Sunday, September 01, 2013

Impromptu Visit!

Taking the boat out late on Saturday afternoon to meet up with Narrowboat Enigma on the Grand Union canal I'd planned to give Brandon Marsh a miss this weekend. However, after getting woken around 3.30am with one of my buoy's grinding in the stiff breeze (can be quite painful that!) and seeing a crystal clear sky and a nice wind, the signs looked good for 'things dropping in', and so I was on my way.

A scout of the marina grounds at sunrise had at least (4) Yellow Wagtails mixed in with the Pied. I had no idea that these species mixed with the usual marina roost, but over the past few weeks this seems to have been the norm. Still hearing singing Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler around and a Yellowhammer on the wires was the only other bird of note.

Whinchat - A Brandon year first
My decision to visit Brandon paid off immediately as I reached the main gate, when a bird atop one of the willows among the top reed bed caught my eye! A quick call to JR with news of a Whinchat had him over in quick time, even managing to drag Fred from big hide, where he'd just been lucky enough to photograph a couple of Otters and fortunately catch up with the eclipse Garganey I reported on Thursday.

Still a number of Whitethroats still to be found!
The 'Tip' and farm areas were awash with warblers, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackcap and Whitethroat all recorded, a Goldcrest, Treecreeper and Nuthatch were also seen along the walk to the farm. Four Common Buzzards were constantly in the air and calling over Old Hare Covert, I suspect at least two were juvenile, reasonable evidence for a nesting pair at Brandon?

Jim had a couple of Lesser Whitethroat from Carlton Hide, but unfortunately I missed out on these after a brief search however, the sight of a Barn Owl on one of the box steps was an encouraging sign. Teal Pool produced (6) Green Sandpipers, (4) Snipe and (2) juvenile Water Rail.

Normally shy Bullfinch offered good views!
An hour in Big Hide before heading off home had of note juvenile Little-ringed Plover and a very obliging Bullfinch, normally a shy bird but this one right in front of the hide. To end a really enjoyable session a couple more juveniles, when two Ruff dropped onto East Marsh Pool.