Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Stick To Birding!

Our Dedicated Leader!
Knowing full well that the pools at Brandon Marsh were likely to be frozen after last nights -6C I decided to take a tour of the reserve with the sole aim of giving my camera the priority over birding for a change.

I arrived a little later than normal and had completely forgotten that JR had chosen this morning to complete a check of the three Tawny Owl boxes located on site. A perfect opportunity for some close up Tawny photographs of JR checking and ringing any new arrivals. Unfortunately luck was not on our side as all three boxes were vacant, with the exception of some Stock Dove leftovers! A small bonus was that during the walk 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers were heard drumming, my first of the year!

Best Of The Day
Notwithstanding I decided to continue my tour of the remainder of the reserve, which I have to say had very little movement during my whole visit. The path leading away from Wright Hide had a small number of Siskin and Lesser Redpoll, far too high in the canopy for any decent shots and directly in the sun. Big Hide and Carlton Hide had little to offer on the photographic side but a small unfrozen area held the usual waterfowl, including 15 Wigeon. I did manage a distant Kestrel, a low flying Sparrowhawk and around 20 or so Golden Plover at Carlton, but they didn't bother stopping and continued on overhead.

The best of the day was at Steetley Hide on the west marsh. A Buzzard perched in a tree opposite on arrival and then Peter and I enjoyed a hive of activity, when a flock of around 40+ Siskin dropped in accompanied by several Lesser Redpoll and Goldfinch. During our short halcyon period we also recorded 3 Treecreepers and a small Long-tailed Tit flock, I also managed a very brief view of Goldcrest but as for pictures, well the light had gone and most of the birds were playing hide and seek. I think I'll stick to my birding as a priority!!

How Obvious Can It Be!
Finally, a quick thank you to those of you who've emailed me regarding the idiots at Brandon on Sunday taking photographs from a restricted conservation area. Your outrage at their behaviour is evident and I would also ask that anyone who may know these individuals, or indeed have any photographs of them, should contact me via email. We visited the area this morning and could clearly see it had been breached!