3 Oct 2014

3 Oct 14 - Return To Blashford Lakes

Back in the Spring I visited Blashford Lakes to look for a Mealy Redpoll, but I had no success on the day: having left it for a long time before making the effort. At the time I was fairly fazed with UK Winter Birding, having just had a long trip to India & the Andamans. This trip was followed soon after by a trip to Morocco & the Western Sahara. Having known the area since the early 80s when it was a selection of unmanaged private lakes & working gravel extraction pits, where it was only possible to check some of the lakes from the road, it's great to see what they have done with the Wildlife Trusts reserve here.
Great Crested Grebe: Adult. Looks like it uses Barbour wax on its back
The reason for straying out of Dorset was I had been arranged to meet up with regular blog reader, Clare, who is an ex-pat currently living, working & Birding in Delhi. Over the last few months, Clare has sent a number of interesting emails of short Birding trips to Kashmir & Bhutan, as well as, emails on the problems of Birding around Delhi during the recent hot Summer. But being back in the UK for a short holiday, the plan was to met up for Clare's first UK Birding. The New Forest seemed a suitable compromise, being vaguely inconvenient for both of us to get to: Blashford Lakes was the first destination. The great thing is the how good the hides are for general photography compared to the Studland & Middlebere hides that I normally frequent. The first stop was the Tern hide as the mist was clearing, where they were a few Photo Ticks to deal with.
Grey Heron: 1st Winter. The grey forehead, crown & nape & lack of any ornamental long crown feathers indicates this bird was born this year
Grey Heron: 1st Winter. It obligingly stretched out so I could get the reflection in as well. It's not often I wish I had a smaller lens than the 400mm
Grey Heron: 1st Winter
Egyptian Goose: They are quite common in the Avon Valley these days, but only about one sighting a year in Poole Harbour (just about the right frequency, especially as they rarely hang around)
Tufted Duck: Female
Lapwing: The head markings are great from the front
Then it was onto the Southern side of the reserve. The Woodland hide was disappointing on this visit with few birds coming to the feeders. But this Coal Tit & Nuthatch made up for it on the feeder by the visitors centre as both were Photo Ticks.
Coal Tit: With a Blue Tit above
Coal Tit: The white nape is the key feature for separating Coal Tits from other Tits
Nuthatch: One of my favourite UK birds