Sunday, May 30, 2010

Back to the Marsh!

Having devoted the whole of last week to painting my boat I had very little time for birding, mind you during my many coffee breaks I noticed a Common Tern constantly flying to and fro from the marina with fish in the general direction of Napton Reservoir. Plus I was delighted to see at least two Little Owl youngsters (one pictured) calling from the nearby trees yesterday evening.
I paid my first visit to Brandon Marsh this morning in over seven days. It's that time of year again when things tend to get a little quieter with most of the birds now paired up and thus less singing. It's also a time when you tend to rely more on your knowledge of bird song too with the canopy in full bloom and the birds buried deep within.
On the walk around through to New Hare Covert a Lesser Whitethroat seemed very agitated as I passed Sheep Field, a single bird ticking away loudly from within the Hawthorn. I managed some excellent views before deciding to leave the little chap in peace and moved on.
The Wright Hide produced the usual Oystercatcher, Little and Ringed Plover, and since my last visit our Redshank have now fledged 4 chicks, which looked a little vulnerable while feeding on the waters edge. Sad to hear too that the one and only Great Crested Grebe to survive has now disappeared!
Best of the day came while in the Big Hide, with a Peregrine coming in reasonably low over East Marsh Pool, not particularly in a hunting mood and moving off after a brief sortie in the direction of the Carltom Hide. A final walk across the 'Tip' area with Jim Rushforth and around through Farm Field produced my second Spotted Flycatcher in as many weeks, when Jim spotted one high up in one of the big dead trees across on Brandon Lane. Not exactly within the reserve boundary, but I'm sure it had flown onto the reserve at some stage!!