TRAVELLING NATURALIST TRIP REPORT

New Forest

8 - 11 July 2002

Based at: Forest Park Hotel, Rhinefield Road, Brockenhurst

Leader:
Bob Ford

Weather: Westerly wind with frequent heavy showers, particularly at night. Long sunny periods, especially on Thursday.

With the Met. Office forecasting floods, once again we started the week with waterproofs definitely to the fore. Amazingly we rarely needed them and often found ourselves in shirtsleeves - shorts were even seen on one occasion!

Monday July 8th

Yew Tree Bottom was our first visit, soon producing a feeding Nightjar at very close quarters. Tawny Owls were heard close-by and several Glow-worms were found by the path.

Tuesday July 9th

Parking at Shatterford Bottom (Beaulieu Road Station) the first bird we saw was a female Redstart. Walking on towards Bishop's Dyke we came across a wide range of bog and heath plants, including Bog Asphodel and Marsh St John's Wort. Probably the oddest sight was a Snipe sat on a dead tree at least 5 foot off the ground. Walking into Denny Wood we quickly found the rarest plant of the week - a fine specimen of Wild Gladiolus. As always this beautiful site produced a host of memorable records including the first records of Sneezewort and Common Birdsfoot seen here as well as 2 enormous queen Hornets. The walk back to the van was enlivened by the sight of 5 Woodlarks at the edge of the wood and further on a Hobby following a group of Swifts over the heath.

After lunch we chose a change of habitat and explored the coast at Pennington. Many more new flowers were seen but the highlight were definitely the birds. A flock of Black-tailed Godwits were found on flooded fields near the bus, close inspection revealing most of them to be in full summer plumage. Several Little Egrets were seen and a Ringed Plover was a rare find for this site.

After dinner the traditional visit to the Badgers of Burley gave us a memorable evening with 2 Badgers and 3 Foxes. The drive back to the hotel added another mammal to the list with a fine female Red Deer being seen in the headlights of the van.

Wednesday July 10th

The drive to Acre's Down was made in a torrential downpour which helpfully cleared up just as we reached our destination. Most of the morning was spent in warm sunshine, helping our insect list with records of Silver-studded Blue, Common Blue Damselfly and Broad-bodied Darter. One of the most unusual plants found was Dodder, parasitic on heather. Birds included Buzzard and Kestrel, along with a few fly-over Siskins.

A very pleasant picnic in Wick Wood added Jay to our list and on a sunny Bramble bush several new butterflies including Red Admiral and Large Skipper.

Our afternoon trip was to Keyhaven where we concentrated on shorebirds, seeing all 3 species of the commoner terns at close quarters and adding Redshank, Greenshank and Common Sandpiper to our list of waders. Coastal plants are particularly in evidence on the sea wall and we found Annual Seablite, Sea Lavender, Marsh Samphire and the beautiful Haresfoot Clover amongst many. Butterflies were hard to find in today's windy conditions but a few Marbled Whites were seen amongst the grasses of the chalky soils around the sea wall. Thinking the day's birdwatching was over we were delighted to find a pair of Little Ringed Plovers that we had missed on the outward journey.

For our final evening trip out we met up outside the hotel where we had an unusual encounter with a group of White Witches (not a rare fungus but real exponents of the occult arts - honestly!). Leaving these fascinating people rather swiftly we explored the nearby allotments and found a pair of Little Owls clearly visible against the dusk sky.

Thursday July 11th

The huge Redwoods of Rhinefield Arboretum were our destination for the first visit on the final day. We did not expect to see many birds in the pinewoods here so a male Crossbill was a bonus. A patch of oak woodland produced a flurry of birds including Tree Creepers, Nuthatches and Blackcaps.

Our next visit was to Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary where we had our first close views of Fallow Deer. Choosing a stand of enormous Beech trees to take lunch under proved to be a good idea as a gorgeous male Silver-washed Fritillary flew around a Bramble. Other insects here included Dor Beetles and Wood Crickets.

Hatchet Pond is a famous site in the Forest, particularly for dragonflies and rare plants. Today our best record was a fine specimen of The Sickener (a bright red fungus not unlike the much more common Fly Agaric). Black-tailed Skimmer was the insect highlight with Lawn Chamomile, Floating Water-plantain and Hampshire Purslane providing the botanical excitement.

