Very little time spent at Blashford today, I opened up and then left for a meeting in Fareham, then back via The Biggest Birdseed Cake in the World and back just in time for it to get dark.
Despite this there is a bit to report. First thing there were 2 dunlin on Ibsley Water, although not a lot else. The greenfinch roost in the laurel bushes at the car park entrance was still dispersing, there must be 200 or so coming in there now. At the Ivy North hide a water rail was calling and a group of 20 or so shoveler were feeding along the reed edge, I looked for bittern in the ice free areas in the reeds, but with no luck.
Then off to Fareham to talk waders, disturbance and how to fit lots of people into the same space as lots of birds without either losing out. These issues actually go to the heart of how successful we might be with the Living Landscapes approach which aims to maximise the opportunities for wildlife everywhere, not just on special sites. Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust does a lot of work on planning, responding to proposals and seeking a better outcome for wildlife. Although it may not seem obviously the case, influencing planning and development proposals may well achieve more for nature conservation than running nature reserves.
Then onto the birdseed cake, or at least what is left of it, a lot has already been handed out. The cake was made last Friday and pending the agreement the appropriate adjudicators should be accepted as the largest ever made at over 1.3 tonnes. Some will be featuring at the Woodland hide from tomorrow morning, so we will see it the birds are impressed.
I got back too late to see much but there were a couple of reports from the day, 2 Bewick's swan on Ibsley Water were presumably newly arrived and a green sandpiper on Rockford Lake was probably the one on Ivy Lake yesterday.
Lastly there was yet another wood mouse in the trap in the loft this morning, making five so far, I liberated it on the reserve, hopefully far enough away that it will not return.