Sunday, October 28, 2012


Fieldfare everywhere!!
After the excitement of yesterdays 10 Whooper Swans at Brandon Marsh attention today turned to the hundreds of Thrushes which have arrived around the reserve! Saturday's northerlies and clear skies seems to have unleashed the east coast arrivals from earlier in the week upon us land locked counties.

Every Hawthorn bush at Brandon Marsh seemed to have a Redwing, Fieldfare or Blackbird within with a feeding frenzy the like of which I've not witnessed for some years. This of course begs the question, how long will this years poor fruit yield last? With the Beech mast and Acorn crop virtually non existent and Hawthorn well below average there are already reports from around the country of Brambling & Siskin on garden feeders, which of course is fairly early in the season.

Another visitor at Brandon today was a Barnacle Goose which flew in alone and calling during the early morning. I'm pretty sure this is a new bird and not the one which seemed to hang around with the Greylag flock earlier in the year. Speaking of which the recent Egyptian Goose re-appeared once more among the flock mid-morning.

Goldcrest from Saturday's visit!
Another bird which seemed to be on the move today in large numbers was the Woodpigeon with several flocks of well over 100 birds in each moving through the reserve. Starlings are also beginning to group and Fred Stokes reported large numbers moving out of Newlands at first light, along with an Otter sighting on River Pool, lucky boy! Jeff Hoods sighting of a Tawny Owl near the big hide early on is another bird I'll put in my book of 'birds and wildlife I missed today'.

Birds of note I did see or hear today, apart from those already mentioned included: Goldcrest (5), Coal Tit (1), Siskin (26), Lesser Redpoll (7), Bullfinch (4), Goldfinch (11), Greenfinch (1), Chaffinch (15), Linnet (5), Skylark (4 over),  Cetti's Warbler (2 heard), Water Rail (2 heard), Great-spotted Woodpecker (3), Green woodpecker (1), Jay (5), Kestrel (2), Sparrowhawk (1), Kingfisher (2), Wigeon (75), Gadwall ( 35), Goldeneye (2♀ 1♂), Shoveler (36), Teal (22) and Snipe (7)