We were working at Farlington today with the regular volunteer team, but it was “one of those days”, things kept going wrong, not drastically, but irritatingly. We set out to do a range of mowing jobs with three mowers, a brush cutter, the hedge trimmer, the tractor and a variety of hand tools. One mower got a flat tyre before we even started cutting, another ran out of fuel and refused to start again all day, the brush cutter and hedge trimmer were both reluctant starters and some of the hand tools were missing! Luckily the tractor was ok and the oldest mower worked well. The tyre was repaired and in then end a good bit of work was done clearing paths around the ponds north of the A27. I spent most of the day out on the tractor topping fields and clearing bramble clumps in the Point Field.
The sun was out and the day was pleasant, as we started work the wood piles at the start of the path were playing host to several basking common darter.
I was staying on this evening as I had to go to a meeting in Farlington so I stopped for an hour off the tractor around high tide and had a look at the roost on the Lake and Stream. In all I saw 43 greenshank, 518 redshank, 1 spotted redshank, 12 knot, 1 green sandpiper, 127 dunlin, 1 curlew sandpiper, 259 grey plover, 4 ringed plover, 1 little ringed plover, 10 pintail, 102 wigeon and 33 gadwall. I did not have time to count teal, snipe, black-tailed godwit or lapwing.
I then continued topping the Hayfield. Working in the tractor is not the most exciting of tasks but you do get to see some things along the way. Today I saw several clouded yellow, yellow wagtails and 2 wheatear and perhaps a wryneck. I say perhaps because I cannot really say I saw one, just something that might, possibly have been one. I was cutting the path through the north-east slip field towards the steps in the north-east of the reserve when a bird flew from one of the dead hawthorn, if I had to guess what it was I would have said wryneck, but that hardly counts as a record!
I will end with the view that greeted me as I arrived this morning, Langstone Harbour in the autumn morning sunshine.