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Blashford Bulletin June 2019

Blashford-Oystercatcher-chick-by-Jason-CrookWe are in the middle of summer and the reserve is full of life. The insect world is buzzing, the leaves on the trees are still fresh and our young birds are embarking on their first flights away from the nest. From the water’s edge to the woodland canopy, this year’s young will be fledging and gaining independence. The air will continue to be full of birdsong with many birds singing throughout June as their mates produce a second brood.Blashford---speckled-wood-by-Peter-West

On the shoreline of Ibsley Water Oystercatcher, Lapwing and Little Ringed Plover chicks will be venturing further from their parents whilst foraging on the shoreline for food.

On Ivy Lake the Common Tern chicks will be taking their first leap away from the comfort of their nest, whilst the Great Crested Grebe chicks with their black and white humbug faces are now too big to catch a ride on their parent’s back.

Blashford’s insect life is best viewed on a sunny day, with the meadow and the pond behind the Education Centre both fabulous places to just sit and be still. Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma and Speckled Wood butterflies are all plentiful and in the meadow the summery sound of chirruping crickets and grasshoppers will delight your ears. On Saturday 6th July from 10am until 11.30am you can join the Education Officer to ‘Catch the Bug’ and discover the miniature world of the grasshoppers, crickets, spiders and bugs that inhabit our meadow. Please book by telephoning 01425 472760.Blashford-Oxe-eye-Daisies-by-Bob-Chapman

Blashford-black-tailed-skimmer-Bob-ChapmanThe mixture of wetland, woodland and grassland mae wing along with Common Blue and Azure Blue damselflies. Their life cycle requires wetlands for the start of their life along with open woodland and grassland in which tkes the reserve a brilliant place for dragonflies and damselflies, with Brown Hawker, Common Darter, Emperor and Black Tailed Skimmer dragonflies all on tho hunt as an adult. We are often asked how to tell dragonflies and damselflies apart: the best way is to wait until they are sitting still or perched on vegetation, as damselflies tend to hold their wings over their bodies whilst dragonflies will rest with them stretched out to the side.Blashford-Grass-Snake-by-Martin-King

Closer to the ground, keep an eye out for Grass snakes basking on the alder logs and stumps outside Ivy South Hide or on the fallen trees on the edge of Ivy Silt Pond.

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.