Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Blogging Again!

Willow Warbler - Still Singing Today!
Well I'm happy to report that Narrowboat 'Quidditch' now has a new paint job and a completely refurbished shower room, and more importantly I'm back out in the wild birding and blogging once again.

It's been a little while since my last visit to Brandon Marsh and having met up with some of the guys at first light this morning it was apparent that things have been pretty quiet during my absence. From a purely selfish point of view it was good to know that I hadn't missed out on anything special of late.

I decided to have a major trawl of the whole reserve after my sabbatical and by the time I reached Big Hide for the first coffee of the day I'd managed my first Wheatear of the autumn, when Jim, Derek and I put one up as we passed Newlands Reed Bed just after the golf course. Nuthatch -  2 Blackcap - 2 Common Whitethroat - 2 Chiffchaff - 2 Willow Warbler - 7 Green Sandpiper - 1 Common Sandpiper - 3 Snipe - 1 Little Grebe - 2 Kingfisher and a lone Reed Warbler were also recorded. On the pool areas Teal and Shoveler numbers continue to grow and a good count of 17 Gadwall, who are now beginning to look very regal after their recent molt. Despite some excellent Geese numbers of late, which have contained both Pink-footed and Egyptian, the main flock failed to materialise this morning.

Hobby - Two On Site Today!
I split from other guys who were planning to do a spot of reserve work at Carlton Hide and made my way down towards the screen area where I managed a brief but excellent view of a late staying Sedge Warbler.. At the screen I managed the long staying Hobby, which was perched in it's usual spot in the dead tree and before I'd returned for another look at the main pool I was surprised but delighted to hear a Garden Warbler in full song near the Carlton Hide. Worth a mention too that both Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler were also in song today, must be the hormones!

The reserve is now beginning to take on a different look with the autumnal colours now starting to show through and the various berries now almost ripe. As is usual for the time of year there were several Tit flocks around to dissect. By the time I'd scrutinised each flock, helped by the now thinning foliage, I'd managed of note: 14 Long-tailed Tit - 1 Willow Tit - 3 Goldcrest - 6 Willow Warbler and 2 Chiffchaff, so well worth the effort! There are still plenty of Swallows moving through along with the odd House Martin and while passing Farm Pool a second Hobby of the day had an unsuccessful attempt to take one for breakfast.

Despite the chilly wind there's still a good deal of warmth to the sun and although not prolific I managed a small count of Butterflies which included: 3 Red Admiral - 2 Meadow Brown - 3 Speckled Wood - 1 Comma and 2 Green-vein White. Plenty of Dragonflies on the wing too with excellent numbers of Southern Hawker, plus Broad-bodied Skimmer, Black-tailed Skimmer, Brown and Common Hawker and a single Ruddy Darter.

A nice return to the great outdoors and now it's all systems go for France on Thursday!