With the clocks going back and autumnal wind and rain not to mention an increasing likelihood of further restrictions on going out returning, things have been a little gloomy of late. However as many people have found in recent times being able to get out into nature, even in the rain does undoubtedly help lift the mood. In normal times most people mainly make use of the bird hides to view wildlife at Blashford Lakes, with these closed there is a need to seek other opportunities. Luckily the paths between the hides go through some interesting habitat and offer lots of chances to see all sorts of wildlife, something often forgotten as people rush from hide to hide in normal times. Unfortunately when it comes to viewing the lakes themselves and the wildfowl on them the hides are important, without them there are just a few screens and the high viewpoint at the rear of the Main Car Park near Tern Hide.
It had seemed possible that we might be getting to a point where we would be able to open the hides, with some restrictions, but sadly this now seems much less likely and we may have to face up to having no hide access this winter. This means looking for alternative viewing opportunities and the first one identified is just beside Ivy North Hide. Thanks to the gravel surface already being there and the screen facing the right way opening up a viewpoint was relatively easy. So on Friday afternoon I cut the vegetation between the screen and the lake and made an opening in the screen. This means that Ivy Lake is now viewable from three directions, looking north-west from the southern end of the Rockford path, looking west from further north up that path and now looking south from beside Ivy North Hide.
We have also recently given a haircut to a lot of the bushes and small trees that were starting to get in the way of the view of Ibsley Water from the viewpoint, the panoramic view from there is quite impressive, all we need now are some starlings to put on a show.