Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Back in Port

Leucistic Jackdaw (Library Picture)
Just arrived back at the home mooring for water and diesel after dodging the heavy showers but I'll be back out on Friday. More Corn Bunting near Flecknoe Fields Farm and two young Yellow Wagtail on route.

Yesterday I'd parked the car strategically near a canal bridge and therefore able to spend a few hours down at Brandon Marsh. While walking the 10 minutes to the car from my mooring at around 6am there was a lot of Butterfly on the wing even at that time, mostly Gatekeeper. On route I managed to disturb a Fox who appeared to be digging for something in one of the newly cut fields on the opposite bank, several Yellowhammer were singing along with Skylark and Linnet, a really pleasant short walk. The best though was when I arrived at the car and was greeted by around 400 Jackdaws in a nearby field which included one Leucistic, quite stark to see a white Jackdaw in the melee of a large flock!

Brandon produced a similar collection to Sundays visit, the exception being only one Little Egret and two Green Sandpiper on this occasion, although better views of the lone Black-tailed Godwit, which after showing well on the main Island flew off to the West. The rain dampened any attempt to go looking for Butterflies but one correction to make on a earlier post. The Purple Hairstreak I reported seeing recently was in fact a White-letter Hairstreak, after a discussion with the other guys who saw it we all agreed on the error! One sighting on the way back to my mooring worth reporting was a family of four tiny Red-legged Partridge on the roadside at Grandborough which I just managed to avoid.

Last night after dinner it turned out to be quite a pleasant evening and so we sat out on the tow path, probably drinking too much wine, until around 11pm. Tawny Owl, Kestrel, Buzzard and a flock of around 50 Linnet entertained us, but just as the light was fading the unwelcome sight of a Mink suddenly appeared on the opposite bank. We watched him for around 20-minutes before he finally disappeared into the undergrowth. Despite the obvious problems with these animals there still a real pleasure to see.

A further sighting of the Leusistic Jackdaw again this morning while having breakfast, in fact I spent around 90-minutes trying to photograph him, but having walked probably a mile down the disused LNWR railway line (The line ran from Marton Junction to Weedon and closed to passenger traffic in 1963), I finally gave up tracking him!