Thursday, March 17, 2016

Diary Entry #18

Back at Brandon Marsh just after sunrise on the lookout for any new arrivals before joining the volunteers for more willow bashing duties. I began my search with a walk around the Farm and Top Reedbeds. A Fox on the 'Tip' area was a good find and in fact my first on site this year, but a pretty quiet walk birding wise with several Reed Buntings singing, a small passage of Redwing and a Sparrowhawk, which darted through the reeds. A Roe Deer standing directly under the relocated Owl Box in the Farm Pool Reedbed area that we've recently cleared was a real bonus before I headed off to East Marsh Hide.

One of Brandon's excellent population of Reed Buntings
Here I joined a few more of the team for a catch up and the highlights on the pool were: (5) Great Crested Grebe, (2) Oystercatcher and a Redshank, the latter heard and not seen! A passage of (15) Fieldfare over and at least two Cetti's Warbler's calling. Teal Pool/River Pool held (5) Snipe and a pair of Shelduck. Just before 08:30 a commotion over towards Alban's Reedbed took my attention and this turned out to be a Great White Egret, which was being mobbed by Gulls. We watched as the bird continued over Carlton Pool and across East Marsh Pool before drifting northwest! Unfortunately we never managed to relocate but it was my best view of the species at Brandon since the bird of 2009.

Still Siskins to be found around the reserve
A few jobs to complete on the the Farm Field later in the morning with several Siskin feeding along the bank and a nice record of (13) Meadow Pipits is a good account for Brandon. A walk after work later in the afternoon in the hope of maybe the first Hirundines proved uneventful but the weather was glorious!