Friday, 5 July 2019
It's yesterday once more
Today I renewed my long-standing 'on-off' relationship with Beddington Sewage Farm. I've returned to the farm more often than Frank Sinatra has had comebacks. A change in the policy towards visiting birders prompted this latest re-connection. The key-holders have gone, being replaced by a system where bird group members sign in (and out) at the main office that is situated along Beddington Lane. After undergoing a one-to-one induction talk, I was then issued with hard hat, gloves, goggles and a hi-visibilty vest, and shown the safe pedestrian route through the works and out onto the farmlands. Within 45 minutes I was birding at Beddington once again. It felt like coming home.
There has been much change since I visited back in January. The public footpath that runs to the west of the farm has been closed while various works have been completed, which included the installation of three bird hides (below). The good news is that these will be open to the public - with great views across both of the lakes and the new 'wet grassland' area (currently being landscaped) - by the end of July!
I made just a brief visit (10.45 - 12.45hrs) but it had its highlights - a calling Oystercatcher that circled high over the lakes at 12.00hrs, a Wood Sandpiper on Jim's Pit (on the right of the photograph above with a Green Sandpiper) and at least eight Green Sandpipers. Walking up onto the raised beds of 100 acre was quite nostalgic. Little has changed here since I first visited 45 years ago. Time has stood still in this corner of Beddington and it's quite comforting.