Blashford Birds and Beer

Visitors to the reserve first thing this morning were treated to views of not only the bittern showing to the left of Ivy North hide but also the great white egret out on the right hand side.

At 11am Jim and I led a guided walk starting at the Alice Lisle pub and circling round the Rockford Lake. After all the rain the first section of public footpath leading away from the pub was very slippery indeed; creating a new style of walking – mud skating! If you are heading out on this route then wellies are recommended!

Down through the woodland along the Docken’s Water the beautifully patterned leaves of the lesser celandine are starting to appear above the leaf litter.

Lesser Celendine

Lesser Celandine

As we walked away from the Docken’s Water and down the path towards Rockford/Ivy Lake Jim promised us bullfinch. Bullfinch are regularly seen in this area of woodland feeding on the buds.

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Now usually if you mention a certain species on a guided walk then the likelihood of seeing it are next to none; however today Jim’s luck was in as he miraculously produced 4 bullfinches feeding on the buds at the top of a tall willow tree; 3 males and 1 female.

Watching the Bullfinch

Watching the Bullfinch

Out on the lakes there was the usual crowd of gadwall, coot, teal, wigeon, pochard, cormorant and great crested grebe.

Looking out over Ivy Lake

Looking out over Ivy Lake

A few of the lucky ones at the back of the group also saw a kingfisher fly past.

Bird Watching from Ivy Lake Screen

Bird Watching from Ivy Lake Screen

As we reached the end of the walk the sun started to creep out from behind the clouds creating a lovely glowing light over the water.

Ivy Lake

Ivy Lake

As we walked back along the road towards the pub the telephone in the phone box was ringing. So Jim went into the phone box to answer it and much to his surprise he was greeted by the all too familiar voice of the automated Payment Protection Insurance people!


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