Trip reports

Blashford Lakes, Hampshire

Goosander on water
RSPB Image

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Thirteen of us met in the Tern Hide car park and, for some of us, it was the first time we had been in the new hide that had been constructed last year. The weather was breezy but the light was good and we were able to identify plenty of wildfowl species on Ibsley Water, including Wigeon, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted Duck, a very large number of Pintail, several Goosander and both female and male Goldeneye. We also had good views of two Mistle Thrushes on the grass near the hide.

We then walked through the woodland towards Goosander Hide spotting Redwing, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, several tit species and Goldcrest on the way. When we reached the hide we had close views of Little Grebes and several more Goosander. We then moved to Lapwing Hide where, after some searching, we found the Long-tailed Duck which had been on Ibsley Water for some days. Despite its habit of spending most of its time under water and never surfacing in the same place twice we all managed to see it in the end. Easier to see was a solitary Common Gull on the water. A longer-range search produced two distant Black-necked Grebes which most of us saw. We also had brief views of Buzzard and Egyptian Goose in flight.

After lunch we made our way to Ivy Hide North where we added Gadwall, Teal and Moorhen to our list. At the Woodland Hide, in addition to Dunnock and the more common tits and finches there were excellent views of Siskin, although no Brambling was seen. We also saw Reed Bunting and Great Spotted Woodpecker. A brief visit to Ivy Hide South didn't produce anything new of note.

In total, about 52 species were seen or heard, with the Long-tailed Duck proclaimed the bird of the day.

Rob Wilkinson