Weeds, views and shrews


The amazing Blashford volunteers in a frenzy of weeding activity.

The Thursday volunteers were in as usual today, and we started the task of clearing weeds from the shore of Ibsley Water. We concentrated on the area in front of the Tern hide, removing dock, willow herbs, small willows and birches amongst others. The reason for this is to improve the view of the shore line and to try to encourage little ringed plovers to breed next year. Unfortunately no little ringed plovers bred this year and this is probably due to various reasons like presence of corvids and foxes around the lake but also possibly because the habitat has become too weedy and over grown with plants. The volunteers did a fantastic job as usual and the shore is much improved already, but still needs another session or two. When I locked the hide at 5pm it was pleasing to see several lapwing and starlings feeding around the disturbed ground where we had weeded. 

In the afternoon Adam and I cut back the vegetation along the path by the Ivy silt pond to improve the view of pond, in anticipation of all the rare birds that are going to be seen in there this autumn and winter!


Adam improving the view.

Unfortunately the Avon osprey seen yesterday hasn’t showed up yet but wildlife reported today included a female ruddy duck, ruff, common sandpiper and green sandpiper on Ibsley Water. Plus some migration of around a hundred or so house martins. A female mandarin duck  was seen by the sand martin wall and wasp spiders in the grassland by Goosander hide. A lesser spotted woodpecker at the woodland hide was the first in some time. The highlight today for me was a water shrew in the tool store this afternoon. I have no idea what it was doing in there, they eat invertebrates and it wouldn’t have been interested in any of the stored bird seed. Unfortunately any attempt to photograph or catch it was foiled as it was just too quick and ran out the door! As far I can work out this is the first record for the reserve.