Winter Solstice (Week before christmas in photos part 2)

The day started for me with a stunning drive across the New Forest watching the sun rise up out of the mist. It was a truly stunning sight. What a glorious day to celebrate the shortest day of the year and also the last working day of the year for many of us at HWT.

Dawn in the New Forest

Dawn in the New Forest

One of the best things about my job is seeing all the gradual changes in the seasons. The first leaves that start to turn golden colours or the first sign of spring flowers. I find the Solstices are particularly important as it marks these seasonal changes on the calender. It either means that days are getting shorter and its time to look forward to crisp winter days, crunching through frost covered leaves or in the case of yesterday, time to eagerly await longer, warmer days, colourful carpets of springtime flowers, and the air full of fine floral fragrances.

Dawn in the forest again from a different spot with lower lying mist.

Dawn in the forest again from a different spot with lower lying mist.

After a thoughtful drive with such visual spectacles I arrived at work. I finished off a few bits of paperwork on the computer and I was ready to get out onto the reserves. First port of call was Swanwick Lakes to see how the heavy rainfall of recent days had effected the site.

There was still alot of standing water around and Swanwick had gained another lake….. The culvert under a track has problems with blocking so under heavy rain the water backs up creating this new pool (another job to get sorted asap for 2013).

Swanwicks newest lake

Swanwicks newest lake

I then wandered over onto New Hill and was greeted by 10 or so goldfinches, chattering away, flying overhead. They were busy feeding on the Teasel, which try as I might I couldn’t get a decent picture of. A Green Woodpecker found this amusing, laughing away in a tree nearby. Time was ticking on so I headed on to Farlington.

I had lunch in front of the reed bed by the building hoping to get a glimpse of a Bearded Tit. Unfortunately I finished up my sandwiches and left on my walk around the sea wall without even hearing a call. Nevermind there was plenty of exciting birdlife on the Marsh.

Even the geese were feeling festive....

Even the geese were feeling festive….

The only other interesting thing to report was seeing a Brent sporting a pair of bright orange & green rings. But unfortunately I was unable to read them with just a pair of binoculars. It was nice to have time to get out, talk to a few visitors and get to know the site a little better.

I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas & a Merry New Year.




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