Bitterns at Blashford

by A warbler a day

I went down to Blashford Lakes today in the hope actually seeing the Bitterns that had apparently been very visible over recent weeks. In the morning I stayed round the Ivy lake area of the reserve. After a few minutes watching the usual suspects at the woodland feeders I spent some time in the hides overlooking Ivy Lake. Though there were loads ducks, particularly Wigeon and Teal, there was no sign of a Bittern. After lunch I spoke to a couple of blokes with telescopes who said that the Bitterns had been spotted in the small lake next toi the path to the Ivy Lake South hide. I quickly walked and found rows of scopes trained on the reeds on the opposite bank. With a bit of help I managed to find both Bitterns, getting really good views of one stretching its neck up.

After leaving the Bitterns I spent some time in the hides on Ibsley water where there were large numbers of Pintail, Goosander and Shoveler. I then found 2 Black-necked Grebes on Rockford Lake, another good bird.

I went home the scenic route through the New Forest, stopping at Eyeworth Pond where I saw some Mandarin Ducks and a Marsh Tit. My total no of species seen today was 58. Best of the year so far!