It was quickly decided that today would be exactly the same as yesterday, only different. With P & T's sister in law arriving mid-afternoon we were restricted by time and this in turn restricted the area we could cover. Light rain was still falling as we ate breakfast and as we got ready to leave I resorted to an coat indoors, but on the up side the morning soon cheered up. With all of this in mind it seemed obvious that totals were going to be lower, so Tess opted for 40 species, Paul for 49 and me a massive 51.
The Names the Same
Having 'dipped' the Osprey yesterday it was given priority so we did in fact follow the same track and in doing picked up the Cattle Egret again, albeit at a greater distance. We also saw a handful of the more common species but not the object of our desires, so moved round to the opposite side of the reserve asking the soldier on 'guard duty' at the military base for permission to park in their lay-by. In my hurry to grab all the glory I barely waited for the car to stop and quickly picked the raptor up sat on a mid-stream post. That done, there was time to snap this
Traditionally, we leave counting until the end of the day, but as we arrived at Farlington Marshes I took a sneak look to see that 2 pages of the notebook were already full.
Before leaving the car we could hear Long-tailed Tits but they never came to view so were not counted on the day list. Not surprisingly, as we scanned the mud flats Waders and Herons were to the forefront with Grey Plover, Oystercatcher and Black-tailed Godwit too distant to photograph but
Redshank (numerous) and Little Egret
The western sea wall was peppered with Rock Samphire
while among a gathering of Canada Geese and Mallard our only Pied Wagtail was spotted. How can you not see more than a single Pied Wagtail in a day? On that subject, neither Meadow Pipit or Skylark have been heard let alone seen!
In line with all other locations, Farlington is overborne with berries on all trees and bushes, not least these Dog Rose Hips.
With Sausage & Onion Baguette, White Bait, Chicken Curry and a couple of drinks we made for home to meet our guest, but not before adding
Harlequin Ladybird, waiting for us on our table,
Whinchat to the list bringing it very neatly and thankfully to exactly 51. With all the toys remaining in the pram there was just time for a quick rendition of "I am the CHAMPION my friends, and we'll be united to the end", before arriving home. With the girls promising to go shopping tomorrow, the Winger and I will be free to show you how it's done properly. However, as 'fatherly duties' are also called for manana the day will be shortened by my departure to Heathrow Airport to collect my daughter Julie, Nigel and Lee.
The Harlequin Ladybird is a variably patterned little critter as this chart from Wikipedia shows, and is also a damned nuisance in this country.