28th of April 2013.

Blashford Lakes – Hampshire Wildlife Trust.

Species seen 62.

A very dull and overcast day was recently spent in the New Forest at Blashford Lakes a wildlife reserve that is run by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. The lakes are surrounded by grassland and willow, birch and alder woodland. Dockens Water stream flows through the reserve and a lot of the area is bounded by ancient woodland of oak and beech. 

I have to say that every one of the hides were of top quality with excellent views of either woodland or the lakes. One however did have a rather unusual and very un-user friendly door knob which made it very difficult to open!

Beginning with a visit to the visitors centre, I then made my way to the first hide in the woodland here were Great Spotted and Green Woodpecker, Brambling, Redpoll, Wren, Nuthatch, Blackbird, Jay, Magpie, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Siskin, Chiffchaff, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Blackcap, Blue, Great, Long Tailed, Coal and Willow Tit.

To the rear of this area was a hide looking over the Ivy Lake, here the usual ducks were seen, plus two Great Crested Grebes doing their courtship dance, which is always a pleasure to see.  Also here within the surrounding bushes was a feeding doe Red Deer.

When arriving at the Ibsley Lake hides the sky was full of Swifts, Swallows, Sand and House Martins, at one point they descended upon a bush that was clearly covered in insects, these were soon gone. At one hide there is a concrete wall with pipes full of sand where a great many of the Martins were busy going in and out. Looking out both Common and Arctic Terns were seen amongst the usual gulls and Cormorants. The final treat was a Sandpiper walking along right in front of the hide. This reserve is well worth another visit, perhaps later in the year.

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