A Day of Two Halves

Bird News: Ibsley Water Bewick’s swan 6, shelduck 11, goldeneye 14, goosander 70+. Ivy Lakebittern 1, ferruginous duck 1, great white egret 1.

A very flat, grey morning, but the gloom seemed to have fooled the roosting birds on Ibsley Water into staying rather longer than normal this morning. There were still at least 2000 black-headed gull and goosander all over the lake, I counted at least 70 in scattered groups, often displaying. The 6 Bewick’s swans were still asleep when I first looked out, but soon woke up and flew off to the valley, although evidently not going to Harbridge to joint the mute swans, where they were looked for without success, although there was the bonus of a report of a whooper swan there, a real rarity in Hampshire. Also on Ibsley Water were 11 shelduck, a good count and at least 17 goldeneye, including 8 adult drakes.

So a good start to the day by any standards. I opened the Centre and then off to the remaining hides. At the Ivy North hide I looked out and a bittern was hunting just below the hide and I had not even raised my binoculars! I now wondered if I was going to complete the round with the ferruginous duck, but a quick check of the few pochard at the Ivy South hide soon answered that with disappointment.

I spent much of the morning path trimming, a noisy activity which makes it pretty certain that no wildlife will be seen, an afternoon in the office did not improve my wildlife sightings although I did come across the latest report on the ruddy duck cull, an issue that I know interests a good few of our visitors. A link to this, for those that are interested is:


It was very mild and this was brought home when I was walking through the lobby and glanced up at the Pondcam and saw a male smooth newt, actively looking for food. I had been pondering that the first common frog spawn was probably not too far away, but perhaps the newts will not be far behind.

As it got towards dusk I set out to lock the hides and arriving first at the Ivy South hide the great white egret was perched in one of the trees on the long peninsula opposite the hide and looking south, the ferruginous duck was also on view, although sleeping. All in all, a good day with some excellent birds.



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