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Blashford Bulletin April 2020

Sand-Martin-by-Steve-FarmerSpring’s arrival has brought a flurry of joyous activity at Blashford Lakes. All you need to hear is the easily recognisable call of the cuckoo echoing round and you will know that spring, with all its promise, colour and life is definitely here.osprey--ed-bennett
The sky is full of aerial displays from visiting birds such as the swifts, swallows and sand martins which have flown in to nest. It is amazing to think the swallows zig-zagging over the lakes have travelled over two thousand miles, covering two hundred a day and reaching speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. Make sure to keep your eyes to the sky as with luck on your side you may even see an osprey as they pass overhead making their return journey from Africa. Chiffchaff-David-KilbeyAs well as these spectacular sightings, listen to the woodland birds like the goldcrest and chiffchaff whose warning song is used to claim their feeding territory.
To enjoy this crescendo of bird song why not join our Reserves and Education Officers for an early morning Dawn Chorus experience on Friday 24th April, as part of our monthly Dine and Discover series of events. Starting at 5am, enjoy a guided walk and introduction to bird song and call identification, with caffeine on arrival and finishing with a campfire breakfast. Booking is essential, please telephone 01425 472760.Common-dog-violet
On the edges of the footpaths you can find the new growth of the season, such as the heart’s-tongue fern which brings a burst of greenery to the reserve, accompanied by the familiar bright hues of the bluebells and common dog violets. In the meadow the ox-eye daisies will be beginning to flower, alongside yellow rattle, bird’s foot trefoils and various vetch species.
Slender-birds-foot-trefoil--Bob-ChapmanIf April’s early start does not appeal, on Friday 29th May you can join us on another Dine and Discover event about the wildlife and bush-craft uses of the humble stinging nettle: harvest the stems to make string, sweep them for invertebrates and pick the tender tops for a simple campfire meal shared with like minded adults. Booking again is essential.
The warmer weather is bringing out an abundance of insect life with an ever growing list of colourful butterflies and shiny beetles amongst the long grasses, along with the first damselfly and dragonfly nymphs emerging from the pond as adults.

The Blashford Lakes Project is a partnership between Bournemouth Water, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust 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.