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Blashford Bulletin April 2019

Spring is in full swing, heralded by the departure of our overwintering flocks of geese and ducks and the arrival of migrants back to our shores such as Blashford-Lapwing-chick-by-HIWWTswallows, swifts and martins. If you spend a bit of time watching the surface of the lakes you can catch them displaying acrobatically overhead as they feed. On the edge of Ibsley Water waders including lapwing, oystercatcher, little ringed plover and common sandpiper will be showing as they search for food.

Blashford-Blackcap-by-David-KilbeyIn the woodland now a brilliant fresh green, listen out as birds like chiffchaff, blackcap and goldcrest use their song to stake their claim to their feeding territories. The birds on the reserve are busily mating, building nests and rearing their young. If they have a good breeding season, Tern Hide will be the place to visit for a glimpse of a lapwing or oystercatcher chick as they move along the shoreline in search of worms and insects.

Blashford-Emperor-dragonfly--emerging-by-Jim-DayIf the weather is fine the air will begin to come alive with the buzzing of insect wings, with the pond behind the Education Centre the perfect spot to sit quietly and watch newly emerged dragonflies, such as the downy emerald and emperor, and damselflies including the common blue and blue tailed.

On Monday 15th April from 10.30am until 12noon you can discover the wonderful depths of the Blashford pond by joining us on a family pond dip. Please telephone 01425 472760 to book your place, suggested donation £4 per person.Blashford-Bluebell-by-Eleanor-Joy-Wilkins

Take a walk along Dockens Water and you will be rewarded with a splash of spring colour courtesy of the bluebells in full bloom along its banks. Other spring flowers to look out for on the nature reserve include ground ivy, violets and primroses.

All this makes Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve a wonderful place to enjoy everything spring has to offer! For a day out with a difference, join us on Friday 31st May from 11am until 3pm as we dine in the woodland and discover the humble stinging nettle. This is  our first monthly event for adults excited by wildlife, nature and the outdoors.  Harvest the stems and learn how to make nettle string, sweep them for invertebrates and then pick the tender tops for a simple campfire meal prepared and shared with like minded adults, booking essential via BlashfordLakes@hiwwt.org.uk or 01425 472760, cost £21.

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 more information visit www.hiwwt.org.uk or phone: 01425 472760. For up-to-date wildlife information visit our blog:
blashfordlakes.wordpress.com.