Sunday, 30 April 2017

Beddington Farm - Spring Arrives In Style! Part 1

There had been much talk about a weather front moving W through Europe coupled with strong SE winds that would in effect create a corridor funnelling birds that had been held up on the continent during the cold N/NW winds. The rising temperature would encourage a large push through the UK! With all that said I was surprised to be the only one on watch at the Farm this morning!

The day started with a unintentional sleep in which in hindsight turned out to be a blessing in disguise. News from surrounding sites had already filtered through. Had I missed the action?! I walked onto the corner and had a quick look through the binos and the lake seemed tranquil and rarity free! I started scanning with the telescope and picked up a lone Bar-tailed Godwit feeding on the NE area of the main island. This species was one of my targets for my Spring watch. I was pretty happy with that and made my way down to the hide to get some pictures of my newest addition to my Beddington Farm list.
The Godwit was being chased about by the residents but returned to the same corner so I set up my digi-scoping unit and took some shots. As I was flipping the camera unit to view the Godwit I caught a glimpse of a small wader attempting to shelter out of the wind by a small piece of debris in the same area of the island. The scope was set at x20 and to get better views I had to dismantle the unit and put the eyepiece up to x60.

The bird was Stint sized with a curved bill which was dark and thin towards the tip. The head and breast band were grey/brown .  A breast band was evident but uneven and untidy. The breast appeared puffed out in relation to the slender long body. It was far too small to be one of the Common Sandpipers that were present on the lake. I put the word out to Dodge to get to the farm pronto! (Similar words used!). I realised this could be a Temminck’s Stint but I needed a better view of the body and legs. Pictures were not an option at this stage as the scope was maxed out and if I lost sight of the bird identification would not be complete!

The bird shuffled around in its attempts to shelter appearing side on to the  rocks and debris. I could see its grey/brown mantle which had a slight rufous tinges beyond the neck, a white underbelly and a long extending tail. The legs had some mud on the lower part but I could see they were a soft yellow. There was no striping down its back. Crikey it was a Temminck’s!! A short excited phone call to Dodge later and I watched the bird move down to the far edge of the island which was lower and out of sight.

I sprinted scope in hand towards the corner to get to get some elevation to view the bird but could not re locate it at the back of the island. I made my way around the lake checking the same area making no sense to Dodge and others that were now arriving. Apparently as well as being out of breath I was talking complete gibberish!!

The bird sadly was not re-located but could have been hidden away amongst the masses of rocks scattered over the island. News of other Temminck’s filtered through from Little Marlow and Tyttenhanger including a find by Beddington Farm’s own Pete Alfrey at Otmoor RSPB!

This will be the eleventh record at the Farm most records are from May the last was seen in 2004 by Gary Messenbird. This will be my 184th species at the Farm. What a crazy start to the day which continued with a range of other migrants part 2 to follow!

REF: The Birds of Beddington Farm by Alfrey,Milne, Coleman and the BFBG

Friday, 28 April 2017

Beddington Farm - Reed All About It!

The weather over the last few days has been mixed but one thing that has been fairly consistent is the drop in temperature which may have affected the movement of birds from the continent. Dave Harris found a new Walton bird in a Red-rumped Swallow which had me covering the lakes last night in case the bird moved in the Farms direction. The bird was however still present at Island Barn this morning.

This morning I was up at fruit loopy o clock to assist Devilbirder bird banding on 100 Acre. The Owls were still vocal despite a tiny bit of mizzle but it seemed warmer than the previous days. Would this be a good day in the nets or another weather blocker!
It turned out to be our best day so far in the nets with numerous Reed Warbler that were new arrivals. One bird was a control which is likely to be a returning bird from a previous year. New Blackbird were  moving through this area in relative numbers. Fat and muscle ratings are taken  from each bird giving an indication of the health of the new arrivals before they are released.
100 Acre had a Greenshank that kept disappearing only to re appear on a bed behind our temporary base. A bird was seen on Jim’s pit which only appeared to have one leg and was using it very well to hop about the bed eventually hopping into flight and back in the direction of where we had left a two legged bird. Was it just resting a leg or were there two birds? Common, Green Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover and a few Lapwing completed the wader contingent in this area. Red Kite was also noted. This species has been almost a daily occurrence lately with three birds on some days.
It was good to see a mix of waders on the sludge beds hopefully it will pull a few more into the area over the next few days!

