Last night whilst I was locking up I thought I saw a ghost! It was a white deer but it really took me by surprise as its white shillohette seem to loom out from beneath the trees like a spirit of the woodland. It was too dark to work out what species it was. I know we have white fallow deer so maybe it was one of those. Has anyone else had any sightings of white deer at Blashford Lakes?
South Downs College visited today with students on an animal management course. Having prepared a few soft beds on Sunday to collect footprints in I was pretty gutted with the torrential rain last night! Nevertheless wildlife seemed to try and make up for it today! A grey heron was fishing in the reeds right next to the left side of Ivy South Hide and it caught and ate a small fish while I watched. There was a toad waiting on the doorstep of the Education Centre, I imagine it was sheltering behind the shutters and the 3 mammal traps I set had all been triggered so we were blessed with one bank vole and 2 yellow necked mice; one of which was extremely jumpy and monkey barred across the top of the tank!
I also rather hopefully had run the moth trap last night! We had 2 feathered thorns and lots of caddisflies.
I went into the woodland hide twice today. The first time is was deadly quiet with only the odd great tit and chaffinch on the feeder and a rather bedraggled pheasant trying desperately to shelter under a fern. It was really disappointing. However just half an hour later when I arrived with the second group the ground was alive with chaffinch and the odd brambling foraging on the ground; the feeders were busy with great tit, blue tit, nuthatch, both the male and female great spotted woodpecker, jay, collared dove, greenfinch, goldfinch and siskin. It was such a stark contrast; I guess something must have spooked them before the first group went in, maybe a sparrowhawk?
Ivy lake looked particularly bleak today. Not much about except the coot and gadwall, a few wigeon and a couple of great crested grebes. unfortunately there appears to have been no sightings of the bittern for the last couple of days. However this may just be because the light has been so bad; not good bittern spotting weather!