30/05/2020-Sunset last night and 31/05/2020-Waxing gibbous moon, garden birds and Turtle Doves and more at Martin Down
I took the first two pictures in this photoset of last night’s sunset and the waxing gibbous moon very early this morning past midnight before I went to bed. I also took one of a Woodpigeon again this morning. I had seen the waxing gibbous moon, known for rising in the day, out the other day and I did on our walk this afternoon today as well. An interesting shape not a phase I’d captured a photo of the moon in before I only really heard of it thanks to social media friend’s sightings and great photos last night too so I am very grateful. Before we left for our walk it was brilliant to see our latest garden bird with young with a baby Goldfinch in our bush in the back garden.
It was interesting on route to Martin Down where we walked this afternoon to pass through the New Forest on another glorious, hot and sunny day. I particularly liked going through my favourite area by Godshill taking in Deadman Hill and Ashley Walk from the road. It took me back to when I first ever noticed these walks and first suggested we visit with that dramatic, rolling and hilly landscape which is such a beautiful bit of countryside at these two of my favourite New Forest locations a place I love so much. As we got to Martin Down beyond the forest we were treated to more beautiful rolling countryside which was lovely on another sunny and hot day. The fields are looking a nice light/creamy shade of green I noticed today as I have done in late May before. I took the third, eighth and ninth pictures in this photoset of views here throughout the walk. It was really nice to hear a Cuckoo as we arrived so beautiful to hear as always.
With all the butterflies we needed to see this time of year really at this place seen now in 2020 it became a great chance to see again a lot of the special species here we had seen this month and before. Especially Adonis Blue with loads seen today as well as Small Blue, Green Hairstreak, Small Heath and Meadow Brown which was very pleasant. It did rather become a day of birds more so though with great views of some of the Martin Down specialties such as Yellowhammer one I saw on the edge of the ridge singing its iconic “Little-bit-of-bread-and-no-cheese” song very well which I took fourth picture in this photoset of a great intimate natural moment, Corn Bunting as shown in the fifth picture I took today in this photoset, more beautiful Buzzards soaring lately against the blue sky one I took the sixth picture in this photoset of and I saw a lot during the walk in the air and lots of Skylarks delightfully singing and flying I also managed to seventh picture in this photoset of one of these I photographed a lot of the key species seen today which I liked.
On what turned into a hot trek again like last Sunday at Fritham in the New Forest we did well with Missy in tow to reach the other side of the reserve where Turtle Doves traditionally go to try and see them our main target today. We got there and were very happy to hear one call the iconic purr. We couldn’t quite manage to see it but it was just amazing to hear their distinct and striking sound. It really is so iconic and one of the sounds of the traditional British countryside like Skylark, Cuckoo and Yellowhammer’s calls. My history with them is I saw my first ever in 2009 a bit of a freak one off sighting of one by the River Itchen after hearing one at Rutland Water the year before. Then we didn’t see one for years until 2016, 2017 and 2018 where this spot at Martin Down became a consistent place to see and hear them. But last year we didn’t see them and in fact didn’t even hear them here. So this is a wonderful species I just want to hear as much as I can even if I can’t always see them. As we walked back going through a path that cuts through the reserve beside farmland, near a spot we had spectacularly heard Cuckoos right beside us but could not see them here (https://dansnaturepictures.tumblr.com/post/174277627637/260518-martin-down-eyeworth-pond-and-janesmoor) in 2018, we heard the sensational purr of the Turtle Dove again right beside us very loudly. What a glorious moment it made me so happy. We did not see this bird either but it was just so exciting and such an honour to be right beside and hear that call a real defining moment of another amazing walk today.
Just as we walked on we caught sight of a beautiful bright Large Skipper which landed nicely in the sun I captured this in the tenth and final picture I took today in this photoset. This one of my favourite butterflies alongside the Meadow Browns two recent year ticks made a great addition to a stock of butterflies we are used to seeing now today. A brilliant end to the weekend and month another special one two really great packed days this Saturday and Sunday. I wish you all a great and safe new week and month.
Wildlife Sightings Summary for Martin Down: Two of my favourite birds the Buzzard and Jay, two of my favourite butterflies the Large Skipper and Adonis Blue, two of my favourite moths the burnet and Cinnabar, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Mistle Thrush, Blackbird, Herring Gull, Skylark, Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting, Linnet, Dunnock, Small Blue, Common Blue, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Brimstone, Small White, a big orange one flying far away it looked a fritillary but could not quite tell which, a few other moths and I heard Turtle Dove and another of my favourite birds the Cuckoo.