15 September 2019: Lymington-Keyhaven Reserve Open Day

This year LymNats will have a stand at the Lymington-Keyhaven Reserve Open Day at Normandy on Sunday 15th September from 11.00 until 16.00.

For full details see:

We hope to see some of our members there and if anyone wishes to help on the stand, you'll be welcome!

White-tailed Eagle re-introduction programme

         on the ISLE OF WIGHT and an MCV Film Show 
By now many of you will be aware of White-tailed Eagle reintroduction programme taking place on the Isle of Wight under the guidance of the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation and Forestry England.

This is a Government initiative managed and licensed by Natural England and approved by Scottish Natural Heritage.  The first six juvenile eagles arrived from Scotland some weeks ago and have just been released from their holding enclosures, although it is likely that these birds will initially stay close to their release site pens before dispersing along the Solent coastline. The young eagles will eventually be seen along our shores and perhaps in and around the New Forest.

To welcome these birds back to the Isle of Wight and Hampshire, Milford Conservation Volunteers (MCV) have  obtained a licence from the RSPB to show the film ‘The Eagle Odyssey’ which was made nearly 20 years ago when the birds had spread out from Rum to the neighbouring isles of the Inner Hebrides, especially Mull and Skye before wandering along the west coast of the Highlands. The first birds were released on Rum in 1975 and the first breeding attempt took place (unsuccessfully) on Mull in 1983. From those early days the Scottish population has now reached 100 pairs.

MCV have arranged two film shows at Milford Community Centre. The first show was sold out within 24 hours of the notification going out so they have arranged a second showing on Saturday 5th. October at 7 p.m. Steve Egerton-Read, the Reintroduction Project Officer, will be there as well. After a refreshments break he will bring us right up to date about how the Isle of Wight eagles are settling in and about the monitoring group we have set up to watch what they get up to when they visit our side of the Solent.

On booking MCV asks for a £5 donation per person and suggests you book early so that you are not disappointed!

To book or if you have any queries please contact Keith Metcalf at:  milfordconservation@gmail.com

Walk report: 15 August 2019 - Woodside and Normandy

Common Toadflax (GP)
In stark contrast to last year, it was a fine and sunny, if somewhat blustery, morning when Brian led 14 LymNats on a clockwise route from the car park in Ridgeway Lane. The walk began with the formality of Woodside Gardens  that were once known as Rookes Gardens after their benefactor, Colonel Henry Douglas Rooke. The arboretum contains a number of interesting specimen trees including Monkey Puzzle, Wellingtonia and Indian Bean Tree.

Green-veined White (RS)
Continuing into the informal/natural grounds of Woodside Park butterflies were much in evidence, the most notable being the migratory Painted Lady which appeared regularly throughout the morning. Other sightings included Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Red Admiral. Large White, Green-veined White, Common Blue (♂♀), Small Copper, Small Tortoiseshell and Small Heath. According to Paul Brock’s book Insects of the New Forest, a strange bug was identified as a Dock Bug. Birds present were flocks of Goldfinch, House Sparrow and Starling and, notable amongst the numerous wild flowers, there were Common Knapweed, Common Fleabane, Great Willowherb, Common Bird's-foot Trefoil, Agrimony, Trifid Bur-marigold and Field Bindweed.

Common Blue (RS)
Red Admiral (GP)

Sea Aster (RC)
Trifid Bur-marigold (RC)
The group then exited the SE corner of the park and proceeded to Normandy Lagoon which was already fringed with red drifts of the succulent, upward-pointing fingers of Common Glasswort. Besides the ubiquitous Canada geese, other birds included small flocks of Dunlin and Ringed Plover, Common Tern (inc. juvenile), Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Lapwing, Little Egret, juvenile Shelduck, Pied Wagtail, Redshank and Oystercatcher. Offshore were Grey Plover, Curlew, Great Crested Grebe and a raft of seven Eider. Returning along the edge of 8 Acre Pond were Rock Samphire and Sea Aster, the latter being distinguished from the garden escape Michaelmas Daisy by its fleshy leaves and proximity to water. A Common Buzzard was soaring and calling high overhead.

Re-entering Woodside Park from Poles Lane, the now largely silted-up pond provided much interest. Water Mint was proving very attractive to numerous butterflies and there was a fine display of Common Reedmace, interspersed with clumps of Gipsywort. The return to the starting point was accompanied by Swallows hunting low over the immaculate playing fields. Lymington's town motto - "By Sea and Forest Enchanted" had proved most apposite. BM

And everyone photographed Painted Ladies!

© Glynis Payne

© Richard Smith
© Chris Robinson

© Richard Smith
 Photographs © Glynis Payne, Richard Smith, Chris Robinson, Richard Coomber

Walk report: 01 August 2019 Dibden Inclosure

Small Copper
© Richard Coomber

On a very warm day, 17 members joined Sue and Geoff for a first Lymnats visit to Dibden Inclosure. The sunshine was beginning to bring out the insects and as we walked from the car park down the ride towards Dibden Bottom, Gatekeepers were seen in abundance along with Meadow Brown, and specimens of Common Blue and Holly Blue were also spotted. Other butterflies seen on the walk included Small Heath, Brimstone, Small Copper, Large Skipper and Silver-washed Fritillary. We also saw the first signs of all 3 varieties of heather coming into flower.

Along the level part of Dibden Bottom, we saw more dragon- and damselflies and those identified included Emperor, Golden-ringed, Broad-bodied Chaser and Keeled Skimmer. Stonechats were “chipping” away atop the gorse. A Solitary Bee was identified near several bee holes in the sandy soil.

Cut-leaved Bramble Rubus laciniatus
© Richard Coomber
Our hilltop refreshment stop afforded wide open views across to Lyndhurst and Roe Deer were spotted feeding in the shade of a clump of Silver Birch on the heathland below us. A Raven circled overhead briefly before flying east over the woodland of the inclosure. Other birds spotted during the morning were Wren, Siskin, Goldfinch and, of course, our friendly Robins both adult and juvenile.

Through the Noads woodland, Rowan trees were heavy with berries and elsewhere other plant highlights seen were Round-leaved Sundew, Royal Fern, Cut-leaved Bramble Rubus laciniatus (a non-native perhaps sown via bird droppings) and the lichen Parmelia caperata.

Unfortunately, the return walk along the other side of the woodland was notable for its absence of interesting natural sightings but the sunshine provided a good view of the tumuli near the Beaulieu Road. S&GN