Monday, 24 April 2017

Beddington Farm - Glaucous Gull in the Frame!

Today turned out to be the longest day so far in my spring migration watch at Beddington Farm. A meagre thirteen hours spent on site with conditions looking more favourable than the final outcome! I was greeted on site by nine Shelduck split between the two lakes my position on my corner allowed an accurate count to be taken.
The North lake was devoid of gulls first thing until the Glaucous Gull came into view from the south lake. A short circuit over the North lake and the bird washed up and then had a good long rest on the main island. There were three visits to the lake during the day for this small rather washed out 1st winter bird that showed some signs of moult.
Eight Med Gulls were seen flying N/NW these did not seem in such a hurry but I guess there was rain ahead,A 1st winter Caspian Gull found by Devilbirder later in the day was the only other gull of note. There are still a fair few adult birds hanging around which is surprising!

Waders and terns were again in short to non-existent supply. A couple of Green Sandpiper, LRP and a Ringed Plover were recorded. The latter did not make my notebook.

A couple of Swift flew in with the rainclouds along with a mix of Swallow, Sand Martin and a couple of House Martin. Hirundine numbers rose considerably during the early evening lake watch. Good numbers of Stock Dove were noted this afternoon.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Beddington Farm - Migrating Med Gulls!

The weather today was looking allot more favourable for some more migratory action at the Farm! The day started very slowly but the low cloud was creeping in on a NW to N breeze. The corner was particularly chilly. Glen had a few Yellow Wagtail and a male Wheatear on the mound behind my position. A Water Pipit was found on the lagoons.
Even my crazy soul eventually succumbed to the elements and I took a short walk down the hill to join Glen and Swifty in slightly warmer climes. The action certainly got the blood pumping with three small groups of Med Gulls migrating N over the North Lake. The largest was a group of ten birds and seven and four made up the total of twenty one.

This was the second days movement of this species with a total of thirty nine birds who were all in a big rush to migrate N. A second Swift of the year along with double figure House Martin, Swallow and Sand Martin made up the mornings hall of species!

Friday, 21 April 2017

Beddington Farm - Movement of Med Gulls!

The Day started off at stupid o clock with a visit to Oaks Park to carry out my BTO early BBS survey. An early start is recommended after the dawn chorus has erupted. I had visited the site previously to set my transect routes and noted the habitats in each section.

My first transect covers the park itself and a small area of farmland on the other side of Croydon Lane. I recorded many common species with Swallow and Skylark making a short list of highlights. The second transect covers half the golf course including the public footpath through a narrow piece of woodland. Willow Warbler was the best find in this section.

The survey took a couple of hours to complete allowing me to sit in some early rush hour traffic as I made the short journey to Beddington Farm. The weather did not really inspire the potential of having a good day there but anything was possible as we enter the peak period of migration.

The first positive note of the day was the sight of low cloud which was slowly covering the Farm. I perched up on my corner which was slightly chilly but it would give me the best possible viewing. Tomas and Markus (MK Ecology) were on site. Swifty joined me and did not need additional oxygen to sustain him at heights he rarely reaches these days. Christian started lower down and walked part of the site finding Wheatear and Yellow Wagtails near the double pylons. I had a male Wheatear guarding my position.

The temperature was slowly rising but there did not appear to be much movement in the skies and plans were being hatched to have an early day. A Red Kite and a couple Buzzard in quick succession put that thought on hold and I am now glad I stayed!
Christian started the ball rolling with a couple of Med Gulls circling over the tip. These were well received as they were my first for the year. Shortly afterwards I saw a tight flock of gull flying high entering the site from the E. The flock of thirteen Med Gulls was clearly migrating and identification was confirmed with the assistance of my camera. These birds departed NW with a further three migrating N shortly afterwards.
I even saw a glimmer of excitement on Swifty’s face for a couple of seconds. This was a great site to feast my eyes on and all the birds were adults and were not hanging around for anything!
The next addition to the days gull list was a washed out Glaucous Gull that flew past Markus who was conducting a count on the South lake and straight into eye level view from the corner. The bird landed on the main island for a short rest before flying off with a group of mixed gulls. Swallow and Sand Martin made up the numbers of migrants for the day.
Note to self check camera setting when changing from sky to land. This was the best I could do with a horrendously over exposed shot of the Glaucous Gull!

