Over the weekend I got a call that apparently something wasn’t quite right at Farlington. I had heard that someone was up to some funny business on the marsh so I headed down today to make sure everything was as it should be and have a good look at our cattle.
After parking up at the hut I headed to The Bushes to see the cows. Along the way I came across Pete Gammage, a local birder who had found a White-rumped sandpiper. I’d only been on the marsh for a matter of minutes but things had just got interesting! The news got around about the stunning little wader and before we knew it there lots of scopes and cameras watching its every move on the edge of the stream. It fed for a while, preened, had a little snooze and then took off to The Deeps.
After checking on the cattle in the bushes I headed up on to the seawall for a wander around the reserve. It was a stunning day to be down on the marsh and there were plenty of visitors soaking up the sun. Many were bird watchers, while a good proportion were people taking in the sunshine and sea air on a stroll.
Highlights on the lake were 18 Snipe, 41 Pintail, 9 Shelduck and two Kingfisher.
My walk around the sea wall was paused temporally by a Short-eared owl sitting in the main marsh. After showing some passing visitors the smart Owl I continued around the point and on to the deeps, by which point there was a large group of birders, scanning every inch looking for the White-rumped sandpiper. We didn’t have to wait too long for someone to spot it fairly close in on an island of the main section of the deeps. Again it fed for a while before taking off, heading west, way off into the harbour turning into a tiny dot in the binoculars.
After all the excitement I returned to looking around the reserve and finding all our cattle. Luckily it turns out that the report I received about fishy goings on at the Reserve were unfounded but I’m glad it made me get down onto the reserve today.
Other recent Farlington highlights have been: Dartford warbler (25th Oct), and Hen harrier (24th Oct).