Thursday, October 13, 2011

West Meets East!

Fieldfare (also arrived yesterday at the marina!)
I'm still not sure whether I prefer the autumn migration to the spring, it does seem that things appear to be more dramatic in the autumn as west meets east. The sky constantly in flow with flocks of Skylark, Redwing, Siskin, Redpoll and the odd lingering Tern or Hirundine. Or I suppose it could also be the fact that one of my favourite birds is the Fieldfare and I came across a flock of 30 at Brandon today.

It was good to be back working at Brandon Marsh, chain-saw in hand, with the conservation team for the first time since injuring my back in June. I must say though that I'm completely knackered and I know I'm going to suffer in the morning, but it's all worth it!

Talking of Brandon I must mention Tuesdays visit which proved to be a very pleasurable one. Having witnessed two apparent juvenile Barn Owls last Sunday while searching for Hen Harrier, Jim our licensed ringer decided to investigate our Newlands Owl boxes. We also took the opportunity to invite a few regular Brandon photographers to join us, Kath, Martin and Geoff.

Young Barn Owl (Picture by Kath Everitt)
I'm delighted to report that a late brood of five birds was found, sadly one a fatality, but the other four healthy and duly ringed. An amazing feat considering the disruption which has taken place during the Newlands Phase Three project.

Back to today and before work another look for Sunday's Short-eared Owl, this time drawing a blank, but a couple of Tawny Owl heard and PN had a Barn Owl quartering Sheep Field before us apparent late comers arrived!

A cracking count of 5-Water Rail, with 2 at Carlton and a further 3 at West Marsh Hide while working. More Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Linnet and around 200 or so Redwing, plus more Skylarks heading south and 3 Fiedfare before coming across a flock of 30 at Carlton Hide after work.

Also of note today: Goldcrest (2), Snipe (2), Kingfisher (1), Cetti's Warbler (6), Wigeon (3)

** As I post Short-eared Owl has just been reported on Brandon Birding - VIEW-HERE