Thursday, April 10, 2014

Blackcaps Galore!

A slightly frosty and crystal clear start when leaving the marina today, with Venus now a morning planet and a Curlew calling way off in the distance. Could this be the bird I heard flying through on Monday night perhaps?

Blackcaps - Unprecedented numbers at Brandon this year!
Martin had caught up with me by the time I reached the farm at Brandon Marsh and with at least six Blackcaps recorded singing by the time I reached the top reed bed, this has to be an unprecedented year for this species! Peter had already gone straight to East Marsh Pool upon his arrival and had called to inform us of our first Common Sandpiper of the year. Crossing the top reeds a Sedge Warbler was the only other bird of note and as we approached the locked gate the call of Lesser-spotted Woodpecker came through the morning air from over in Horsetail Glade.

Common Buzzard - Surprise find!
By the time we'd got to the glade we'd been joined by Keven Groocock and Peter had also dropped around to meet up. It was no time at all before the bird was located and after a short while we left Kevin and headed off for a walk around to the Wright hide. I had high hopes for Common Whitethroat around Sheep-field this morning but it wasn't to be but Bullfinch, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and a surprise when a Common Buzzard was perched beneath one of the Owl boxes.

More Blackcaps, including my first female of the year before a brief stop at Wright Hide, where a couple of Little-ringed Plover were just departing Willow Island. From East Marsh Hide (5) Snipe, (2) Shelduck and the usual Oystercatchers and Redshanks, plus we finally connected with Pete's Common Sandpiper. Just prior to the guys departing for a spot of voluntary work a rather nice looking Black-tailed Godwit dropped in. No work for me today with business and boat chores to attend to so Martin and I nipped to Carlton Hide for a look before heading off.

The approach to the hide provided a frenzy of activity with at least two more ♀Blackcaps, obviously overnight arrivals, driving at least three males balmy, great fun to watch and reminded me of me youth!

A few butterflies enjoying the early warmth with Brimstone, Peacock and my first ♂Orange-tip of the year for Brandon.