Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Blogging Again!

Owlet in Jim's experienced hands!
It's good to be back blogging after a short break since returning from Canada over a week ago. I've now begun to upload some of the many images taken during this years tour to my Flickr site and have to say that I'm quite pleased considering that I had a few camera issues during the second week.

Despite the lack of posts I have been out and about over the past seven days and this weekend Dee and I visited friends in Suffolk, managing to slot in a lovely afternoon walk and picnic at RSPB Fowlmere in Cambridgeshire. Nothing too exciting was on offer, the usual summer warblers were all recorded, plus a bonus Yellow-Wagtail but I think the extremely high temperature, time of visit and the fact that birding took a back seat was the reason for that.

Underwater Mink
I've also begun to refocus my attention on Brandon Marsh and a phone call from Geoff Haynes one of the Brandon regulars on Wednesday last delivered some sad news which required investigation. Apparently one of our Barn Owl parents lost it's prey when arriving back at the nesting box and when dropping to the floor to retrieve it was pounced upon by a Fox, unfortunately this was a box we knew housed 7 eggs within.

The following morning myself, Jim Rushforth and several other members of the team went to investigate. We were delighted to report back that the remaining parent was doing well along with 3 Owlets, who were subsequently ringed. During the same morning and on a less positive note Mike Lee and I spotted an American Mink swimming past big hide in the most bizarre fashion. Fortunately I was able to record the event on my camera and the picture (above) shows a Mink swimming underwater dragging a Gadwall Duck by the head, nature can be cruel at times.

Wood Sandpiper (Record Shot)
As the spring migration now winds down any birder knows that the chance of spotting the unexpected also diminishes as our summer visitors get down to the business of nesting. Having said that today's Wood Sandpiper was a pleasant bonus. As with many others like me it's time to concentrate on other matters and for me it's Butterflies, Moths and Bugs! For the first time at Brandon Marsh a Butterfly transect has been created in conjunction with Butterfly Conservation and having completed my first transect today I'm looking forward to seeing the overall results later in the year. Also worth a mention at Brandon this morning ♂♀Cuckoo.

France this coming weekend, can't wait!