As you may well know Blashford is entered into the BTO business challenge competition this year. One of the main parts of this competition is the recording of as many bird species as possible during the year. Luckily the competition is divided into size classes and Blashford is in the second level, so we are not in direct head to head competition with Rutland Water, which would be an impossible hill to climb. After two quarters Blashford is just in front in our category, ahead of Top Hill Low nature reserve, a Yorkshire Water site.
The list of species recorded so far in 2010 below. If you have any species to add I would be delighted to hear from you. There are a couple of species that I know have been recorded but I do not have the details to hand, they are knot and grey plover, I have a suspicion I even saw the plover but cannot find it in my notes. I also suspect there may have been a golden plover but I have not got any record of one.
There are also one or two species that I have heard have been seen but I have been unable to obtain any details, so if you can shed any light on any of these I would be very keen to hear, amongst these are turtle dove and firecrest.
Then there are the species that might be out there but that we still have not recorded this year, like rock and water pipit, kittiwake, firecrest (if we cannot track down a record), yellowhammer and jack snipe.
There are some species that are on the "wish list", like goshawk, red-necked grebe, slavonian grebe, hawfinch and perhaps this year only lapland bunting. The last is a bit of a wildcard but with an invasion going on there is probably as good a chance this winter than there will ever be, I fancy one of on the bare ground near the Tern hide. It would also be good to get a record of another owl species, I have always thought a barn owl or short-eared owl would look good hunting along the eastern side of Iblsey Water.
The BTO Challenge List:
great crested grebe
great white egret
little ringed plover
lesser black-backed gull
great black-backed gull
great spotted woodpecker
lesser spotted woodpecker
ESCAPEES: (these do not count against the total)
The long-tailed skua and gannet may not be allowed on the total, as "fly-overs" are not included, although both did drop down over the water so these are a question of interpretation, we await the judges decision.