By Rosie Jones, 25 June 2019
On a recent visit to the heart of the forest, I was able to witness some great wildlife. Given the time of year to see a lot of activity, I was still happy to come across some of my favourite species and a lot of ancient woodland inhabitants. I wanted to write about all the colours and sounds that come with a visit to the New Forest this time of year.
One of the first things I noticed was how many late blooming wildflowers there were that had just begun to sprout up, few already swinging in the wind, pollinators buzzing around them.
I spotted a scattering of small white petals and knew just from the smell of them that I had stumbled upon late-blooming Ramsons. Looking like little stars amongst the new grass and brown leaves, I saw a butterfly fly away just as I came close. Spending most of the year underground it is always a welcome sight to see and (always) smell them.
Another sighting came just after I was getting ready to stop for lunch when a whizz of dull green and yellow shot past me, crossing from one bush to another. Immediately identifying the whizz as maybe Greenfinch, I peered inside the bush to confirm my suspicions. Although quite sociable birds, I have never known a Greenfinch to stick around for long but the adult I spotted was watching me and singing, then joined by another, soared up into ancient oak.
I saw Bugle, relatively common however closely related to the Pyramidal Bugle, an endangered wildflower listed as a priority species. I rarely see Bugle though a Small White butterfly stopped by after I took a photo, which I often come across when walking through the park.
The last wildlife sighting I was able to witness was the bright colours of a Chaffinch. Hearing them from a distance they were flying in between the bushes surrounding a picnic area. Remembering what a loud song they have though not seeing one in a while; it was the perfect bright end to a day out in nature.