Reserve update- The majority of the lakes are still frozen, but the snowball test has revealed they are starting to thaw with the ice becoming more slushy!
Ellingham Lake is storming ahead with the big thaw and is now only half frozen. The bird population was predominately coot and mallard with some gadwall and little grebe in front of the club house.
Snails Lake has mostly coot with some pochard, gadwall and tufted duck. Blashford Lake has pochard, coot, gadwall and tufted ducks.
Ivy Lake is still frozen over, the small pocket of water in front of the screen still remains but with now just a handful of mallard, coot and swans. Rockford Lake has three pockets of water with mostly coot, pochard, tufted duck and a few wigeon but noticeably a lot less than Saturday. The swan carcass has been quite impressively stripped bare.
Woodland hide is much the same, a busy feeding frenzy of all the usual woodland birds with good numbers of brambling. The badgers had ventured out yesterday night leaving lovely footprints in the snow around the entrance to the hide, most footprints are starting to melt now though.
Over on the other side of the reserve we saw a fallow deer disappearing over the bank on the approach to Goosander hide, however there was nothing to see from the hide itself.
Lapwing hide provided the best variety of waterfowl, although it is right over on the far side of Ibsley water. There were some shoveler, pochard, tufted ducks, gadwall, one goldeneye and a large number of coot. Walking back to the road there were flocks of siskin flying over our heads feeding at the tops of the alder trees.
So the best spots to visit at the moment are Woodland hide, the path between Rockford and Ivy Lake, Blashford Lake and if you are feeling adventurous then Lapwing hide, although the birds are on the far side of the lake, so ideally you need a telescope.
And here is a Christmassy scene of recycled decorations from our craft event yesterday featuring wobble the reindeer, who got so hungry he ate his own leg off!