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.
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.