Monday, May 06, 2013

Bank Holiday Roundup!

Brandon Marsh now has the full set of regular summer visitors with all species now reported or recorded as being on site. However, there are a few disappointments, with Kingfisher sightings few and far between and Common Terns, which failed to produce any young in 2012, extremely thin on the ground.

Willow Tit at Brandon Marsh
Early morning visits over the weekend have failed to produce anything out of the ordinary but at least three Grasshopper Warblers have been a regular feature and some of the Brandon regulars are coming up with some superb images of these elusive birds. A record of (2) Redwing for me on Saturday morning is my latest sighting ever of these winter visitors. A day hunting Barn Owl also on Saturday morning is a good sign, with the possibility of young to feed! Also of note this morning were (3) Shelduck, (1) Yellow Wagtail and (2) Willow Tit.

New Arrivals - Cute Or What?
Here at the marina (5) Ravens flew south heading towards Napton Hill on Friday morning and the resident Mute Swans have produced young for the third consecutive year, with (7) Cygnets. At least (2) Lesser Whitethroat have been very vocal, with one still singing just before sunset tonight. At least (1) White Wagtail was in with the usual Pied Wagtail roost this evening and (2) Common Tern passed through late afternoon. The reed beds have come alive with both Reed and Sedge Warbler in song, but sadly I've had no sightings of Little Owl or Cuckoo, regulars here in early May over previous years.

♂Orange Tip - Oxford Canal
With the warm weather come the Butterflies and finally the first Orange Tips are beginning to appear in reasonable numbers both locally and at Brandon, also recorded today my first Common Blue of the year.

This afternoon Dee and I went in search of a Turtle Dove, which has been a regular visitor to an area of the Oxford Canal near Flecknoe for the past three years. Sadly on arrival we discovered that the local farmer has installed a bird scarer close by to protect his crops, in fact it went off during our visit and scared the s*** out of us, were not hopefully of a fourth consecutive year. However, good numbers of Yellowhammer and Linnet were seen during our walk along the towpath, plus Lesser Whitethroat and Skylark.