Sunday, August 30, 2009

Merlin and Another 1st

After returning home from Thursday's Brandon work party, where we managed to complete the cutting back of Willow Island & Wigeon Bank vegetation, I took 'Quidditch' out and moored at bridge 100 of the Oxford Canal for the holiday weekend.
The spot where I prefer to moor near Flecknoe affords good views of the surrounding countryside where I often see good numbers of Yellowhammer, Goldfinch and Linnet.
However, over breakfast on the towpath yesterday morning Saturday 30th, I was treated to a rare site of a Merlin (library picture) hunting in the Field opposite! Watching what I first though to be a Kestrel I was suddenly scurrying inside for my scope having picked up a definite bluish flash of colour. Having been entertained by my find for a little over 20 minutes my breakfast ended with the site of 2 Raven heading South-East over the canal.
In the afternoon I took a walk with my wife Dee towards Braunston where we picked up excellent numbers of Speckled Wood and several Common Blue butterfly. Another item of note was a flock of some 40+ House Sparrows which were feeding on a recently cultivated Field.
This morning, Sunday 30th, having been able to position my car nearby to our mooring I took my usual drive out to Brandon for an early morning visit. A chilly start and by the time I arrived the sun was just creeping above the horizon. One of my favourite places at Brandon in the early hours, when the sun is just right, is New Hare Covert. As the sun shines through and lights the tree tops it's very easy to spot movement in the canopy, even at this time of year when the trees are in full bloom. I regularly pick up Treecreeper and Nuthatch and on this occasion another first for Brandon.
Shortly after passing Sheep field I was joined by JR and minutes after entering New Hare JR picked up a Spotted Flycatcher high up in the canopy, were not entirely certain but there may have been two! Anyway we had excellent views of the one for a good 20 minutes before continuing on towards the Wright Hide for coffee and another Brandon 1st for me!!