Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Brandon Tuesday!

Willow Tit @ Big Hide
With heavy rain overnight and strong winds I've no idea why I decided to take a little longer than normal to get to Brandon Marsh this morning, this is ideal weather for downed migrants!

I paid the price when a phone call from Jim Rushforth around 7am asking where I was alerted me to a Little Gull on site. I've seen plenty around the UK but never on my home reserve and suffice to say this was not the best start to my birding day.

I eventually arrived around 30-minutes later in pouring rain and made my way straight to Big Hide. The usual selection of Hirundines were present, a little larger in numbers and several Sand Martins are now beginning to investigate the nesting structure. 3 Little-ringed Plover, 2 Redshank, a pair of Shelduck and 4 Oystercatcher, one of which is now sitting, and a Sparrowhawk were the best of the bunch. Also of note was a Reed Warbler chattering away in the reed to the left and some nice views of Willow Tit in the bramble. My first Common Tern of the year was also recorded when one bird overflew East Marsh Pool before heading off.

Wood Anemone (Rare @ Brandon)
As forecast the weather improved towards mid-morning and so myself and some of the other Brandon volunteers took the opportunity to have a tour of the rest of the reserve in search of more arrivals. At the 'Olive Seat' bench a Common Whitethroat was singing away within the bramble and several Common Buzzard had taken to the thermals. The now summer resident selection of Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap were all extremely vocal. As we made our way through New Hare Covert I managed a few images of Wood Anemone, a rare plant to the reserve and something that's only recently come to light. A Bank Vole was also seen deep in the undergrowth as we made our way passed Sheep Field.

A tour of the 'Tip' area and the Farm Pool reed bed produced no further migrants but it was a pleasant enough walk in the sunshine and we did register a couple of Linnet.

Anyone For Golf!
Back in the Big Hide for lunch and another year first when from nowhere a lone Sedge Warbler started singing from within the reeds, offering the briefest of views before ducking back down. A final tour of the Newlands area and New Hare Covert by myself and Derek Bennet prior to heading off home produced: 2 Fieldfare over, a second Common Whitethroat of the day and a Orange Underwing Moth. One of the current resident Oystercatcher was also worming near the golf course bunker and our resident Barnacle Goose was also on the course, sadly limping!. Not the best day for Butterflies but 2 ♀Orange Tip were seen.