Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Troll the Hedges!

You'd think that with all the Yellow-browed Warblers currently residing in the UK one would have the good grace to venture a little further inland. Although it would be difficult to get much further from the coast than Warwickshire! Since arriving back from France I've spent the best part of the days dissecting many a hawthorn, bramble and willow, particularly at Brandon Marsh hoping to strike lucky, but sadly to no avail.

One of three Stonechat - Farm Field at Brandon Marsh 
Having said that there's nothing better than being driven by anticipation and the many foraging flocks I've encountered have contained a host of species including Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Coal Tit , Willow Tit, Marsh Tit and Treecreeper. Doing the rounds at Brandon Marsh at least three large flocks of Siskin have been evident and the first Lesser Redpolls are beginning to arrive, still no Redwing as yet to speak of. Meadow Pipits can be found and most visits produce several Skylarks passing overhead, more often heard then seen!

Another Stonechat on Farm Field
Jays are up to their usual autumnal habits, busy burying the odd acorn, only to forget where they've hidden them and thus helping to populate Brandon with more oak trees! Farm Field is currently playing host to at least three Stonechat, although during a visit today I only managed the one. If you do happen to head that way your odds-on to encounter a Green Woodpecker, with an amazing count of eight today.

Brandon Marsh Great White Egret - Courtesy of Fred Stokes
Although I've not spent much time in the hides I managed a ♀Pintail and Peregrine on Sunday morning and its also evident that Wigeon have taken to Brandon, with over 100 on site most days. Perhaps preferring the calmer waters to that of nearby Draycote Water, where once they were numerous, Draycote now seemingly devoting itself entirely to sports activities. A phone call on Monday morning had me scurrying over to East Marsh Hide where a Great White Egret had dropped down in front of Fred Stokes. Unfortunately by the time I got there the bird had flown, such a rare visitor to Brandon. Another bird to look our for is a leucistic Black-headed Gull which appears to be a constant visitor among the many gulls.

Finally a couple of species absent here at the marina for the past few years have recently re-emerged. Firstly, a Kingfisher seen around the pontoons and a Little Owl, which another moorer spotted on one of the telegraph poles on Sunday evening!