Archive for the ‘Hampshire’ Category

Day one of our 2020 trip to Dorset saw us travelling down from London to Weymouth. We stooped off at Blashford Lakes in Hampshire for a couple of hours in the afternoon and although we didn’t record a large number of species, we did see some good ones.

Arriving at the reserve we went straight to Tern hide and were soon watching a distant Long-tailed Duck, a species which is more commonly found on the coast. Also present were 6 Common Goldeneye and 2 Goosander and large numbers of Eurasian Wigeon, Northern Pintail and Gadwall plus smaller groups of Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Tufted Ducks and Common Pochard.

Photo by Damian Walmsley (

The Woodland hide was quite quiet with only Great Tit, Blue Tit, Robin and Goldfinch present. Elsewhere on the reserve we also saw Chaffinch, Blackbird, Dunnock and Long-tailed Tit.

After a couple of hours, it was time to recommence our journey west, but an excellent start to our trip.

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On our way home from Weymouth, Sue and I made a lunchtime stop at Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve, near Ringwood in Hampshire. I had never been to this reserve before, in fact, I had never heard of it till a couple of days ago. Which is quite a surprise when I read what was on offer here. The evening Gull roost (which as lunchtime visitors we did not see) presently includes 5 rarer Gull species. The stars are 2 American Gulls, Thayer’s Gull and Ring-Billed Gull along with Caspian Gull, Iceland Gull and Yellow-legged Gull together with thousands of the commoner Gull species.


Anyway, we were too early for roosting Gulls but we started on Ibsey Lake where there was an amazing 40 Goosander on the far bank along with 15 Pintail and a single Pink-footed Goose. Out on the lake were a few Goldeneye together with Common Pochard and Tufted Duck.


Goosanders. Photo by Sergey Yeliseev (

Our next stop was the Woodland hide where we were treated to a wonderful display of woodland birds including some beautiful Siskin and Brambling along with Chaffinch, Dunnock, Long-tailed Tits, Nuthatch, Great and Blue Tits.


Siskin (left), Wigeon (top right) and Deer (bottom right)

On the way back to the car park, we were directed to a spot where we could see a Great White Egret and Little Egret resting in the reed-bed and then were treated to a rather confiding deer (probably a Fallow Deer) which fed quite happily as we watched it from the path

This was a short visit but I would really like to visit again and spend a lot more time exploring this wonderful reserve.

Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Goosander / Common Merganser [sp] (Mergus merganser)
Great Egret [sp] (Ardea alba)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
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)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Naturelog: 3rd February

Posted: February 12, 2018 in Birds, Hampshire, Natural History, UK

Not an auspicious start to our trip to Dorset as it poured with rain from the time Sue and I left London. We had planned to make a stop on the way and as we made our way south-west we debated whether or not to stop. As we approached Chawton in Hampshire, the rain eased a little and so we decided we would stop. Chawton is best known as the home of Jane Austen’s brother and the place where she spent her last years, but this is not the reason we are stopping. Chawton has become home this winter to a flock of Hawfinches, usually a rare bird in the UK. Last Autumn, however, there was an eruption and it is estimated that the wintering population is at least 10 times normal. In some places, flocks of up to 200 have been reported. Chawton village has hosted a flock of around 30 birds. As we park in the car park, the rain starts again but we decided to check out if the tea shop was open. It’s not but from the car park, we can see 4 Hawfinches in the top of a tree, so our visit is not in vain.

Hawfinch. Photos by Segey Yeliseev (

And so onto Preston, just outside Weymouth our base for the next week.