Although there is normally no general access to the farm, today's open morning provided an opportunity for anyone with an interest to come along and see the birds that are using the farm. As the area is generally undisturbed I was a little concerned as to how the birds would react to the sudden arrival of a sizeable group of people on site. However, as it turned out I needn't have worried too much.
Early arrivals were treated to the sight of a fine adult male Hen Harrier flying west across the fields. This is only the third occasion on which I have seen this species here, although one of the later arriving participants mentioned having seen this species at nearby Ruston Carr Bridge recently, so perhaps this individual is lingering in the area. The large flocks of Lapwings were present for much of the morning, along with good numbers of Common and Black-headed Gulls and among the throngs two Knot and two Dunlin. The flock of Wigeon totalled 64 and two Shelduck were also on show, but the flock of 200+ Teal were absent and seem to have moved on to ponds new.
Although the birds were more distant than is ideal, I hope that most participants were able to enjoy what birds were on show and despite having concerns that our presence would cause the birds to disperse, ultimately it was a fine adult Peregrine that prompted the vast majority of Lapwings to relocate elsewhere. By late morning things were quietening down and discussions turned to some of the management issues we currently have, but Redshank, a small group of Golden Plover, small numbers of Fieldfares and a Barn Owl completed a most enjoyable morning on the wetland.