Water, birds and the Silver Pintail
After a relatively dry winter as you may have noticed its been raining this last week. The effect of this rain is that over the last couple of days the Thames has risen considerably and significant areas of the fields next to the river are covered in floods. This is not unusual at this time of year, and not a problem as most of the cattle have come indoors. What is interesting is the sheer number and diversity of bird life that is attracted to new feeding and roosting opportunities on the farm.
This morning whilst feeding a small group of cattle that are still out, I looked over the gate at one of our field by the river to see over 1000 birds "enjoying" the conditions. 300 Lapwing, 300 black headed gulls and a similar number of Starlings, Redwings and Fieldfares. In much smaller numbers were Teal, Mallard and Shovelers.
I tried talking some pictures (see below) but it was wet and windy and my camera can't really zoom in that far.
With the water and wildlife in mind, it also great to report that DW Rumming and Sons, the farm side of the business, won the Gloucestershire Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group Silver Pintail award for wildlife friendly farming. The particular theme was water, so back in the summer we showed the judges our fish reserve work, otter holt, species rich flood plain meadow and they obviously liked it. 2nd place went to Farmcare (previously Co-op farms, at Down Ampney.