Friday 22 September 2023

New Forest Birding

Friday 22 September

At last, a still start to the day with bright sunshine and only a little cloud. Perfect for a drive into the New Forest to visit Blashford Lakes with a slight deviation on the way to take a look at Eyeworth Pond near Fritham.  And that was about as good as it got as there was virtually nothing to be seen at my brief stop at Eyeworth and Blashford itself was disappointedly quiet.

Approaching Eyeworth both Starlings and Woodpigeons and then eight Mallard on the water.  Just a couple of Blue Tits seen along with a handful of Chaffinches and the same number of House Sparrows.  Therefore, a bare ten minutes at the site before carrying on, via Fordingbridge, to Blashford Lakes but not before also recording a trio of Pied Wagtails on the exit lane from the water.

Just for a change, I started at the main centre at Blashford Lakes so that I could visit the various hides before heading back to Ibsley Water. Blackbird and Robin recorded as I made my way towards Ivy North Hide with a Blue Tit and a trio of Magpies as I approached my destination.  The water from the hide had a strong sun in my eye but I could make out a single Cormorant and a handful of Coot on the water itself.  A well-grown juvenile Moorhen was foraging in the reeds below the hide.

Robin Erithacus rubecula

Moving through the trees to wards the Woodland Hide I recorded a couple of Chiffchaff and a quartet of Wrens before another Blackbird and Robin. But, save for a single Robin, nothing to be seen from the hide itself.  All the feeders had been temporarily removed due to a local infection so nothing to attract the small birds.  The distant Ivy South Hide was equally quiet with just a couple of Great Crested Grebes and a single Little Grebe.  But then a Kingfisher flashed past below the hide to add a little colour.

Great Crested Grebes Podiceps cristatus

Back to the car and across the road to the Tern Hide overlooking Ibsley Water.  On this occasion at least five relatively nearby Great Crested Grebes in addition to the larger number at the back of the water.  Save for a few Coots off to my right all the bird life was on or near the gravel islands at the far end.  Checking the open water first I found at lest a hundred Coots plus a two Little Grebes, a pair of Gadwall and a half-dozen Tufted Duck.

Egyptian Geese Alopochen aegyptiaca and Gulls

The islands themselves contained a mixture of Canada, Greylag and Egyptian Geese plus at least 120 Lapwing.  Also present were a mixture of Black-headed, Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls with a dozen resting Cormorants and a couple of scavenging Carrion Crows. Just the one resting Grey Heron at the very back whist over the water a good number of feeding House Martins and at least a half-dozen Barn Swallows.

Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo with a mix of gulls

Birds seen:

Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Egyptian Goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Heron, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Woodpigeon, Kingfisher, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Robin, Blackbird, Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch.

Mainly Canada Geese Branta canadensis

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