Image

10th April 2018 – RSPB Arne

We weren’t sure if we could do justice to RSPB Arne on an afternoon’s visit on our way home from our “non-birding” visit to the New Forest (if I’m honest we would have made it 3 birding trips in the three days if the weather hadn’t been so bad and we hadn’t opted instead for a visit to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu) but we thought the walk would be good for us anyway.

We were very lucky as the sun made a brief appearance and a spoonbill flew in briefly and flew out again with its little egret friend.

FP5A6286

FP5A6296

FP5A6321

FP5A6323

It was very strange indeed how the spoonbill flew in to Shipstal Beach, seemed to go and find the little egret in one of the pools, flew together to another pool, fed together for a while and then flew off together across the bay.

We made our way round to the hide and enjoyed watching a curlew having a wash and brush up.

FP5A6388

FP5A6423

FP5A6480

FP5A6399

There were oystercatchers, whimbrel, and Brent geese and shelduck on the spit where we had seen large flocks of spoonbills last year.

FP5A6472

Along the (quite often very muddy) paths we saw chaffinch, dunnock , great tits, robins and blackbirds.

FP5A6377

FP5A6371

FP5A6342

FP5A6506

When the sun came out the gorse looked splendid.

FP5A6384

 

Image

8th April 2018 – Blashford Lakes, Hampshire

We stopped off at Blashford Lakes in Hampshire on our way to a non-birding short break in the New Forest (that must be an oxymoron). We enjoyed the walk around the lakes on a very damp and murky afternoon even though the photographic opportunities were limited. The best came right at the beginning in the Tern Hide where we had close-up views of a little ringed plover, a redshank and a lapwing.

IMG_1179.jpg

FP5A6104Little ringed plover

FP5A6115Redshank

FP5A6135Lapwing

We could also see a pair of great crested grebe, lots of shovelers, tufted ducks and indeed (to give credence to the name of the hide) a common tern.

FP5A6146Great crested grebe

FP5A6255

FP5A6254Common tern

As we made our way round to the Goosander and Lapwing Hides we saw little grebe, garganey and pintails but at some distance and in very poor light (i.e. excuse for poor photos).

FP5A6188Little grebe

FP5A6193Pintail

FP5A6168Garganey in the middle 

FP5A6170Not sure about this little chap but probably a chiffchaff

FP5A6172
Despite the conditions there were some signs of spring