Not a bad days birding considering the conditions did not appear to be right on site!

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Beddington Farm - Ring Ouzel!

Part two of the day involved a scenic drive back to Beddington Farm (according to Frank!) and then a short walk across the field aptly named bikers field to 100 Acre where the Greenshank had been seen earlier in the day. This was not going to be a short walk as our intended route is always extended!
As we were walking E one set of sludge beds N of the Go Kart track I saw a male Ring Ouzel fly low into a row of bushes with a dead tree at the N end. Without announcing this I asked Frank to take a walk the other side of the line of bushes in the hope if the bird flies out one of us would see it move. I did not explain myself at all brain and mouth was not at the same speed so Frank looked back slightly confused and said “Anything in particular?” Again brain and mouth were out of sync and I replied “Blackbird white bib!” I have no idea why I said this instead of “Ouzel” Frank waved me round a few moments later and the Ring Ouzel was sat tight in the bush patiently waiting for our departure.

We had a chuckle about the events Frank asking “Did you not want to commit to that one then?” He remarked on the long journey from Molesey that had obviously worn me out! A Green Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover were added to the list of waders. Sadly the Greenshank were not re-located despite a walk around most of the site!
We did however find a Wheatear feeding between a couple of the sludge beds on 100 Acre.

Surrey VC - Molesey Heath - Report of Iberian Chiffchaff!

Yesterday whilst I was enjoying the U’s make a second half comeback against Dagenham and Redbridge news of an Iberian Chiffchaff broke at Molesey Heath in Surrey! I had a CBC survey to do on the North Lake at Beddington Farm first thing but then I would take the short trip to see the bird.
The survey with Derek Coleman went to plan in what felt like freezing conditions with a NE gale blowing across the lake. I spoke to Frank and Tank about my plans and Frank was quick to join the expedition after a cup of coffee naturally! The journey took about forty minutes and we joined a handful of birders which included Lee Evans.
(Supercillium stripe to bill brighter yellow. Yellow breast wash not as evident. Bill dark. Legs dark)
(Greenish appearance to head mantle and wings. Yellow breast wash not as obvious. Legs Dark)
The bird in question was very vocal. With bursts of willow then almost lesser whitethroat and ending with a chiffchaff like call. The song did vary with willow being omitted at times. The bird was very active flitting from the far bank of the river into the trees where we were stood. I positioned myself on a small raised platform as I attempted to secure some photographic evidence of the bird. The light was considerably poorer on this side of the bank with small areas where the sun shone through. Obtaining good pictures was going to be tricky but not impossible to achieve. The position of the bird may affect the appearance of some features.
(The yellow breast wash is more obvious. The supercillium stripe extends beyond the eye. Pale bill. Legs are dark. Greenish head, mantle and wings. Primary projection extended)
One advantage was the bird was regularly calling which allow its movements to be accurately monitored by the small gathering. Frankie also acted as my second pair of eyes allowing me to use my manual focus to lock on the busy bird!
(Prominent supercillium extending behind the eye. Bill lighter. Yellow breast wash. Dark Legs. Primary projection appears short)
During our stay we had heard news of a Stone Curlew which had been flushed further down the track. The likelihood of this bird remaining with dog walkers in the area was unlikely but we went for a look all the same just in case! Greenshank had been reported at Beddington Farm so we decided to return and try and add them to our April tally... There is a separate blog entry for this part of the day!

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Beddington Farm - Short Eared Owl!

Another day had arrived and I was a late arrival at the corner (0600hrs) as Frank had been on a pre daylight Owl watch and had been reasonably successful. Both of us were settling down for a long morning with high cloud and a W to NW breeze. I am not sure where the predicted rain had disappeared to but it was not going to hit the Farm that was for sure.
Both of us have a season ticket for Sutton Utd and as we were chewing over the bun fight for points at the foot of the National League I noticed a bird being mobbed over the lake. The bins were immediately put into action and I exclaimed “Short Eared Owl”. Frank got on it as I fixed the camera on it. The Owl continued south suddenly disappearing out of sight. I was not expecting that!!
We remained on point until the cloud began to break up and then decided with all the Redstart arriving it was time to take a walk around the North end of the Farm in case a Redstart had dropped in. As with all walks with Frank we covered a greater area than first anticipated but we were both flexible and wanted to cover all habitats that might hold such a species.

