The annual Bird Trail organised by Hampshire Ornithological Society (HOS), RSPB and HIWWT took place today at Blashford Lakes. Local children’s groups of the Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Watch and the RSPB’s Wildlife Explorers visited the reserve for a morning of bird watching including other activities such as owl pellet dissections, bird quizzes and pond dipping. There was a competition for the group that saw the most number of species on their walk; congratulations to the Blashford Lakes Wildlife Watch group who came in 3rd place! But the winning group was led by none other than our very own Ed Bennett who was leading his Titchfield Haven Wildlife Explorer group – they spotted an impressive 58 species including 2 cuckoos and a kingfisher! Chris Packham met with the groups and presented the certificates to the winning teams.
Groups also enjoyed the courtship displays of the great crested grebes throughout the morning. And at the pond we found our usual freshwater friends and caught an amazing total of 14 newts including both smooth newts and palmate newts.
Brenda was in this weekend too to check on the progress of the 25 nest boxes that she is currently monitoring. All these boxes either have nests almost completed or adults sitting on eggs and 3 have hatched. The ones that have hatched are 2 Great Tits and a Nuthatch; all pullui are very small and downy with their eyes shut, 1-2 days old.
A Robin has nested in a box with a very large hole (Great spotted woodpecker damage) and out of 5 eggs, 4 chicks have survived and were ringed today. These had Feathers Short(FS) which is when the wing feathers are less than 1/3 emerged from the sheath. See picture of Pullus and 4 chicks back in nest after ringing.