Saturday, 14 January 2012

Blashford Lakes - A Trio of Swans

Hampshire has certainly hit the headlines this week with the appearance of the UK's 8th Spanish Sparrow. Of course this is a bird I would love to see but with thousands of people heading down to see it, what's the point? As the bird has been present since Spring, he doesn't look like he's going anywhere in a hurry!! Anyway, we decided to go down to Blashford Lakes today and one particular focus was the Whooper Swan which had been mixing in with the Mute Swans in Harbridge.

We arrived at around 10:15 to find over 100 Mute Swans and 6 (possibly 7) Bewick's Swans. I scanned through all the swans and failed to find the Whooper Swan until we discovered the bird was right in front of us, just 20 feet from the hedgerow, fantastic!! We had been warned by others to stay in the car to avoid spooking the bird but it was soon apparent the bird was not concerned by us at all!! Unfortunately the harsh sunlight on a pure white bird made photography almost impossible but I got a few shots worth posting. At around 11:00 we decided to head to Blashfords main reserve and after visiting Ibsley Water and Ivy Lake, we had seen Goldeneye, Pintail, Goosander plus the usual wildfowl, with no sign of the Fudge Duck. We then headed off to the woodland hide where we were greeted by the delightful sound of screaming children, great! Fortunately they left soon after our arrival so we were able to photograph the Lesser Redpolls and Siskins in peace!!

We then had a last quick look at the swans in Harbridge (both the Bewick's and Whooper Swan were still present, although the whooper was now around 50 metres away.

Bewick's Swan

Adult and Juvenile Bewick's Swan

Whooper Swan 



Lesser Redpoll


Collared Dove

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