Each year we like to explore a new location: this year it was the turn of Royden Woods just outside the forest to the south of Brockenhurst. Sadly with all the rain earlier this week the access path was none too accessible - but we did manage to see a Scorpion Fly and a delightful family of Fallow Deer to bring a fitting close to our week.

Bob Ford, 12/7/02

Species Lists

Birds:

Cormorant Keyhaven

Little Egret Keyhaven

Grey Heron Keyhaven

Mute Swan Keyhaven

Shelduck Keyhaven

Teal Denny Wood

Mallard Keyhaven

Buzzard Acres Down

Hobby Denny Wood

Kestrel Acres Down

Pheasant Rhinefield

Moorhen Keyhaven

Coot Keyhaven

Oystercatcher Keyhaven

Ringed Plover Keyhaven

Little Ringed Plover Keyhaven

Lapwing Pennington

Black-tailed Godwit Pennington

Snipe Denny Wood

Curlew Pennington

Redshank Keyhaven

Greenshank Keyhaven

Common Sandpiper Keyhaven

Black-headed Gull Brockenhurst

Lr Bl-backed Gull Keyhaven

Herring Gull Keyhaven

Great Black-backed Gull Keyhaven

Sandwich Tern Keyhaven

Common Tern Keyhaven

Little Tern Keyhaven

Wood Pigeon Brockenhurst

Stock Dove Acres Down

Tawny Owl (heard) Yew Tree Bottom

Little Owl Brockenhurst

Green Woodpecker Denny Wood

Great Spotted Woodpecker Denny Wood

Nightjar Yew Tree Bottom

Wood Lark Denny Wood

Skylark Denny Wood

Swift Denny Wood

Swallow Denny Wood

House Martin Denny Wood

Pied Wagtail Denny Wood

Wren Denny Wood

Dunnock Denny Wood

Robin Denny Wood

Redstart Denny Wood

Stonechat Denny Wood

Blackbird Denny Wood

Song Thrush Rhinefield

Whitethroat Pennington

Blackcap Bolderwood

Willow Warbler Denny Wood

Spotted Flycatcher Denny Wood

Coal Tit Denny Wood

Blue Tit Denny Wood

Great Tit Denny Wood

Nuthatch Rhinefield

Treecreeper Rhinefield

Jay Acres Down

Magpie Brockenhurst

Jackdaw Brockenhurst

Rook Brockenhurst

Carrion Crow Brockenhurst

Starling Brockenhurst

House Sparrow Brockenhurst

Chaffinch Brockenhurst

Greenfinch Brockenhurst

Goldfinch Denny Wood

Linnet Denny Wood

Siskin Denny Wood

Crossbill Rhinefield

Bullfinch Rhinefield

Reed Bunting Denny Wood

Mammals:

Fox Denny Wood

Badger Burley

Rabbit Denny Wood

Grey Squirrel Keyhaven

Fallow Deer Bolderwood

Red Deer Brockenhurst

Long-eared Bat (?) Yew Tree Bottom

Amphibians:

Frog Hatchet Pond

Butterflies:

Peacock (larvae) Keyhaven

Small Tortoiseshell Roydon Woods

Red Admiral Acres Down

Silver-washed Fritillary Bolderwood

Marbled White Keyhaven

Small Heath Acres Down

Meadow Brown Denny Wood

Silver-studded Blue Denny Wood

Small Copper Denny Wood

Large Skipper Acres Down

Moths:

Silver Y Roydon Woods

Dragonflies:

Common Blue Damselfly Acres Down

Common Darter Denny Wood

Black-tailed Skimmer Hatchet Pond

Emperor Acres Down

Hawker sp. Acres Down

Other Insects:

Wood Cricket Bolderwood

Pond Skater Denny Wood

Whirligig Beetle Denny Wood

Soldier Beetle Bolderwood

Hornet Denny Wood

Scorpion Fly Roydon Woods

Tick Brockenhurst

Spiders:

Agelena labrynthica (wolf spider) Denny Wood

Pisaura mirabilis (wolf spider) Bolderwood

Plants:

