Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Round Up!

Pied Wagtail (frequent visitors to the marina)
With time taken up compiling this years section on Amphibians and Reptiles for the Brandon 2012 report and getting the new conservation team Facebook Page up and running my blogging time has been limited of late. In fact It came as quite a surprise to me that I haven't actually posted for nearly 10 days.

I've managed to get out and about on several occasions since my last post both locally and at Brandon Marsh and as mentioned in previous posts have been spending a lot more time around the marina grounds. I also have my camera and lens back from repair and to get back into the swing once more have been practicing on the birds frequenting my feeding station at the marina. (pictures enclosed)

Greenfinch a plenty on the feeders
As for Brandon Marsh I knew when I set off this morning that Big Hide and Carlton would be inaccessible due to flood and so my first stop was Wright Hide and on route at least 50 Siskin/Lesser Redpoll were feeding in the Alder. Coffee in the hide produced the first of two Bittern sightings for the day, when the first was observed in flight moving from the River Avon area across towards Newlands. Water levels at Brandon are now taken regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays and with hides empty several of the conservation team took the opportunity to have an extended look at the Newlands Phase 3 Reedbed. As you would imagine water levels are at an all time high and it was plain to see during our visit that the 20,000 or so reed seedlings, stems and rhizomes hand planted last year are already starting to take hold, a fantastic effort by the team!

Reed Bunting a regular visitor
The second Bittern sighting of the day took place on Swallow Pool when Ken Sherlock discovered one showing exceptionally well about 150yds out from the path. Despite the bitter cold Brandon was full of activity today and a good tour of the remainder of the reserve produced over (40) Snipe, (50) Wigeon, Barnacle Goose, Shelduck, Grey Wagtail and at least (3) drumming Great-spotted Woodpeckers. Other notable's for the day can be found on Jeff's site HERE.

Back at the marina the feeders were a hive of activity and included (3) Tree Sparrow in my count, also observed during my walk were a flock of circa 50 Lapwing towards Napton Reservoir and a Thrush flock of around 100 or so birds. As mentioned earlier Brandon Marsh Voluntary Conservation Team is now on Facebook so if your on Facebook yourself make sure you LIKE us!! https://www.facebook.com/BMVCT