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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Brandon - St Georges Day!

Work Party Day today at the Marsh but due to a tweaked back muscle I was given light duties by our beloved leader and had a more leisurely day than normal.
On the drive down from the main entrance to the lower car park at around 6.30am I was lucky enough to pick up my first Grasshopper Warbler for Brandon, which I heard from the car window, reeling from the top reedbed. A short while later, while making our way to the Wright Hide I picked up my second with JR on Newlands, not a bad start to the day!
On arrival at the hide I would have to say that the East Marsh Pool was the quietest I'd ever seen since joining the conservation team last December. Fortunately, by the time we moved off to the Main-Hide, 3 Common Tern had arrived, plus a solitary Yellow Wagtail on Willow Island. Also present of interest were 4 Redshank, 5 Snipe, 2 Lesser Black Backed Gull, the now ever present pair of Little Ringed Plover, and lone Ringed Plover. Another possible first for the team is the regular sight of Sand Martins moving in and out of the artificial nesting structure (pictured), signs are pointing to a definite nesting pair.
At coffee in the Carlton Hide, just prior to starting work, we were once again delighted to see a Bittern take flight from Newlands across East Marsh Pool and out towards West Marsh. The final treat of the day was while having lunch in the Wright Hide and a phone call from PB sent us all scurrying into the open for 2 Raven flying high overhead, yet another first for me at Brandon.
Subnote: On arrival back at the marina this evening it's nice to here our first Sedge Warbler arrivals, singing from the surrounding reeds.