Opened up the other hides, outside the Ivy South hide were several Wigeon including this pair perched on one of the stick rafts preening. They were eventually driven off by a Coot, no doubt with an eye on the raft as a nest site.
It was Thursday so it was volunteer day. Thirteen people turned out to work on the shingle shore of Ibsley Water to improve conditions for nesting Little Ringed Plover and Lapwing. A large collection of varied rubbish was also collected, the left-overs of a history of industrial use. After getting soaked to the skin last week we got lucky this time, the rain started just as we finished work and quickly got heavy, a much needed incentive to do some office work.
The Woodland hide was again swarming with finches, the nyger feeders were occupied more by Lesser Redpoll than Siskin with large numbers of Chaffinches and Bramblings, probably over 80.
Some of the Redpolls fed on the ground under the feeders, including the bird below which carried a ring, probably one of the birds ringed on the reserve over recent weeks. The "red poll" is well shown in the picture, although this feature provides the name it is usually hard to see in the field as they are usually to be found feeding high in the tree tops.
The Redpoll pictures were taken at the Woodland hide, outside the hide I found this female Chaffinch perched in a willow, it seemed to be taking as much interest in me as I was in it. Although obviously a Chaffinch it is perched in such a way as to hide the white wing bars, usually the most obvious feature of this species.
Other birds today included about 500 or so Black-tailed Godwits on the island in Ibsley Water, these birds had been feeding on the flood meadows north of Ibsley bridge earlier where there are still 13 Bewick's Swans.
I also saw my first Smooth Newt of the year, although this was a somewhat indirect record as it was on the screen in teh Centre, the picture being fed in from the pond.