Fighting herons and an avocet.

The martins on Ibsley Water definitely decreased to around perhaps 800 birds this morning, with birds leavings throughout the day until there where only around a hundred at 5pm. Three ruff, two dunlin, two common sandpipers, a green sandpiper and a hobby where recorded from Ibsley today but more exciting was a report of a bird that looked like a large sparrowhawk with slower, heavier wing beats, surely it must have been a goshawk? It seems pretty likely given the increasing nearby New Forest population.


Common Sandpiper



The great white egret was fishing on Ivy lake again on and off throughout the day, and was in the process of seeing off a grey heron when I locked the hide.


The GWE sees off a GH


The great white clearly doesn’t want to share it’s favourite fishing area.

The bird of the day has to be the avocet that dropped into Ivy lake at 12pm. Unfortunately it didn’t hang around and appears to have moved on. Hopefully it’ll turn up tomorrow has I’d really like to see it! A few butterflies were on the wing in the sun this afternoon, including red admiral, comma and a clouded yellow.


A remarkably fresh looking comma butterfly

Unfortunately tomorrow maintenance work will be being carried out in front of the Ivy north hide and the woodland hide between 10am – 12pm, so if your visiting the reserve you’d be better off visiting a few of the other hides in the morning. Don’t worry the birds always return pretty quickly after any disturbance.


1 thought on “Fighting herons and an avocet.

  1. Re’ your comments about a possible Goshawk on Wednesday 18th, I was asked for my opinion on the bird, as i entered the Lapwing Hide, by 3 guys in there who were not familiar with raptors & one of whom had it in the ‘scope, perched in a tree on the opposite side of the lake. My opinion varied between juvenile female Sparrowhawk & juvenile Goshawk. The markings on the back & wings were consistant with Goshawk, but it lacked the “bulk” that I would have expected with same. Certainly, it was not the same Sparrowhawk that I saw later mobbing a Peregrine over Ibsley Lake, as that one was considerably smaller, so my opinion on the earlier bird would come down on the side of Goshawk, despite the common mis-identification of female Sparrowhawks. Hope this helps.
    John Boarder, Gillingham, Dorset.

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