Saturday, September 29, 2012

Back To The Routine!

95% Moon setting To The West!
A Tawny Owl calling quite close to the mooring and the local Mallards feeding off the boat hull (very annoying tap, tap, tap!) persuaded me to get up a little earlier than I was anticipating this morning. When I looked out of the windows I'm glad I did with the almost full moon setting to the west. To the east the winter constellation of Orion shining brightly and a very bright Venus and Jupiter also showing well.

On route to Brandon a Weasel ran across in front of me as I came through the back roads at Stockton and a Barn Owl was quartering the fields just prior to Birdingbury. I arrived around a half hour before sunrise to a chilly Brandon, only 5C showing on the the cars temperature gauge.

It was nice to be back at Brandon on a crisp and clear early morning, my favourite time and I took my usual route which takes me past the wind pump, Sheepfield and New Hare Covert. The usual hoards of Gulls were passing overhead, mostly Black-headed and probably from the Draycote roost. Not a lot to report prior to emerging from New Hare Covert, the best a calling Nuthatch but as I rounded the golf course corner a flock of around 20 or so small birds flew into a nearby tree. By the time I'd sorted them I'd recorded 4 Lesser Redpoll and at least 15 Siskin before they were on their way, winter is coming!

Chiffchaff (lots of Hawthorn to investigate!)
It looks as though Blackberries haven't done too well this year but the reverse is true of the Hawthorn. Most of the bushes at Brandon are teeming with fruit and it was endless searching of these which produced 3 Chiffchaff, one in full song, a pair of Blackcap and a number of small Tit flocks. These contained, along with around 10 Long-tailed Tit, a couple of Coal Tit and a lone Goldcrest. Despite being hopeful of Redwing or Feildfare none were recorded. The reeds at Newlands gave up a late Common Whitethroat and along with at least a half dozen Reed Bunting, 3 Water Rail and 3 calling Cetti's Warbler. Before checking the pools at Wright Hide 4 Meadow Pipit, 25 Wigeon and a lone Skylark overhead, plus a Green Sandpiper was also heard.

East Marsh Pool had the usual hoards of Greylag and Canada, plus the now regular Egyptian and Pink-footed Goose were also present. My first Pochard of the autumn along with Lapwing (300), Gadwall (41), Teal (44), Snipe (13), Kingfisher (2) and the New Zealand Scaup (escapee) were the other highlights.

Hirundine numbers are now dwindling but a decent number of Swallows, plus House Martin (3) were recorded. A few Butterflies and Dragonflies on the wing and these included Green-veined White, Comma, Peacock, Red Admiral, Common Darter and Migrant Hawker.

Notable Records for the full visit:

Blackcap (3), Cettis Warbler (3 heard), Chiffchaff (3), Coal Tit (2), Egyptian Goose (1), Gadwall (41), GS Woodpecker (3), Green Sandpiper (1 heard), Green Woodpecker (2), House Martin (3 over), Kingfisher (2), Lapwing (310), Lesser Redpoll (6), Meadow Pipit (4 over), Nuthatch (2), Pied Wagtail (3), Pink-footed Goose (1), Reed Bunting (7), Shoveler (7), Siskin (17), Skylark (2 over), Snipe (13), Sparrowhawk (2), Swallow (33 over), Teal (44), Tufted Duck (12), Water Rail (4), Common Whitethroat (1)