Okay, so they do not quite have the “wow factor” of gorillas, but they were all that I could see when I arrived to do the monthly waterfowl count this morning.
It had been pretty cold overnight and there was quite a frost on the vegetation and even some ice on the puddles.
Waiting for the mist to rise I went through the reedbed to Lapwing hide, seeing a couple of chiffchaff on the way.
Eventually the sun did start to burn off the murk.
Finally I could start counting in earnest.
On the whole the counts were not high, but I did see the largest number of goosander I have seen so far this autumn, exactly how many I am not quiet sure, 39 flew out at dawn, but then 5 flew in, then 9 flew over followed by another 2, so anything from 39 to 55!
Despite visiting all the lakes I failed to find the lesser scaup or the ferruginous duck, I suspect that both may not have taken kindly to the weekend’s fireworks, perhaps they will return in a few days. I did see out great white egret and either three pairs of raven or perhaps one pair three times. The pink-footed goose was again with the greylag flock on Ibsley Water. For its size Ivy Lake had the most birds, including 118 gadwall, our only internationally important species at Blashford. This importance is based on the fact that we regularly have more than 1% of the north-west European wintering population.