Monday, August 20, 2012

Weekly Bulletin

Green Sandpiper at Brandon Marsh
With things still pretty hectic for me at present I'm finding it quite difficult to give the blog the time it deserves so another 'weekly' bulletin to follow I'm afraid dear reader.

Despite things looking as though they were beginning to pick up at Brandon Marsh with the recent short visits of 6 Black-tailed Godwits and 7 Greenshank things still continue to generally disappoint on the birding front! The best of the week for me has been the 4 Green Sandpiper which continue to roam around the pools, 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Snipe and the lone Pink-footed Goose which occasionally drops in with the Greylag flock. Swifts are now becoming much rarer as they head back south, I managed a single sighting on Thursday and 4 Common Tern was my best single count for the week. Thursday's works party managed to strim the two main Islands and around 3/4 of Wigeon Bank but I estimate we'll require another two Thursdays to get the job done.

Mistle Thrush - An unprecedented 28!!
Yesterday's birding was even more dire at Brandon until a tour of the reserve took a few of us along the top reed bed where we managed a Spotted Flycatcher in the dead tree across on Brandon Lane, in fact it was my first on (or near) the reserve this year. Another bonus was shortly after we left the Flycatcher doing what Flycatchers do when no less than 28 Mistle Thrush flew through on passage, a reserve record for me. Butterflies are now numerous in the current warm spell and a visit to any area of Buddleia on the reserve will show lots of Peacock and Red Admiral. Although recently reported and photographed by Jeff Rankin I've not personally managed to connect with any Painted Lady or Purple Hairstreak on the reserve this year.

To other matters and Saturdays visit to the Bird Fair at Rutland Water, where we managed 7 Red Kite on route, was bad timing when we unfortunately picked the hottest day of year! Thoroughly enjoyable but the marquees as you would imagine were at boiling point so after a few hours mooching and lunch we headed to the lagoons for some birding.

The hides at Lagoon 4 as you would imagine were extremely busy and here Alban Wincott and I persevered while Dee stayed outside in the cool. At least 100 or so juvenile Common Tern were present along with Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Shelduck and a lone Little Stint. One of the resident Ospreys also made an appearance during our stay and also perched for a while for some good views. Lagoon 3 held more Green Sandpiper, Wigeon, excellent numbers of Gadwall and two juvenile Black Terns were also a highlight.

On the home front a Green Sandpiper has been hanging around the marina for several days now and a continuing passage of Swallows and House Martins along with the odd Swift. The local Tawny Owls are beginning to call once more and a brief call of a distant Little Owl on Saturday night along with a calling Muntjac Deer!