Bird News: Ibsley Water – smew 1, black-tailed godwit 14. Ivy Lake – bittern.
Quite the most wintery morning of the season so far, with sleety snow falling and a cool easterly wind. Opening the Tern hide I was pleased to see the duck smew once again to the east of the hide, later in the day it was seen from the Goosander hide. We were back in the Tern hide later as there were two groups going round today and I was to meet them both to set them on their way. This did allow one further notable observation, 14 black-tailed godwit, the most there have been this winter, we will need some real rain before we get a good flock though.
One group were photographers, who will have struggled in the conditions. The other were walkers and we did a short walk on the reserve before they headed off towards the New Forest and a pub lunch. I don’t often get into the hides in the middle of the day and it was good to see the numbers of finches now around the Woodland hide, although there were still no brambling that we could see. Unfortunately we evidently walked passed a bittern stood up in the reeds beside the Ivy Silt Pond. It had been watched flying in from Ivy lake, probably as a result of being chased off by another bittern, I should have been more observant.
It was not really a day for pictures, but I promised I would try for a better one of the eyelash fungus, it could be better still, but in case I don’t get the chance again, here it is.
The next two days are dominated by the Reserve’s Officers favourite activity, meetings, so reports may be a little sparse.