Down South

Today I was taking Steve to Southampton to collect a motorbike. We decided on an early start with a stop at Franchises Wood on the edge of the New Forest. This is one of a small number of annual visits to bird in the South of the county. Three target birds today, Firecrest, Wood Warbler and Redstart. The weather was not as forecast with continual light rain on the drive down. Two Grey Partridge in a field by the road near Tidworth were a good spot by Steve. It was still raining when we arrived at Bramshaw Telegraph so it was full waterproofs for the walk. There was loads of birdsong so we were hopeful of a productive time. It started well with four species of tit and plenty of Song Thrushes and Blackbirds. Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch and Treecreeper were seen and heard. A small herd of Fallow Deer were seen through the trees and a flock of a dozen Crossbill were watched in the treetops, it was not easy keeping the binoculars clear in the rain. Goldcrest, Chiffchaff , Blackcap and Green Woodpecker were added and then Firecrest heard. Unfortunately despite a lot of searching they remained heard and not seen on three occasions. Many more Song Thrush, And Chiffchaff were heard and Blue Tits were everywhere seemingly enjoying the wet weather. After four hours and just under six miles of walking we arrived back at the car park which is over the border in Hampshire. Here we saw Linnet, Greenfinch and Stonechat. It was disappointing that we didn’t see any of the hoped for birds but it was still an enjoyable morning.

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