My New Forest approach

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Tuesday, 31 May 2011 12:01

OK, here are some insights into my obsessive world. The only way I was able to squeeze in a holiday to the New Forest was if I did one of my farm surveys whilst I was on holiday. I knew this was the case and accepted it with my usual pragmatism but I didn't like it much at 4.30 am this morning. Fortunately the weather was better today but I was amazed to scrape ice off my car at 5.00 am this morning! I then drove east along the A31 into the most blinding sunrise I have ever seen. I got to the farm (considerably closer to here than to Brighton) and misjudged big time. Yesterday's rain got me thoroughly soaked, my walking boots (only boots I brought with me) are possibly even ruined (I'll be wearing wellies for the rest of the holiday then - nice). I spotted these Mullein moth caterpillars which are always good for a photo but that was about it beyond the usual birds. Anyway, back to the holiday.

I brought with me two cases full of books and my laptop (obviously) as we decided against camping and went for a cottage on a farm (was worried about my back for a week in a tent). As it's not a good idea to take specimens without the relevant permits, my plan is to identify as much as possible by eye and photography in the field (so far I have added 17 new species to my list). I'm leaving the nets and beating stick behind. I will see fewer things this way but as well not wanting to get into trouble, I want a fairly relaxed holiday as I do tend to over do it. Right, I'm off to look for more saproxylic invertebrates!

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