Cold start and Christmas Adder

It was a cold frosty morning when I unlocked the hides today but there was quite a few birds around, Ibsley Water had 24 pintail, 8 goldeneye, long-tailed duck and great-white egret. Whereas Ivy Lake had Cetti’s warbler, water rail and 34 pochard.

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Michelle scraping ice off the woodland hide windows

The water level of Ibsley Water has been steadily rising over the last couple of months and slowly covering the lakes many islands. The only island left of any size is now the one with that has the gull colony nesting on it during the spring, in the north-west corner of the lake. We strimmed the vegetation off it the autumn but due to the mild weather it had become covered in a low bed of stinging nettles and consequently has not had many birds roosting on it, so has most of the other islands are now under water I went back out and strimmed it again. Hopefully this will give wildfowl, cormorants and gulls somewhere to roost.

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The remaining tiny islands on Ibsley Water, as viewed from the western side of the lake

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Strimming nettles on the gull island

Over the Christmas period a few interesting life sightings were reported including a barn owl on the north shore of Ibsley Water on the 27th and another American gull species in the gull roost, this time not a Franklin’s gull but a Ring-billed gull on the 23rd and 24th. Perhaps more surprising was a sighting of an adder out basking in the sunshine yesterday (28th) afternoon by the path to Goosander Hide, thanks to Cheryl Turkington for the photo.

chrimbo Adder

Adder, photo by Cheryl Turkington

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