Thanks to volunteers Geoff and Phil who helped do some maintenance jobs on the yard today, we were quite busy and failed to see any wildlife. Fortunately lots of birds were reported by visitors, including bittern, slavonian grebe, black-necked grebe, ring-billed gull and brambling. Most unseasonable sighting was of a juvenile adder out basking. Photographer Lorne Bissell kindly sent a couple of shots of the ring-billed gull, one on the Ibsley Water perch and another at Goosander hide.
I’ve never been into keeping bird lists and I have no idea how many species of bird I’ve seen but for some reason I’ve been recording the species seen on the perch. So far we’ve had grey heron, cormorant, osprey, black tern, common tern, black-headed gull, lesser black-backed gull, herring gull, sand martin, carrion crow and now ring-billed gull since we put it up in the summer. Pretty good I think.
This species is a vagrant from North America, somewhat similar to a common gull but can be identified by its bright yellow iris and small white mirrors on the primary feather tips. It also has a fainter, narrower white tertial-crescent than a common gull. Martin Bennett sent us some great shots of the ring-billed gull too, with a couple of black-headed gulls for comparison.
Martin also sent us the following shots of the black-throated diver that was present on Poulner lake a couple of weeks ago.
This bird has not been seen since the 14th of December now, and the last observer stated it didn’t look well and was behaving strangely, beaching itself in the shallows and poking about in the weed looking ill. This next photo perhaps sheds some light on why, as it appears to have fishing line and a small weight hanging from it’s beak. A real shame.
He also sent a couple of nice photos of the long staying drake ferruginous duck at Kingfisher lake, showing the great colours of this bird. Please note that Poulner lake and Kingfisher lake are outside the nature reserve and are not managed by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.