Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gloomy Day

Resident Swan Family
With heavy rain pounding on the boat roof at around 5am and the forecast of yet more fog and low cloud I made a concious decision to turn over and have a lay in this morning.

I also decided to take a look at a nearby field after a text message last night tipped me off regarding a Short-eared Owl seen at dusk, and so didn't arrive at Brandon Marsh until just after 9am, no Owls in sight!

Not the best decision I've made when a phone call from Brandon came through with news of a Bittern showing well on East Marsh early on. Needless to say I've still not as yet made contact this autumn, but hey it's early days.

Despite the gloom Brandon had it's moments, the best of which were the 2♂ and 2♀ Goldeneye, still around from Saturday, plus 4 Cetti's Warbler heard, 3 Lesser Redpoll, 5 Siskin, 1 Kingfisher, 87 Golden Plover, a half dozen Wigeon and a brief glimpse of a Chiffchaff from the Big Hide. Carlton Hide, which I'm glad to say is now filling back up nicely with water, held 5 Snipe and a single Water Rail. The escaped New Zealand Scaup was also around at West Marsh and 6 Skylark flew south on the walk down.

Lots of mixed Thrush flocks today which included excellent numbers of Blackbird, at least 20 or so of which had black beaks, more likely 1st winter Scandinavian. It's also worth noting that 3 Song Thrush were heard singing too.

A stop off at Napton Reservoir on route home, nearly crushing 6 Red-legged Partridge who ran out in front of me, produced circa 70 Wigeon, Great Crested and Little grebe, a lone Grey Wagtail and a huge flock of around 150 Fieldfare, with smaller numbers of Redwing mixed in.

Despite the unfortunate extraction (don't get me started!) of a huge amount of reed bed back at the marina, the Pied Wagtail roost still contained good numbers with around 250, and as the weather finally broke to the west the sky was awash with literally thousands of Gulls heading for the Draycote roost!

Posted above is a picture of our resident Mute Swan family taken from my window, which I thought would brighten up this post on an otherwise gloomy day!