Now that's out of the way I did pay a couple of visits to Brandon Marsh this week and spent Thursday morning along with other members of the Conservation Team clearing invasive willow from Newlands Reedbed.
The highlights from Thursdays visit were the first Goldeneye, Siskin (pictured) and Redpoll on site for me this Autumn, plus a couple of Green Sandpiper and a single Greenshank.
This mornings visit, Sunday October 25th, I arrived slightly too late for the Barn Owls now being seen on Sheepfield, nothing to do with the clocks going back I hasten to add, but managed several more Redpoll and Siskin, plus a singing Chiffchaff in Horsetail Glade, a nice record for October 25th. Also quite surprisingly I had several sightings of Common Darter and Migrant Southern Hawker Dragonfly plus a Small Copper Butterfly before the showers set in.
Arriving at the main hide earlier and over coffee I managed to pick up on the birding gossip with other members of the Brandon regulars, having been away in Holland the previous week. It would seem I'd missed out on Peregrine and Golden Plover yesterday however, the great news was the return of our wintering Bittern which had been seen on Newlands from the Carlton Hide on the Saturday morning.
Also of great debate during my absense has been the disputed sighting of no less than 5 Great Egret reported on October 16th. The official consensus seems to be that 4 Great Egret were on site on that day, a fantastic record for Brandon.
** Siskin photograph courtesy of Jeff Rankin