NAPTON ON THE HILL WEATHER

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Brandon Early Signs!

Hobby On Newlands
As another rainy summers weekend comes to a close there are a few signs that things are finally beginning to pick up on the birding front.

With the water now down to a decent level on the pools at Brandon Marsh there's now plenty of mud showing around the islands and on Teal Pool offering perfect wader conditions. On the 16th of this month the Conservation Team will also begin to clear the excess vegetation on the East Marsh Pool islands and Wigeon Bank. Due to the amazing growth rate this year the work is likely to take place over three consecutive Thursdays after which the viewing will be vastly improved.

During last Thursday's work party a juvenile Cuckoo was seen near the golf course by Martin Durkin, the best I could manage was hearing the bird deep within the vegetation before returning to my strimming duties.

Large Skipper
Yesterday more signs of improvement with three Green and one Common Sandpiper, plus five Common Terns. At least two Hobbies were on site, one offering great views from the screen area, constantly feeding on the numerous dragonflies and occasionally perching before recommencing his attacks. There was also an improvement on the Butterfly numbers with various counts of: Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Peacock, Comma, Red Admiral, Large White, Green-vein White, Ringlet and Small, Large and Essex Skipper. Dragonflies included Brown Hawker, Black-tailed Skimmer and Common Darter.

Today was an excellent day for waders with 4 Green Sandpipers on Teal Pool, a Common Sandpiper still on East Marsh Pool and after missing two early morning Black-tailed Godwits, which nobody bothered to tell me about, I was delighted when six flew in mid-morning!

Wagtail's Under Attack!
With Otter sightings still continuing to come in I managed to locate fresh spraint on several of my known areas, obviously indicating that there constantly around and I'm delighted that the trust have now installed an Otter-cam at a secret location! Two Foxes seen from Carlton Hide, a Muntjac heard in New Hare Covert and several families of Blackcap and Willow Warbler made for an excellent Sunday visit.

Finally, on the home front a Sparrowhawk was having a real go at the Pied Wagtail roost on Friday evening here at the marina, luckily for the Wagtails he left empty handed!