Starting with the other news first;
Ibsley Water – the lapwing eggs in the nest right of Tern Hide were reported as having hatched yesterday afternoon. Thanks to the visitor who popped up to let us know – he’d had a lovely time watching the hatching in process, including the parent bird carefully and methodically removing all trace of the egg shell from the nest to the waters edge in order to reduce the likelihood of a predator happening across the young brood at this particularly vulnerable stage.
Also seen yesterday, and again today, is a young deer (at this time of year, presumably a roe kid, although I have not seen it myself) whose mother is leaving it during the day while she goes off to feed just off the path in the reedbeds on the approach to Lapwing Hide. This is a tactic that deer use to care for young – and the reason why the young deer are so (adorably!) spotty; i.e. camouflage. It is very common to come across a young deer laying up in dappled shade during the day and they rely on their dappled coats, lack of scent and ability to keep very still to avoid detection. And indeed it is very effective – unless, as in this case, you are a young deer sitting virtually on a footpath in very short vegetation!
If you do come across it, or another like it, it is essential that it is left alone. It may not seem like it, but Mum does know where it is and will be back to pick it up later – which of course it won’t be able to if it has been moved by someone, albeit with the best intentions. The other danger is that if a kid or fawn is handled then the human scent transferred to the young animal may deter the mother from coming back and caring for it. Another good reason to obey the old adage “look but don’t touch!”.
On the insect front there have also been sightings of painted ladies today and more dragonflies are also being spotted now, including emperor, scarce chaser and downy emerald.
Now, on to mud!
There’s an international day for pretty much anything and everything these days and earlier this year I found out that 6th June was “International Mud Day”! http://www.worldforumfoundation.org/working-groups/nature/international-mud-day/.
When planning this summers events it seemed like to good an opportunity to miss, hence my “Mud, Glorious Mud” event this morning.
If you are inspired by our event today and fancy playing with a bit of mud yourself – as well as enjoying local wares and craftsmen, wildlife, and supporting your local Wildlife Trust – you’d do well to visit the annual Roydon Woodfair tomorrow at the Trusts Roydon Woods Nature Reserve (off the road between Brockenhurst and Lymington). It’s a brilliant event that has grown in size and popularity since it began a few years ago now, and is well worth visiting if you have not done so before – follow the link for more details:http://www.hiwwt.org.uk/events/2015/01/20/roydon-woods-woodfair-and-local-produce-show?instance=0 . You’ll see a few familiar faces from Blashford there, including Michelle with a few buckets of best Blashford mud in the kids corner!
Now a picture is worth a thousand words, or so they say, so here is our contribution to this years international mud day in photographs!