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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Brandon - 14/03/09

Back to my favourite place this morning with another 6.30 am start.
A quick post today as I'm going to have a couple of days birding rest and a definate sleep in tomorrow!

I met up with JR, (our official Brandon recorder), at the gate entrance and once parked we made our way to the Wright Hide through New Hare Covert, where a Great Spotted Woodpecker was happily drumming away. The usual stuff was showing and calling but as we approached the hide we heard the distinct call of a Curlew, a not so regular visitor to Brandon. Making a quick phone call to a fellow birder, who we knew to be already in the hide, we quickly confirmed a Curlew on Willow Island. As we tentatively approached the hide, scanning but trying not to spook our Curlew a Sand Martin flashed past my field of view, which JR immediately verified, thus confirming the first Martin arrival at Brandon for this year. Spring has officially begun! Remarkably though, as we reached the hide and opened the flap, the Curlew had flown, unusually quietly for a Curlew, which was a bummer as I was hoping for a second quick tick of the day for my Brandon year-list.

By the time I left the reserve after lunch at the cafe and a final scout around Horstail Glade for the Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers I'd picked up a further 3 Sand Martin. Also of note today were :- Snipe (44), Kingfisher, Green Sandpiper, Oystercatcher (2), Tree Creeper (2), Nuthatch, Siskin, Redpoll, Fieldfare, Water Rail, Sparrowhawk (2), Green Woodpecker and at least 4 Buzzard.
On arrival back at the marina I was also delighted to see that the 2 Tree Sparrows I'd spotted on March 9th were still visiting the bird feeder.
(Picture of Sand Martin from RSPB data)