Today I visited Hampshire and IoW Wildlife Trust’s Blashford Lakes reserve again. I had such a good time on my last visit I couldn’t resist taking my new camera along on another visit.
As I approached the reserve on the Avon Valley Path I spotted a few insects of interest. First up was this Volucella pellucens hoverfly. I love the way it is rubbing its front legs together as if forming a cunning plan.
Then I spotted this Bloody-nosed beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa) on a footpath. This individual was stuck on its back so I rolled it over and watched it scurry to safety. It gets it name from the fact it exudes a foul-tasting red/orange liquid to protect itself from predators.
By the shore of Ibsley Water I spotted several Oystercatchers.
I then headed to the Ivy Lake Hides and enjoyed watching the action on the rafts there. You can make out some black-headed gulls with chicks on this raft:
The main purpose of the rafts though is for common terns, as seen below. Terns are really struggling to find good nesting places at the coast and so places like this are really important for the species.
Next up I headed to my favourite hide, the Woodland Hide. I didn’t see anything particularly unusual or exciting but it’s always good to see birds like these up close.
Before I left there was just time for a trip to Goosander Hide. The scrape you can see from that hide is some distance away so even my new camera could only just make out the array of birds stood upon it.
Over the course of the visit I got a good idea of how a great-crested grebe chicks grows up. These were seen on Ivy Lake:
And then later on I saw a much older juvenile on Ibsley Water:
Sometimes I think I could write a whole blog about great-crested grebes- I just think they’re awesome!