Monday, January 19, 2015

Round Up!

Despite the lack of posts I've certainly been out and about around the local patch and have managed several visits to Brandon Marsh and a quick catch up at Draycote Water. Only managed the ♂Smew and brace of Common Scoter during my visit to Draycote and got totally wet through for my efforts. A big thank you to Mr Hazell for standing me coffee and cake in the cafe while drying off.

My visits to Brandon tend to be pre dawn affairs, I've always felt Brandon is best before mid morning. Tawny Owls have been very vocal and I've managed a couple of Barn Owl sightings, with birds apparently using both boxes on Newlands to roost. Not managed to catch up with a very illusive Bittern thus far, despite the bird being very regular before Christmas just prior to dawn.

Sundays Brandon visit threw up my first Woodcock of the year while waiting for the no show Bittern. Plus later in the morning very brief views of a single Jack Snipe among a half dozen Common Snipe on Teal Pool, ably spotted once again by Mr Hood! A single Shelduck has graced East Marsh Pool, along with varying small numbers of Goldeneye and Pochard. A Little Egret has been quite regular over January but no sign over the last couple of visits. Last Friday I spent a good half hour watching a pair of Marsh Tits in New Hare Covert, constantly calling with that amazing 'pitchoo' call, so no ID issues to contend with.

Robins everywhere at Brandon!
The Great Tits are now singing throughout the reserve and I dare say it won't be long before the Song Thrush's do the same too, yes its time to set out their territories once again. Robins are everywhere, there's at least one wintering Chiffchaff to be found and a reasonably sized flock of mixed Siskin/Lesser Redpoll, but the prize for the local year list has to be the illusive Bittern!