This week I’m going to share some very special memories with you all. Some of you may have seen these photos appear on Facebook, but here I’ll say a bit more about our time in the New Forest rather than just a very large pile of photos. As an extra special treat, this is going to be a series of eight posts over the next week so be sure to check back every day after 11am to see the next installment! The first seven posts will be each of the days, mostly in order. The last post will be a species spotlight on the fabulous fungi we saw throughout the forest!
A Castle By The Sea
Today’s post is all about our trip to Hurst Castle, an English Heritage on the South coast where you can admire the view of the Isle of Wight and the open sea beyond. To get to the castle you can’t just drive there. It’s recommended you first drive to Keyhaven and then either catch the ferry or walk along the shingle spit to the castle. We chose the latter, walking along the spit. It felt a surprisingly long walk, probably because it was on shingle, but it was made very worthwhile by the large numbers of birds we saw. My favourite was definitely the Brent Geese (which appeared in my Species Spotlight last week) followed closely by the Curlew and Little Egrets. The castle was interesting and surprisingly big. It was a total maze – would be a great place to take children to run around. I found it quite difficult to engage with the displays and information that was around the place, but it was a nice place to visit nevertheless. It was also home to a number of rock pipits which were very cute and surprisingly tame.
We had a very special moment at the end of the day. We took the ferry back to Keyhaven (because we didn’t fancy the walk back along the spit) and we got off the ferry at the other end and walked along the top of the sea wall towards the car park. As we walked this bit, we noticed an egret sitting so close on the side of a boat, just relaxing and having a clean. It was amazing to see the bird so close (have a look in the slideshow below!) yet we were the only ones of I guess about 40 or 50 people, possibly more, to actually stop and look at it! It’s amazing how many people just walk on by, even when there’s a clearly excited photographer snapping a ton of photos!
Talking of photos, you should definitely check out the slideshow below and remember to tune in tomorrow for the next installment!