Mending Fences

I did eventually get to Farlington today, where the volunteers were hard at work checking the fences prior to the arrival of the cattle next month. I was in a meeting all morning so did not get there until lunchtime, just in time to have the spoonbill fly in and feed for a time on the Stream in front of the Building. I could hear bearded tit and Cetti’s warbler and a singing chiffchaff all somewhere int he reedbed. I also saw my first butterfly of the year, a small tortoiseshell, a bit of a surprise, first that it is so late in the year and that it was not a red admiral.

We were lucky with the weather as quite a storm passed just to our east, but we stayed in sunshine. The sun brought out the flowers of colt’s foot, this plant produces the flowers before any leaves show and it can be a good early season nectar source for insects.

colt's foot

colt’s foot

I received reports of the red-breasted goose, peregrine and a merlin seen on the reserve today, although the only falcon I saw myself was a male kestrel in the Bushes near the main reserve entrance.

male kestrel

male kestrel

I should get a bit more of a look around tomorrow as we have a visit from students at Sparsholt College in the morning.

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