Trip reports

Blashford Lakes, Hampshire

Male goldeneye
RSPB Image

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

There were no cars in the Tern Hide car park when we arrived but unfortunately there was no Tern Hide either as it had been demolished the day before. Consequently the twelve of us ascended the mound behind where the hide had last been seen in order to pay our respects and to look across Ibsley Water. The weather was chilly but sunny and still, helping us to identify plenty of wildfowl including Mute Swan, Greylag and Canada Goose, Coot, Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Pintail, Goosander and Goldeneye. We looked in vain for a previously-reported Black-necked Grebe and had to be content with one Great Crested and many Little Grebes. Flocks of Linnet passed by, settling on the foreshore and bushes before flying off again.

We then walked through the woodland towards Goosander Hide, enjoying good views of Redwing and Song Thrush feeding in the leaf litter, two Nuthatch and, for some, a Jay. When we reached the hide we had closer views of Goosander, which was only to be expected, and we were surprised by a Sparrowhawk which flew low over the water in front of us. We then moved to Lapwing Hide where Nicola spotted the Water Pipit which has taken up residence around Ibsley Water for the winter. It was fairly close but not always easy to see well; nevertheless, we all saw it and were able to see and discuss its identifying features! A longer range search produced an Egyptian Goose on the far bank and confirmed Lesser Black-backed and Common Gulls amongst the Black-headed and Herring Gulls.

After lunch we made our way to Ivy Hide North where we had great views of a Cetti's Warbler and also saw Chiffchaff, Grey Heron, Gadwall and Moorhen. A visit to Ivy Hide South produced a sighting of Kingfisher for some. At the Woodland Hide, in addition to the more common tits and finches there were excellent views of Siskin, and of Reed Bunting and Great Spotted Woodpecker. The surrounding woodland also provided several Treecreepers.

In total, 51 species were seen. And we are reliably informed that the new Tern Hide will be ready for our next visit!

Rob Wilkinson