Friday, 26 February 2016

Farlington Marshes LNR.

On Sunday (28 Feb) I will be leading a field trip for the Surrey Bird Club (SBC) to Farlington Marshes LNR that comprises around 300 acres of coastal grazing marsh, reed beds, scrub, with both freshwater and brackish pools. The land was first reclaimed from Langstone harbour between 1769 and 1773 by building a clay and timber wall to provide grazing land for cattle. The sea wall has been much improved and provides an ideal route around the reserve to view the wildlife both within the marshes and on the sea or extensive mudflats at low tide. 


On Tuesday I made a recce visit to check out the wildlife and to get some images of the species that can be seen here just in case the windy weather that is forecast for Sunday doesn't provide me with many photo opportunities.

During the winter months one of the main attractions are the very large flocks of Dark-bellied Brent Geese that feed on the grazing marsh.

At this time of year the marsh also supports good numbers of Curlew, Northern Pintail, Oystercatchers, Lapwing and Teal plus I was also fortunate to get several sightings of two Short-eared Owls.

During my recent visit I also saw three species of Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser, Shelduck, Shoveler, Wigeon, Gadwall, Dunlin, Redshank, Grey Plover, Knot and Turnstone plus good numbers of Black-tailed Godwits (see below) disturbed from feeding by a low flying Common Buzzard.


At high tide I also watched the spectacle of many hundreds of Dunlin streaming close above the water seeking out a suitable spot to roost and wait for the mud to reappear while inland there is always something else to capture one's attention such as ....

a perching Stonechat, one of many Northern Shoveler in their full breeding plumage and the various gull species including the Black-headed Gull. The site also hosts reasonable numbers of Little Egret (see below).

During my wandering I logged about 50 species but with more eyes on Sunday it is possible to add a few more including Kingfisher, Peregrine, Merlin, Water Rail, Rock Pipit, and the elusive Bearded Tits. FAB.

Linking to: Saturday's Critters, I'D-Rather-B-Birdin' and Through My Lens.

14 comments:

  1. Looks like there will be plenty to keep everyone occupied Frank?...have a good one...[;o)

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  2. Your images of birds in flight are spectacular.

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  3. Great shots, Frank. I think that a wetland is absolutely my favourite habitat.

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  4. WOW Frank! What a Great Variety!!

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  5. I see pictures off masses of godwits like that, it looks more like something you'd se on a lake in Africa, or in the Camargue at the very least.

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  6. How exciting, Frank! Good luck on the field trip. So many beautiful birds to see there. I love the duck photos, and the short-eared owl photo is exquisite.

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  7. geweldig en zoveel mooie momenten.

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  8. Hello, awesome variety of birds and sightings. The owl shot is awesome. A great outing and wonderful post. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

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  9. Hello Frank!:) Your visit was much appreciated,..thank you for the ID. Great shots, and your flight shots are incredible. I hope you have a fabulous time leading the field trip, and if your sightings are anything like these, everyone should be happy, I know I would be!

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  10. Some lovely shots here - I hope you have an enjoyable weekend.
    Keep warm, I think the wind is going to be rather chilly in some parts of the UK

    All the best Jan

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  11. Well, then, when you get out on Sunday [depending on the wind factor], I hope you give us a chance to see what you spotted next week!!

    The geese images are of special interest to me this time as I've never seen any like them before...how awesome a bird. Of course the part of the 50 you DID see and shared with us are ALL superior. Loved reading about your outing!!

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  12. Lovely set, Frank. Barn owl on the wing is a nice capture.
    ~

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  13. What a lovely place to walk and enjoy nature.
    Great photos, especially the Short-eared owl, WOW :)

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  14. Glorious wildlife photography. Thank you so much for sharing with "Through My Lens"

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.

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