I spent an enjoyable 90 minutes in the big hide at Brandon Marsh yesterday (Friday) and my timing was perfect. Just as I arrived I was given the heads-up by Richard May of a Bittern directly in the front reed bed. Within about 15 minutes the bird had appeared and had made the short flight across to the right hand reed bed, disappearing within, my second sighting of the week. The usual birds were also on site and the recent additions of Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Sand Martin were all recorded, 60 Snipe are also well worth a mention.
This morning on the walk down to the car from my boat 3 Meadow Pipit were perched on the newly installed telephone cables, a Skylark singing high up, a call from one of the now resident Little Owls, and fortunately the earlier rain had abated.
On arrival at Brandon I took my usual route to the Wright Hide and recorded my first Willow Warbler of the day singing by the wind pump. By the time I arrived at the hide I'd noted 4 Chiffchaff, 4 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Goldcrest, 4 Song Thrush and 3 Bullfinch. However, nothing could have prepared me for the Sedge Warbler (pictured) singing low in the willow at the back of the hide. In fact I immediately telephoned a firstly dubious JR, who was about 5 minutes in front of me, back to the spot, always nice to have the official recorder in the vicinity on these occasions! To add to the confirmation the bird finally decided to show itself in the morning sunshine, probably the earliest ever record of a Sedge Warbler at Brandon, I'll await Jim's confirmation on that one.
Over the remainder of the morning I'd recorded on top of the usual species 4 Willow Warbler in total, 4 Redshank, 1 Willow Tit, 9 Chiffchaff, 7 Sand Martin, 2 Oystercatcher, 2 Water Rail, 6 singing Cettis Warbler, 2 displaying Sparrowhawk, Buzzards a plenty and my third sighting this week of Bittern, as one flew across the back of Newlands Reedbed. Also still on site and recorded were 2 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing and a small flock of Redpoll.