As we did last year Sue and I started the year off with a week in Weymouth in Dorset. On the way from London, we stopped off at Blashford Lakes in Hampshire. This gem of a reserve we discovered for the first time on the way home from Dorset last year.
Our first stop was Ibsey water but apart from a party of Linnets, a Little Grebe and some distant gulls, most of which seemed to be Lesser Black-backed and Herring gulls there was not a lot to be seen.
We then went to the Woodland hide, where a number of species were attending the feeder station. Unfortunately, unlike last year, there were no Brambling or Bullfinches. However, a stunning male Siskin and a Coal Tit did oblige us.
Finally, we went to Ivy South Hide. Here we looked over one of the large lakes with its Cormorant roosting tree. A Great White Egret flew into the reeds at the edge but there was no sign of the Bittern which had been seen earlier in the afternoon.
We then spent some time looking for a Yellow-Browed Warbler, once a rare passage migrant, but now a few are wintering in the UK. On this occasion I wasn’t successful, but there are other opportunities as there are two birds wintering in Weymouth, one on each of the town’s RSPB reserves.
Time was getting on and we needed to continue on our journey so we had to leave Blashford and continue our journey.
Red-breasted Goose (Branta ruficollis)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Merganser [sp] (Mergus merganser)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Egret [sp] (Ardea alba)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Common Linnet [sp] (Linaria cannabina)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Siskin (Spinus spinus)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)