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Blashford Bulletin June 2018

Blashford-June-18-Great-Crested-Grebe-family-by-HIWWT The natural world is in full swing during June and July and life at Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve is abundant.  Breeding birds on the site continue to fill the air with song as many will have mates producing a second brood.  From the water’s edge to the woodland canopy, all over the reserve young birds will be fledging and gaining independence.  Look out for the incredible stripy faces of Great Crested Grebe chicks on Ivy Lake and oystercatcher, lapwing and little ringed plover chicks on the shore of Ibsley Water.

Keep your eyes to the ground mid-June for emerging toadlets – they are small, very well Blashford-June-2018-Common-Toad-by-John-Windustcamouflaged and easily overlooked until one catches your eye and you realise you are surrounded. They dare not risk drying out so wait for a spell of wet weather when they emerge from the lakes en masse, covering the footpaths between the Centre and Ivy South Hide as well as other locations around the reserve.

Blashford-June-2018-commas-by-Bob-ChapmanOn a sunny day the air is filled with insect life with Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma and Speckled Wood butterflies all plentiful and the summery sound of chirruping crickets and grasshoppers will delight your ears.  Blashford is ideal for dragonflies and damselflies as our range of habitats suit their lifecycle.  They spend their early life around the wetlands but move into the woodland and grassland areas to hunt as adults.  Take a walk down to Ivy South hide and you are quite likely to spot a grass snake basking in the warm summer sun.Blashford-June-2018-Common-Blue-Damselfly--John-Windust

On Thursday 21st June from 2pm until 4pm you can join the Reserves Officer on a guided ‘Mid-Summer Bugs’ walk in search of summer wildlife, including dragonflies, butterflies and moths. Blashford-June-2018-Greylag-Goose-by-Ian-Cameron-ReidAlternatively for a family friendly ‘Catch the Bug’ experience you can join our Education Officer in the meadow to discover the fascinating miniature world of grasshoppers, crickets, spiders and bugs galore on Saturday 23rd June, from 2pm until 4pm. For both events please book by telephoning 01425 472760.

During the breeding season many birds will have been in especially attractive plumage but now start to moult.  The lakes here at Blashford can become home to hundreds of Greylag and Canada Geese as they carry out their moult. Whilst they are replacing old feathers for new, they are vulnerable to predators like foxes, so they use the lakes to stay safe.

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.