Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Midweek Update!

I was just about to set off for Brandon Marsh on Monday when I received a call from Richard Mays. The steely-eyed Bob Hazell had picked up a juvenile Long-tailed Duck at Draycote water. A quick change of plan and I was onto the bird within half an hour thanks to the boys.

Record shot - Juvenile Long-tailed Duck
I did manage a record shot of the bird in pretty poor light, which was showing just off Farborough Spit.

After a coffee in the centre with Richard I headed off to Brandon, which I have to say, has been awash with birds over the past few days. It was also really encouraging to see the Carlton Pool full of water once more and currently weed free, a Grey Wagtail was even checking out the tarpaulin, which has been put over the removed Crassula helmsii, to kill it off!

Returning to Brandon this morning for my regular Tuesday visit and as I mentioned earlier, a real feeding frenzy was continuing at pace. Fieldfare, Redwing and several Bullfinch were stripping the hawthorn, Siskin were enjoying the alder and to my surprise and delight, a dog Otter on the central marsh pool, stunning stuff.

Siskin - Not a great day for photography!
East Marsh Pool held a pair of Shelduck, along with of note: (11) Snipe, (3) Pochard, (1♀ + 3♂) Goldeneye, (2) Wigeon, Yellow-legged Gull and the usual selection of wintering waterfowl. At the Carlton Pool and screen area Alban and I were surprised to come across a couple of Chiffchaff, feeding low in the reedbed, followed soon after by a couple of Willow Tit near the bench and a couple of Lesser Redpoll were also noted.

Also seen during our stay: Kingfisher, (2) Water Rail, several Reed Bunting and of course the thrushes were hammering the hawthorn. A Cetti's Warbler was heard and other highlights around the reserve: (3) Treecreeper, (3) Goldcrest and a solitary Mistle Thrush over!

Also worth a mention was a Mealy Redpoll, which was caught and ringed by JR during a Brandon ringing session on Sunday.