Blashford Lakes Bird Trail Success

On Saturday 11 May, volunteers and staff from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and Hampshire Ornithological Society, along with young people from across the south of the County, flocked to Blashford Lakes for the Bird Trail 2019 bird watching and wildlife event.

With teams from Blashford’s very own Wildlife Watch & Young Naturalists groups, Titchfield Haven Wildlife Explorers, 1st Burley Cub Scouts, 4th Sway Beaver Scouts and two teams entered from both 3rd Ringwood and 1st Fordingbridge Scout Groups a wildlife packed day was in-store for all.

Once assembled and registered the groups were introduced to their HOS volunteer for the day, who would serve as both a guide and bird sightings verifier, Following a prescribed route, there was also a raft of other wildlife activities on offer, including a bird ringing demonstration provided by volunteer bird ringers Kevin Sayer and Brenda Penwarden, and a bird feeding strategy activity provided by New Forest National Park Authority Rangers. The Rangers also talked to the groups about the impact that recreation is having on ground nesting bird in the New Forest and stressing the importance of walking on footpaths and keeping dogs on leads at this time of year in particular to reduce disturbance to birds.

Groups were also given the opportunity to get up close to some captive birds of prey at a static demonstration by Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre and children were able to get creative and make their own badges with the Cameron Bespolka Trust. And if that wasn’t enough to keep them busy, they could dissect kestrel and owl pellets, learn about moths at the light trap and even try their hand at river dipping. All in all a real treat for wildlife enthusiasts and an opportunity for HIWWT and HOS to hopefully inspire the next generation of conservationists and bird watchers!

THE RESULTS

In first place – Young Naturalists with a total of 44 bird species recorded who won binoculars and a bird watching boat trip courtesy of In Focus and Birds of Poole Harbour respectively
In second place – 1st Fordingbridge Scout Group with 41 birds, winning family tickets to Liberty’s Owl, Raptor And Reptile Centre and great grey shrike pin badges by Cameron Bespolka Trust
In third place – 3rd Ringwood Scout Group with 39 birds, winning an FSC garden birds ID guide courtesy of Hampshire Swifts and bird feeders by Nutbags New Forest Bird Foods

Everyone who took part in the event were given a unique woven badge, sponsored by Cameron Bespolka Trust, and a Bird Trail certificate, kindly printed by Pearsons – Romsey Office, personally signed by Bird Trail advocate, HOS President, naturalist, photographer and television presenter Chris Packham.

Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust thanked the event sponsors, everyone who took part and, in particular, to all of the volunteers who gave up their time to help make the day the great success it was.

The Bird Trail 2019 was sponsored by:

In addition, they also thanked the following organisations for supporting the Bird Trail 2019 with their displays and activities on the day:

British Trust for Ornithology, Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre and New Forest National Park Authority.

All photo’s kindly taken by HIWWT volunteer photographer Rex Waygood 

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