Sunday, 15 November 2009

After the storm Blashford has a butterfly day.

What a contrast today was, fine, sunny and with no more than a light breeze. Despite looking I failed to find anything blown in by yesterday's gales, despite 100 mph gusts very little seems to have been blown in anywhere along the south coast.

In fact it was so fine today there were Red Admirals flying about and even Common Darters in pairs egg-laying in pools near the Goosander hide.

Rockford Lake is still probably home to more wildfowl than any other, although Ivy Lake has the greatest number of Gadwall. However Rockford is holding most of the Mute Swans, including a few colour-ringed birds like the one in the picture. Most, or all have been ringed at the bottom end of the Avon Valley in Christchurch. I do not have the details of this bird but will post them when I do.
The recent rain combined with the still mild temperatures have resulted in a great flush of fungi all over the reserve. A range of the is shown below.

Other birds around the reserve today included 8 Ruddy Duck (including 3 drakes), 7 Goldeneye (including 2 drakes), a few Goosander, a Green Sandpiper and a Black-tailed Godwit, all on Ibsley Water. There was also a report of 2 Pink-footed Geese with the Greylags briefly on Ibsley Water in early afternoon. In the silt pond near the Woodland hide a singing Cetti's Warbler was good to hear and there was at least one Chiffchaff near the Ivy North hide.
At dusk the usual gull roost gathered on Ibsley Water, with at least 14 Yellow-legged Gulls amongst the thousands of Lesser Black-backed Gulls. There was also what was almost certainly a 1st winter Ring-billed Gull, probably the one seen about a week ago. That I could not be completely sure was due to seeing it only briefly in flight and losing sight of it when it pitched into the mass of gulls to the west of the Tern hide. It was not only the number of birds but also the fact that I was trying to look directly into the light which thwarted efforts to find the bird on the water.

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