A couple of hours later we had seen many Song Thrush a couple of Willow Warbler, Whitethroat were also in numbers and Blackcap. No Redstart which does surprise me as there is plenty of suitable habitat for them. Especially as Black Redstart breed in Croydon and used to breed on the Farm in the days of the cooling towers.

The wind turns very favourably in the next couple of days but some rain would definitely help push migrants down. Time for a rain dance!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Beddington Farm - More new arrivals!

Having taken full advantage of my lie in I set out for the Farm arriving at daylight. I scanned the North Lake from Kojak’s corner and then set the scope onto the islands on the South. This is the great advantage of being in this spot as both lakes can be monitored from some twenty metres above each lake. The elements are the only issue this high up!

Having noted Little Ringed Plover and a Green Sandpiper, I then spied a Common Sandpiper moving around in small clumps of vegetation on the back of the main island. I got Glenn onto the bird before it moved out of sight.I later re-located this bird on the North lake at the Southern end.
A walk around the mound did not produce much until I was returning to my corner. A male Wheatear was surveying the ground from one of the posts supporting a young tree. The bird totally ignored me as I completed my route. More Wheatear were found at the NE end of the Lagoon by Steve.
The low cloud had pushed a few more Hirundines onto the lakes this morning. A single House Martin was noted amongst the Swallow and Sand Martin. There was no sign of any white winged gulls this morning. With Cattle Egret being reported in Surrey Vice County an incoming Little Egret gave me a momentary flutter of the heart as it flew in from the North!

Tomorrow rain is forecast with a SW to NW wind! Will the forecast be right and will it bring a fall of migrants with it!

Friday, 14 April 2017

Beddington Farm - The Trickle of Migrants Part II!

I was up at crazeee o clock this morning (or was it still last night?!) to participate in a ringing / banding session on 100 Acre with Devilbirder (DB). The nets were up in good time for daybreak and then the waiting game began.

The day started off at a trickle then a green monster a Ring necked Parakeet hit one of the nets and then its pals joined it in quick succession. The extractions were careful and timely with the parrots claiming a moral victory in the process. The bite does not come anywhere close to a Rufous Browed Peppershrike but made processing the four birds an interesting venture! This species was new for both of us all were released unharmed with a sly grin on their faces!
The second new species for me turned up later on in the morning. A Common Whitethroat which was as docile as can be. Blackcap, Blackbird, Great Tit and Wrens completed the day. In the skies above a couple of Yellow Wagtail were seen and a few Sand Martin. Christian set his scope only to hand DB an Iceland Gull which was sat on a roof opposite the Incinerator.

The migrants are slowly filtering through but I can but wonder if there will be a crazy rush of birds from the continent when the ideal weather conditions are met. Tomorrow will be a stupid o clock start giving me a well earned lie in!!

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Beddington Farm - A Trickle of Migrants!

I took a day off from the Farm yesterday only so that I could get the “Kojemobile” serviced with an early MOT leaving me free to travel should a SVC bird show up. This morning another Cattle Egret was reported this time at Richmond Park. The bird was on Pen Ponds but flew off NW away from the Farm where the usual suspects were tending to the nets. I believe this species will become more common in Surrey and is a hot favourite to be the next new species of Beddington Farms list!
Back at the nets Dodge had heard a Lesser Whitethroat early this morning and the bird gladly obliged by hopping into a net. This is a new species for me so I was given the task of processing the bird under the watchful eye of trainer Mike Netherwood!
I later added a Starling to my short UK list of rung species thanks Frank This bird was slightly smelly but was not too much trouble in the hand. A Great Crested Grebe even came close to the banks of the North Lake to watch the proceedings. I happily seized the moment to add this species to my photo list. I am not sure why it has taken so long to secure photographs!

I missed a Yellow Wagtail which landed on the main island whilst I was checking my nets. Fifteen Greylag Goose also dropped in on the same island before we had a rare gull invasion which seemed to clear everything else off the island!

Tomorrow I am back at the nets with David “Devilbirder” Campbell. I hope it brings another wave of migrants!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Beddington Farm - Keeping our WITS about us!

