Tuesday, 30 March 2010

The Jewel in Hampshire's Crown

We set off to visit our friends in Hampshire at 09-30, with our first stop being on Osmington Hill to take a look at the White Horse. The poor condition of the earthwork and the misty/rainy atmosphere made for a less than satisfactory view, but it was a new Dorset sight for Ille and worth taking a photo.

The White Horse at Osmington, Weymouth. The legend goes that a local shepherd wanting to celebrate the arrival of King George III in Weymouth, took it upon himself to climb the hill and etch a chalk depiction of the monarch on horseback. having completed the task, he walk into Weymouth to admire his handy-work only to discover he had the King riding 'OUT' of town rather than 'IN' and in a distraught state when and hung himself.

From there we visited Oakers Wood for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, and 3 watercress beds in the hope of Green Sandpiper, all without result. So, it was then time to get a species or two on the 'year list' via a visit to Blashford Lakes. This has to be one of the great nature successes in southern England and always guaranteed to produce a diverse selection of birds.

Welcome to Blashford Lakes

England in the Spring

Ille at Blashford

Apart from the stunning early spring scenery, punctuated with Daffodils, Violets and Primroses, there were still plenty of birds taking advantage of the feeders, while on the water there were several species of wildfowl. The additions included, Brambling, Lesser Redpoll, Little Ringed Plover, Red-necked Grebe and Little Gull while c4 Black-necked Grebe, displaying Goldeneye, a male Merlin, plenty of Chiffchaff, solo singing Willow Warbler and Blackcap, c2 Greylag Geese and both Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

A selection of common birds at Blashford Lakes today

Brambling, there was a pristine male in attendance but far too quick for me.

Siskin left in company with 2 Lesser Redpoll

Lesser Redpoll



Song Thrush

male Chaffinch

female Chaffinch

thought to be a male Little Ringed Plover

thought to be a female Little Ringed Plover

The 'Year List' now stands at 134