Monday, February 15, 2010

Quality Time!

With my chores done for the day I thought I'd have some quality time and spend a few hours alone down at Brandon Marsh. It seems that whenever I visit Brandon these days I try to cram in a couple of hours birding with the other chaps before work starts, and rarely get the time to just sit, listen and watch.

The weather wasn't the best for birding with little movement, but I ended up with a creditable 48 species. A walk through Horstail Glade to West Marsh Hide produced very little in the rain, the best I could manage was a Nuthatch calling, but when I arrived at Teal Pool things started to look up. At the very back of River Pool I could make out through the murk the distinct shape of a Bittern, who in fact ended up staying in the same place for gone 90 minutes. A short while later a second bird came out of the reeds behind and took flight towards Carlton Pool, 2 Snipe are also worth a mention.

An hours vigil in the Big Hide produced of note male and female Shelduck, 7 Wigeon, 163 Lapwing, 7 Pochard and 8 Snipe, plus during my stay I heard 2 Water Rail and a couple of Cetti's Warbler calling from within the reeds. The only Buzzard of the day flew from right to left across Newlands. Carlton hide gave up a lone Goldcrest (pictured) just prior to entering, a bird that has not been seen too often lately, and from within the hide I had a good count of Gadwall with 12.

After departing the hides I took a leisurely stroll around towards Newlands and through New Hare Covert. The best of the rest was 1 Little Grebe, 2 Treecreeper, 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Bullfinch, and a single Redpoll, who was accompanied by 4 Goldfinch. A very enjoyable 3 hours.