Thirteen members of IWNHAS joined Dave Fairlamb of Natural Links for an Ornithology Group outing to Laundry Lane overlooking Brading Marshes RSPB Reserve on 23 September 2023.
While waiting for the start of the event, several members saw a Marsh Harrier hunting over the reedbeds and after our introduction it was not long before we began to spot several species of birds in the surrounding hedgerows and fields such as Common Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Linnets, Meadow Pipits and Greenfinches. At least 2 Cetti’s Warblers gave small bursts of song as we walked further along the path.
Large numbers of Canada Geese were on the `Triangle Field’, along with Grey Herons, several Mallards and at least 3 Shovelers. Overhead the sky was full of House Martins and Swallows, in their hundreds, with a few Sand Martins in amongst the feeding flocks. A few Gadwall took flight and it was at this point that a bird of prey was spotted drifting over the field, but then quickly flying away beyond a line of trees, it had all the hallmarks of a juvenile Pallid Harrier but we could have done with a more prolonged sighting for definitive ID.
One of the large pools out on the marsh held a Great Crested Grebe and at least 4 Little Grebes and several Lapwings were loafing around the edges. A Little Egret flew by in the distance and a Water Rail was heard `squealing’. Buzzards wheeled around overhead, catching the thermals and a Kestrel was seen hovering.
Several species of butterfly were on the wing including Red Admirals, Small Whites, Speckled Woods and we all had lovely views of a Comma.
Dave Fairlamb (with pictures supplied by Graeme Ruthven)