Saturday 26 August
Good weather when I set off early for today's field visit with HOS (Hampshire Ornithological Society) at Blashford Lakes. But also early enough to make a slight detour via Fishlake Meadows in Romsey to see if the visiting Osprey was still about. It was. Just the ten minute stop to admire this gorgeous raptor along with Great Crested Grebes, Pochard, Mallard, Magpie, Canada Geese and Woodpigeons before continuing on my way west towards Fordingbridge and my eventual destination.
|Osprey Pandion haliaetus|
Led by Ian packer we three gentlemen and four ladies had a wonderful morning's birding despite the quietness of season with breeding over and the main migration yet to commence. meeting at the tern Hide I had chance to have a quick look at Ibsley Water before our walk commenced on an anti-clockwise circuit of Ivy Lake. This quick check revealed lots of Greylag and Egyptian Geese, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Mallard, Coot and Lesser Black-backed Gulls not to mention the many feeding Barn Swallows over the water and a Pied Wagtail foraging on the shore immediately in front of the hide.
|Egyptian Geese Alopochen aegyptiaca|
More Woodpigeons and Barn Swallows as e made our way to Ivy South Hide along with good views of Willow Warblers and once inside a few Cormorant, Black-headed Gulls, Great Crested Grebe and a Moorhen on the water. Then it was ion to the Woodland Hide noting a rapidly departing jay as we arrived. Lots of tits to be seen from the hide with more Blue than Great Tit. Also very many Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Greenfinch plus Robin, Dunnock and a Blackbird. Then the occasional visit from the local Nuthatch.
|Dunnock Prunella modularis|
Despite the very short, light shower we moved on through the wood to the Ivy North Hide which produced nothing new in the very few birds to be seen before moving across the road to walk on to the Goosander Hide. This hide gave good views over the eastern side of Ibsey Water and distant views over the back of the water. A few Coots and Mallards but also the remaining Sand Martins that were using the artificial nesting bank and a number of Barn Swallows. We thought we had found the visiting female Scaup but, in the end, decided it was more likely a female Tufted Duck. (However, the Scaup was reported as being present on the water during the time we were present.) To the left of the hide a close view of the foraging Grey Wagtail.
|Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea|
Our final stop was back at the Tern Hide we were able to spend time checking out the numerous birds, albeit mainly at the back of the water. The small islands held resting flocks of Cormorant, Greylag and Egyptian Geese along with many Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Also on the islands we found many Lapwing plus an Oystercatcher. At least two Herons and a pair of Carrion Crow. A Magpie was exploring the nearby bank and over the trees at the far back a handful of passing Rooks.
|Mainly distant Greylag Geese Anser anser and Cormorants Phalacrocorax garbo|
And as we about to the finish the morning session a Stock Dove flew across the water and minutes later a departing Shelduck so taking my morning's tally to 41 species - and I missed both the Sparrowhawk and Starling!
|Male Blackbird Turdus merula|
Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Egyptian Goose, Shelduck, Gadwall, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Heron, Osprey, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Willow Warbler, Blue Tit, Jay, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.
|Goldfinches Carduelis carduelis|
|Greenfinch Carduelis chloris|