Blashford Lakes – 03/03/2024

From the car park adjacent to Tern Hide the days sightings began with Long-tailed Tits and Lesser Redpoll. Dunnock, Magpie and Meadow Pipit were also seen before scanning Ibsley Water from within the hide.

The numerous wildfowl assembled included Tufted Duck, Wigeon and Shoveler, but Pintails were noticeably plentiful. Two drake Goldeneye were displaying to the females, throwing their heads back in customary fashion. A fox was noticed sunbathing and a Great White Egret flying in an unexpected bonus. A Common Buzzard was also seen perched on a nesting platform.

Looking to the right from the hide, a deer carcass was spotted on a low feeding platform. Left to attract White-tailed Eagles that sometimes visit, it managed to attract the attentions of both Ravens and Magpies. Amongst the Herring Gulls present, there were many juveniles. Other species seen here included Kestrel, Pheasant and Cormorant.

A variety of common passerines were seen from the Woodland Hide. This despite the unexpected visit of a Sparrowhawk that swooped in, missed everything and exited. Birds seen here included Siskins, Nuthatch, Lesser Redpoll, Greenfinches and Goldfinch. Several varieties of fungi were observed in the damp woodland nearby. Scarlet Elf Cup in particular stood out.

Scarlet Elf Cup (David Langley)

The most numerous wildfowl seen from Ivy Lake South Hide were Wigeon. Teal, Gadwall and Pochard were present, so too Great Crested Grebe and Coot. A Tufted Duck meanwhile had decided to nest on a float in front of the hide.

Rumour circulated that a Bittern had been seen from Ivy Lake North Hide. Although swiftly visiting the hide, it wasn’t seen. A Cetti’s Warbler however delighted observers when vacating the reedbed and enabling good views. Spending a few seconds looking around, it then flew across a narrow channel to another patch of reeds.

Cetti’s Warbler at Blashford Lakes (Brian Norman)

At least six Stonechats were seen during the lunch break outside Tern Hide. Two Ravens then flew across and both Pied Wagtail and Reed Bunting were additional sightings. A group of 48 Meadow Pipits counted in a tree was unusual.

After lunch, several energetic Firecrests teased onlookers whilst foraging in ivy clad trees along Dockens Water. After this excitement, Song Thrush, Treecreeper, Red Kite and Sparrowhawk brought sightings to a close.

Firecrest at Blashford Lakes (Brian Norman)