Monday, January 20, 2014

Normal Service

Apologies for the break in transmission over the last fortnight and although I have been out birding on several occasions, blogging has had to take a back seat due to a few other projects in the mix.

However, normal service has resumed and Sunday an early start around the marina grounds before heading off to Brandon Marsh. The highlight around the marina was my first Little Owl of the year, when one flew east just prior to dawn. A Tawny Owl was also heard but at distance and I suspect came from somewhere over towards Napton Reservoir.

Shoveler on east marsh pool recently, Brandon Marsh - Canon SX50 HS
The water remains high at Brandon after the recent floods and as normal the sluices aren't due to be opened until February. Even then it remains to be seen how quickly the water on east marsh pool will recede. The team also attempted to raise a couple of perching trees across on Newlands last Thursday to replace those brought down over recent months. I'm entirely unsure as to how long these will last but it was great fun trying to get them up and with any luck the Brandon Cuckoos and Hobbies may have somewhere to perch this coming spring.

Siskin taken recently at Brandon in the gorgeous sunshine - Canon SX50 HS
A large Siskin flock was near Wright Hide feeding high in alder, with some stunning Lesser Redpoll within and a Chiffchaff calling near swallow pool was another highlight, before coffee in east marsh hide. After coffee a walk around the top reed beds and past the old farm buildings flushed a Woodcock and also produced Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and a few dozen Fieldfare and Redwing feeding on the surrounding fields.

This morning I headed off to Draycote Water in the hope that the predicted fog hadn't actually arrived! I wasn't disappointed, with the most glorious morning on offer. It wasn't long before I was onto the drake Smew, quickly followed by several Goosander, distant Long-tailed Duck and the long staying Great Northern Diver. I decided to take advantage of the weather and gave the Canon SX50 a once over using the HD video feature. I've uploaded my first attempt to my YouTube account and I hope you enjoy it. Bare in mind this was filmed hand held and there are a few exposure issues which I think I've got my head around for the future.