Day One - Saturday, 18th June
Weather - cold, a mixture of sunshine and showers, blustery wind.
We had a good journey down - the usual "bottle neck" in Lyndhurst in the New Forest only held us up about ten minutes.
We saw about 5 red kites on the journey (a new bird tick for the year).
We caught the ferry from Lymington to Yarmouth - saw a sandwich tern during the crossing (another new year bird tick).
After stocking up on supplies we arrived at the cottage just after 4.00. The house we have stayed in at Chale over the last few years was already booked when we checked in January but we managed to find another cottage about half a mile away.
The cottage was built in the early 1800's and was incredibly quaint - note the roses rambling all over the walls! It was much roomier inside than we expected and there were plenty of original features - oak beams, low ceilings and the bedroom windows in the original part of the cottage were almost at floor level! Lovely spacious, secluded garden and we watched bats (pipistrelle, I think) flying round at dusk.
I was hoping to see five species during the week's holiday.
1. Red Squirrel
3. Barn Owl
4. Water Vole
5. Glanville Fritillary
The Island is a haven for red squirrels (no greys) but we have only ever seen one on previous trips. I saw my first badger on the Island last year and a look through the comments in the guestbook suggested they have visited the garden of this year's cottage in past years. We were hopeful of spotting a barn owl as we have seen them on the last 5 visits. There is a healthy water vole population (none of the dreaded mink on the Island) but, although seeings signs of the species on walks in the past, I haven't yet managed to catch up with this species. Glanville Fritillary was really top of the list of the species I most wanted to see as I have never seen one despite countless visits to Compton and Brook Bays where they frequent the cliff tops.