Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Weeks Review

Last Thursday morning was a real treat at Brandon Marsh with Teal Pool hosting a selection of birds that any local birder would be delighted with and what's more all showing at close range. The selection contained: (3) Green Sandpiper, (1) Common Sandpiper, (1) Wood Sandpiper, (1) Greenshank, juvenile Water Rail and from Big Hide a short time later, a distant Red Kite thrown in for good measure. A birder with a camera's dream, sadly guess who'd inexplicably left his at home!!

Green Sandpiper - Teal Pool Hide (Monday)
Over the weekend period the settled high pressure finally gave way and normal summer service was restored! With heavy torrential rain forecast overnight Saturday and into Sunday the signs looked good for any early passage migrants to drop in during the deluge. Unfortunately a morning visit on the Saturday, which was remarkably quiet save for a couple of Green sandpiper and single Common, was all I could manage with other commitments keeping me away until Monday. It came as no surprise therefore to get a text message with news of a summer plumage Turnstone at Brandon Sunday morning. After five years working and birding at Brandon, this would have been a site first for me so a little disappointing.

Goldfinch - Several feeding on the thistle around the screen area!
Notwithstanding, an early morning visit yesterday (Monday) paid off, with the Turnstone still on East Marsh Pool and very grateful to get another Brandon first, incredibly my sixth new Brandon species this year! Before leaving (4) Mistle Thrush from the screen area and several close feeding Goldfinch offered a few nice photographic opportunities.

Large Skipper
Today was my normal Tuesday visit to Brandon Marsh and despite rain in the forecast I managed a totally dry morning. A walk past a rather quiet Sheep Field and through New Hare Covert had a couple of Treecreeper and Great Spotted Woodpecker. However, just prior to entering Teal Pool Hide a small foraging flock produced Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Tit, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler. Other birding highlights of the day included: (7) Oystercatcher, Little-ringed Plover, Hobby and a summer plumage Dunlin on East Marsh Pool.

Peacock - Seemed to be everywhere today!
A walk around the River Meadow and Farm Pool areas with Jim, Derek and Martin produced a superb array of butterflies, far too abundant to complete a realistic count with 14 species noted, including a 2013 first Small Copper and increased numbers of Common Blue and Red Admiral from recent previous visits. Strangely only two dragonfly species noted today with Brown Hawker and Black-tailed Skimmer.