Firstly, please accept our apologies for the recent infrequency of posts – we are doing our best, we are still here, and if we are not managing to post more frequently it is only because we are busy!
Comedy award this week goes to our lovely Long-term Volunteer Placement Emily – with thanks to Geoff for very kindly taking and sharing the picture below:
I’m sure Emily will be thrilled to have made it onto the blog again (it wouldn’t have been so bad if she didn’t end up doing exactly the same thing again…several times!).
Joking aside Emily has been a huge help since she started with us on a long-term basis in September and we will be sad to see her “leave” when the 6 month post finishes in March. She has in turn benefitted from a wide range of work experience across all aspects of conservation and education work on the reserve and her first job interview requests are starting to roll in. We of course hope that she secures a suitable job soon (and ideally we hope that the suitable job is local so we can continue to benefit from her hard-work and enthusiasm in the future!).
We will shortly be advertising for a new long-term (6 month) volunteer at Blashford Lakes on the website and elsewhere so if you, or anyone you know, might be interested, do check out the jobs section next week: http://www.hiwwt.org.uk/jobs
The post that Emily was trying to erect in the picture was one of several forming a deer fence in front of the old Hansons office which will (hopefully!) protect the tree’s that were then subsequently planted there by the Thursday volunteer team from the ravages of grazing deer.
Sadly we still have no news on when we will be able to finally open the long awaited footpath between Tern and Goosander Hides, but rest assured that as soon as we can we will and we will be sure to let you know on this blog when we do too…
Perhaps the biggest wildlife news of the week, and certainly today, is that of sightings of (a single male) lesser redpoll on the feeders outside Woodland Hide for much of the day – unusually for this winter the visitor who first reported it to me had seen that, but no brambling! Thanks to Niall Ferguson for his pictures of brambling and a long-tailed tit taken late last week:
Ivy Lake still plays host to a large number of wildfowl, particularly notable this week after a long absence has been the arrival of teal. Both the great white egret and bittern continue to be in residence – thank you to Steve White for sending these pictures in:
The bittern clearly doing what it does best, quickly darting from one side of the clearing to the other!
This morning our Wildlife Watch group were in and todays main activity was nest box building:
Early arriving Wildlife Watch members had a fantastic view through the classroom window of a kingfisher over the centre pond where it remained on and off throughout the day delighting any number of visitors of all ages!
I was particularly pleased to be able to call a couple of visitors into my office to see it before they left this morning, as I’d been chatting with them when I opened up Ivy South Hide and they told me how much they wished to see one but had never yet managed it on a visit yet. After they had left and headed over the boardwalk I walked back up to the centre right past a kingfisher fishing from the reeds at the back of Ivy Silt Pond near the Woodland Hide!
Their view of one over the dipping pond made their morning however 😉
My wife and I popped into the reserve on the way home from a shipping trip to Ringwood yesterday. And we are so glad we did! My wife has only been fascinated by wildlife for a couple of years (bit of a late starter 😉 ) and she was thrilled to see a Kingfisher, Heron, Tree creeper and several more spieces we’d never see in our little garden in Andover. She is also disabled and has difficulty walking great distances but she managed a leisurely circuit of the Ivy lake. We will certainly be back again soon.
Thank you for all your great work.
Ady & Jen Stones, Andover.
Thank you for your lovely comments – it’s no mean feat maintaining access to a level that is suitable for everyone and despite the money and labour that goes into maintaining them we know that there are usually stretches of path that we would like to be better, so it is great to get positive feedback like this. It makes it all worthwhile!
Hi! We are new to the area and spent a lovely Sunday morning walking around the lakes, watching the sailing and looking at the wildlife. We noticed that one of the lakes, an angling lake, was quite a bright turquoise colour and were wondering if you knew why this was?
Hi Gemma. The lake you are referring to is not part of the nature reserve and I’m not sure which one you are referring to as most, if not all, of the lakes outside the reserve are fished! The kind of colour you describe can be the result of an algae bloom, but that would be very unusual at this time of year and therefore it is possibly because of particular sediments or minerals in suspension in the water. For instance, although unlikely in the gravels of the Avon Valley here, chalk particles will give a tropical blue colour to water. I’ll mention your observations to the reserves officer in case he knows more about this specific case. Jim