13 October 2016 Holmsley

A group of 16 naturalists set off on a cool, windy morning from Holmsley car park. Our first sighting were around 8 Swallows, gathering on the overhead wires. We walked on, along Holmsley Ridge, however very few birds were visible due to the windy conditions. When we arrived at an area of shallow disused gravel pits, a Snipe and Kingfisher flew away as we approached. We noted sundew and the end of the water lilies on the pond.

We then proceeded downhill to Whitten Pond. We saw different fungi en route, also Tormentil , hawkweed and a Kestrel.

Birch Maze-gill
We then joined with the disused railway line, known as Castleman's Corkscrew after Charles Castleman of Wimbourne, who promoted the meandering route. Here Brian showed the group pictures of the line when it was in action, and gave a brief history of its demise. On the streams passing along the side we noted a large number of Whirlgig Beetles, and the banks were host to a number of different fungi - Maze-gill, Funnel Fungus, a number of Russula, Birch Boletus, Wood Mushroom and Fly Agaric. Harebells were still in flower, and a Stonechat was seen.

Fly Agaric

On reaching the end of the track, a very active Honey Bees' nest was seen in the eaves of a house, and a solitary Red Admiral flew over the meadow.

(all pictures © Mary Mawdsley)