Pond of Life

I was out in the New Forest again yesterday and as usual there was plenty to see. My first spot of the day was a young buzzard sat on a branch.

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Once again there were loads of stonechats darting around the gorse bushes. I think this is one of my favorite photos of the year so far.

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Eventually I arrived at a viewpoint at Abbotswell where there is a small pond. Small though it may be, I was amazed at just how much wildlife was around the pond. There were dragonflies and swallows swooping over the water, the swallows often dipping into it for a drink.

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goldfinch emerged from the clump of trees you can see to have a quick drink:

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As did another favorite bird of mine which is making it’s debut on this blog, a pied wagtail:

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At the far side of the pond I saw a young green woodpecker picking insects out of the grass, as well as a group of starlings.DSCN0476

Nearer the shore were a pair of common blue damselflies:

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I’m not quite sure what they were doing here. Usually these damselflies mate by forming a heart shape with their bodies. The male appears to be in position but the female is not. I wonder if she was refusing to mate or just struggling to- they were flying and sat like this for some time.

Time for today’s deer photo which is a roe deer stag near the River Avon.

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I was in Wimborne looking at the River Allen during the week and noticed lots of fish swimming around. They were floating facing upstream, presumably picking up food that was heading their direction. I tried to take some photos which proved rather difficult.

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It’s so difficult to tell from a distance and through the water, even though the river is quite clear. Having looked at the fish species which are in the river I think this may be a brown trout but I’m not confident of that.

More locally I found a fungus growing at the bottom of the tree which I later identified as a Spindle Toughshank (Collybia fusipes/ Gymnopus fusipes).

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This fungus attacks tree roots so it’s presence is not good for the beech tree it has appeared on.

We found something intriguing in the garden today. We had some bags of mulch which have been waiting to be used and found these mysterious jelly-like eggs.

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It’s very difficult to identify these but in all likelihood they are mollusc eggs, probably slugs. There’s only one way to find out though so I’ve set up a jar for them to develop in and I’ll be able to see what emerges. They appear to be entirely clear though so I wonder if they weren’t fertilised but only time will tell.

Finally, I can report that the swallows in the webcam nest I was following have now fledged, much as I imagined. I’m not sure exactly when they left but I think it was probably Thursday morning.

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