I’ve spent all of this week camping in the New Forest, fairly near Beaulieu. Whilst this blog isn’t strictly about organic farming – or even food – it’s nice to share the amazing things that I saw whilst there.
We predominantly went to find birds, of which we found many out on the heaths within the forest. Amongst the birds we saw were stonechats, wood larks, meadow pipits, goldfinch, cuckoos, buzzards and – the most beautiful bird in the world in my opinion – lapwings. We were very lucky to be camping in a nightjar spot. Nightjars are nocturnal birds and can be seen hawking for food at dusk and dawn. With pointed wings and a long tails their shape is similar to a kestrel or cuckoo. Their grey-brown plumage provides ideal camouflage in the daytime which is important – as they nest on the ground. To be able to hear, let alone see a nightjar is a pretty magical thing. We were lucky enough to do both! You can listen to a recording I made of the male churring on the video below. I find it quite haunting – especially when you’re standing in the middle of an open heath alone at night!
We also saw plenty of common spotted orchids, which are really lovely and were growing in abundance all over the heath.
We ventured out to Brownsea Island for a day where we were delighted to find this guy, we called him Helix:
We saw black-tailed godwits, redshank, sandwich terns, great tits, wrens and many other little delights on the island, as well as these baby black-headed gulls. I took the photograph through the binoculars, it’s not some fancy filter:
The mesh is there to stop deer wading into the water and eating the plants on the islands where the gulls and terns are nesting – crushing the nests underfoot as they do so.
And then of course we saw the baby horses and donkeys which are everywhere in the New Forest. They were an absolute delight.
Having just started birdwatching, I can tell you that it’s one of my favouritest things to do. It’s good for your mind, and being outside and interacting with our wildlife really makes you appreciate what we have, and what Greener Greens as a business are trying to protect. The Wildlife Trust are currently running a ‘30 Days Wild‘ campaign designed to encourage people to go outside and interact with nature every day for a month – any thing that you can do in an average working day to bring a little nature into your life. It can take a few seconds, a few minutes, or if you lose yourself completely, a few hours. Give it a go!