Sunday, February 05, 2012

Snowy Days

Like a lot of the UK the marina was hit by around 4/5 inches of snow yesterday evening and overnight. With last years little motoring mishap at the back of my mind I took a slow and steady journey to Brandon Marsh first thing, sensibly using 'A' roads only!

I arrived safely despite very little evidence of road gritting at around 8am, and to my surprise wasn't the first to arrive. Our beloved Chairman Paul Norman, who only arrived back from Iceland yesterday evening, was already on site and probably got the feeling he was still on his winter jollies.

Beauty & The Beast
Brandon in the snow is a wonderland and so Paul and I decided to make the most of it and take a good tour of the reserve's less travelled areas, soon locating several Badger, Fox and Muntjac Deer tracks. Horsetail Glade was magical and despite hearing the tap tap of Nuthatch on numerous occasions we never did quite manage to make contact.

Brandon probably has the most friendliest Robins in the land and so it wasn't long before we were joined by several eagerly awaiting breakfast, Paul duly obliged. The Central Marsh Track seemed to be alive with birds feeding, Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tit, Song Thrush, Redwing, Bullfinch, Dunnock and several more Robin were also constantly on the go. Having heard Treecreepers call many times I can't remember ever hearing one singing, the individual pictured below was probably my first, what a happy little chap.

Singing Treecreeper
The pools are naturally all frozen, apart from a small area of East Marsh Pool which contained of note:- 41 Wigeon, 30 Tufted, 36 Teal, 61 Canada Geese, 42 Greylag, 10 Lapwing, 4 Snipe, 36 Shoveler and a lone Barnacle. After Paul departed, apparently to cook the pasta, I continued my walk alone recording Kestrel, Buzzard, Willow Tit, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Goldcrest and Muntjac Deer. The highlight today was when I passed a flock of around 10 Long-tailed Tit as all hell broke loose, a Sparrowhawk came swooping in from nowhere only meters from where I was standing, fortunately for the Tits it left empty handed but for me I was simply awestruck!