I’ve decided to call it a day with this blog. It has been going for over 5 years with not far off 1000 posts. It has become something of a monster and I think that enough is enough. My thanks to those who have been in touch, especially John who has kept me right on birds and butterflies!
AA Hampshire & Isle of Wight Walk no 9 5.5 miles
Bright but very windy. Started in the very classy town of Odiham. Walked away through fields overlooking North Hampshire
Across the small stream, saw some deer here
Over more fields then through woodland before entering Dogmersfield Park. It was here that Arthur, son of Henry VII, met Catherine of Aragon. He of course died and Catherine subsequently married Henry VIII.
A good gravel track through the estate
Passing Dogmersfield Lake
An dramatic statue
Then along a fenced track, passing a couple of geese. We think this is a greylag goose
Down towards Tundry Pond
Then down a track to meet the Basingstoke Canal
We saw a nuthatch together with a comma and peacock butterflies. Just off the canal lies Wilk’s Water where a swan was nesting
A gentle stroll along the canal, under Broad Oak Bridge
Then leaving the canal and heading back through Odiham. We passed this pub,a waterwitch is somebody who can detect the presence of water so the sign is a bit of a mystery
An absolutely glorious day and I took Tony for a session on the Lambourn. The plan was for him to fish the top beat and I would fish the bottom, which is no wading and the wrong bank for a right hander. Later in the season it is very overgrown but today it wasn’t too bad
First fish came fairly quickly.
The river us quite low and very clear so I was able to sight fish, very exciting
I caught plenty but managed to hook and lose 11 fish! One was a big trout, certainly over 2 lbs which was on for 5 minutes before it came adrift. I also managed to snap on the strike 3 times, one of them to a very big grayling. Grayling are starting to show much more than before. I had 2, one of them near to 2lbs.
This was one of the better fish, but skinny though
From this pool, fished Czech style, several came from here
and this came from a narrow, fast run tight to the far bank…..very pleased with that one!
and just to show it does happen, a fish on the dry!
Ended with 23 trout and 2 grayling. Tony had a ball too catching plenty using his French nymph rig. Another technique I need to get to grips with!
Pathfinder Dorset Walk no 12 5.75 miles
5 miles in the book but we altered the route slightly. We started at the Martin Down Nature Reserve car park and soon picked up the route with the ditch and earthworks on our right.
Lots of birds, a lapwing
and a yellowhammer
An easy stroll alongside the ditch, eventually climbing to the ridge
We saw a common brimstone here
Long views from the ridge, to the south into Dorest
and Wiltshire to the north
To the trig point then a steady descent with the ridge behind us
IInto the pretty village of Pentridge with it’s church dedicated to St Rumbold, a little known Celtic Saint about whom Wikipedia is silent
Along a quiet lane, spotted some deer a long way off in the field
The route then heads to the main road and follows it for a mile back to the car park. Instead we elected to follow Bowling Green Lane, a track, which took us back through Bikerley Ditch and through the nature reserve to the car. We spotted this.
Difficult to identify but probably a dunnock