Thursday, April 24, 2014

Brief Encounter

Jim and I arrived at Brandon Marsh simultaneously this morning but we decided to cover different areas of the reserve in the hope of dropping onto any new arrivals more quickly.

Last years visiting Wood Warbler stayed for three days!
I was literally 20 yards down the track towards the bottom dipping pond on route to the 'Tip' area when the unmistakable song of a Wood Warbler rang out near our tool store. A brief glimpse of what I believe was the bird before dragging Jim back to the spot. Unfortunately another chorus, thankfully heard by Jim was all we managed before all fell silent. Despite a short vigil the bird had vanished, probably deeper into Horsetail Glade but if he decides to hang around I'm confident he may well be heard over the next day or two, provided the sun comes out!

Record shot of my 1st Common Tern at Brandon this year!
Despite no further excitement a very rewarding visit with the reed beds alive with singing Reed Warblers, Sedge WarblersCommon Whitethroats and the odd Cetti's Warbler thrown in. A few Brandon year firsts with a single Swift over Newlands and amazingly my first Common Tern arrived mid morning and settled near the nesting rafts. It was also good to see a Barn Owl at Brandon once more, lets hope this is the beginning of a real comeback after the recent population crash. Other notables today: Cuckoo, Garden Warbler (2), White Wagtail, Shelduck (2), Little-ringed Plover (5), Ringed Plover (2), Redshank (3) and Oystercatcher (2).

Yellow Wagtail on the bridge at Napton Reservoir
The highlight of Brandon's Tuesday visit was a Grasshopper Warbler reeling near the Sheep Field gate and a stop at Napton Reservoir on route home (Tuesday) produced of note Yellow Wagtail and Common Sandpiper. Now the good news: I'm off to Majorca birding for the next few weeks from Saturday so I can guarentee that something special is likely to drop in at Brandon, it always does!!