Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Brandon Catch Up

Returning to the marina for a few days to complete some of life's mundane chores gave me an opportunity for a catch up at Brandon Marsh today.

One of a number of Swallows enjoying the morning sun
What greeted me first thing as I left the marina was around 30 or so Swallows enjoying the early sunshine from on top of the phone wires. A family of five Bullfinch were also milling around the hawthorn as I made my way to the car park. I also noted three Swift passing through, always a point of note as they'll soon disappear completely for the year!

Some amazing formations of Cirrus cloud to be seen today!
Only a few of the guys were at Brandon today and with Jim ringing at the constant effort site I spent the morning with Derek, Adrian and Martin. With water levels currently very low the main East Marsh Pool is rife with pond algae and as the norm at this time of year the islands and banks are grossly overgrown, more so this year it seems. The birding as I expected was very slow with the only waders of note a Green Sandpiper and Little-ringed Plover, this along with six Common Tern and two parties of young Tufted Duck, six and four respectively. A Willow Tit on central marsh was a nice find and news of a passage Osprey, which passed through on Monday.

Peacock Butterfly - Taken on the Canon SX50 in super vivid colour!
Martin and I continued on alone mid morning after a moth master class with Richard and Dave on 'how to build your own trap', very informative and something I could well get into! The highlights of our tour of the reserve were the sheer numbers of Peacock butterflies and 2nd generation Common Blue to be found. However, the star turn came as we walked the boundary near Brandon Lane when a pristine looking Clouded Yellow shot passed. Sadly, despite our best efforts to catch up, it just continued on without pause! Odanata included: Brown Hawker, Southern Hawker, Common Darter, Black-tailed Skimmer dragonfly and Common, Azure and Blue-tailed Damselfly.

Juvenile Common Whitethroat
Finally a quick stop off at Napton Reservoir, which I have to say has dropped slightly in level, a good thing in preparation for the imminent autumn migration, remember last years Spotted Crake! The highlight today though , the above young Common Whitethroat.