Hard Fern Rhinefield

Bracken Widespread

Scots Pine Widespread

Ash Roydon Woods

Field Maple Bolderwood

Sycamore Widespread

Birch Widespread

Beech Widespread

Sweet Chestnut Bolderwood

White Poplar Keyhaven

Oak Widespread

Bog Myrtle Denny Wood

Lesser Spearwort Widespread

Round-leaved Sundew Denny Wood

Horseradish Brockenhurst

Milkwort Denny Wood

Sea Campion Keyhaven

Sea Beet Keyhaven

Glasswort Keyhaven

Sea Purslane Keyhaven

Annual Seablite Keyhaven

Marsh St John's Wort Denny Wood

Trailing St John's Wort Rhinefield

Slender St John's Wort Rhinefield

Tutsan Roydon Woods

Mallow Widespread

Cut-leaved Cranesbill Keyhaven

Holly Widespread

Gorse Widespread

Common Birdsfoot Denny Wood

White Clover Widespread

Red Clover Widespread

Black Medick Widespread

Haresfoot Clover Keyhaven

Greater Birdsfoot Trefoil Denny Wood

Birdsfoot Trefoil Widespread

Hairy Tare Pennington

Common Vetch Widespread

Tufted Vetch Keyhaven

Meadow Vetchling Keyhaven

Crab Apple Denny Wood

Bramble Widespread

Silverweed Keyhaven

Tormentil Widespread

Wood Sorrel Bolderwood

Dog Rose Widespread

Hawthorn Widespread

Hampshire Purslane Hatchet Pond

Ivy Widespread

Marsh Pennywort Denny Wood

Hogweed Keyhaven

Carrot Keyhaven

Burnet Saxifrage Keyhaven

Japanese Knotweed Keyhaven

Common Sorrel Keyhaven

Sheep's Sorrel Denny Wood

Water Pepper Denny Wood

Nettle Keyhaven

Willow Keyhaven

Creeping Willow Hatchet Pond

Sallow Denny Wood

Thrift Keyhaven

Sea Lavender Keyhaven

Yellow Pimpernel Bolderwood

Bog Pimpernel Keyhaven

Scarlet Pimpernel Keyhaven

Centaury Keyhaven

Water Forget-me-not Denny Wood

Vervain Pennington

Foxglove Widespread

Eyebright Denny Wood

Lousewort Brockenhurst

Common Cow-wheat Rhinefield

Bogbean Denny Wood

Cross-leaved Heath Denny Wood

Ling Denny Wood

Bell Heather Denny Wood

Bilberry Denny Wood

Lesser Skullcap Hatchet Pond

Hedge Woundwort Brockenhurst

Water Mint Hatchet Pond

Common Water-plantain Hatchet Pond

Floating Water-plantain Hatchet Pond

Greater Plantain Brockenhurst

Ribwort Plantain Brockenhurst

Marsh Bedstraw Pennington

Honeysuckle Widespread

Dodder Acres Down

Teasel Pennington

Devilsbit Scabious Brockenhurst

Common Knapweed Brockenhurst

Ragwort Pennington

Sticky Groundsel Rhinefield

Daisy Hatchet Pond

Yarrow Widespread

Sneezewort Denny Wood

Lawn Chamomile Hatchet Pond

Pineapple Weed Pennington

Sea Aster Pennington

Marsh Thistle Denny Wood

Bristly Ox-tongue Keyhaven

Common Cats-ear Rhinefield

Dandelion Brockenhurst

Crow Garlic Brockenhurst

Wild Gladiolus Denny Wood

Bog Asphodel Denny Wood

Common Pondweed Denny Wood

Horsetail spp Pennington

Reed Pennington

Annual Meadow Grass Brockenhurst

Cocksfoot Brockenhurst

Cord Grass Pennington

Cotton Grass Denny Wood

Fungi:

Common Ink Cap Denny Wood

Coprinus niveus Denny Wood

The Sickener Hatchet Pond

Cep Hatchet Pond

Artist's Fungus Bolderwood

Birch Bracket Denny Wood

Varicoloured Bracket Denny Wood

Common Earthball Denny Wood

Slime Mould Denny Wood


© The Travelling Naturalist 2002