2022 Hampshire Nature Notes Blog
Farlington Marshes Thursday 20th January 2022. Another chance to see the Bearded Tits in action, but the cold weather, kept their heads down I think, I did see one but it was just the one and too far away for any pictures. There were good views of Avocets, Pintails, Teal, Redshank, Curlew, Brent Geese, Stonechat, White Egrets, and foxes were hunting on the grassy areas. Plenty of birdwatchers about all looking for the same thing!
Tuesday 18th January 2022 Milton Foreshore. Up at the crack of dawn yesterday to see the final fling of the 'Wolf Moon' in all its glory. It was well worth the effort as the wildlife were up before the sunrise, with Foxes hiding in the shadows, and beating at hasty retreat when I got too close to them. The Brent Geese at this time in the morning are very vocal, and also the Curlews and Oystercatchers are making lots of noise as well. I saw several Kestrels sitting in the trees just awaiting the sunrise and to start hunting. All the vegetation was white from a hard frost, and Ice had formed in any puddles on the footpaths. However the two main lakes were free from Ice and the birds were very active for this time of the morning.
Monday 17th January 2022 Milton Shoreline A walk along the Milton Shoreline and there were several species of waders and Geese feeding and taking in the sunshine to be seen. There were Redshank and several of these were standing on one leg, and seemed to be hopping along when they moved, although in flight I could easily see 'both of their legs'. In the trees there were several lovely Long-Tailed Tits, all chattering amongst themselves which really gives them away.
Monday 17th January 2022 Home I had a Double striped-pug moth resting on my car today and it managed to stay there throughout a journey of several miles until we got back home where I photographed it. Usually seen in April-May and August but another mild winter has brought it out early. No early butterflies as yet, despite the warmish weather!
Friday 14 January 2022 Portsdown Hill Perfect weather for walking around one of your favourite wildlife sites, Portsdown Hill was glorious today, and the wildlife didn't disappoint, although it was mainly birds, I did look for butterflies especially the Brimstone which I though may well have woken up in this weather, however it wasn't to be. Birds seen on the Hill were Red Kite, Buzzards, Stonechat, Kestrels on the hunt, Long Tailed Tits, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Robins, Blackbirds, SkyLarks, and Rooks just to name a few. There was plenty of berries to be seen, but very little in the way of wildflowers..yet. The Gorse was in bloom and Honey Bees were necturing.
Its all kicking off in Hampshire at the moment with many observers putting up sightings on the Hampshire Birding pages and the Isle of Wight. Here the Primroses are starting to bloom and with this warm sunny spell this will bring about many spring flowers, far too early. Mind you the frosts at night are very cold. But this hasn't stopped the first butterflies, Peacocks and Red Admirals being seen over the last few days. Yesterday I saw many Roe Deer in a wood close to Finchdean and some glimpses of Hares in the fields dotted about.
Photo of Primrose and Peacock butterfly by Kay Shaw Isle of Wight
Sunday 9th January 2022 Milton Foreshore Another rare day away from the driving rain, again just local, with hundreds of other people out and about dog-walking, and bird watching as well. Good views of the Langstone Estuary with the tide out, with hundreds of Brent Geese, and Knots feeding also Oystercatchers, Curlews, and Redshanks. Also seen were Kestrels, hovering and dont forget the more commoner species are actively getting ready to nest now, Blackbirds, and Robins were singing with plenty of Sparrows in the Brambles. I didn't see any butterflies, although I expect they were about as it was very mild indeed. On the Lakes there were Mute Swans, Mallards, Coot and Moorhen, with Black -Headed Gulls frantically trying to get some of my bird feed. I noticed that catkins were starting to flower, and many bulbs were germinating, Daffodils and most of the trees were budding up. Everything is far too advanced.
Painted Lady reported on the Isle of Wight. RSPB Assistant Warden Luke Gaskin reported and photographed a Painted Lady on ivy in Centurions Copse at Brading Marshes RSPB reserve on Wednesday (5/1/22).
This is believed to be the third January record for the Island for this species with previous reports on 6 January 2016 and 1 January 2013, both at Wheeler's Bay. [Posted by Jim Baldwin] There has also been several Red Admirals reported as well dotted about the county. To think 25 - 30 odd years ago these reports would have raised a lot of eyebrows but because of Global warming now these butterflies seem to have adapted to our 'warmer' winters.
Wednesday 5th January 2022 Southsea Castle. Happy New Year to all my readers, let's hope 2022 is better than 2021, and here's hoping to to report on lots of wildlife in and around Hampshire. If you have seen the new field trips programme for 2022 then you will have seen its quite a full on programme with at least 4 walks in every month from May until the end of August. If you haven't had the pleasure, then have a go and visit me and some of my lovely friends on a walk I guarantee you won't be disappointed. Today another nice day and my first venture out in 2022 and I visited Southsea Castle where on the shore-line are several Purple Sandpipers to be seen wading onlong the concrete fortifications, trying to avoid being drowned when the sea engulfed them every so often. Also there was a couple of Rock Pipits, which look very similar to a Thrush, but these were not as easy to see especially looking into the sun.