Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Autumnal Bliss

Dropping off one of the wife's work colleagues at Heathrow Airport at 6.30 this morning prior to my usual Tuesday Brandon visit I was amazed to see no less than 6 Red Kites already on the wing when I passed the usual hotspot on the M40 motorway at Wycombe! A re-introduction area for these magnificent birds several years ago they are simply spreading like wildfire, to see their huge silhouettes against the early morning gloom was just wonderful.

Red Admiral on November 1st!
A gorgeous autumnal day at Brandon Marsh once the early showers moved through and some surprise visitors too when 73 Golden Plover dropped on to East Marsh Pool at around 10.30am. At the time Paul, John, Peter and I had just been watching a day hunting Barn Owl at the rear of the Carlton Hide and quickly doubled back to big hide for a glimpse.

Lots of Fieldfare, Redwing, Lesser Redpoll and Siskin have now started their regular demolition of the summer berries and seeds with the latter tucking into the Alder, and the Thrushes devouring the Hawthorn berries. Several Skylark were moving south during my stay, 2 Green Sandpiper were on Teal Pool and the usual selection of Pochard, Teal, Gadwall, Shoveler, Tufted and Mallard were on East Marsh Pool. Also seen of note were: Circa 350 Lapwing (this includes 1 Leusistic), 3 Bullfinch, 2 Nuthatch, 1 Grey Wagtail, 6 Jay, 3 Cetti's Warbler, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Water Rail and 3 Snipe.

Migrant Hawker
Birding aside the most remarkable thing for November 1st was the amount of Dragonfly on the wing with around 30 or so Common Darter, the females of which were constantly dropping onto West Marsh Pool to lay their eggs. Also seen were 2 Red Admiral Butterfly, obviously not ready for hibernation just yet, and a single Migrant Hawker.

A record count this evening of our roosting Pied Wagtails here at the marina, with over 250 counted! I really must endeavour to check them all out one day!