Sunday, 2 January 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

A slightly brighter day than yesterday brought forth rather more visitors today, luckily the birds from were almost all still around so few were disappointed.

The biggest change overnight was the reduction in ice cover, Ibsley Water is mostly clear of ice, apart from the south-western and south-eastern corners. Ivy Lake is still mostly ice, but there is now water all down the eastern shore. This pattern is repeated elsewhere as well, although some of the smaller lakes remain very icy.

So to the wildlife:
Opening the Ivy North hide I had good views of Cetti's warbler and heard water rail, later one was showing well just to the right of the hide. Later in the morning I briefly saw the bittern as it crossed one of the cut channels, it was seen on and off during the day. The bearded tit seem to have moved on as they were not seen today.

On Ibsley Water the red-crested pochard were absent, but the smew was seen all day, mostly from the Goosander hide, there were also reports of one from Rockford Lake but I was not able to check this out. I briefly saw the water pipit near the Tern hide, but it flew off towards the Goosander hide. Towards the end of the afternoon the Iceland gull flew into the roost near the Lapwing hide at about 15:00. I missed this as I was in the Goosander hide watching the smew, I could also see something over 100 goosander and a single redhead red-breasted merganser, meaning that I could see all three European sawbills at once, not a common occurrence.

The Woodland hide feeders were busy all day with several lesser redpoll, 20+ brambling and all the usual tits and commoner finches. As usual, despite the more unusual species on offer, the Woodland hide was probably at least as popular as any other, the number, variety and close-up spectacle really is hard to beat.

Lastly a couple of reports received, a possible "mealy" redpoll was on the feeder at the Woodland hide and a woodcock was seen at dusk between the Lapwing and Goosander hides.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, it was very busy and somehow I never found the time to take any.

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