What's out there - recent reports

We have had a number of reports from members as shown below. I am planning to try and set up a Facebook group for Lym Nats so that our members can contribute directly.

 Recently Sandra and Marge saw a warbler, probably a Chiffchaff, in their garden and on the 29th March a Sparrowhawk nearly caught a female Blackbird.

© Richard Coomber

Sam Fenning was delighted to see and photograph this male Bullfinch in her field the other day.

Male Bullfinch
© Sam Fenning
Mary Macmillan took this picture of unusual companions in her garden at Milford-on-Sea on 1st April. The Sparrowhawk returned later that day and this is her account of what happened:

“As I was bending over, digging up some weeds or whatever, I felt something land on my back. Somehow I knew intuitively that it was a bird, it was very light and I had a vague sensation of feet.  Very quietly I asked who it was on my back at which it flew off.  I stood up and watched incredulously as a Sparrowhawk flew away from me!!  I guess it saw me as a good lookout post."

Sparrowhawk and a pair of Mallard
© Mary Macmillan

Danish or Early Scurvygrass 
© Richard Coomber
Brian has been walking the seawall at Normandy around Lower Pennington Lane of late and has reported seeing Spoonbills, Avocets, Chiffchaff, Cetti’s Warbler, Barnacle (2) and Egyptian (2) Geese. He found Coltsfoot and Danish Scurvygrass in flower.

The majority of the wintering wildfowl such as Brent Geese and Pintail will have gone by now and once we start getting some more favourable winds we can expect a flood of summer visitors to arrive.

Chris & Diane and John & Jill were on the seawall at the Keyhaven end before lock down and seeing such goodies as Spoonbills and Avocets. When Chris and Diane visited Pignal and Wootton before the tightening of restrictions they found that Wood Ants were particularly active in the warm sunshine and also saw  tadpoles, Common Newt, Bog Beacon. 

Spoonbill about to land
© Chris Robinson
More recently Chris photographed the two Mediterranean Gulls (below) that were amongst a large number of Black-headed Gulls following a tractor ploughing near Hordle. The image is interesting for they are not fully adult as there is still some black in the primaries indicating that they are in fact sub-adults. Another thing of interest is the ring on the leg of the left hand bird - now where was that one from?

Mediterranean Gulls © Chris Robinson
Richard Smith has been walking and cycling close to home over in the Ashurst area and also found tadpoles as well as a number of birds including Curlew (which he reported to Wild New Forest), Lapwing, Green Woodpecker, Stonechat, Long-tailed Tit, Grey Wagtail and Treecreeper.  A number of spring flowers were found including Water Crowfoot.

Grey Wagtail © Richard Smith
Water Crowfoot © Richard Smith
Red Fox
© Richard Coomber
At Pennington Richard and Julia have seen Peacock, Brimstone and Comma butterflies in their garden as well as visits from a Heron (who caught a newt), a pair of Mallard, a male Blackcap and a pair of Bullfinches. On some nights a Fox pays a visit. With less traffic passing on the Milford Road they have been able to hear Green Woodpecker and Nuthatch to the south. This is also the time of year to go outside to hear the dawn chorus if you get up early!

Grey Heron catching a newt © Richard Coomber
Geoff and Sue are fortunate to be within walking distance of both Dibden Inclosure and Forest Front nature reserve for the disabled and if they take the "right" route for shopping they pass Hythe Spartina Marsh too. Sightings over the past week or so have included: Buzzard, Curlew, Wigeon, Oystercatcher, Great-crested Grebe and Grey Heron. Their garden has also been good with plenty of bumble bees and the first Ladybird and Red Admirals of the year. Geoff also came across an Angle Shades moth while raking the lawn and their Blue Tits are very busy in and out of the nest box and keeping them entertained.

Angle Shades © Richard Coomber

Jenny Wyles had a pond put in her garden at Awbridge last year and already newts have discovered it as the photo below taken by her son shows.

Smooth Newts © William Wyles

So on to other things:

New Milton Peregrines: It is possible to watch the Peregrines on the New Milton Water Tower live on the internet at Log-in: water Password: wat3r

 But nobody should try to touch any of the controls as that messes it up for everyone

Another really interesting site involves Wild New Forest set up by Russell Wynn and Marcus Ward. There are regular postings on Facebook and interesting reports on their blog:


Citizen science stuff for recording in the garden can be found at:

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust also has a daily blog:

And now for something completely different for one can see when the International Space Station is passing over by looking at:

And  to see the Starlink ‘train’ of satellites go to: