Sunday, February 03, 2013

The Raven!

The Raven - Edgar Allen Poe
Checking the marina feeders on route to Brandon Marsh this morning our now resident Raven was causing havoc among the other birds. I've never seen a Raven take a bird but I'm certain their well capable with their devious and intelligent nature.

However, this one seems quite content with the grain and fruit scatterings I've laid out. No I'm not about to read the great writings of Edgar Allan Poe but these birds really do fascinate me and I can't wait to get my lens back from repair next week in the hope of capturing some interesting images.

I arrived at Brandon Big Hide just in time to be told that I'd missed a Bittern by seconds but wasn't too despondent as it was just great to be out and I'd managed some good sightings of one on Newlands during my visit last Wednesday. The sluices to East Marsh Pool are now fully open with water battering through but with the current levels It's going to take a good while for the waters to drop, allowing the Islands to re-appear. This is of course assuming that no further deluges are on the way.

After a short stay in Big Hide, the best of which being (3) Shelduck and some excellent numbers of Shoveler, several of the Sunday crew decided to have a walk through Horsetail Glade, the target Lesser-spotted Woodpecker. Over recent years January through March has always been a good time to spot one and so it's always worth a look, sadly no joy today. The walk did produce a good flock of Lesser Redpoll, several Siskin, Redwing and at least 3 Goldcrest.

The team have two additional Barn Owl boxes to place this year and so we had a good tour of the reserve checking out possible locations. During our walk (2) Woodcock were inadvertently flushed and also of note a Sparrowhawk was seen chasing a flock of around 50 or so Thrushes, mainly Redwing, over the Farm Field area.

I ended the day with an evening tour of the marina and here the adjacent field was awash with Fieldfare, which headed off towards Napton Reservoir at sunset. The recent Pied Wagtail roost has depleted and only 2 birds were noted. Finally in the gloom as I headed back aboard a Barn Owl was heard but unfortunately not seen.