Sunday, October 17, 2010

Local Rarity

Bearded Tit (Library Picture)
I knew this morning was going to be a chilly one but it was still a surprise to be scraping the frost off the windsceen in a temperature of minus 3C. Good job I had the good sense to wear my thermals for today's visit to Brandon Marsh!

Over the past week the visible migration has continued in earnest in my locality and throughout the country too, with some amazing species being recorded nationwide, Green Heron in Cornwall is one that shines out. The first Whooper Swans are beginning to arrive and today at Martin Mere in Lancashire 36,000 Pink-footed Geese were recorded roosting, a new site record and a sight which I would imagine is well worth seeing.

Personally I continue to record good numbers of Skylark, Redwing, Siskin, Meadow Pipit, Redpoll and the odd Brambling over the marina, but the few remaining Swallows and House Martins I witnessed passing through last week have now subsided. I also registered my first Fieldfare of the Autumn on Thursday while working at Brandon Marsh, when seven birds passed overhead. Catching up on the news this morning at Brandon a report of Jack Snipe on site on Friday and the arrival of a lone Bittern yesterday on the west marsh is very exciting news. I've also noticed the local Starlings now beginning to gather and flock into the marina at dusk, and a quick count of our regular Pied Wagtail roost this evening produced over 150 birds.

In general the past week has produced some excellent numbers of migrating and arriving birds, and there is a definite build up of wintering species such as Pochard, Wigeon and Snipe in the area, but up until today there was nothing to get too excited about, that is until this afternoon!

At around 2pm I received a text message regarding a Bearded Tit sighting at Napton Reservoir, in effect right on my doorstep and a species I'd never recorded on my home patch. To the wife's utter amazement I dragged myself away from my beloved Everton, at the time giving Liverpool a major drubbing, and made my way over. On arrival five minutes later two of the local birding regulars Colin Potter and Richard Mays were on site, and after a fifteen minute wait I duly had my sights on my first local Beardy, in flight and pinging away as it flew across the reed bed! Many thanks to Richard and Colin for their excellent find, and well done Everton on a terrific win!!