I sneaked into Blashford today from my usual haunt at Farlington and surrounds and had a quick look around. The highlight of the day was a record-breaking count of shoveler, Rob Hume counted 1070 on Ibsley Water. Only a couple of places regularly get this kind of count and they are much larger sites such as the Somerset Levels or Ouse Washes.
Other birds today were 2 barnacle geese on Ibsley Water, 2 bittern on Ivy Lake (for a picture of this I will have to lure you away to http://solentreserves.wordpress.com/ – “The 108ft blog”), the redhead smew was also reported from there and I added a further 26 shoveler to the reserve total. A Cetti’s warbler was also seen from the Ivy North hide, reassuring that it had survived the cold weather. Lastly a knot was seen to fly onto the shore of Ibsley Water, I have seen one previous one in mid-winter here but it is certainly unusual.