The Owl and the Cricket Teal

Had a very pleasant walk around Farlington this morning with a group of students from Sparsholt College. We were mainly looking at issues of potential managed retreat, coastal squeeze and the site designations all pretty heavy stuff, but things which do rather come to life when standing on the seawall of the reserve.

Along the way we also saw a good selection of birds, the spoonbill and red-breasted goose were still showing well and on the Deeps a pair of garganey were a real treat and my first summer visiting migrants of the year.

garganey pair

garganey pair

The picture includes a female teal as well (but which is which?). Nearby in the Point Field a short-eared owl was a good sight, it flew across the field and off to the east, my first of the year, although they usually spend the latter part of March and first part of April on the reserve, usually favouring the reedbed area.

Cricket teal is an old name for garganey and refers to the call of the drake which is rather cricket like, although I have only ever heard it twice!

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