Today the Farlington volunteers finished up the last of the works on the new kissing gates in the point field. Some of you may be wondering what these are for if you have been down to this end of the reserve recently. Basically this year we are hoping to start grazing the point field to improve the grassland structure and also break up the large bramble banks to create much more of a scrub mosaic.
Rather than running a large barbwire fence around the field we thought we would use the existing ditch as a ‘wet fence’ to keep the cattle in. To retain access to this area we have installed these new kissing gates.
When heading out across the marsh with the kit for todays task we spotted at least 11 Snipe on the wet grassland around the deeps. Around 10ish we also got a brief flyby from a female Marsh Harrier, which is encouraging news – could this mean we might have a breeding pair on the marsh this year..? She circled high out of the reedbed, in a buzzard like manner, came over us in the main marsh and promptly disappeared when I ferreted around in my rucksack trying to find my binoculars. I did have my camera to hand though and grabbed this photo below.
After lunch we wandered over to the lake view point to install the first of three new lakeside interpretation panels. On the way we got great views of the Spoonbill on the stream, which later flew off onto the scrape behind the reedbed.
On the lake was good number of ducks (Pintail, Wigeon, Shelduck & Teal), 1 Avocet, Kingfisher, Greenshank and a Spotted redshank. A pretty good day for birds on the marsh!