Green-winged teal and Sandwich tern on Ibsley Water

An excellent day for birds today, with all the action taking place on Ibsley Water. Highlights were a drake green-winged teal, 2 common terns, 1 Sandwich tern, 2 Mediterranean gulls, 2 little ringed plovers, 6 ringed plovers, around 350 sand martins and a handful of swallows and house martins.

The green winged teal turned up in the afternoon in front of the Tern Hide, at first it just sat tucked out of the rain but later came closer to the hide. Green winged teal are a north American species, but a few make it to Britain most years. One has been in the Avon valley recently, so it seems likely this is the same bird. The other quality bird of the day was the Sandwich tern, which turned up on the shingle spit in front of Goosander hide. Normally a coastal species, they’re are very few records at Blashford lakes. I tried taking a some photos but it was just too distant for my camera. The name Sandwich tern refers to Sandwich bay in Kent, although they no longer nest there these days. It was also nice to see the first returning common terns fishing around the lake.

The 6 ringed plovers turned up late in the afternoon and I had good views of them next to 2 little ringed plovers when I locked the hide, was nice to be able to compare the 2 similar species literally right next to each other.

Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get any decent photos of all the great birds today, in fact the only photo of note I managed was of a female mallard with a single duckling on the path by the woodland hide first thing this morning. No idea why it has just one duckling but I hope it survives.


Mallard and single duckling


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