Thursday, April 26, 2012

Brandon Visits

As yet another cold, unsettled and generally uninspired week passes by I've managed to fit in my usual Tuesday and Thursday visits to Brandon Marsh, despite an otherwise hectic schedule.

Having said that Tuesday's visit to Brandon had it's moments with frisky Oystercatchers, a nice shot of Whitethroat, and when having heard the call of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker as I passed by the Saga sign, an immediate search of the area proved fruitless. Also of interest was an unidentified Raptor distant and high up in the bright morning sky which I'm convinced was an Osprey, but alas my two other birding colleagues were less than convinced, so I yielded to the majority vote. The occasional warmth did bring out a few Butterflies with 3 Peacock, ♂♀Orange Tip and Small Tortoiseshell seen on the wing. Peter and I were also treated to a few bars of Nightingale song while sitting in Big Hide, but the bird still remains extremely illusive!

Spring Is In The Air!
Waking this morning I was under the distinct impression that I was still suffering from last nights wine-fest, having been invaded by our neighbours, who love a glass or two, (Happy birthday Kevin). Turns out that it was actually down to the fact that we were listing slightly by around 10 degrees, this due to yesterdays deluge, which as I hear on the news this morning produced a mini tornado in nearby Rugby.

I arrived a little later than normal at Brandon and had the usual cacophony of warblers on my walk around, including Lesser Whitethroat and a Grasshopper Warbler reeling away near the golf Course. As I rounded the corner to head down to Wright Hide I was positive I'd had my first Hobby of the year as a small Raptor shot over Big Hide. In Big Hide over coffee JR confirmed that he'd had a Hobby over Newlands earlier just as Paul plucked out our first swift of the year! In fact I needn't have worried as later in the morning I had some excellent views of a Hobby over on West Marsh, along with at least another 4 Swift.

5 Shelduck On Site Today!
No less than 5 Shelduck and 2 Cuckoo on the reserve today, along with a fair selection of waders: 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Ringed Plover, 3 Little-ringed Plover, 3 Redshank, 4 Oystercatcher, 1 Snipe and around 20 or so Lapwing. This week has seen a rather impressive passage of Arctic Tern with some excellent numbers at the nearby Draycote Water, unfortunately none have made it through to Brandon but it was still good to see 2 Common Tern on site today.

I saved the best of the day until last, when finally the illusive Nightingale decided to give a good account of himself for a few minutes, much to the delight of the gentleman standing next to me, who'd never seen or heard one before!