Still Going

As Jim said in his recent post, I am still going into the reserve most days, mainly to keep and eye on things and do some routine maintenance tasks. Generally the reserve is very quite, although there is a small minority of people who are still out and about. Some are walking out from the nearest houses for their daily exercise. A few are still driving to the reserve, not really approved of these days, but in small numbers perhaps not a big problem. Unfortunately some are taking advantage of there being few people about to engage in poaching and other undesirable activity, probably inevitable but a shame all the same.

Yesterday morning was especially pleasant and I went right around the reserve to check on things. When there is nothing amiss I have to count myself really lucky to be still able to get out. I came across a group of basking male adder, there were at least three in one mass, but it was hard to work out how many exactly, a single nearby made for a better photo though.

adder

adder

There are surprising number of wildfowl still on the reserve, I suspect because we have had predominantly north-easterly winds and they don’t much like flying into a headwind when migrating. Earlier this week there were still over a thousand duck on Ibsley Water, with as many as 400 shoveler and hundreds of wigeon and pintail as well. There has also been a flock of black-tailed godwit around, at least 250, probably more, they are presumably feeding on the Avon floods now they have receded a bit, every so often they are lifted by a passing bird of prey and wheel about. The ducks are on the move now that the winds have eased and will be heading towards Scandinavia, the godwits will probably wait a couple of weeks or so before heading off to Iceland. By then I hope we will have a lot more summer visitors.

Despite the sunshine and generally rather spring-like feel to the weather there have been rather few summer visitors around so far. I have seen a very small number of sand martin, but no more than ten and no swallow or house martin. A few years ago there were sand martin excavating the first nest holes in the last week of March, and hundreds over the lake. There are a good few chiffchaff and blackcap singing now, but no other migrants.

The forecast is for warmer conditions next week, so perhaps we will get an arrival of summer visitors, we can be wait.

 

3 thoughts on “Still Going

  1. Hi Bob,

    I really appreciate your regular and informative updates from Blashford Lakes.

    However, I must say that I am very disappointed that you seem to condone driving to the reserve!

    Please use your position of both influence and respect to disapprove of flouting the Government’s instructions.

    Stay safe.

    Best wishes,

    Duncan

    • Not my intention at all, nobody should be driving out for exercise, I was referring only to the impact of the reserve of something I cannot stop, maybe the authorities will. If they did at least it would be clear that anyone still doing so was likely up to no good, which would be much better from my point of view.

      It is not perhaps surprising that people are still driving out, I pass several smaller Forest car parks on my way in to Blashford and all seem to have cars in them, so a clearly quite a lot of people locally are still driving out.

  2. Loving your updates Bob. I have been self-isolating for my own safety reasons because of the nature of where I live, Im only getting to see Sea-Gulls, Crows, some nice coo-ing Pigeons, a Blue-tit and Goldfinches occasionally passing over. I did see a lovely Chinook yesterday though 😉

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