Saturday notes

The day had a promising start with the sun beaming down on Farlington. I found it hard to believe that the weather was going to change around midday but didnt want to take any chances, getting a few odd jobs done and then heading out around seawall. I knew hightide was around midday, so this would be the best time to engage with visitors as well as see what birds were on the reserve.

I set off walking around the seawall in a clockwise  direction (from the hut) after hearing a tipoff of an Osprey lurking in that area. It didnt take long to find it sat on a low post on Long Island (to the south of North Binness island – the one with the dead trees). Also in the area were two Kestrel and a Peregrine. 

Osprey (honest) in the heat haze

Osprey (honest) in the heat haze

A little further round a group of Yellow wagtails came up from around the cattle in the main marsh. I caught sight of 15, but with so much hopping around it was hard to get an accurate tally, could be more in the region of 20 birds. Also around the Deeps was a Green sandpiper. 

On to the point, two Wheatear were busy feeding on the strandline. One was far more showy than the other and let me take a few pictures.

Female Wheatear

Female Wheatear

The tide was now at its highest and with little dry ground left for birds, a large flock of Oystercatcher took flight. Id estimate it to be a few hundred strong. Still hanging on to a small dry island were 53 Grey plover some still looking smartish in their summer breeding plumage (although now a bit tatty in moult). A single Whinchat was on the main fenceline between the reedbed and the marsh. Another visitor reported seeing a further 8 on the reserve.

After all the recent rainfall the lake is very high at the moment, although not as full as a few days ago. This has meant few birds are roosting in this area. Instead waders and waterfowl are choosing the stream and the scrape to roost. Along the stream with the Godwit flock were 2 Knot. A bit further upstream were 11 Shoveler (the first I have seen this year – Autumn is coming!) along with good numbers of Gadwall and a few Wigeon.

Just before sitting down to some lunch I had a quick look out on the stream in front of the hut. A Kingfisher was amazingly sat on one of the posts of the ‘fence’ in middle of the stream. Along the waters edge a Green sandpiper went about looking for its lunch too.

Green sandpiper

Green sandpiper (and Moorhen)

Later in the afternoon I caught up with a group conducting their monthly WeBS (Wetland Birds Survey) count from the seawall. They had seen a great mix of species with a highlight of seeing three separate Osprey !! One was mostly sat in the dead trees of North Binness Island, one was the same bird I had seen on the low posts of long island and another was very mobile flying in the west of the harbour. A pretty good day out.

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