Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thrushes Abound!!

Common Buzzard
An early start at Brandon Marsh on Sunday paid off with two Barn Owls quartering Sheepfield just before dawn. The ♀Smew was still on site along with 2 ♂Goldeneye but unfortunately Bittern sightings are still at a premium! Personally I've only managed a single sighting this autumn.

In the late afternoon Dee and I took a long stroll along the Napton Lock Flight which was just alive with winter Thrushes's. With the canal side hedges mainly Hawthorn this is currently a great place to see them in such huge numbers. The adjacent fields were also awash with good numbers of Linnet and Starling mingled in, goodness knows what the Buzzard made of it all!

I had a very early start this morning driving a friend to Heathrow Airport and when I finally arrived at Brandon around 7am it was still dark and dank. With the weather pretty grim I decided to drive down to the Saga sign (one of the benefits of working at Brandon) and walk straight down to Big Hide, which turned out to be an excellent decision! As I was dressing for the weather a Tawny Owl suddenly called in the Oak tree directly overhead and I watched the silhouetted figure for a short time before the bird made off. Quite a bonus to actually catch sight of one for a change.

Blackbirds A Plenty!
To be honest that was probably the best of only a few highlights on a pretty dismal day. The now long staying ♀Smew (day 16) was eventually spotted when she flew onto East Marsh Pool, Cetti's Warbler, Kingfisher, 5 Wigeon, ♀Pochard and 9 Snipe the other highlights.

The Carlton Hide had 3♂+3♀Bullfinch and around a dozen Redwing feeding in the Hawthorn along with Willow Tit. A walk to West Marsh Hide had Grey Wagtail, Goldcrest, Siskin and Lesser Redpoll before I finally gave up.

This afternoon while servicing the boat the marina was also mad busy with Fieldfare, Blackbird and Redwing and the feeders had the usual Tree Sparrow, House Sparrow, Reed Bunting and Chaffinch but Brambling still elude me!