Such was the essence of our walk today. I left home, and as I reached the end of the road that faces the Solent, the weather was all about squally wind and rain. It didn't bode well......
Our decision to start our walk in the New Forest was a wise move. By the time I had reached the middle of the forest, it was dry and sheltered from the strong easterly winds. Chris had just arrived at our meeting place in Mark Ash Wood.
There were many sounds echoing around the canopy. Stock Doves setting up territories and sounding more like Howler Monkeys in the tree tops. Down on the forest floor there were Song Thrushes, Blackbirds and very vocal Wrens too. They gave us the slip when it came to a decent photo though.
Testwood Lakes... that promising expanse of natural habitat, that regularly excites but frequently shows little. I still have a soft spot for this place and always enjoy walking here.
Little Egrets that over twenty years ago were once considered to be a rare sighting are now common. The new kid on the block along with the Cattle Egret is a Great White Egret so we were hopeful of a sighting
Hazelnut catkins were out in force as we wandered along to the hides.
Out on the lake a Great Crested Grebe hunted for fish. We were hoping to witness some of their spectacular mating dances but we only saw the odd singular bird.
Our last glimpse through the screens bordering Meadow Lake were the remnants of the last remaining Wigeon, soon to depart for their northern breeding grounds
I parked next to the Salmon Leap pub and walked to the bridge nearby. Two female Goosander or 'Redheads' have been here for many months now. Normally they would depart and breed on some inland river system somewhere. I find it curious to know why they stay here. Maybe they are beyond breeding and too old or perhaps the other way, too young to breed? I like to think that the life is too easy and food so abundant, they decided to retire here?
I left them roosting on the bank and walked into the reserve.
The view from here can throw up a few surprises. I managed a rather good shot of a reflecting Little Egret this time...
The day had started out with mixed reservations but ended with the usual fulfilment of time well spent in nature's bounty.....
The title of this post is taken from the poem 'White Birds' by Bob Barci