Sunday, December 28, 2014

Post Christmas

A chilly -4C at the marina this morning and a crystal clear sky as I scrapped the morning frost from the windscreen, three cronking Ravens heading off towards Napton Hill, my first birds of note.

I arrived at Brandon Marsh a little before sunrise almost simultaneously with Trevor Griffiths and we both set off for a tour of the reserve. Things were pretty quiet, save for the odd Redwing and around twenty or so Wigeon overhead as we reached the Wright Hide. East Marsh Pool was half frozen but with plenty more wildfowl, including a half dozen Gadwall, plus a drake Pochard and three females, quite rare to Brandon this year. Plenty of Gulls on offer but nothing to set the pulse racing.

Siskin in the pre dawn!
As we left the hide a mixed flock of Siskin/Redpoll were feeding high in the alder and a commotion on Swallow Pool was almost certainly the two Otters later seen by the chaps in the East Marsh Hide. A Trio of Goldcrest on our way around to big hide, plus Treecreeper, Great spotted Woodpecker, Kingfisher and a calling Nuthatch. The River Avon is currently running quite high, the water still rising along the east marsh track but passable in wellies! A stop off at the hide for a catch up provided the addition of a single Shelduck and a Buzzard perched in the willow over on Wigeon Bank.

Apart from a calling Water Rail nothing further to report at the Carlton or Jury hides but some good views of the river in flow along the path to the Jury Hide. The local landowner has made an excellent job of clearing the meadow opposite and the view of the river is now much improved. Bird of the day was when passing the Carlton Ditch and Martin thankfully spotting and calling a Bittern in flight as it flew from the Teal Pool across to Newlands, looking stunning in the bright sunshine.

Off to Lincolnshire until the new year so hopefully a few more posts before the year end with a couple of birding trips planned.