Barnacle and bunting
A walk around Scotney yesterday. The grey geese seemed to be moving away out of the cold north wind but the Barnacle flock, now 130 strong, was in residence close to the path. A delightful and vocal small goose happily grazing the close sward. West of the waters the former good grazing seems deserted and ploughed up, and now with shingle extraction continuing and widening nearby. A look over the Kentpen Wall gives a view of the exposed surface geology layering, a complex pattern of alluvial brown earth, greyer silts and bands of flint.
There are some fields of sprouts or kale with an understory of field plants and a look at one section revealed 30 Reed Buntings and five Skylarks. These smaller fallow crops provide more forage, shelter and cover to small seed-eating birds than do some of the extensive weed-free fields of greens. Small parties of Skylarks and occasional Reed buntings were to be found more widely. Other birds included a Green Sandpiper and two Marsh Harriers, one an immature male.
Duck were more in evidence, perhaps some early spring stacking up with Pintail, Teal and Gadwall more evident.