Christmas Crackers

I have the Christmas period off work so I had an excellent opportunity to get out and about in the local area. It’s been fairly mild and wet here this week so I’ve had to plan carefully in order to try and dodge the rain. It does also mean I had to keep trying to take photos in low light which is never easy.

One visit was to Lymington-Keyhaven Nature Reserve again. It’s always full of birds but it seemed mostly to be full of wigeon this time. Everywhere I looked there were wigeon! Pictured below is an example of just one individual and also the over-wintering brent geese and a few lapwings.


I managed to spot a couple of other duck species too. A pair of shelduck landed in the marsh and there were a few teal dabbling in the stream right next to the path.



There were also plenty of waders. Here’s the usual redshank and black tailed godwit.



I got a particularly good view of a pair of dunlin on this visit- usually they are much further away.


And once again I managed to spot a ringed plover.


Finally, here’s a little egret standing on one leg in the marsh.


I also visited Blashford Lakes this week. I managed just avoid a heavy rain shower but I timed it well and was treated to this lovely site as I approached the reserve.


Oddly my first bird spot on the lakes was a wren, darting around the branches at the edge. I think is the first time I’ve actually managed to get a photo of a wren to share here which is remarkable given how often I see them. The problem is of course that they are very small and quite fast so getting even an OK photo of one is tricky!


I added a view more ducks to this week’s collection, a few pochard and a shoveler



In one of the hides I also got a really clear view of a tufted ducks. These ducks are really common at this time of year but I think they are a really handsome bird.



There are still a few interesting fungi around the reserve at the moment. This is Hairy Curtain Crest (Stereum hirsutum), which is great to look at and is one of the most common fungi in the country.


And finally here’s a so far unidentified species of fungus with a remarkable purple colour to it.


Thank you so much for following my wildlife encounters and rest assured that I have lots of exciting things planned for 2017. I hope you have a very merry Christmas and I’ll be back very soon.

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