Thursday, August 29, 2013

Strimming Day

Good to hear a couple of Tawny Owls calling at the marina last night. Also worth a mention, a Sedge Warbler on Wednesday morning, with the local birds moving on a few weeks previous, this one a possible passage bird.

Long-tailed Tit bathed in the early morning sun
Today an early search of the local area just after sunrise. Firstly, the marina grounds and the surrounding hawthorn and bramble produced a nice Long-tailed Tit flock, which included Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler within.

One of three Yellow Wagtails around the pontoons today.
A juvenile Little Grebe suddenly appeared from within the reed bed adjacent to the Oxford Canal and a Greenshank was heard in the locality but not seen. More Yellow Wagtails dotted around the pontoons, three this morning and these accompanied by a smaller number of Pied Wagtails of late, with around fifteen birds or so.

Spotted Flycatcher enjoying the early sunshine.
Spotted Flycatcher numbers have begun to build up with at least eight seen around the Napton area first thing. Nearly all the birds seen were high in the canopy taking advantage of the early morning sun.

Painted Lady near the Nature Centre
Today was the annual strimming of the Islands and banks at Brandon Marsh, backbreaking stuff but a necessity if we're to keep control of the vegetation, better for observation too. During lunch the team were treated to a couple of Hobbies over East Marsh Pool, also recorded Common Sandpiper, several Snipe and a single Yellow Wagtail flew south mid morning.

After strimming it doesn't take long for the birds to return and Jim, Trevor, Mike and I spent a little time in the hides before heading off, on route a Painted Lady butterfly on the buddleia near the nature centre.

Highly cropped photo of Garganey on East Marsh.
Teal Pool produced (8) Green Sandpiper and a single Greenshank, but the surprise of the day was an eclipse Garganey, which Jim picked out among the Teal near willow Island, a top find!