Sunday, June 28, 2009

Real Tern Up!

Three visits to Brandon Marsh in the past week threw up all the usual species and included a couple of sightings of Muntjac Deer, both female.

On the Tuesday 23rd visit I was also delighted to have stumbled across a Water Rail family, consisting of one adult and four chicks. I can't recall ever seeing Rail chicks before and was amazed at how black they are at this age.
Thursday as usual was the BMVCT work party day and today this also involved my participation in a guided walk of the reserve for the local rotary club. I'm now becoming more involved in these guided walks and as my knowledge of the reserves history expands with every tour I'm becoming quite an expert on Brandon!

My Saturday 27th morning visit began at a very foggy & muggy Brandon but I was rewarded with some excellent birding and on this occasion, after the sun arrived, a good selection of Butterfly, Damselfly & Dragonfly. Today's bird count consisted of Cuckoo, still calling, plus Hobby, Sparrowhawk, three Green Sandpiper and an overfly of East Marsh Pool by a lone Curlew, who decided to pass us by! A walk through Horsetail Glade had Coal & Willow Tit, plus Nuthatch, who I know have successfully nested here. I also came across a Narrow Leaved Hellborine which is a very rare Orchid for the reserve and one which will have to be carefully monitored.

Some good Odanata (Dragon/Damselflies) views of Banded Demoiselle, Black-Tailed Skimmer, Emperor & Four Spotted Chaser and on the butterfly front I picked up on Ringlet, Small White and Comma.

To end this post I must mention the extraordinary 'Tern' of events which resulted in a pleasant surprise, and made our official recorder at Brandon a very happy man! On one day last week I had an excellent opportunity to take a good photograph of a Common Tern, which has decided, along with two others, to use my home at Wigram's Turn Marina as a fishing area. The bird in question is shown above perched on my mooring post! When I sent the photograph out to a few birding colleagues I was amazed to here that JR, our recorder & ringer, had identified the bird by the rings showing on the feet as one which was ringed, (as a chick), at Brandon Marsh in 2007!! An incredible coincidence.