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Blashford Bulletin October 2017

Oct-17-Fly-agaric-Bob-Chapman

Oct-17-Shaggy-Inkcap-Melissa-Howarth

Autumn is a colourful time of year at Blashford Lakes, with the trees displaying
ceilings of golden leaves and fungi beginning to emerge on the woodland floor. On your visit to the reserve, look out for the popular fly agarics along with shaggy inkcaps, earth stars, amethyst deceivers and the more subtle but aptly named candle snuff fungus on the tops of logs.

 

 

 

Oct-17-Candle-snuff-fungus-Bob-Chapman

On the water duck numbers will be increasing, including gadwall, pochard, tufted duck, teal, shoveler, wigeon and golden eye. As we enter the busy bird season at Blashford Lakes you may be considering investing in some new binoculars to enhance your bird watching experience. Why not join ‘In Focus’, optics and binocular specialists, for one of their regular events to try out different binoculars and telescopes in the bird hide and find out what is best for you.

Oct-17-Gadwall-Sue-White

These events usually take place on the first Tuesday of the month from 10am-4pm in the Tern Hide.

 

 

Oct-17-Bittern-Jason-Crook

The bittern is likely to return late October, although they will become increasingly easier to spot towards the end of the year as the reeds die back. If you would like to explore the reserve with an expert then why not join Reserves Officer Bob Chapman on a guided walk in search of the last summer visitors and first winter arrivals on Wednesday 18th October from 10am until 12noon. Please telephone to book your place.

Oct-17-Dark-Bush-Cricket-Ed-Merritt

This time of year is brilliant for watching the birds coming into roost on Ibsley Water; thousands of gulls, geese and goosander use the lakes as their resting place as it provides a safe refuge after dark. As well as looking out for roosting birds you can also watch out for bats emerging for their night’s feed and listen out for dark bush crickets who can be heard chirping at this time of year.

Our conservation volunteers have been hard at work doing a brilliant job as they help the Reserves Officer to strim back rush, bramble and small willows around the edges of the lakes to help maintain short grassland habitat for wintering ducks and lapwing. They will also be pollarding our large willow stands creating many bundles of willow withies. Why not try out a new skill and create a masterpiece using the willow withies pollarded from Blashford Lakes (bundles are yours for a reasonable donation).

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.