First time at Flexford

by A warbler a day

Today I went on a Hants Wildlife Trust walk around one of their reserves, Flexford. I have never visited it before and I like to get to know such places on a guided walk. The reserve is in Chandlers Ford. It is a remnant of woodland and damp meadows surrounded by new housing estates.

The weather this morning was cold and damp. However this failed to deter the 9 hardy souls who turned up for the walk, though it deter any likely butterflies and dragonflies from putting in an appearance. fortunately there were plenty of birds and flowers to enjoy. The highlights were;
> Several Treecreepers spiralling up tree trunks
> A great spotted woodpecker seen at a nest hole
> A bullfinch
> Masses of Ramsons (Wild Garlic) flowering along the valley floor with patches of Opposite-leaved Golden saxifrage growing underneath.
> A small patch of Wood Horsetail, a very primitive plant.

On the way home I stopped for a stroll along the Itchen Navigation by St Catherine’s Hill. This brought me brief views of Chiffchaff and Blackcap, and several Swifts.

This afternoon as the sun appeared I did a quick circuit of Rooksbury Mill and saw Orange Tip and Small White butterflies. A small flock of House Martins which flew over the car park was briefly disturbed by a soaring Sparrowhawk.

Despite the gloomy weather may tally for the day was 41 species of bird, 2 species of butterfly and several interesting species of plant. It was definitely worth booking today as annual leave.