Ducks, ducks, ducks

The recent drop in temperature has resulted in a considerable increase in duck numbers around the lakes. I did not have the chance to do complete counts but when I opened the Tern hide this morning I did a quick count of what I could see from there and got to at least 149 pintail and 208 shoveler. On Ivy Lake I saw at least 80 more shoveler and there will have been others elsewhere. There were also hundreds of wigeon on both lakes, no doubt moved here from further north where some waters will have frozen completely. There is a good chance that a lot will stay for a while as there is good feeding locally both on the lakes and out in the Avon valley now that it is partly flooded.shoveler

I was off site for most of the day, but from reports received it seems at least one bittern was seen from Ivy North hide, both the black-necked and Slavonian grebe were on Ibsley Water and in the afternoon the first winter Caspian gull, the ring-billed gull and a Mediterranean gull came into the roost there. The great white egret was also seen on Ivy Lake for a time, although had gone by the time I got there to lock up. I also heard a report that a ring ouzel had been seen with blackbirds feeding on the grass beside the road at Gorley Cross, just up the road from the reserve, something I did not get a chance to follow up before it got dark.


2 thoughts on “Ducks, ducks, ducks

  1. Hi,

    I visited on Wednesday morning this week and had a great time in the Woodland hide where I took these pictures. Would I be right in thinking the first two are of a Serin? Also is this a Redpoll or a Lesser Redpoll? How would I tell?

    After a spell I moved on to Ivy North and saw a couple of Bitterns fly across. Unfortunately I didn’t capture them on my camera as I had already filled the card!!

    One issue I found was that there was a scrum to get to the opening windows, and I have found this before. In the Woodland Hide I spend half an hour behind the two people at the window before one left and I could get in. Then there were another two waiting. I was wondering if it was possible to have more opening windows in the hides as this is the only way for decent pictures?

    Thanking you

    Kind regards

    Ross []

    Zenfolio | Photographs by Ross Underwood Posbrook Pics is the site for photography by Ross Underwood. It contains portraits, wildlife and travel pictures.


    • Unfortunately I don’t seem to be able to view the pictures. My guess would be that the bird that looks like it could be a serin was actually a siskin. Serin is a very scarce bird in Britain and downright rare in Hampshire, perhaps a record or so per year, the rather similar siskin is a common winter visitor and breeder in parts of the county. They are especially frequent on the feeders at the Woodland hide along with lesser redpoll.

      The hide is mainly aimed at letting people see lots of birds up close and is especially good for children as a result, hence the one way glass. It is thus not primarily a hide for photography, although lots of great shots do get taken there.

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