I started the day with Derek Coleman conducting a CBS survey on the North Lake. Ten visits are required and all singing and nesting birds are mapped during each visit. A t the end of the visits the maps are combined and territories are worked out resulting in the number breeding birds in this area. During the survey the first Whitethroat was recorded for the year. Markus from MK Ecology was also surveying the site which produced the first Reed Warbler of the year on 100 Acre. A late Jack Snipe gave excellent views on the island opposite the Sand Martin bank.
Afterwards I joined the usual suspects on a lake/skywatch which produced numerous Buzzard, and three Red Kite. Frank and Dodge decided to go on a walk of the mound leaving Swifty and I holding the fort. Their departure for the hill saw a Black tailed Godwit appear from no-where and complete a couple of circuits of the N lake before eventually settling down to feed off the main island.

The Godwit probably would not have stayed if the lake had been littered with gulls. In the last three weeks the gulls who number around three thousand are resting up on the slopes of the new landfill cell and don’t appear too interested in the lakes. We are not sure where they are washing up with no obvious water on that side of the site.

The Godwits behaviour may be a sign that the Farm will have a few more shorebird that will use the site to rest and feed up during the migratory period. The islands do need a good downpour of rain to freshen them up! No rain is forecast though!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Beddington Farm - WeBS and Tree Sparrows!

I have recently taken over the Beddington Farm WeBS count from Derek Coleman who has had me shadowing him for the last few months. I set out early starting my count at 0700hrs which would give me plenty of time to cover the Farm before the predicted 25c sunshine took effect.

I started with a brief look at the lakes before moving down to 100 Acre. The first shorebird I heard was a Green Sandpiper which was picked up in the binos whizzing low across the sludge beds towards Jim’s bed which is a small rectangular lake at the far N end of the Farm’s boundary with Mitcham Golf Course. This area can be quite hazardous for birders and wildfowl alike as many a stray golf ball finds its way into the water!
A Redshank was the next up taking a short flight from the back of Jim’s onto the main island. There were a mix of ducks, Canada Geese and a Mute Swan on this lake. A handful of Lapwing had taken residence on the mini mounds in this area.
The Farm’s small population of Shelduck were also present.They are usually noted on the North and South lakes.
After covering this area and the beds in front of the incinerator I moved to the North Lake where a male Pintail which arrived yesterday was associating with a Gadwall. There were still a variety of species of duck on the lake including, Teal, Shoveler, Tufted, Gadwall and Mallard.
I walked to the SE corner via the South Lake to complete the days count. I returned via the landfill to bump into a couple of Tree Sparrow sat in the fence at the top of this area. To think that only a few years ago the BFBG were collating just short of 1000 birds including pulli! The nest boxes were full of this species which has all but been wiped out on the Farm. Loss of habitat I believe is the main cause but no one takes responsibility for this and the matter is buried under the landfill carpet when the rapid decline is mentioned!!

A sky watch with Dodge rounded the day off nicely with a Little Egret on the North Lake. A return to the nets tomorrow for more thrills and spills at the Farm!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Beddington Farm - Tales of the Week!

My Beddington vigil has reached day nine I have been joined by Roger “Dodge” Browne, Frank “T Bros” Prater and "Why are you so grumpy?!" Swifty for the majority of the time which means we have at least one pair of very sharp eyes (Dodge) that can pick a dot out which seems closer to Mars that Earth! Sometimes this dot is out of range for the cameras which has resulted in a tern sp record being scrapped!
The weather has been fairly consistent with NW blows with a mix of sunshine and cloud. The cloudy days have been a bit nippy to say the least. We have been scrutinised by the patrolling male pheasant and a Kestrel who is keen to keep an eye on us. We also generate some odd looks from local people that are in shirt sleeve order when the group of coat wearing Yeti’s leave the site for their cars!

There have been numerous raptors frequenting the thermals that are created by the updraft from the mounds that have been created by the rubbish that we all discard. There have regularly been three Red Kite with an additional bird today. The job now is to sift through the photos and attempt to establish if these are “local birds” returning daily or a dispersal of younger birds from last year’s breeding grounds.

Both the male and female Peregrine visit the site from the Sutton nest site which has an abundance of eggs in the nest this year. It will be interesting to see how many survive.

Buzzard are almost getting too numerous to count with seven birds in the sky at one time earlier in the week. I remember not so long ago when this species was considered an uncommon visitor.

