Sunday, September 18, 2011

Brandon & Local

Napton Reservoir Black-necked Grebe
An early start at Brandon Marsh today arriving just after 6.30am. Despite the weather forecast saying otherwise a bright but chilly start.

A quick look at the Top Reedbed on arrival proved disappointing after Thursday's Wheatear and Whinchat, and even worse was when I eventually arrived at Farm Field later in the morning only to find that the farmer had cut it completely back. 3 Yellowhammer, quite a rarity at Brandon, were a bonus, but bang goes any chance of some late autumn Butterflies!

The remainder of the reserve still had plenty on offer with 2 Nuthatch, and as I emerged from New Hare Covert some small signs of visible migration with 4 Meadow Pipit over, closely followed by 4 Siskin. A Water Rail heard on Swallow Pool and a very pristine looking Willow Warbler by the entrance to Newlands. By the time I arrived at Teal Pool Hide I'd recorded: 5 singing Cetti's Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 2 of which were singing, plus 2 Dunlin were feeding on the mud.

Thursday's ♀Wheatear @ Brandon
Nothing out of the ordinary on East Marsh Pool with the exception of a lone Wigeon, 5 Snipe and 2 Kingfisher, which came whizzing through. Eventually some reasonable numbers of Swallow and House Martins began to appear and at one Stage a Sparrowhawk threw the whole pool into a frenzy!

Carlton Hide was very quiet on the pool which now holds very little water, a lone Snipe was the only bird of note. However, the surrounding Hawthorn produced; ♂ and ♀ Blackcap, Willow Tit and Chiffchaff.

After leaving Brandon I stopped for a brief visit to Napton Reservoir where the Black-necked Grebe was showing quite well, this time enabling me to get some better record shots. Nothing further of note here but as I arrived back at the marina parking area 2 Raven came cronking over along with 4 Skylark heading south.