Let Autumn Commence

It really feels like autumn is in full flow now. The evenings are fastly drawing in, leaves are turning colour, and the temperature has certainly got chilly this week.

Yesterday and today we properly got our winter works underway down at Farlington. We started clearing back the brambles on the eastern seawall hoping to allow more grass to occupy the area and in turn stabilise the backside of the seawall and provide protection from the erosional issues resulting from sea overtopping. However its not only structural, the long grassy vegetation is great for insects in particular grasshoppers and crickets, small mammals, and just generally better for biodiversity.

Bramble clearance on the seawall

Bramble clearance on the seawall – grass is starting to take control.

In other bird based news we have recently had lots of new black and white arrivals. The totals of Brent geese in the harbour now top over 1000. Although I have yet to have a proper look at them its thought with this fresh north easterly wind has come the family groups, so well worth looking through the Brents for the birds with white barring on the wings. Also on the marsh this past week or so; 2 Spotted redshank (Stream – 11/10), 25 Greenshank (Stream – 11/10), Osprey (Bakers island, in the harbour – 9/10), Avocet (4/10) and Curlew Sandpiper (Lake – 11/10). Also worth a mention, although not seen on the marsh yet, is the number of Ring ouzel moving though the county, with a couple seen up on Portsdown hill there must have been one or two on the reserve so well worth a look in The Bushes. The Bearded tits have been stealing the show at the lake most mornings this week. With the chilly nights and clear (sunny), calm mornings there have been groups of 20-30 Beardies on the closest reedbed around the lake and even right on the seawall on the taller vegetation and small trees. Getting there before 9am on sunny calm mornings seem to be the best time to see them.

Osprey (Honest) and some Brent. Bakers Island.

Osprey (honest) and some Brent geese. Bakers Island, Langstone harbour.

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