Redbreast Returns and Twice Bittern

Undoubtedly the warmest day of the year so far albeit after a cold start. I arrived at Farlington fairly early and had a quick walk to the east wall. There was a water pipit in the Hayfield and two pairs of lapwings looking like they are taking up territory. The brent geese still seem to be present in numbers, probably because the wind is still in the east. A flock was grazing behind the Building for most of the day unconcerned about the cycleway and cars flying by on the A27.

brent north of the Building by the A27

brent north of the Building by the A27

This group of brent included one with colour-rings that was new to me.

brent GNY7

brent GNY7

It was green N, yellow 7 (GNY7), not a Langstone ringed bird I think. Soon the geese will go leaving only their droppings, but they had one last surprise in store, of which more later.

brent goose droppings

brent goose droppings

The volunteers were working at Farlington and once again we were clearing the cuttings from under the powerlines, it will be interesting to see what develops there over the next few years of changed management. It was very warm and I had hoped we might see a few butterflies or a common lizard or two, but the highlight was a single jay.  As we were setting out a male house sparrow was flying about at the Building and then singing in the large bramble just to the east, a rare sight at Farlington, especially in spring. When we headed back at the end of the day there were at least 2500 brent in the North Marsh including the regular pale-bellied brent. When we got to the Building I decided to take  a look to see if there was any sign of the bittern, as I know it loves a bit of sunshine and sure enough there it was.

bittern

bittern

As we were looking at it several excited people came past telling us that the red-breasted goose was with the large flock of brent in North Marsh. I could just see over reed tops and sure enough there was the goose, so I could see the bittern and the red-breasted goose from the one place! Shortly after I met two visitors who said they were watching the bittern when a second bird flew over it into the reeds and out of sight, so there were two.

Lastly, I could nto resist taking another picture of lichens, this time an assortment of growing on the top of one of the field gates.

lichens on gate

lichens on gate

 

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