About samuelhenderson

Assistant Reserves Officer, Blashford Lakes.

Autumn is here!

As one of the reserves team I get to do a lot of practical jobs around Blashford Lakes to keep it safe and accessible for people to enjoy. One of the best things aside from working outdoors is seeing all the wildlife while I am carrying out my duties. So here’s a little blog post about the things I’ve seen lately.

It was calm dew-laden morning with autumn starting to bite. Ibsley water was an eerie scene with great crested grebes floating silently in the mist. As the sun burnt off the mist, the water was calm and mirror-like. A good day for spotting kingfishers, as I’d hear later from overjoyed visitors and photographers.

After opening the reserve and doing some site checks I went looking for our conservation grazing ponies. All four ponies were found happy and healthy up on the eastern shore by Lapwing Hide. While I was there, I was very lucky to spot an osprey passing overhead! As winter approaches Ospreys are migrating south to warmer climes. It could be a bird from Poole harbour or perhaps migrating much farther to Spain or West Africa. Either way, fingers crossed it comes back in the breeding season to use our osprey nesting platform!

Back at the dipping pond behind the visitor centre I spotted a female Emperor dragonfly. She was dedicatedly trying to lay her eggs in the water. Her young will then feed up as nymphs in the ponds and you might see some if you’re pond dipping next year!

Following on from the earlier post I kept my eyes open for fungi. I am not an expert but I still at least 12 different kinds! How many will you find at Blashford Lakes this autumn?

In addition to the species named above, notable mentions include a single white butterfly (most likely a Large White) in addition to the numerous Speckled wood butterflies; and at Ibsley Water at least five egyptian geese, a male pochard, and a very lost (we suspect escaped) barnacle goose!