Many baby animals are particularly attractive in their own rather gawky ways and the foal of the Konik Ponies is no exception. Konik, or Polish Primitive Horses are derived from attempts to breed back the recently extinct Tarpan Horse from cross bred Tarpan and domestic horses in Eastern Poland during the 1930's. By choosing horses that showed significant Tarpan characters and breeding them herds of semi wild Konik Ponies were produced. Koniks show many primitive markings including a dun coat and dorsal stripe.
In the South Foreland Valley at the moment a new recruit to the conservation effort has just arrived. I'm told that this Konik Pony foal was born around last Tuesday. Of course at the moment his main sustenance will provided by his mother, but soon hopefully he will be munching away with the other ponies.
In this stance the foal looks somewhat out of proportion with far too much leg for a stable existence but in fact he was quite steady on his feet today.
The others carried on with the job in hand. It is certainly a big task to recreate the chalk grassland in all it's glory. I still look forward to the days when we have meadows of Orchids and other wildflowers along with all the butterflies and other insects that specialise in this habitat.
I realised when we were doing our I-spy at Epping Forest on Sunday that many of the eye-spiers, including the parents weren't seeing any Black-headed Gulls, in spite of there being loads around. The majority were still in their winter garb and few had much black on the head, like the photo we used on the guide. This one down in the Bay this afternoon is almost there, but still has a few blotches to moult out.