on the internet including:

Walk report: 16 August 2018 Ridgeway Lane

The first wet summer field meeting of 2018 enabled Brian plus seven indefatigable LymNats to give their weather/waterproof equipment a two hour field trial. The results can be found at the end of this report. The route took in two particular sites of ‘local’ interest.

We took the footpath that follows the boundary between the National Park (to the S) and "outside the National Park" (to the N), passing Northfield Nursery and Oakhaven Hospice. The land to the N is the subject of controversial plans for 100 homes which has received much recent coverage in the local press.

© Richard Coomber
The second area was on our return along Iley Lane, for we passed the West Solent Solar Farm which was connected to the grid in June 2014. Its 9372 solar panels give it a total capacity of 2.4 MWp and produces power to supply about 650 local homes.

Nature's "autumn" bounty was much in evidence on this walk: sloe, blackberry, elderberry, haws, hips and acorns.

Selected sightings:
Trees: Common Elm; Hazel; Hornbeam (with fruit clusters); Pendunculate (English) Oak (Quercus robur) - an acorn had an example of a Knopper Gall caused by larvae of tiny Gall Wasp (Andricus quercuscalicis).
PLANTS: Enchanter's Nightshade, Common Fleabane, Common Knapweed, Perforate St John's-wort, Common Sowthistle, Common Ragwort, Herb Robert, Hedge Bindweed, Yarrow, Great Willowherb, Creeping Thistle, Bittersweet (Woody Nightshade) – berried, Common Horsetail, Hartstongue Fern and Stinging Nettle.
NON-NATIVE PLANTS: American Skunk Cabbage: Liquidambar (Sweet Gum) – both native to North America.
Jersey Tiger
© Duncan Wright
MOTHS: Jersey Tiger – a recent colonist to our area and identified by Duncan.  
MAMMALS: 2 female Roe Deer; Brown Rat (deceased).
BIRDS: A charm of Goldfinches feeding on Teasel; Blackcap (), Green Woodpecker, Canada Goose, Black-headed Gull, Blackbird, Magpie, Woodpigeon and four rather disgruntled Swallows perched on power-lines looking as if they wished they had left already!

Weatherproof/Water Resistant/Showerproof/Waterproof - if it rains hard, you get wet! BM