Bird News: Ibsley Watergreen sandpiper 2, dunlin 1, black-necked grebe 1, goldeneye 9, goosander 41, yellow-legged gull 7, chiffchaff 2. Mockbeggar Lakegreat white egret 1, little egret 33. Ivy Lakewater rail 2, chiffchaff 2.

We did our monthly waterbird count today, conditions were pretty good as I started my part of the count just after first light at the Lapwing hide. The black-necked grebe was showing well and I saw the last few goosander as they left the roost, but I knew I would count them at the end of the day as they returned. Ibsley Water is very busy at present, with birds more or less right across the whole Lake in good numbers. Most numerous are coot, I counted 975 out of a total across all the lakes of 1904. The most “important” species at Blashford is the gadwall, today there were 570, just short of the 600 that constitutes 1% of the NW European population.

There was no sign of the bittern today, but a total of 4 chiffchaff were of interest, it was only recently that they turned up for the winter. One of these was in a favourite spot just outside the Lapwing hide where I surprised a cock pheasant which flew up into a thin willow sapling.

cock pheasant

The birds were not the only things of interest though, I saw one butterfly, a red admiral, I think there would have been more if the sun had ever come out. However it was the fungi that were the most impressive, lots have appeared all over the reserve and beyond.

fly agaric

Towards dusk I went to the Goosander hide to count the roost, 41 goosander flew in and the gull roost included at least 7000 lesser black-backed gull, 2200 black-headed gull and at least 7 yellow-legged gull.

dusk over Ibsley Water

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