The wild side of Southampton, part 2

It’s been a while since I posted about Southampton. I have to admit I don’t spend as much time exploring it as I did in first year. In first year, I was lucky enough to live in a halls of residence very close to Southampton Common so naturally I visited it often, and walked past it almost to everyday. Now I seem to spend much more of my time in the library instead.

One part of the Common I found myself visiting most was Cemetery Lake. Having been born and bred in the Solent, not far from the coast and Titchfield Haven, I rather like wetlands so this became my temporary substitute. For those of you who aren’t so familiar with Southampton, Cemetery Lake is simply a small-ish lake close to the old cemetery where families tend to feed the ducks. It’s always pleasing to see children engaging with nature.

Cemetery Lake, Southampton Common

Cemetery Lake, Southampton Common

Whenever I visited, there were always mallards, moorhens, coots, and mute swans present, with a mix of gulls too. In the winter months they were joined by tufted ducks and once or twice I had a male pochard. Gull wise, there were always black-headed gulls and lots of them. Mixed in with them were herring gulls as well as occasionally common and lesser-black backed gulls.

The trees close by have yielded several bullfinches, nuthatches, goldcrests and much more. The highlight for me has to be either walking along Lovers’ Walk, the path leading to the university, accompanied by a singing firecrest most days, or joining Andy (who’s one of the ecologists there) for a ringing session where I ringed my one and only firecrest and nuthatch.

Although I can’t say I particularly enjoy city life, Southampton does at least have many places to escape it.

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