Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thoroughly Gloomy!

Drake Smew On East Marsh Pool - Image Courtesy Of Jeff Rankin
A stunning start to the day with a Barn Owl dropping down and taking prey only feet in front of me as I walked to the marina car park, could the day get any better?

Sadly not! Shortly after arriving at Brandon Marsh the freezing fog dropped in dashing all hopes of seeing yesterdays ♂Smew. It didn't come as any surprise either that all pools were frozen except for a small area in the middle of East Marsh pool which contained various numbers of Teal, Shoveler, Tufted and Gadwall, what remains of Willow Island held 4 Snipe.

Kestrel In The Murk!
A brief spell in the Carlton Hide, which resembled a fridge freezer, produced a single Fieldfare in the Hawthorn and it wasn't long before Alban, Keith (2), Martin and I were on the move once more. A brief search of the main car park failed to yield any of the recent Waxwings (16 on site yesterday) and so with the visibility deteriorating a decision to walk the perimeter of the farm and top reed bed to check the berry bushes.

Not a bad decision with a very obliging Kestrel (blue band on left leg) huddled in the cold producing one of only a few photo opportunities today. After Martin and I managed a good few shots in the murk we took a wide berth leaving the bird in peace still huddling from the cold.

Siskin In Even More Gloom!!
The berry bushes leading down to the the farm area produced Redwing, Fieldfare, Greenfinch, Bullfinch and Woodcock when one flew out of the undergrowth heading across the reed bed. A second sighting of probably the same bird as we got a little closer to the farm.

Finally, ten minutes at the gate near the nature centre produced a good selection of Siskin and Lesser Redpoll in a small flock feeding in the Alder. A thoroughly gloomy and freezing cold day!!