Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Not a Good Day!

Out and about this week locally but as you can see from the picture I didn't quite make it to Brandon Marsh for my Tuesday visit thanks to severe black ice!

My normal early morning route to Brandon from the marina is to take the back roads in search of Owls up towards Birdingbury, then on to Marton before rejoining the A roads. Why I decided to take this route in such treacherous conditions on Tuesday morning I'll never know!! Normally I stick to the main roads when the weather is so bad.

Fortunately the car is resting on a huge tree stump, below is another 3 feet and but for the stump I'm certain I would have ended up on my roof.

Anyway, back to the birds and it's good to see so many feeders dotted around the marina at present. We've been completely iced in for over a week now and the overnight temperatures have been as low as -11C. A walk around the grounds on Tuesday afternoon produced many Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Tree Sparrow and two Male Brambling on or near the feeders.

The Tawny Owls have been calling too and I've managed a few brief glimpses of the local Little Owls in the late afternoons. The local duck population has managed to maintain an open water space where they can be easily fed. Interestingly several Waxwing have been seen once more on the wires but they always seem to manage a visit when I'm not on site, I'm sure my time will soon come.

After a tip off regarding 3 Long Eared Owls on my patch on Monday I finally got the opportunity to have a look myself today and am delighted to say that I managed to make contact with one. What a fantastic bird to have in the area and such a pleasure to see. Due to the sensitivity of the location I'm currently not prepared to divulge their whereabouts, having said that, if at any time they move off and onto a public area I'd be delighted to pass on the information.

On to a snow covered Brandon Marsh after making contact with the amazing Owl but as I expected all pools are still frozen over and no sign of Bittern or Short Eared Owl either. A number of Kestrel and Sparrowhawk were hunting constantly over the reserve and lots of Redwing, Fieldfare and large flocks of Lesser Redpoll/Siskin on site as well. A report of a single Waxwing on Gelder Rose near the Nature Centre from yesterday too.