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Blashford Bulletin October 2019

Blashford-Candle-snuff-fungus-Bob-ChapmanAutumn is a beautiful time of year at Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve with fantastic displays of colour all around. The trees above are now providing a medley of autumnal hues whilst on the ground below many different types of fungi such as the candle snuff and amethyst deceiver begin to emerge. Still on the wing are the peacock and red admiral butterflies, creating pops of brilliant colour amongst the golden backdrop of leaves.Blashford-Red-admiral-by-Bob-Chapman

We will be exploring an autumnal Blashford Lakes during the October Half Term with our Wild Days Out children’s events, discovering how nature responds to the cooler weather. Seven to twelve year olds can join us for an Autumn Adventure on Tuesday 29th October whilst Thursday 31st is for children aged five to eight. Booking is essential; please visit www.hiwwt.org.uk/events for further details and to book online.

Blashford-Migrant-hawker-Bob-ChapmanIf you listen carefully you will hear the autumn hubbub of bush cricket chirps, the crunching of leaves underfoot and even the beating of wings by the common darter and migrant hawker dragonflies which will stay active until the temperature drops. On Ibsley Water the roosting gulls, geese and other wintering wildfowl may also be heard. Try your hand at identifying all of our visiting ducks which have been gathering on the water, from the striking teal and goldeneye to the modest gadwall and pochard.Blashford-Bittern-Jason-Crook

With luck on your side you may see a kingfisher down by the river or the great white egret fishing along the shallows of the lakeshore. Having returned from France where it spends its summer, the great white egret will now spend the rest of autumn and winter here. In late October we may also see our first sightings of a bittern; last year we were treated to a long stay by a very obliging bird which showed well for visitors and photographers alike, so as the reed beds die back creating greater vantage points this is our best time to wait and see.

Blashford-Clifden-non-pareil-upperside-by-Bob-ChapmanWhen the light starts to fade the bats emerge to catch their night’s hunt and we continue to run our light trap for moths. The mild nights will be perfect conditions for catching some migrant rarities such as the vestal, as well as some more regular finds like the Clifden nonpareil or blue underwing, which has slowly become more established locally in southern England.

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: