Friday, April 19, 2013

Nice Day Out!

Yellow Wagtail - Napton Reservoir
A thoroughly enjoyable days birding with a search of the local area, an hour at Napton Reservoir and then on for an afternoon visit to Brandon Marsh.

Lots of Skylarks were singing around the marina when I left for Napton Reservoir and the day had a good feel about it. On arrival at the reservoir almost my first bird of the visit was a Yellow Wagtail, when I noticed one perched on the bank as I got out of the car. By the time my visit was through I'd recorded (4) of these stunning little birds.

A walk to the top end of the reed bed had 2♂+1♀ Bullfinch and a single Yellowhammer, looking gorgeous in the morning sun. Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler singing, plus (2) Sand Martin, Raven over, several Swallows and a Little Grebe calling from within the reeds by the time I turned back. As I approached the bridge where the two reservoirs meet (2) Common Sandpiper flew out from the waters edge.

White Wagtail - Napton Reservoir
From here I took the track towards the canal on-line moorings, where one of the moorers has had the good idea of putting up a few feeders. Here several House Sparrows, Goldfinch and Chaffinch were tucking in and as I approached Calcutt locks for a quick look around a White Wagtail took my eye as it flew across the canal. The walk from the canal back along the north side of the smaller reservoir held my first local Sedge Warbler of the year, when one was singing within the reeds. This is also where I recorded my other (3) Yellow Wagtail and possibly the same White Wagtail I'd seen earlier.

The 'Tip' area and Farm Field at Brandon Marsh, which has been the focus of some excellent sightings this week, was pretty quiet by comparison when I took a walk around this afternoon. In fact it wasn't until I reached Big Hide, where I decided to have my lunch, that things picked up. (3) Common Sandpiper, (1) Green Sandpiper, (1) Dunlin, (1) Snipe, (3) LR Plover, (4) Oystercatcher and (3) Redshank was a decent Wader count.

Common Sandpiper - Still Practicing Flight Shots!
At one stage (2) Cuckoo flew over the pool from the Newlands area, disappearing towards River Pool and a brief visit by a lone Yellow Wagtail, Sedge Warbler in the reeds and (2) Common Whitethroat were other highlights. Later in the afternoon, having been joined by Jim and Bob, (3) White Wagtail were on Willow Island. Just prior to Jim's arrival Bob and I were surprised to see a large Bat Sp. probably a Noctule Bat and disturbed from it's roost, day flying in the area of Newlands. One final record of the day is my only Butterfly of the visit, when a Comma flew across in front of Big Hide.