Friday, 5 February 2010

Change for a Pound

A most surprising morning, when I opened up the Ivy North hide Cetti's Warbler was showing well and at the South hide there were 2 Green Sandpipers and all in very pleasant sunshine. I decided to walk back to the Centre the long way round via the Ellingham path and I'm pleased I did. When I got to Ellingham Pound there were the usual tiny number of birds, there is almost never anything of note on this pond, but they included a redhead Smew, possibly the one from Rockford Lake, or possibly not. I went to get a camera and got a few poor shots, although marginally better than my earlier efforts. However this was not the end of it, as I was taking the pictures a Great White Egret flew in, it was an unringed bird and did not stay long before a Grey Heron chased it off. Perhaps the Pound is turning over a new leaf, or perhaps this was it's purple patch and I just got lucky.
Over recent weeks there has been some bad feeling between photographers and general visitors in the Woodland hide. I decided to try an ease this by adding another feeder at the bend on the approach the hide, in a good sunny spot. Today I tried to get a few shots of Siskin and a couple are below, a male and a ringed female, possibly one of the birds ringed on the reserve recently.
The lichen covered branch is a decorative perch I added as being more interesting than either the feeder or the bare twigs of the neighbouring trees.
I spent most of the day moving willow brash to use on the banks around the main car park so did not see many birds for much of the day. However reports received, as they say, revealed that the, or a, Smew was on Rockford Lake and a Great White Egret was at Harbridge along with up to 18 Bewick's Swans. There was also a report of a male Marsh Harrier flying over, which I missed yet again, I seem destined never to see one at Blashford. Despite seeing no birds around the main car park I did make one observation of note, a Red Admiral, my first butterfly of the year.
At the end of the day I tried to get a Goosander count, however they had other ideas and I had to visit all three Ibsley Water hides, so would have missed some as they flew in. All the same the minimum number of birds present was 92, including 35 adult drakes. There were also at least 23 Goldeneye including 10 adult drakes.
I suspect the Red-crested Pochards have gone now as nobody reported them today, but there was a Bittern seen in the small patch of reeds north of the Goosander hide yesterday so the bird that has been around the eastern shore of Ibsley Water would seem still to be there.

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