The habitat at Beckingham is still looking fabulous at the moment with water and birds everywhere! The 300 strong flock of wigeon is slowly starting to dwindle as birds return to their northerly breeding grounds, but others are arriving for the breeding season, with several pairs of shoveler back, the first gadwall arriving and a charming pair of shelduck.
A pair of oystercatcher has taken up residence on the wet field visible from the viewing platform and several pairs of lapwing are setting up territory, with their amazing display flights and calls over both areas of wet grassland. A returning curlew has brought some excitement and hopes of possible breeding on site one day and there are numerous skylarks and meadow pipits performing their song flights across the site – beautiful!
The return of one species however has provided the most excitement in the last couple of weeks. On the 15th March, whilst building some fencing, we were delighted to hear a pair of redshank displaying over one of the wet grassland fields. Redshank bred on site for the first time last year, so it’s brilliant that a pair have returned and we have high hopes for their success once again in 2017.
Return of the redshank! Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
Recent work on site has concentrated on finishing off our hedge laying, which looked glorious in full bloom two weeks ago and preparing for the return of our cattle. Our living lawn mowers will be back on site soon, providing us with grazing which maintains the grass sward in ideal condition for breeding waders.
Our hedge in full bloom!
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