Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Brandon Tuesday

Arrived at Brandon Marsh this morning just as the rain was subsiding and made a quick dash to the East Marsh Hide to see if anything decent had been brought down. On Willow Island a summer plumage Dunlin was located quickly followed by a Common Sandpiper but nothing too exciting. The four adult Oystercatchers were busy with their families of two and three respectively, in fact it's looking as though these remaining five may just make it. A little later in the morning a single Ringed Plover and a brace of Little-ringed Plover dropped in and these along with four Redshank produced a reasonable wader count. Also of note: Cetti's Warbler (3 heard), Garden Warbler (3), Shelduck (4), Common Tern (7) and an unprecedented count of 22 Mute Swans.

Small Tortoiseshell on River Meadow
A pair of mating Cuckoos near the 'Tip' area was a surprise mid morning, and not just for the male of the pair, as the female bird turned out to be of the rufous morph type. This accompanied by a second grey female later over on the top reedbed confirmed my thoughts of at least two pairs at Brandon.

River Meadow produced a few butterflies and these included: Small Tortoiseshell, Green-vein White, Orange-tip, Common Blue, Peacock and Small Copper. Also of note Banded Demoiselle, Common Blue, Large Red and Azure Damselfly.

On the Farm Pool reeds a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling and at one stage a Sparrowhawk flew through scattering several Reed Buntings.

Glad that's not me!!
Lunch in East Marsh Hide with Jim produced a fly-by Red Kite, when a single bird approached from the east before crossing Newlands and heading off. This followed by a visit to the Carlton Hide and screen area and my first Hobby of the year, with two birds quartering low over the reedbed.

Finally a walk past the memorial garden was a bit scary, when a swarm of Honey Bee's I'd been monitoring over the last week had finally attached themselves to a nearby tree!