The combination of all the raptor activity has kept the gulls very active. They sometimes do not know what direction to flee in as their perceived foes close in on the landfill. We estimate around five thousand gulls on site including an Iceland and Glaucous Gull which are usually seen in flight heading in the direction of the landfill. It will be interesting to see what happens to gull numbers as a result of the separate food waste collection by Sutton Council. Most of which landed up on the street this morning as the bucket opening foxes set to work on them overnight? I had visions of foxes roaming the streets with can openers and screwdrivers! Fortunately I still use my composter for this type of waste!

Tomorrow is bird banding / ringing day with our A permit trainer Mike Netherwood. This will be a nice change from staring at the skies but a NW blow with cloud is forecast so who knows what will turn up!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Beddington Farm - Goshawk!!

Day five began in the same fashion with a walk over the mound to check for any new passerines that had dropped in overnight. A scan of the lagoon revealed a couple of Water Pipit but not much else. The North and South lakes were misty first thing with Egyptian and Greylag Goose on the latter.
A little Egret was on the North Lake but it took flight towards 100 Acre. I took up a short residence on my corner before Dodge and Frank appeared at the gate. This was a relief as I had realised I had left my phone at home and had no means of contacting anyone if a rarity had turned up.

The weather today NW breeze with temperatures around 14c with cloud and sunny spells meant this was likely to be a good day for raptures. I joined them both and the days raptor watch began with the addition of Swifty later on.
The flow of Buzzard began at a trickle with a Red Kite intermittently thrown in for good measure but as the temperature rose more Buzzard appeared with a pair displaying over the North Lake. We counted seven Buzzard together in the sky at one point. Some birds kept re appearing so each individual was looked at closely so that an accurate count of individual birds could be taken.
(photo by Roger Browne)
Dodge then picked up a Buzzard sized raptor flying high North and said “Can someone get on this?” as he dived for his camera. I fixed my binos on the bird as Frank got it in his scope. My immediate thought was this is not a buzzard! I fixed on a large broad winged accipiter with a deep rounded belly which had a long tail which was closed with a pale underbelly and vent. The head was thick and extended between the wings as it flew.The bird was very high but soared in an almost straight line taking the occasional single deep wing beat. I could hear Dodge’s camera firing away as the bird continued its journey on the thermal. Having watched Sparrowhawk on a daily basis at varying levels this was surely a Goshawk!

There was a period of discussion and the pictures were sent off to confirm our thoughts. Once again Dodge’s quick reactions to a sighting and the teamwork that had every viewing angle covered to secure evidence of the bird and with pictures a more thorough examination of the evidence could take place. The bird’s features strongly suggested Goshawk having recently viewed this species in the Pyrenees!

The record has been submitted. Goshawk will be my 182 species recorded at Beddington Farm and my second Surrey VC record! Day five produces a bird which if accepted will be the third record for the Farm. Incidentally the other two records were secured by Dodge’s photographic skills too Woo Hoo!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Beddington Farm - The Campaign Ahead!

Having landed back in the UK I have hatched a plan to concentrate my efforts on Beddington Farm over the next six weeks. There will be excursions for Surrey Vice County megas and some BTO survey work but apart from that the Farm will be where I am at.

I have now completed four days missing the Common Crane due to strange klunking noises on the “Kojemobile” which turned out to be rust on the discs of the car. Plenty of hi tech engineering just don’t leave it on the drive for too long! Fortunately I have seen a couple of Crane at the Farm!

There have been a few Red Kites and Buzzard but I have not connected with a Marsh Harrier and we all await the first Osprey of the year. Waxwing still elude me but they are usually flyovers so hopefully I will get lucky!

Pete Alfrey’s company Little Oak have been working on the North Lake and this is looking good to draw in waders. Little Ring Plover, and a Redshank have taken the bait so far. New Barn Owl boxes have also been placed around the Farm. The Beddington Park Mandarin Duck which was a plumage tick for me has also spent a night at the Farm.

Seventy one species were recorded today including an Iceland Gull, Ringed Plover, a couple of Green Sandpiper, Water Pipit and our almost daily dose of Red Kite and Buzzard.

Swifty is on standby to give counselling should the going get too tough over the next few weeks but my only thoughts are wondering what tomorrow will bring!