Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blustery Day!

Collared Dove
Having our friends aboard limited my birding time over the weekend but we did manage to show our esteemed guests around Brandon Marsh on Saturday afternoon. In fact the visit did produce my first Stonechats of the Autumn with two seen on Newlands from the Carlton Hide, so well worth the effort.

Today I managed a full days birding beginning at a very blustery Brandon Marsh. In fact the only element of the previous nights weather bulletin they got correct was the wind, the predicted bright and sunny start to the day didn't in fact materialise until mid morning!

With the blustery conditions I wasn't expecting too much in the way of visible migration as I made my way around my usual route. In fact it was as I predicted with only a few Siskin, Lesser Redpoll and Linnet over before things did pick up a little just prior to entering New Hare Covert, firstly a calling Nuthatch and Goldcrest followed swiftly by my first Fieldfare of this Autumn when 6 flew directly over me.

Common Snipe
I bypassed the Wright Hide and arrived at Big Hide just in time to find Jim, Derek and Mike tracking an interesting large raptor at height. Firstly over Newlands reed-bed and then around over the covert before disappearing low over the Baldwin Hide. Certainly not a Buzzard and the general consensus was Harrier, possibly Marsh and possibly the bird seen here on Saturday Afternoon.

East Marsh Pool contained some good wildfowl numbers listed below, the highlight of which was 101 Wigeon, my best ever count at Brandon. No sign of the recent Pink-footed Goose today but the lone Egyptian Goose was among the flock. During the morning other additions of note were: Snipe, Cettis Warbler, Water Rail, Raven, Skylark, Kingfisher, Buzzard, Yellow-legged Gull and Willow Tit.

Of Note At Brandon Today: Egyptian Goose (1), Gadwall (67), Shoveler (17), Wigeon (101), Teal (36), Pochard (11), Tufted Duck (17), Grey Heron (1), Marsh Harrier (*1), Common Buzzard (1), Sparrowhawk (1), Kestrel (2), Water Rail (1 heard), Lapwing (250+), Snipe (9), Common Gull (4), Herring Gull (2), Yellow-legged Gull (1), Lesser Black-backed Gull (18), Skylark (3 over), Pied Wagtail (2), Fieldfare (6), Goldcrest (3), Willow Tit (2), Jay (6), Jackdaw (25 over), Raven (4 over), Bullfinch (2), Linnet (2 over), Redpoll (2), Siskin (8), Cettis Warbler (2 heard), Kingfisher (2)

An hour spent at Napton Reservoir before home threw up a surprise when a Rock Pipit flew across to the bank while I was chatting to some fellow birders. Also present during my visit were a couple of Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, 4 Buzzard, Green Woodpecker and along with around 250 or so Canada Geese small numbers of Snipe, Great Crested Grebe, Pochard, Wigeon, Tufted Duck and 4 Little Grebe were also noted. At the top end of the reed bed a Little Owl was calling briefly from within the Hawthorn in the adjacent field but I never managed to connect. Finally back at the marina a Collared Dove was perched nicely providing one of the few photographic opportunities of the day!