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Blashford Bulletin April 2017

Blashford-Little-Ringed-Plover-by-Ian-Cameron-ReidSpring has certainly sprung at Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve. Our overwintering flocks of ducks and geese will have departed, whilst migrant birds including swallows, swifts and martins will be arriving after their impressive journeys back to our shores. If you watch the surface of the lakes you should catch them displaying acrobatically over head as they feed. On the shore waders including little ringed plover, lapwing and dunlin will be showing as they too go in search of food.Blashford-Grass-Snake-by-Martin-King

If the weather is fine the air should begin to come alive with the buzzing of insect wings whilst a grass snake might be glimpsed sunning itself on the logs in front of Ivy South hide. Leaves will be breaking bud with their brilliant fresh green colour now filling the Blashford-Ground-Ivy-by-Bob-Chapmanwoodlands, along with the flowering ground ivy, bluebells and violets and carpets of yellow primroses.

On Friday 14th April you can join us for a self-guided Easter Nature Trail, in search of spring wildlife and other seasonal highlights. Drop in to the Education Centre anytime from 11am until 2.30pm and allow 1 to 1&1/2hours for the activity.Blashford-Demoiselle-Mark-Heighes

The dipping pond behind the Education Centre is a brilliant spot to sit and watch for recently emerged dragonflies, including the downy emerald and emperor. Damselfly species such as beautiful demoiselle, common blue, azure and blue tailed should also be on the wing. On Wednesday 19th April from 10.30am until 11.30am you can discover the wonderful wildlife lurking in the weedy depths of the Blashford pond by joining us for a family pond dip. We’ll supply the nets and expertise for fantastic family freshwater fun! Please telephone to book your place.

Blashford-Willow-Warbler-Darin-SmithThe dawn chorus will be in full swing with birds busy mating and nesting. April is the month to listen out for the cuckoo as it arrives back from its African wintering grounds. Their distinctive call swells an ever growing chorus which is noticeably louder by the day, as birds including garden, reed and willow warblers, blackcap and chiffchaff carve out their feeding territories. Join the Reserves Officer for a guided walk around the reserve in search of Blashford’s spring birds on either Wednesday 26th April or Monday 15th May, from 10am until 12noon. Please telephone 01425 472760 to book your place.

The Blashford Lakes Project is a partnership between Bournemouth Water, New Forest District Council and Wessex Water. The reserve is managed by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, a charity that aims to protect local wildlife and inspire people. For information on upcoming events visit our website: www.hiwwt.org.uk or phone: 01425 472760. For up-to-date wildlife information visit our blog: blashfordlakes.wordpress.com.