Sunday, December 16, 2012

Bah Humbug

Father Christmas's Alter-Ego! 
Well I can't say its the best birding weekend I've ever had but I did meet an alter-ego Father Christmas at Brandon Marsh this morning!

I knew it wasn't going to be the best day ever when I met up with Chris Wiltshier and you know how it goes "you should have been here a few minutes earlier". It seems that I'd missed out on 9 Waxwings heading west just after arriving.

Once again little was showing today on East Marsh Pool and I'm still trying desperately to persuade the 'elders' of Brandon to reduce the ridiculously high water levels on East Marsh Pool. Personally I'd rather the islands were showing and not under water allowing our normally excellent Lapwing and Snipe numbers refuge. It's been the normal procedure for many years at Brandon to flood the islands to prevent vegetation growth in the spring and I feel the whole procedure requires a re-think. Last year for example when the levels were much lower and the islands showing due to lack of water reports for the first two weeks of December included: Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, 160 Golden Plover and several sightings of Bittern in the reeds in front of Big Hide.

One Giant Leap!
Back to today and I decided on an alternate route when I found out that the path to Big Hide and Carlton were underwater and my wellies were still back aboard the boat. A walk around the Tip area and Farm Field produced a few Fieldfare, Redwing, Bullfinch and Goldfinch, plus single Raven, Green Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk and Buzzard.

Other highlights were 11 Greenfinch on Sheepfield (my largest Brandon count), 4 Nuthatch, 2 Goldcrest and single Coal Tit in New Hare Covert and to the rear of the Wright Hide the large Siskin/Redpoll flock was showing well feeding in the Alders producing the only half decent photo of the day! 2 Cetti's Warbler were also heard on Newlands reed bed.