Trip reports

Blashford Lakes Nr. Ringwood Hampshire on Saturday 25th January 2020.

Blashford Lakes Nr. Ringwood Hampshire on Saturday 25th January 2020.
Black-necked Grebe. A captive bird at WWT Arundel on 29JAN20, one of five recently arrived. (Peter Hambrook)

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Legh was unable to make this trip so I willingly agreed to lead the walk. A few days beforehand I checked my Rare Bird Alert App and was pleased to see that there were a couple interesting ducks showing regularly.

The weather was rather dull and overcast but remained dry with max. temperatures of 8C and
eight members turned up. Everyone had arrived by 10am and we started off at the Ibsley Water view point and Tern Hide which overlooks the same lake. We saw many of the expected ducks including some lovely male goldeneye, goosander and pintail. The highlight was the black-necked grebe and long-tailed duck, the two target birds.

We then walked through a wooded area towards Rockford Lake adding redwing, nuthatch, goldcrest, chaffinch and many other woodland species. Rockford Lake added further sightings of wigeon, pochard, tufted duck and shoveler. On the day of our visit the duck numbers were very impressive.

We walked south to Ivy Lane and then back into the reserve at the southern end of Ivy Lake seeing more ducks and woodland species. At the Woodland Hide we saw siskin on the feeders.

Lunch beckoned and, on our way back to the Centre, we saw a very active flock of c.40 siskin feeding in the alders. During a pleasant outdoor picnic lunch, we added treecreeper to the list.

Finally, we ended up at Ivy North Hide which again produced large numbers of ducks.

All in all, a very pleasant day producing about 49 species.

On leaving Blashford Lakes, four of us decided to call in at Blackwater Arboretum in the New Forest on the way home and were very pleased to see a hawfinch and seven bullfinches making a very good end to the day.

Alan Sharps