Monday, April 14, 2014

1st Cruise and Busy Brandon!

Our first outing for 2014 and a cruise and overnight stop on the Grand Union Canal, meeting up with our old neighbors NB-Enigma near bridge 101.

Corn Bunting  - A good local find

The cruise down on Saturday afternoon was a chilly one, with a biting north-westerly, the birding highlights were several Yellowhammer along the tow-path and good numbers of Linnet on and around the fields. However, the star turn was snapped by Dee as we cruised by bridge 103 and our first patch Corn Bunting for a few years. A better day on the cruise back Sunday with lots of Orange-tip butterfly on the wing in the warm sunshine and several Swallows perched on the phone wires at Flecknoe were nice to see.

Chiffchaff - In the process of displaying!
A visit to Brandon Marsh (Monday) before the predicted hoards arrived after lunch and a quick tour away from the pools found a few more Common Whitethroats and Willow Warblers around, plus a half dozen Linnet and the usual Chiffchaff and Blackcaps, but no surprises.

Speckled Wood - My year first looking quite pristine!
East Marsh Pool had a single Avocet once more, (2) House Martin, Snipe, (3) Little-Ringed Plover, joined later in the morning by a single Ringed Plover. A Stoat made a brief appearance while in East Marsh Hide and my first Speckled Wood butterfly near the Carlton Hide, along with several Orange-tip, Peacock and Comma.

Lesser-spotted Woodpecker - Illusive but still around!
Just prior to leaving around noon a walk down to river meadow had a Lesser-spotted Woodpecker across on the peripheral of Willow Wood, ( thanks to the gent who tipped me off), which I connected with briefly before it flew east.