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