Sunday, May 12, 2013

Weekend Notes!

Passerine migration seems to have come to a sudden halt after a really good early spring and with the change to strong westerlies more recently the best place is likely to be coastal areas. With colder mornings, only 3C today, the dawn chorus has been a little subdued, although the odd rain shower and low ceiling has produced good numbers of Swifts and Hirundines feeding low over the reedbeds. Sedge and Reed Warbler have also been venturing out and about in search of food, offering some decent photo opportunities, or not!

Reed Warbler - Just Wouldn't Pop Out!!
Brandon Marsh seems to have settled into a regular pattern and the only change to the wader count from Wednesday is the addition of (3) summer plumage Dunlin, which have been around since Thursday. Sadly the (3) Lapwing young I reported seeing on Wednesday appear to have succumbed, possibly to the unprecedented amount of Lesser Black-backed Gulls frequenting East Marsh Pool, not a welcome sight.

Sedge Warbler
On the positive side of things Common Tern numbers have increased, with (6) individuals on Saturday and (4) today and these are already taking an interest in the nesting platforms. Also on the positive I managed two separate sightings of Kingfisher this weekend after a baron period. Reports of Bittern seen from Carlton Hide yesterday and again today are of great interest, can we look forward to the first ever booming Bittern at Brandon? The next few days will tell!

This morning the usual ♂Cuckoo calling over the 'Tip' area and today accompanied by a ♀female, which has her very own distinctive bubbling call and a first of the year for me at Brandon. Also worth a mention from today's visit: Grasshopper Warbler calling from the Top Reedbed and a Mistle Thrush singing from the golf course, a bird that has sadly declined in numbers over recent years.

Common Tern - On passage Through The Marina!
From a local perspective several Common Terns have passed through the marina over the previous few days, plus from Dee's description a possible Arctic Tern, which she heard and saw briefly before I managed to get to the hatch for a look. At least (2) Lesser Whitethroat are still singing and the welcome sighting of a Water Vole on the top reed area this evening. At least two families of Coot to report and the (7) Mute Swan cygnets are all doing well. A check of the top meadow for Butterflies over the weekend, weather affected, produced only four sightings, Green-veined White, Comma, Peacock and a single ♂Orange Tip.

**Good to see Richard out and about at Brandon this morning, (The Cymbeline Lister) allbeit staying put in the nature centre and I wish him a speedy recovery after his recent illness!