On the way to the Ivy North hide I looked across, as I always do on such mornings, toward the Wessex Water treatment works. Why I look is because the south side is in the sun and looks ideal for a black redstart, today it paid off, there really was a black redstart. It was a female spending most fo the time on the railings of a walkway at first floor level, too far away for a picture. Not a Blashford "tick" but a Blashford first fro me and the first for some years, also another bird for the BTO Challenge total.
The other hides were opened without incident, but looking into the water below the Ivy South hide I saw a small pike, then another and then two more. They were lying just below the surface next to the fallen trees. Two of them had leeches attached, one at least a dozen. I just about got a picture of one, not easy into the water without a polarising filter.
I did a bit more work on the sight lines at the Ivy North hide around the middle of the day, if there were bitterns they kept a very low profile, but a Cetti's warbler sang loudly at me and there were 2 water rail calling. The water is getting pretty deep now so this will probably be the last tweak of the season so I hope it works.
At the end of the day 4 common gull and at least 6 yellow-legged gull were the best I could do from the Tern hide. It was rapidly getting cold as I went to close the Ivy South hide and got this shot of the crescent moon over the silt pond, it is odd how it looks quite large in the sky but barely shows in the picture, something to do with the brain getting confused trying to compare the size of near and very distant objects I understand.
I set off for home and as I drove towards the bridge over the Dockens Water near Moyles Court there was an animal by the road, I am pretty sure it was an otter, but it disappeared into the bramble before I could really get a look. Even that was not quite the end of the day's wildlife, despite it being dark. Just south of Ringwood a barn owl flew low over the road, now that is a bird I could do with for Blashford.