Friday, 29 May 2009

Acres Down

My exam went better than expected (I think) so Sam and I decided a trip out to the new forest was in order, acres down specifically.

We decided to look for raptors first but nothing other than the usual buzzards.


There is a small pool of water down to the left as you walk to the raptor watch point which I have always thought should hold more life and today it came up trumps!!


A family with about 5 juv pied wags were feeding around the edges and chose one log in particular to sun themselves on. I was able to crawl round and hide behind a ridge about 3 metres from them and spent some time photographing their behaviour, it was awesome and I didn’t want to leave! Here are a few of the shots but I took over 200 and got around 50 keepers!!

And finally this unusual pose:

Swallow were frequently coming to drink but not in the sun, a photo challenge for another day..

Also here a few damselfly species but the kings of the air were the broad bodied chasers which were clattering together all the time. It wasn’t until I ‘cunningly’ shoved a stick into the mud that I was able to get a photograph:

At one stage a grey heron looked like it might come down but saw me and soon changed its mind!! This place looked perfect for spotted fly but no luck there :-(.

On the walk back to the car we heard redstart alarm calls and noticed 2 crows on a dead tree and went over to investigate. After the crow left it was clear a pair of redstart were nesting in the tree and to say thank you for scaring the crows away they then brought food back whilst we watched – fantastic!!

Female:

Male:

We then went to see the wood warblers and over the course of the walk heard at least 6 singing males. In addition to this we had brief (hence terrible photo) views of a grass snake and found several common toads:

There were also good numbers of song thrush about with this youngster being rather friendly:

Adult:

Other highlights included:

Watching a poor adult marsh tit rushing about feeding 3 youngsters

Distant female goshawk being harrassed by a crow

Several common lizards

Lots of redstart in additions to ‘our’ pair.

All the best!

Dan

4 comments:

ramtopsrac said...

Your blog and this post is joy Dan... especially as a native of Minstead and not frequent enough visitor to Acres Down!

Glad the exam went well - and that you were well rewarded by the forest wildlife!

Daniel Trim said...

Thank you :-),

It was great, we really were rewarded. Just one last exam and I'l be birding as much as I can!

You should try and visit more often, it's my second favourite place in The New Forest after Beulieu Road. Great stuff!

Kind Regards,

Daniel

Richard said...

Delightful photographs and description of this wonderful part of the forest.
I am also a "local" and amateur nauralist and never fail to enjoy visting this part at any time of the year.

Daniel Trim said...

Thank you Richard,

Yeah it is fantastic all year round, The New Forest has to be one of my favourite places in the UK!

Many thanks again,

Dan