Sunday, August 18, 2013

Barren Spell

As expected for the time of year were currently going through a barren period on the birding front, both locally and at Brandon Marsh. It's also time to note your Swift sightings too, as these wonderful birds are leaving UK shores in droves, it won't be long before their finally gone for another year!

Common Tern at the marina
The best birding I've managed personally over the last week or so has been a long staying Yellow Wagtail and a pair of Common Tern at the marina, plus (7) Green Sandpiper (a year best) at Brandon, along with a brief Greenshank visit last Tuesday and a solitary Dunlin on east Marsh Pool on Thursday. Also worth a mention were (5) Sparrowhawk on the 'Tip' area during the week, this a family which have successfully bred in Horsetail Glade and are constantly on the prowl around the locality.

One of a number of young warblers foraging today!
Today's visit to Brandon produced Muntjac Deer and more foraging flocks, including Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, Blackcap and Long-tailed Tit, all taking advantage of the early ripening fruit, a bumper berry yield is definitely on the cards. A couple of juvenile Bullfinch were also noted, a good breeding record for Brandon.

Of course while the birding is slack the bumper butterfly year continues and there's always plenty to find around the reserve, including plenty of damsel and dragonflies. Common Blue, Meadow Brown and Peacock butterfly are all abundant throughout and today more Small Heath around with a count of (8).

Purple Hairstreak
Also of note: (5) Small Copper, (20+) Small White, (2) Red Admiral, (2) Brimstone, (2) Green-vein White, (5) Gatekeeper, (3) Large White and (1) Brown Argus. The surprise of the day came as I was leaving the reserve around lunchtime. As I unlocked the goudy gate a small butterfly took my eye and after a brief search turned out to be a Purple Hairstreak, amazingly my first on the reserve.

Migrant Hawker
Dragonflies today included Southern Hawker, Migrant Hawker, Brown Hawker, Common Darter and Black-tailed Skimmer, lets hope the birding picks up soon as birds begin their journey south.