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Blashford Bulletin June 2017

 

Blashford-Common-tern-David-Foker

Blashford-Common-tern-David-Foker

The trees are in full leaf and the busy chirping of birds fills the air. No matter where your destination, be it over looking one of the lakes or the peaceful setting of the woodland hide there is always a flurry of activity as adult birds are adhering to the beck and call of their demanding young.

On Ivy Lake the tern chicks will be taking their first leap away from the comfort of their nest whilst the great

Blashford-Lapwing-chick

crested grebe chicks with their black and white humbug faces will be becoming more independent, now too big to catch a ride on the back of the parent bird.

On the shoreline of Ibsley Water oystercatcher, lapwing and little ringed plover chicks will be taking their next steps and venturing further from their parents.

Blashford-Red-admiral-Bob-Chapman

Whilst looking around the reserve why not take some time out and sit in our tranquil meadow and let the sounds of nature relax you, from chirping grasshoppers to adventurous beetles scurrying up and down the blades of grass. If this sounds like your idea of a treat why not join us for our International Meadows Day event, Bugs, Bees and Butterflies on Saturday 1st July. Please telephone 01425 472760 to book your place.

Blashford-Commas-Bob-Chapman

Throughout the summer months our volunteers are walking weekly transect lines, recording the butterfly numbers around the reserve. Species to look out for include red admiral, meadow brown, speckled wood, peacock, comma and marbled white.

Blashford-Young-toads-on-land-Alan-Price

Young Toads on land by Alan Price

Back on the ground toadlets are usually ready to emerge from the lakes at some point in mid-June. These tiny creatures reach a point where they are ready to leave the water but dare not risk drying out and dying in the hot weather, so hold on until a spell of wet weather when they will emerge on mass – and some years they really do migrate on mass with thousands of the finger-nail sized youngsters quite literally covering the footpaths, particularly between the centre and Ivy South Hide, as well as other locations around the reserve.

Do be on the lookout for them over the next couple of weeks – they are small, very well camouflaged and are easily overlooked until the movement of one catches your eye and you realise all of a sudden you are surrounded!

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.