Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Wet Brandon!

Well no surprise in the recent forecast update from the Met Office, to be honest the best way to tell the weather is to put your head out of the door the morning your off birding. I've even lost faith in the 5-day forecast, which changes daily!!
My normal visits to Brandon over the last fortnight have been, as you would imagine, wet ones although I managed another tick on my Brandon list. Recent sightings of a Black Tailed Godwit (pictured)had eluded me over the period but during a visit last Sunday (Aug 2) I managed to pick the little fellow out amongst the Lapwing flock, now numbering around 600, when a Sparrowhawk spooked them over Willow Island. Some excellent views of Water Rail, including 2 young, moving across the area in front of the Main-Hide have also been a regular feature.
I'm pleased to say that our Gadwall and 3 chicks are still in tact and are getting bigger by the day and it would seem that this might not be the only brood of Gadwall on the reserve this year!
Being in my first year at Brandon every experience is new and I have to give a mention to the fantastic butterfly population on the reserve, which has just been a delight, especially on a slow birding day. I have now personally logged 18 more species since joining the Conservation Team and have been able to improve on my recognition dramatically thanks to other members.
Yesterdays visit, Tuesday 4th, turned out to be an excellent birding day, despite the heavy showers. I was able to pick up a very respectable 59 species which unfortunately did not include Sunday's Godwit. The highlight was an amazing show of small birds which included Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Reed Warbler, Cetti's Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Garden Warbler, Blackcap and Willow Tit.
With the recent heavy rain we have temporarily lost the muddy areas on Teal Pool and the East Marsh Pool although sluices have been set to drain some of this however, the Carlton Pool remains the focus for Waders which included 2 Green Sandpiper, 2 Redshank and the return of a single Snipe, which are reappearing now after a summer break.