The last couple of days have been busy with holiday activities. Yesterday I headed up to Damerham to run a wildlife discovery session at West Park Meadow Play Trail, a brilliant community run play space led by FunQuest. We had a great morning river dipping, catching shrimp by the net fall! We also found caddisfly larvae, hoglice, leech and a great big cranefly larva. The lunchtime rain however led to a much quieter afternoon. With the changing of the clocks I found myself locking up by moon light so not much to report on the Blashford wildlife. It was an absolutely fabulous full moon though!
This morning I almost bumped into a roe deer as I cycled round to unlock the hides. A bittern was spotted in the reedbed to the left of Ivy South hide. Visitors in the hide had a brilliant fly by as the bird flew out of the reed bed at around 10am heading up to the north screen and then down past the spit towards Ivy north hide. There were also reports of a bittern flying in to Ivy north hide at 12 and then flying out at 12.30. The great white egret was seen up on Mockbeggar in the morning; the fallen trees in the lake are also being utilised by many grey herons and little egrets too.
I spent the day with families from the Ringwood and Fordingbridge Children’s Centres, building shelters, lighting a camp fire and toasting bread. The sunny morning brought out a few butterflies including a red admiral that we saw as we walked by the lichen heath. Finally I saw my first brambling of the year feeding on the bird feeder in the car park. It was a rather stunning male which appeared to shine out amongst the other birds with its bright orange breast. A brilliant end to the day!