Monday, June 02, 2014

Brandon Frustration!

Spent the weekend out of the marina and moored up on the Grand Union Canal, which despite the weather forecast turned out to be very pleasant. Having said that, butterflies were certainly at a premium but we enjoyed the company of a family of Linnets, which were nesting nearby and the Yellowhammers, Skylarks and Blackbirds forever in song, reminded me of those great English summers we used to enjoy when I was a lad!!

Linnet - Grand Union Canal
I'd not been to Brandon Marsh for nearly a week so decided to take in an early morning visit. I suppose it was no surprise to see that the water levels have risen and while sitting in the Wright Hide my heart went out to a couple of Coots on East Marsh Pool, who are barely keeping the nest above water! Fortunately one of the pair was busy going back and forth and making a good job of building up the nest, so thankfully it all looks very hopeful.

One of several juvenile Great-spotted Woodpeckers around Brandon today!
Bids of note included: A lovely family of Great-spotted Woodpeckers, Lesser Whitethroat, (3) Garden Warbler, Cuckoo pair and a Grasshopper Warbler. The sun shone for most of the morning allowing a number of butterflies to take to the wing. The path leading down to the Carlton Hide had a half dozen Speckled Wood, possibly newly emerged and the 'Tip' area and River Meadow produced a couple of Brown Argus, (15) Common Blue, (2) Small Copper, (2) Green-vein White, (2) Orange-tip and a single Peacock. Several Chimney Sweep Moth were also noted on the meadow.

Lesser Whitethroat
Finally, I was saddened to see that where a Grasshopper Warbler has been reeling away recently the reedbed has clearly been damaged in what looks like an attempt to get as close to the bird as possible. It's seems to me that this year at Brandon has been somewhat of a nightmare! Some will remember earlier in the year a pair of Lesser-spotted Woodpeckers in Horsetail Glade, which were exposed and subjected to hoards of photographers and idiots with bird microphones, the birds stayed a few days and departed.

I've always been a believer in none suppression of sightings and getting the word out so that all can enjoy, in fact I personally put the word out on the Woodpeckers in question, having discovered them with other members of the Brandon Volunteers, something in hindsight I regret! But I'm sad to say that the time may have arrived when I too will think twice before putting the word out. Despite there being a really sound group of regular caring photographers at Brandon there are simply too many selfish, clueless, idiots around with cameras and the well-being of the bird must be the priority, not the so called holy grail of the perfect photo!!