Unlike Bob, who manages to magic birds up out of thin air whenever he enters a hide, for the last eight years I have somehow managed to miss seeing an osprey, despite the Avon Valley in general and Blashford Lakes specifically being a regular stopping off and through route for ospreys on migration during the spring and autumn.
Today I am very pleased to say that I have at long last seen my first Blashford osprey! Spotted by a visitor mid afternoon resting and preening on the lowest, most easterly "island" on the western side of Ibsley Water, my only complaint now is that it wasn't doing a bit more! It may or may not be around for a while - sometimes they can hang around the Valley for a few days, if not weeks, at other times they are here one minute and gone the next.
Elsewhere on the reserve, Ivy South Hide is probably best for viewing wildfowl with a combination of lower water levels and a bumper growth of pond weed and associated invertebrates providing plenty of food for coot and gadwall in particular. The great crested grebes are still sitting on their nest and kingfisher have been very active there as well as on the old silt pond behind the hide. The grass snake(s) are still to be seen basking on the fallen tree outside the hide too, all be it now mostly obscured by the bramble growth.
Yesterday a young fox was spotted in the willow coppice area, so at least one of the three cubs that was reared behind the reserve compound this spring is doing well.