Secret cameras reveal hidden lives of wildlife at Totton nature reserve

Motion sensor cameras at our Testwood Lakes nature reserve have revealed an up close and personal portrait of some of the wildlife haven’s more elusive residents

The images show a great white egret stalking the reedbed, catching fish, and even in a confrontation with a grey heron. Great white egrets are one of our rarer feathered visitors to the UK; until the 1990s they were mainly found in central and eastern Europe.

From near extinction a few decades ago, numbers have increased; around 35 or more birds spend their winter in the UK. Staff and volunteers have been working to improve the reedbed in the lake, contributing to a Hampshire record count of 11 great white egrets on the nature reserve last year.

Testwood Lakes Jan 2018

Night-time images also show a secretive otter out on the hunt. Otters are another species that was once on the brink of extinction - however thanks to conservation efforts otters are now found in every English county.

Grace Brennan, Education Officer at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust said: “We know that Testwood Lakes is packed full of wildlife, but often it remains hidden to many of our visitors. It’s fantastic to be able to share these up close and personal photos of some of our more uncommon residents.