Please excuse the lack of postings in the last couple of weeks, I have been on holiday to sunny Scotland. In my absence it seems like a lot of autumn has really got into full swing.
Down at Farlington I was greeted by a familiar noise, which for me signals autumn and winter – the chatter of Brent Geese. Yesterday was the first time I have seen them with my own eyes on the marsh but I have heard they have been around in Langstone harbour for the past few weeks.
In amongst the flocks there are great number of youngsters, making their first trip south from where they were born in Siberia. Brents stick around in their family groups, usually made up of two parent birds and one or two youngsters. Once you get your eye in they are quite easy to spot and work out the family dynamics. Young birds have light fringing on their covert feathers making white bars towards the rear of the bird.
The Beechcroft team has been busy getting stuck into winter works. On Monday we were working down at Hookheath tackling blocks of bramble and sapling regrowth in the wetter SSSI meadow, while its still dry(ish). They made a great dent in it and should make some space for some interesting plants next year. Insects were making the most of the warm weather. We spotted Red admiral and Clouded yellow butterflies along with a late season Common darter.
Trees on our reserves are making some fantastic colours and amazing fungal fruits are bursting from the ground. While on a walk around Swanwick I spotted this pristine Shaggy inkcap, found in an area we had recently cleared of bramble.
Farlington Bird news: Ring ouzel (reported for around a week in the bushes near the three small ponds), Spotted redshank, White-fronted geese (10 – spotted last week but not again), Yellow-browed warbler (in the bushes on Saturday but not seen since) and lots of Bearded tits (using the whole of the reedbed and could be anywhere from the hut to the lake look out – there are a lot of young bird on the move).