New Forest Reptile and Amphibian Centre
At the weekend we went down to Southampton for 3 nights. The main aim was to see if we could still manage to go on holiday as I haven’t slept in a normal bed since my specialist profiling bed arrived last year. The fact that I can blog about our weekend means we survived… and not only that but the two things we were trying (inflatable things to hold my position in bed and a portable hair washing sink) worked very well. Just got to figure out how I can use the toilet now.
Anyway, our second day was lovely – we are more forest people than townies. Give us a forest and some animals and we are very happy.
We went to the New Forest – to a newish reptile and amphibian centre. It was free and consists of several ‘pens’ with netting over them, in which you can see most native and settled UK reptiles and amphibians. We spent the whole afternoon staring into the pens trying to catch a glimpse of shy and camouflaged lizards and snakes.
We thought that snakes liked to sunbathe – but apparently temperatures like we had (above 15 degrees C) and they start to burn and look for shelter. We saw elusive smooth snakes and adders and Kevin did eventually glimpse two types of lizard. I couldn’t see the lizards as the height of the pen walls blocked of a good view.
The Marsh Frogs were very vocal – a species settled over here from Europe. They were doing their Budweiser call lol. The noise was amazing – but apparently not as loud as the Natterjack toad which is the loudest in Europe. Mr Toad wasn’t in the mood for talking though.
Their is a forest trail which we wandered up (not so bumpy unlike the horrific drive into the carpark where I lost my head even with my neck braced). When we came back, people were packing up but I spent a while trying to photograph birds. Their is a RSPB hut with information and hands on creepy crawlies, and they feed the birds so you can view or photograph them. They also had a web cam on a goshawk nest with chicks in. I saw my first nuthatch and lots of birds we just don’t get in our garden. All in all, well worth the visit.