Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

This morning was probably the last chance to visit Brandon Marsh before it's all change on the weather front as a bank of heavy rain piles in from the West. I would imagine that the many Common Darter Dragonfly I've seen recently on the reserve are making a final bow before the real Autumn arrives overnight!

While shopping in Leamington Spa yesterday I recieved a text message from Brandon regarding a couple of interesting sightings. A Redshank on River Pool was an unexpected visitor for this time of year and a male Stonechat (pictured by Jeff Rankin) near the golf course was the other. Unable to pop over yesterday for a look I was delighted this morning to register both birds in thier reported areas. The Redshank being accompanied by a single Greenshank on River Pool which was also on site yesterday.

The early rain subsided into quite a pleasant morning and during my visit I had good numbers of Fieldfare and Redwing once more, along with some small flocks of Redpoll and Siskin. East Marsh Pool delivered 31 Snipe, 5 Wigeon, 171 Teal, 15 Pochard among others but the star of the show for me today was a very attractive male Goldeneye accompanied by 2 female.

While on the approach to the Carlton Hide I had 2 Skylark over, plus Willow Tit and from within, another appearance of a lone Chiffchaff plus Grey Wagtail, several Bullfinch and 4 Goldfinch.

Also of note today 2 Little Grebe on the West Marsh, plus Treecreeper in Horsetail but no further sightings of the Bittern recorded on Newlands a week ago.