Today I showed Sparsholt college around Farlington. Unlike their previous visits, today they managed to pick an absolutely stunning day to walk around the reserve, learn about nature reserve management and get to grips with bird identification. (They usually end up coming to Farlington on the most foul of days – wind howling and rain coming in horizontally).
After leaving the minibuses at the car park we headed straight for the lake. Straight away Reed bunting were calling in the lake reedbed, followed by the familiar pinging of Bearded tit. As the weather was so still both species were busy feeding on the seed heads – first we spotted 2 Reed buntings followed by 13 Beardies.
The seawall was busy with lots of other visitors, enjoying the great conditions. Even though it was low tide there were still plenty of birds both close to the seawall in the harbour and in the reserve on the marsh. The conditions were so good infact that a Skylark gave a little sonnet from the sky and a Lapwing practiced it’s springtime display in the sunshine.
Out on the mud looking east towards Portsmouth were 37 Avocet on the main (Broom) channel, while good collections of waders (Dunlin, Redshank, Grey plover, Ringed plover and a couple of Turnstone) were all busy probing the thick mud.
Other birds of note on our way around the reserve were; a lightly coloured Short-eared Owl sat on an anthill out near the deeps, a single Raven flying over the reserve, calling as it headed east towards Hayling Island, 19 Shoveler on the deeps and a single female Goldcrest which was busy feeding in the bramble on the eastern seawall.
In the last two weeks there have also been three sightings of weasels on the reserve. All spotters have been lucky enough to get photos so I shall end this post with one of them.