|Brief Video Of Phase 3|
A few of the team decided to have a dawn walk around the new phase 3 reed bed area at Brandon, which is now looking brilliant, with all ditches full of water and the base work for the new hide and osprey pole now in place. The back-breaking job of planting the new reeds will take place in the spring. Access to a new observation point overlooking the area will be available at a future date, by a path leading beyond the Carlton Hide.
As we made our way back to the public area a Peregrine arrived, perching in the 'big dead tree', before making off north towards New Hare Covert. A single Barnacle Goose was also in amongst the Canada flock as around 60 or so passed overhead. Most of the pools were frozen after a few nights hard frost but the recent 3 Shelduck were still on site, plus around 15 Wigeon, 9 Snipe and good numbers of Teal and Shoveler.
The majority of Fieldfare and Redwing have now moved on to the surrounding fields, having completely exhausted the berry stock on site, and are now feeding on windfall, worms and anything else they can get their beaks in to, and this probably explains not a single Redwing sighting at Brandon today! However, of note: Fieldfare, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and 22 Cormorant were all recorded, plus various numbers of Lesser Redpoll and Siskin in the surrounding Alder.
Back aboard and in the late afternoon Dee and I decided to check out an area only 10 minutes from the marina, where Short-eared Owls had been reported, and thank you to RM for the information. We enjoyed a lovely walk and were rewarded with 3 birds, sadly not in flight but roosting atop the hedgerow, still an awesome sight nevertheless. Also recorded on our walk were: 6 Yellowhammer, 4 Linnet, 2 Tree Sparrow and a single Golden Plover. In the distance 2 huge roosts of Jackdaw and Starling could be seen. The starlings giving their usual stunning display!
Finally, I received some bitter sweet news from Brandon Marsh Birding sightings update! The good news: It appears we now have 2 Bittern on site thanks to Gary Hobbs observations. The bad news: More irresponsible behaviour from a mindless minority of idiot photographers who occasionally frequent the site. When two individuals were seen actually standing at the Sand Martin structure taking photographs, and of course scattering everything on East Marsh Pool, much to the annoyance of everyone in the surounding hides.
In answer to the many Tweets and Emails I've already had on the incident, yes, they would have to pass a barrier to get across to this area which absolutely states 'Conservation Area No Entry' How hard can it be!