Walk: 07 June 2018 King's Hat report

Heath Spotted Orchid
© Mary Mawdsley
20 members set off from King’s Hat car park on a cool summer morning. We crossed the road into King’s Hat inclosure, where a number of birds were identified by their song, principally Blackcap. Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and Robin. Coming out of the enclosure onto the heathland at Dibden Bottom, we noted the Heath Moth and Small Heath butterfly, the very alert spotted a resting immature damselfly.  Also Cross-leaved Heath and Bell Heather, Creeping Cinquefoil, Heath Bedstraw, and the clumps of a beautiful Heath Spotted Orchid were on view. Further along Willow Warbler was heard. Round- and Oblong-leaved Sundew were still in bud, but a late Lady’s Smock was still in bloom.

On recrossing the road towards Beaulieu River we saw a Stock Dove, Song Thrush and Skylark. Chaffinch and Wren were heard. By the river were flowering Lesser Spearwort, and Common Cow-wheat. A Curlew and Green Woodpecker were calling. The large yellow bracket fungus on an oak was Chicken-of-the-Woods.

© Mary Mawdsley
On walking up towards Buck Hill we saw Greenfinches, Linnet, Siskin, and Dartford Warbler and a Grey Heron flew over. Also noted were Common Birdsfoot Trefoil, Heath Speedwell, Marsh Pennywort, Mouse-eared Hawkweed, Bog Asphodel, Lousewort and Eyebright. Brian went off track to see the monument to Samuel Carter, who died riding with hounds in January 1883. When he rejoined the tail of our party they were treated to the sight of a Hobby sweeping over the heath.
Samuel Carter's Memorial
© Richard Coomber
By Starpole Pond were Swallow, Blue Tit and Carrion Crow.

We then crossed the Beaulieu River again and returned to the car park, having completed a 4 mile walk.

Walk: 21 June 2018 Pond-dipping at Efford

Julian has advised Angela of the following:

To get to Avon Water Nature Reserve (Postcode SO41 8EZ/Grid reference: SZ310 939)

On the western outskirts of Lymington, take the road to Efford Household Recycling Centre, off the A337 Lymington/Christchurch road, a left turn if coming from the centre of Lymington, right if coming from Everton, look for the orange/yellow New Milton Sand and Ballast signs.

Go about half a mile down the road to the recycling centre, then take a right turn into a very wide entrance signposted “Southern Water Treatment Plant”. Follow the tarmac road round the corner and then look for a wooden five bar gate on the right (the Hampshire County Council Countryside Service Ford Ranger will be parked by the gate).  There is plenty of room for people to park on the grassy verge.

Long trousers are recommended as ticks and horse flies might be a problem.  Wellies are not necessary as the pond dipping can be done from platforms on the bank.  All equipment will be provided.  Please bring a small donation towards the nature reserve.