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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Brandon - 07/04/09

Well despite a leisurely cruise back from Welford we didn't manage to turn up anything more interesting than we did on the way! However, what has surprised me on this cruise is the amount of Tree and House Sparrow's we've seen over the period, is this a recover in numbers I wonder?
We still made good time and managed to moor for the night just after Braunston, a short distance from the marina, thus allowing me to pick up my car and arrange an unscheduled visit to Brandon.
It's amazing, only a week since my last visit, but things have moved on at a tremendous pace, Marsh Marigold, Violets and Primrose are showing well, plus it won't be long before we lose the advantage of bare branches as the trees come into bloom.
Today's visit began at 6am and my first bird was a single Swallow flying over the cement works, the usual Song Thrush were in good form and a Cetti's Warbler called from the Grebe Pool reedbed. When I arrived at New Hare Covert a pair of Willow Warbler were singing and flitting from bush to bush, Spring is definitely in the air. I met up with JR and it wasn't long before I had my first Blackcap at Brandon for this year, a couple more were heard singing during my visit.
The best was yet to come! At around 9.30am we were together with several other members of the 'Tuesday Club' in the main hide, when a Red Kite was spotted heading straight for us by JR. We were lucky enough to have excellent views as it scoured the East Marsh Pool, as pictured above by one of the team. Eventually the bird departed over the Carlton Pool in an S-Westerly direction, the second visit in a week of a Red Kite to Brandon.
A walk across to West Marsh came up with a Mallard, accompanied by a number of ducklings, who were very badly behaved and insisted on scuttling in and out of the reeds, we were totally unable to get a good count. Another good spot of the day by Jr over lunch in the Main Hide was a single Little Ringed Plover on Willow Island, which seemed to suddenly materialise, as none of us spotted him coming in.
Butterflies were also in good numbers today with Peacock, Comma and Orange Tip spotted across the reserve.
An excellent day back at the Marsh and a very excellent species count of 60 for the day.
Subnote :- Docking Quidditch back at Wigram's at around 5.30pm I was delighted to see the first Swallow of the year this evening, flying through around 7.30pm.