Sunday, January 24, 2010

Routine Change

A change of routine for me at Brandon Marsh today as I decided to to check out the Tip area, Farm Pool Reedbed and River Meadow prior to daybreak. Not a bad decision as it happens as the other Sunday chaps recorded no sightings of Barn Owl from Sheepfield!
I myself was rewarded just before dawn with a good sight of Tawny Owl, (Library Picture), as he drifted across River Meadow from the direction of West Marsh, plus 8 Fieldfare and 2 Redwing flying West over the top reedbed. On the return journey a Woodcock flew East just as I arrived back onto the Tip area, plus a brief view of a Fox's rear end as it disappeared into the reeds. The Avon was running well up this morning and I had doubt's about access to Big Hide and Carlton as I made my way thru' Horstail Glade, which was remarkably quiet.
As suspected the Central Marsh path was flooded on arrival and so I made my way directly to Wright Hide to meet up with the chaps. The Green-Winged Teal, which has been on site since Tuesday was showing well, but I'd missed a female Goosander.
I took the decision to back-track to the car to collect my wellies, after which I just about managed to wade thru' to Big Hide and Carlton. Seen from Big Hide of note were 3 Goldeneye (1M~2F), 32 Pochard, a lone Snipe and 3 Great Crested Grebe. A trip to the Carlton Hide and a 90-minute stint yielded a good number of Gadwall, 18 in total, plus 3 more Snipe, 1 Kestrel and 2 Sparrowhawk, viewed circling over New Hare Covert.
Today was the day that we finally spread the ashes of our dear friend Ted Jury in the memorial garden at Brandon, a man that has devoted many an hour to the sites development, and a man who will be sorely missed. I have some great memories to savour from the short time I knew him and he always made me laugh. Rest in peace Ted.
After the ceremony I managed to pick up on a single Golden Plover in amongst the Lapwing flock on East Marsh Pool, and then after tea in the Nature Centre we were back out onto the reserve, paying further visits to Big Hide and Carlton. This time, and after a painstaking scan of the reeds, we were rewarded with a Bittern, who didn't make life easy for us, the camouflage of these birds is extraordinary! Also showing on East Marsh was a single Shelduck, who disappeared as quickly as he came, a brief look see in Teal Hide revealed 40 Wigeon on River Pool.
Finally Carlton Hide gave us a second Bittern of the day, but this time with excellent views as he appeared in the open directly under the 1st Kingfisher post, well done Monica on a great spot!! However, today's kudos must go to the guy who took off his boots and socks to wade to Big Hide for a Warwickshire 'tick' of Green-Winged Teal, which I'm delighted and relieved to say was successful.