Thursday, October 20, 2011

Brandon Today

I spent the morning completing more work with a few of the conservation team clearing the Kingfisher Pool at Brandon Marsh, an area that due to lack of water recently has become more accessible. The pool is located adjacent to the path that runs down towards the West Marsh Steetley Hide

An early start prior to starting work produced the Short-eared Owl once again on Sheep Field just before sunrise, at one stage the bird flew high pursued by a couple of persistent Crows, a Tawny was also heard calling from Horsetail Glade.

By the time I reached Newlands reed bed, where 3 of the juvenile Barn Owls were perched on the Owl box, I'd recorded 4 Cetti’s Warbler, small numbers of Siskin and Lesser Redpoll, plus 5 Jay, still busy burying acorns! A Willow Tit was calling and seen along the Central Marsh Path, an area that they seem to favour these days.

A little bit more in the way of visible migration with several Skylark over and close to the Carlton Hide, were 2 Snipe were feeding, a large group of Redwing with several Fieldfare were stripping berries from the Hawthorn. A Water Rail was also out in the open and provided some good viewing opportunities.

Other birds of note on the remaining pools were Common Gull, which are now on the increase with 8 recorded today, plus an excellent count of 22 Pochard, Teal and Shoveler numbers are still increasing, with 8 Heron and 8 Cormorant also noted. The Lapwing count was up to around 250 today.

Over lunch at the Steetley Hide a Kingfisher seemed undisturbed by all our activity, and a lone Grey Wagtail was doing it's level best, unsuccessfully, to catch several Common Darter Dragonflies which were busy dropping eggs into the pool. Also recorded were: 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Green Woodpecker, 2 Nuthatch and when I drove out of the reserve a small flock of around a dozen Siskin were near the bicycle parking area.